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New Slicers Only: Who Is Motivating You as a Writer?

Last month, I ran a post announcing the prizes for this year’s Slice of Life Story Challenge.  I promised four prizes would be given away during the month of March. I hinted that the prizes would be given away based on commenting and writing streaks.  Well, today is the first of three prize giveaways and it’s especially for FIRST-TIME MARCH CHALLENGE SLICERS.

If you’re new to the Slice of Life Story Challenge, then what I hope you’re realizing by now is that this is a community.  When the Challenge started in 2008, there were just 11 of us who wrote for all 31 days of March.  Now there are nearly 200 people participating.  Some have participated in past month-long Challenges while others have written for the year-long Tuesday Challenge.  Regardless of how long we’ve been blogging about slices of our life, we are a community.  And now, you’re part of it.

Communities like ours need two basic things: writers and readers.  It’s my hope that all of the new month-long Challenge participants have received comments on their blogs.  I’d like to know what ONE person’s comments have fueled you as writer?  Who has left a comment on your blog that has made you want to come back to share your writing in this online forum?  How did the person who read and commented on your post make you feel by leaving a comment on your post?

After you read the “rules” below, please leave a comment letting all of us know who is motivating you as a writer.  You must leave your comment by 8:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 7th to be entered into the giveaway for a prize.   To that end, I will be giving away two prizes from Choice Literacy (see pictures below): Franki Sibberson’s Writers in Transition DVD and a copy of the Mentor Texts DVD by Aimee Buckner. I will use a random number generator to select one new slicer (and the commenter who is motivating them) to win the prizes.

RULES:

  1. This must be your first time you’re ever participating in our month-long Slice of Life Story Challenge.
  2. You may only mention ONE Slice of Life Story Challenge participant who has inspired you as a writer since the month-long challenge began.  I know it might be hard to pick one person, but I only have two prizes to give away, so that’s why you must pick one.  (If other people are helping you as a writer, then be sure to go to their blog and leave them a comment telling them how much you appreciate them!)
  3. The commenter who you will laud publicly (by leaving a comment on this post) must be part of the 5th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge.  (Cross-check Ruth’s posts from 3/1 – 3/5 if you’re unsure.)
  4. While it is my hope Ruth and I have made you feel welcome since the Challenge began on March 1st, we never enter ourselves into prize drawings.  Therefore, please do NOT mention either of us when you leave a comment on this post.
  5. Please do not leave the link to your Slice of Life Story as a comment on this post.  You must leave your link on Ruth’s daily call for slices.
  6. Again, you must leave your comment by Wednesday, March 7th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time so you and the commenter you’re mentioning can be entered into the giveaway for a prize.  I will announce the winners on Thursday, March 8th.

Many thanks to Choice Literacy for donating these prizes:

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

41 thoughts on “New Slicers Only: Who Is Motivating You as a Writer? Leave a comment

  1. I thought I would hate this challenge. I am surprised after only 7 days how much I have enjoyed writing and sharing little slices of my life. I even wrote some poetry one day. The comments I enjoy the most are from my fellow co-workers. There encouragement and approval of my writing means a lot. Especially, because I co-teach with them on a daily basis. My friend and teacher that I have co-taught with for a few years now, Debbi from http://mmscollins.blogspot.com/, has made consistent comments on my blog. I appreciate it so much.

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  2. I am thoroughly enjoying the SOL challenge. I always complain that I don’t have enough time to write, but somehow, I’m finding a few minutes each day to write my slice. The comments are so positive and encourage me to come back for more. I agree with the others who said that it’s hard to choose just one commenter, but I would have to say that Linda from http://teacherdance.blogspot.com/ has been the most consistent. Linda has a way of always finding something thought-provoking to add. I really appreciate her support.

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  3. Like everyone before me it is hard to name one person who has made a difference. I am so appreciate of the comments. I enjoy reading the connections to my posts, the parts that grab the attention of readers, and the comments that extend my idea. If I have to choose one, I’d probably have to mention Michelle at literacyzone.blogspot.com. Michelle is probably the reason I joined the event. She writes a slice every week. It took me a few weeks to figure out she was part of a bigger event. Her tweets and posts to get started convinced me to join. Then her continual support has helped me to keep going.

