An Escape to Writing

How the days have passed since I last posted anything about anything. It’s amazing how much writing takes away from writing. Seriously. During the school year, when I may not do as much writing, I love to spend my planning period blogging. This summer, while I work on creating a chapbook for my capstone project, I haven’t had any thoughts left over for the blog. Oh the thoughts are there (Barfield’s metaphor, Kenny G’s absence from meaningful creation and influence, safety and the human spirit of adventure, etc) but they’re jumbled after hours of writing poetry, revising, and thinking thinking thinking so intensely. But there is a light, and there is a tunnel, and I’ve finally found my way into and out of both. (Yeah, think about that one for awhile).

So I will leave you with a link to Here’s how it works: find 10 books (paperback or otherwise) in decent condition that you don’t want anymore…or want others to read. Get an account at and post your books. Then browse the 3.7 millions books that have been posted and find one you want. Ask for. Then the owner ships it to you. When someone wants your books, you ship it to them. Yup…a free swap (with only the charge of shipping). Some of the postings are old and stale, but what a great way to get books, read them, and then pass them on. Seriously, check it out!


5 thoughts on “An Escape to Writing

  1. Just remember that Bookswap will charge you between a 10 and 20 dollar fee after a few years to continue using their service. It says it in their FAQ. So if you don’t want to get charged…

    Personally I just use the library. Yeah sometimes I can’t get what I want and sometimes I have to wait a long time to get what I want. But I pay taxes and I figure I should get my moneys worth.

  2. Hey Joel,
    How was your trip up to Echo Lake? Sounds nice and cool! I am in GLAD (Guided Lanuage Acquisition Design) training this week. It’s awsome and exhausting. One of the forms of writing that we talked about was poetry and they use various forms for writing poetry (our training is for elementary teachers), one form that I thought you might like is called found poetry. You decide on a piece of text, read to the class and then have the class choose words that they think shows lots of imagery. Then write those words on stips of paper and with the class arrange the words in any order the students like or want. Works best to use them in a pocket chart or on a Smart board. Then read through the poem. You can then rearrange some words or add a few that will enhance the poem. With high school students after you model this your students can then try this on their own with an expository text from another class that they may be struggling with or a pro’s piece. You may already do this I just thought of you when they discussed this strategy.

  3. Scott, yeah I know but it’s kind of like netflix for books–no due dates!!!

    Ski, Echo lake was great. Haiku was very dutiful in fetching many sticks from the lake (some we threw, some we didn’t, but it was her job to get them all!!).

    I like the idea of found poetry, especially when non-poetical students don’t have a good grasp on words or vocabulary. For my own tastes, when I read things I have so many of my own ideas that it is counter-intuitive to chop up someone else’s words. There’s actually quite a debate going on in the poetry blogosphere arguing whether there is anything new or just regurgitation after regurgitation.

  4. I was thinking more of those of us that don’t feel comfortable writing poetry, it seems like a good starting point. I saw it demonstrated today with a group of students going into 4th grade and they loved it! They were so quiet waiting and listening while students selected the words. Then when they had team tasks one of them was to write words that they liked and create a poem in their team. Every team made one and 3 of the 6 teams chose to share their poem with the rest of the class (and the 20+ teachers that were observing).

  5. Absolutely! I think any tool that can build an interest in poetry especially for people who aren’t too sure about it is a good thing.

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