#SOL17: Silver Lake

Where do YOU begin?

Here’s a simple list of words from my writing notebook

Begun with an early morning observation

Sipping coffee

Waking up

At Silver Lake

Some words from the present.

Some from the past.

Some added over time.


How does a list evolve?



What categories would you make?

While waiting for inspiration to strike,

I’ve learned to keep my fingers moving across the keyboard.

Looking for photos

Looking for organization

and word clouds suddenly appeared in my brain.

word cloud oneword cloud twoword cloud threeword cloud fourword cloud five

Changing colors

Changing shapes

Changing colors

Adding a filter.

Using a visual as a stimulus . . .

Ready to write!

One of Those Moments

One of those moments

Etched on my cornea

Burnt into my brain

Captured in my heart

Gray sky

Combinations of clouds

White, thin, wispy

Surrounded by large and fluffy white-topped clouds

With an under girding of gray

Ready for a sprinkle or

Perhaps a shower or

Sheets of rain or

Buckets full pouring from the heavens

Harmony in thoughts shared

Rich in laughter

Engrossed in fun

So much to do!

A boat ride,


Writing talk,

3 Truths and a Lie, and

Learning to play a ukelele.


Voxer Cousins






Bound together by a few moments in time

One of those perfect summer moments!


June 24 – Silver Lake, MN

How do your thoughts become your ideas?  

What shapes your format?

Where does your organization come from?  

How do you share this process with your students?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      Process:

My first draft was totally a description – what I saw, heard and felt while outside

But it seemed really boring

And felt like it could be any lake anywhere

So this is Draft Two . . . after some revision!


22 responses

  1. Sounds like wonderful summer memories and a great opportunity to have students write.

    1. Thanks, Aileen.
      There are so many paths to writing and it seems like the more we can share those, the more that students will also be able to push past whatever road blocks are in their way!

  2. Thank you for this peek inside your writing process. You have inspired me to spend the day jotting a list of the things I observe from the places I go today. I’m excited to see where it takes me.

    1. Jennifer,
      So many different ways to approach the thinking . . . and the writing. Do we allow enough opportunities for both?

  3. Ahh , ” captured in my heart”. Summer moments are like that aren’t they?

    1. Amy,
      Totally “captured in my heart” . . . that’s one of the best parts of summer!

  4. From experience to wandering words to a beautiful poem. Seems that each part was enjoyable. So was reading your post.

    1. Thank you.
      It was so fun to write.
      Sharing this joy and thinking of writing truly as a JOY is so different from the experience of many of our students! So many routes to writing joy!

  5. Fran, I love everything about the post! The list, the thinking, the writing…it’s all fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

    1. You are welcome, Michelle! I’m always encouraged when a piece goes a different direction than I originally “planned”!

  6. There’s a lovely stream of consciousness aspect to the way you’ve written this, Fran – just the way a writer’s mind meanders through words and ideas before landing somewhere.

    1. THANKS, Tara!
      So many choices in “ways” to go. I wish that “freedom” for all our young writers!

  7. Yours was the first slice I read this morning and it is so jam packed. I love how you listed out your thoughts and then thought about categories. That would work for all types of writing. I was thinking about you hashing them over with your friends and then barreling in only to edit afterward. Thanks for this slice of the writing process.

    1. You are welcome!
      It’s how this writing piece went. I can’t wait to revise it and see where it goes in the next iteration!

  8. As always, Fran, I enjoy how you share your thought process when writing. I have sometimes found, at least for me, that when I sit down to write something I have a certain format in mind. Then as I start to write the words seem to want to take a direction I had not planned. It seems as if they have a definite idea about how they want to be shared. The joy and fun of writing. Thanks for a great post.

    1. You are welcome!
      That is so funny because I just told Michelle that the piece did not seem to go as I had planned. I love that because my heart does need to over ride my too rigid brain sometimes. And yet I also understand that many students do NOT experience this JOY or feel like they have any choice.

      My favorite is of course to take a topic or idea and work on an entire series. What if? How about? Try this . . . so many of my favorites to use when writing!

  9. The process fascinates me, Fran. I’m new to keeping a writing notebook and still struggle with the organizational piece. The word cloud was a brilliant idea and I love how it sorted different ways. An idea I can’t wait to try. Cheers!

    1. The good news is that there is NO one right way to use a notebook. Ideas, quotes, words . . . pictures, drawings. What works for you? How can you hold onto your thoughts?
      Good Luck!

  10. What a beautiful poem — it almost read a story. As always I love when you share your process — amazes me that you are so aware of how you draft and craft your writing. Enjoy.

    1. Clare,
      Thanks . . . that was my goal.
      Process some days is so much easier than the final product. My brain just must work a bit differently! LOL! Have a great summer! ❤

  11. […] Process: Beginning with one word (#OLW). Brainstorming. Collecting ideas. Sifting through thoughts. Vignettes of celebrations curated in one post. Reflecting on my #OLW:  Celebrate! (How do we demonstrate this for students?)  Opposite process of beginning with many words in this post. […]

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