SOLSC – March 30,2016: Paying attention to stories everywhere


Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

After 30 days of storytelling for the Slice of Life March Challenge…I am feeling my storytelling well run dry.

After 30 days of being part of a community of writers dedicated to the idea that writing teachers must write their stories, too, I am proud of having supported this community…but weary of the effort, too.

On Tuesday afternoon, I stepped back  from reading slice of life stories, and plunged into my world of podcasts – my library of stories from the world:

I listened to voices sharing stories of grief, humor, triumph and sacrifice.  Each story unravelled some new wrinkle of human experience, exposed soft shadows of sorrow, and brought light to this mysterious endeavor  we are all engaged in: living life as best we can.

Stories from the world, asking to be honored and heard.

The last podcast I listened to featured a daughter trying to understand her mother’s story. Much had not been said in the years before, and so the interview was like watching an onion being peeled – layer upon layer of story and the meaning of the story…what it was then, what it means now.  At the end, the mother is glad to have begun to share her story with her daughter – there was discovery on both ends of the conversation.  “I am a person,” the mother says; “Yes, but for a long time I didn’t think so,” the daughter replies.

Stories. Connections. Bonds.  Slices of our lives…



18 thoughts on “SOLSC – March 30,2016: Paying attention to stories everywhere

  1. If that is your “well run dry,” I can’t begin to imagine the rainy season! I have been impressed by every single one of your posts and look forward to many more. I can understand your weariness since you have responsibilities beyond Slicing, but it is not reflected in your writing at all…ever. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me this past year.

  2. I love how honest you are and how you push yourself to find more. I don’t listen to podcasts, i guess because i’m never alone. But I can see why they are transformative. Storytelling is as old as time.

  3. I need to listen to more podcasts. Genre I don’t do much with — I love your reflections about story – it really is about connection. This month has been more about reflection than I realized. And I agree with Barbara — your well always runneth over!!

  4. If we are exhausted finding stories for a month, what must students feel when every day they are asked to write. Of course I know they spend many days with one piece and they don’t create a new piece every day, but still, just musing that thought. I’ve explored a few podcasts, such as The Yarn, but I’m not a regular user. Maybe I need to learn more about them.

  5. I listen, but not so much, am afraid if I start, I will simply run out of time for everything else! Thanks for sharing your own reflection of this month & then the joy of listening to others’ stories. That last part of the mother and daughter is poignant. I do imagine you are weary from all that you’ve done during the month! Thank you!

  6. You speak my thoughts. There are stories everywhere. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy or feel worthy enough to tell them. I guess that’s what a notebook is for.

  7. I echo what others have said. There comes a time during March when many of us wonder if we can go on and complete the challenge. You are always there, Tara, giving encouragement while taking care of all of the required of you on a daily basis. Thank you.

  8. You have been generous with your word here and in the comments. I hope that after this month you will have time to relax, rejuvenate and fill your well again.

  9. Stories about the human spirit are so darned fascinating! You’ve reminded me that Podcasts are another great place to find them. Peeling of the onion. That really says it all.

  10. This is the second time this week that I have been encouraged to listen to podcasts. I’m not sure why I don’t already listen to them. I love audio books. I just have not taken time to find the podcasts. I am going to make time to do so. Thanks for the inspiration! I am looking forward to it!

  11. I enjoyed podcasts on my most recent drive by myself. I agree about the connections to story. It is always the story that we want to hear, not the facts or figures. I’m glad you are seeing the challenge through to the end. We have certainly stretched our writing muscles this year.

  12. Tara, I am in awe of everything you do! You are an inspiration to me and this community that you sustain. I can’t thank you enough. Thanks for sharing your Podcasts. I haven’t visited mine in a long, long while!

  13. It is in the words of others that we often find new inspiration, new stories. The well might seem dry, but it will soon flow again Tara. -Of that I have little doubt. Your inquiring mind will ensure that. Paul Jennings an Australian writer, famous for his children’s stories once said ‘there are a million stories inside each of us, waiting to be told.’ I have always found these words re-assuring.
    Keep listening, for as Ralph Fletcher reminds us- we write with our ears.

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