Showing posts from March, 2015

Kalaidoscope Morning 1 (Woman With Butterfly)

Today is the second day of my Spring Break. The beauty of a Spring Break is that it gives me the opportunity to become refreshed, to try something new, to work with new mediums.
Today my first task for the day was to get a piece completed and to write my Blog. I used Corel Painter Lite. I opened the symmetry setting to kalaidoscope and set it for four lines. Then, using a Sum-e pen, I outlined the basic design. I had already decided that I was going to use pink and blues as the color scheme.
My next step was to fill in the design with different shades of the color scheme. I used a soft watercolor layer to very quickly fill in the design, then went back and used markers and oils to fill in the details.
Once I had the basic design, I used an acid etch on the round "balls" at the end of each stem. That changed the coloring a gave it a slight white/bright tone.
Afterwards I covered it with a clear varnish and used an oily rag to smooth it all out.
Then, once finished with t…

Conducting Research Tips for High Schoolers

It has never been a better time or a worse time for conducting research.

When I was in high school and college, you had to physically go to the library and conduct your research by hand and foot~boots had to be on the ground. Nowadays, research can be conducted with your behind in a chair. But in some ways, this makes research difficult. Where do I begin? In this blog, I hope to help the research student gain a better understanding of what he or she needs to do in order to conduct academic research without the rendering of clothes or wails of grief.

First and foremost: What is your topic? You need to develop your research topic. It needs to be one that is interesting to you, captures your attention, and stimulates your curiosity. Sometimes the topic is given to you by your teacher. If that's the case, then so be it....just pretend that you like the topic. You will approach it the same way.

You will also want to explore some background information. This is called "performing a…

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary Sources of information are original sources. They provide you with firsthand information.
Secondary Sources contain information that has been gathered by someone else. Most nonfiction books, newspapers, magazines, and web sites are secondary sources.

Primary Sources: 

Visiting a grocery store
Interviewing a nutritionist
Talking to a person on a salt-free diet

Secondary Sources:

Visiting a web site about salt in foods
Reading an article about salt in foods
Watching a TV program about salt in the diet

Types of Primary Sources:

Diaries, journals, and letters: You can find these sorts of primary sources in libraries and museums.Presentations: Historical sites, museums, guest speakers, and live demonstrations can give you firsthand information.Interviews: You can interview an expert in person, by phone, by email, or through the mail.Surveys and Questionnaires: To gain information from many people at once, have them answer a list of questions.  Then, study the results.Observation and Par…

Stage 2 of the Writing Process: Drafting

In a previous post, I discussed the first stage of the writing process: prewriting. Prewriting is coming up with an idea, doing your research, and gathering your resources.
In today's post, I'm going to discuss the 2nd stage of writing: drafting or writing the first draft.
This is the part of the writing when I tell my students that you just need to sit down, shut up, and write. This is the part where you're getting your ideas out on paper (or a digital document). 
When drafting you don't worry about any of the following:
spellinggrammarusagemechanicssentence fluencyword choice (to some degree) Just put your butt in a chair, gather all of your materials around you, and just start writing.
Ideally, I will write for at least thirty minutes, stop, take a five-minute break, come back to writing. I'll do this for at least 4 sessions (2 hours) before taking a longer break or perhaps stopping and doing something else for a while. 
But whether I come back to in a couple of…

March 14, 2015

This week, the family has spent on holiday in Beaufort, South Carolina. We arrived to our canal front home last Sunday. We plan on leaving tomorrow morning...bright and early. On Monday, I visited Hunting State Park and the Beaufort National Cemetery. On Monday evening, we ate at Docksiders on Lady's Island. I had steamed oysters and clam chowder...New England style. On Tuesday, Hope and I went shopping in downtown Beaufort. That night, we went fishing on the dock and steamed clams for supper. On Wednesday, we went to the Charleston Tea Plantation and drove into downtown Charleston to eat at LEAF. We arrived back at the cottage around ten PM. On Thursday, we took a carriage ride around Beaufort. That night, we had the extended family over for supper. Yesterday, we buried Dad's remains. Now, I've not left the house since then. I feel like I need a nap.


Since I write for a variety of on line sites, I have to have specific goals to keep myself organized and on task. Writing for yourself, especially as a part time job, can be tricky. Since my main income is from teaching, I only have a limited time to write.

