Hi Guys, how are you doing now that we are well in our way towards holiday season 2018?? I don’t know about kids & adults, but in addition to wearing festive sweaters, fuzzy scarves, struggling to open my black umbrella, and bending down to put on my shoes, I find myself having this proverbial epic battle between feeling tooo happy and feeling “normal”… I swear, the only Christmas song I can listen to over & over again EVERY YEAR is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” (See HERE) and Sarajevo’s “Carol Of The Bells”, which has been a favorite since 2013/2014 (See HERE). Hope you enjoy them too!
A Personal Anecdote
In addition to being a month full of holidays & celebrations, December is also the month of my birth, which was particularly difficult for me as I am a middle child (see Here). So the pomp & ceremony don’t really faze me anymore because it just adds to the “glamour” that is 27th December. However, it took ALOT to build UP this understanding. I remember my 5th birthday was very special – I call it my “favorite birthday of all time”. As my loyal followers who follow know, I just had to invite my friends Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus to a sleepover to my 5th birthday celebration, which I selected to be a sleepover. I couldn’t understand if I should do it on the night of the 26th or the night of the 27th. You can understand why. I just needed it to be perfect. I picked “these” friends of mine because they were very “hardworking”, according to me, and “troublemakers” according to our teachers & parents.
It was our 1st sleepover & after a night of movies, food, “cookies n’ milk” (“What.” “What?”), we cuddled in my bed under a large fleece blanket, when I am sure Taylor complained. Her complaint was literally a whimper and I turned around and saw both Taylor and Miley sobbing quietly like the little mice they were. Horrified, I was. I asked both of them what is happening and whether the chocolate chip cookies we had before bed was hurting their tummy. In between, a lot of cajoling and crying, I realized that it was their first sleepover aka meaning their first night away from home so it was best they go home or it will be a very long night. I did ask them if they wanted to “bake cookies”. All I got was “Gawwd, noo”. You can guess who that was? Just then, the door opened, & guess who walks in? Jack Dorsey and Kevin Systrom! I thought “these” guys came in to celebrate with me, but that shot to hell when Taylor and Miley started balling out their eyes. I got upset & Jack, who is a few years older than me, handed me a cell phone (God, if I can ONLY remember who it belonged to) to talk to “someone” (“Who?” “God, anyone“). Kevin Systrom started escorting the girls out of my room. Both Taylor and Miley gave me hugs and said our goodbyes and I got to talk to my grandfather, you know, the General of Pakistan! My birthday was made after that and I didn’t mind what happened because I had my best friends, a cell phone, food, and a quick talk with my grandfather. Yay!
How To Build Connections
I know the biggest question on minds these days is “What is internet?” and “How I came up with it?” It’s a she BTW. Most people, I think, are surprised by the idea that internet blew up out of nowhere. You wouldn’t believe this was the case 10 – 13 years ago, too. At UC Berkeley, I started calling it “the Big Bang phenomenon” because it was like a big explosion that grew and grew and hopefully grows, forever. However, the story begins in 1984 & I promise as soon as I am “allowed” to, I will tell you the entire story because it is soo fun to tell.
In the meantime, I have a contest that requires a whole lot of gossip – researching & discussing. =)
The first thing to do is learn about building connections.
As a “reward”, you can say a “holler” if you meet me anywhere (See HERE).
Tip: Keep the 6 writing traits in mind when going out (See HERE). You will be writing after this activity. Look down for information.
I want you guys to go out, yes, I’m meaning to include you living in “snowy conditions” that resemble blizzard conditions by my standards. A wonderful book I just remembered to serve you as inspiration is Jane Yolen’s “Owl Moon” (see HERE). Once you are all dressed in proper garments like a king, go out & pretend all the words have died with that king. All you can hear are words. Don’t believe me, listen in the sounds of rustling leaves, feel them under the rain, or the gloominess you feel under the clouds or the colors you see there. And then start picking up objects. It could be that leaf that is turned on its side or a blade of grass in a pile of freshly cut grass or a newspaper dropped carelessly on the side of the road. Pick up these objects.
Bring them home. And observe “them”. See their colors. Any words that spring up. Notice their shapes and things they remind you about. Make a list of alll the words or “characters” that pop up in that head when you watch them.
All through school, I created “word webs” which connected words that were, well, connective. One day while I was working on one of my “webs” when my middle school teacher (I went to David Starr Jordan Middle School (See HERE) said it was a “spider’s web” or a “tarantula’s web” as my Hindu neighbor named it. And it soon expanded from making lists to “webs” of facts.
So kids, when you are connecting words, remember to be very creative & join them until you have a “spider’s web”. To you, it’s a web. But, the reality is, it is your reality. Your world. Little or small. And then write a conceptual story.