Sick and Aching in the Ameri Brit House

img_4326

One thing I can never seem to defend my family against is the gamut of germs that accompany the month of November. Every year at about this time, viruses take up residence in my home and as much as I try to prevent illnesses from running rampant, it still happens. For two weeks I’ve felt on the verge of infection. I’m lethargic and achy.

I’ve tried to combat these unwanted microscopic guests with essential oils, vitamins, exercise, and a natural diet. Yet, here I am at 6:00pm on a weekday, sipping on soup and ready to send off to bed.

Living in the Midwest has its downfalls. The sun escapes the sky shortly after work hours. My daylight is spent in a classroom, and I attribute most of my zapped energy to lack of natural vitamin D. Winter is upon us, and the need for a healthy diet and routine are imperative.

I’m really hoping my new Gluten-free/Paleo diet will help this year. I’ve read that the natural ingredients in a caveman diet (Paleo) will aide in the increase of energy and help fight contagious illnesses. Here’s to hoping and praying that God will use this new diet plan to help myself and my family during this critical time of the year.

Is anyone else feeling down with the winter blues already? How do you combat this weather and keep your family healthy?

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Advertisements

Dressing and Educating: Days 57-61

img_4843

Day 57: November 7, 2016

My week was off to a busy, but great start. I had missed the last day of the previous week so I entered my classroom to find stacks of ungraded work and several emails that needed to be addressed. As a teacher, it is easier to come to school than to deal with writing substitute plans and to catch up upon returning after absence. I try not to miss except for emergencies for that reason.

I wore a navy tunic from my Stitch Fix, leggings from LulaRoe, and boots.

img_4874

Day 58: November 8, 2016

Happy Election Day!

I woke up early with hopes of casting my ballot prior to school. However, when I pulled into my precinct polling station the long line and lack of parking spots kept me from my usual election day routine. I decided to go to school and used my lengthy lunch period to get away and perform my civic duty.

Most my classroom discussions centered around the historic election which would take place in the evening. We voted in each class and watched clips from the weekend’s 60 Minutes segment on the dark mood for this election.

I wore khaki leggings, an Old Navy tank, and an olive button-up from Kohls.

 

img_4885

Day 59: November 9, 2016

After a wild night of watching the election results into the wee hours of the morning I was happy to come to class and discuss the inner workings of the electoral college with my students. We discussed how the electoral college process influenced the results of the election and we also watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech and Clinton’s Concession Speech and discussed observations from both. It was a high energy kind of day, and so it was a little hard running on what little sleep I had stored up the night before.

I wore black skinny pants from The Limited, a warm sweater from Stitch Fix and boots.

 

img_4894

Day 60: November 10, 2016

Back to the regular curriculum today after focusing on the election for two days.

I felt recovered from my lack of sleep on Tuesday night as I jumped back into teaching MLA format in English and about the attempted escape and capture of King Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

My top was from Charming Charlie, my pants from Kohls, and I also wore warm moccasins on this chilly Ohio day.

img_4907

Day 61: November 11, 2016

Happy Veteran’s Day!

My classes were cut short today as my school held their annual assembly to honor local veterans. The assembly went smoothly and our students were respectful of those in attendance. This Veteran’s Day means a little more to me than those of the past. On Tuesday, my baby cousin left for basic training. I’m so proud of him for his decision to serve our country, but as I listened to the speaker discuss his tales of combat I felt a few butterflies in my stomach as I picture Quinton will have a similar story throughout his future in the service. I’m so thankful for the men and women of this country who sacrifice so much so that I have the rights and freedoms that I have as a US citizen. No matter what you think about the elections that took place earlier in the week, we need to all remember that America is still such a blessed country.

To show my support on Veterans Day I wore red, white, and blue. My flannel shirt was from Charlotte Russe, my navy puffer vest is from J.Crew, and I wore jeans from Charlotte Russe and ankle booties.

Which style was your favorite this week?

