“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

~Mark Twain

It’s all about the right words. In reading, the right words transport you, change you a little, and offer a new lens for seeing the world. In writing, the right words create telepathy: allowing someone else to see the inner workings of your mind. In teaching, the right words turn on metaphorical lightbulbs for students, providing “Aha!” moments.

That’s the gift and the challenge of all three. There’s so much potential, so much possibility for connection and meaning and change, but all three can be so difficult!

  • How do you find a book that speaks to you? Does how enjoyable it is matter more than substance over fluff, or good writing versus good storytelling?
  • How do you convey a thought in words when you write? How do you express it clearly enough for another person to understand not only the idea of it but the tone and the emotion and intention?
  • How do you teach students to master concepts that you’ve gained through experience? How do you replicate those experiences for them in a way that will make the concepts stick?

That’s what I want to explore here, both on the pages and in the blog entries. How do we make ourselves better readers, writers, and teachers? What ideas should we explore in each of these areas to make them more effective?

me and my books

I majored in English Education at Brigham Young University, completed a semester of student teaching high school in Salt Lake City, and then went straight into an English graduate program emphasizing in creative writing.  My thesis was a young adult novel. I also taught introductory writing classes as a grad student and now continue that at Salt Lake Community College in the evenings. I read constantly, write daily, and teach twice a week, intertwining all three: I can’t imagine trying to do any one of them without the other two.

Oh, and in case it’s not obvious, I love books and can’t get enough of them.  Also, in spare moments I practice my end of future conversations like when an agent or editor someday calls to make an offer on my manuscripts.

2 responses »

  1. I stumbled across your blog late this evening… Well I guess it just feels late this evening, because in truth when I look at my clock it is really only 9:13 pm. I enjoyed reading what I have had the energy and stamina to read tonight, but followed you so that I can come back and read more. I really enjoyed Sunday Afternoons!

    By the way, since you are a writer… We are having a writing contest on one of our blogs for Charity. I invite you to check it out at http://the777man.com You can also read my blog here on WordPress at the777man.wordpress.com

    Peace and Harmony,
    Sallyjane

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