The Daily Tea

Amateur Bloggers. Creative Writers

Farewell to Creative Writing


I just want to take the time to thank you all for digging in and making something out of our time together! There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t look forward to Creative Writing. Each of your personalities made our class special. I loved reading your stories and listening to you all share your innermost feelings. I read blog posts about bread, Disney, movie and book reviews, anime, politics, twigs, sleepovers, and got my fill of Michael Scott quotes. Your writing has made me smile, cry, and sometimes roll my eyes, but I never felt like I was wasting my time when I was combing through your blogs. You all have really outdone yourselves.

Please keep writing. There are a ton of writers in these two periods that are better than I could ever hope to be. Your imaginations can build worlds! It’s been impressive. Even those of you, who like me find pleasure in writing shorter, less serious pieces, keep finding time to write. Your voices are important! Keep using them!

I also want to take this time to congratulate Jessica Jenkins. She was awarded the Creative Writing Award for 9th grade. Go check out her blog (Jess Jam) if you get a chance. Jessica has grown in both skill and voice!

For those of you headed off to Rockvale: I know that many of you cannot take Creative Writing next year, but give them time. Creative Writing 2 will happen if enough of you request it. Until then, start a Creative Writing Club. Find your fellow authors and ban together!! I will miss y’all!

And for the rest of ya…I’ll see you next year.


Ms. Henderson 


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The Death of Nipsey Hussle: A Current Event


Earlier this week, rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in broad daylight on the streets of his hometown, Crenshaw, while standing in front of his own clothing store, Marathon Clothing. I will be the first to admit that I only knew of Nipsey from social media. I don’t listen to his music and have never downloaded his records. But for some reason, Nipsey’s death has lingered in my mind since the news broke. Nipsey was a consistent figure in L.A. because part of his mission in life was to give back to the community he came from. He was actually using his money and influence to make the world a better place, and maybe that’s part of the reason I am so sad about his death. But it’s not just that. Good people die every day. 

As a woman and the mother of two daughters, my heart is really hurting for his longtime girlfriend, Lauren London. I cannot imagine being so young and hopeful about a future with a man that ends up senselessly gunned down. Her dreams of a future with Nipsey and their son were left lying in the street that day. If you have seen Lauren and Nipsey interact (check out this video) or read any of his Tweets about Lauren, you know that their love was strong. She brought him out of his shell and gave him the confidence to trust a woman completely. He gave her a sanctuary and they built a home together to raise their children in. He was her safe place–her stability–and according to her most recent Instagram post, she is now lost without him. My heart breaks for this woman. 

It’s sad when celebrities die. We let them into our homes and feel like we know them even though we don’t. And as we are mourning the death of a rapper, or a community activist, make sure we remember their families. Those that depend on them for love, support, financial stability, and all the other reasons we build relationships with people are suffering a loss far beyond our own imaginations. I hope and pray that Lauren and Nipsey’s children can find peace, and that peace comes sooner rather than later. 


This Post is Dedicated to…My Creative Writing Students


Dear Creative Writing Students,

This post is dedicated to y’all! I hope that you guys know that your classes are a bright spot in the middle of my day. Y’all are talented writers with amazing voices, and I can’t even tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog posts. I have bragged to anyone that’ll listen about my creative writing classes and I’ve shown off your blogs to our technology coach, Ms. Brown, Dr. Justus, and other English teachers in my department. Everyone is impressed! I hope that you have enjoyed blogging, but even if you haven’t, I REALLY appreciate you playing along. I’m fully aware that this class is easy, and in my opinion, it should be. Our goal is to grow as writers with practice and feedback from our peers. Writing should be fun…or at least enjoyable…and how can I ever tell you that you aren’t writing creatively enough to get a good grade??

Please keep writing. We only have a few short months left with one another, and it’s important to me that you stay focused and inspired. I really am super proud of y’all and am thankful for our time together every single day.


Ms. Henderson

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An Old Fart’s Misguided Guide to Grammy Fashion


Please understand that I wear black pants and a dark shirt to school every single day. I am in no way qualified to comment on who was the best or worst dressed at the Grammys this year…but I’m gonna do it anyway!

