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Jean Hussey Writing

Piece #1 TITLE: Evening Thunderstorms

Quick-write or pre-write: One thing I miss from Florida is all of


the thunderstorms. Having grown up there, it became a soothing
sound most days. They were short lived, but helped cool the days
down a bit. The other night we had a storm here. It was as if I was
home again. Just caused flashbacks and warm memories. The
soothing nature of a storm. The sound of the rumbling; the
counting of the seconds from the flash to the boom. Things we did
as kids and then able to share with my own kids.

Draft:
Most of my life was spent in steamy South Florida. Its
known as the Sunshine State, but if you lived in Florida, you
know it is also the number one state for electrical weather.
With the liquid sunshine comes the powerful, deadly, yet
awesomely beautiful lightning strikes followed by the
rumbling, yet soothing, bass sound of the thunder. Florida
receives about 1.5 millions strikes per year.
We grew up with the storms as an almost daily
happening. They were a part of our life and only found them
exasperating when they interrupted our all-day, every-day
swims. Inevitably they would come in the middle of a game of
Marco-Polo or Sharks and Minnows. We knew that when it
began raining, if you waited long enough, it would stop. During
the day, as a youth, that was very difficult to do. My parents
told us, When you see the lightning, start counting 1-1000,
2-1000, and whatever number you end at when you hear the
thunder, thats how many miles away the storm is. We
counted a lot! In Florida these storms happened day and night,
but the nighttime storms were the best.
I remember laying in bed and seeing the brilliantly
shocking luminous streaks of white cascading down from the
graphite sky outside my darkened, protective bedroom
window. Id watch the forking tendons of the lightning bolt
reach for the unsuspecting ground and count, 1-1000, 2-1000,
3-1000, 4-, and hearing the slow but deep, rumbling boom. Id
think, Its only four miles away. Then counting again,
1-1000, 2-1000, 3-. Now its only three miles away. and
again, 1-1000, Wow! Its moving fast.
Throughout I love listening to the rain. The wondrous,
chaotic drops of liquid falling from the turbulent, inky skies
above. It begins as a melodic sound, a musical symphony as it
sporadically pings, clinks, tinks, and splats on different
surfaces. In between all these resonant notes come the
reverberating rumble of the thunder. As the storm builds
momentum, the rainfall increased its waterfall of musicality
and the resplendent light show all synthesizing into a torrent
ensemble. All the while, I lay cozy and secure in my bed as my
eyelids grow heavy from the days activities and the
mesmerizing performance by Mother Nature transpiring mere
inches from where I lay.

What feedback would you like from your peers? Id really


like to have a stronger ending. I want the reader to experience
the storm but understand how even with all its power, it is a
wonderful source for falling asleep.

Peer Feedback: Wow! I loved reading this. Your word


choice is wonderful and the way you describe the storm
really made it come alive for me. Your ending is pretty
good as is! However, in your quick write you explain that
storms bring back memories now that you are an adult- I
think you could make that more clear in your ending. See
my comments above for more specific suggestions :) -Kate
Chambers
Lisa: Wow! What a story! I love the vocabulary you used throughout. Your story
paints a perfect picture of how you feel about storms. I felt as if I was there with
you.
For your ending, maybe you can add how outside it so chaotic during a storm and
not peaceful to reflect how peaceful you are in your bed. You might have to write a
sentence using that contrast.

Brianna - Jean, I remember reading something you posted about how you felt that
you were not a strong writer. I think youre an amazing writer! From your piece I
could feel and see the storm. I also enjoy thunderstorms and your message came
across in your writing. For my endings I like to relate back to the beginning .. was it
steamy? Or were you ready for another storm? How it feel?, look?, and sound? After
the storm?

Revision: Most of my life was spent in steamy South Florida.


