the 3 x 3 write

My teaching heart is always with me. I picture my third grade students all the time (8 years worth; Carl, Nicolette, Jordan, Carissa, Danielle, Maura and Courtney to name a small and mighty handful). I wonder how I would help them keep falling in love with words and writing if I were still in a classroom every day. I believe that if they were in front of me right now, I would share the words of a mentor writer with them:

“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”
― Stephen King

Today’s post is, for lack of a better phrase, an example of an idea toss. An idea toss is historically, boringly and otherwise known as a brainstorm. Today I threw lexical blah blahs at the wall to see what would stick. Sometimes I do this free verse. Other times, I need a strategy. Somedays I use a strategy I know. Other days, I make up new ones because I am tired of what I already have in my pocket. The very latter was the case today….

Early this morning, I noted the date of March 3 and saw it as 3rd month-day 3 (3-3) in my mind’s eye. I decided this concept would become my language playground. Could I write 3 word sentences to communicate the experiences of my day? And could I write 11 of those 3 word sentences to equal 33 words in total? This seemed fun and easy enough. At a minimum, it would get words on paper and me beyond the fear of a blank page. Plus, I could so perfectly picture third-grade-Carl immediately picking up his pencil as a result of this 3-3 invitation. That, in and of itself, was motivation.

I gave it a go and found some success: Seek the sunrise. Avoid the garage. Make the call. Hit it hard.

The lyrical triads pushed right off my pen with ease, yet there was nothing novel emerging.

My strategy evolved; write 3 word sentences, write 11 of them, write them related to a theme, and use varied punctuationary design in each (FYI…I also made up the word punctuationary this morning to make writing more fun. I knew Carl, Nicolette, Jordan, Carissa, Danielle, Maura and Courtney would have liked my play on words).

This is what I have to offer at 7:03pm on March 3, 2021. (my theme was ‘a fine day’)

Five more minutes.

Sunrise capture, check!

Shower, extra hot.

Makeup. On. Point.

Hug; kiss again.

Create, laugh, connect.

Take the afternoon!


Change the plan?

trust the process

Wednesday, March 3.

At the end of this idea-inspired day, there might be a line or two that could grow me into my next piece of writing. But, that barely matters—- I wrote. I practiced. I enjoyed. I grew one more motion into myself as a writer.

And all my third graders would have, too.


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