Monday, April 14, 2014

A Cool New Journal and Cool New Things to Journal About

Hello, my name is Maggie and I have recently become a Zulily addict.

Okay, maybe it hasn't reached that level of "I have a problem"-ness just yet, but I have to say that resisting the urge to open the app daily is proving difficult. If you haven't heard of Zulily, it's a site/app that offers deep discounts on name brand items with a new selection daily.

So far, I've scored two summertime rompers, purple rhinestone flats, an Under Armour t-shirt, and three graphic tees for Arabella, as well as a super affordable Under Armour jacket and the neatest journal ever for myself!

Ever heard of WAFF journals? I hadn't.

I'm guessing it's short for WAFFle? Idk and idc. I love it. Mine is black, and I have had way more fun than any self-respecting twenty-something should simply arranging and rearranging words on the front and back covers. 

Just in time to break this puppy in, I've rediscovered an old favorite source of writing inspiration: The Observation Deck. I bought mine circa 2007 when I was working at CoffeeTree books during college, and it was recently spotted sporting a healthy coating of dust on a shelf in my classroom. The neat little box opens up to reveal a deck of cards (think: pull one at random) and a guide booklet that explains what each card is intended to accomplish for you. Without the cards, you have a nifty book of prompts. Paired with cards, it's more random and game-like. 

My Creative Writing kiddos tried out the "Explore the Underside" card earlier in the week and took photos outside our school to spark their writing about unexpected perspectives. I'm trying to get them amped for National Poetry Month, as well as a visit with Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker, so The Observation Deck was a well-timed find. 

In my quest to be an authentic writing role model for my students, I pulled out the deck during class today while they were working on other things. Perched atop an empty desk, I hinted at what I was writing about (the card was labeled "Squint" and that's literally what I was doing) and shared favorite lines with them ("What is a clock but a circle by which we live and die?"). 

For more prompt-driven inspiration, I often use As an educator, these are awesome because they are visual AND already tied to Common Core standards. As a writer, they offer a variety of styles and genres from which to choose. I can't recommend this website enough. It. Is. Great. 

I'm also really looking forward to my upcoming trip to Orlando. I coach the LifeSmarts team at our school, a competition that covers real world topics and educates students on concepts they will encounter outside of school. This is our fourth trip to Nationals in six years, and we are going to Disney World! Not gonna lie, it's bittersweet to go without Arabella, and it's nerve-wracking to travel as the sole adult (I've always had the ability to take an assistant in the past), but I'm excited because I plan to write about it the whole time. 

It's crazy how motivating something as simple as a new journal can be! 

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