I picked up the term metaslice in Elisabeth Ellington’s post Slicing Process on Day 14 and it has been rolling around in my head ever since. The day before I read Eugenia Kout’s slice Method to My Madness, a slice about her slicing process. For the past 14 days of the challenge I’ve been thinking about my slicing process and the way it has changed throughout the challenge.
This is my fourth year participating in the challenge and I tried something different this year based on some suggestion from my instructional coach, Ona, who blogs at On a Thought . Ona is also the organizer of our writing group Teachers Write. The first half of the challenge seemed easier than previous years but lately it’s been more of a struggle to find a slice.
I started getting ready for the challenge on February, 28th by making a template for each day of the challenge. Once I figured out the oddities of WordPress it became quite easy to get each slice ready to go. This has been a huge time saver. In the past I would write my post and then add the footer about the challenge and the graphic. It’s been so nice not to have to spend time doing that each day.
A game changer for me this year was the Seasoned Slicer Strategies that Betsy Hubbard posted at the beginning of the challenge. Peter Von Euler’s quote was an eye opener, “Before the first day, I try to write two slices. That way I always have one in the bank in case I have a really rough day and have no ideas or time.” I don’t have to slice about something that happened that very day? This was huge, especially when I was on spring break.
At the beginning of the month the Seasoned Slicer Strategies was really helpful and I practiced some of them. While I was on spring break the ideas were flowing and I was able to write several slices ahead of time. Having those templates ready really made that easy too. I even wrote several slices using the WordPress app on my phone while sitting on the beach.
On one particular day of spring break I knew I would have an opportunity to find two slices. We were going to visit the Formula 1 race track under construction in Miami and we were doing a food tour of Little Havana later in the day. After the race track visit I started slicing in the car on the way to the food tour. I finished the slice while waiting for our tour guide to arrive. I hit publish and went about the rest of my day knowing I would comment on the hour drive back to our apartment. A word of caution about templates and the WordPress mobile app, my day 10 slice was published with the date February 28th. I was able to fix the publish date on my computer but I still have no idea how to change it on the mobile app.
Lately my slicing has been more challenging. The two weeks since we returned from break have been hectic. Our trip home was stressful and we arrived home a day later which was not the way I wanted to start my week. I had a report card deadline looming and I was already behind with assessments and grading from being out sick before break. The stress made it harder to notice and slice.
I haven’t had a slice in the hopper since day 15 and I miss that. I’ve written several poetry slices since then. Sometimes I feel like a haiku or an acrostic is cheating and not really slicing but they still come from my noticings. I have to admit a six word slice on my birthday saved me because I wanted to enjoy the evening with family even though some of them were only able to be there through Google Meet. Again my commenting was done in the car on my phone in route to the restaurant.
Finding structures from other slicers has always been helpful. I do have some favorite slicers though I try to stop by to meet new ones too. I’ve started a list in a Google Doc this year and I’ve added links of structures I want to try. I seem to forget about this list when I’m struggling to find an idea. I’ve finally written the metaslice though so I can check that one off my list.
As we near the end of the challenge I am thinking about how I can be a regular Tuesday Slicer. I’ve failed at this since my first challenge in 2018. I’m planning to set up a template for Tuesdays and maybe even put a reminder in my phone. I can’t tell you how many times late at night on a Tuesday I think, “I could have sliced today.” It’s usually when I see a post from my friend Ona. I’m hoping I can convince her to keep our writing group going so we can all become Tuesday Slicers with her.
I am participating in the 15th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge by Two Writing Teachers. This is my fourth year of daily slicing during the month of March. Thanks for stopping by!