Myth of the Month Club: Krampus

Krampus is the dark companion of St. Nicholas, the traditional European winter gift-bringer who rewards good children each year on December 6. The kindly old Saint leaves the task of punishing bad children to a hell-bound counterpart known by many names across the continent — Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Perchten, Black Peter, Schmutzli, Pelznickel, Klaubauf, and Krampus. Usually seen as a classic devil with horns, cloven hooves and monstrous tongue, but can also be spotted as a sinister gentleman dressed in black, or a hairy man-beast. Krampus punishes the naughty children, swatting them with switches and rusty chains before dragging them, in…

The Write Stuff

Writing to visual prompts is one of students’ favorite and most engaging things to do. It generates fruitful opportunities for a variety of perspectives, questions, mode (genre)  and forms (delivery system)  of writing. To that end, I’ve been collecting visual prompts for years, and have fallen in love with Pinterest (late to the party, I know) as a means of collecting ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/kellyclove/writing-image-prompts/ If you’re looking for a student interactive site, check out Write About and Writing Prompts. And I still add prompts connected to CCSS on my other writing blog, too: Up From the Gutter.

Writers Reading Writing Week.

No, I do not have hero-worship of Neil Gaiman. (Liar.) Ever have one of those units of study that just globs along in the back of your mind? Well, after reading aloud this week* this thought inspired me: Why not create a mini-unit of writers reading their reading? I am constantly stressing to my students that writing is talking: and they can all do that. We are just beginning to really dig into the writer’s workshop protocols. I was asked two days’ ago what “writer’s workshop” model I use – I didn’t have a prescribed answer. I use the one…

Fatal law.

We are the hero of our own story. Mary McCarthy Sometimes I seriously wonder what I am thinking. In our Journey of the Hero unit, I ask students to do a free write on their own ‘fatal flaws.’ Really? What fatal flaws could a 13 to 14 year old have? But boy, do I get a range. Everything from taking that epic skateboarding ramp a bit off, to the time when they betrayed a friend. The range is parallel to choices and life experiences they’ve had: in other words, happy kids=innocent mistakes; add a little more grit to their worlds=more emotion….

Interview with an immortal.

What would Zeus do? Those are the questions you’re asking as you analyze a character. There are many ways to analyze a character.    Ask yourself: What do you look like? What is your day like? What is your status in the world? What relationships do you have? What symbols or tools would represent you? Do you have any special gifts or training? What is one story that defines who you are? If you could be someone else, who would it be? What is one thing you regret? What is one thing you are most proud of?   Once you…

Chocolate healing.

My son told me an interesting fact this weekend, and I verified it on the ‘net: 4. “Illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds.” I don’t know, this might be a smart law, not a silly law. Yes it would be expensive. Yes it would be heavy. But what woman wouldn’t like to get fifty pounds of chocolate! Talk about being able to pick and choose your favorite pieces! From: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1523712/idaho_laws_top_five_silliest.html?cat=17 That begs the question: What wife or girlfriend became so angry at her cheap husband/boyfriend that she decided to…

Myth-of-the-Month Club: Janus

 My fellow bloggers out there in the technosphere have taken up the challenge to write a post-a-day on their blogs for the month of January. (“I can do that!” Mrs. L thought to herself.) So what if there’s laundry to do, meals to prepare, and holiday decorations to take down? I can do this! Or can I? And like any good resolution, which is also part of the “resolve” word family (resolution, resolve, resolute) I am going to give it my best. But I needed a theme. I love themes. Those are the universal truths and connections among all cultures,…

Silent treatment.

 What if you want to talk to someone, but they’re far away, or maybe not even around anymore? What if you don’t know what to say? What if you know they can’t or won’t talk back to you? I imagine a conversation between this tree and the moon – what do you think they would say? (Okay- I’m being sneaky. See how easy that was? I love to look at images and just let my mind take over, and write. But what if you can’t think of ANYTHING to WRITE ABOUT and you are FORCED TO and you want to…

Got Imagination?

Smith’s book, How to be an Explorer of the World, is a feast for the mind and soul. Don’t live in a world of grays and browns – wake up and smell the creativity!