Praise the Rain (CATALOG 5/6/2022)

My latest list of recent likes and favorite links…

  1. Poet laureate Joy Harjo poet describes poetry as “a tool to uncover the miraculous in the ordinary” and “a sense of play.” What a treat to hear her read “Praise the Rain” for National Poetry Month a couple weeks ago!

  2. I’ve relied on an old-fashioned spreadsheet to keep track of writing project progress and queries, but I’m tempted to give Kanban a whirl, specifically Trello.com, to make it more of a visual exercise.

  3. A couple years ago, I attended an encaustic painting workshop by artist Jodi Reeb. Wow, her landscape paintings really make my heart sing!

  4. From none other than Austin Kleon, learn how to make brush pens in any color!

  5. Being a knitter/crocheter, I love this video showing the Netflix bumper replicated with yarn. For more about the process, check out this extended version.

  6. My daughter and I, along with some friends, are signed up to volunteer with My Very Own Bed later this summer. We can’t wait to deliver and set up new beds and bedding for some kids in need of consistent and comfortable sleep!

  7. Have you seen the Oscar-winning movie “CODA” yet? I was so moved by the story and music—and can’t seem to get “Both Sides Now” out of my head.

  8. My hometown boasts a cool art and nature experience called Green Island. Poetry by yours truly will soon adorn the walking path!

  9. I became new to pickleball last summer and agree with Caryn Sullivan’s article deeming it “a model for a better life.”

  10. I would never describe my church as “uncool” or “boring,” but I really resonate with the “instead of” statements in this article celebrating church as I believe it should be.
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Ode to My Socks (CATALOG 4/15/2022)

My latest list of recent likes and favorite links…

  1. In preparation for their standardized testing next week, my students and I analyzed a couple poetic gems: “Ode to My Socks” by Pablo Neruda and “Rivulet” (page 16) by Aramis Quintero.

  2. I love using Canva for all of my basic graphic design needs—it offers a lot of different templates to make just about anything, and many of them are free to download without payment or watermark. My daughter, who is just eight years old, also uses it to design notes to her friends, flyers, to-do lists, and calendars!

  3. As a two-time Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor, I am proud to be associated with the publisher’s “Hallway Heroes” program, a creative and stirring social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum. In fact, I will be trained in the program this summer in preparation for leading it next fall!

  4. Speaking of SEL, All Learning Is Social and Emotional by Nancy Frey, Douglas Fischer, and Dominique Smith is a must-have for educators who would like to become more familiar with SEL’s five key factors: 1) Identity and Agency, 2) Emotional Regulation, 3) Cognitive Regulation, 4) Public Spirit, and 5) Social Skills.

  5. As soon as my iPad is up and running again, I am totally putting the learnings of Stacie Bloomfield‘s free mini course on making greeting cards into practice.

  6. The timing stinks for me, but I still dream of somehow making it to this Writing for Your Life Conference in Colorado. I’d love to learn from Philip Yancey!

  7. My Heart Cries Out by Paul David Tripp has become part of my every day. It’s a grand collection of faith-based poems, along with related Scripture leads and journaling prompts.

  8. I first became aware of artist Jane Davies when I saw a print of her work in a major department store. Wow, does her web site feature a lot of great resources, including a very generous list of free tutorials!

  9. Austin Kleon shares how he can easily document favorite quotes from his reading with the help of a couple standard features on his iPhone.

  10. The AoPS (Art of Problem Solving) podcast is in its infancy, but it promises to offer some great content on the joy of learning.

Patchwork Pants (CATALOG 4/10/2022)

My latest list of recent likes and favorite links…

  1. I see a lot of ripped up or patched together pants among my middle-school students. These Dolce Gabbana jeans—and their price tag—caught my eye. The question is… What came first, the patches or the pants?

  2. Super creepy, super cool, or a little bit of both? If Stephen King is looking for his next muse, the “American Decay” photography collection by Bryan Sansivero may be it.

  3. Figure out what makes you tick—and enjoy some great art in the process—with Lisa Congdon‘s “Values Deck.”

  4. Let’s save today’s youth from becoming even more device dependent—let’s engage their brains! Learn more through the “Raising Problem Solvers” podcast, a new production by the Art of Problem Solving (AoPS).