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  4. It is hard to pick “just one” commenter. I have enjoyed each comment left on my blog. I even do a little cheer when I see a comment come through. I am a freelance writer and editor, but I’m used to being given the topics and contacts to create or edit a story. I’ve always been concerned that my own thoughts weren’t enough for continual blogging. I now know that isn’t the case. I’m so very thankful for the continual comments left by Mary Helen (http://booksavors.wordpress.com/).

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  5. Mary Helen commented on all of my slices thus far! She told me she could hear my voice in the questions i wrote. Thanks, Mary Helen. As we all know a little encouragement goes a long way.

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  6. What a challenge – to pick one of the my new blogger friends from this incredible world. I relish each comment I receive, but the prize has to go to Elsie, my fellow workshop lover! When I sliced about getting to spend the day with Smokey Daniels, her comment, I am soooo jealous made me wish she could join us for the day. She lives in Missouri and I grew up in Oklahoma, so there’s a bit of geographic connection there for me. She noticed some of the craft (word choice) in one of my early posts and makes me want to try harder to slice in a writerly way!
    Thanks, Elsie!

    http://lcinmo.wordpress.com/

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  7. I am new to the Slice of Life and have already learned much about myself as a writer. So glad I decided to participate. I appreciate all of the feedback and comments given so far and it is REALLY hard to pick just one. One person that stands out is Bets from “Teaching Young Writers” http://teachingyoungwriters.blogspot.com/ . She comment on a Slice about my own two children. I felt a connection as mom with her.

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  8. I never would have gotten involved in this SOL without the encouragement and gentle nudges from my daughter, Michelle (Literacy Learning Zone). She completed this challenge last year and was so excited about it that she got me writing my own blog and then with a little more push from her in February, I took the plunge. Her writing and comments inspire me to write and share more each day. She is an excellent teacher, writer, friend and daughter. Thanks for the opportunity to praise and thank her!

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  9. Quote from Christy’s writing:

    Instead, I used my words to let people know their stories matter to me. I commented on 137 blogs, and yet, I still feel like it wasn’t enough. Because there are slices I didn’t read.

    But they weren’t unread.

    That’s the beauty of a community. It takes all of us, using our powerful words, to support and encourage one another. I like this best. That my bit is enough because it is coupled with your bit and his bit and her bit.

    Bit by bit words change the world.

    Link to her blog:

    http://readwriteinspire.blogspot.com/

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  10. http://meanderingmaya.blogspot.com/2012/03/christy-rush-levine.html

    Poetry written before 6 AM-East Coast
    It is Christy Rush-Levine, I would like to toast…

    Christy Rush-Levine,
    her words are devine.
    She’s commented on so many posts.
    She’s the one I’d like to honor most.

    Her blogging with pictures is infused,
    Sometimes I am left confused.
    By the all the places her mind goes,
    Deep reflection from her it shows.

    In her 30s only, it’s hard to believe,
    She catches her thoughts, so they don’t go through a sieve.
    I wish I had found my words in the last decade.
    Perhaps, a better writer and teacher, I would have been made

    I think you are all amazing.
    For being a part of this SOLS crazing.

    Kennesaw Mountain Project planted the seed.
    Now you all at SOLS are helping me to write and read.
    And become the teacher and person I should be.
    Thanks to you all from me.

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  11. Paul has left several comments on my posts.
    I was feeling very vulnerable writing about just being diagnosed with cancer. He wrote on March 3rd.

    ” I’m inspired by your honesty and rawness and bravery. Thank you for writing this. ”
    He noticed.
    This encouraged me to write the story about the night my father died. I had been trying to write it for 14 years. I have rough drafts of it in several notebooks. But never felt brave enough to finish it.
    His comment helped me to be bold. Then he commented on the story I wrote about his death on day 6.

