About the Business of Writing 12/31 #SOL16

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
31 Days of Writing!
Hosted at the Two Writing Teachers


About the Business of Writing

Today, I am carving out some time for writing; and it’s not even dark!  I usually do not have that luxury during the week.  I leave the writing until the very last part of the day. The part of the day that doesn’t require anything else from me.  Sometimes it’s really (really!) close to the 11:59 pm EST deadline for posting your March SOLSC #SOL16 slice.  But that is my me time.  That is the part of the day that is just for me.

Yesterday was Friday.  I spent some time in my classroom after school, getting ready for next week.  I put away 2 very large stacks of books from the book return bins in the book room.  I chatted with some colleagues.  I said hello to a few little friends at Family Movie Night.  No worries.  I still had lots of time left in the day for writing.  I’ve got this.

So… I headed to Barnes & Noble.  This is where I go when I need a pick-me-up.  I wandered through the store, browsing the time away.  I bought a couple of books to share with my favorite readers next week.  The night was still young.  I made 2 more stops for things I needed at home.  Finally, errands complete, I headed home to begin my slice.  I started.  I looked at my writing notebook, I wrote some ideas, and then…

9:21 pm
I get a text from E…  “I’m ready to be picked up”.

I get to the restaurant.
“Can you drive a few more friends home?”   Of course.  

I get a text from B…   “When will you be home, he wants to say hello?”  Almost there.

I took some time to chat with B and her friend about their evening.  

I get a text from Paul on his way home from work…  “Do you want some ice cream?” (Like I would say no.)  I get back to my slice and wait for my ice cream.

Ice cream arrives.
(Do I eat it?  Do I finish my slice?  What would you have done?)

Ice cream gone.  I frantically try to finish my slice before 10:59 pm.  Formatting problems. It seems like I’m typing quicker than the internet can think.  


I click on “Post Comment”.  

11:00 pm
Slice posted.  But it’s really 12:00 am.  Ugh…

Last night I didn’t post my slice until 12:00 am, exactly, on the dot.  If I could get a day ahead… I wrote about procrastination a few days ago.  I don’t think I’m procrastinating with my writing… I’m just not setting the time aside to reflect and develop my craft as a writer.  I can only live a writerly life if I’m about the business of writing.  I will have to see if I can fix this.  Tomorrow.


Shorter-than-Ever Stories 2/31 #SOL16

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
31 Days of Writing!
Hosted at the Two Writing Teachers


Miss C. has been reaching out to Michelle (Literacy Learning Zone) and I about writing ideas, specifically about motivating some of her students to write.  Today I walked into Miss C.’s third grade class with a book in my hands:   One Day, The End.:  Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.  I quickly explained that I had a book to share with the class.  I meant to leave the book with Miss C., who was about to begin a read-aloud with her students.  Instead, she invited me to sit in her very special chair and read to her very amazing third grade class.  It was an opportunity I just could not pass up!  So, I sat down…

We read the title together.  We made predictions and we talked about stories- short, very short, shorter-than-ever stories.  I began to read the book.  The students were surprised that there were not many words on the pages of this book.  We looked at the detail in the illustrations.  We talked about our thinking.  We inferred all the happenings between the beginning and the end of each adventure story.  These third graders loved this book!  They were thoroughly and completely engaged.

Then, I got to the last 2 pages when the girl announced her next adventure- that one day she wanted to write a book!  The students gasped.  The students looked around with wonder.  How would she- and could she- go from telling about her adventures with such few words to writing an entire book?

I turned to the last page…  Right there, on the girl’s bookshelf, were all of her adventure stories- short, very short, shorter-than-ever stories written as a book!  The students recognized that each book title was one of her adventures from the book!  We revisited the detail in the illustrations.  Those details were the words she wrote in her books. Those words were the details between the beginning and the ending of her shorter-than-ever stories!