Its known as the Sunshine State, but if you lived in Florida, you
know it is also the number one state for electrical weather.
With the liquid sunshine comes the powerful, deadly, yet
awesomely beautiful lightning strikes followed by the
rumbling, yet soothing, bass sound of the thunder. Florida
receives about 1.5 millions strikes per year.
We grew up with the storms as an almost daily
occurrence. They were a part of our life and we only found
them exasperating when they interrupted our all-day,
every-day swims. Inevitably they would come in the middle of
a game of Marco-Polo or Sharks and Minnows. We knew that
when it began raining, if you waited long enough, it would stop.
During the day, as a youth, that was very difficult to do. My
parents told us, When you see the lightning, start counting
1-1000, 2-1000, and whatever number you end at when you
hear the thunder, thats how many miles away the storm is.
We counted a lot! In Florida these storms happened day and
night, but the nighttime storms were the best.
I remember laying in bed and seeing the brilliantly
shocking luminous streaks of white cascading down from the
graphite sky outside my darkened, protective bedroom
window. Id watch the forking tendons of the lightning bolt
reach for the unsuspecting ground and count, 1-1000, 2-1000,
3-1000, 4-, and hearing the slow but deep, rumbling boom. Id
think, Its only four miles away. Then counting again,
1-1000, 2-1000, 3-. Now its only three miles away. and
again, 1-1000, Wow! Its moving fast.
Throughout the storm I loved listening to the rain. The
wondrous, chaotic drops of liquid falling from the turbulent,
inky skies above. It began as a melodic sound, a musical
symphony as it sporadically pings, clinks, tinks, and splats on
different surfaces. In between all these resonant notes came
the reverberating rumble of the thunder. As the storm built
momentum, the rainfall increased its waterfall of musicality
and the resplendent light show all synthesizing into a torrent
ensemble. The fitful gusts of wind blew the tattered palm
fronds in a helter-skelter wave on the treetops while the
cascading sheets of rain drove into the saturated earth. All the
while in my tranquil room, I laid cozy and secure in my soft bed
as my eyelids grow heavy from the days activities and the
mesmerizing performance by Mother Nature transpiring mere
inches from where I lay.

Piece #2 TITLE: Remembering Mom

Quick-write or pre-write: This writing originally started out as


a remembrance of my mom on what would have been her 82nd
birthday. It turned into a story of one of the funniest moments I
had with her.
Draft: My moms 82nd birthday was on July 5th. She was an
extraordinary woman. She is missed very much. Ive always
thought that if I could be even a little like her, I could touch lives
as she has. Although her physical presence is not with us, the
wonderful memories she left with us keep us smiling.
One such memorable happenstance occurred when I had
first moved to San Diego, California. She came to visit a couple
weeks after I got there to help me settle in. We were traveling the
area trying to find items to furnish my apartment. It was in the
evening and darkness had come early with the rain. My wipers
were going and I was concentrating very hard on the unfamiliar
steep, curvy road. Through my concentration we were having
little snippets of conversations about the apartment project, the
plans for the next day, and finding a roommate.
Then I heard the familiar sound of my mom digging in her
purse. Now, its important to mention here that diving into her
purse was like cleaning a closet you hid everything in and had to
jam the door closed. It was big and heavy, crammed with just
about everything you could ever want and more than you needed.
She said, I really need to clean out this purse, but I dont know
what to get rid of since I need it all. Then I reminded her, You
say this every time.
Mom said, Im trying to find my Vitamin E lip balm, and I
could have sworn I put it in the center pocket of my purse.
She continued to scavenger around in her purse until she
found it. I ask, Do you need the light on to see? and she
responded with, No. Its just Vitamin E.
Mom proceeds to put on her lip balm. As many people do,
she rubbed the lip balm all of the lips and then some to keep the
chapping from happening to the lips and around the outer parts
of her lips.
Then mom asks, Jean, can you turn the light on for a
second, please? for which I obliged. Out of the corner of my eye,
I see her inspecting her lips in the little visor mirror. She turns to
me and asks me in a calm, conversational tone, Jean, did I cover
my lips okay? I turn to look at her lip balm job and about peed
my pants. My mom was sitting there with a big smile on her face
and red lipstick smeared on and about her lips. We both burst out
laughing. She looked like she had clown lips. The more she
laughed, the more I laughed. We had tears rolling down our
cheeks. I lost all concentration on the road and had to pull off on
the side because I couldnt see the road or anything through my
own tears. My family still talks about this incident when thinking
of mom.

What feedback would you like from your peers? I feel as


though its lacking some finesse. I can picture the incident in my
head because I was there. My family knows my mom, so they find
the incident funny. Is there something I can do to make it more
appealing to an audience not familiar with my mom and the
person she was?

