Thursday, July 16, 2015

WIP Decision

I think I've made a decision on what Work In Progress I want to stick with for the next month, I'm going to refer to it as MiraMira for now. I've often said to students that I wish I had more novels, short stories, and poems written by Latino/a authors, starring Latino/a protagonists to share with them. I've encouraged them, when they express the same sentiment of wanting to see themselves in a book, to write it!

Well, I've struggled to find the idea to use to follow my own advice into a good story.... until Monday's Teacher Writing Group. We wrote to a prompt from last week, Thursday from Kate Messner's Teachers Write! blog.

What was thinking---
My protagonist- Amira, nicknamed Mira, Mexican-American, loves Madrid
Diverse friends with diverse views in school- what brings them together? They want to travel, but as they are of low socio-economic status they've resigned themselves to just dream of traveling someday, hopefully together.
-Emma- @EmNew, African-American, positive outlook, incredibly friendly, except w/ppl who suck, loves NYC
-Daniel- @LonDan, Polish, Jewish, loves London
- ?? -He's Puerto Rican, loves Paris

There's a "bully" at school, Mabel, also Mexican-American, second generation, who thinks this group of friends is too lofty and uppity in their ambitions... she's jealous of the group for many reasons, and she's got a secret she's keeping hidden from everyone.

The usual everyday workings of the school are interrupted when a new student arrives a month into the school year- still brainstorming on her name- and she's the first white student to join their middle school class. Nobody knows how to react, and everyone seems to react the wrong way.

That's what I'm thinking so far... I'm not sure if I want to keep this so realistic fiction. I'm not sure what complications I want to add to the plot. Is the ideas of friendships, betrayal, jealousy, and home juxtapositioned with the intensity of race, gender roles and identity, and gentrification issues too much or not enough?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer 2015 #WriteAway with us!

I'm trying Kate Messner's Teacher Write! Camp on her blog again this summer. Today: Teachers Write! Minilesson Monday.

The Zapata Teacher Writing Group will be writing together every week in a different coffeeshop in Chicago all summer. I'm so grateful for the chance to sit and write with other teachers! We'll be trying to recruit more teachers to join us this summer. Know anyone who is interested? Please let me know! We'll be at CC Ferns Coffee Bar & Spirits 2806 W Augusta Blvd, Chicago, IL on Monday, July 13th. #WriteAway with us this summer!

Here's my work from sitting with a couple of teacher colleagues today at Jackalope. I found the courage to post on the blog today for the kick-off... but it wouldn't let me post the hashtag about #2 in the blog. This is the unedited version below.
I'm a middle school teacher in Chicago Public Schools and this is my second summer attempting to do Teachers Write! Loved it last year, and hope I can overcome any nerves in order to post regularly!

I wonder...
1. how do people overcome the influence of controlling parents? (can you tell I work with adolescents?)
2. about female scientists' contributions and challenges throughout the years (especially in light of recent comments about #distractinglysexy women in the lab- if you haven't looked up the hashtag, please do!).
3. about my neighborhood-- the history, the people now and in my childhood, and gentrification
4. how people turn a disability into an advantage?
5. about the path of the margarita... how did it get to be what it is today? How has it evolved?
I have many more on my list but these were the ones I'm still wondering about hours later! Quite the range :-)
Thanks for reading,