Tag Archives: story ideas

Day 61 – And my summer is done

24 Aug

wpid-20140713_085103.jpgSixty-one days is a long time to not be working. I don’t say vacation because my job is such that I get paid for the work I do ten months a year and that pay gets spread over twelve months. When I’m not working in the summer, I’m actually not paid for that time, but it sure feels like vacation and I love it. I consider it one of the many perks of my job. To anyone who begrudges me that summer ‘vacation’, you too could have been a teacher. I don’t apologize one bit for enjoying every bit of that time. Tomorrow I officially go back to work for the 2014-15 school year.

When I started my daily blogging on day one, I mused about how blogging every day might affect my enjoyment of the summer. In fact, I was pretty certain that 2011, the last summer I blogged every day, was an excellent summer in part because of the blogging. Now I know that I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a bad summer, but I don’t think blogging made it what it was. I usually enjoyed the time spent writing. I’m proud of myself for posting every single day and I’m a bit tired of posting every single day. This summer was good. Nothing bad happened but I wouldn’t call it fantastic, as I did in 2011.

I had big plans to read lots this summer! On day two (no I won’t recap every day) I shared my summer reading list. I read five of the eleven books on my list, well I’m almost finished number five. Of the five, I recommend three booksof them. The first book I read was The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. It was okay,  lagged in the middle and was a long story, long enough to be epic, but fell short. It was far less interesting than its title suggests. Then I read Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. This was a great YA read that I’d recommend to most of my female friends and my students. It deals with poverty, abuse, bullying and young love. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness was my favourite read of the summer. It was the third in her Discovery of Witches trilogy and I almost never read sequels. This was a most excellent exception. If you like fantasy and historical fiction, this trilogy is for you. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was a light and easy read and it was downright funny. Glenn’s reading it now. I’d recommend this one to anyone who reads; its appeal and target audience is that wide. Right now, I’ve been reading A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby for a few weeks because I had a difficult time getting into it and I had to slug through the second part of it. With about 60 pages left to read I finally want to know how it ends. What drew me to this book was the premise: four strangers meet for the first time on New Year’s Eve on the roof of a tall building with the intention of jumping to their deaths. They don’t jump and the rest of the book is about how they navigate through life and their newfound unlikely and unofficial support group. It’s less interesting than it sounds. I’ll see it through.

I have learned a lot about myself as a writer this summer. While I won’t delve into that too much I’d like to recap my top five posts ICYMI.

  1. Day 14 – Letting Go I wrote about my daughter’s daring summer adventureswpid-img_0301.png
  2. Day 20 – Ten ideas for stories exactly what the title suggests
  3. Day 28 – Namaste was about my path to yoga and what makes it right for me
  4. Day 29 – The end of an era was about the new subdivision being built behind my home
  5. Day 42 – BBQ Meatballs is a family favourite recipe

Each of these have been viewed by over a hundred different readers, so clearly these have proven to be the most interesting posts. Even though each post is dramatically different from the others, they have one thing in common. None of them are about my day, nor are they poetry. Those type of posts got the least traffic. I enjoy writing poetry and will keep doing so. In fact, if you didn’t see my blackout poetry, check it out. I really had fun with it and can’t wait to try it with my students. I always felt like writing about my day was  a bit narcissistic and definitely a cop-out when I wasn’t sure what else to write about, especially when the day wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Now that my 61 days are over, I plan to continue blogging from time-to-time. Now that the summer is over, I’m looking forward to going back to work. I might as well look forward to it and go in with a positive outlook because it’s going to happen either way. It’ll certainly make it more enjoyable.

And thus, without a wing,
or service of a keel,
Our summer made her light escape,
Into the beautiful.
                       ~ Emily Dickinson


Day 20 – Ten ideas for stories

14 Jul

storyOne of these ideas for stories is the story I intend to write. Can you guess which one? Which one do you think has the most potential, and why?

  1. A middle school boy gets drawn into a group of boys who are stealing and loses his direction, but through the help of an elderly neighbour the boy turns things around and becomes the leader in his group and changes everything.
  2. A young first-year college student drops out of university without telling her parents and uses the tuition money to travel the country.
  3. A recently widowed elderly woman moves into a new apartment complex and meets a whole new group of friends. Her children worry for her because she’s acting like a teenager who is experiencing her first taste of freedom.
  4. A long overdue family reunion helps two cousins piece together their grandmother’s shady past.
  5. A desperate couple kidnap a homeless pregnant woman and care for her. Once the baby is born they kill the mother and keep the baby. The story alternates between 1996 and 2014 when the child, believing she was adopted, begins searching for her birth mother.
  6. A 12 year-old girl, travelling with her parents to attend the Super Bowl, gets kidnapped and forced into prostitution. The first half of the story would be about her ordeal and the second half about her reintegration into her family at the age 14 after being away from them for 21 months.
  7. A 55 year-old woman is kidnapped by her estranged boyfriend and held against her will for 18 hours. The story is told from three perspectives, the woman, her estranged boyfriend and the woman’s daughter who begins her own investigation when her mother fails to come home.
  8. During the summer of 2014 a young girl begrudgingly moves with her family from Ottawa to a hobby farm in rural Nova Scotia. In the woods behind the house she discovers an old treehouse. She climbs the ladder and carefully enters the treehouse, afraid that the wood might be too rotten to support her. She decides to hide-out and make her parents come looking for her. They deserve to worry for putting her through this. She falls asleep and when she wakes up the treehouse is brand new. She soon discovers she has somehow ended up in 1981.
  9. Silvia and Dan, recent empty nesters, find that they have little in common anymore. After months of arguing and one, big knock-down drag-em-out fight they separate. They both have a few disastrous dates, but when their son comes home from college for the summer and gets into a car accident and they’re forced to spend time together they discover that their love is still very much alive and find their way back to each other.
  10. This story is about a 17 year-old girl who wants to change her life, but she has many obstacles to overcome and her newly over-protective mother, who has recently decided to become a parent now that she is in a 12-step program and putting her own wreck of a life back together. But underneath that, it’s a story about a girl and her single mom who both have the inner strength to overcome every obstacle that life presents.
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