The smallness of things~Sol 1/31~2022

graupel~snow pebbles in the morning

Upon first morning steps outside the front door, my eyes rest on the smallish snow-like pebbles blanketing the ground. My work lately is to attend to these small wonders of the days that stretch out before me . . . distractions from the injustices and the anxieties of worldly events that dominate the screens.

I often ponder at how small one can go.

The sunshine seems too grand. The tropical breeze of 25 above zero (after weeks of 25 below) and the arrival of deer in the backyard all give me pause for gratitude, yet there are even more miniscule moments that go unnoticed, the less obvious. What Ross Gay calls “delights”.

How many can I capture on a given day? To carry me onward with more hope?

Reminders of this practice follow me around as Naomi Shihab Nye and Danusha Laméris have conversation about how these small moments in our everyday life offer us poetry for living. We neglected them pre-pandemic. Now, we admit, they are all we have to carry us onward.

On this particular day, these tiniest mysteries are spread out before me as far as my eyes can see.

Graupel, the internet tells me, is what it has been named. It screams to be a poem:

Graupel

Bouncing snowflakes blanket the ground
miniature Styrofoam balls
formed 
in highly unstable atmospheres and
convective currents

warm air hugs close to the ground
cold peers downward
snowflakes tumble from the sky
rain swaths it's melted tears

cocooning the chill of winters end

Shari Daniels draft~2022


I borrowed a few phrases from the internet to draft this poem, because sometimes I need help to get myself going.

I am participating in the 15th Annual SOL 2022 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.

Guided By the poems of Hazel~January Poet Guide

My January notebook is painted and awaiting the scribed words for the cover – ones from the poet Hazel Hall that wish to be my guide throughout the month of January.

Let me tell you about some of my writerly rituals for the beginning of a new month.

My notebooks are these pink leatherettes from Walmart. I do love them and fill one notebook each month. They are cheap and sturdy, with paper thick enough to resist the bleeding of any pen. My only angst is that I can only find them in the color of pink. It didn’t used to be this way. Walmart used to carry them in a variety of colors – but no more. Only pink they offer. So, I started painting them. A lovely color of the month adorns each notebook, along with some artful designs. A wide open space is left in the center for the poetic words chosen from my poet guide of the month. I often don’t know what those words are until mid-month – the words that keep appearing in my days become the chosen words.

A couple of years ago, I read a post by Austin Kleon about how he starts his notebooks. What stood out specifically was his ritual of adopting a guardian spirit over the notebook. I tucked this idea away to let it marinate for awhile and this year poets began waving their hands at me, asking to be personal guides for my writing and my living. I remembered Austin’s ritual and decided I would choose one poet each month as a guide for my writing, notebook and living to see what would evolve.

I hold an audition the first day of January inviting a few poets that might fit the job description for the month as Poet Guide. Auditioning this month were four poets I’ve had my eye on. January’s preferred requirements: give insight to my ancestry (great grandmothers), poet’s subjects speak to my January themes, poet’s work has craft that is admirable AND within my reach (so I might try it out in my own poems).

Here’s who have appeared:

1. Ted Kooser/ I bought his book Winter Morning Walks and so want to explore it deeply. As a Winter Walker, I’m already seeing with new eyes because of his words;

2. Willa Cather/a female poet from the early 20th century (and there are so few), who writes of the prairie and nature;

3. Julia Hartwig/a Polish poet, again female who wrote a book of poems titled In Praise of the Unfinished, and I think she may know me;

4. and finally Hazel Hall/ because I’ve been saving and admiring her poem “Mending” for months and a seasonal theme for January is mending. She writes of sewing, loneliness and being lost and I intend to begin two quilts this month. She’s an overlooked poet and is said to be the utmost poet of observation.

*****Hazel Hall was my chosen guide.

Just look at her and her poems! How could I pass her by?

After a little play in my notebook, adding her images in dedication to this notebook honoring her words as guidance, and making a little book to fill as I learn more about the life of this lovely human being, I glue an old envelope in (this one, an old birthday card from my mother – see her beautiful handwriting with my name?). Then, I do some googling and search for poems and I fill the envelope with Hazel’s poems, keeping them at the ready for the days of January.

The notebook is ready. And my guide awaits her role as daily mentor, wise way-shower and poetic hand-holder.

Not every day, but many days out of the month, I reach for a poem after my daily entry. Magically, the words resonate with the words I’ve scribed on the pages of my notebook for that day. And, I feel enveloped in compassion, knowing another soul understands my angst. Gratitude is given for her gift in stringing together letters, words and phrases to meet me here.

