Saturday, March 31, 2018

SLICE #31- And it's a wrap!

Sometimes, when I can't figure out what to write about, I go back and read my slice from the year before. That often gives me ideas for what I might write. Today, as I was thinking about closing out this month of slicing, I went back to last year, and I found this quote.
"All we are, yes, all we can be, are the stories we tell," he says, and he is talking as if he is talking only to me. "Long after we are gone, our words will be all that is left, and who is to say what really happened or even what reality is? Our stories, our fiction, our words, will be as close to truth as can be. And no one can take that away from you."    Nora Raleigh Baskin
And the quote still pretty much captures the essence of why I slice.

I slice because I love stories. 

I love telling stories.

I love hearing other people's stories.  

I love reading stories. 

I love movies and the theater. 

I just love stories. 

When I tell stories, I process and make sense of my life. When I hear stories, I understand other people better. And sometimes their stories give me insights into my own life, as a teacher, or as a parent, or as a human being. 

That's why I slice. For me, it's all about the stories. 

This year, I have told lots of stories. As I look back over my month, I see six slices about parenting. It troubles me more than a little that these stories seem to be similar to ones I have told the last couple of years, and I'm hoping that next year my sons will be in a different, stronger, healthier, more adult place. I see nine slices about teaching. That's less than most years, and I wonder why. There are a couple of slices about my current interest in dogs, several about my participation in Weightwatchers, several about other kinds of stories- the march last weekendHamilton, an author talk, and Paul, a movie I saw over spring break. And there are a few other random slices- lists or other formats that I tried on days when I couldn't figure out what to write about.

I've enjoyed reading stories that I have followed for many years- Elsie, Ramona, Michelle, Stacey, Elisabeth, Cathy, Julie, Karen, and Karen, and lots of others (I hate writing these lists because I always forget someone important. I apologize in advance!).  It's been fun to connect with some new Colorado slicers- Tamara (I've actually known her for many years, but this is her first year of slicing), and Morgan. As always, I've loved getting to know some new folks- DaniLauren, Andrea, Mrs. Tice (I wonder what's wrong with me that after a month of commenting I can't tell you her first name!), Michelle, and  Art Teachers Do It For the Monet, who pushed my thinking every day, through my work on the Welcome Wagon. And I've missed a few people that didn't slice this year- Linda Baie and Nancy Hatcher (I can't find her link right now).

I didn't get as many comments this year as I have in other years.  Maybe it's because I sometimes wrote later in the day; I really prefer to write in the morning because that's when I write the best, but March has been really busy, and my early mornings, when I like to write, have been filled with writing "jobs" for work.  Perhaps,  my slices were too long, and people would open them and think, "I'm not reading all of that." Or maybe my posts just weren't all that interesting. I wondered, though,  whether people didn't understand the importance of comments as a way of building a writing community.  I know it was not because I wasn't commenting- I usually responded to about twenty slices a day- all my old favorites, my Welcome Wagon folks, and then five to ten others.

I know this isn't goodbye. For several years, I have written poetry the entire month of April. I didn't do that last year and I was really sad all month, so I'm going to try to resume the tradition this year. Currently, I'm thinking about jumping in with Amy Ludwig VanDerWater, a fabulous children's poet, who has just written a new book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, that I want to see if I can buy today.

And of course I will keep slicing on Tuesdays.

Until then…


Anonymous said...

I love your beginning quote and your central theme about the love of stories. Stories drive this challenge, and even if there are less comments than hungered for, may you putting your stories in writing for future readers to discover be satisfying in and of itself. All the best in your continued writing. Btw, I am having a hard time posting this comment because the site thinks I am a robot. Maybe this has contributed to less comments than usual?

Michelle said...

I reflected on the challenge this year too, Carol and we shared similar thoughts, even about the commenting. I'm so thankful to read your stories and learn from you and laugh with you and cry with you. Thank you for all the comments on my blog too! They really do matter to me! :) I'm still proud to say that we finished a month of writing, but I'm okay with taking a little break from writing. Best of luck on the poetry journey in the month of April! :) See you on Tuesday!

Elisabeth Ellington said...

Definitely get Poems Are Teachers. I've got it from the library right now and I'm liking it a lot. Maybe I'll use it next month and write some poetry with you! And yes, yes, yes to the stories. It's what I love about March too. I was just commenting on comments at Glenda's blog. I think you are right: some slicers may not realize the importance of comments yet. It was interesting to me to watch a couple of my Welcome Wagon folks start getting a ton of comments partway through the month--I'm pretty sure it was because they were commenting on so many blogs. A few other bloggers who complained about not getting comments on their blogs were not people I ever saw commenting on other blogs. Which isn't to say they weren't doing the minimum; I'm sure they were. It's just such a key part of the challenge and community. As you know, I love your slices so very much. I look forward every day to visiting your blog and reading your stories. I didn't write about parenting really at all this month because of exactly what you noted: we're in the same place, in a holding pattern, it's hard and I'm tired and I just want to think about something else! Here's hoping for some movement for next year!

JenniferM said...

I just love stories, too! :-) I was going to say that Michelle wrote similarly about commenting, but I see she already left you a comment! I like how you looked back at the patterns of your writing and how many posts you wrote about certain topics. It's always interesting to see what parts of our lives call to us to tell their stories, and how often!

elsie said...

I think it's about the story too. I don't mind a longer post if there's a story there to spark my interest. Yes, comments get comments. I think it's only polite that if someone comments on my post, I go to theirs and give back. Sometimes those connections become bonds that tie us together. Some day I will be coming through Denver and we will have dinner together.

Tamara said...

As you know, Carol, I am a great fan of your writing and love all of the stories you tell, even when I don't comment. In this post, I love that you analyzed your blogging pattern for the month. That made me realize how much easier it is for me to write about school. For next year I'm going to challenge myself to share more personal stories. It is like pulling teeth for me.

Your post also made me wish The Bookies was still open so I could see if they have a copy of Poems are Teachers for me.

Finally, I've been inspired by you, Elisabeth, Glenda, GirlGriot, Melanie, and the other Welcome Wagon folks. One of my goals has been to learn how you all manage to leave such thoughtful, meaningful comments on so many blogs a day. I haven't figured it out yet, except to think that you must be completely exhausted! Thanks for all you did to make it a great month of slicing!