Tag Archives: children

Monday Coffee

Happy New Year’s Eve! Continue reading

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Monday Coffee

Hello and welcome home. The kettle is boiling and I’ve stacked up some delicious pastries for our coffee morning. Why not go on through to the living room and take a look at the Christmas tree.

After another weekend of sickness bugs and the flu doing its round in our home, I’m really looking forward to the final week of school. Not only will my work be winding down but this is my last week of uni studies too before the Christmas break.

How has your term been? Have you found an increase in sickness in your home around this time of year?

Those who follow me on Facebook will know that our family suffered a great loss three weeks ago, which I feel now contributes to the low mood in our household and the slow healing process. It has been difficult and sometimes involves heart-breaking chats about death with my youngest sprog who is still spiralling from the loss of his best friend – the four-legged kind.

Filling that cavernous hole left by our beloved dog, Henry, we’ve decided to fill our Christmas with little events that will pick up our spirits. Planning a special family dinner and prepping for our traditional bake-off on Christmas Eve seems to have helped and the promise of a new plan for the new year has the family focused towards the future.

What has caught us all by surprise are the cats – they’ve taken over the house! From sleeping in our bedroom to vocalising their every need, they’ve decided that us hoomans need to serve them and enjoy their presence in a way cats can only force you to endure. When they think we aren’t looking, they congregate on the landing and sit there like Stonehenge monoliths, silently engaging in cat conversations that end abruptly when they notice a hooman walking by. This circle of secret silence unnerves me and I do feel the balance of power slipping away from the two-legged members of the family! So, if you see little paws reaching for your knee, run!

On that note, I’d best let you escape our mad house before the cats rope you into cleaning their cat box of feeding them every few hours. Enjoy the festive season and do keep in touch.

Thanks for stopping by.

In Sickness and in Health

I won’t pretend it hasn’t taken me forever to reach out to you and share news over a coffee or a walk through the forest next door. Continue reading

Leaving the nest

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. As we grow older, the memories of our youth jade ever so slightly, giving us that rosy vision of what has been.

As my eldest sprog prepares to fly the nest to University, I get the feeling I’m reliving my youth through him. Of course, one cannot avoid the pangs of heartache at the thought of said sprog leaving. He’s my eldest, the one I devoted unlimited time to and energy to; the one that resembles me the most personality-wise – so yes, we get on like fire and ice most days.

This doesn’t stop me from pulling out the memories of me at his age and how I felt about leaving home. I couldn’t wait! Home equalled a prison with burglar bars and ridiculous rules set to break even the sweetest and most obedient child in creation (that I was not). My parents’ loved us like anacondas love their food: suffocated and crushed.

My years spent mothering my sprogs should have given me a better perspective on my own parents and hindsight of my behaviour as a youth should soften my jaded perspective of their parenting skills. Instead, all I seem to do is fluctuate between mourning the loss of presence of my eldest before he goes and celebrating his freedom from our parenting shackles. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and I am far from out of the woods because my next sprog will be journeying forth at the same time next year on her own adventure too.

My rosy reminiscence of my past definitely affects my present and I feel the need to go all out to make sure my sprog has a soft landing in the big ugly world – unlike my first experience. Deep down I know that no matter what I do, he will have his own vision of life and what it should offer and when he grows to into a ripe old prune like me, his rose-tinted perspective will shape how he waves good-bye to his offspring. And so the loop continues.

Therefore, no matter what we go through, our pasts will always affect our reactions to the present. I just hope I do enough today to ensure my sprogs’ opinions of me tomorrow leads to happier memories.

Moofy and Flo

As a writer, the brick wall of procrastination and mind block is fatal to any projects awaiting completion. Here’s an example of one of my projects which have fallen under its deadly blocks of silence. Continue reading

Easter Sticky Competition

After watching the scramble to prepare our school’s Easter Sticky Competition today, the memories of how the inspiration for Cecil the Bully came about flooded back to me with glorious giggles. Continue reading

Monday Coffee

Hi! Welcome to our Monday meet up. The beast from the east, the promised snow from Russia, has not solidified and as we all wrap ourselves up like burritos, the handful of snowflakes dancing erratically outside seem to be laughing at us! Continue reading

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?

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 21 — The Crochet Circle

Another exciting instalment to share with you from Teagansbooks, and my faery, Blossom Stargazer, is trying to help find the missing faeries. Click on the links if you’d like to catch the story from the beginning.

Teagan's Books

Saturday, January 20, 2018

It’s been such a cold winter so far for many of us, so I happily welcome you back to the faery land of Thistledown.  As stories sometimes do, the timeline backs up for this episode — happening concurrently with the previous chapter.  It’s the best way for me to show separate events that occurred at the same time. 

We are once again viewing events from the point of view of Bob the hummingbird.  The next two episodes take place during the same moment of time when Bedlam Thunder suddenly found herself alone in the dark, her two friends having been snatched away by some unknown force.

Glitter person blue h-heyerlein-199082Heyerlein, Unsplash

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

From Episode 15 (click here)

“I thought the girls would be in here, studying away,” Willow Rainbow murmured in a concerned tone.

 “Based on these half-eaten cookies, I think they must…

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Kennings At Monday Coffee

Have you ever heard of a Kennings poem? Continue reading