I Did It! Year 8!

Yesterday, I packed a cooler of food and a suitcase of clothes and a backpack of books and drove three hours to our beach house in Chincoteague, VA. (famous for the ponies and setting of the 1948 Newbery Honor book, Misty of Chincoteague). Once I arrived, I spent the afternoon rereading my last 30 Slice of Life postings. I noticed the topics I wrote about and the craft moves I tried. Here’s what I discovered:

I wrote 11 school-related small moments.
I worte 11 personal-related small moments.
Three slices shared about PD I gave or participated in this month.
Two slices related to an earlier family memory.
One slice was how I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.
One was about how the loss of a friend’s mother triggered other losses for me.
One was a reflection on commenting as a slicer and it got a SHOUT OUT today by TwoWritingTeacher’s in their Be Inspired section (WOW!!! What an honor!!!Thank you!!)

And I did ALL this during a pandemic, a time when I notice my focus is more challenged. It makes sense that I stuck with what I know. A moment from my teaching day. A moment from a personal walk. Looking back, so often I kept it small. In a couple of instances, I told a small part and returned to it the next day and told the rest of the story. This may have started as my struggle to attend but I came to see these small pieces as being more powerful writing. By zooming in and saying less, I think I said more. A good lesson for me to learn.

This year, I actively tried to embrace more of the blog features as I created my posts. I learned how to add a Featured Image from Jennifer Gonzales’ Jump Start course (which I recommend as well as her Cult of Pedagogy podcast) and had fun picking just the right image to match the topic of my slice each day. Whenever I mentioned something that could be linked, I took time and addded the hyperlink. I noticed I included links to: videos, padlets, books (always now using a link to an Indie Bookstore website), author websites, a sound video and links to other slicers’ blog posts. Blogs are designed to be interactive and finally after eight years, I notice I have started to embrace a few of the many available features.

This year, I also noticed I actively included photos to show more to my readers. I figured out how to use the slideshow feature on WordPress. I figured out how to crop tweets and texts from my phone, airdrop them to my MacBook Air and include them as an image in my slice. I included images of slides I used as a teacher and student work samples, too. I found myself taking walks during the day and snapping photos thinking maybe I could use this image in a future slice. It seems that my camera gallery has become another kind of writing notebook!

I can’t thank the TwoWritingTeachers enough for providing this safe-space for me to grow as a writer and a blogger. The daily practice is paying off for me! I look forward to more writing and reading and commenting on Tuesdays throughout the whole year and then again in March, 2022. We become what we do. WIth confidence and because of this community, I happily end this slice proclaiming, “I am a writer. I am a blogger.”

Now off to take a walk on the beach. Yes, I’ll have my notebook and camera in my pocket. This community has trained me well.

10 thoughts on “I Did It! Year 8!

  1. Ms Victor Reads says:

    Your writing this month inspired, educated, sustained, entertained, and more. I wish we lived closer- I am grateful to have you in my life and loved reading more from you this March. Your reflective nature always makes me want to do more, be more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran McCrackin says:

    So much to love in this reflection. You tally up categories of your writing. You notice how you zoomed in smaller yet managed to say more. I especially like hearing all the tech tips, an area I really need to grow in. And the photo collection as another kind of journaling- love it. I also find choosing an image to accompany my work to be important and satisfying- something that wasn’t true when I started writing with TWT. And you end with “we become what we do- I am a writer, I am a blogger.” So true! And the heart of the challenge.
    As always, it’s been great reading and writing with you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lgrainger125 says:

    Thank you for your posts and the richness of the writing you’ve done. I appreciate the tech tips too! You’ve inspired me to find the time today to go back through my writing and reread sometime today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. standingtall47 says:

    I love the idea of rereading all your blogs from this months challenge and seeing what you did. Is there anything you still want to try? I loved reading your reflection. Enjoy the beach and collecting more slices for the feature!


  5. mschiubookawrites says:

    Lucky year 8!!!! So proud of your accomplishments and being featured on “Be Inspired”. Were it not for you, I would not be writing, sharing, and growing. Wishing you a day full of pony-sightings, book bingeing and all around celebration! Cheers!


  6. margaretsmn says:

    I’m impressed with all that learning. Have a wonderful time at the beach with your notebook. Celebrate your 31 days of writing!


  7. jarhartz says:

    You are a fearless learner! That is one of the many things I admire about you. And I love the way you reflect on your writing. Quantifying it to see where your writing took you. It is always a brave act to look back with an inquiry stance. Another thing I admire about you!


  8. mgminer says:

    You are a wonder. I hope you enjoy the beach and some much deserved rest. It has been an interesting month as we head in to pandemic year 2. I know I am always saying thank you to you, and that is because you are such a generous writer, teacher, and friend. All the best to you!


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