Finishing up with Tara and her Writers: Slice of Life Tuesday

I’ve been under pressure to get my documentary done and ready for publishing to an authentic audience of Tara, her 6th graders and their parents and possibly some administrators.  As usual, I made myself crazy until I seriously got started.

I dipped my toes in for a few days, just connecting my external hard drive and skimming through videos.  But it was just too overwhelming and any excuse forced me away.  Any excuse.

And I sweated the time, filling up my days and wondering when I would find the essential time that I might need, after all I had so much video to get through given that this was a year- long project.  Of course there’s a happy ending to this.  I buckled down last week and began in earnest.  I set up my time line and started watching, repeating footage that I liked and soon I had way too much.  Time for my trusty razor blade.   Let the editing begin!

So I had a beginning and a framework.  I wasn’t sure how much I could use of Tara set up the project and the kids starting to work from mentor texts, but given the focus these days of mentor texts, I was sure it would be of value.  I still had lots of footage of the kids to look at but even that was easier than I had planned.  I immediately  left behind readings I couldn’t hear and soon, with some early mornings and a few late nights I had something, enough to share with Tuvia, my first line of audience and it went well.  “Don’t cut anything!”  I didn’t.  But I did have to finish with some of the great images I had of the kids throughout the project.  Some of the kids who did not get to share their voices.

Okay, done last night a ready to share with Tara.  I was prepared to rework anything that didn’t work for her.  As you might suspect, she is very easy to collaborate with.

She loved it, just the way it was!

So now with a week to spare, I have something.  Of course, as I put it here for you to view, I’m off to my next project, with a very fast moving deadline to lose more sleep for.  Oh well, I’m used to this routine.  It might not be the most productive way to create, but I know it well.

Here it is:


So much to Share, Where to Begin?: Slice of Life Tuesday

I have been lucky to continue to work with great teachers in the Hudson Valley Writing Project. Marc and Dennis took up a new challenge during the summer and documented our Young Writers’ Programs and there were more than ever before. But when it came to creating videos the challenge intensified and we met together a few times to get this part of the project completed.
Here’s a piece that Dennis began and I stepped in for the finishing touches.
Hope you enjoy. We are presenting this work during a workshop at our February Saturday Seminar on Saturday…

and then I get to pack for Puerto Rico. I am ready for outdoor swimming with a new Miracle suit :), a cap and cover.


I have continued to love and feel the ache of swimming. New parts of my body are challenged by new passion. Today I took them all through an aqua class. What fun!

So here I am with so much to feel good about even with this insanely cold weather. I’m hoping to meet up with Tara Smith tomorrow and her 6th graders 🙂