Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Be on the Look Out

Visit Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers
to participate in Tuesday's Slice of Life
Sometimes I play games with myself. Writing games, today. Nerdy, I know. The purpose of today's game was to help me find a topic to blog. I've got lots of ideas floating around in the deep elastic scatter of my mind, but nothing I really want to tackle today. So I told myself to read the fifth slice of life post from the comments on Two Writing Teachers' master slice. Then to pick the fifth word in the post and use that word as my topic or jumping off point. Up down, top bottom,  it's a strange charm I'm using to decide on writing topics today. I ended up at Linda Baie's Teacherdance blog.

Linda Baie's Teacherdance 

In this post, Linda describes her one little word: possibilities. I didn't count the words in her introduction. I started counting with the bold lead to her own post. The fifth word: is.

Is, a constituent of be (my one little word for this year). Be, like an infinite is. How fun that I would find my own one little word. Though it makes so much our syntax, it felt a little like magic this afternoon.

Be on the look out for possibilities. That is my take away from Linda's slice. Be on the look out for what you want to say, for what you want to write, for what matters. Things aren't always as simple as we make them out to be. Writing topics are all around us. The air literary buzzes with invisible particles--quarks!*-- that we could turn into writing ideas.

In the hunt for ideas we sometimes lose our original focus. Some blog writing (for me at least) begins as thinking and drafting, losing focus at this point in the writing is okay (I'll actually write about is and being another day). That's a lesson I want to share with students as we start talking about the March Slice of Life challenge. Do you slice with students? Will you come March?

*If you don't know Hank Green's song  Strange Charm I tinkered with ideas from it as I wrote today. Listen here or scan the lyrics here.


  1. Well, thanks for the quark alert, Lee Ann, & the mention. I didn't know the Hank Green song, but it's quite an inspiration to be able to write the content into a poem/song & make it entertaining. I think you're onto something here with the finding of ideas. I keep a list, but often start something just as you wrote, & then veer into something else. Interesting how the mind words. I often get my ideas from other blogs, even when I'm commenting, then quick, put them on the list. I might use the word "quarks" as the title for my list, so now you've inspired me!

  2. I love the way you came up with this post! I may have to try it sometime (this morning would have been a good time!)

  3. First, I can say that in the hunt for ideas, or anything else, I almost always lose my original focus. Second, next time you're playing a writing game let me know. I can come up with a word you have to include (like hippopotamus). :).