Tag Archives: writer’s notebook

Listen While You Write


Hi Inksters!

We hope this post finds you writing as part of our summer writing challenge. Remember the theme:

“My Inktopia Summer”

This Inkspiration will turn those notebook pages into sound recordings you can listen to!


Find your way to a spot. Any spot. A spot somewhere in your home. Or outside on the stairs, stoop, porch, yard. On a swing at a playground. At a picnic table in a park. On the subway or bus. In the car as you head somewhere with your family. In your room. Wherever you want to spend a few moments, find your way there.

Settle in — sit, stand, strike a tree pose, recline — to that spot. Get Comfortable. Then close your eyes and tune in to the sounds of the spot you are in.

What sounds are traveling your way as you rest here? Focus first on the sounds in the space. Then allow your ears to reach for sounds just beyond your space — the sounds drifting in from another part of the house, or through the window, or from another part of the playground. Move from your very local place and work your way out. In what ways can you become more familiar with this specific spot by listening? Then, how far can your attention to sound take you as you use this spot as a hub of your attention? What sounds do your ears pick up? What sounds do you hear in other ways — you know, that rumbling sound of the truck passing by that makes your body rumble or vibrate, too. Notice, too, those ways that sound affects your body beyond your ears.

Just now, a butterfly fluttered past my window, its wings whispering through the still air. What sounds can you imagine that your ears can’t detect?

At any point during your listening time, open your notebook and record in words and images what you are able to listen to. How might you represent the sound of the wind blowing through trees? Make your words and those pages speak, sing, sound. Write words that will encourage readers to listen.

And remember to let us listen, too! Enjoying creating your own sonic Inktopias!

And remember to spread the ink! Share pages with us by taking photos of the page and sending the image as a jpeg to inktopiakids@gmail.com. For this inkspiration, you might think about sending recordings as well! We will post your Writer’s Notebook pages on our site. Help us fill our site with summer fun!

And if you are searching for a fun summer read full of listening, check out Lemniscates’ Silence.




Add Texture as You Write



Hi Inksters!

Happy Summer! It’s been a long time. We hope you’re still writing where you are — every day.

In elementary school, I loved to write on crinkled paper. I would take a nice, neat piece of lined paper, crumple it up completely into a ball, then carefully uncrumple it. I would then take a pen and write on that uncrinkled paper. I loved the sound and feel of the pen on that textured paper.


Your Inkspiration is to find different textures to write on. Crumple up a page in your Writer’s Notebook. Go outside and find different leaves to tape into your Notebook. Then pay attention to how it feels to write on the leaves with sharpie. Write on scraps of fabric, slick wrapping paper, a piece of brown paper bag, or on a mirror or white board with a dry erase marker. Write with chalk on a sidewalk. Write a sentence or your favorite words on a shell or a smooth rock.

Use your writing to discover all the textures you can find. Have fun discovering new writing surfaces!

YA writers and older: visit next week to learn how you can move from writing on texture to creating texture in your writing.

Putting Penguin to Paper


Hello Inksters!

Outside our window today there is snow, wind, cold, snow, and more snow! So what better topic to write about than…


Today, let’s put PENguin to paper with the help of another stunning photograph from Eva Ho:


  • Note in your Writer’s Notebook what you see in the photo. Instead of colors, pay attention to the light in the photo and the shadows in the photo. See where your pen and your imagination takes you from there.

Other Writing Ideas:

  • There are so many penguins in this photo. Tell a story about the two penguins at the center of the photo. Where are they heading? Where have they been?
  • Choose another penguin in the photo and tell her or his story.
  • What if these penguins were somewhere else — On ice? On the beach? In the snow? On the moon? In your backyard? Tell that story.
  • For our smallest Inksters (and our oldest ones, too!): Print out this photo and spend some quiet time coloring it. Be sure to name the penguins!

Wherever you are, spend at least part of the day writing! Remember to share your creations here at Inktopia Kids!

Visit http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/ and search “penguins” to learn about all kinds of different species of penguins!

Ink This!


Dear Inksters,

Welcome to this week’s Inkling — an idea worth writing about. Each week we will post Inklings that you can write about throughout the week. Have fun as you write, exercise those imaginations, and let those wonderful words grow into fantastic pieces on the page.

This week’s Inkling is this photograph from Eva Ho:


Open your writing journal and see where this picture, your pencil, and your imagination all lead.

Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:

  • What do you see in the photograph? Describe it. Remember to use all of your senses (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and, yes, tasting!)
  • What is happening in this photograph? Tell us.
  • Imagine yourself walking through the space between these rocks. What would you see during your journey? What temperature would you feel? What awaits you on the other side?
  • Every mountain has a “face” or “faces” — sides that have identifiable features like ridges, ravines, and cliffs. In this photograph, though, this formation looks like it does have a face. Who is the face in the mountain? Tell the face’s story.
  • A line to work with: “The face stretched underneath ribbons of rock.”

Want to share your imaginings with the rest of the Inktopia Kids community? Then remember to comment to this post. Or write us at inktopiakids@gmail.com.

Inksters and Parents: For more of Eva Ho’s amazing global photography, visit her website: http://500px.com/eva_ho

Ink This!


Picture This!

This week’s Inkspiration features this painting by New York artist Natalie del Villar.

Look carefully at this painting. Soak it in. Then open your writing journal and see where this painting, your pencil, and your imagination all lead.

Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:

  • What do you see in the painting? Describe it.
  • What is happening in this painting? Tell us.
  • Imagine what the girl’s voice sounds like. Then write in that voice.
  • Imagine what the eye’s voice sounds like. Then write in that voice.
  • Complete this story: “The eye tapped the girl on the shoulder. She turned around and …”

Wanna share your imaginings with the rest of the Inktopia Kids community? Then remember to comment to this post. Or write us at inktopiakids@gmail.com.

Parents: For more of Natalie del Villar’s amazing work, visit her website: http://nataliedelvillar.com/