a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Monday, December 31, 2012


Nudgemy One Little Word for 2012.  Nudge and be nudged.  How did this One Little Word nudge its way into my life in 2012?  Let me count the ways . . .

1.  I got more intentional about nudging students forward in their reading and writing lives by using a new conference-record-keeping tool designed by my mom for the FileMaker Go app on my iPad.

2.  I responded to my husband’s nudge to speak up about my Voices Strong class at a school board meeting.  As a result, I was invited to nudge other teachers to step out of their comfort zones and take on the Voices Strong challenge.

3.  In response to the gift of an iPod shuffle engraved with my One Little Word, I nudged my behind out of bed to run nearly every day over the summer and into the start of the school year.

4.  I started a Staff Writing Group at my school to nudge myself and others to spend more time writing playfully.

5.  I responded to nudges at the Anderson’s Young Adult Literature Conference by helping to form a Literary Team that works together make author visits more meaningful at our school.  Part of my work on that team has been to nudge staff members to read more young adult literature by “booking” them with random copies of some of the best books I’ve read and instructions to sign their names on the inside of the cover after reading, before passing the book on in an effort to nudge another lucky staff member to read it.

6.  I responded to Ruth’s nudges and attended the All-Write Summer Conference for the first time.  There I experienced two days worth of nudges that inspired me to continue seeking revitalizing professional development opportunities.

7. I nudged a colleague of mine to take a risk in her professional life by taking a curriculum coordinator position where I knew she would make a positive impact on our entire district by nudging the right people to make the right decisions.

8.  I responded to nudges, again from Ruth, to become a Twitter user.  More recently, I nudged my husband to sign-up.  What an amazing use of technology to expand our worlds by bringing us closer!

9.  I respond almost daily to my mother’s nudges to live up to the wonderful person she sees in me.  I never feel judged by her, but I want to be as good as she believes I am.  And I try to return the favor by nudging her to continue to find joy in the things she loves most, like sewing and her world of Apple computer expertise. 

10.  My husband and I made the decision to nudge the universe a bit and attempt to have a baby through unconventional means (since the conventional means are not an option for us).  Although each of the attempts was unsuccessful as far as producing a baby, our decision to open ourselves up to the possibilities and the process of trying to create a family has nudged us to grow as individuals and as a couple.


  1. Beautifully said Christy. What a lovely year you have had because you've accepted the 'nudges'. A One little word can make all the difference. Happy New Year to you and your husband. (ps-There are 5 adopted children in my family-two of which are mine.)

  2. This word has already had an influence in your life and I know it will continue through the new year. Katie Wood Ray uses nudge to describe her work with students when she confers with them. I have always loved that term. Your nudges have created some awesome situations. Good luck to you in your quest for a family. Have a blessed new year!

  3. I always feel like I've been given a gift when I see you've written a new post. NUDGE was a very good word, although I believe it's because you allowed it to be a cornerstone to your living.

    I'm glad you've shared this list with the world, especially the last item. I hope you feel freedom and strength because of NUDGING and being NUDGED.


  4. One little word, yet so powerful. You are charged with positive power. I am at awe how caring and daring you have been. I hope that as a return of the nudging you will feel lifted up. 2013 is not going to be an ordinary year. Head uut aastat!

  5. Good for you, Christy...to be nudged the spirit must be open and willing for the adventure, and so you are. All the best for the new year!

  6. I love that word. I have to say you have "nudged" (or should I say inspired) me to stick with SOL, to look beyond the surface with my kiddos, and because of you I am nudging my own daughter to consider teaching in the middle grades, she is much like you in that believing the best in people is her first instinct, not a second consideration. Keep nudging Christy!

  7. I loved reading this post. Nudge - an excellent word. I'm so glad you were nudged to come to AllWrite!!! Summer Institute. A delight! I love the way you've nudged others as well. Your writing nudges me. :)MHG