Nothing like a deadline -motivation

sols_6First I have to admit to missing yesterdays deadline – my Slice of Life just didn’t happen. Life got in the way – it does sometimes. There was nothing big that happened, no emergency, just things to do and people to connect with. So here I am working a day late but still writing. That is the point I think – just keep writing.

So some dead lines are not so hard and fast but I have one that is looming over my head this coming weekend. It feels hard and fast because there are students waiting to read.

I was being a “good” teacher this last week and writing along with my students. We are writing dog stories to connect with Debra Frasier’s new book Spike. I was teasing the kids about what a great story we could have because Oskar, one of our classmates, could not be found.  (He has slipped out the door for a few minutes to put something away and we were on the search for him.)

There was this chorus of “Yes, write it! Write the Oskar story.”

So I worked on it.  I shared the first part of it with them several days later. They were hooked and now need this story to continue or at least have an ending. I was just using it as a sample write with no intention of finishing it.

We were using it to discuss these lead ideas and questions:

  • Authors create a voice for their characters to help us see and feel the story.   Do you hear how I created the dogs voice? Can you tell who is talking – dog or boy?
  •  Authors use real events to give life and detail to their writing. Can you find the details from our real lives that I pulled into the fiction story?  –

Now I am stuck – I have four days and a story due to 28 third and fourth graders. The glory of writing to an audience is that it must have a ending.   Yes to deadlines.

I must have (don’t want to count) to many stories in many notebooks always started and never finished.  The line I used was “I will finish that some day when I am not working.”

Oops I retired this year!  (teaching part time this fall)  And yes if I asked them to have their story done next week I am guessing I am going to need to step up and get mine done as well.

They did give me ideas on what should happen next, how long the story should be and they want the dogs name changed to Fritz. I am not sure why.  Leave it to students to coach the writing teacher.

Got to love kids and writing!

(I will keep you posted about that deadline.  Wish me luck!)


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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