Saturday, February 7, 2009


This last week I visited schoolS in the Dallas, Texas area. I told the students about how my writing improved greatly after I started adding sensory details to my work.

Here's a recap of my week, using my senses:

Seeing Moseley Elementary School's secretary's tattoo she got in celebration of her daughter being declared cancer-free.

Smelling the school lunches in the cafeteria.

Hearing a kindergarten teacher at Mitchell telling one of her students, "Come this way, friend."

Tasting the sweet pecans in the grilled chicken salads from Oliver's.

Feeling the firm handshakes of dedicated teachers.

Many of you already know that my retreat pals and I do a writing exercise every year called Five Words and a Pie. Want to play? The librarians I visited last week provided the words. Sorry, but you will have to provide the pie.

Here are the rules: Select four of the six words offered by the librarians and write for ten minutes, using them. If you email your results to, I'll post them later in the week. Remember only 10 minutes! So it doesn't have to have an ending. It can be anything--the beginning of a story, an essay, a poem. Anything. One more thing--relax and have fun!

(Elaine Tricoli from Moseley Elementary School in Grand Prairie ISD.)

(Leslie LaMastus from Frankfort Middle School in Plano ISD)

(Kelly Hamilton from Martha Hunt Elementary School in Plano ISD)

(Sarah Thorn from Jackson Elementary in Plano ISD)

(April Grizzle from Rose Mary Haggar Elementary in Plano ISD)

(Kristine Jurik from Mitchell Elementary in Plano ISD)

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