First Up…The Rise of the Pants Suit.

So many women stepped onto the red carpet in a pants suit this year and these are just a few. In my unqualified opinion, Miley Cyrus wore the HECK out of that pants suit. (Her performance was also top notch…Miley is making a comeback and I’m here for it.)

Next Up…The WTH (What the Heck?) Fashion Choices


Puke Pink was the WTH color choice this year. But my question goes beyond the color and straight to the wearability of these outfits. Kylie could have rocked a fitted pants suit and ended up on my best-dressed list, but she showed up in this cartoonish get-up. And Cardi…Lord have mercy! She could barely walk. Katie looks like a lampshade and Anna looks like a feather duster. In my unqualified opinion, all four of these outfits are major misses.

Next is Hats Up!


I will forever admire a woman bold enough to sport a hat to any formal event. I LOVE hats and all three of these ladies did the hat proud. JLo is totally channeling Beyonce in her wide brim hat with a neck full of jewels. She looks amazing. Janelle Monae frequently pulls off edgy looks that most women would look foolish wearing. She looks sleek in her headwear choice for the night. And although Alicia Keys didn’t sport her hat on the red carpet, since she was the host, she had the opportunity to wear this black oversized fedora towards the end of the show. In my unqualified opinion, JLo stole the show in this beautiful dress/hat combo.

And Lastly, My Pick for Best Dressed Female of the Night!

Okay, so I cannot choose just one. My unqualified PICKS for Best Dressed Woman at the 2019 Grammys is a tie between Bebe Rexha and Jada Pinkett Smith. I love these looks for their boldness. Jada is OLDER THAN ME and she is rocking this beautiful dress with a feathered train. Nobody can do that! Her hair is sleek yet trendy and I’m enamored with this whole look. BeBe styled this crazy red dress with Hollywood glamour hair and makeup and she looks out of this world.

And there you have it…My totally misguided guide to the 2019 Grammy Fashion


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10 Things You Should Know About…Being a Military Wife.


For 19 years, I was a military wife and here is what I learned.

  1. It can be a scary thing–Moving to places where you don’t know anybody, being so far away from family, and having to “start over” in a new and unfamiliar place is a scary thing to have to do.
  2. You become STRONG–It takes a lot of strength to love someone in the military. When their spouse is overseas for long periods of time, or even in dangerous parts of the world for any amount of time, military wives spend a lot of time worrying. But despite the worry, they still have to pull up their big girl pants and get on with the day. 
  3. It’s an Adventure– I was lucky enough to live in a ton of cool places…and some not so cool places… during my time as a military wife. I lived in Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, and Tennessee. I took something with me from each place. In Texas, I learned to make tortillas; in Hawaii, I picked up slang words I still use today; In Colorado, I met my best friend, and in Tennessee I started college. 
  4. It can be lonely— Military wives spend a lot of time alone. I spent 14 months by myself when my husband was living in Korea. I spent multiple 6-8 month time periods alone when he was in Afghanistan or Iraq. Not to mention the late nights at work depending on the job he was in, or practice exercises that kept him in a tent for 30 days at a time. 
  5. You become good at meeting new people— If you are moving so often and spending so much time by yourself, you better start making friends. I’m THE definition of introvert, but I knew my sanity depended on a strong friend group. I learned to get out of my shell and talk to anybody that would listen! 
  6. It becomes “WHO” you are– Even though it was my husband that was in the military, my whole family lived a lifestyle that came with his career choice. He couldn’t leave work at home, and our daily lives depended so much on what happened at my husband’s work, everyone in the house sort of wears the title. I was a military wife; My kids are military “brats”; My husband is a soldier.  
  7. It doesn’t always make you more patriotic–Even though I was tremendously proud of what my husband did, I often found myself exasperated with the government and the decision making skills of higher up military officials. I also didn’t have American flags all around my house, and July 4th wasn’t my jam like some of my other military friends.  
  8. My kids have more worldly experienceOne of the positives that came from military life was that my girls are worldly. They are comfortable with lots of different types of people from lots of different places. They soaked up the culture in Hawaii, Texas, and Georgia, and as a result, have very little trouble living around people that don’t look like them. 
  9. My best friends live all over the world This one makes me sad. Some of the people I love the most don’t live close to me anymore. Every time I moved, I always missed my girlfriends the most. My best friend, Steph, lives in Colorado…I wish I could still stop by her house while coming home from the mall. 
  10. No place is ever as awesome as HOME— I have lived in beautiful places and made memories that I will never forget, but there is no place like home! 