I try to post to TSU at least three times per day. It's not so difficult, since the posts are short and sweet.

Writing for Persona Paper is a little different because the posts have to be longer. I really enjoy the community of writers that I get to interact with on that site.

HUBPAGES requires more time as the articles have to meet a certain criteria.  I post to PERSONA PAPER three times per day, also. I can only write on Hub about once per month.

I try to write here on BLOGGER three times per day also.

So, how do I come up with that many pieces to write? The good part is that I really love to write. Coming up with writing ideas is not that difficult.

I also create and write one new teaching resource per month. Those are diffi…

Where I Come From: Beaufort, South Carolina

The house in which the Articles of the Confederacy were signed

The history of Beaufort, South Carolina is one of the most comprehensive and diverse of any community of its size in the United States. The area has been subject to numerous explorations and several aborted attempts at colonization before the British successfully founded the city in 1711, the second-oldest in South Carolina. The city initially grew slowly, subject to numerous attacks from Native Americans before flourishing as a regional center for the Low country plantation economy up through the American Civil War. The community rebounded in the latter half of the 20th century and is today recognized as one of the most livable small towns in the country. Beaufort has retained much of its historic character through its renowned architecture and historic preservation efforts.

Beaufort was chartered in 1711 as the second major settlement in South Carolina. The town was named after Henry Somerset, 2nd Duke of Beaufort. The se…

Picture Book Review: Puppy’s Fun Run by Barbette Fey

Puppy's Fun Run by Barbette Fey is a fun and frolicking picture e-book for grades one and two (ages 6 and 7). It is just perfect for kids who are ready for chapter books, but don't have the stamina yet for them. It has a Lexile level of 550, which makes it a perfect storybook for an elementary classroom.

It is the story of Comet, a spunky little dog who lives on a farm and only wants to run fast with the other farm animals. Comet runs through the farm looking for a playmate. Comet meets a Clownfish, an Alpaca, and a duck plus three very fast-moving chickens. Throughout the tale, Comet learns that not all animals are the same. Each is unique in his or her own way.

This picture e-book has much to offer for little people, there is some dialogue to help beginning readers with punctuation marks as well as some more interesting speaker tags rather than just "said." If you're looking for a fun way to teach the phoneme /j/, then this is the book for you as there are sever…

Stage 1 of Writing: Prewriting

The prewriting stage is where you do all of the planning for your project. During this stage, you choose and explore a topic. Consider your purpose and audience. Generate and organize your ideas. We tend to skip this part and go straight to drafting. Putting thought and effort into this will pay off later.

Sometimes you will choose a topic for your writing, and sometimes you'll be assigned a topic. In either case, try to find something about your topic that really interests you. If you're interested in your topic, the writing will be interesting and you'll get better results.

After you have chosen a topic, think about the form or type of writing that you will do. Are you writing a friendly letter? A newspaper article? A story? Each has its own style and requirements.
Be clear on the purpose of your writing. Ask yourself some questions: What do I want my audience to learn from my writing? Am I writing to convince, inform, or entertain my readers? It is important to keep the re…

What is Difference Between a Subculture and a Counterculture?

A subculture is a smaller part of the overall culture, while a counterculture rejects the society. Subcultures have their own norms but still adhere to those of the larger culture. Countercultures completely reject the norms of the larger culture and create their own.

Snow on March 5, 2015

There is a special privacy about winter and snow that cannot be found in any other season. In the winter, on a snowy day, you can savor belonging to yourself.


I've been reading On Writing by Stephen King, and I'm flabbergasted at the phenomenal success of his novel Carrie while he was still a full-time teacher. Is it possible for writers to be that successful today? There seems to be more writers than ever, and most seem to be online. There are multitude of sites where one can write for hire. There are sites where one can write and share in the revenues, but these sites definitely don't make you rich quick. The income slips in like treacle.

So is it possible to make a living with your own writing? At this time, I write this blog, write for Persona Paper, Hubpages, Fiver, TSU, and sell educational resources, but none come anywhere near making me the same money as my regular teaching gig.

Ideally, I could make enough so that I could work from home writing on a daily basis. So what does it take? First of all, it takes time. That is something that is worth its weight in gold, especially when you have another full-time job. I devote …