Category Archives: Wensfriesday

Waking Up

It has been a very long time since I’ve been woken by erratic words racing through my head, waiting to be caught in a net and sorted to make some semblance of order. Last night was one of those nights. Continue reading

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Happy #Wensfriesday!

It’s time for a mid-week Friday treat. Continue reading

Setting

Happy Wensfriesday folks!

I’ve got a little piece of writing to share with you before the day ends.

Crowded chimney stacks belched out dark clouds of smog, coughing and coating the hunched buildings cowering below. Sluggish, and almost refrained in its attempts to shine, the sun pleaded with this wall of darkness to let it in. The smog refused. Instead, it slithered through the narrow streets, infusing itself into the porous walls and tattered doors of the overcrowded houses. It paraded down the dimly lit streets, barely visible in the yellowish street lights left on day and night to diminish the darkness. Those trudging wearily through the cobbled alleyways, carrying their musky smell with them, didn’t care. Where they were going, the long hours and strenuous labour blotted out all thought of light and comfort. Where they lived held that same damp hopelessness, so it didn’t matter either way. Such was the life of the hands working the mills in Manchester.

This setting was inspired by what I’m researching at the moment. It also inspired a task I set for my Writers who were told to describe the setting of an industrial city from the past and they came up with some great ideas. It was too tempting for me not to try my own hand at the same!

#amwriting

Happy Wensfriesday!

It’s the mid-week treat. With snow descending on the UK, gloomy days and freezing temperatures are bringing optimism down. So, to brighten your day, here’s a song to keep you going. For those who watch The Walking Dead, you’ll get it!

Have a great day!

The Hook

Every Friday afternoon, my Writer’s Club meet to share our latest work, new ideas and, of course, complete the flash fiction and haiku challenge of the day.  All this is done in half an hour.  But, one of the first questions I ask when a story is discussed or an idea is framed for peer discussion is: what’s the hook?

Books flow in abundance from adults willing to share their lives or create escapes for others to enjoy. The purpose of these writings, the hook, is vitally important for any child to grasp if they want to become good writers. I can correct their grammar and spelling or focus on punctuation till I’m blue in the face. Alas, it doesn’t make their stories any more interesting if they don’t have a hook, a purpose.

Through so many sites, companies, self-help books and other paraphernalia,  we are taught the winning structure for getting our written word published – the how-to and what-not-to-do. In school, we focus more on getting the children to write legible sentences that fulfill the protocols set by government standards (which never stay the same). While some children sail through and grasp the concepts thrown at them with ease, others struggle and need a change of tack to get them to enjoy learning about grammatically correct sentences that mean absolutely nothing to them in the scheme of things. But, imagine if, just for a change, we focus on their enjoyment of the task. Imagine if we motivate them to find what’s missing from their work and to add it in all on their own.

That’s my purpose. I find the key to turn the engine to get the child motivated enough to find the missing link. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. That doesn’t mean I give up trying different ways, nor does it mean I ever think a child is a failure or incapable of improvement. It’s thinking outside the proverbial box of education and finding that spark to ignite the young minds to infuse their work with their personalities; to find the hook. I aim to enhance their skills as writers and become something that won’t tick all the boxes immediately, but will send them off with a confidence to learn more and achieve something greater than just a good grade: self belief.

So, the next time you enter a classroom or run your intervention groups, think of that exceptional child in the corner looking at you with his or her chin held in defiance to learning…and smile. You are the seer, the oracle. Give that child the key to unlock the knowledge trapped inside and set his or her mind free. After all, what’s the hook to this tale?

Sacha’s Weekly Writing Challenge

Hi and welcome to my entry for Sacha’s Writespiration 2017.

2017 brings 52 challenges over 52 weeks.
Your challenge is to write your story using the weekly theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

Submit your entries in the comments or on a blog post and I post them the following week with the new prompt. You have until Sunday to enter.
This week I want you to:
Write about the girl that wore the black hood.

Here is my entry:

Rage coursed through her black hooded body, heralding the return of emotions. 

“I’m still alive,” she whispered, barely audible for Tom and her sister to hear. “You buried me alive.”

Their intertwined lips and bodies crushed out rational thought – their turn to burn for lies. Carefully raising her hoodie, her eyes flamed. 

Happy #Wensfriesday!

Here’s a little happy for your mid-week break.

Picture this: soft, grey clouds pouting in the sky, blotting out the blue. Does that make you feel miserable? Well, imagine a nice cup of something hot in your hand and a view of the forest, the park, a bustling street in the city – anything to brighten your dreary day. Imagine a huge hug wrapping you up in a warm, snuggly embrace and a whisper in your ear saying, “You are important to me!”