 

The Ameri Brit Mom

Gluten-Free/Paleo Resources

Many of you have been following my journey to eat healthier in order to feel better. I’ve been battling digestive and health issues for a while and after some research and conversations with people who have already taken the plunge, I’ve decided to go gluten-free/paleo.

What is a gluten-free diet? It is a diet free of gluten, which is a protein mixture most often found in wheat and soy products. Many people who follow a gluten-free diet do so because of an allergy to products containing gluten (celiacs disease). I am not allergic to gluten, but I have been tracking my reactions to removing it from my diet and only a month in I’m noticing major differences for the better. I feel less bloated, less side pain, and my skin is clearing.

What is a paleo diet? The paleo diet gets its name from the paleolithic era of history. This is the period where cavemen walked the earth and without modern preservatives and food processing. They were confined to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and diet. The paleo diet mimics the diet of those early cavemen. The focus is to eat things that come naturally from the Earth such as meat, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. (It is important to note that eating gluten-free is also part of the paleo diet as grains and gluten didn’t enter the human diet until after the birth of agriculture, thousands of years after the paleolithic era.)

At first glance, it may seem like a highly restrictive diet, however, I have been successfully tracking what I eat and I’ve still been able to keep up a lifestyle where I go out to eat once a week or so with my family. I’ve also been cooking meals compliant with the diets that my four year old daughter is eating up as well. It’s not been impossible, the biggest difference is the aisles of the grocery store that I now avoid.

Being new to this process, I’ve been depending a lot on the wisdom and recipes of others. I’ve been gathering some of my go-to resources and I wanted to share those with you. Whether you are gluten-free, paleo, or just on the road to finding healthier recipes, I hope you will check out these resources!

1. Pinterest

Follow my new Pinterest board Gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30. I’ve been pinning and trying recipes I’ve found on here like crazy. Most recently, I have made the Sausage Pizza Egg Muffins. They were absolutely delicious and my hubby and daughter have helped me eat them. I baked them on a Sunday and froze them for the week ahead. Each morning I grab one and reheat it for 1 minute. They are delicious!

IMG_4912.JPG

2. Elana’s Pantry

Elana’s Pantry is a blog written by a woman who is using her diet to manage celiacs disease and MS. Elana shows how you can still enjoy confectionery delights with the use of products like almond flour despite a gluten-free diet. She is a New York Times bestseller with several published cookbooks as well.

gluten-free-almond-flour-cookbook

3. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is a more extreme version of the paleo diet. The Whole30 is a program written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig which is centered on the principles of cutting irritants out of your diet through a 30 day cleanse. During the 30 days you are to cut out things like dairy, fats, grains, and nuts. After the 30 days you reintroduce foods slowly and track your reaction. I read their book It All Starts with Food and now know that this diet is very scientific. I’m not sure that I will ever do an official Whole30 because it seems a bit extreme and hard to implement with a family, but I like the concept of the program, I learned a lot from their research, and I’ve used several recipes from their book.

Cover-for-Book-Page.jpg

4. Gluten Free Girl

The website, Gluten Free Girl, is written by Shauna James Ahern and her husband, Daniel. Shauna is a diagnosed celiacs sufferer and her husband is a chef. Over the years they have worked together to create recipes healthy for Shauna and others who experience the extreme allergy to gluten. I have loved their tips for those new to gluten-free. They also offer an extensive list of gluten-free recipes that range from entrees to baked desserts. You can even purchase their own brand of gluten-free all purpose flour.

shauna-and-daniel-headshot

5. Gluten Free Blogger

The Gluten Free Blogger is another go-to for me as the author, Sarah, is a British blogger from North Devon, UK. On her site she not only gives recipes (in UK measurements it’s important to note), but she also provides resources on places to eat out, product reviews from British supermarkets, and discusses her healthy appetite for exercise. Although I don’t live in England, I spend a considerable amount of time in England every year visiting my husband’s family and friends. This site not only helps me while in the US, but gives me hope that while I’m overseas I will still be able to eat according to my health plan.

