Sunday, August 2, 2015

TSS: August 2, 2015

I'm not sure how we made it to August already! I must admit Mom was right... The older you get, the faster time flies.

I read a rather eclectic selection of books this week.

First, I completed Lisette's List. The final verdict? Pick up the book and read it for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

I briefly skimmed two books on writing that I needed to return to the library. Both were written by Ralph Fletcher and geared toward elementary writing teachers. One in particular, however, pertained to my personal interest in starting a Writer's Notebook. (more details below).

I also read one more children's book for Paris in July - even though I read it August 1st. Tamara recommended An Armadillo in Paris, and I couldn't resist the title. Oh my... what an adorable book!

Using his grandfather's travel journal, Arlo goes in search of the Iron Lady. Each page of the book corresponds to a page from the journal and takes Arlo throughout the city to visit such popular landmarks as the Louvre, Sacre Coeur, and Luxembourg Gardens.

It is a delightful picture book that I may have to add to my personal collection.

 I took a little detour from my typical writing this week.

As I mentioned above, I decided to do some research on maintaining a Writer's Notebook. For some, this might seem as simple as picking up a notebook and start writing. For others like myself, that kind of broad freedom is paralyzing. So I set out to learn what other writers include in their notebooks to help me develop my own style.

While this book, Lessons for the Writer's Notebook, is geared towards a much younger audience, Ralph Fletcher includes some great suggestions for in-class activities that resonate with this adult student as well.

For teachers, or those who homeschool, I highly recommend this resource. The large summary cards help guide you through the daily lessons, and the back of each card offers examples of the technique to share with the class. My favorite was a copy of Ralph Fletcher's own notes where he jotted ideas about the moon that eventually ended up as a part of his classic picture book, Hello Harvest Moon.

I hope to begin my own writer's notebook this week. I will let you know how it goes.

I'm still maintaining the blogging schedule.

I am giving thought to adding a weekly entry that focuses on my writing journey... but so far I'm still in the phase of brainstorming post ideas.

  • Monday Middle Grade Mania - where I reviewed Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
  • Wordless Wednesday - where we visit Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square in Venice)
  • French Friday - where I review Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland

Other Activities:
I've recommitted to the 10,000 steps routine.

I did so well with this exercise regimen last summer, but then winter happened and weather was a convenient excuse not to take the morning walk. And without the morning walk, the writer's life is not conducive to movement.

Here's the thing with 10,000 steps a day:
It is not difficult. It is not taxing. 
But it demands a conscientious focus.

I must plan my walks. And I must make those walks a priority. If I live life on automatic-pilot, I barely achieve half the required number of steps.
If I am going to walk 10,000 steps a day - every single day with no excuses - then I must plan two 25-minute walks on the treadmill. The treadmill takes away the weather excuse, and I can use the time to catch up on podcasts or YouTube tutorials. 

I have also learned that connecting with like-minded friends is the key. 

We each use our fitbit to track our steps, and every evening we meet online to update our status. So far we are five for five ... and we all confess our success is due to this friendly competition.  

If you are interested in a walking routine and desire a bit of fun accountability, I would love to connect. The more the merrier!


  1. That's great that you are committed to do the 10,000 steps! I find that summer is actually the time when it is most difficult for me to get exercise, which seems counter intuitive, but I don't have nearly as much time to myself when the kids are home during the summer, and I am not someone who enjoys hot weather. I'd much rather go for a long walk when it's 15 degrees out than when it's 90.

  2. Oh my, Alyce... I don't like walking in the heat but I for sure don't like the frigid temperatures (although here in the midwest 15 degrees usually means well below zero with the wind chill)

    Actually, I can easily use any kind of weather as an excuse not to exercise, which is why the treadmill is my only viable option :)

  3. I dont have a fitbit but my dog gets me out and walking twice a day. It feels good to move to start the day. I think the daily Writer's Notebook seems like a good idea. Maybe I should try this. I'll look to see what you say about it.

  4. My husband and I currently argue over who walks the dog as we both want to log the steps :)

  5. Go, go, go on your 10.000 steps. It is more challenging for me to do that one would think.


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