U is for Under

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

Photograph by Priscilla du Purez

What is under there? What treasures could be under the rock, the bed, or the planter? Are you surprised to find the missing Legos, a forgotten key, or the matching mitten to the one that has been lonely all winter under the sofa? So many real and not so real creatures can also reside under. Let’s go on an under hunt and journal about our new found treasures and discoveries.

 

  1. Primary Prompt:  Look under your bed or your sister’s bed or under the sofa. Pull what does not belong. Draw a picture of everything you found. Label. Write sentences about the treasures you found.
  2. Intermediate Prompt: Go on an Outside Under Hunt. Bring your journal. Look under anything around you and list what you find in your journal. When your hunt is over, write about the discoveries and treasures. Were there any surprises?
  3. Upper-Intermediate Prompt: Let’s exercise some imagination. Take a long look at a piece of furniture. Do you wonder what could be under it? Perhaps there was a colony of dust bunnies who are organizing, or there’s a secret world of creatures living off the crumbs left behind. Journal about the imaginary world under.

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

T is for Tongue Twisters

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

Photo by Kiana Bosman on Unsplash

Tongue twisters are silly to say and great fun to create. The alliteration, homophone wordplay, rhyming, and vocabulary search challenge the writer within us. I like to jot the tongue twisters in my journal when I hear them (reinforces the idea to bring your journal with you everywhere). I never know when I may need to find a just-right tongue twister.  

Tongue twisters use words we can see and feel. The action comes to life. The words paint the pictures in our mind’s eye. Tongue twisters do not contain too many words that are not visible or touchable, such as is, are, was, and were.

Example: Slink snakes slither silently under stones.

Under is the only word that does start with /s/, but it describes a place and carries important information. 

Sometimes novel tongue twisters inspire a story idea. 

Example: One slinky snake, named Sneed, did not like slithering with all those snake relations.

Let’s play with words and sounds in words. Let’s journal tongue twisters. 

Tongue Twister Sampler

Tippy Timmy tops tips on toppled tops. 
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Mad monkeys marched through muddy marshes.
Sheila sells seashells by the seashore. 
I saw Suzy Sunshine shop in the shoe store. 
A rhyming tongue twister poem: 
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear

Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair

Fuzzy wuzzy wasn’t so fuzzy

Was he?

 

  1. Primary Prompt: Pick a tongue twister from the above list or make up your own. This tongue twister can be the title of today’s journal entry. Draw a picture that would go with your title. Write sentences about the tongue twister.
  2. Intermediate Prompt:  Make up several of your own tongue twisters. Pick one of your newfangled sentences to expand on, question, or add an even more newfangled comment.
  3. Upper-Intermediate Prompt: Make up a tongue twister. Be sure the action is visible and that you can see the picture of your sentence in your mind’s eye. Expand on the sentence to write a short story.

 

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

S is for Storytelling

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

 

iWeb public domain

One of the most famous storytellers of all time is Scheherazade the Arabian princess who saved her life by enchanting the sultan with stories night after night. Eventually, the sultan fell in love with her and, instead of chopping off her head, made Scheherazade his queen. The famous narration became known as A Thousand and One Nights. As the story goes, Scherazade collected stories she had heard about epic battles, legends, and poetry.

Collecting stories is one of my favorite things. I have interviewed family members and listened to stories told around dinner tables. I love to hear reminisces told by friends and relatives about days gone by. I also like to retell the stories as I understand them. Stories bind us to people we love, confirming our connections. Stories also bring people who have passed on, back into our conversations. Their essence lies in the stories. Stories don’t have to be set in the faraway past. The epic adventure that happened to your brother last week can be just as compelling as Grandpa’s hitchhiking story across the country when he was 17.

For today, let’s focus on a story a close family member can tell you. How will you retell the story in your journal?

  1. Primary Prompt: Ask an adult in your family about a favorite game they played when they were a young child. Was it jump roping, a game with a ball, or a type of hide-and-seek? Draw a picture of what you think this game had looked like back then. Include the children this person played with and the place where they played. Did they play in a field, city street, or on the stoop of their house? Write sentences about your picture.
  2. Intermediate Prompt:  Interview an adult in your family about a favorite game he or she played as a child. Get this necessary information such as how old the person was, the time place where they played, the friends they played with, and the name of the game. Journal about this game your family played. Add why this game was memorable and fun.
  3. Upper-Intermediate Prompt: Just as the Intermediate prompt instructed, Interview an adult about a favorite game or activity Journal about the person playing the game and how he or she felt about the game. Be sure to include the friends. How did this person sound while telling the story? Was he/she joyful, sad, or excited? Was it hard to envision the adult as a child playing? Why?/why not?

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

R is for Remembering

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

clip art by Pixabay

Remember when we… 

We are living in a historic time. THE COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted, frightened, and changed all of our lives. Despite the disorder, there are highlights we will remember and retell for a very long time. Reminiscing together involves sharing personal stories. Even though we are all stuck in our homes during the COVID-19 crisis, stories of courage, resourcefulness, and sometimes funny incidents will shine through. We will retell the events, laugh about the antics, and ponder the lessons learned. Let’s journal about some of the memorable events we had experienced during this historic time. 

