professornana (professornana) wrote,

Some more components of the UNprogram

Because I am better known as a book person (after all, the blog is called Goddess of YA), I think some folks do not know that I also am passionate about writing (though the fact that this is one of TWO blogs I maintain should be a clue to my friends). And writing is another important building block in the UNprogram. And so I surround myself with the tools of the writing trade. Right now my top desk drawer is bulging with tons of pens of all shapes, sizes, inks, types. I love gel pens and rolling ink pens and cherish the Mont Blanc my mother bought me when I finished by doctorate. I love fountain pens even when my fingers become stained with the ink. For my birthday this year, my friend and colleague Holly Weimar bought me pens and M & Ms (she knows me too well). The mug that is on the shelf next to me right now has markers, gles, fine points, and other pens. The colors range from standard to winsome.

And then there are the notebooks. When I buy back to sschool notebooks for College Girl, I always include a few for me as well. Notebooks are my mobile laptops; they can roam with me in places where working on a laptop would not work well. One place I have notebooks (notethe plural) is the car. Now, I do not write lists or missives as I drive. But I will occasionally snatch one at a traffic light and jot an idea. I have used these notebooks often this year as I read with my ears for the odyssey Committee making note of strengths and production flaws as I listen. I can use notebooks during takeoff and landing, so they are often out during a trip by airplane. Until College Girl reached high school, she would fill at least one notebook a month with her stories. Sometimes she shared them with us; more often than not, she was writing for herself. I tried to find her different kinds of notebooks to fill; they became her Christmas and birthday gifts.

Back when I was a middle school classroom teacher, I surrounded my students with pens and paper, too. I had markers and crayons and pencils (though I do not like using pencils for some reason).

One of my favorite tools for writing now is the computer. Anyone at ALAN saw me with my cell phone and two tablets. I draft and revise online more often than not these days. That is a huge transition for me, and one I am happy to have made. In addition to word processing, I use various apps to record ideas or quotes I want to remember. I have a laptop where I do most of the work for this blog. I love tech toys, erm, tools.

Much of my writing arises from what I am reading. I cannot count how many many times authors have said in various ways, "if you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader first." Christopher Paul Curtis points to the work of Walter Dean Myers; Carolyn Meyer points to "juicy" books that she sought because the books from school did not grab her imagination. Paul Janeczko points to the Hardy Boys as his inspiration early on. Chris Crutcher talks about how TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was important to him. I do not want to digress too much here; I include this simply to show the interconnectedness of reading and writing.

I understand that writing takes more than paper and pens or word processing software. However, one's surroundings are important when it comes to writing. have supplies at hand eliminate one of the excuses I could give for NOT writing. The other excuse is what I will write about tomorrow. Can you guess what it is? And there is still one more post about writing, I think, to come.
Tags: unprogram, writing
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