Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Slice of LIfe Tuesdays


Slice of Life
If I dismiss the ordinary — waiting for the special, the extreme, the extraordinary to happen 
— I may just miss my life.

Think about that quote. If we wait for the fantastic, we miss the treasures within each day.
Our lives are filled with the daily rhythm of our lives as we keep our beat to the drum that guides us. Celebrate the small things to keep stepping to the beat and the path that we each have chosen.
That means our lives are filled with story, story that shares our humanity. We've discussed that writers write about what they know, so the ordinary then defines the character and setting, driving the personalities that strive for a goal and overcome obstacles. It's the "every day" slice of parts of the day and actions of the characters that keep the story believable. We can feel their dilemma, their struggles. How could your story, your slice of the day drive the characters in your story? How could we learn from your story?
Each week write a "slice of life" story in your Google Docs. Revise and edit it before posting it on your blog on Tuesdays. Read two of your peers’ stories and comment on them, according to our protocol [TG: Tell something great; Give a suggestion]. Comments on two stories must completed by Thursday of each week.

What is a slice of life story?  
A slice of life story is a true SHORT story, a slice of your life. It’s just “snippet” that tells a moment in your everyday life.  That moment is like a snapshot. When you look at it, you remember and write what happened just before, then you describe your snapshot experience with as much realism and details as possible— as if it’s happening right now. Write so your reader can feel what you feel, see what you see, do what you do, and think what you do. It is not a list of things you did in one day— it is one moment of time that you capture step by step. It does not contain personal information, just a story. Remember to change the names to protect the innocent and the guilty.

Click here for an annotated example of a slice of life story. Notice all the specific details and descriptions and dialogue  -- lots of sights and sounds-- taking you moment by moment through the story. Remember, your moment is one others can learn from — or laugh or cry because the reader has experience something similar. Our lives in their everyday moments are special, because it is the journey that is important; let’s share that slice of our days.
Why?
  • You will have readers hearing your voice because you have written using sensory details and action.
  • You will discover new topics, turn the ordinary into extraordinary, and become better with each slice.
  • You can try out new techniques taught in class, and share some of your own.
  • You will begin to notice that stories are everywhere.
  • You will also be a member of a writing community.
  • You will learn how to give positive and constructive feedback.
Enjoy discovering your own and others’ new stories.  I look forward to reading them soon.

How do we start?
It's Tuesday --- Time to think of something funny, sad, maddening, joyful, grateful -- just a moment in time. It could be a memory -- let me start; some of you have read this story:
While you're reading, imagine it.  Listen to the elaboration -- the description and details and dialogue that help you be there:
Cold isn't Always Weather
Once upon a time in a small town in North Dakota, a young girl visited her cousin. The young girl was me, about ten years old, one year older than my cousin. We'll call her Sandy, although that's not her real name.
One of our distant relatives had passed on, and the adults attended the funeral; we two cousins stayed home inside on a bitter cold winter day.
We'd arrived  the night before; I had never stayed with this cousin before. The wind blew through the cracks in the window sill of the older home, and the furnace creaked, both keeping me awake the whole night. I was tired, but Sandy wanted to play in the snow as soon as the adults had left.
We built a snowman, rolling and pressing the crisp snow into huge balls. We placed rocks for eyes, nose, and mouth, and stood back to look at our creation, pushing the scarves up over our noses--  to protect ourselves from the wind blowing in our faces, biting our noses. It was thirty below zero with the windchill factor, a common temperature for winter time in the prairies of North Dakota.
Sandy didn't like the mouth and pulled off the rocks I'd used, replacing them with her own.
She pushed me, yelling, "Tag -- you're it!"
I caught her right away -- I was a fast kid.
Sandy pouted, "Not fair!" She bolted inside the house, slamming and locking the door.
I ran to the back door, but she had locked all the doors.
I pulled my hood up and retied my scarf around it. I pulled my brown and white mittens inside the cuffs of my green felt coat.
I pounded on the door, but Sandy didn't even look. I heard the radio playing country music.
I ran back to the front door, but it was still locked.
A tear welled up in my eye, but I brushed it away. I rocked back and forth from foot to foot to keep the cold from holding onto them. I walked in circles around the house for what seemed like hours.
Eventually, I felt my fingers tingle and feel numb. I shivered and walked faster.
Soon, a car drove up; it was my aunt. I could see her through the bushes on the side of the house.
I waited until she opened the door. I heard the door close, and walked around to it.
Once in the house, I walked into the bathroom and closed the door, locking it. I warmed my hands in warm water, crying, hoping my mom would rescue soon from this horrible place.
I don't remember what else happened. I don't remember if my aunt tried to talk to me. I just remember never wanting to come back there ever again, and I don't believe I ever did.