So, we talked about our own every-day adventures.  We talked about telling our stories. We talked about writing our stories down.  (Even if our stories are short, very short, shorter-than-ever stories).  Miss C. and I helped the students connect that each one of their adventures can be written as a story.  Each adventure story can be made into a book.  Each book can be placed on a shelf for others to read and enjoy!

Isn’t that what we are doing with our slices?  We are writing about our own adventures. Some are short stories.  Some are very short stories.  Some are shorter-than-ever stories. The important thing is that we go out and have adventures (even every-day adventures) and that we write them down so we can share our stories with others.

Maybe one day I’ll have my stories on my bookshelf too…

Thank you, Miss C. and your amazing third grade class, for letting me spend time in your classroom today.  I can’t wait to read about your adventures!

And thank you, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, for this excellent mentor text for writing that we shared with our students today!

Taking a Break #SOL15

Slice of Life
hosted at the
Two Writing Teachers

My head is spinning with ideas, but they’re scattered.

My heart is full of emotions, but they’re mixed.

I have a lot to say, but my thoughts are jumbled.

My mind tries to concentrate, but it’s wandering.

I’m excited to share so many things, but I’m not focused.

I’m bursting with writing energy, but I’m exhausted.

I could write about what I’m feeling, but I won’t.

I’d like to write a story, but I can’t.

So, I’m taking a break from writing today.

Wearing Hats #SOL15

Slice of Life
hosted at the
Two Writing Teachers

B (our junior in high school) shared with us tonight that she might not want to study engineering when she goes to college. She’s more interested in studying English and creative writing – maybe be an editor and hopefully have some of her own writing published.  She was worried about telling us, about disappointing us.

Her words were:  “I don’t like science or math. Engineering isn’t ideal for me. Don’t worry, I still might end up in engineering because I know how beneficial it would be to have a high-paying job.”

What?  Does it have to be about a high-paying job?   What about dreams?  What about passion and purpose?  What about loving what you do?

Of course we told her that she could study anything, do anything, be anything she wanted to be. We talked about the importance of finding your passion. We talked about finding your purpose. We talked about dreams.   We talked about loving what you do. We talked about hard work- no matter what.

What worries me is that B is still young.  She thinks that she has to decide now, at 17, what she wants to do with the rest of her life.  She has so much more to do, to see, to learn.

Why are we all in such a hurry?  I realize that some kids know what they want from the start. They never waiver.  But, what about the kids that don’t?  Recently, we’ve begun to talk about time woven into the school day to explore, to experience, to try on hats. Genius hour.  Passion projects. Did my own kids miss out on this?

Today, B is wearing the hat of a writer.  B is a beautiful writer. Writing comes easy to her (unlike her mom).  She has grown up as an avid reader, so it’s no wonder that she is a gifted writer. She loves to write!  She wants to publish her writing!  For now…it looks like B has found her passion. Hopefully, this will lead her to her purpose. (And an okay paying job? – asks her dad.)

Paul and I are wearing the hats of proud parents!


Image from Pinterest

SOL15 It’s Just the Beginning… 31/31


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge –  An Online Writing Experience Hosted by The Two Writing Teachers

It’s just the beginning…

Before I started…
I didn’t believe in myself enough.
I didn’t think I could do it.
I didn’t think I could write.
I didn’t think I could write every day for 31 days.
I didn’t believe in myself enough.

As I reflect…
I have learned that I should believe in me.
I have learned that I can and I will do it.
I have learned that I have a work-in-progress writer’s voice.
I have learned that I can write (every day in March!).
I have learned that I believe in me – just enough!

I look forward to writing on Tuesdays because…
There are more words that I want to say.
There are more writing styles that I want to try.
There are more stories that I can’t wait to read.
There are more writers that I want to connect with and comments that I want to leave.
There are more words that I want to say!

It’s just the beginning…

Many thanks to~
TWT for hosting this Slice of Life writing challenge
-The writers who inspired me every day
-The readers who left comments on my stories and kept me writing