Peer Feedback: Jean, I am sorry that you have lost your


mom but I am so happy that you have these memories to
cherish. I laughed out loud when I read this story. Your
writing flows so naturally and with a great voice. I think it
would be even better if you are able to share a few more
more memories in this piece, since you mention multiple
memories in your introduction. If not, you might want to
make it more clear that this piece is focusing on one
favorite memory. If you feel up to it, you should consider
sharing this story with your students. I bet they would love
the humor and Im sure they could share some funny
family stories of their own! -Kate
Lisa: Jean, the memories of your mom will forever be in
your hearts. I am sure you will be just like her.

This story is so funny! I can only imagine seeing your mom


with red lipstick everywhere. When you start to explain
what she did, maybe you are elaborate about what she
looked like before telling that she had smeared lipstick
everywhere. Maybe having the visual before you saying
what she did will help the reader understand how silly she
looked and why you found it so funny!

Brianna: Jean I loved that your shared such a sweet


memory about your mom. I think you a great job using
dialogue to give your readers a better understanding of
what is going on in the story. I felt as if I were in the back
seat. I think for more finesse you might need to stretch the
truth.

Revision: My moms 82nd birthday was on July 5th. She was an


extraordinary woman. She is missed very much. Ive always
thought that if I could be even a little like her, I could touch lives
as she has. Although her physical presence is not with us, the
wonderful memories she left with us keep us smiling. My family
and I were sharing by text our thoughts about mom on her
birthday when my sister reminded me of one in particular.
When I had first moved to San Diego, California, my mom
came to visit a couple weeks after I got there to help me settle in.
We were traveling around San Diego trying to find items to
furnish my apartment. We had just finished eating at a popular sit
down restaurant and the darkness had come early with the rain.
My wipers were going and I was concentrating very hard on the
unfamiliar steep, curvy road. During my concentration we were
having little snippets of conversations about the apartment
project, the plans for the next day, and finding a roommate.
Then I heard the familiar sound of my mom digging in her
purse. Now, its important to mention here that diving into her
purse was like cleaning a closet you hid everything in and had to
jam the door closed. It was big and heavy, crammed with just
about everything you could ever want and more than you needed.
She said, I really need to clean out this purse, but I dont know
what to get rid of since I need it all. Then I reminded her, You
say this every time.
Mom said, Im trying to find my Vitamin E lip balm, and I
could have sworn I put it in the center pocket of my purse.
She continued to scavenger around in her purse until she
found it. I ask, Do you need the light on to see? and she
responded with, No. Its just Vitamin E.
Mom proceeds to put on her lip balm. As many people do,
she rubbed the lip balm all over her lips and then some to keep
the chapping from happening to the lips and around the outer
parts of her lips.
Then mom asks, Jean, can you turn the light on for a
second, please? for which I obliged. Out of the corner of my eye,
I see her inspecting her lips in the little visor mirror. She turns to
me and asks me in a calm, conversational tone, Jean, did I cover
my lips okay? I turn to look at her lip balm job and about peed
my pants. My mom was sitting there with a big smile on her face
and red lipstick smeared on and about her lips. We both burst out
laughing. She looked like she had clown lips. The more she
laughed, the more I laughed. We had tears rolling down our
cheeks. I lost all concentration on the road and had to pull off on
the side because I couldnt see the anything, including the road,
through my own tears.
This is one of our family favorites when we remember mom.
She was an extraordinary person.
Piece #3 TITLE: Coming Home

Quick-write or pre-write: I thought Id try my hand at poetry. It is pretty


basic but expresses my feelings about my daughter coming home from Germany after a
year abroad.

Draft:
Watching her grow
Full of curiosity
Seeing her take chances
Always independent

Traveling abroad
Gone for a year
Missed moments
Wistful for her return

Creating her own memories


Seeking cultural diversity
Many places traveled
Germany,
Ireland,
Denmark
Netherlands,
Poland,
France,
Italy,
Switzerland
Austria,
Croatia,
Bosnia,
Montenegro

Alas, homeward bound


Tears of joy
Heart bursting
A part of me is home!

What feedback would you like from your peers?


Can you tell it is about my daughter without mentioning it? Can you feel my love for
her? What can I add to make my FIRST poem better?
Peer Feedback:
Jean I think you did a great job! I could tell it was your daughter. I could also tell how
excited you were for her but at the same time how much you love and missed her. I
hope you have shared this poem with her. I think if anything you could add a stance
gave the reader better insight to the relationship and memories you have with your
daughter.