Closing my notebook, I say thank you. Thank you to Hazel, to the moment of connection, to the words captured in my notebook for safe-keeping of who I was on this day. And, I await for the next time we are to meet – here – in this space I’ve carved for us each day.

I am participating in today’s twowritingteachers Tuesday Slice of Life. Please head over to their page to read the smallish stories that describe the moments of of other slicers. They are delightful.

Or, add your own.

Poetry Friday: Banishing Expectations

swimming with a buoy

My husband is trying to teach me to swim this year. I’ve never liked swimming. I think I was traumatized in middle school during swimming lessons with water up my nose and a stolen swim suit. Regardless, I’m determined to test my edges this year, and say yes to the things I’ve most often avoided. Swimming is one of those things.

Yesterday was my 10th visit to the pool with my husband. I was able to swim an entire lap (50 yards) of the American crawl. . . with a buoy between my legs to keep me afloat and allow me to focus on my breathing. My husband, who swam in high school and college, hailed this as progress.

The moment begged to be a poem to document the event.

Scaffolding ~

She began her quest of 1000 yards
of the American crawl
or front crawl as originated 
by Ojibwa swimmers
named Flying Gull and Tobacco
some time in the early 1800's.

Tending to her breath
arms and legs neglected
her body sank
like a ship with too much cargo
a buoy placed between her thighs 
supported her to the end

You're doing it hon, he cheered.
You're actually swimming!
Applauding her progress, 
a beaming smile admired her
yet. . . 

she resisted - shaking her head.

It's like cheating, she degraded herself
Needing a device to keep me afloat?
I should not need this extra help.
The yards do not count. 
They are cheapened.

Yes, they do count, he assured her pride
I count my yards swimming with buoys and boards.

You do? she questioned her All American Swimmer.
I didn't know. . . 

Who do I think I am? her expectations chased away
by the sword of the teacher.
8 tons of cargo
lifted from her drowning ship.

Shari Daniels; draft 2022

I’m taking part in Poetry Friday this year and if you’d like to join us and add your poem, head over to Carol’s site at Literacy Link and join us! Or, you might just like to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the poems that others have shared there.

Whatever you decide, I hope you are safe and warm today. Take tender care of yourself and those you love.

#2021 NPM~A Progressive Poem: Day 25

Some time ago, I added my name to the Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem contributor list. The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem was born in 2012 by Irene Latham, of Live Your Poem, as a way to celebrate poetry during the month of April as a community of writers. The poem travels from day to day through the month of April, blog to blog, with each host adding a line to the poem as it unfolds in a magical way.

Margaret Simon coordinates this journey, and this year, Kathryn Apel, children’s author and poet has gifted us a beginning line in which to follow.

Here is the compellation of poetry lines that make up the poem thus far:

*******************

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!
Easily contagious – sharing smiles is my plan.
I'll spread my joy both far and wide
As a force of nature, I’ll be undenied.

Words like, "how can I help?" will bloom in the street.
A new girl alone on the playground – let’s meet, let’s meet!
We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round.
Over, under, jump and wonder, touch the ground.

Friends can be found when you open a door.
Side by side, let’s walk through, there’s a world to explore.
We’ll hike through a forest of towering trees.
Find a stream we can follow while we bask in the breeze.

Pull off our shoes and socks, dip our toes in the icy spring water
When you’re with friends, there’s no have to or oughter.
What could we make with leaves and litter?
Let's find pine needles, turn into vine knitters.

We'll lie on our backs and find shapes in the sky.
We giggle together: See the bird! Now we fly?
Inspired by nature, our imaginations soar.
Follow that humpback! Here, take an oar.

Ahh! Here comes a wave -- let's hold on tight,
splashing and laughing, let's play until night!
When the Milky Way sparkles, and the moon’s overhead,

*************

Tabatha Yeatts, at her blog home, The Opposite of Indifference, has offered me two lines to choose from and add to this poem, and then my task is to generate two more lines for Tim Gels to choose from as the next poet in line. Tabatha’s poetry line choices are:

we watch firefly friends signal with wings outspread

or

we make a pretend campfire and tell stories we've read

Myself, loving a good story, I’m choosing:

we make a pretend campfire and tell stories we've read

So, now, in repeating that finished last stanza:

Ahh! Here comes a wave -- let's hold on tight,
splashing and laughing, let's play until night!
When the Milky Way sparkles, and the moon’s overhead,
we make a pretend campfire and tell stories we've read.


This poem is nearing the end, with a possible one stanza left and perhaps a closing line that leaves the reader lingering in wonderment. So, this last stanza feels like it must take a bend or pivot in some way.