  1. Primary Prompt: Think about the time you played a game or took a relaxing walk or bike ride with someone in your family. Draw the picture and label the people and things in your picture. Write about your memory.
  2. Intermediate Prompt: Remember an event that happened while you and your family are sheltering-in-place. Did you help make masks, teach your mom how to Zoom, or maybe bake or cook something new and delicious? Write about your memory.
  3. Upper-Intermediate Prompt: Think back to an event when you and your family first had to shelter-in-place. Consider how you were feeling and the changes you had to adjust to. Journal about the changes you lived through and what you have learned.

 

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

Q is for Quote-Worthy Quotes

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

Image by Ragoes Septiana Widjaya from Pixabay

Quotes are everywhere. There are many thoughtful quotes decorating walls and home screens. Inspiring quotes remind us to be mindful, truthful, and kind. Writers use humor, common sense, and recall to come up with memorable quotes. You can find a treasure trove of these gems by simply Googling quotes

Even with the millions of quotes available to use, we find ourselves using the quotes we repeatedly heard during our youth. Most are cautionary, like “Don’t make me come over there!”. Some inspire reflection, “You can, but you may not.” While others are wise mottos, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.” The familiar sayings “stick” and pass on from one generation to the next. We grow up only to sound like our parents. 

Think about the repeated sayings you frequently hear. What do they mean to you?    

Have you heard these?

Don’t eat like a caveman Close the door. Were you raised in a barn? If it were a snake, it would bite you.
Don’t burn your bridges. Your face will freeze that way. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
You’re not sugar, you won’t melt. Here’s a quarter. Go call someone who cares.  Don’t burn the candle from both ends. 
  1. Primary Prompt: Pick a saying you hear your mom or dad, teacher or grandma  say. Perhaps there is a familiar one in the above table. Draw a picture of what the quote would look like if it really happened. For instance, draw yourself melting in the rain for “You’re not sugar; you won’t melt.”
  2. Intermediate: Is there a favorite quote you hear all of the time. Who says it? Why? What does it mean to you? What do you do when you listen to it? Do you have a quote you use or made up? Write about the quote.
  3. Upper-Intermediate: Pick a familiar quote. Make up a story that explains the quote or has the occasion to use the quote. Let your imagination take the story to silly or outrageous situations.

 

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

P-Penny For Your Thoughts

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

clip art by Pixabay

Does your mind wander? Are you are silently focused on a daydream? Did some offer “A penny for your thoughts?” 

I never got a penny for sharing my thoughts, but it has always been well worth my effort to journal them. Best-laid plans and lousy ideas are hatched from quiet thoughts. I let them ramble in my journal. Many of the sentences don’t go together, but it does not matter. No one but me has to understand them. Sometimes I find solutions to problems and answers to questions. Often though, I feel relief and satisfaction that it is written down—well worth a penny of time.

Let’s explore those daydreamy thoughts.

  1. Primary Prompt: Draw yourself sitting and writing in your writing spot. Include your journal and favorite pen too. Now draw a think bubble above your head. Inside the bubble, draw a thought you had while you settled into your spot. Did you wonder what is for lunch or where is your cat? Write about your thought bubble.
  2. Intermediate Prompt: Think back to your most recent daydream. Perhaps it was just three minutes ago. What were your thoughts? Quickly write them down. Let them spill out on your journal page. They do not need to make sense. Just write.
  3. Upper-Intermediate Prompt:  What are you daydreaming about right now? What ideas, feelings, plans are you playing out in your head? Write them down. They don’t have to be in any order or make any sense. Write this stream of consciousness for a solid five minutes. Ready? Set. Go!

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

O is for Odors

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

 

photo by Pixabay

What’s that smell?

Odors silently surround us and carry an abundance of information and memory. Sadly, our olfactory system is not as developed as many animals. We can’t track one person by smelling his sock or sniff out bugs or explosives. The sense of smell is closely associated with taste (we had explored that in L is for Lollipops). Smell and taste share many descriptive words like sweet, sour, and yukky.  Odors spark clear memories and take us back to familiar places and people. For instance, sometimes, when I smell a freshly picked tomato, I am back in my great-grandmother’s tiny garden in Brooklyn, where she would snap a tomato leaf and make me smell the growth and promise of delicious fruit.

Let’s explorer odors in our journals. 

  1. Primary Prompt: Think about the smell of the kitchen when your favorite food is cooking. Is it pizza, bread, meatballs, cookies?  Draw you and your mom or dad or perhaps your big sister or brother cooking or baking. Include the ingredients on your counter. Add those facial expressions. Label the items on your picture. Write sentences about the luscious odors.
  2. Intermediate Prompt: Go on an odor hunt either outside or a room in your home. List the odors you smell like freshly mowed grass, dirt, a cedar chip in your closet, or rotten spinach in the refrigerator. Write a sentence about each odor, such as The socks under my bed smell like dirty feet.
  3. Upper-Intermediate Prompt: Choose an item in your home. It can be a bar soap, folded laundry, a freshly opened box of Girl Scout cookies, or dog food. Smell. What does the odor remind you of? What makes the smell pleasant or yucky? Write a memory or impression of this odor.