Hey Jean! I can definitely feel the love through your poem
and I commend you for trying a new genre. :) I especially
like how you used line spacing with all the places she
traveled! Im not positive where I read this- maybe my
expert book?- but I remember a suggestion that in poetry
you should try to keep your verbs grounded in the subject
to make it more real. Like instead of starting with
Watching her grow you could say I watch her grow or I
watched her grow. However, I also like the way your
poem is already and I know that I like centering on verbs
in my own writing. I love that Dr. Harrington has taught us
to offer feedback but that the writer gets to make the final
decision- I want to remember that with my students this
year. -Kate

Lisa- Right away I could tell if was about your daughter!


You included lines like missed moments to let your
reader know how much you missed her. Your last stanza
also had the tone of how much you missed her. The style
of the poem, and how you played with the indentations,
made this very interesting to read. I have never been
great with poems, but I think you did a great job of
conveying how you were proud of your daughter, yet you
still missed her. Awesome!
Revision:
Watching her grow
Full of curiosity
Seeing her take chances
Always independent

Creating family memories


Full of fun and laughter
Blossoming to quickly
Decreasing need for her mom

Traveling abroad
Gone for a year
Missed moments
Wistful for her return

Generating her own mental memoir


Seeking cultural diversity
Many places traveled
Germany,
Ireland,
Denmark
Netherlands,
Poland,
France,
Italy,
Switzerland
Austria,
Croatia,
Bosnia,
Montenegro

Alas, homeward bound


Tears of joy
Heart bursting
A part of me is home!

Final Publication:

Evening Thunderstorms
Most of my life was spent in steamy South Florida. Its known
as the Sunshine State, but if you lived in Florida, you know it is
also the number one state for electrical weather. With the
liquid sunshine comes the powerful, deadly, yet awesomely
beautiful lightning strikes followed by the rumbling, yet
soothing, bass sound of the thunder. Florida receives about 1.5
millions strikes per year.
We grew up with the storms as an almost daily
occurrence. They were a part of our life and we only found
them exasperating when they interrupted our all-day,
every-day swims. Inevitably they would come in the middle of
a game of Marco-Polo or Sharks and Minnows. We knew that
when it began raining, if you waited long enough, it would stop.
During the day, as a youth, that was very difficult to do. My
parents told us, When you see the lightning, start counting
1-1000, 2-1000, and whatever number you end at when you
hear the thunder, thats how many miles away the storm is.
We counted a lot! In Florida these storms happened day and
night, but the nighttime storms were the best.
I remember laying in bed and seeing the brilliantly
shocking luminous streaks of white cascading down from the
graphite sky outside my darkened, protective bedroom
window. Id watch the forking tendons of the lightning bolt
reach for the unsuspecting ground and count, 1-1000, 2-1000,
3-1000, 4-, and hearing the slow but deep, rumbling boom. Id
think, Its only four miles away. Then counting again,
1-1000, 2-1000, 3-. Now its only three miles away. and
again, 1-1000, Wow! Its moving fast.
Throughout the storm I loved listening to the rain. The
wondrous, chaotic drops of liquid falling from the turbulent,
inky skies above. It began as a melodic sound, a musical
symphony as it sporadically pings, clinks, tinks, and splats on
different surfaces. In between all these resonant notes came
the reverberating rumble of the thunder. As the storm built
momentum, the rainfall increased its waterfall of musicality
and the resplendent light show all synthesizing into a torrent
ensemble. The fitful gusts of wind blew the tattered palm
fronds in a helter-skelter wave on the treetops while the
cascading sheets of rain drove into the saturated earth. All the
while in my tranquil room, I laid cozy and secure in my soft bed
as my eyelids grow heavy from the days activities and the
mesmerizing performance by Mother Nature transpiring mere
inches from where I lay.

Peer Feedback (positives only!):


Jean, Im so glad we were placed in this writing group together because I have
really enjoyed getting to know you better through your writing! I thought all
of your pieces were great but this one is so beautifully descriptive! I would
love to use it as a mentor text with my students. Though many of the
vocabulary words are new to them, if I read it out loud, they could hear the
wonderful musicality of your words. Very well done! :) -Kate

I loved this story! I actually loved all your stories and I think that you are an
amazing writer. I would think about you when I was writing my pieces and
ask how would Jean phrase this? You use such great vocabulary words to
really get your point across. Awesome job! Thanks so much for helping me
this semester. Cant wait to see you soon in our new class! --Lisa