Shout Outs: Slice of Life #sol21 6/31

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Our weekly staff meeting begins with shout-outs. It’s the one part of the meeting that will never be skipped, never be rushed. It’s raucous and loud–sometimes with actual shouting. Everyone unmutes. The chat fills with emojis and capital letters and exclamation marks.

Being invited to notice, name, and appreciate what my colleagues are doing has made me pay closer attention and acknowledge more freely and frequently to myself and to others what has been helpful. As a words of affirmation person, I’m all in when it comes to shout-outs.

Comments would seem to be the slicer’s version of a shout-out, and they are an essential way we build community and lift each other up as writers this month. Commenting–the leaving and the getting–is actually my favorite part of slicing.

But comments aren’t exactly shout-outs. That public affirmation to others, that acknowledgement in front of peers, is missing from a comment. It’s the difference between sending my colleague an email of appreciation and reading that email out loud to their boss and the whole staff.

So today I decided to shout out four blogs that I’m really enjoying this month. Of course there are dozens and dozens of blogs I’m enjoying. But here are four you might not be following yet that would richly reward your reading and commenting time.

I am just a little bit obsessed with the writing at tendingbulbs. I admire the variety in tone from one entry to the next, the precision of language, the way she captures moments in a way that feels utterly new and inventive and yet deeply familiar, like this is a thought or a feeling I’ve had but didn’t even know I had until I read her slice. You need to read every post, but maybe start with this beautiful piece about words we need and follow up with Tony’s hilarious one-day visit to France to eat baguettes and croissants.

The quality of observation, detail, and word choice are what strike me in Soundofwater‘s writing. Read this opener from her first slice this month:

I come from a long line of women who hold their cards close and their chins high. One of my most enduring memories of my maternal grandmother is sitting on the couch in the living room with Gran. She was a birdwoman, a thing of delicate bones and quick movements, and the most extraordinary plumage. 

“A thing of delicate bones and quick movements, and the most extraordinary plumage”?? I’m in writer’s heaven here. Her post about her daughter baking is also full of gorgeous observation and phrasing.

Nerds Beget Nerds is all about the warm voice and the carefully crafted pacing. I am so fully drawn in as a reader. This blog has me laughing and feeling like a member of the lunch crew, wondering what I’d bring for those impromptu teacher buffets, or a member of the family, wanting to toss my five movie choices into the hat for family movie night.

I read djvichos for the poetry of every line (poetry or prose, it’s all poetry here) and for her ability to nail an incredible final line–every one of them the gut punch that leaves me reeling or the unexpected resolution that has me sighing happily. Start with her imitation of Allen Ginsberg, which brought me such joy this morning, and then pause with her musings on what it means to see the world through a poet’s eyes.

What slicers are you shouting out today?

32 responses to “Shout Outs: Slice of Life #sol21 6/31”

  1. I love how you have such personalized shout outs. You shared such great detail about how these slicers impacted you as a reader. I am inspired to read more blogs and will certainly check these out. Thank you!!

    • You’re welcome! With my new job, I haven’t commented nearly as much this year as I usually do and have barely visited some of my favorite slicers. Looking forward to catching up this weekend!

  2. As I was reading your post, I realized that we don’t do shout-outs as a staff anymore. We regularly did this before the pandemic. I love that you introduced me to blogs that I am not familiar with! I am certain that your blog would be a shout out to many!

    • I’ve never been part of a shout-out school before. I found it a bit strange at first, but now I really value this practice and I do look for things to shout out during the week. Makes me notice and appreciate my colleagues and admin team so much more! Enjoy some happy reading today! I definitely think you will connect with a couple of these writers.

    • With nearly 300 people participating in the challenge this year and so many blogs I love, it was painful to limit myself to just four! It’s always fun to discover a new voice and then read back in time!

  3. GREAT idea, Elisabeth ( and not a little bit of pressure for my writer-self to do better!) I would’ve added your posts to my “Shout Outs” list. Thanks.
    I also think affirmations need to be a daily part of our work with students.

  4. I loved this post! I can’t wait to hear how you figure out how to do this with your students. It really is a great community builder. I wonder why more schools don’t do this since research has to show that it improves community and job satisfaction and individual and school happiness.

  5. This is a great way to give teachers, writers, students recognition for what they do. Too often we tell them in a conference or in a note or email that they are doing a good job or that something they did or wrote touched us. Although this is still a good thing, how much better to acknowledge that person before a group of others.

  6. Thank you so much for the introduction to these bloggers. I am overwhelmed by the number of slicers and tend to go to the folks I know first. I’m going off to these writers next,
    And, the idea of well-thought-out shout-outs is SUCH a good idea for our students and colleagues. What way to make someone feel their value. Thank you!

    • So many slicers to visit! I feel overwhelmed too and can’t believe how many blogs I still haven’t even managed to visit this month. I’m sure I’m going to remember someone vital on March 31 and then have to go back and leave 31 comments!!

  7. What a great post! I was honored to be one of your shout outs during my first year of slicing in 2018 and it still means a lot to me. I am trying to encourage several colleagues who are slicing for the first time this year. One is doing all her slices in graphic novel style (hardly an artist) and the other is a first year teacher who blows me away that she can slice and be a first year teacher during a pandemic (limitlyssthoughts). They are organized into a collaborative blog at TeachersWrite ( by our amazing instructional coach who blogs at Ona Thought ( I’m so excited to have this group to collaborate with during the challenge.

    • That encouragement means so much! I can’t imagine being a first year teacher IN A PANDEMIC AND STILL SLICING. I’ll definitely check out her blog and offer some comments! How wonderful to have colleagues to collaborate with. I may try to get some of my colleagues on board next year!

  8. What a wonderful idea! I will have to “steal” this format myself! Now to click over to everyone’s posts you mentioned….

    • It’s fun to highlight a few deserving blogs of the many, many blogs that I’m reading and loving this month. I’d love to read a similar post from you because I do love to discover new-to-me blogs!

  9. I love this idea of shouting out other bloggers! Thank you for sharing this. I will definitely be checking out their posts.

  10. Wow, thank you for the shout out! I’m beaming, which just shows the power of shout outs. I love this idea! I’ve been a big fan of your blog, so if I may return a shout out!!

  11. What a great parallel to a practice that might have gone by the wayside for all the pandemic has taken. Well captured and preserved here.

  12. What a great idea for both the staff meeting and the blogs! I am off now to check some of them out!

  13. What a wonderful selection of blogs! I appreciate you shouting these out for us to enjoy!

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