    “This is such…muscular writing. Muscle and bone. Brave, open, highly moving. Wow.”
    He can be found here.
    http://birdsandtreesofthemind.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/slice-6-slicing/
    Amazing what one little word of encouragement can do.

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  12. There are many to choose from as I am enjoying reading the different posts. I really enjoy reading Carol at Carol’s Corner and today is her birthday. I loved her post today.

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  13. My first entry was about the recent death of a neighbor that came suddenly and unexpectedly. I had no idea how important this man had been to me and my family until he was gone. I was sad – but the receipt of so many supportive comments was immediately restorative. I was moved by them all – but especially one by Janet (yeahwritejanet). She began by affirming my writing – “Oh Julie what a wonderful piece.” I’ve always wanted to BE a writer but never believed I WAS one. This one comment moved me ever closer to trusting that I can actually write. She also shared enough of her background in her comment for me to realize that we were peers and had shared some similar experiences growing up. Finally, after reading several of Janet’s “slices” and how she lives gracefully with a dear husband with OCD made me see that I need not fear so much for my son’s future – who struggles with dyslexia and ADHD. Perhaps he’ll be OK. I feel she is indeed a kindred spirit. I was awestruck when I was reading some earlier comments here that Janet had, in fact, picked ME also. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Janet!

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  14. My inspiration and encourager in writing and teaching is my friend, colleague, and fellow slicer is Kay Kelley, otherwise known as the Drama Queen. Her energy, creativity, and dedication to children never ceases to inspire me. She is the real deal.
    ~Hope

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  15. I have to admit I was feeling a little discouraged today. Struggling to find the right thing to write about, getting the words out in a logical way that may touch someone, then sitting back and waiting…will anyone read a single word???
    Then I read Katie’s blog post about commenting. And shamelessly, I did a little begging. Katie came through for me. She commented and gave me some advice on commenting. She guided me through this Day 6 slump. Thanks a bunch, Katie. I feel encouraged to move forward.

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  16. This week has been amazing for me. I’d lost my “writer’s eye”, and I’m so glad that it was easier to find than I expected. I haven’t even done a weekly “slice” before taking the plunge here.

    I think the comment that meant the most to me so far was from Cathy Mere. She was so specific, quoting lines to me that she enjoyed, and she talked about using my post as an example for her students of taking an ordinary event and transforming it. I was so tickled by the things she said,and it really made me feel like a “real” writer.

    The funniest part of this? Just as I was looking for the name of the person who made that comment that I remembered so well, I got a notification from Twitter that she had just followed me there and commented publicly that she was enjoying my posts (among others, of course). What a funny serendipity!

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  17. I’ve been following the weekly slicers for a while now and have used THIS site as a” link” to teachers who are using technology to support readers and writers. I teach struggling readers and writers (and their teachers) during the day and graduate literacy education students in the evenings and summer; thus, it has become my “mission” to prepare kids and teachers for an education experience that is far different from my own. I am passsionate about using technology in teaching writing as I learned as I pursued my own advanced degree that technology really can empower reluctant writers. Since all this does not come as “intuitively” to me as it does the “young’uns” I look to others to mentor my technology journey. I have been “following” Kevn from Dogtrax for a while now and when he commented on my post, I almost felt like a school girl whose long-admired-from-afar date had asked her to the prom (not that I really know what that even feels like – I am just imagining!). It is stil amazing to me that someone I have quoted in meetings seeking technology for my students (I dream of iPads) and someone who writes posts about my dreams (doing running records on my tablet)….would even read what I have to say!
    While every single comment is more meaningful than I could EVER have imagined (see my pretty passionate post on Day 4 for proof), I was pretty much caught off guard when my technology-writing-guru-Kevin dropped a word or two on my blog!
    There have already been quite a few “aha” moments for me this week….and I really am beginning to realize what lots of teachers and a host of grad students probably already knew…..i have a lot to say!
    I am grateful I took this plunge!