00-blog-photo

If you have your own resources for maintaining a healthy diet plan I would love for you to share them. I’m a big blog reader and I appreciate cookbooks. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms I had prior to changing my diet I hope you will consider returning to the foods that are proven to curb those ailments. I’ve been enjoying this education process and the results of cutting gluten from my diet entirely. Please feel free to respond with questions or tips for a newbie to the world of gluten-free/paleo!

The Ameri Brit Mom

*all links on this page are non-affiliate and based only on my positive experiences with these resources. 

 

How Do You Know When You’re Done//Looking Around

Oh, Saturday mornings! The bliss of my week. A couple of hours for me, writing, and coffee. Being a full time teacher makes it hard to carry out my passion for writing on a daily basis, but heaven help you if you come between me and my Saturday mornings. I’ve been storing up a lot of ideas and writing for today and I’m planning to make some major progress in personal projects over the next few hours. So here’s to another Saturday morning starting with a bit of wisdom from Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird.

img_4328

How Do You Know When You’re Done?

Here’s the thing about writing: the process is different from person to person and also from book to book. There really is no “aha!” moment in which all is resolved and the book is perfect. In fact, it never will be perfect. So it isn’t really a matter of when the book is done, but rather when you choose to be done with the book yourself. Usually when your intellect tells you that it is time to move on to another project then it is time to put to rest your current one. You are done.

I’m currently on the verge of wrapping up my first book. I know there are still things that could be better, but I’ve started planning out my next book so it’s about time to be done with my first novel.

Looking Around

This is the first chapter of the second section: The Writing Frame of Mind.

As a writer, your job is to pay attention to people and surroundings and to transfer feelings of sympathy and compassion onto those things to create stories. To just tell of a woman in ugly clothes is a boring story. Writers put themselves in the shoes of the people they observe, and oftentimes that’s where stories begin.

Most characters are based on real people. They start in your mind as you pass a stranger at the mall or in an airport. From there the idea for a character snowballs. Sometimes, this is not something we are even conscious of, but many times when you sit down to write a story you pull a character from your subconscious based on an experience or a real person. In order to give life to such characters we should keep an open mind. Watch with compassion and take in the essence of the person to give real life to your characters. Look around and be aware, because in a crowd you may just find your new protagonist.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Five Minute Friday: Common

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Common. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

daniel-jackson-600x600

She stands out in a crowd.

The other children walk right past her.

Hands painted in soft henna.

Hair concealed by the scarf

That her religion requires.

Fear of her answers keep them from asking.

Silence surrounds her like an aura.

She’s a stranger to everyone.

A friend to none.

Her words are few.

The language foreign.

 

She’s uncommon and unknown.

Unspoken to and unwelcomed.

Everyone is afraid to know

Where she comes from and what she’s seen.

 

They make her an outsider

In the land of diversity.

I’ve seen past her walls

And there is beauty.

I’ve seen past the henna and the scarf

And she’s just like everyone else.

We’re all trying to make it

And to find joy in this life.

We all have that in common.

 

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Dressing and Educating: Days 52-56

img_4765

Day 52: October 31, 2016

Another Monday has arrived!

This week is really going to be a busy one so I took time today to set my perspectives on positive things. I start a tutoring group this week that meets after school leading up to the AIR make up tests in December. I’m also taking part in some professional development on Thursday and a College and Career Day on Wednesday. All of these things are positive, but I know much of my time will be dictated in those directions instead of my usual routines this week. Without routine, I can tend to stress a bit. So here’s to hoping for a positive and uplifting week.

Today I wore a dress from Francesca’s, leggings from LulaRoe, and a tweed jacket from Kohls.

 

img_4789

Day 53: November 1, 2016

I woke up this morning fighting some type of germs. I felt nauseous, exhausted, and weak, but as a teacher I had to take my vitamins and get over it. There was work to be done!

