Funny thing about writing–once you shift from seeing your days as minutes and hours to moments and emotions, you get no say in who, what, where, when, and why story fragments show up.
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Trying to stop the words until you’re ready, with paper, pencil, peace, and a perfectly poured cup of coffee only makes them tumble and bubble quicker, with growing ferocity, until you’re not entirely sure your feet are still under the influence of gravity.
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Today is another bulb in the string of firsts gifted by COVID, a day setting up my classroom for students who may not even arrive. Arranging baskets of beloved books for kids who won’t get to pepper me with random facts about sharks or tell me how Fern and Wilbur (they always want to read my favorite book from 3rd grade) made them cry. Organizing the “If You Give a Mouse…” series, knowing there won’t be that *one* kid who wants to check out the whole basket to read to a little sibling over a long weekend. Tucking my worn but infamous beanbag chairs under the east windows where seventh graders will sit and beg to keep reading as the rising sun fills our mornings with soft light. Stacking blank note cards in my top drawer to write notes to those sweet souls who beam brighter than that same sunshine after I hug them for finishing the first book they’ve ever read by themselves in a new language.
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Writing didn’t wait for me today, and the most I can hope is that I haven’t let it down. I don’t want to go back to minutes and hours.

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