There. Hope your day is awesome and if you feel like reaching out, drop me a message. Sending you all hugs today.

Happy Wensfriesday.

 

PS. I’m linking you to my blogging pal Trent’s Weekly Smile. Send him a message on what makes you smile this week. Thanks.

 

Book Tuesday

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday, on a Wednesday!

I do apologise for the delay in this post, but other writing projects had to take priority this week. I was determined to push this post through this week as I absolutely love the books I want to talk about today.

We are taking a look at a children’s author who has published over 140 books since 1985.  I always find it amusing, when I am introduced to a new book, to discover that the author responsible for the fantastic piece of work is the same person I have read and admired for many years prior to discovering who they are.  The same can be said for this lady.  Being a librarian for a junior school, I am exposed to many wonderful stories for younger children, and this author has written some real humdingers!

Without further delay, let me introduce you to her.

sally grindleySally Grindley is a multi-award-winning children’s author who has had over 140 books published since 1985. Sally’s wide-ranging body of work includes books for toddlers, picture books, young reading books and novels for pre-teens.

 

Here are a few examples of her incredible collection of stories for younger children:

Do Tigers Have Nine Lives?Cat-A-WallMouldylocks and the Three Clares

Now, if you have a chance to visit her website, you will find many more titles, so I have never even heard of!  It tickled me pink to see she had a collection of stories written about a little boy called Zack, one of my favourite names for boys (and of course, my son’s name).

Spilled WaterNow the books that caught my attention in our little library at school were Spilled Water and Bitter Chocolate.  A student asked for a challenging book and as we scoured the shelves, Spilled Water caught my eye.  Its gorgeous cover and interesting blurb had me recommending the book before I had even read it.  Fortunately, the book lived up to its cover and blurb.  The student returned, absolutely raving about the story and encouraged her friends to read the book too.  I waited patiently for my turn to read this exciting book, which took longer than expected.

So, determined to find another book of the same caliber, I went through the shelves again and found Bitter Chocolate.  The story captured me with the strong descriptions of the little group of boys caught in a civil war, kidnapped by rebels and used as child soldiers in a fight they never quite understood.  Subtle hints are given about the horrors encountered without any disturbing revelations that would make the book unsuitable for its young audience.

Bitter ChocolateBitter Chocolate captured my heart and I silently cheered as the main character, Pascal, showed his strength and compassion whilst enduring unbearable brutalities in a life children should never face in war torn Africa.  Once I finished the book, I recommended it to my younger daughter, who unwillingly skimmed through the pages and claimed she had read the book.  I couldn’t disguise my disappointment, as I felt this book would change her perspective on her luxurious lifestyle in comparison to Pascal and his friends trapped between the pages.

Thankfully, when I returned to work, I recommended the book to the same student who read Spilled Water and we both gushed over the poignancy and strength in these books.  I can’t tell you how often I thank my lucky stars that I work as a librarian and get to gush over books!

If I could persuade you to read two books this month, they would have to be Spilled Water and Bitter Chocolate.  Though listed as children’s books, you will not be disappointed by the content.  They have the heart and soul of an adult book with beautiful language to encourage young, confident readers to enjoy something more substantial than the trivial drivel that sits atop the arrangements of bookshop displays.

Sally Grindley, you are my hero when it comes to writing books.

.Spilled WaterBitter Chocolate

I am looking forward to adding this title, Broken Glass, to our collection at school very soon.

Broken Glass

 

Thank you for joining me today and I hope you have some recommendations for me from your wide selection of books.  If you would like me to feature your book, or something you’ve read that you feel deserves some attention thrown its way, please feel free to contact me.

Have a great evening.

Happy #Wensfriesday

My apologies for my erratic posts on such an important day of the week.  If you miss my #Wensfriesday commentary, jump over to Twitter and find me there.  I usually post something fun to acknowledge of mid-week Friday break.  My handle is @mello_elo.

Now my lovely daughter came home today and shared a fantastic YouTube video by Weird Al Yankovic (the same guy that made Michael Jackson’s, I’m Bad, cool!). Here it is…

Have an awesome day! 😀

Happy #BackToTheFuture Day!

What an awesome #Wensfriesday.  It has fallen on the same day documented in the famous movie, Back To The Future.  

My Hubble is crazy about the movies and he introduced them to me many years ago when Marty McFly’s clothing choice was still cool!  Timeless action, drama and adventure made this a cult film with a hope to actually reach this auspicious day.

So grab your hover boards, fire up the modified DeLorean and let’s go back to the future!

Happy #Wensfriesday folks!