#SOL19 Day 12 Spark! 12 Pieces of Gratitude


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For the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.

Gratitude to Fellow Slicers

None of my slices will be stories( in a strictly small moment way) this month. Perhaps they are more pieces than slices and I may have to reconsider future participation in the story challenge.  Because even though I love that genre, I am on a bit of a mission to expand our definition of writing so that every one finds a place at the writer’s table. There are many ways to tell a story I am also passionate about encouraging fellow writing teachers to be teachers who write. I want them to find their voices and share their ideas creatively, authentically, and passionately. The Slice of Life has been such a great way for teachers to do this and share with one another and I am filled with admiration and gratitude for everyone who shares.

I have learned so much, and continue to learn so much each time I click on the permalink to a blog post and enter the world of that slicer for a few moments. I love that we support one another without judgement or an assessment of our abilities, but with appreciation for our courageous acts of writing and sharing. As we hit the 12th day I wanted to share 12 Pieces of Gratitude for SPARKing my writing life this month. I’ll try to quick write them if I can!

Thank you for…

  1. The book spine poetry to remind me how connected reading and writing can be.
  2. The haikus that remind me how a few choice words can convey such big, bold ideas.
  3. The streams of consciousness that let me walk around inside the head of someone who probably gets where I’m coming from but sees with different lenses.
  4. The passionate posts of advocacy that raise my awareness about the concerns that others have, some that I share and others for which I am unaware.
  5. The snapshot in words capturing special moments cuddling kids, caring for parents, or cozying up with pets.
  6. The doodles and comics reinforcing that writing is, at its essence, a series of lines and squiggles that convey meaning to a reader.
  7. The personal photos that remind us a picture IS worth a thousand words sometimes.
  8. The Rules for life, love, and other meaningful circumstances.
  9. The Recipes for life, love, and favorite family foods that tie tradition with narration.
  10. The free verse poetry that liberates our lines from fixed convention and emancipates our ideas in free spirited fashion.
  11. For quick writes that courageously put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards without filters or fears: often surprising writers with thoughts they didn’t know they ‘thunk’.
  12. For any band-aid, format, or form that gets people writing and walking the talk of writing teachers. Voice and choice are at the heart of living a writerly life.

You have all re-affirmed for me the importance expanding our definitions for writing and legitimizing the many ways humans can convey their experiences in writing. I am so grateful for all of you, stepping up to take on this huge challenge this month. 





21 thoughts on “#SOL19 Day 12 Spark! 12 Pieces of Gratitude

  1. Wow, Paula! That is an amazing list! I enjoyed reading it and love the idea that we can expand our definition of writing to include all these things. Choice and voice – yes! Now I am thinking that I should do some more experimentation this month. Thank you!

    1. I have loved your blended posts with thoughtful teaching ideas and then your own writing which explores and exemplifies them. I always learn so much from you because you walk the talk of a writing teacher!

  2. Love this list of ideas . . . so many in just 12 short days of writing. Thank you for celebrating the different formats as every story does not have to fit a story arc or mountain. 🙂

  3. I could not agree more. Your book has been coming to mind this month. Reading all different structures and all of us experimenting with different structures is really playful and engaging. We do need to get this going in classrooms. Spark is well timed and is a great resource for teachers. Thank you for this list!

    1. There are sparks for small moments, too. Just like we want kids to read in each genre, we honor their individual book choices as part of their reading identity. Nudges and time for play with other structures can expand that sense of identity.

  4. Each item on your list, except maybe one to my arbitrary thinking, is a story or tells a story. If I were required to write a story that fits, say, Frytag’s pyramid, I’d be in trouble. My posts almost always take the form of essay and not traditional narrative in a strict sense.

    The only type of slice I find problematic is a scribble the writer claims is there just to post something. But I don’t have to read those, so I know it’s not my place to judge.

    Thank you for the reminder story can take many forms, and folks need space to experiment.

    1. Maybe this challenge isn’t the right place for experimenting, but I believe we definitely need spaces for teachers to write and share with one another in a wide variety of formats.

      1. I grew up not wanting to write and only did it because I had to when I was younger. I spent the majority of my time perfecting sports so reading and writing only happened when I was assigned something in school. Thank you for encouraging me to join this writing challenge! I appreciate that you don’t judge but offer positive comments about what you have read! Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing with us all! I always look forward to reading your posts!!

  5. Thanks for this, Paula! I hope that Slicers didn’t feel scolded or chastened or like they are doing it wrong by the words at TWT. I love forms and formats and find them incredibly productive for writing. Experiment should be encouraged and celebrated! Hmmm. I might have to write about this! I love all of the forms, genres, and formats you mention, and I’m excited to experiment with more of them this month.

  6. Thank you for this. I felt admonished about my writing though I know the bandaid post wasn’t all that personal. I’ve adjusted my writing but miss the plan I had made for my month of blogs. I may start to double write my blog so I can keep into my plan and slice.

  7. Hooray for this celebration of writing in all forms! And for teachers of writers who are committed to writing — and sharing! I have added your post to my Padlet of writing ideas and plan to draw upon it for future writing endeavors. Write on, Paula! — Christie

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