Because of my early morning symptoms I was a little later than usual to school. It was a rough morning, but once I opened the door to my classroom I was ready to go. I chugged my coffee and chowed down on my gluten-free granola bar as I prepared to teach students about counterarguments and outlining persuasive essays.

After school, I started my first tutoring session, which I am naming AIR-Support. I met for two hours with struggling students who failed the state tests last year. It was a such a breath of fresh air that each of the students had a positive attitude and came prepared to practice the skills necessary to be successful. This is my first time doing this type of tutoring group and I am actually looking forward to the remainder of our meetings throughout the month of November.

In my frenzy to get out of the house today I went for a comfortable outfit. I ended up with a three-quarter sleeved printed tee from The Limited and Khakis from Old Navy.

 

img_4801

Day 54: November 2, 2016

Today is my building’s annual College and Career Readiness Day. For the first several hours the different grade levels within the high school participate in activities or assessments geared toward college or career paths. As a Freshman level teacher I worked with the freshman class. For our activity, students were placed in homerooms where they visited three sessions. The session I led involved students taking an interest inventory and using their results to locate career clusters that appeal to their personality/interests.

I found my session to be very informative. I was armed by the Guidance Department with the tools and lessons. At the end of my session we watched a short video about individuality. It was inspiring and thought provoking and I was so happy to have been a part of the discussions that took place as a result of this day.

Today I wore a pair of OS leggings by LulaRoe and an oversized, open-back sweater that I received from my Stitch Fix #1. I felt comfy and cute all day in my relaxed attire.

 

IMG_4820 (1).JPG

Day 55: November 3, 2016

Today was a Professional Development day. I taught my morning English classes about correctly citing an online source according to MLA (which is no small task.) Then, after lunch I joined the rest of the freshman English teachers and the Curriculum Director for our district in a meeting about vertical alignment.

A lot of good discussion was had in this session and many goals were set for instruction during this time. Immediately following the PD I met with my AIR-Support group to work on some practice tests and dissection of the dreaded two-part questions. I am planning to share some of my tools for the tutoring groups in the future.

I wore a black and white chevron blouse, black pants from The Limited, and red TOMS for a splash of color.

Day 56: November 4, 2016

After a restless night of nursing my daughter’s terrible cough and aggressive cold I decided to take my first sick day of the school year. I spent my day playing nurse-mom, cooking healthy dishes and giving medicine all while donning my husband’s comfy sweatpants and a messy bun. There was nothing style worthy about my attire so I’m going to give myself permission to not post a picture of my outfit today. Trust me, you would thank me for that one!

Here’s a look at those days where time and effort went into my wardrobe. Let me know your favorite look!

The Ameri Brit Mom

The Faithful Daughter

Something other than an election is happening today all over the world. Today marks the 8th day for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.) I haven’t been participating in the traditional capacity of 2,000+ words a day, however, I have been trying to focus on fiction writing a few times a week. Something I haven’t done in a while is craft a short story. That is one of my favorite things to do so in honor of NaNoWriMo and my own interests I am going to publish a short story on here today.

A little background: This story is an allegory of the story of Ruth from the Bible. It seems like this story has been popping up a lot in my life recently and so when I sat down to write a story this is what I chose to use as a map. The characters reflect Naomi and Ruth and their relationship. If you are unfamiliar with their story check out Ruth 1-4.

The Faithful Daughter

By Lauren Sisley

“Mama, I’m home!” I called into the dark home as I closed the door behind me with one hand. In the other hand, I held the bottom corner of my dress. It was weighed down with my earnings from the field.

Mama’s short, round figure appeared in the doorway. She was covered with several shawls and carried a large woven basket when she met me in the foyer. As she flopped the basket down on the floor in front of me, I dropped the corner of my dress and a pound and a half of grain fell into the basket below.