Here are my two line choices for Tim to choose from and then to follow up with his own line:

You tell me yours, and I'll tell you mine.

or

Some stories are true and some myths of our time.

**********************

Tim, at Yet There is a Method, I pass the baton off to you to see if you can make something of this.

Good Luck, Poetry Friend!

**********************

Please join in reading other poetry friends who contributed to this Progressive Poem this year:

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

A Text Message Poem: A Poetry Invitation #1/30 PAD

The March #Slice of Life Challenge ended yesterday, and while I’ve yet to reflect on that month long journey of putting writing out into the world, I felt a nudge to keep sharing some writing each day. How lovely it is that March flows right into April – the blessed month of poetry, along with opportunities to share poetry all over the place. I am delighted when April rolls along so I can take a deep dive into the world of poems.

Big wonderings lead me into this quest:

How can poetry sustain me this month?

What might my themes for poems be?

What new poetry strategies, forms and craft techniques might I try out?

Who will the poets be that guide me on this journey?

Years ago, I was introduced to Georgia Heard and devoured her book, Awakening the Heart. She taught me that poetry hides within the Doors of Poetry: The Observation Door, The Heart Door, The Wonder Door, The Memory Door, and The Concerns of the World Door.

Early on in my poetry journey, before I truly LOVED poetry (because if I’m honest, I was not schooled to love poetry), I categorized the poems I found and wrote using these doors. While this was a very limited view of poetry, it gave me some stepping stones to begin observing where poetry hides with a variety of lenses. And, while I don’t think of these Doors of Poetry now, when reading or writing poetry, I believe they might unconsciously be an underground knowing that I draw from. Many poems can be categorized as several doors at once, or. . . it just depends. Some poems are their own category.

Yet, I believe we sometimes need a place to start. Thinking of The Doors of Poetry gives one a framework for opening up to a new and unrestricted view of poetry. One that is starkly different from their own middle and high school years, of analysis of poems and writing poems within prescribed forms.

This month, I’d like to attempt to put some perimeters on my poetry deep dive and strive to read, write, share and offer invitations to write poetry within the framework of Georgia’s Doors of Poetry. Yet still, be able to do this without tripping up the flow of what a poem wants to be. This can be both restrictive and creative at the same time.

If anything, these invitations are here for myself, to use again and again.

Here’s the first Poetry Invitation: A Text Message Poem

Search your phone for a text message conversation that can be shaped into a poem.

The Mother-Daughter Dance

There is a space
where my tooth belonged
The tongue wriggles
around in its confused
state of bewilderment

It's the first sign
of old age 
I message my 
28-year old daughter

Or young age 
she replies
Kids lose their teeth, too, Mom
she reminds me

Maybe I should shift
my thinking 
as this transition
into wise age
I text back

Yes. Very Wise. She Replies.
You are so wise
that your teeth
are falling out . . .

(long pause)

I feel like I
need to lose some teeth
she adds

Shari Daniels, draft

What started out as an observation poem, in the newfound awareness of this empty space way back in my mouth, and the text messages to my daughter, had turned into a heart poem, showing the compassion and care my daughter has for me in her attempt to trip up the default wiring my own mind has when I go down the “I’m getting old” road. She recognizes this and saves me.

Her last text message response is bait for me to notice that she, too, right now, in her 20 something life, is seeking an extra dose of wisdom. She in a state of what-to-do-ness.

It’s a dance we dance frequently – the Mother and the Daughter.

You can find it in the messages we hold in our hands.

This month I’m participating in the 2021 April PAD (Poem A Day) Challenge in which I’ll be poeming my way through the month and also the NaPoWriMo poetry challenge for April. If you’d like to join along and write poems, you can find other poems to read at these sites here and here. Each site also gives invitations for poems each day. Or, head over to Poets.org to find other ways to celebrate poetry this month.

National Virtual Vacation Day #SOL 30/31 ~ 2021

Yesterday the temperature hit 70 degrees, a glorious day in northern Minnesota for the end of March. Today, the high is predicted to be 25 degrees, of which I have yet to see, the wind gusting up around 30 mph with bizarre scenes of blizzarding snow which accumulates to nothing and then a flash of sunshine. I’ll hunker down inside today.

A quick dash to the National calendar announces the specialties of the day. After a quick run down of my choices for celebration today, the weather forced me to choose a Virtual Vacation Day. This particular day, a Spring Study Day at our university campus, so classes are not held for education students today, makes for a little time to imagine.

My first visit was to the Vatican library. I learned that only scholars are allowed in the library and the Pope is the only person who can actually check out a book! Some of it’s texts are 2000 years old!

