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A Writer’s Notebook is Born

July 5, 2013

I have spent most of the day with my spongy-paintbrushy-thing Mod-Podging.  Since I had already begun to write in my new notebook, and I actually have spare moments right now, I decided that I was going to decorate a new Writer’s Notebook.  We started yesterday.  I say “we” because you cannot collage in front of three children without them wanting to collage with you.  It is impossible, as a matter of fact.  They all found spiral notebooks in the basement that were left over from my elementary teaching days.  I used to buy my students notebooks so they 1)  would all have one and 2) they would all be the same color for the same subject.  Yes.  I am anal about some things.  Why do you ask?  No.  I don’t really have extra money floating around either.  It is a sickness that I am glad I don’t have to feed anymore.  Well, I guess I feed it, just in other ways.  ANYWAY, they all had notebooks and we all began by picking out background paper and getting the backgrounds done on the outside covers.  That is really all we did yesterday.

When I was teaching elementary school, I learned about Writer’s Notebooks from Ralph Fletcher.  I LOVE Ralph Fletcher.  I love his poetry, I love his children’s books, and I love his education professional books.  Sarah loves him too.  She read his book Fig Pudding over and over again.  She also read his memoir Marshfield Dreams, and then wrote to him (emailed him) when she couldn’t figure out why he said he was the oldest of 9 children and there were only 8 children in his book.  He wrote back within 24 hours to explain himself and to suggest another book of his (Flying Solo) for her to read.  I am swooning a little bit still.  He also wrote a book called A Writer’s Notebook for kids as a guidebook for them, how to create their own, what to collect there, how to play with language, etc.  I love it.  I used it with my third graders.  I have handed it to my own kids, but I don’t know if they have actually read it or not.

Today, we began sifting through collected things: quotes, pictures, etc. as well as magazines and internet sites.  I have done all the Mod-Podging because it is hard.  I am not very good at it, and I am a lot more careful than any of them care to be.  I learned how to do this from Laini Taylor.  She wrote step-by-step directions in her old blog Grow Wings.  I, of course, thought I remembered exactly how to do this, and ended up screwing up my front cover.  But that is okay.  I am also imperfect.  I really wish it were perfect, but I cannot fix it.  I will accept it.  I will.  Really.  Just, maybe, not todayGrrr.  The kids have been working hard on their notebook covers all day, and in between helping them, I got my notebook done.

Here is my old Notebook:  (Front cover, Back cover, inside Front cover)

IMG_0191 IMG_0192 IMG_0194

And here is the new one:  (Front cover, Back cover, inside Front cover, inside Back cover)


It is so exciting to begin a new notebook!  I hope it helps me to me write more.  Although, I am already writing more here!  It has been great to show up here everyday.  I know it won’t be easy, but I love to ramble on.  I also love catching up with my bloggy friends.  It feels more like conversation when I show up.  In case you don’t read the comments, Willow is joining me while I write everyday in July.  Late starts are welcome!  Would you like to join me too?

  1. July 8, 2013 7:03 am

    Those look so great! What fun :)

    • July 8, 2013 9:52 pm

      It was fun! Although, I got tired of gluing once my kids were getting to their last pages!

  2. July 8, 2013 7:13 am

    I’m so inspired about making a writing book when I get home! And I will have to try that technique, it looks really fun!

    • July 8, 2013 9:53 pm

      I hope you share yours too! It is fun! I also use this as an excuse to buy a bunch of magazines…you know…for pictures. I don’t usually indulge in magazines!

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