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  18. Karen from Literate Lives inspired me to “slice.” I sat next to her at the Dublin Literacy Conference when we listened to Ruth talk about Writing Workshop. I was having an AHA! moment when I realized that I was struggling as a writing teacher because I stopped writing. When Ruth asked us to turn and talk, I shared my thoughts with Karen. She encouraged me to take this challenge on and start blogging.

    I am grateful for her words of encouragement. She has commented on a few of my slices, and her comments reflect her caring and genuine belief that we are all writers.

    Thank you, Karen!

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  19. I’ve been blessed by so many wonderful comments since joining Slice of Life in November and now on my first March challenge. One person who comments on almost every blog post I write – slice or not – is Linda at Teacherdance. Thanks for being a great cheerleader, Linda!

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  20. I have been reading Slice of Life stories every Tuesday for quite some time now, and I am so disappointed that I did not participate in this wonderful community of writers sooner! Since March 1st, I have been engrossed in reading slices and constantly thinking about what my next slice is going to be about. This is the hardest challenge yet because I appreciate and value all of those who have left comments on my slices.
    My motivator comes from two wonderful blogs: “Living” and “Reading Beyond the Middle.” Her name is Christy Rush-Levine. She is an amazingly creative writer and her comments are encouraging, as well as poignant. I appreciate the fact that she sees strong points in my writing and is able to relate to some of it as well. Cheers to Christy Rush-Levine!

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  21. I am not a first year slicer, so I am not writing this to be entered in the drawing, but I just wanted to be able to comment on who inspires me to write & to let this person know that they inspire me. Christy Rush-Levine, I don’t know her personally, but yet I feel like I do. Her comments always warm my heart. When I open my blog, I always hope she has written a response, she knows just the right thing to say! She is so positive, warm & kind! My only wish that I taught with her because her positive attitude & love for teaching inspires me as well! I just wanted her to know this as well! Thank you for letting me share!

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  22. My comments began coming in slowly, 1 the first day, 1 the second day, 4, the third day and then they grew. Juliann in WA was my main encourager, because she commented early and came back after that.

    Being a part of a writing community is a special thrill for me. I have always wanted this kind of community, but I have always shied away from taking the necessary risk. When I saw your challenge, I decided that I just needed to do it. I am so glad I did. Thanks to Juliann in WA and to all who have commented on my slices. You have given me encouuragement and have made me a better writing teacher, as well, because now I understand the necessity of allowing for share time and foor comments.

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  23. My inspiration is Lee Ann from Portable Teacher. I don’t know if it is cheating because we decided to do this challenge together and we work together. As in my academic and personal life, in my blog life she never just comments but leaves a question to push me further.

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  24. I am in awe of the community and support in this challenge. I can’t believe how I look forward to those little comments at the end of a page. I so appreciate people sharing comments about the structure of my writing, specific lines or words that stuck out to them, connections they made, and the topic in general. It’s been amazing! Without the comments/community/audience, I doubt I’d hold myself accountable to write each day. I’m not yet in the habit.

    If I have to pick one…..
    The comment that hooked me on Day 1 was from Deb Day (Coffee With Chloe). Deb said, “….One year ago today, I was you. I began writing for me and haven’t looked back. You will love this community and things you learn. Can’t wait to read you again tomorrow!” The last line in particular meant so much – to know that people would be back to support me again another day. 😉

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  25. I am excited by all the comments that I have received, and, truly, all of them are motivating me to write…it is as if I am being heard, that a dialogue is underway. But, because we must name one person, I will nominate Diana Martin as that one, due to her words on what I felt was one of my weaker posts. She said, “This is so lovely Maureen. I love the short poemy sentences between the longer lines. You managed to weave 23 years of friendship into this sweet slice. :)” That sweet comment made me realize that I may not be my best critic. It is good to write and share and just see what comes back, when you put it out there!

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  26. Julie, from Sun, Sand and Stone commented that “she knew we were kindred spirits.” I found that to be a lovely comment because as human beings we want to be truly heard and understood completely. Who could better understand than someone who is a “kindred spirit.” It meant that she “got me.” I felt really successful as a writer after reading her comment. Thanks Julie!

