If We Were Having Coffee 19/31 #sol23

If we were having coffee, I’d ask how your writing is going. I’d tell you that I try to make it a point not to repeat forms or formats more than once during the March Slicing Challenge, but here I am with my second Weekend Coffee Share. I’d confess that this month, I feel more like I’m going through the motions as a writer. I haven’t found as much inspiration or joy from slicing as I usually do. That’s okay, because every writing season is a little different. I’m just glad to be in community with so many teachers and writers I admire, and I’m satisfied to show up each day. It doesn’t need to be more than that this year.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I can’t wait for spring. I’d ask what signs of spring you see where you live. I haven’t seen any yet in Detroit, but then we’ve had snow several times over the past couple of weeks, and so I haven’t even been looking carefully. Today, when I go for a walk, I will keep my eyes open.

If we were having coffee, I’d share how pleasantly surprised I was by the results of my students’ assessment essays this week. It wasn’t a task I created (or would ever create), and it’s not a task I find particularly valuable. But I was still happy to see that if they have to jump through this hoop, they could jump proficiently.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask what you’re reading. I might even bring you a book or two. When I finish a book, I like to move it along somewhere else unless it can go in my classroom library or I think I will reread it. I finished several books this week that I liked a lot but won’t reread and wouldn’t be of interest to my students. Maybe you’d like a copy of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Whereabouts or Kate Zambreno’s Drifts?

If we were having coffee, I’d share my latest Pickles pictures and make sure you agree that he is the world’s most adorable as well as most photogenic cat. Just when you thought I was done making you look at my phone, I’d probably find three or four more pictures I forgot to share. Of course I’d like to see your pet photos too, and I promise to be absolutely enthralled no matter how many you show me.


Weekend Coffee Share is a format I’ve borrowed from Tammy.






25 responses to “If We Were Having Coffee 19/31 #sol23”

  1. Eva Kaplan Avatar
    Eva Kaplan

    Elisabeth- I am having coffee right now and reading your slice- it feels like you’re here with me! You’re so right when you share that just writing every day and showing up is enough!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Of course I’d love to find more delight in my writing this month, but just showing up is sometimes enough!

  2. Book Dragon Avatar

    If was sitting with you over coffee I’d agree that each slicing season is a wee bit different but it is the community that counts. Just show up and write something, read, and reflect.
    If I was sitting with you over coffee I’d be anticipating Pickles photos, and disappointed if you didn’t have any.
    If I was sitting with you over coffee, I’d ask if you have seen the photo on social media yesterday, that showed on a flight from Toronto to JFK, a choker of a gray and white kitty in the arms on a stewardess seeking its owner. I’d ask you what escape stories you have about your kitties.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      YES, I saw that photo on social media and loved the story. It was so very cat! Your words about slicing are so right–each season is different. I’ve found for myself after so many years of slicing, the community is more my why even than the writing.

  3. WOWilkinson Avatar

    Thanks for sharing. I like this format. I can totally relate to the struggle this year. The slicing has been more of a struggle than I remember it being in the past, but I appreciate your encouragement that it doesn’t have to be more than it is.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I’m very much going through the motions, but I’m reminded how that’s still sometimes part of the writing life.

  4. Book Dragon Avatar

    Chonker not choker. AGGH – autocorrect spelling. This cat was solid as a tank.

  5. Suzanne Avatar

    I like your weekend coffee share. Your first share felt sad even though you seem to be ok with it but it got me thinking about what classrooms are like right now. I’m retired but in speaking with friends and former colleagues I know there are changes in education that would have made me very unhappy (until I moved around them). Then I read your third share and thought, aha! There it is. These are still tough times in the classroom aren’t they. But I can tell from your post that you are working around the difficulties. And you will be ok!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Teaching high school now is so different than when I last taught high school in the early 2000s. The hoops part of it can be deeply frustrating. Luckily, the kid part of school continues to be a joy!

      1. Suzanne Avatar

        And kids still need wonderful caring teachers!

  6. arjeha Avatar

    If we were having coffee cats would certainly be a topic of conversation and picture sharing. The difficulty of daily writing, finding the right topic would also come up, but it would be replaced by the joy of daily writing and the inspiring and encouraging comments of this wonderful writing community.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      We would have so many cat pictures and stories to share! I’m not sure we’d even get to the many other topics we’d want to cover because there would be so much cat content to get through first! You are so right about the inspiring and encouraging comments!

      1. arjeha Avatar

        You are definitely right about the cat conversation.

  7. Juliette Awua-Kyerematen Avatar

    Great coffee moments. We learn a lot about your interests through your coffer share. I agree with the fact that the impact this year is not the same,” That’s okay, because every writing season is a little different.” Our writing mojo may change over the few days till the end of March.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I appreciate that perspective shift in the acknowledgement that our writing mojo can shift over even a few days. Despite feeling lackluster, I haven’t been tempted to quit!

  8. Lisa Keeler Avatar

    I love this format and I am glad you repeated it because you are inspiring me and I didn’t see your last one. Also, I love how much I learned about you from this post. Your casual, friendly writing voice shines through and it really does feel like we are sitting having coffee.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      There’s something about this format that brings out this particular voice and tone. I find it such an inviting format for that reason!

  9. Amanda Potts Avatar

    I ❤ Pickles. I really need to write about my cats… just for the pictures.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Pickles is the best! And YES to more cat slices and cat photos. We can’t ever have too many of those!

  10. Susan Kennedy Avatar

    I find the center of the month is the hardest part. Maybe try some poetry.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      That’s such a good idea to try some poetry! I’m going to look at my classroom books today for a book spine poem!

  11. Trina Avatar

    I also think that the middle of the month is the most challenging part of SOLC. I have had similar feelings/experiences for this challenge. The dreary Wisconsin weather does not help. I saw my first robin a while ago, but I have not seen any other signs of spring.

    FWIW, I still enjoyed reading your post. I would LOVE to have coffee with you!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      So dreary! So few signs of spring! I was shocked a few mornings ago to realize there is now early morning birdsong–a sure sign that spring is coming. And YES to having coffee together!! that would be wonderful.

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