Posted in Education, Family, literature, Mental Health, Poetry, Uncategorized

We’ll Try Again Tomorrow Video

There’s something about releasing poetry into the universe that terrifies me. I can speak in front of three people or three hundred. I can read an essay or an article I wrote to a full room. I can act (or at least attempt to), I used to perform in dance recitals (not well let’s be real), and I would get nervous but nothing like panic-inducing fear I get from reading poetry out loud.

I remember the first time I had to read a poem I wrote in front of an audience, I was seventeen or eighteen in my first year of college. I had won an award for a flash fiction contest and the story was basically a poem. Beforehand I told my teacher I couldn’t do it. That reading in front of others was just not a fun time for me.

He assured me I’d do great, it would all be great, everything was fine. I puked twice, went up and read way too fast, and it was over. I’ve had to read a few more poems to a group since then and it gets a little easier as I age but it’s still something so personal. A vulnerable arrangement of your innermost thoughts in an artistic display and you are exposing these ideas to others. It’s quite horrifying.

So now, this is my first ever video to correlate with a poem. Mind you my technology skills are a solid B, video is not my strong suit so don’t expect any amazing effects. It goes with You’re Going to be Fine and my new direction of writing for parents, children, and families with special needs.

See We’ll Try Again Tomorrow HERE!

Posted in Education, Library, literature

Analyzing “The Raven”

At the beginning of the year we (8th grade and I) tried to analyze “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. Naturally, when you analyze anything with 8th graders, and most grades I would say, they want to know “did the author mean to do that?” When going into the mood, the theme, the motifs throughout the poem (and “The Raven” is riddled with them) I was asked this time and time again. For some poems I want to say, “no I don’t think the author was really thinking about that when they wrote it.” For “The Raven,” I don’t know. I am torn because I do believe Poe to be one of the most talented writers ever to be in print and yet there is a piece of me that is like “ehh maybe that was an accident?” I found this blog post that kind of reitterates the argument that I wanted to share.

Guest Blog: ‘The Raven’ – Nevermore.


Posted in Education

Mood and Tone

It’s hard sometimes to find words to teach others about literary terms that I just take for granted. Mood and Tone for example. I know what they are, I understand the difference. But verbalizing it at first was tricky for me. I looked up examples and found some mood vs tone videos on Youtube but most of them were kind of boring (sorry).

Then, a miracle happened! I was on searching for something completely different and I came across this gem.

At first I just thought it was funny because my daughter has made me watch Frozen no less than 2,672 times. But then I realized this is a great way to teach mood. There’s a whole slew of these movie trailers turning sad movies into funny movies (there’s one making Batman into a comedy which is pretty good) and happy movies into terrifying movies. This one I thought might be too creepy for my students:

I just thought I would share because it might be a new way to explain to students and your teens about how author’s can create a certain mood in a story.