Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Getting-to-Grow-You... The Once-a-Day Way

Let’s hear it for the past two weeks’ TeachingAuthors’ Back-to-School Getting-to-Know-You Writing Workouts
as well as
for the teachers readying their students’ Contest-qualifying Six Word Memoirs.

Note: In case you’ve forgotten the Contest details, deadline and prizes – a FREE (!) SKYPED Author Visit from a TeachingAuthor or a Basket of TeachingAuthor books, click here for the reminder.

We’re all in our places, yes?
With bright shiny faces?
Good morning to you! – writers of all ages, teachers, librarians, homeschooling parents.
Now it’s time to get growing…..
The Once-a-Day Way.

It turns out, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the learning available for email delivery on a daily basis, once a day.

For instance, each day my Email Box delivers:

• a new word – (today’s word for Sept. 27 – when I’m writing this post, is fatwa) - courtesy of A.Word.A.Day.(;

• a new writing excerpt – (“The Return of Odysseus” by George Bilger) - courtesy of NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac;

• news of a writer or two’s Birthday -( Scottish writer Irvine Welsh and Louis Auchincloss ) - again thanks to The Writer’s Almanac;
• even a song – (“Older” by Band of Horses) – courtesy of NPR Song of the Day.

I’m also learning to speak Brazilian Portuguese one day at a time –“ Que luvas lindas voce tem?/What beautiful gloves you have!” – courtesy of Brazilian Portuguese Word of the Day.

Whatever it is you have a hankering to learn, whatever you think might start your day off swell -
a joke,
a riddle,
a Bible verse,
a Birthday or Anniversary,
an inspiring thought,
a quotation,
a folksong,
your daily horoscope,
simply Google your choice, followed by the phrase“___________a day/of the day/for the day."
Click on the appropriate website. If it meets with your approval, promptly subscribe.

I’m not certain why I so delight in these once-a-day nuggets.
Except I do love learning.
And in a funny kind of way, especially in the Fall, it takes me back to my teaching days and ways.
Each day, I'd write the name of a famous person celebrating his or her (or even its) Birthday in the top right corner of my fifth grade classroom's front blackboard. (i.e. "Samuel Adams").

Chase’s Calendar of Events is chockfull of delicious and fun information meant to be shared on a daily basis.
Sometimes, the names and/or occasions can serve as a writer's prompt.
Other times, they serve as brainstorming opportunitites.  (Who might this person be?)

Incidentally, anyone can propose a day for the Chase's Calendar of Events.
Last Friday’s National Punctuation Day came to be when Jeff Rubin, a newsletter publisher and former reporter, fumed at the increasing number of punctuation errors in newspapers.
Children’s Book Author Ruth Spiro created Bubblegum Day, celebrated February 4 in 2011, in honor of her Dutton picture book Lester Fizz, Bubblegum Artist.

The Writer’s Almanac brings to mind the signature quotes I’d shared in my Sept. 15 TeachingAuthor post.
The NPR daily posts close with the words “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”
And that quote brings to mind the black-construction-paper letters (and exclamation point) that always topped my classroom’s front blackboard, spelling out my vision for each and every student:
(I began the practice when the N.Y. Mets won the World Series in 1969.)

Anything – for instance, growing and going, learning, even writing, is especially possible, if tackled daily, once-a-day.

Esther Hershenhorn
Non-stop finder of Life’s Silver Linings


Megan K. Bickel said...

Oh, I'm running over to sign up for The Writer's Almanac right now! I love that feature on NPR and I'm always bummed when I miss it. Now I won't have to be sad! : )

Esther Hershenhorn said...

And you'll be happy to read on the website, Megan, that you can receive The Writer's Almanac as a pod post too!

Megan K. Bickel said...

My (nerdy) heart rejoices! : )

Thanks, Esther!!