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  27. I heard about Slicing from the Choice Literacy email I look forward to each weekend. I decided to give it a try to see if I could sustain writing every day, and also because I want to be a better writing teacher.
    I found getting comments to be so fun. As I read them again I realized the Elsie has been so kind and encouraging to me.
    Thanks so much for all the work you’ve done for the challenge. I really appreciate it.

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  28. I am brand new to slicing and loving it. If you have looked at my blog, you may have noticed that I have a couple random posts and then a long time of nothing. I was chatting with a friend and fellow blogger about how I wanted to be a blogger/writer but didn’t know what to say or how to find a topic. I just didn’t really feel like I had anything to say and share. She disagreed. She told me I did have something to share and that people would want to read it. So…I made up my mind to try this SOL challenge and I figured either I would give up and decide that writing just wasn’t for me OR I would love it and be hooked. Guess what? I’m loving it and I’m hooked!

    The person I would like to nominate is the one who has commented on each of my posts so far. Elsie’s words on my first post were so encouraging! I remember thinking that even if she was the only one who read my posts, knowing that she was going to be reading my writing made it worth posting again. She said: “I love that you are a learner. I hope to learn more from you as this month rolls on.”

    I didn’t expect readers, much less comments on my posts. Thank you Elsie for changing all that! Now I am reveling in the comments! They are encouraging me and pushing my thinking and making me feel very at home in this lovely community of writers. Thank you Ruth and Stacey for hosting this challenge!

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  29. I’ve thought about this all day! Even when I was helping my kids find great books in the library today, this post kept calling me back to really reflect on who inspired me. Every person who has commented has impacted my life and my writing because I just didn’t see myself as a writer before March 1. Yes, I wrote, but not like I have the last six days!

    Since Stacey wants us to choose just one (yeah, you know how tough this was Stacey?!), Deb Day at Coffee with Chloe has been my great “nudge-r” and has encouraged my heart. She started on Day 1 telling me how brave I was and what a supportive community of writers I would find among the slicers. She has been my “voice” while I remained quiet until I found the courage to speak from my heart through this challenge!

    Thanks, Deb!

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  30. Gosh, it’s hard to just pick one commenter. I’ve been so grateful for everyone’s comments! There are two commenters that have really kept me writing. Since I can only mention one, I’ll just say that the comments I’ve received from Wake Up and Write have impacted me. Having her reading so closely, telling me when my writing is powerful and giving gentle suggestions has been “fueling.” (Especially since I have a mini-crush on her beautiful blog.) 🙂

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  31. This person, Elsie, has many comments on her blog…on every post she writes. She is a talent that has worked as a ‘slicer’ and a person who comments on other posts. Being a newbie isn’t easy…I haven’t had lots of courage with sharing writing with everyone. I’m definitely not wanting to have the Facebook crew read my writing. But Elsie, she knows what commenting on a new person’s blog is about…positive encouragement and love. In fact, if I lived in the ‘show me’ state I’d be ringing her doorbell with some fresh strawberries and then asking her to take a walk down the road for a chat. She is a writer that oozes authenticity, and I think that is a hard commodity to come by today. Here is her blog address, but probably you have made numerous comments to her engaging posts this season and last.

    love xo nanc

    PS because I like them…her real name isn’t Elsie- its L.C.- clever, I think!

    PSS because I always have one more thing to say…this is how Elsie made me feel when she commented on my posts- VALUED as a person who is trying hard to improve my craft, so that I can help someone else along the way.

    http://lcinmo.wordpress.com/.

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  32. I am just getting to know some of the slicers as this is my first time. Carol at Carol’s Corner has encouraged me to write! She is full of hope even in the middle of difficult circumstances. That takes perseverance and persistance. Still, she keeps slicing! Thank you Carol for your example!

