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What’s new with WriteShop Primary?

For those of you keeping up with the progress of WriteShop Primary (our upcoming K-2nd grade writing program), there’s a lot happening behind the scenes!

  • All lessons, table of contents, and appendix have been sent to David for layout. The pages look BEAUTIFUL!
  • We’re beginning a final proofreading of the manuscript.
  • I’ve begun making a list of page references to update. Currently, we use placeholder text that says, “See p. TK.” Why TK? Our editor friend Mary Jo Tate introduced us to this little placeholder. It’s such an uncommon pair of letters that it’s easy search and replace it! So that’s my current task: find all the TK references and note the correct page number so that David can make the substitutions.
  • David is finishing up the line art drawings that go inside the book, and he’s beginning to draw the line art for the ten activity pages.
  • He’s also finished designing the book covers. They’re so cheerful and friendly—you will just LOVE them! Book A is in shades of red, Book B in greens, and Book C in yellows. Soon you’ll get to take a peek! 
  • Our illustrator, the talented young Deborah Thomson, is working on the cover artwork. She’s tantalizing us with many delightful options, and we can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

I’m sure there’s more, but that pretty much brings you up to date as this project begins to wrap up.  We’re still aiming to send the first book to print in April, and soon we’ll start taking pre-orders. But more on that later!

Stay tuned. . . . .

Deer skool…

WARNING! If you’re a grammar, punctuation, or spelling pundit, you might break out in hives or a cold sweat. The rest of us will just break out in laughter! :)


These are real absence excuse notes written by parents in (so I’ve heard) an Alabama school district. I didn’t change a thing!


My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.


Please exkuce lisa for being absent she was sick and i had her shot.


Dear school: please ecsc’s john being absent on jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.


Please excuse roland from p.e. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.


John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.


Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.


Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.


Please excuse ray friday from school. He has very loose vowels.


Please excuse tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak.


Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.


Please excuse jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.


I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don’t know what size she wear.


Please excuse jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it monday. We thought it was sunday.


Sally won’t be in school a week from friday. We have to attend her funeral.

Now aren’t you thankful for homeschooling?

Paired adjectives spotted at museum

In my blog on Monday, I noted that occasionally we read about WriteShop users who skip the paired adjective instruction, complaining that it teaches stilted and unnatural writing. I find it rather amusing, because once you start looking for them, you discover paired adjective sentence starters popping up everywhere, from cookbooks and novels to signs and newspaper articles.

When they’re used in moderation, I love paired adjectives! They’re just one way a student can infuse some life into a piece of writing by mixing up and varying sentence structure.

Paired Adjectives in the Real World

Anyway, as I promised on Monday, I thought it might be fun to start posting some of my paired adjective sightings now and then, starting with an exhibit plaque I photographed a couple of years ago at the San Diego Museum of Natural History. Continue reading →

Table of contents poll

It’s rather exciting around here as WriteShop Primary Book A comes into the final stretch! Sallie, our editor, has put her stamp of approval on our last few lessons. Meanwhile, our graphic designer, David, continues adding finishing touches to the cover and page layouts. Soon you’ll get a chance to see some of the cover designs and vote for your favorite! Continue reading →

Printers and layouts and deadlines…oh, my!


OK, got that out of my system.

In case you ever thought publishing a book was a cakewalk, let me assure you that beneath this calm surface (“we’re releasing WriteShop Primary in the spring, tra-la-la”) lies a roiling cauldron ready to spew!

As of last night:

  1. I am a week behind in getting an updated style sheet to Sallie, our dear and wonderful editor.
  2. I also owe Sallie stamps of approval on Lessons 8-10 in Book A.
  3. We keep finding corrections to make in lessons long ago finished. Lessons 1-6 have been “final” about ten times now! Lesson 7 alone has passed muster thus far. Continue reading →

Born to blog

I’ve dreamed of this day. Silly, I know. But I’m sure I was born to blog. My head swims with ideas: A beautifully crafted sentence to share, or a perfect quotation.  A tip to help a struggling writer. A bit of writing humor. A practical idea. A word game. So I sort, file away, remember some, forget others. Aughhh! I need an outlet! A place for tidbits. A place to write about writing.

I should start a blog. Continue reading →

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