“Bless you, child.” Mama kissed my cheek before taking up the rewards from my work. I bowed to show that the honor was not mine, but rather hers in this act. I brushed the dust from the grain off of my dress and took steps toward the sofa made from wood pallets and straw in the corner of the room.

My job was hard and laborious, but I would never complain to Mama. I lived to serve her. As I let my body sink into the furniture I heard Mama call from the kitchen.

“Tell me of your day, Ria.” Mama rarely left the home. Every night she loved to hear my stories about the people from the town. Oftentimes, I found myself embellishing the tales of my mundane days just to see the spark of mystery that formed in Mama’s eyes. She was a foreigner in this town and knew very little about its people and its customs. But Mama was safe in the walls of the home, and after all she’d been through she was content to be safe.

“Today I tailed the fanciest of harvesters in the field opposite the marketplace…” I began.

“Do tell of him.” Although I could not see her face in the other room I could hear her smile in the way she spoke. Mama was a romantic.

“He wore boots and denim. His hair was the color of a raven.” My mind drifted back to the backside of the man I followed through the field.

“Mmm…Papa wore boots to harvest.” Mama’s mind was going back to her youth and her true love.

“This man was tall, but strong. He was a man sculpted of bronze.” I reflected on his skin tone and his chiseled features.

“And his eyes?” Mama asked.

“Oh, Mama, he never turned around.” I said sadly. She met my response with silence.

“Pity.” She said sadly, “Papa’s eyes were of opal.”

“Bronze and opal. I remember, Mama.” I sat up from the stiff sofa chair and made my way into the kitchen behind Mama. The window behind the stove was open and steam was rising from a small pot on top. She stood absently stirring the contents of the pot.

“Papa was the fanciest of harvesters.” Mama’s eyes were sad. A single tear formed in the corner of her eye. I reached a hand out to touch hers. Mama stepped away from the soup and let me envelope her delicate hand with mine.

“Papa truly was the fanciest of harvesters. This man I speak of was only a reminder of Papa.” Mama began to cry. I took over the cooking from her and allowed her a second to gather herself. “This man I speak of was gentle.”

Mama’s eyes moved from the floor to me as I spoke.

“The longer I followed him the more grains were dropped.” I smiled. Mama allowed a grin to appear on her own face.

“If this harvester is meant for you, you must not delay.” She warned me. “For if his days are short like Papa’s then you mustn’t waste any of them apart.”

I let the advice sink in as the soup simmered. All through dinner and the evening I wondered to myself about this man. As I was preparing for bed on the sofa I looked up from my changing to see Mama. She wore a tattered sleeping gown and her hair was down. Her lovely locks were only seen just before she made off to bed. She came toward me sullenly and wrapped me in her arms.

“My son, Ramone, was a true match to you. And you have served me well after his death. I release you now to love again. Ria, my daughter, I was old when my husband was killed. Surely, I will be a widow forever. But, you are young. God may still grant you another husband. If he does, I want you to go to him. Serve him as you have served me.”

Tears were streaming down my face. I ached to speak of Ramone. He was too young to be killed. When the men from across the waters came for him and his father he was too young. We had begun talks of starting a family. With his death I felt destined to bear no children and to live alone with his mother.

“Mama, I could never disrespect Ramone that way.” I fumbled with the words. My heart was broken for this woman who was advising me to pursue something she would never have the chance for herself.

“You have been the most faithful, Ria. I cannot blame you for wanting a family of your own.” Our embrace was broken. Mama took a look at the tears that were melting on my face and used her calloused hands to wipe them. “Get yourself to sleep. Tomorrow I will help you win the favor of this harvester.”

I fell asleep quickly that night. My dreams were full of the man from the field and in the morning the vision of a small child bouncing on Mama’s lap filled my heart with joy.

It is unlawful to plagiarize any of the original work from The Ameri Brit Mom. No permission is given to reuse this text or ideas without written consent. Always give credit where credit is due.

 

Teaching: Are We Releasing Too Soon?

img_4607

“Why are these scores so low? I showed them how to do this!”

