Teachers Write 7.13

Today we had the guest author Hena Khan and we were asked to think about our name if we could go back to before our birth and change it, and to create a mini-biography with our new name.

Current name

In regards to my own name, I think I’ve always secretly wished I could change it, but at the same time enjoyed it at the same time. I think the reason I wanted to change it was because there was at least one other Stephanie in most of my classes, so I was never sure which one the teacher was calling on. I remember back in high school I knew at least four other Stephanie’s, and a few Stephan’s, and we had decided one day at lunch that we were going to take over the world and only Stephanie’s and Stephan’s would be allowed to live. Honestly, if I changed it, it would probably be the spelling, to make it more unique.

New name

For the purpose of this writing prompt, I chose another name in my head that I would have changed my name to … “Lanetta”. The reason is that when my parents first found they were pregnant, they were told they were having twins. I’m not sure the names if they were boys, but if they were girls, the names they picked were “Lanetta Marie” and “Janetta Nicole”. (Now, I don’t know if that’s how the names actually played out or if the middle names were switched, but it’s what my memory is telling me.) Unfortunately she miscarried, so it’s just me. So this my brief summary of “Lanetta”, imagined as if I was a twin …

Think you’re seeing double? Then you’re probably right, cause I’m a twin! My name is Lanetta and I’m the oldest (okay, it’s only by a few minutes, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?). Now, my twin and I may look alike at first glance, but we’ve gotten out of that ‘dress-alike’ stage back in elementary, so it’s a little easier to tell us apart now. Oh, and our personality is totally different. I’m the more out-spoken, friendly one, while my sister is the quiet, shy one. Maybe it’s cause I was born first I felt the need to take charge. Oh, and that whole twin-telepathy thing people always ask about? Yeah, we so have it. I always get a six-sense when my sister is feeling down. Of course, it may be because we spend so much time together. Yeah, it may be because we grew up together, but I think that only helped strengthen our bond. It’s like the saying the girls have on that Disney show “Liv and Maddie” – Sisters by chance, friends by choice.


Teachers Write 7.10 & 7.11

This summer I decided to participate in Teachers Write. It’s hosted by authors Kate Messner, Gae Polisner, Jo Knowles, blogger/educator Jen Vincent, and guest authors popping in from time to time. I joined because its designed for teachers, librarians, and other folks who work with kids who also like to write and want to learn to improve their writing.

I’ve recently (within the last few years) picked up writing, including participating in NaNoWriMo a few times (though I’ve never written a novel-length during it). I’ve completed one novel-size story officially (don’t bother looking for it in stores though as I’m not planning on publishing at this point); the rest falls under the short-story category in length.

Anyways, up to this point there’s only been one person who’s really read my writing. But as Gae and Nora Raleigh Baskin pointed out in their joint blog post last Friday, the process of writing is not complete until someone reads it.

Hmm. Makes sense. So, with that statement, I’ve decided that as a first time Teachers Write participant, I was going right off the deep end and was going to participate full-on. That means sharing my writing from the beginning. And to be honest, it’s a scary idea, not knowing how people are going to respond. But here I am, sharing another part of my life and soul with the world. Just one request – please don’t hurt it too bad.

So, the plan is to share my small bits of writing that correspond with the various lessons. Ideally I’d be doing this daily, but being realistic, I will at least shoot for once a week. Feel free to let me know what you think and some constructive criticisms that can help improve my writing or the scene.

For starters, you have my small blurbs from Monday and Tuesday… Enjoy!

Mini-Lesson Monday: Another View of the World:

Taylor stepped outside the building she had been in for the last several hours and closed her eyes, taking in the smell and sounds around her; the salty air of the ocean blowing against her face, the horn of a nearby ship getting ready to take sail, the cry of a young child who was too scared to board the large ship, the seagulls trying to find scraps for food among the crowds, the hot humidity of a Florida summer day against her skin. She opened her eyes and brought her camera up to capture the huge boat in front of her, her home for the next several days.

Tuesday Quick-Write with Phil Bildner:

Two different perspectives —

“Only one row left of classrooms to clean. Good thing the kids will be gone Thursday. Man, I hope those two girls won’t come sneaking around and ask their questions and just let me do my job,” the custodian thought as he started to clean the first classroom of the day.

“It’s f-ing summer. Why do I have to be at school?” Angelique thought as she walked down the street. “Who cares if I learn to read? I don’t even like reading. Seriously? They make us go to school during the school year and then take away our summer too? God! I just want to be in bed.” When she got to the bus stop, she pulled her phone from her back pocket and scrolled through facebook until the bus pulled up. The bus hissed as it came to a stop and when the doors opened, Angelique climbed on taking a quick scan of the kids on board, chose to sit next to Nataly.

“So, you think Juan’s going to show up?” Nataly asked as Angelique sat next to her.

“Don’t know. He sent me a snapchat last night,” Angelique replied, pulling the app up on her phone to show her the pic of him with the dog filter. The girls laughed at the sight before lifting the phone in front of them for a selfie.