Five Photos Five Stories – Day two

Back to Day one and introduction

What am I?

One may wonder why I have responded to Geoff Le Pard‘s challenge almost immediately when there are other invitations that have lain opened but unanswered for longer than I like to admit. For example, some months ago Anne Goodwin tagged me in a writing process blog hop. She shared the what, how and why of her writing process and invited me to share mine. She applied no pressure or time constraints and neither nudged me to comply nor chastised me for not having done so.  Not quite as long ago Sherri Matthews tagged me in a work space blog hop. She shared beautiful images and descriptions of her delightful Summerhouse writing space and invited me to share mine. Sarah Brentyn then shared some questions for writers that I hinted I might answer, but haven’t yet.

Why the procrastination?

  1. I’m still figuring out what kind of writer I am and how to describe my process.
  2. My writing space isn’t all that exciting. It’s a just a laptop sitting on a desktop that is cluttered with books and other paraphernalia waiting to be organised or dealt with, and surrounded by shelves filled with more of the same; not a bad analogy to my writing process perhaps.
  3. I’ve been working in other quadrants, dealing with ‘easier’ stuff as it arises.

As with Geoff’s challenge, responses to these blog hops are not compulsory and there is no set time-frame but I do wish to, and do intend to, answer them. Thank you Anne, Sherri and Sarah for your patience. I will get there. Eventually.

My writing space 14 May 2015

My writing space 14 May 2015

My procrastination is in part due to the way I view myself as a writer.

I find it difficult to define the “type” of writer I am. That I am a writer is true. But what kind? I wonder if I am a writer without a label, without a box?

Perhaps if you can help me answer this I’ll be more confident about joining in conversations about writing.

I am not a novelist, not a poet, not a biographer or an auto-biographer, not a picture book writer . . . I am an educational writer, incorporating something of each genre.

I remember doing a psychometric test at some past time. The results suggested that a desire to be everything to everybody would be my undoing. Perhaps that is also an issue with my writing?

Sometimes when asked by other writers what type of writing I do, for want of another label I refer to myself as an educational writer. I immediately feel a shrinking away as if educational writing isn’t ‘real’ writing and I’m perhaps not a “real” writer.

“Oh educational writing,” they judge, “that’s so prescriptive. It’s not creative.”

Sure I have done my share of prescriptive writing. The “writing” for which I have been employed for the past three years is definitely prescriptive – more cross the “t”s and dot the “i”s without a modicum of creativity; and as my list of publications shows, I have written workbooks for other publishers, “prostituting” myself one kind-hearted friend suggested. But there are worse ways to earn a living, right?

I don’t consider my self-initiated educational writing as prescriptive. Most of what I write is designed to encourage thinking, problem solving, creativity, interest in a variety of topics, or develop literacy and numeracy skills, but definitely not in a structured, skills-oriented, prescriptive approach. I write fiction, non-fiction and poetry; and open ended materials that encourage children to question. I love to add a touch of humour where possible and mostly aim for engaging materials that motivate thinking and learning.

My current writing schedule involves writing content for this blog and for an in-progress online store of early childhood educational resources.

So, what sort of writer am I?

There is one I know I am not. I am not a songwriter.

I nominate Anne Goodwin, Sherri Matthews and Sarah Brentyn to take up this Five Photos Five Stories challenge if and when they so choose. But they need to be aware that I require no more of them than they have expected of me!

The “rules” of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this post.

24 thoughts on “Five Photos Five Stories – Day two

  1. Pingback: Five Photos, Five Stories (Day 5) | Lemon Shark Reef

  2. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Love your office space. Everything at your fingertips. It is an interesting question you ask as to what kind of writer you are. Like Anne I would also predominantly put you in the creative non-fiction genre. If you want to read more about this Lee Gutkind – You can’t make this stuff up: The complete guide to writing creative non-fiction from Memoir to literary journalism and everything in between. None of us are tied to any one genre and having one that you prefer to write in doesn’t mean that you can’t write in others which is where your fiction comes in. Some authors use different names for the different genres they write so their audience does not get confused.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks Irene. I was very interested to hear about Lee Gutkind. I wasn’t aware of him before, so now I can do a bit more reading, delving and learning – always a pleasure. I’ll have to see if one of his books is available as an audiobook! 🙂
      After writing the post I thought that perhaps “edutainer” might be a suitable title. I think I’ll write a post in a week or two to explain why. I’d be interested to hear your opinion. In the meantime I’ll have to try to make time to find out more about and from Gutkind. 🙂
      Thank you for all your comments. I apologise for being tardy in responding. I’ve had a busy week! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        I don’t know about audio version but you can certainly get it as an ebook or paperback.
        I love the title edutainer. It makes me feel as though I am going to learn whilst being entertained and that the subject will be education. It also makes me think of the word trainer which it isn’t but I guess that is why I think I would learn something whilst I read and at a guess that would be true.
        I’m often slow so don’t give it a second thought. Life has to be lived…… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  3. Pingback: Five Photos, Five Stories (Day 1) | Lemon Shark Reef

  4. Sarah Brentyn

    Thanks, Norah! I don’t know about right now with my health but I’d like to try this. I love a challenge and appreciate the nomination. 🙂 I will try. Maybe something short on the Reef because I do love taking photos.

