Believe it or not, my college degree is in writing. Granted, it’s in technical writing, which is all kinds of boring, but there were countless classes about how to write and what to write and everything writerly. I have to remind myself of that background occasionally during the school year when it seems like all I am doing is explaining what a verb is or why the prefix “in-” can both be a negative but also is an intensifier. “Best practice” says that teachers should model, model, model, so I try to write with my students and show them my process, but I’ll admit that it doesn’t go far enough. It’s hard to put it out there even for 12- and 13-year-olds.

Enter Beverly’s Road Trip writing prompts. I can do this . . . I can write something quick that will fit on the back of a post card . . . I can work it. Postcards? Check; I’ll use the ones that Jessica sent since her images are all sorts of inspiring. Pens? Check . . . wait, no. Pen whore that I am, I left all of them at work. Guess that’s what Target is for.

Here, however, is where the crippling fear of “putting it out there” sets in. What if what I write isn’t good enough? What if people laugh or look at it and think, “Who the fuck does she think she is? This isn’t writing.” The beauty of writing with and for my students is they don’t verbalize it. And for now, I’m going for it and putting it out there. Here are the first two weeks’ prompts and what I decided to do with it.

“She couldn’t remember where they had set out to go”

Road Trip: Week 2

Rest stop. 2 A.M.