The next stop was to Ireland, as yes, it’s still March! The month of the Irish is winding down! I touched down on the coast of Northern Ireland and then took the drone on fly by. Simply mesmerizing.

Finally, I savored the warmth at Whitehaven Beach in Austrailia, and sighed relatively heavy tired wintery breaths.

I’m back, now, to reality.

My little vacation gave my brain a rest and the best part – it was FREE!

I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. I’ve missed a couple of days, but I’m still at it! If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.

Irish Soda Bread Story #SOL 28/31 2021

There’s only a few more days to publicly celebrate my Irish heritage, so I thought I’d bake some Irish soda bread. Now, I’ve not ever baked Irish soda bread before. It’s been on my Pandemic Baking list.

I found a recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen of alexandracooks.com, after scouring the internet for an authentic traditional soda bread recipe. It had to be authentic – if I was to be true to my ancestors.

The authentic traditional recipes include only four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk.

Geez, seriously? This was going to be easy peasy.

When I landed on Alexandra’s page, she mentioned adding an egg, and a little sugar and butter. Now, this seemed to Americanize the Irish ways, but I’m trying to be open minded, ya know, instead of stuck in my ways – then, I realized, I don’t even have a way yet . . .

I appreciated Alexandra’s commentary about these added ingredients, which usually, I find “the story” of the recipe QUITE annoying with recipes online. Just cut to the chase and give me the recipe! my typical whine. But, in this case, I needed to know why one would mess with the Irish?

The author of this recipe made a bold statement in saying that the original version was edible, but she missed the scone-like texture, the richness that comes from the addition of butter.

Now, I wasn’t going to succumb to the false riches of the Americans – I wanted the real deal. Yet, as I was mixing the dry ingredients, I found my wicked mind had latched onto this author’s statement and was now taunting me.

What if for all this work – your Irish soda bread is only “edible”?

In the last minute, I added the sugar, butter and egg to the milk. It’s wasn’t THAT much, I rationalized.

Did I also tell you that I didn’t have buttermilk in the house?

Well, I knew you could substitute this with milk and lemon juice, so I searched online for specifications. Some recipes warned, Only use buttermilk! Other recipes said, You can substitute, but use whole or 2% milk with the lemon juice. I only had skim and Almond. Well, this was going to be an all – out gamble. Finally, I found a vegan site that said you could do it with Almond milk – no probs! So, I did.

So now, its a Vegan American Irish Soda Bread.

The dough seemed awfully sticky. One site said you gotta use your CLEAN hands – like claws. That’s how they did it in Ireland. So, I did that. I had to keep dipping them back in the flour though to make the dough behave.

I greased the heavy cast iron pan, after washing out the bacon grease. It might now have a little bacon flavor, too.

Next, I scooped the dough into the pan and worked with it to try and shape it into a nice ball. It wasn’t easy – still sticky. The knife I used to make a cross cut across the top didn’t do such a nice clean cut either – sticking to the dough besides. Hopefully, those fairies got out of there to ward off evil.

Finally, I shoved it in the oven, hoping to just end this ordeal.

I read some more Irish history while it baked, learned some useful Irish slang and had a message round about with my mother and sisters trying out my new slang. We laughed a lot.

40 minutes later, I pulled the bread out of the oven and cut into it. The middle was still doughy, so I put it back in the oven. I guess I should have flattened it a little more.

Finally, when completely baked all the way through, I had a taste slathered with some butter.

It didn’t really taste like bread.

It tasted more like scones – sweet and rich.

That’s not really what I wanted.

But, it was edible.

My husband wanted to try some so I gave some to him. He didn’t seem impressed either.

I guess my Irish taste buds know more than I do. I’ll try the real recipe next time.

I wrote it down to remember it.

I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. I’ve missed a couple of days, but I’m still at it! If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.

Laughter is Medicine #SOL 25/31 ~ 2021

Source: Off the mark.com by Mark Parisi

My sister likes to send funny pictures to me, my other sister, and my mom on her phone. Sometimes they are photos of something dumb she’s done, like wearing her shirt inside out with company over, or sewing pajama bottoms without a pattern (she doesn’t believe in patterns) or a vegetable from her garden with extra parts. Sometimes, it’s just a silly picture she found on the internet.

Source: internet – Quirky Momma?

Sometimes, my sister and I will keep the string going and reply with other dumb pictures or goofy stuff we find on the internet. I’ll be chuckling and my husband will ask, “What’s going on over there?”

And, I just say, “Sisters.”

Source: Party Wowza

My mom will usually chime in later, and say, “You girls are nuts.” And then someone will write, “I’m going to bed!”

