As I head toward the last 10 days of this writing challenge, I feel I need to lean on a prompt to get me started. Thinking back to the first time I really learned how to write, it was 2009. I was at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Summer Writing Institute. I sat in the first row of the Columbia Auditorium (with Marilyn next to me) and Mary Ehrenworth taught us and 2000 teachers around us to write. Our first prompt was simple: jot down people, places, and objects and a small moment related to it. Pick one moment and write it. On a different day, the prompt was to think of the first time or last time and write that moment. Looking back at many of my slices across the almost seven years of completing this challenge, I realize I often write First Time and Last Time moments.
First Time slices include sharing my excitement over trying something for the first time. Most recently, Mo Willem’s Lunch Doodle falls into this category. So does helping with the play this year and the recent PD day at school and the author visits. And of course, ALL my slices about travel. Visiting a new place is an adventure and writing about it flows easily onto the wordpress blog screen.
Last Time slices include my rituals. Doing this challenge is now a ritual and writing about the routine has me reflect by recalling all the last times. The same goes for reflections on springtime and birthdays and holiday meals. Some Last Times are sad, like the ones reflecting on those people no longer around. Like my neighbor, who passed away after a long battle with cancer. Like my friend from church, who passed away from a battle with Alzheimers. And my dad, who suddenly passed away of a heart attack on my 25th birthday.
Prompts, like First Time and Last Time, can spark a new piece of writing. Or like today, a prompt can help me reflect on the 389 published posts I’ve made so far on this wordpress blog. I realize all are about moments related to people, places and objects, some relating to First Times and Last Times. All are moments important to me and that’s why I call myself a writer! Thanks for reading today, my 390th post.