Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Slice of Life- 31 of 31: And SOLSC 2021 is a wrap

    It's March! That means that I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I am happy to co-host this event with the team at Two Writing Teachers. Everyone is welcome!

Kelsey Sorum designed the above graphic as we prepared for a presentation, and as I think about my final post, the words and statements hold more true than ever. In March, I recognize what's hard, what I can try, my process, and I create a stash of writing that I can use for teaching well beyond the 31 says. I can also write some pieces that resonate with groups of learners. These are some of the reasons I write. 

I also write for connections. At the beginning of the month, I tried to explain to Nawal that she would develop relationships that would surprise her, recognizing the similarities, patterns, and vulnerabilities of other like-minded people. It's a special group that shows up every day with the commitment and bravery to write and share it with an unknown and often unseen audience. And even within this group, communities establish-- I don't think of them as cliques, but instead of clusters; slicers who show up at about the same time each day (sort of like the line of people in a coffee shop when we used to go to coffee shops), who write about similar topics, have children the same ages, teach similar grades. A camaraderie develops, and it's real and sustaining in so many ways. 

This month, I was aware of how I steered clear of vulnerability in my posts. I admire you slicers who share the raw, who weave the daily events into something deeper within your past. There were a few days when I thought about it. Those stories stay closer though, some in the pages of handwritten notebooks, others showing up in works of fiction, veiled and screened because they are happening to someone else. I am studying this pattern because I know it has implications for some of the writers I meet in classrooms. What stories do they harbor? Do they want to tell them but perhaps in a different form or through someone else? Maybe. And maybe it's okay to write stories that don't bare truths and souls. I like many of my slices, even though they're not often revealing and emotional. I recognize the complexity of this dilemma, and it's one I'll continue to think about. 

Yesterday, I wrote a six-word post about the almost-end. Yes, there's relief, as writing and commenting every day is pressure. (And there's the back end of the whole thing, as well!) But there's also sadness because I know that in March, I live with a greater awareness, paying attentions to events and conversations that could become the tapestry of a slice. Mostly, I am grateful for all of you for showing up, even in 2020 and 2021, when there are so many pressures and other things do do. This writing commitment and community has made me a better listener, writer, and person. 

Onward to Tuesdays and March of 2022. SOLSC 2021 is a wrap. 

Happy slicing,



  1. This year I wished I'd had time to read more slices, but I did stick with my cluster, so to speak, the bloggers around my posting and those I've known for a while. The connections I've made over the years of this challenge have lasted and have, more importantly, transformed me as a teacher and a writer.

  2. Melanie,
    You point out a few things and put them into words so well. My routine posting in the morning really was so similar to standing in line at the coffee shop before school (pre-Covid). As I'd post, simliar names were around me and this brought me such comfort! I did feel it as you say "A camaraderie develops" I appreciate your honestly about how you avoided vulnerable topics but may allow them to be explored in a different genre. Such a powerful reflection and something for me to self-reflect on and encourage student writers to reflect on as well. SO wise. Finally, this line you wrote is beautiful: I live with a greater awareness, paying attention to events and conversations that could become the tapestry of a slice. awarenss/attention/tapestry are the perfect words to describe what we have all tried to do for 31 days! I truly am grateful for this community. Thank you. Those 2 words don't seem enough to share with you but know a person with a very grateful heart is typing them. See you on Tuesday!

  3. You have captured the essence of the challenge in your post. You speak to connections and community, time and process, all part of the challenge. I appreciated your points about vulnerability. When I read so many books about writing, they really spend time talking about this very thing. For me, it is one of the hardest parts of the writing. Your paragraph has me thinking more about it. Congratulations on a month of great writing - and thank you for all you do to help make this challenge happen.

  4. I love to see that I made an appearance in your post. I love to see that beautiful visual from your book, which you know I am currently reading and thoroughly enjoying. More than anything, I loved your paragraph about vulnerability, asking, 'what stories do they harbor?' I wonder this every single day. Vulnerability. This is an important thing. I contemplate it often. How do we allow ourselves to feel?
    Thank you for looping me into this incredible community and challenge. I appreciate you.

  5. Oh ... I can remember some posts that have caused me to redo my eye make up over the years AND I think you always share your vulnerability as a teacher, coach, and lifelong learner. Thank you for letting me know I could join in any way, shape, or form. It made THE difference in my decision. Looking forward to meeting up once we are vaccinated!!

  6. This was a vulnerable thing to know that, right? :). I agree 100%...the community and the connections make it special. I find myself wishing for more time or some sort of system to read more slices. I can see how on the backend and in the future some of those patterns will develop and extend even more deeply into the classroom.