    I so relate to this: “I find it difficult to define the “type” of writer I am. I wonder if I am a writer without a label, without a box? I am not a novelist, not a poet, not a biographer or an auto-biographer, not a picture book writer . . .” It’s difficult when you don’t have a specific genre, I agree. Your workspace looks so amazingly busy and creative. I could never work there with my OCD. Mine is…I should post a picture sometime. Maybe I will for this challenge. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
      1. Norah Post author

        Glad to hear that you are enjoying the diversion, Sarah. I’m sorry you are having this battle with your health at the moment. I look forward to hearing some good news soon.
        I’ll pop over now and have a read of your first! 🙂

        Like

        Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Sarah, Thank you so much for your comment. I apologise it has taken me so long to respond. I have had a busy week. I have seen other comments in my email inbox that you have already started the challenge. Like me, you couldn’t resist. I’m pleased. It is nice to have a little diversion occasionally. I haven’t looked at your posts yet, but I am hoping to do some catching-up today. 🙂
      After writing the post I thought about “edutainer” as my genre. What do you think? I have always considered myself an entertainer in my role as teacher, as well as educator. It’s so much about putting on a show. I guess I like my materials to be entertaining as well as educational, so i thought it might work. I am working on a post about it now. Will post in a week or two. I look forward to hearing what you think.
      Surprisingly I know where everything is on my selves. It may be messy and not really organised, but I know just where (most) stuff is! If I didn’t have so much stuff it would be much neater. I would love to see a picture of your writing space. I wonder if you’ll do that in this challenge! I look forward to catching up on your posts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Sarah Brentyn

        Haha! 😀 I love “the edutainer”.

        I am the edutainer
        And I know just where I stand
        Another educator
        With paper clips and rubber bands
        Today I am your teacher
        You may think I’m the best
        But I know the game, you’ll forget my name
        And I won’t be here in another year
        If I don’t teach to the test

        (Talk about not being a song writer. *ahem* Deepest apologies to Billy Joel…)

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          Love it! Thanks Sarah. I’ll have to make it my theme song, if you’ll allow. I don’t think Billy Joel will mind. You are a clever girl! 🙂

          Like

          Reply
  5. macjam47

    Oh, how I love your shelves, and I could do so much with that kind of space. I’ve covered a lot of tables, bookshelves, and my desk with books. I need to find places for all of them.
    What kind of writer are you? Imaginative, creative, instructional, wonderful. Keep writing, Norah, You do it well.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks Michelle. I love my shelves and desk too. Bob made them for me over thirty years ago! They have accompanied me in each of the five houses we have lived in since them. My beautiful big desk was specifically designed to be large enough for making charts for school (pre-computer days!) Unfortunately they were never large enough to hold all of my books, and books overflow on multiple shelves throughout the house. It will be sad when we downsize and the books as well as the shelves will not be able to come with me. Hopefully that is still a long time in the future!
      Thank you for your generous and encouraging words re my writing. I am so pleased to have made a connection with you on our blogs and Twitter. I very much enjoy our conversations. I apologise it has taken me so long to respond. I have had a busy week! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. TanGental

    I can’t think of a title for you: eclectic educational essayist for the erudite; nicheless scribbler? I’m glad you joined and let yourself ramble; you’ll soon be ripe for a guest post on my blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much for your thoughts, Geoff. I like your suggestion – 4ease. After writing the post I suddenly thought that “edutainer” (education and entertainment) might be a suitable title. What do you think? I quite like the nicheless scribbler too – a good title for a blog, I think. It has quite a ring to it. Thanks for the challenge. It was a bit different for me and I saw it as a bit of fun and something different for a change. However in a busy week, it has put me way behind with my reading and responding. I apologise it took me so long to reply to you. I’m aiming for some catch-up today. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          Thanks for the support of “edutainer” as my genre. I have certainly enjoyed this challenge and appreciate your nominating me for it. As well as being different, it was fun and allowed me the opportunity to write about things I probably would not have otherwise.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  7. desleyjane

    I don’t know who I am either Norah! And I think that’s what makes it fun. Regardless your writing is interesting and entertaining and keeps the reader involved, what more could we ask for? 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Desley. I apologise it has taken me so long to respond. It has been a busy week. I thank you for your kind words regarding my writing. I was interested to see you used the word ‘entertaining’. I’m pleased you find it so. I was thinking, after writing that post, that perhaps I could describe myself as an “edutainer”. Teachers are definitely as much in the entertainment business as they are education, and the purpose of my materials is to encourage learning in enjoyable ways. Your comment helps to confirm that “label” (not that I’m in favour of labels!)

      Like

      Reply
  8. Annecdotist

    I LOVE your writing space, it suggests of so much possibility, but your laptop looks so small within it I can understand you don’t quite know where you are. And yes, I totally see how it’s difficult to identify what kind of writer you are (and of course no pressure to respond to the blog hop – actually, I’m not sure if any of my three nominees have done so) because you explore your educational theme for so many different kinds of angles. But you’re definitely a creative writer. What about creative non-fiction? Oh, no, because you’ve got the fiction angle as well. Maybe it should come from your blog title – you write about learning through living. I think I’m rambling – I’ll wait to see what others suggest.
    Thanks for thinking of me, but I doubt I’ll take up this challenge. I like to illustrate my posts with photographs but I prefer the words to come first. But who knows, I reserve the right to change my mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Anne. You were quick of the mark this time. I appreciate your kind words about my writing space. It is definitely a work in progress! Not as organised as yours, I know. I have “stuff” everywhere: stuff started, stuff finished, stuff ready to be started when time allows, stuff that will probably never get started but is a possibility! Thank you for acknowledging my creativity. That means a lot to me. I think a “label” is going to be difficult but I do need to think about how to succinctly describe the writing I do so that it conjures up an image of something other than producer of formulaic worksheets.
      As I said, I have absolutely no expectations that you would do this challenge; but you definitely have the right to change you mind! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s