Tuesday, April 15, 2014

*I Wish I Had Written That*

One of the books I am reading for one of my graduate school classes mentioned how important it is for readers and writers to pay close attention to what other good writers do.  

It asked us to think carefully about the words we read. 

Then we were asked to notice a line in a book we wish we had written. 

One of my favorite books is called Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. There are several lines as well as whole passages in that book I wish I had written. Here is an example:

"At last the sun touched the skyline, merged with it for a moment in a final explosive blaze of light and heat and sank out of sight. The shadow of the canyon wall advanced across the canyon floor, included the horse, touched the rocks and brush on the far side. A wave of cooling relief like a breeze, like an actual movement of air, washed through the canyon..." 

Edward Abbey paints such a vibrant, clear picture of this sunset with his words. It was like I was sitting there watching it happen and could feel the transition from hot to cold as the last light of the sun disappeared. 

What about you? Will you pay close attention to what you read this week (and beyond)? Will you share a line or a brief passage you wish you had written? 

Thank you.
Mr. Pahl


  1. It is a great opportunity for students of grade 4 to be exposed to technology based learning.

  2. I am reading a giant book full of things written by Gary Snyder. I love his ideas and observations and the way he writes what he experiences.

    Here is his poem called "Earth Verse"

    Wide enough to keep you looking
    Open enough to keep you moving
    Dry enough to keep you honest
    Prickly enough to make you tough
    Green enough to go on living
    Old enough to give you dreams

    -Mrs. Smartt

  3. One of my favorite books of ALL TIME is the Giver by Lois Lowery. I love the way she is able to make her readers feel something when they read.

    “...now he saw the familiar wide river beside the path differently. He saw all of the light and color and history it contained and carried in its slow - moving water; and he knew that there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going”

    I wish I had written this excerpt because it is so powerful. The language she uses is simple but when you read it in the context of the book it makes the reader feel hopeful and optimistic about the future.


    1. To, Megan
      Your right it is a very strong writing and as always thanks for commenting
      From, Benjamin 4 grade

    2. Dear Megan,
      That book sounds amazing! Especially since you said that it was so powerful and that if you read it makes the reader feel hopeful and optimistic about the future.
      From, Kyle

    3. Dear Megan,
      Lois Lowery is a very powerful and descriptive writer. I love the description that she used.
      From, Amaya.

  4. When I have a break from reading my dense textbooks, I enjoy reading uplifting light material. I just recently got this book as a gift and I have been re-reading this inspirational quote book lately titled "I am Her" by M.H. Clark

    The book is designanted to all women, here is one of my favorite quotes.

    "She has her plans: design a building, run with the bulls, camp in the Arctic, fly a plane, learn a new language, open a pastry shop, learn to dance the conga beautifully (in red heels). She wants to learn to live and love and to hold her own in this world that is so wide and so beautiful."

    I wish I had not only written these words, but I wish to one day be able to accomplish similar desires in my life!


    1. Dear Meagan,
      what a interesting book you read that sounds very brave.
      from Charlie

    2. Dear Meagan Curran,

      That sounds like many amazing experiences that and like it would be a very busy life. Do you think that book is appropriate for me, because it sounds very interesting?

      Sincerely, Miranda

    3. Dear Meagan
      Yes I do agree with you
      From, Micah

    4. Dear Meagan,
      That book already sounds amazing! I wonder if this lady has any ideas about woman life. This book is a book my mom would read. That quote was just out of this world!

    5. Dear Megan Curran,

      I meant to say: That sounds like many amazing experiences that I would enjoy, but it would be a very busy life. Then I would ask my question. Sorry for the inconvenience.

      Sincerely, Miranda

  5. When I have the time, I enjoy reading motivational books and stories. One of my favorite books of this nature is the Tony Dungy's book " Quiet Strength". One thing that I wished I had written is this

    "Things will go wrong at times. You can't always control your attitude, approach, and response. You options are to complain or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better”

    Bryan C

    1. Hey Bryan!

      That's a really awesome philosophy to live by! I think that negative things in our lives usually stick out, therefore making us notice them a lot of the time. If we stopped paying so much of our precious attention to these negative things, then all of the positive things will become recognized more often.

      Every now and then, when I am feeling sad, I challenge myself to spend an entire day without complaining about ANYTHING. It's really hard! But it allows me to not waste any of my energy on things that are out of my control.

      You said that you wish that you were the one who had written that quote, but I would encourage you to try going a whole day with a positive attitude, not paying attention to the negative things that don't matter. Then, you'll do better than the guy who wrote that quote because you will be LIVING that quote!

      Good luck Bryan!


  6. Dear Mr.Pahl,

    My dad has just published his first book (All Is Silence a Deserted Lands novel) and lately he has been reading plenty of books from other authors and saying how good they are.

    Sincerely, Miranda

  7. Who? Mr. potato
    What? got out of the shower
    When? in the middle of the night
    Where? went to the potato store
    Why? To buy more potato brothers

    One day Mr. potato
    got out of the warm cozy shower
    in the middle of the night
    and after he got out, he put on his fuzzy potato slippers
    to buy more potato brothers to have a generous dinner.

    By Gurparam

  8. Dear Mr. Pahl,
    When I read books, I look for texts, techniques, and words that are interesting and that I might want to use in my writing. Sense I read a lot of really good books, I feel confident about the upcoming writing MSP test. I believe I can do very well on this test.

    From, Sam

  9. Dear Mr. Pahl,
    MY favorite book is who needs third grade. I never would have read it if it was not for my mom.
    I don’t really remember any sentences or phrases from the book because I read it near the middle of third grade. But what the book is mostly about is this girl who is a new student in third grade and she has no friends, she did not really like third grade. Does she start to like third grade find and read the book to find out?
    From, Kayden


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