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

N is for Nature

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

Photo by Tim Swaan on Unsplash

Nature is an incredible muse. The earth, sky, and sea have drama, action, beauty, danger—everything. Journaling nature gives us a chance to take a breath, be still, and lets us appreciate the moment. Brown leaves spin on their desperate grip when the wind blows. A squirrel scurries across the yard with a severe bent to its tail. I wonder how he hurt his tail?

As journal writers, we capture images and paint with words. We can write about the tiniest detail of a sparrow’s feather to the grandest magnificence of mountainscapes. Writing nature gives me an appreciation of my surroundings. Journaling the natural world around me is my favorite subject.

  1. Primary Prompt: Find a spot to journal outside of your home. If you can’t go outside, sit by a window. Pick one thing that is outside to draw and write about. Is it a bird feeder, a flower, or the grass around a tree? Take a good look at this one thing. Try to draw the details. What does the bird feeder hang on to? How many leaves are on the flower stem? Does the grass grow just around the tree, or are there little tufts on the tree trunk. Label the parts of your picture. Now write about your beautiful drawing.
  2. Intermediate Prompt:  Find a cozy spot outside, or sit comfortably looking out a window. List five things you see outside. Now write a descriptive sentence for each thing. Use color and action words. Puffs of white clouds blot the sky. Fat blue jays squawked at the squirrels.
  3. Upper-Intermediate Prompt:  Go outside. Take the time to sit and be in the observable moment. Consider the temperature and the sounds surrounding you. Feel the grass or stones. Are birds busy? Is your cat stretched out on the patio soaking up the spring sunshine. Write down all of your impressions. Don’t worry about the sequence of your sentences. Create a stream of observations that paint your nature picture.

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

M is for Making Progress

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

We are halfway through our Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshop challenge. This is an excellent time to evaluate your journaling progress. I have questions for you. Do you feel that you are building a steady journaling habit? Are you looking forward to the prompts? Have you made up your own prompts? If you are finding yourself struggling, find a new place, and/or a different time of day to write. A change of scenery may give you that fresh new start.

Today we are going to take a look back at our journals. It is a good way to remember what you wrote, how you were feeling at the time, and compare it to how you are doing today. Remember, there is no right or wrong to journaling. By looking back at your writing, you may see that the daily commitment is getting easier. You may be surprised to see that your journaling is opening up a heartfelt way to communicate.

  1. Primary Prompt: Draw yourself in your favorite journaling spot. Draw the room details and the type of chair you are sitting in or on. Label all the parts of your picture. Include your facial expression. Now look back to B-Begin entry. How different are the drawings and sentences? Are there more details? Has your handwriting and spelling improved? Write about your progress. 
  2. Intermediate Prompt: Look over your journal entries. Notice how long your sentences were and how many sentences you wrote in the early prompts. Do you think your recent entries are more thoughtful and flow better than the first few? Do you feel your journaling easier and more enjoyable than it was in the very beginning? Write about if you like or not like the prompts. Why?
  3. Upper-Intermediate Prompt: Read over your journal entries. Compare them to the recent entries. Are you spending more time writing? Is it getting easier to communicate your thoughts and ideas? Are the prompts thought provoking enough, or have you come up with ones that interest you? Write about how you are feeling about daily writing—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

L is for Lollipops

Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.   

photo by Isaias Silva Pinto

Writers are keen observers. They can bring readers into the midst of exciting action and scenic beauty. We wrote about hearing and seeing our surroundings. Today we are going to concentrate on the sense of taste. Taste ties us to many memories and impressions. The sweet taste of raspberry Italian ice brings me to a hot summer day, sticky rivers of ice running down my hand and squinting in the sunny glare. Usually, taste and smell are closely tied together. It is very difficult to separate smell and taste, but for the sake of practice, let’s target tastes. Lollipops can be our props. We enjoy a lollipop at room temperature. They are fun to roll in our mouths, giving us pause to concentrate on tasty words. Ask for a small lollipop while you are journaling today.

I added a tasty word box you can reference. 

Tasty Words

sweet souor bitter salty tangy
tart briny zesty bland spicey

Journal On!

 

  1. Primary Prompt: Draw a picture of you eating a lollipop. What flavors are you tasting? Draw those flavors around the picture. Perhaps you are tasting a sweet strawberry, tangy kiwi, or a smooth buttery flavor. Draw those foods around the lollipop. Label the pictures you drew. Write sentences about the lollipop flavors.
  2. Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate Prompt: Ask someone to place several unwrapped lollipops in a mug upside down so that only the sticks are poking out. Close your eyes, pick one stick, and pop the lollipop in your mouth. Enjoy the flavors. List the tasty words you are savoring. Does the taste of the lollipop remind you of a season, a memorable event, or a food you especially like? Write about the sensations and memories you are feeling. Include how you feel after you ate that lollipop.

Until tomorrow, Everyone.

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

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