Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Few Poems

For Poetry Month I've been trying to get some of my own work down using the strategies my class has been trying. One thing we have done is to take four nouns (ocean, fire, tree, night) and use them as inspiration with different things. The four words have been fun to work with and have brought a huge amount of diversity in poems. Here are a few of mine.


Indigo turning to ebony

and the stars pop out
one by one

Light fades
Darkness engulfs everything
Night doesn't care if you are
big or little
rich or poor
brilliant or not-so-much
It wraps you up and holds you - 
for hours and hours and hours


Carrot and saffron tipped
with rubies
Dance and crackle
I lean closer, trying
to keep warm

Strike of a wood match
Flame creeps slowly taking o'er
The fire dance begins

Monday, April 11, 2016

It's Monday - What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Last Monday I was on Spring Break, without a laptop (yippee!) Here are my March books:

Thursday, March 31, 2016

SOLSC - Another March. Check!

I can't believe the month has come to an end. My writing muscles felt good during this year's challenge. I feel that all of my posts both said something and had me thinking about the craft of writing rather than simply trying to put words down and get them published. (Thanks Stacey for the permission that slices can be first draft writing!)

Spring Break almost always falls so that I am doing part of the challenge on the road. When you are traveling light and in third world countries there are extra layers to the challenge; blogging, posting, and commenting from mobile devices as well as power cuts and unreliable and often sluggish connections. It's a good thing vacation time has extra hours in the day!

Thank you, once again, Two Writing Teachers Team for giving us this opportunity to come together as a writing community. "See" you all Tuesdays. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

SOLSC - I Was Not Expecting To See

I was not expecting to see
the train change directions
twenty minutes into our seven hour ride.
That's a lot of backwards.

I was not expecting to see
pine forests
and more pine forests
stretching to the sky
in the Sri Lankan hills.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SOLSC - Massage: A Local Experience

I love a good massage, so when our host asked if I was interested, of course I found a way to schedule one into our time. (Thankfully my husband is very supportive of the idea, partially because of my compressed vertebrae and chronic shoulder tension. He knows massage works. Perhaps also because if someone else does it he doesn't have to!)

A couple of days later I left my family to finish breakfast and hang out while I walked down the street with Sriyani. About two blocks down the main street we entered a medical office marked with a green plus. I was asked to sit in the waiting area. As I sat on the platstic chair I knew I wasn't the only one who thought it was hot, everyone was looking for something to fan themselves with.

I was eventually called into the office, and after more waiting my blood pressure was checked by a sari-clad woman - the person in charge (medically trained in both the west and Sri Lanka, I was told). More waiting and I was taken back to the treatment area.

This was when I knew I was having a totally local experience. Stuff was stacked haphazardly everywhere, in and out of boxes. Among the haphazard storage was a solid wood table. The table was about seven feet long and 3.5 feet wide with a raised edge that ran all the way around, except for the two inch gap at the foot of the table, reminding me of the metal tables used for autopsies that could then be hosed down. The only things on the tables, besides the interesting stains, were what appeared to be a small pillow at the head and a questionably clean cloth laying on top. There was also an armed chair that had black chunks of a substance I couldn't identify with a twin green cloth draped over the back.

I was then asked to stripped to my panties and to wrap in the cloth on the chair. Following that the masseur brought out heated oil and rubbed it in my hair and lightly on my head. I was then lay on my back and more oil was rubbed all over my body until I felt like a wet slippery fish. All of this (maybe 30 minutes) the original sari clad woman came to see if I was in pain. I wasn't. The next step was to take heated polices (scented ash in fabric bunches - thus explaining the black clumps scattered about) and push them into my skin all over my body - three types in succession. 

The final step was asking me if I wanted a body wash. When I answered in the affirmative I was led to a bathroom that had washing soaking in tubs (I felt slightly better about the green fabric I had used)  and the hot water tank was rigged up. I used the mostly cold water to rub off some of the oil on my body, knowing I was going to wash when I got back to the house.

It was a 100% authentic local experience and I don't need to do it again.

Monday, March 28, 2016

SOLSC - Sri Lankan Cacophony

 The sky drew darker throughout the afternoon. The tuktuk was negotiated traffic when it started. This rain did not start with a drip or a sprinkle - one minute the sky was threatening rain and the next minute someone ripped the coulda open and the water dumped out.

My daughter commented that it is like being at home, in Seattle. Obviously we aren't there much as this was NOTHING like a Seattle rain. As we got to bout the third reason why she cut in with, "OK! OK! I get it!"

We returned to the house and sat out on the huge, covered veranda. My husband picked up where he had left odd in Harry Potter and I took in the Cacophony around me.

The sound of rain, thunder (that was actually quite distant at that point, but you wouldn't know it from the volume!), my husband reading with voices according to character, and my daughter munching on a snack.

The sensory input did not end there as I was looking out through rich greenery at raindrops and lightening and literally hundred and hundreds (I quit counting when I reached a thousand) huge bats obviously flying with a purpose from one place to another directly across my line of sight.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

SOLSC - Transport Trucks Sri Lankan Style

We had been on the road for only twenty minutes and already three vivid images are etched in my mind. I was in the back seat with no way to photograph what I was seeing. Staying in our lane on the left we would come raring up behind a vehicle, our driver poking his nose out to the right to see if it was possible to pass in the oncoming lane. The truck in front of us was open in the back and at first glance looked like a load of hay. (In fact, keeping with family traditions, the little one declared, "Hay!") I then asked if she noticed all of the terra-cotta pots peaking out.  A few minutes later we passed a truck piled high with coconuts complete with stripped stalks of the branches across the back to keep them from rolling out. When we passed the truck absolutely stuffed with pineapples there was no sort of barrier across the back, yet the fruit stayed out. I can only figure that the rough exterior as well as the clumps at the apex of each fruits keeps them wedged in place.