Saturday Mornings

This is my vision of you on Saturday mornings:

  • A mug of something warm — coffee, tea, or chai — in your hands
  • Snuggled in a comfy chair
  • Allowing peace to replace the stress from the week
  • Happily thinking about the power of words and education to change the world

Wait a minute — maybe that’s me on Saturday mornings (before my family gets up)! At any rate, it is my hope for us on Saturday mornings. This is why I started “Words that are Speaking to Me” a few months ago. I’ve come to treasure finding the quotes to share on Saturdays and I hope you have come to treasure reading them.

As I’ve continued reading like a wolf eats, I’ve been craving to share some of my favorite books with someone. It finally dawned on me that these books could be part of Saturday mornings — they are “words that are speaking to me” too. Not only that, but I’ve been reading a lot about the process of writing. These words are lingering with me and I imagine they may start popping up on Saturday mornings.

No promises for all of these things every single Saturday — I just wanted to share my vision for Saturday mornings here on Two Writing Teachers. I look forward to considering the power of words and education to change the world, and, as always, I hope you jot a quick comment and share your thinking. Happy Saturday!

“I don’t choose my stories they choose me. Things come to my mind. Sometimes it takes years and years for them to coalesce — it’s like iron filings collecting on a magnet.” — Katherine Anne Porter

The Beautiful Between

Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Alfred A. Knopf (Review copy provided)

I read this book early in the summer and it has been clinging to my heart ever since. I love the story of friendship and the lyrical writing style. Check out the beginning:

If you thought of high school as a kingdom — and I don’t mean the regular kind of kingdom we have today, like England or Norway, I mean those small ones in fairy tales that probably weren’t kingdoms so much as they were nobledoms where the nobles considered themselves kings and granted themselves the right of prima nochte, that kind of thing — if you thought of my high school like one of those, then Jeremy Cole would be the crown prince. The crown prince who could choose from all the women in his father’s domain — and not only choose them but also have them parade in front of him at, say, a dance, trying to catch his eye, hoping to be chosen.

I don’t know where I’d fall in the fairy-tale-kingdom hierarchy. I’m hardly Cinderella. I’m not beautiful and I’m not poor, and we have a cleaning lady who comes once a week, so I’m not stuck with the housework. Not Snow White either — the dwarfs always struck me as stranger than they were endearing, and wild animals don’t look so much cute and cuddly to me as rabid and flea-ridden. Sleeping Beauty — not a chance. I’d be happy if I could just sleep through the night, let alone one hundred years. But I guess I could be Rapunzel; I do have long hair and I’m locked not so much in a tower by a wicked queen as in an Upper East Side apartment building by the SATs and college applications. Which are wicked enough for a hundred wicked queens and then some. Just my luck: Rapunzel, who wasn’t a princess at all; Rapunzel, who — in at least some of the versions of the story — didn’t have a happy ending.

A little clip from Alyssa B. Shienmel, talking about the way the idea for this book evolved. I’m learning the power of asking questions (and then answering those questions) when writing fiction.