Story-Starter Sunday, Writing, Writing Ideas

Story-Starter Sunday

I love this day! Sundays are the best day to relax and write. I’m sorry that I’m posting in the evening instead of the morning. Hopefully you’ll be able to get your write on this evening. Or you can do it after The Walking Dead. For those of you who are new to Story-Starter Sunday, each Sunday I give you a sentence to begin your story. You take it wherever you want to from there. Here is your installment for this week. I decided to that I would do one that was a little unusual just to have some fun.

She threw the flowers to the ground and proceeded to set the curtains on fire.

3d Frankenstein waves hello to you

Non-fiction, Poetry, Writing, Writing Ideas

The Blame Game: The Politics of Teaching

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

I wrote this poem years ago. I ran into it (not literally) this morning as I was looking through my stuff at school. In education, we constantly discuss what is happening with the changes that are occurring, it seems, on a daily basis. The reference we use is called the “the pendulum swing.” Right now it seems as if the pendulum is stuck in one spot. Kids don’t understand how to fail and do it gracefully. Everyone deserves a trophy these days.

Don’t get me wrong. I love this profession. But I heartily admit that I feel that my kids came out of my class more intelligent when I was able to teach my own thing in the classroom. When I tested them on my own terms instead of the government’s terms, their grammar was better. We could explore the material. Right now, it’s all about high stakes testing and making sure they are ready for the one test they take yearly to make sure they measure up with all the other kids in the United States along with all the other kids in every country in the world. What happened to reading for pleasure? What happened to writing for fun?

When I saw this poem in my notebook, I couldn’t believe that I had written it in 2005. Nothing has changed. The pendulum is stuck. This is what it was like in 2005, and it is still happening. I hope you enjoy, even if you aren’t in education.

The Blame Game: The Politics of Teaching


The ugliest word in the English language….

Or is it the ugliest word in the workplace?

One thing is certain.

Politics must be the most misunderstood word in the English language.


With politics you always have…


People telling you

“You can grade the way you want”

But it really means

“You can grade the way you want…

Provided all the kids pass.”

Or people always telling you

“We want the students to be successful”

But it really means

“As a teacher

You are not successful.”

Or people always telling you

“We need to change the culture of our school”

But it really means

“The government is breathing down our backs.

We’re doing everything we can to meet the standards.”

Or people asking you

“What are you going to do to help my kids be successful?”

But it really means

“I don’t know what else to do at home

And you’re left to blame.”

Or people asking you

“What exactly IS your failure percentage?”

But it really means

“My kid is failing

And you’re the cause of it.”


So why exactly do politics exist?

Politic means prudent.

Why is it that we know what is prudent,

But we don’t always follow through with this idea?

If politic means prudent, why do we always put the blame

On someone else?



Because politics show us that putting the blame on others…

Is prudent for us as individuals.

How sad is that?

We are trying to teach our students that they must accept responsibility,

But our entire society is based on a practice as old as our country;

The practice of politics.

The practice of avoiding undesirable consequences.

Short Story, Writing

This piece is my first draft of this piece. The idea comes from the book Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises From Today’s Best Writers and Teachers. This exercise is by Jim Heynen. In it, you must write a long paragraph and “introduce the character in the first sentence, and then describe the setting. Return to the character only at the end of the paragraph” (177). I really like to use this book for story ideas or practicing. I’ve used it in my classroom to give students ideas for short stories or creative ways to practice some part of writing. Hope you enjoy it.


As she looked around the office, Miranda knew that she was in big trouble this time, and she wasn’t going to be able to avoid it any longer. The cream-colored sheers prevented the sharp sunlight from engulfing the spacious office, causing the light to cast the room in a soft glow. Academic books lined the entirety of the wall behind the mahogany desk. Several filing cabinets rested in the corner closest to the entrance of the office. On the wall opposite the books sat the dreaded couch with a chair facing it. Miranda took a deep breath, stilled her nerves, and headed for the couch.

Modern living room and balcony

Story-Starter Sunday, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Ideas

Story-Starter Sunday

Here is another installment of Story-Starter Sunday. There is no better day of the week to write. I hope you have fun with the last one. Again, the sun is shining here, and it’s absolutely beautiful outside despite the brown landscape. It’s a great day to spend a little time with your notebook, computer, or journal. Here is your Story-Starter Sentence:

When I woke up the next morning, I noticed I was not in my apartment. It was a year ago the last time this happened. 

Happy writing!

Question Mark

Poetry, Writing, Writing Ideas

The Lesson

Last week I posted one of my poems about the topic of drugs. I think I’ll keep with that topic this week. Last week’s poem was a little disheartening, but this one isn’t. I hope you enjoy it. As always, this is my work. If you desire to use it for anything, give credit please.

Syringe needle with a drop at the endThe Lesson

Because of you,

I have seen the degrading world of drugs.

Because of you,

I can recognize the sweet rotting smell (or metallic smell) of a meth addict.

Because of you,

I know the all-consuming thoughts of putting something else first.

Because of you,

I took off the rose-colored glasses in order to better see the lies.

Because of you,

I learned to hope for the first time.

Because of you,

I have also experienced the biggest sense of failure I have ever known.

Because of you,

I carried the burden of a broken heart.

Because of you,

I have learned to love myself as much as you hate yourself.

Because of you… and your addiction,

I am a better person today.

Because of you… and your addiction,

I learned to let you go.

Because of you… and your addiction,

I later met and married the man of my dreams.


Superfluous Simile Saturday

Superfluous Simile Saturday

WordsToday I want to take a look at some common similes. These are similes that we probably use on a daily basis and don’t even think about the fact that they are similes because they have become so cliche. However, cliche can actually be fun sometimes!

Cliche Simile #1: Cute as a kitten. This simile always strikes me as funny because there are some people in the world who don’t find kittens cute at all. Take a look this Oatmeal comic. There are some definite concerns there about the stability of the feline mind.

Cliche Simile #2: Happy as a clam. At what point did anyone ever determine the happiness of a clam? Is that even possible?

Cliche Simile #3: Snug as a bug in a rug. This one is just silly (or asinine if you looked at the latest WWW post). No bug is going to be snug in any rug. They’re just going to crawl right around the carpet fibers and get out. Duh!

Cliche Simile #4: Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. If you think this simile is true, then you keep buying the boxes of chocolate that don’t have the labels on the bottom or on the sheet that covers the chocolates. Stop buying the unlabeled boxes! No one wants to be surprised by the cream-filled. They all want to go straight for the caramel!

Are there any similes that you have that are just plain ridiculous? Please share them in the comments.