About the Author
Lori Sugarman, M.Ed., authored Plumdiggity! Developing Student Writers. Over the past fifteen years, she has developed dozens of after-school creative writing clubs in her local school district, working with close to a thousand enthusiastic and reluctant writers in the 2nd– 7th grades.
My parents always forced us to write letters to the relatives. It was an early introduction to putting my thoughts onto paper. The tooth fairy always left letters under our pillows. That created excitement around written expression. I realized my father had extraordinary writing ability when I read his Dance of the Dollars- based on a beach trip we all took- Dad, Mom, and us five stair-step kids seven years old and younger. The piece was only 3 typed pages, but his words, his vocabulary, his expressions transported me into a language symphony. My senses were kidnapped into the scene and I began floating along, losing all sense of time and space when he described seashells as “gargoyles of a thousand faces bathed, slapped, or tossed by the fickle arms of Mother Ocean.” Through the years I frequently extolled praises of that writing, but my praise was curiously met with stone cold silence from my mother. Many, many years later she informed me that this beach trip resulted in four weeks of silent treatment and almost divorce because my dad left her with five children, two of whom were still in cloth diapers and no car while he disappeared for four days on a deep sea fishing trip with buddy Fred Deluca. The beauty of writing is you create your own reality and can escape the current one.
I thank 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Lucille Andrews, for giving us one day a week to write anything we wanted. I discovered my imagination as entertainment. Journaling in high school helped me release emotion from the turbulence of teenagehood. My senior year English teacher played classical music once a week and allowed us to write whatever we wanted for 30 minutes. Stories and poetry during motherhood allowed me to capture observations of the absurd, the beauty, the humor, and the frustrations of raising children. My writing influences came from a language rich childhood household and teachers along the way providing free time to explore my thoughts. May every child discover that writing is capable of being your best friend: non-judgmental, always available to absorb you, and sometimes full of reward and pleasant surprises.
About the Author
A native of Greensboro, N.C, marriage brought Lori three amazing children (thank you, Barry) and a life in Atlanta, GA. She works with 60 – 125 students per semester across multiple elementary schools and is now beginning to train others to develop Plumdiggity Creative Writing Clubs. Additionally she is a reading coach, writes stories for Phono-Graphix Reading Company, and is producing SoundSongs – a collection of music poems to teach beginning readers. She is a conference presenter and writes/delivers training for early childhood educators through the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s Bright from the Start program in areas of visual development, earlier reading, language development, and sign language to Eric Carle stories. She is the author of Plumdiggity! Developing Student Writers, a book for writing and language literacy. Teacher editions are available for five states (other states can be written) that tie state standards to each chapter. Additional writings include Nighttime Reading for Sleepyville, The Adventures of Penelope Sugarplum and Slim (coming soon), The Gingerbread Village, volumes of poetry, multiple comedy skits, three elementary school plays written, produced, and performed for casts of 25 young actors and most importantly, quite a few letters from the tooth fairy though Mr. Sugarman far surpassed her in this department.