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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter


Much of the reason I started this blog is give myself a mandate to practice writing something in a short prose form addressed to a reader. For a number of years I did radio essays for our local community radio station, WFHB, and that kept me in a 500 word, four-and a-half minute rhythm. It’s a construct that I really like – it sharpens my thinking, and in turn my writing. For me it’s a form that demands I say what I mean in a way that is clear enough for readers to actually see it, and yet leaves enough space between the words so a reader can make their own meaning.

As an educator I am a constructivist – which means I believe learning works best when the teacher, climate and environment provide engaging resources and guidance so students can make discoveries, not just learn by rote or be pushed into ideas by the loudest voice in the room.

As a reader I love to be carried into another country, whether that country be an actual geography, or the terrains of someone’s thoughts or the roads between people trying to build companionship. I want the language to draw me in with some wonder, some familiarity, some compassion. And then I want to discover, or rediscover something on my own.

My first language is poetry, metaphor, simile, image – I love the feel of language. But I am starting work on a novel and am trying to learn to turn words into threads that will pull me – and the reader- into story. How to create enough meaning so we can all sit in the same room, and yet leave enough space so each person can look out the window I’ve placed in the middle of the blue wall and see something known only to them.

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