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  33. Slicers are an amazing community to be embraced by. Six days into the month long challenge and I feel confident I can make it to the 31st. The person whose comments are the most encouraging at this point are Linda at TeacherDance. She not only points out connections she makes to my Slices, but she will lift a line of my writing and point out why it impacted her. I have found that I appreciate this so much that I try to find a line in other people’s writing to do the same with. Thanks Linda!

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  34. I could not believe that people actually commented on my first ever slice. And on the others since then. There are people out there in this community who care about others. It was very motivating to me that others would read what I wrote, so I was excited to write again the next day.

    The person who inspired me was my very first commenter terje (grade4wizard). She welcomed me to this positive writing community and truthfully said that it does take up some time, but it is worth it. I have often thought of her words since then.

    I was so excited when I read her comment. I wondered if she was part of a welcoming committee or something. But now I realize she is just some person I don’t know and have never met, who is part of this community, who really cares.

    Even though this is just my sixth day ever slicing, I still get very excited to read comments. The comments have made me challenge myself to comment on other slicers. Some days I have just been able to comment on a few, but other days I have commented on nearly ten others.

    This is a blast!

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  35. The inspiration, and suggestion for my blog actually, came from my sister-in-law Elizabeth G.

    She has such an amazing way of writing that brings you into her story, making you feel like, you’re part of it and as close to those involved as she is. While I’m still very very new to writing and I don’t yet know how to articulate quite the way she does, I hope that by sharing my food blog about the kids, I can help someone in a pinch, or inspire them to do something new to them as well.

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for introducing me to this challenge and wonderful community. And thank you everyone else for accepting me, you are all amazing writers and inspirations in your own respects.

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  36. Dogtrax was the first person to comment on my first slice on my first blog. After receiving the first comment, I was excited and felt that I could continue with a month of writing. However, after a busy Sunday, I skipped writing a post and thought about stopping. I felt I did not have much to share. But I heard the words “I hope you find your voice and keep on writing” from Kevin’s comments and decided to continue. Thank you for your inspiration, Kevin!

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  37. My inspiration for my blog and my first ever SOl is my coworker and friend Michelle. Even when I took a break from writing on my blog she kept telling me to just keep it small . . . just write . . . you can do it! Her enthusiasm for writing, reading and teaching is contagious! She encourages not only me but our students to be better. I just love when she pops into my office when I have a bunch of new books to process and we read and talk about ways to use them with our students. So many thanks to Michelle, a true inspiration to many!

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  38. I have a comment from Pamela H. on my March 3 post and she says, “I can see you smile when I read your writing. Your words are very conversational,and honest. It is like I am reading your mind. Or that your mind was talking. You weren’t trying to write, you were writing. Love the family photograph as well.” I think this impacted me the most because I am often smiling, even chuckling, as I am writing. It felt like a “win” to me, to have someone notice that through my writing. I also loved her phrase, “Or that your mind was talking.” So awesome to feel understood, from my mind to someone else’s! (I am assuming Pamela H. is from “Slice of Life” although I’m not sure which Pam/Pamela she might be.)

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  39. Thanks to my amazing friend and colleague Jennifer K., I am participating in this year’s Slice of Life Challenge. It is not only my first time participating, but it is also my first time blogging and my first time writing a slice of life. Jennifer is an inspiration to me for a number of reasons. One reason in particular is due to her passion towards literacy. She has made it an important part of her life and it naturally flows into her life as a teacher. She encouraged me to be a risk-taker this month and to try to slice for 31 days. I was hesitant, but I decided that I needed to grow as a writer and this was the perfect opportunity for me to star!
    Day 1 of 31 rolled around faster than I was expecting. I wrote, re-wrote, deleted, restarted, edited and finally published my first slice. I was nervous, excited and curious to see what would happen next. I fell asleep wondering, “Who will read my slice?” “What will they say?” I awoke the next morning with 3 comments and one of them of course was from Jennifer. Everyday she writes encouraging words on my post, she refers to it throughout the school day and brainstorms slice ideas with me. Her encouragement and kindness has assisted me in becoming more confident as a writer and has ignited excitement within me to share a slice of my day, everyday!

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