a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Slice of Life Challenge March 2012

The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers

I didn’t slice yesterday.  I think it might have been intentional. 

You see, if I slice all 31 days, then I am eligible for a prize.  However, if I slice only 30 out of 31 days then I know I did all that writing just for me.  And I got a lot of slicing this year (my 3rd year of participation—boy I had no clue that first year, but it gets easier and more rewarding each year).  Here are some of the things I gained from writing throughout March this year:

·      When I read the slices of other people before writing my own slice for the day, it is much more difficult to quiet the voice in my head that says, “My writing is not good enough.”

·      Writing my own slices and reading the slices and comments of others makes me feel validated.

·      There is an art to working negativity into a slice without sounding like a negative person.

·      I think a lot about audience when I write.

·      I often have to start by getting the background of a story down in words before I figure out that the best place to start the story is inside of it.  I know this, and yet it often seems like that won’t work for this story until I start writing it.

·      I am a very open person in general.  So, when I am keeping something close the bone, it is more difficult to write because I am avoiding writing the big truths in my life.

·      There is room in my life for more (more writing, keeping up with more slicers, more commenting, more life).

·      I hold on to moments that I have written about with greater strength than those about which I do not write.

·      I care deeply about other slicers in this community.  I am a compassionate person, but still this surprised me this year.

·      The Two Writing Teachers website has impacted my life and who I am as a writer, a teacher, a human so greatly that I think I am going to have to return tomorrow to address this topic. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Secret Green Notebook

The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers
When I was younger, I loved Anastasia Krupnik and her 'Secret Green Notebook' from the book named after her by Lois Lowry.  So, today I decided to connect to my inner child and create an Anastasia-style pair of lists. 
This is what my tattered copy looks like.
Here is a page from Anastasia's notebook from Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry

Things I Love!  

Books That Make Me Feel Nostalgic (like Anastasia Krupnik)
Two Writing Teachers
Being Hopeful
Barking Dogs
Calling My Mom
Perfect Outfit Days
French Fries
Singing In The Car
Falling Asleep
Sharing Secrets
Barking Dogs (maybe!)

Things I Hate!

My Husband Falling Asleep Before Me
High Stakes Tests
Being Woken Up By An Alarm
Not Having A Slice Idea
Barking Dogs
Cottage Cheese
People Who Have Never Taught Middle School Making Decisions About Middle School Curriculum
Being Late