And, that’s code for, “Let’s be done now.”

I love it when these small gifts are shared later in the evening. And then, at bedtime, I rest my head on my pillow with a lighter heart and gratitude for these special people in my life.

Perhaps we carry this trait from our crazy Irish aunts, Pat, Marge, Cele and Mary.

It’s impossible to spend time with these women and not leave without your cheeks aching from laughter. My dad used to tell funny stories, but these ladies just ARE funny. They’ve all suffered loss and journeyed through heartache, but still – their laughter is their buoy.

Even the Mayo Clinic prescribes laughter for what ails you.

Laughter relieves stress, improves our immune system and mood and lowers our blood pressure.

In any case, we should all be more intentional with accumulating fodder for laughter, whether it be comics, stories, videos or memes. And, then, don’t be selfish in keeping it to ourselves.

Because laughter is more than medicine, it truly is a gift.

Source: Speed Bump by David Coverly

I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.

How Words Are Received #SOL 24/31 ~ 2021

~ the happinessprojectuk on Instagram

The other day, my dear friend and I visited via phone while we were both out walking – she in Wisconsin and myself in Minnesota. I’m still marinating on some topics of our conversation, two days later. How grateful I am to have a friend who ponders deeply with me and wrestles with being human as I do.

My friend is also a writer, and participating in the March SOL challenge, so much of our talk revolved around writing. My favorite topic to think, talk and write about.

I brought up to my friend, who was such a generous listener, how much concern I have with how our writing might be received to a reader. In a prior post, I shared my intention of combing through my words after they are written to tease out any imposters of ego – victim, martyr, savior, prosecutor, preacher, politician, know-it-all, and on and on. I’ve played them all. If writing is authentic, we have to be real and true to who we are without these masks we wear to protect our fragile egos.

One of the more hurtful ways, however, that I think writing can impact someone is by being “tone-deaf” to what is happening in the world right now.

And, blind to our white privledge.

Yesterday, I wrote about capturing the memories of our lives that signify the delights, joys and small moments of relationships to save and reread later in life to experience these same emotions again and again.

This sounds lovely, yes.

But, I also worry about it being received by many people in the world right now as a “tone deaf” blabbering that touts the adage – focus on the good, ignore the bad, or that I might be suggesting to just put on your polly-anna rose colored glasses – don’t worry, BE HAPPY! All is well!

Contributing to the toxic positivity that whispers to put your blinders on and ignore the suffering in the world is easy if you are privledged. There is much suffering right now: individual and collective grief from the loss of loved ones, people unable to work, businesses lost or shut down, systemic racism, political division and a more common epidemic – loneliness and mental illness prompted by isolation and absence of human connection.

How easy it would be, for some of us, to ignore all of this pain. And, don’t get me started on climate change.

It’s like saying, “I don’t see color,” or, “I treat all my students equally.” or, “You just need to have grit or a growth mindset!” or “Just be kind.”

I wonder, “How might words be received by someone who is suffering from debilitating anxiety right now when I say collect good stories? Really? or when I describe the sequence and fussiness of my blanket situation or notebook specificity? Seriously. Like this is important? A person of color is attempting to walk into gas stations without being followed and accused of theft just because he is Black, or lives in fear of not using a signal light or coming to a full stop because of racial profiling. Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinx and LGBTQ face trauma, worry and fear that plague their every day lives.

Filling up my car with gasoline today, the white man in front of me pays for his own gasoline, maskless. There are two signs on the front of the gas station that state the requirement of masks in the station. No one says anything to him. I should have said, “Are you covid-free?” or “Oops – mask.” or I could’ve have said, “Are you vaccinated?” Yeah – that’ what I should have asked.

But, I didn’t. He was big and had a goatee. The clerk tells him, “By the way, Billy Bob (not his real name), there’s a prayer chain for Bobby Sue (not her real name). She was taken to the hospital yesterday. Its’ her heart.”

Thoughts and prayers. Be kind. Don’t worry about your mask though. (sarcasm intended)

Somewhere, a blog post I think, I read that when we write about our blessings, or say we are blessed, and describe our healthy children, family or material things, a new job, vacation or blissful situation, we have to ask ourselves, “So, are those without those things not blessed?” I wonder if this is what God had in mind when he blessed people.

It just feels like if we aren’t thinking about the trauma and suffering the world right now, then we also probably aren’t doing anything to relieve any of it or acting in ways to make the world a better place for those who are not as privledged to be sitting here writing.

I’m not bragging. I need to remember this is life-time work, pay attention and do better. Be braver.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and speak up.

To help us all through this storm.

I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.