Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Maroon Office Chair

Today is 31 of 31 Slice of Life posts for the March Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by the terrific team at Two Writing Teachers. The challenge continues on Tuesdays. Swing by TWT to link up or help yourself to a second slice.
Today's "Be Inspired" lead on the daily link up is Maya Woodall's "This Is Just to Say." I thought I'd play with a Williams's poem too as I reflect on the 2015 Slice of Life Story Challenge. 

The Maroon Office Chair (with apologies to William Carlos Williams)

so much depends
the maroon office chair
up to the brown desk
upon which
the silvered laptop

So much about writing, for me, depends on discipline, persistence and trust. It is writing, alone, every day that gets it done for me and sometimes the stuff of life: school and traffic and lacrosse and grocery shopping and a leaky washer and youth group and carpooling--drains words right out of me and leaves that time alone to write stranded on the far horizon of four in the morning or nine at night. 

Last year I learned that to write, I need the people around me to understand why I write and why it is important to me. I learned that I need support, space,willingness and sometimes to be still. As Nancie Atwell once said so much about writing depends on being in the chair writing. I made the time for the chair and writing this month and I'm glad I did.

What a month it has been: a month of practice and paying attention, a month of brainstorming and drafting, a month of noticing and capturing, a month of writing fast some days and writing slow others, a month of reading. I've peeked into classrooms and kitchens and play rooms and libraries in in New York and Indiana and Washington and Orlando and New Jersey and Colorado and even Estonia!  So many places I've been and sights I've seen in slices of life this month. 

Every time I challenge myself to write more I grow as a writer. I am thankful for the practice. I count it all joy--even the slices that came out sort of okay, not so good but good enough good, you know what I mean? 

Thank you for the month and for your encouragement. Thank you for reminding me in more posts than I can count or pin or book mark or Instagram or Facebook or tweet what is important about writing and teaching writers. 

All the best! See you on Tuesday.

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams

so much depends
a red wheel barrow 
with rain water 
the white chickens.


  1. The SOL Challenge is like a month-long field trip - you are right, we got to peek in the windows and discover things about ourselves and fellow slicers. What a great month!

  2. I could spend the evening visiting "This is just to say " posts... and may do just that (with time out to finish my own, alas more prosaic, final post in the works

  3. Nice to read what others write. It's a true writing community.

  4. I love the lists in this piece. First, the ones that tell all the things that push writing out, then all the places you've "traveled" on this journey, and finally for all the ways you have been encouraged. These make the possibilities seem endless even when the time to write is not! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I've just shared that poem & the book that followed with students, Lee Ann. You've created such a clever ending/statement to our March slicing. So much depends. . . Perhaps we might each say something different according to our own circumstances, but sitting down with the paper or the computer is what is needed. Some of my students are tired, & they say they're "done". But others are so proud that they did it, they discovered that they could. What a revelation at 12 or 13. Best wishes in your poetry with your students, & see you on Tuesdays!

  6. I love your poem, Lee Ann, and I agree with you 100%. Writing does "depend on being in the chair," and paying attention, among all the other ingredients you mentioned, but it is "all joy." So happy to have shared this journey with you!

  7. "I am thankful for the practice. I count it all joy--even the slices that came out sort of okay, not so good but good enough good, you know what I mean?"

    This is how I felt about all my slices from March 19 through the end of the month. Still, slicing during March really forced me to document important moments in my life in a way I've never done before.

  8. Ahhh, so much depends upon the community of slicers! What a beautiful poem!!! I love this line, "I count it all joy" It reminds me of a beautiful song, called Count it all Joy! You can hear it here: https://youtu.be/Ddi9D_E3SoE . You helped make this a powerful month for me Lee Ann! See you on Tuesdays. Some of us are continuing the writing with poetry for April. Just posting poetry and using the hashtage #digipoetry. Love to see you there! :)