Slice of Life Challenge day 1 #sol18

It is time for the March Slice of Life Story Challenge! It is day one…here we go!

A Reflective Beginning

Stepping from the shower this morning, I gazed into the mirror.  “Yes, it’s March,” I thought.  Time for MY second annual participation in the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Time to step up my writing game.  Time to get up extra early.  Time to up my active involvement in this wonderful community of writers known as “Slicers.”  Time to post everyday.  Time to comment everyday.  Time to share.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this writing challenge, let me briefly explain:  Every March for the last eleven years, the blog Two Writing Teachers has issued a challenge to educators and interested readers who wish to participate in some of the things I outlined above.  It is a challenge to live like a writer for one month (and there are prizes!).  This means, walking through life, being wide awake across each day, breathing in any all moments, and filtering those moments for their possible story grist potential.  Every day, those of us participating write a small moment story, post it to our blogs, and comment on the small moment stories of others.

Since last April, my life changed drastically when I lost my beloved mother to cancer.  And so, as I approach this year’s challenge, I am starkly cognizant of the fleeting nature of life.  We simply do not know what the next day will bring, even what the next moment will bring.  None of us do.  But having selected “Grateful” as my one little word (#OLW18) to guide me this year, I have resolved to know that for each day- for each moment – I am grateful.

Wiping away the fog from the bathroom mirror, I studied my face.  No, I cannot profess to be excited.  But that’s okay.  Last year I was excited.  This year, not so much.  But that’s okay.  It really is okay.  This morning I realized that looking forward to writing doesn’t always mean excitement.  I would venture to guess that not all of us approach our writing with excitement every time we sit down to write.  And that’s okay… isn’t it?  A mentor once taught me that it is behind our commitments that we align our actions. Feelings are much more temporal. And so I suppose I might say that making a commitment to writing this month is exciting, as I know this journey- this “March” – will yield a positive outcome.  An outcome for which I will certainly be grateful.

So here’s to all of us participating.  And here’s to my 31 days of Gratitude.  And… we are off! Let’s do this.


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge day 1 #sol18”

  1. It is a journey. I’ve had mixed emotions jumping back in this year. A bit of worry about how I’ll fit it all in. But I know it will happen. The community is what keeps me coming back.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This Slice is a good reminder for me as I hope to complete the SOL Challenge for the first time. The reminder that you don’t have to be excited to write everyday is going to be so important. Focus on the goal, the outcome, to keep going on those tougher days. The mage of “wiping away the fog” speaks to me a symbolic way. I’ll think of that each time I have a hard time getting started on writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lanny,
    So feeling your pain. I had to deliberately focus on the positive to start this month of writing. I wanted to crawl back into my cocoon, surround myself with anniversary reflections, and skip the writing, but I’m focusing on the JOY that we did have, and the JOYFUL memories that still envelop our lives. And it is STILL hard . . . 5 wake ups short of a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am sorry for your loss. You are so right. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Since last year’s challenge, my husband lost his job, had to have a quadruple bypass, found a job at a significant reduction in pay, and we were blessed with grandchild number four. Besides the birth of precious Nolan, I would like to revise last year’s script. Yet I am so grateful for so many things -especially that my husband had surgery before a widowmaker heart attack reared its ugly head. Happy writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The imagery of wiping fog off a mirror was reflected in my post this morning as well – an apt descriptor for the feeling of blurriness when we’re used to seeing things sharply. Hope this month of writing and reflection brings you peace and moments of reflection.


  6. At least you didn’t feel dreadful when you realized it was March.

    You’ve had a hard, HARD year, Lanny. I hope you can find some healing — through words — this month. I know the road of grief is a long one and you’re still at the start of it.


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