Five-Minute Friday: Joy

They say that children thrive best when they know their boundaries, and know that those boundaries will be -- albeit lovingly -- enforced. I've always liked having rules myself, coloring in the lines, pleased to understand where I belonged and to remain there. And I so find a certain kind of relief in having a…

Five Minute Friday: Crowd

A get-away with the cousin. We toured a cave today. The guide called us "Florida" and "Mississippi" and asked us to be the caboose. I liked being the caboose, trailing after the crowd, able to take my time and to look and listen. I like to look and listen, and I enjoy a crowd, when…

Five Minute Friday (on Saturday): Willing

When David Copperfield carried to Peggotty the message that "Barkis is willing," it was certainly not the most romantical proposal in the world. But romantical-ness, perhaps, is less essential than good, solid comfort, and Peggotty also being willing, she became Mrs. Barkis. Generally, I tend to put "willingness" on the scale somewhere below actual desire.…

Five Minute Friday: Tree

I remember memorizing Psalm 1 in kindergarten or first grade, standing in our green-carpeted, pine-paneled school room beside my little turquoise-topped desk, a bulletin board covered in butterflies beside me: "He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither,…

Five Minute Friday: Grace

A morning of startling gorgeousness after a long day of rain. I began my classes with Psalm 30: "Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning." I heard the shout in golden fog rising from the river, from the grass. I heard it in the rust and red…

“Ordinary”: Word-Wonder Day 12

How does the word "ordinary" relate to sentences? The fact is, most of our sentences are not extraordinary. We spend sentences on sentences, and books are full of them, but how many of them actually make it into the "extraordinary" category? A few do. I've seen lists of "greatest first lines." The opening to Pride…

“Write”: Word-Wonder Day 5

It's Friday, and it's October, and I've decided to combine the Five-Minute Friday prompts with my thirty-one-day theme. Since my theme is Word-Wonder, and this week focuses on words, I just spent five minutes playing with word associations. Nothing deep or vast, just fun, because words are fun, and because today begins my students' Fall…

Five Minute Friday: Truth

"What is truth?" he asked. And I wonder about the tone: exasperation? boredom? sarcasm? When he washed his hands and turned the man in whom he found no guilt over to the murderous ones who wanted to crucify him, didn't he know the truth? I teach literature, and I teach writing. I deal in a…