Below is a picture from my patio in the backyard of the house I lived at in Hawaii.


Writing That Inspires Me MOST!


I wouldn’t call myself “well-traveled”…I’m more “sorta-traveled.” To be honest, if it wasn’t for my best friend, Stephanie, or my sweet, brave friend, Sarah, I would have never left the country. Sarah was an English teacher I worked with in Colorado, and she took on the monumental task of taking large groups of students on EF Tours every spring break. My first year teaching in Colorado, Stephanie and I signed up to take the British Literary EF Tour with Sarah and 29 students. It was bananas. I loved every minute of it and all of my fears of traveling abroad melted away. A few years later, I went with Sarah and EF to Spain and it was in Barcelona that I fell in love with the writing that inspires me most–graffiti. Graffiti is a beautiful mix of artistic vision and specific, sometimes passionate, and often hilarious text. The graffiti is Spain is so interesting and there is so much of it that you can find picture books dedicated to the art form in tourist shops and bodega markets on nearly every street corner.

I came home from that trip to Spain with buckets full of inspiration. And even though I only had a thimble full of artistic talent, I set about incorporating the pictures of graffiti I took and the images torn from the graffiti books I bought into my own art journals. I’m not exactly proud of my artwork. It’s definitely not show-quality. But it is a fun way to write about my feelings, experiences, hardships, joys, and all that comes with journaling without all the words. It’s a creative outlet without the pressure of saying it just right.

This is part of the reason I encourage you to draw in your journals. It’s why I have ungodly amounts of art supplies in my classroom.

Now you know.

Florence street scene Chris Beckett via Compfight

Fishing Around


Preparation Day 1:

Hey, guys! Today is for exploration. I want you to get out into the recesses of the internet and read blogs. Take note of what people are writing about, but also pay close attention to the way they are writing it. Look at backgrounds, bold words, headlines, and other organization techniques. When you read interesting blogs, think about how the author has created credibility within their page…or how they lack credibility.

Take Notes!

As you poke around on blogs, take notes in your journal about topics you find interesting, things you found that caught your eye, things you want to imitate and things you want to stay away from. Make sure to jot down URLs for blogs you’d like to revisit for inspiration.

Start Here!

Here are a few teacher blogs to visit. Most of these were created as class blogs…much like what we will have. Look at the student work, so you can see what other students are doing. Some of it is great.


If you come across something awesome that I should add to the list of exemplars, add them in the comment on this post!

Journal Topic:

Today’s journal topic is twofold. First, I’d like some suggestions on what to call our class blog. Right now it is simply “Ms. H’s Creative Writing” and I find that super boring. Help me out! Brainstorm a few ideas and jot them down in your journal. There are Blog Name Generators out there to help you with that. And while you’re helping me, start thinking about what you want to name your blog as well!  We’ll share your ideas for our class blog at the end of the period. Second, respond to what you saw today. How do you feel about blogging? What did you see out in the blog-o-sphere that made you excited? Scared? Did you walk away with any ideas? If so, work them out a little in the safety of your journal. Most importantly, WRITE!



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Let’s Get This Party Started!


Welcome guys!

Well, the time has come. I’m really excited to get this blogging started. My students are very talented writers and blogging is going to add a sense of authenticity to what we do. Hopefully, by adding in more student choice, allowing for students to craft their own ideas in ways they find interesting, and taking the risk of putting their work out into the universe, students…and their teacher…will learn something about themselves and their writing abilities in the process.


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