Did you picture it? What helped you?  The detail? The description? The dialogue? This was just a memory, tucked away until I as a writer wanted to share. I've changed the names and added some of the details that I've forgotten, but the mood and feelings of that time are there.  

I could also have chosen the time my cousins and I jumped off the dock a million times and watched the perch swim around us as we stood on the lake bottom.  Or the time we canoed in the cove with the glass bottom letting us watch the creatures below us.  Or the time how I got UNlost on an island. Or playing Hide N Seek late into the night. It's just snippet.  Here's one more: Get Your Brother.

Maybe you'll write about a moose.
Maybe you'll write a poem about the beach.

I'm excited to read your posts -- your Slice of Life! 

Get Started

Open your Google Docs. Name it Slice of Life and your code name.  You can draft all your "slices" on this document each week. Make a list of memories, animal stories, little brother or sister stories, fun times, silly times, etc.  Choose one that's school appropriate.

  1. Quickly write about that slice for a few minutes, just to get the idea down.
  2. Now, jump down a few spaces, and start over -- this time, write it like it's happening now.  Describe the setting and the feelings just before it happened.  Then describe the event with details, sights, sounds, and dialogue. Let us live it too. 
  3. End with how you felt, and a question for us.
  4. Edit your spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar.
  5. While editing, think of a good title.
  6. Below your post, share the excellent writing you did:

    • I described the setting:  "The wind blew through the cracks in the window sill of the older home, and the furnace creaked, both keeping me awake the whole night."
    • I included descriptions:
      • Sights: "We built a snowman, rolling and pressing the crisp snow into huge balls. We placed rocks for eyes, nose, and mouth, and stood back to look at our creation, pushing the scarves up over our noses"
      • Sounds: "the furnace creaked"
    • I included details [5WH]: "I ran back to the front door, but it was still locked.


    • A tear welled up in my eye, but I brushed it away. I rocked back and forth from foot to foot to keep the cold from holding onto them. I walked in circles around the house for what seemed like hours."
      • I included dialogue:
      "Tag -- you're it!"
      I caught her right away -- I was a fast kid.
      Sandy pouted, "Not fair!"
Copy and paste your Slice of Life and writing skills into a new blog post. Give it your title.  Write Slice of Life as a label so you can find all your posts for Tuesdays.  Publish.

Next Steps

1   Copy the URL and reply with a comment below about your post -- include your link so others can go read it.  Then go read and comment on two of your peers' Slice of Life.

2   On another day, I will post a reflection piece for you to choose your best SLICE and explain why you think so with explanations of the research and writing strategies you used for your SLICE to make it good.

3  We will continue to write SLICE posts and reflect on our growth as writers as well as connect with other SLICErs. 

We'll look for other classrooms writing for Slice of Life too.  Perhaps we can share.




Additional Information:
How To-- the original site

This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder... Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...

3 comments:

  1. I wrote a Slice of Life about breakfast and writing. I hope you enjoy it. https://askwhatelse.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/scrambled-secrets-sol/

    ReplyDelete

Please remember this is a family and school related site. Please post and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. sheri at nsdeagles dot org