Many of us have had reflective conversations with ourselves or colleagues drenched in comments similar to the one above. It’s frustrating to go through a process step-by-step with students only to turn them loose and receive a less than desirable assignment in return.

We reason that there must be something wrong with “this class” or we justify these behaviors saying that, “this group must be lazy.” In reality, it may not be a lack of effort on the students’ end, but rather the lethargy may actually stem from the teacher’s planning.

Gone are the days where the role of the teacher was to spew information while students collected it in tidy notebooks. With the onslaught of technology, our students have been transformed from information collectors in to information seekers. Our world has shaped learning to be far more productive in a problem solving scenario than in a catch-and-release system.

I recently attended a Vertical Alignment session with my district Curriculum Director where we looked at best practices throughout our English classrooms in the district. Being a high school teacher confined to fifty minute periods has produced many obstacles in creating a balance between Reading, Writing, and Language instruction. In a perfect world, I would tackle all three areas of ELA in a single class period, but that’s just not the reality of my classroom. I feel stifled by time restraints and frustrated when I cannot see my students making the progress I anticipate to see. Based on my scores from last year’s standardized tests I have added to my curriculum, but fitting everything in before March seems an impossibility.

As a teacher passionate about my content, I’ve been wounded by my student performance these last few years. Like anyone would, I have started to blame the group of students or blame their previous teachers, but the truth is if I’m trying to point blame I should look no further than my own lesson plans.

I read the article Releasing Responsibility by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey at the PD this week. What stuck out to me the most was the idea of Gradual Release of Responsibility.

frey2011_fig1-2

(Photo: ASCD)

Thinking back to my college days in my cluttered dorm room I can remembering cracking open my book of Educational Psychology and studying Vygotsky’s theories of cognitive development. It is something that is so ingrained in my brain that I’ve actually forgotten all about it. I know that asking a student to work independently on something before they are ready is a recipe for disaster. I know that in order for students to work alone they must receive a focused lesson, guided instruction, and collaboration first, but when I think back to my frustrations with their performance I feel convicted because somewhere along the line I’ve skipped some steps.

As teachers we feel pressure from all directions, but nothing is worse than the pressure of time. Because of time constraints, I’ve recognized that sometimes I revert back to the old schoolhouse method of standing in front of the class, giving them notes, and then expecting them to complete an assignment or homework without any further practice. That isn’t setting them up for success.

The way to beat this slump is to narrow the content of your class. Find the standards that are pivotal for your course and focus on those and the skills necessary for mastery of those standards. When you have five things you are committed to accomplishing instead of forty you feel less pressure to move quickly allowing for a timeline that eases into the release of responsibility.

Designing lessons and units should be centered around these principles and not the curriculum maps or units of study prescribed by a textbook. (In fact, you may not even need that old textbook at all.)

At the high school level what does a lesson look like from each of these stages of the Gradual Release of Responsibility? In a focused lesson, a teacher may introduce new terms, show a video, distribute a notes page with ideas, read a story, or re-inact the setting or plot of the content being read. Guided instruction involves letting the students see your thinking processes. This means vulnerability in many cases, but students will learn most during this phase if you admit your weaknesses and provide modeling of your use of the skill they are working toward. Collaboration is giving your students a scenario or problem to work through with peers to help them gain experience and confidence in the focus area. Activities for small groups should always be things that they could not do independently. Nothing is more frustrating than to be placed in a group to do something you could have done more efficiently on your own. Design a little stretch or challenge into your collaborative assignments.

Finally, after all three stages have been mastered, then you may begin the independent stage of the instruction. This phase is absolutely necessary and should never be skipped, but it’s important to remember that it isn’t the second stage. Lesson delivery isn’t followed by independent work.

