By Krisaemilia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Warning: This post grew to mountainous proportions. Hit the highlights, if in a hurry, and it will be here all week.
Have you ever climbed a mountain? I have only climbed to the top of Black Comb Mountain in Whistler, B.C. to ski down the bowl, and I only had to climb the last part after assists from a gondola, a lift chair, and two rope tows. So, technically, I can only imagine what it feels like to be in the picture above.
Yet, I have climbed the book writing mountain a few times. Each book writing mountain is slightly different. There are days that the trail is socked in with fog and my next steps are obscured and other days when the sun shines bright on the horizon.
Then, there are the book mountains that I've climbed without planning to set foot on them in the first place.
When I set out to teach classes at our home-school co-op, I planned to use curriculum I found but I kept supplementing pieces of my own teaching ideas into the mix until finally I was giving out two to three page home-made handouts nearly every week to all of my classes. This took place over three years.
Finally, I started writing my own curriculum. Last year, two of my classes received instruction from private print run books I had made up from notes and exercises I had created. Parents were kind, and then enthusiastic. Kids gave me hints on how I could improve the books and then gave me huge thank you notes at Christmas and at the end of the year. A few parents said, "I can't wait to see your book on sale at home-school websites and curriculum fairs." Wow.
I received huge compliments:
"My son doesn't normally love writing, but he loves your class." Wow.
"My daughter loves writing and appreciates the creativity you put into a writing curriculum that focuses on essay writing. It makes it fun." Again, wow.
I feel humbled by the enthusiasm I've received for books that I never dreamed of writing. I just stumbled onto the mountain path and kept climbing upwards, ever upwards, through notes, booklets, private print run books, content revisions, and massive formatting and copy-editing revisions. And, finally, I have finished completely* with the first one.
Dynamic Writing 1 is available in complete form in paperback through Amazon. Containing 161 Lessons for Middle Grade Students, this curriculum is meant for a complete year of home-school, home-school co-op, or classroom use. Eighteen of the lessons are "double" lessons and may be split over two days worth of time to extend the school year to 179 days with a planned celebration day at the end. Teaching notes, grade sheets, a resource list, and extra writing prompts are included in the text, as well as an answer key at the back of the book for the writing exercises. Within a year, students will study journal writing and essay writing, with short forays into fiction and poetry. Specific instruction in sentence variations, similes, and other writing concepts is spread over the course of the book and reviewed throughout the year so that students can wrestle with these concepts over the full course.
The cost for the full curriculum in paperback is $25.99. Most full year writing curricula start at $35 and skyrocket upward, even when written by an individual and self-published. (I've done my research on this one and unfortunately purchased a few of those skyrocket-priced curricula.) I'm trying to show that I value my work and yet make it reasonable for home-school families and small private schools where I think this curriculum will most benefit the students. It is set up to be multi-purpose in use from home to large classrooms, but I think my market is probably home and small classrooms. It may also be used as a supplement at home after school hours (This is called "additional home-schooling" and my mom did this without even knowing the terminology. It's when parents assign extra work: reading, writing, math, and science experiments, with visits to history museums, art museums, and zoos.)
Dynamic Writing 1A contains only the first 85 lessons and is available for kindle, smashwords, nook, and kobo. Dynamic Writing 1B Second Semester will be released in e-book format in late October. Each of these e-books is/will be priced at $9.99.
Dynamic Writing Introduction (The First Fifteen Lessons) is FREE on the Dynamic, Every Day Writing site. These are the easiest of all the lessons and serve as a gentle start to the year, but they should give parents, teachers, and students a sense of the writing curriculum as a whole.
*"completely"means that I have more student examples to add, and I'm sure that my current crop of students will give me some suggestions for improvements.
And, I'm celebrating today by teaching the first day of classes at Harbor Christian Home-School Co-operative. I'm excited to start the school year with my students, get to know their strengths, and give them tools to climb their own writing mountains.
In addition to my book, I'm also celebrating the hard work of author Stephen Tremp:
Stephen Tremp writes speculative fiction and his fourth novel, Salem’s Daughters, is supernatural thriller. A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when souls of the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast.
For a full synopsis and to pre-order a copy of Salem’s Daughters for $2.99 (price goes up to $4.99 soon after release) Click Here
Climbed any mountains lately, literally or figuratively?
Many thanks to those who have offered to help with the Dynamic Writing 1 release! I know it's not everyone's "usual" reading fare, but I'm looking for four more reviewers. Please e-mail me at tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com for a free review pdf copy.
Also, if you can help with a tweet, I would greatly appreciate it:
Dynamic Writing 1 - 161 Lessons for MG Writers - Available at Amazon @TyreanMartinson http://tinyurl.com/navnmaq
Dive into Writing with Dynamic Writing 1 - 161 Lessons for MG Writers - http://tinyurl.com/navnmaq