So Many Stories...

Sunday, February 08, 2009
by LuAnn Schindler

Earlier this morning, as I attempted to determine what this blog post should cover, I couldn't narrow it down to just one choice. Some writing days are like that. The ideas pop into a writer's mind and sometimes, it's difficult to focus on just one idea.

I wanted to write about:
  • National Indoor Air Month. Since writers spend a fair amount of time inside, it's important to consider the air quality in your working space. The past several days have been warm here in Nebraska, and I was able to open the windows and let in the fresh air. Just the hint of fresh air spurred my creativity. It also made me realize that an air purifier might be necessary for the office.
  • An retired Omaha librarian. Yesterday's Omaha World-Herald had an interesting story on the front page of the living section about retired librarian Linda Garcia, who spent 30 years at a library in Omaha's south side, which is home to a growing Latino population. Garcia built the library system's collection of bilingual materials and developed programs for immigrant families. She's also an artist, and one of her sculptures will grace the library she formerly worked at.
  • Writing gigs on Craigslist. Read an interesting blog this week (although now I can't find the link) about how writers should be perusing Craigslist ads because the number of jobs would keep all writers employed.
  • International Flirting Week. This week-long celebration begins tomorrow, and I wanted to give you the dirty on being flirty. But, writers flirt with danger every day. There's the seduction of selecting a topic, the courtship with researching, and the tease of the keyboard keys. Then all a writer has to do is give the proverbial flirtation move - the hair toss - to land an agent. Oh, if it were only that easy!
  • Reading programs in schools. Do reading programs and classes in elementary schools actually teach comprehension or do they focus instead on rote learning that doesn't give students the big or complete picture? This topic has been on my mind during my six-week stint substitute teaching the local 4th grade class. And furthermore, why are students receiving pass/fail grades in reading? How do teachers measure learning? From workbook pages?

Which deserves the most blog time? I couldn't decide, so I shared a snippet of each of the stories I'm going to start working on. Some writing days are like that.


Margo Dill said...

Love this blog post. It's like a mini-newspaper. :)

Thanks for the craigslist heads-up. I should peruse that more often. Anyone know if there's a way to see all writing jobs listed or can you only look at the ones that are in a certain city and then you have to go to the next city and so on?

As for reading, I am passionate about this subject,and it is something I write about on Bright Hub (, then you can search my name--Margo Dill if you want to check it out :). Reading instruction depends on the teacher--it does. I did a long-term sub job last year and the reading instruction was WONDERFUL. Kids did a reading workshop, where they were each reading their own books and journaling about them. They were also in a literature group--which was about 5 students all reading the same book that fit their reading level. All books were on the same topic such as Feudal Japan or U.S. Civil War, and they were fiction. Students read a certain number of pages each week, completed a journal assignment that focused on a comprehension skill, and then met with me or my co-teacher to discuss the book and skill each week. We also taught mini-lessons about cause and effect and so on. I feel this is the best way to teach reading with real literature and journals and mini-lessons. Workbooks are not great--even the "new and improved." It's how I learned to read, but I think there are better ways. :) IMHO

Annette said...


On Craigslist, you have to check the writing jobs and gigs section of each city, individually. I found that often the posters have insane expectations and pay pennies, but maybe you'll find a gem or two in there somewhere. =)


Gutsy Living said...

I have days like that when I just can't make up my mind, so instead, I skip a day. Loved all your ideas though.

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