If you are anything like me you may just need a reminder that dates, timelines, and tests shouldn’t dictate your lesson plans. Learning is the goal and should be the instrument to measure your progression through content. At the high school level the middle stages of the model above are often left behind an forgotten. We complain that our students aren’t motivated and they don’t enjoy school, but designing lessons that challenge them in all stages of learning will reignite their passion for your content and their performance on various forms of assessments.

The Ameri Brit Mom

False Starts and Plot Treatment

One thing I am loving about my Saturday mornings with Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is that I can relate to her honesty. As a writer I know what it is to struggle with rejection, confidence, and the ability to let things go. As Lamott describes the writing process I find myself thinking that she nailed it! Her words so beautifully describe how I feel at times and the process I’m currently struggling with to get someone to look at my work. I find hope in her anecdotes. Just when I feel like throwing in the towel she reminds me that the purpose for writing isn’t to be rich and famous (because that rarely happens), but rather to tell the story that the world needs to hear. With that perspective I can’t be angry or depressed. Rather that perspective gives me the fervor to continue to work and not give up. I may never be a published author, but I hope to never be able to say I didn’t try with everything with all my might to make that dream happen.

img_4328

False Starts

It happens all the time.

We think we know someone. We are able to describe them in detail from our first interaction. Their personality is reminiscent of some other being with which we have interacted before. Because they remind us of someone we think we know them. But time will tell us a different story. That person we thought we knew is actually very different from the original picture we had of them. They do something out of character and remind us that we don’t even really know them.

Writing is a bit like this. We think we know our characters. Unintentionally we have crafted them after a stereotype or a person we’ve met before. Scene after scene we detail their reactions to the world around them only to find out about halfway through the book that the protagonist isn’t quite the person we thought that they were. When we tear down the walls around our characters and give them liberty to live we will find that they take on a life of their own unlike anything we could have dreamed up or drawn out on our own. It’s okay to let them be themselves and to break the mold.

Plot Treatment

In this chapter Lamott gives her inspiring account of not giving up on a manuscript. After several rejections from her editor Lamott was feeling depressed and upset, however, walking away from the text and picking it back up a few months later proved to be beneficial for her and eventually landed that book a deal.

I loved this chapter because it is exactly where I am in the process of my first book. It is mostly finished, but I know there are some things that still need work. I’ve given myself a little room to breathe and hope to return to it soon with fresh eyes and perspective. Sometimes we have to do that in writing. We have to step back and let the story simmer. Then, when we return the changes are clear and obvious. Rejection isn’t the end of the road, it is the beginning to fixing what is broken.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Five Minute Friday: Journey

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Journey. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

journey-600x600

I’m on a journey to whole health. Last week I wrote about my decision to go gluten free for a month to see if I exhibit any noticeable results. Since then I’ve continued to abstain from gluten and have removed processed foods from my diet as well. I am currently reading and researching the Whole30 diet. That would involve narrowing my food choices down to meat, vegetables, fruit, and oils, but am not entirely committing to the Whole 30 diet until January as it is unwise to try anything that drastic over the holidays.

I’ve been pinning recipes and injecting more organic foods to my pantry and cooking menus. My husband has even been inspired and plans to join me in whatever dietary plan I land on. It’s no secret that I love to eat. I’ve hardly met a dish I didn’t like. So years of poor food choices and inherited genes have led me to a place where I am unhappy. I am unhappy with how I feel, what I eat, and how I look which is why I’m taking back control of my eating habits.

I’m on a journey to cleanse my body of the buildup of toxins. I’m on a journey to purge my mind of toxic thoughts and emotions. I’m on a journey to whole health that extends beyond what I choose to eat to include educated decisions about feeding my family and feeding my mind. As I go through this journey, I’ve been tracking my meals and reactions. After just a week and a half I’m already reporting feeling more full and energetic and less digestive tract discomfort.

I’m looking to start a social media group over the holiday season for others who are looking for relief from their symptoms. The goal of the group would be to share recipes and gain accountability in our whole health journeys. Be on the lookout for more information in the future about this group and my personal journey.

The Ameri Brit Mom