Alternate Names For Love

First Born Child ~
The daughter who is 22 years old now and swears you two look nothing alike
Second Born Child ~
The son who is 13 years old and whose voice is too deep for my heart to handle
Fur-baby ~
The puppy who follows me everywhere and who may have helped you avoid a mental breakdown
Husband ~
The man who makes sure your every need is met and most of your wants, too
Scholars ~
The students I have had the honor and privilege to teach, to know
Books ~
The getting swept up in the pages of a story, poem, mystery, drama
My Notebook ~
The writing, scribing, describing, explaining, expressing one’s own thoughts and ideas

Donnetta Norris
Originally Published February 17

Steps To Being Donnetta Norris

One: You first have to be named Donnetta Norris.

Two: Be born January 12, 1971 into uncertainty; before Big Mama tells ’em how it’s gon be.

Three: Grow up not knowing your father while everyone else does, and they don’t ever miss an opportunity to tell you how much ‘you look just like yo daddy’.

Four: Make the mistakes a fatherless child makes

Five: Be the first grand to graduate college; get married, get divorced, get married again

Six: Teach – Read – Write: Give all you are to impact the lives of Scholars.

Now that I’ve been writing, I’ve got more questions than answers today, like,
Who is Donnetta Norris, anyway?

Let’s Meet Somewhere

Between cooking and eating
where the indulgence in a hearty meal lies.

Between Middle Grade books and Social Media posts
meant to capture our attention and take us far away.

Between notebook entries and blog posts
written to record all of life’s experiences.

Let’s meet somewhere
cozy and enjoy
being in the moment.

Donnetta Norris
Originally posted February 14, 2021

Love Is

Love has filled the air.
In every store "It" can be found.
But chocolate hearts can't compare
When heart-felt actions abound.

Love is acts of kindness;
Expressed in different ways.
True love is acts of mindfulness;
Showing more than what one says.

Love is heart and mind and soul;
Meant to reach out to others.
Love can make a person whole,
As it connects us to another.

Love is not a simple word.
It is really more a complex verb.

Donnetta Norris
Originally published on February 13

Where I’m Going

I’m not sure where I’m going
For I have not been placed yet.

But wherever I’m going
I’m going FEARLESSLY; bravely with intention and purpose

I’m going with the hope
that all things work for my good

I’m going with the belief
that I can do anything I put my mind to

I’m going with the confidence
that I am competent and capable for all that comes my way

I’m not sure where I’m going
For I have not been placed yet.

But wherever I’m going
WORLD, WATCH OUT! Because, I’m going places.

Donnetta Norris January 17, 2021

My JOYS of 2020

During the month of November I wrote 30 #gratikus about the people, place and things for which I am grateful. I featured some of my poems in a previous post. 

I enjoyed writing these haikus every day, because I learned to slow down, pay attention, and capture moments in time (in the present) that made me be present in the moment.

For the month of December I am reflecting on 31 days of JOY-filled moments from throughout 2020. I have looked back through notebooks and scrolled through photos to recollect and relive the excitement and joy felt at that time.

Despite all that COVID has brought with it in 2020, I am choosing to end this year reflecting on all that is and was good. 

One of my greatest JOYs from 2020 was becoming a member of the #100daysofnotebooking Facebook group, because I developed a daily writing habit.

I wrote a notebook entry every day for the first 100 days of 2020 and beyond, and I have continued to this day. I am proud to be ending this year the way I started it…writing.

The notebooks that have captured my JOYS of 2020.

Hard Is Hard

I wrote this piece for a Slice of Life on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 and posted it on

Hard is Hard
I’m not sure which is harder…

  • Teaching remotely and trying to get Scholars to respond during the “We Do” portion of the “district/campus-mandated” Gradual Release of Responsibility Model.


  • Seeing someone hurting and not being able to put your arms around them and attempt to assure them everything will be okay.

BOTH are equally hard. One, mentally. One, emotionally.
In that moment, I did what I could. I stood 3 feet away, cried with her, and prayed.

Keeping a Record of Gratitude and JOY

TeachWrite, LLC.

I think most would agree that once November roles in each year, many people begin to focus on what they are grateful and thankful for. I have seen the evidence over past few years in various versions of 30-day thankfulness challenges on social media. 

I have never participated in those thankfulness challenges, because I knew I’d probably miss a day or two since I’m not on social media every day. I knew missing days would totally mess with my need to be perfect, so I just quit before I even began. This year, however, I was presented with a 30-day challenge that really intrigued me, one in which I have been more than excited to partake. This challenge is called #Gratiku.

Every day for the month of November, possibly longer since I love this idea so much, I am writing a haiku-ish style poems about the people, places, and things that I am grateful and thankful for. I love the challenge of writing haikus or other types of poems filled with gratitude. I also love that the challenge causes me to focus on positive things, especially in such a time as this…#Corona-times.

I can’t take credit for the amazing idea. Erin Vogler and Leigh Anne Eck came up with this idea during a brainstorming session for the November writing challenge in a writing group of which I am a member…Thank you ladies. Another writer in my group, Michelle Hastletine, announced that she was doing a “JOYplan” as a way of focusing on things that bring her JOY. I decided to combine both ideas and write #gratikus from a list of 30 things that bring me JOY (#norrisJOYplan). 

Most days the #gratikus I have written haven’t come from my #norrisJOYplan list. I am constantly presented with new JOYs each day, and in an effort to be present and in the moment, I try to capture that JOYful experience in that day’s #gratiku. I am enjoying this challenge so much, I am planning to finish 2020 writing haikus and poems of gratitude and thankfulness to end the year in the right frame of mind. What a great way to usher in 2021, don’t you think?

November 5, 2020
November 14, 2020
November 10, 2020
November 11, 2020
November 13, 2020
Create your website with
Get started