Learning Lines

Investigating New Territory Through The World of Writing

Off the Grid, But Staying in the Loop

During this last week I have had to go “off the grid” so to speak.  It was my first week of school.  However, I promised Tom Schusterbauer I would keep up with my writing.  Everyone knows you can’t break a promise to your high school english teacher.

I have maintained my reading though.  While I have been off the grid, I have continued to read before going to bed.  It was truly the only extra thing I did this week aside from eating, sleeping and working my butt off for my new second grade kiddos (whom I adore, by the way.)  My good friend Katie Allen recommended Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.  I absolutely hate finishing reading a series I love and mourning the characters.  This time it turned out to by Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  My new strategy was to abandon my characters as quickly as I could and get into a new book.  Cutting for Stone is not a young adult read.  I’m trying to push myself out of my reading comfort zone to become a better reader, a better writer and broaden my world view.  The training I started in the International Baccalaureate Curriculum reminded me to go back to my reading roots with literature including children’s experiences all over the world.  So, even though the beginning of Cutting for Stone feels foreign and impossible to connect to, I’m trying to learn about this nun who is a nurse in Ethiopia working under the tutelage of Dr. Thomas Stone in order to widen my world understanding.  I have never been to Ethiopia.  There are no personal connections I can make to this nun, unless you include catholicism, which I don’t believe really counts.  It just gives me some background knowledge.  And, I’m reading it on my kindle.

Reading on the kindle and now my new Droid has been an interesting experience.  Instead of checking my email and Facebook, I’m tickled to squeeze in a few minutes of my book while picking up the kids or waiting for them in a lesson.  I’m still waiting for the Kindle applications to include newspapers.  I can’t wait to have complete article access to the NYTimes on my phone.  Right now, I can only get books with the kindle app.

Then I noticed two funny things.  I relished the idea of spending a Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and three papers – actual physical, print on your hands newspapers.  Next, I was delighted to discover, in the local paper, a new used book store opening within biking distance.  What does this all mean?

I am thrilled to have all these choices of how to get my hands on books more cheaply through kindle and a used book store.  Yet, here I am trying to become a writer and make a living at it.  Is it even going to be possible to make a living at writing on a blog?  The competition seems even steeper than that of trying to publish a novel!

I continue to struggle with my motives for writing.  I want to write to learn, to grow, to change, to think more deeply.  I also want more time to write.  In the future (I’m thinking 15 years at this point) I want to be writing and reading full time.  I know there are going to be times I work as a teacher and a writer, burning the midnight oil.  (As if I am not already doing that for teaching.)  So, how is this all going to materialize.  Its such a journey.  Of course being the control freak / goal setting person that I am wants to make this happen now.  I feel like this is the direction I’m heading but can’t imagine how its all going to materialize!


One comment on “Off the Grid, But Staying in the Loop

  1. Elizabeth Nelson
    September 11, 2010

    I really enjoyed Cutting For Stone. There is so much to learn, and some of the political happenings were new to me too. I hope you enjoy it — it has a great ending. I am really enjoying your blog, and admire your dedication.

    Don’t stop writing. Enjoy your fall and winter.


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This entry was posted on September 11, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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