Friday, January 29, 2010

Curriculum Writing

There are many kinds of writing, and many writers do more than one. I write both memoir and fiction, both manuscript length and short pieces. I also write curriculum.

For the past year and a half, I have had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of creative, fun people at South Seattle Community College (SSCC). We call ourselves the AANAPISI grant team. That’s “ay-na-pea-z” and it’s the acronym for Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution.  In 2008 the U.S. Department of Education created this designation, and SSCC was one of only six two-year and four-year schools in the United States to receive this award. To learn more, please visit our temporary website at or go to

So what does any of this have to do with writing, you might ask.  Well, my role on the grant team is to write curriculum. With the collaboration of numerous colleagues, I have created the Transition Portfolio.  This is a collection of activities designed to help English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, and other pre-college students learn to navigate the American college system. The Transition Portfolio is available on-line, free-of-charge at Just click on “Resources.”

Another of our AANAPISI grant projects involves creating a series of short videos to provide college-related information to students or potential students and their families. As the curriculum writer, my task is to create instructional materials for classroom use with each video. The videos are being posted to the website as they are completed. The the curriculum packets will follow by summer 2010.

Just as creativity takes many forms, so does writing. The challenge sometimes lies in finding a way to balance it all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's About Time Writers Reading Series

Happy 2010!  We've survived the holiday season, and now it's time to get back to what matters...writing!  I find I need structure.  I need a schedule.  And I need the opportunity to share my work...  

If you're in the Seattle area, I'd like to invite you to a group reading at the Ballard Public Library at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 14th.  The It's About Time Writers Reading Series, coordinated by Esther Altshul Helfgott, is now on Facebook.  For more information and regular updates, you might consider joining the Facebook group by going to  For information on past readings, you can check out

January seems like the perfect time to share a bit of the old and a bit of the new.  To that end, I'll be reading a short selection from The Thirty-Ninth Victim and another from my work-in-progress, a memoir carrying the working title, Moving Mom.  It's the story chronicling the 7 years and 6 days between my father's death and my mother's move to a dementia care facility.  It took an astute writing partner of mine to point out to me that Moving Mom picks up where The Thirty-Ninth Victim left off.  Funny how we (or should I say "I") so easily miss what's right under our (my) nose.  Or in this case, pen.

I hope to see you Thursday night!