Right Now: Slice of Life #sol21 27/31

I borrowed this format from Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life and Trina at Trinarrative. Thanks for the inspiration!

What I’m reading: For bedtime comfort reading, I’m rereading all of Barbara Pym’s novels in mostly chronological order. I’m three-quarters through Excellent Women right now, and it’s superb (and quite a bit better than her other three novels that I recently finished). I love having no decision to make at night about what book to read, so I plan to continue to select one author to reread in their entirety in chronological order. I’m nearly finished with Matthew Salesses’s brilliant Craft in the Real World, a critique of creative writing workshops and a centering of the craft practices of writers who belong to marginalized groups.

What I’m writing: Daily slices, of course, and daily in my writer’s notebook, usually alongside my students during our quickwrite time to start class but also in the early morning by myself. And lesson plans and slides. So many slides this year. I’m trying to decide what my next project will be. I’m disinclined right now to participate in National Poetry Writing Month as I have done for the past few years but I may also change my mind on April 1, as I tend to do. Slicing again has helped me recommit to my writing practice, though, and reflect on how essential writing is to my identity.

What I’m learning: Regular infusions of professional development keep me going, so I’m learning to schedule a conference or workshop every month or so and to prioritize my professional learning–easy to do when I was a college professor, more challenging now that I’m a classroom teacher again. I’ve got a new stack of professional development books to read, including Tom Newkirk’s new Writing Unbound: How Fiction Transforms Student Writing. Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher are also back for a second lap of their daily talks, and I am savoring each one.

What I’m loving: My first Detroit spring. Two days ago, I saw flowering trees beginning to bloom. IT IS MARCH. Flowering trees are a MAY phenomenon in South Dakota. I’m not used to springs and falls that last for months rather than a week, maybe two if we’re lucky. Today I will check my own little cumulus serviceberry, planted in the fall as part of the city’s urban tree project, for buds (and also research how to stake and straighten it since it is the most crooked tree I’ve ever seen, though already greatly beloved by me. A tree! Our very own tree!)

9 thoughts on “Right Now: Slice of Life #sol21 27/31

  1. I loved your post. I am amazed the trees in Detroit are flowering. Here in southeastern Pennsylvania, that won’t happen until the first or second week in April. I liked the headings and copied some of the book titles you have mentioned here for purchase possibilities. Your writer’s notebook sizes and colors look like the notebooks I select. We planted a serviceberry last fall, and I cannot wait for blooms!

  2. I love this format! It made me stop and wonder what am I learning, and the answer is not much! I am going to change that! Thanks for the nudge!

  3. New books to read, thanks so much. Tom Newkirk never fails! And look at what your little shift southward has done for Spring’s arrival. Embrace those flowers; I read a quote yesterday, “Flowers are the world laughing.” I like that.

  4. Oh my goodness! Thanks for mentioning the Salesses book. I’ve already put it in my basket! And I can’t believe you’ve got flowering trees already. We’re nowhere close. Enjoy the longer Spring – what a gift.

  5. A tree of your own – love it. There are some places here that have magnolia trees. We can see that they are ready to pop and can’t wait until they do. Springtime just seems to lighten the heart.

  6. Thank you for my next reading project! I have only read one of BP’s books, and have always wanted to read more. Tell me where to find Kelly and Penny’s chats! I keep seeing references to them, but not where to find them. Thanks! P.S. I hope you decide to do NPM. I’m writing bird-influenced poems.

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