  5. So many people changed careers during the pandemic, including yours truly. Still thinking about your next move? Fast Company offers “6 things to consider…

  6. Get a load of Charlie Puth’s creative process for writing and recording “Light Switch“—plus his bouncy curls are amazing!

  7. To think that my sleek silver MacBook Pro all began with the quaint wood stylings of the Apple 1 computer, which now fetches $400,000 at auction!

  8. A friend recently treated me to Susie Larson‘s latest book, May His Face Shine Upon You. Such a beautiful collection of little blessings for both parent and child!

  9. Another great resource for mothers with lots of creative ideas and ambitions: try “An Artist Residency in Motherhood.”

  10. What a cool marriage of music and visual art, presented by children’s author Mo Willems of Piggie, Gerald, and Pigeon fame. His “Beethoven Exhibits Extracted” recently wrapped up at the Kennedy Center, but I intend to visit all nine pieces online and listen to the corresponding symphonies from the comfort of my own home.

I love to collect cool resources on writing, learning, and creativity—so please send me yours! Thanks for reading!

We Are All Dots (CATALOG 10/29/2021)

Welcome to this “catalog” of what piqued my interest in recent days…

1.
We Are All Dots: A Big Plan for a Better World by Giancarlo Marci is one of my favorite kinds of books merging the simplest kind of illustrations with tight text with an important message.

2. What is your learning style? I share this video and survey with my students to help get down to the bottom of theirs.

3. Do you resonate with LinkedIn’s findings on stress levels?

4. Mind maps are an effective note-taking and study tool for students—and useful for grown-ups too!

5. Enjoy this massive collection of visual insights courtesy of Qaspire Consulting.

6. I love it when people think of an idea, then go full tilt with it—like these painted plates of last meals by Julie Green.

7. Lisa Congdon is one of my favorite artists—this Dieline article sums up her work and inspiration well. (And now I’m determined to collect all of those cool Method hand soaps by Lisa’s design!)

8. I’ve made two of these teardrop hanging baskets for storing keys, masks, gloves, etc.

9. ‘Tis the season to be grateful! Share your stories of gratitude with Chicken Soup for Soul for possible publication! (Don’t worry, the deadline for submission isn’t until January.)

10. Anchor provides an easy—and free—way to produce podcasts, even working hand in hand with WordPress to import blog content for conversion to voice. Why not, right?

Have a link to share with me for a future catalog? Please comment below. Thanks for reading!

The Courage to Teach (CATALOG 10/22/21)

Every couple weeks, I assemble a “catalog” of news items, books, resources, ideas, etc., that recently piqued my interest. It’s also a pleasure to share my latest finds with you…

1. The premise of The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer is that “good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.” My favorite book so far on education!

2. Leading commerce agency The Stable aims to prove that apprenticeship—not college—is a viable option for learning and success.

3. God bless Osheta Moore for her book Dear White Peacemakers, a model of grace and a calling to grit when it comes to addressing racism.

4. I now lead the Twin Cities chapter of Green Bag Lady. E-mail me if you’d like to cut fabric and/or sew reusable cloth bags to help save our planet from the senselessness of single-use plastic. Open to all ages and abilities—materials and instructions provided!

5. Texture, color, and a paint-by-number-like simplicity—such is the awesomeness of punch needle embroidery! (And cheap doormats can serve as a good base? It’s worth a try!) I’m going to start with this pattern from Wooly Loon.

6. I love yarn pumpkins—yes, I do. I love yarn pumpkins—how ’bout you?

7. I return to this ABDCE formula for writing short stories time and time again!

8. On honoring five promises: A blog post in memory of General Colin Powell and in support of America’s Promise Alliance.

9. On striking a chord: A blog post in tribute to my beloved chord organ and music-making as it should be.

10. Brain differences aren’t flaws—we are getting better at appreciating neurodiversity (this post is worth a read just for the graphic alone).

I’m always looking for cool links and stories about writing, learning, and other creative endeavors. Please send yours my way, and thanks for reading!