Monday, February 25, 2013

Gathering Inspiration for SOLC


               The Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Stacey and Ruth every single Tuesday.  Join us, and get ready for the March Challenge—beginning this Friday!  Thanks for all the work, Stacy and Ruth, plus all the community of helpers!

If you're on twitter, tweet at #Slice2013!

          It’s a good time to share something that will be both helpful and inspirational for our coming challenge, to write every day for ALL of March. I have started a writing group at my school and there are eight of us.  We’ll meet once a month to share and give support to each other.  We have chosen a book about writing to read parts of each time, a part of building our community.  The book is The Muses Among Us-eloquent listening and other pleasures of the writer’s craft, by Kim Stafford, William Stafford’s son, now teaching at Lewis and Clark College. 


         Toward the beginning of the book, Stafford tells the story of all musicians, who know that if their instruments are not played daily, an instrument dies.  “A guitar, a violin, a lute chills the air for the first fifteen minutes of fresh play.  It will need to be quickened from scratch.” But a fiddle played every day hangs ready, “anxious to speak, to cry out, to sing at the bow’s first stroke.” 
          He further quotes Pablo Casals: “If I don’t practice for even one day, I can tell the difference when I next cradle the cello in my arms.  If I fail to practice for two days, my close friends can also tell the difference.  If I don’t practice for three days, the whole world knows.”
          For anyone new, I believe you will discover that you’ll find a rhythm to your “music” of writing each day, & it will be easier than if you had to write once a week.  Stafford ends the particular chapter I am referencing with these wonderful words:

       “Yes, there will be labor, and hours with sweat dripping off the elbows.  Yes, the words will have to be tuned—but the pen!  Already shouting, poised and happy.

                             Have a wonderful Slice of Life challenge everyone!

photo credit: Amir Kuckovic via photopin cc

51 comments:

  1. Thanks, Linda, for these encouraging words as we get ready for our month of slicing. I love the image of the pen - "already shouting, poised and happy" to share the slices of our lives.

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    1. I can only take credit for sharing, Ramona. Aren't the words terrific! Thanks & here we go!

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  2. I love these beautiful quotes. I think we can all relate to this. I just feel this twinge of...I hope I have something to say that matters everyday. I am trying to learn how to speak spanish using Rosetta Stone, it works the same way...everyday . xo

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    1. Thanks Nancy. Habits are hard to start and also hard to break. How great that you are working on a language.

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  3. Aww w! Such inspiration! Thanks for sharing these lovely lines to inspire our daily writing and slicing!

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    1. You're welcome Amy. This is going to be a lot of fun!

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  4. Thanks for the words of encouragement and inspiration. I'm going to be the disciplined practicer for the month of March and I'm looking forward to it.

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    1. You're welcome Melanie. Now if we can find good time to read & comment too!

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  5. I knew about the effect on musicians of not playing daily, but I had never thought about it in terms of writing. Hmm! Good luck in the March Madness Poetry Tournament!

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    1. Thanks Tabatha-it will be fun, no matter the outcome. I loved reading all the poems last year!

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  6. Great lines, love the metaphor. I will have to look for the book. I'm going to slice with my students, but I like the idea of a writing group. I wonder if any of our teachers would be interested?

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    1. I hope you find some, Lee Ann, but slicing with your students is going to be great. I wish I'd known about this years ago! The book is very nice!

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  7. Great words, Linda. I loved the challenge last year and can't wait to dive in this year. :)

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    1. You are writing nearly every day now, Katherine. Should be a good month!

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  8. Great inspirational slice today. I need to get back into the rhythm of writing again, so this is a good slice for me to read today. Love the quote and wrote it into my notebook.

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    1. Thanks Deb. Time to get started, isn't it? Just a few days away! We've been slicing together for a long time, haven't we?

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  9. How perfect for reflecting on the challenge! I worried last year I wouldn't have something to say every day, and discovered that was not a problem. So I totally relate to the concept it is easier to write every day compared to once a week. Can't wait to see how it goes.

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    1. Thanks Elsie-this spoke to me so eloquently. I am often amazed that the right thing comes along when we most need it!

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  10. An inspirational book and a writing group - this is better than having a plan. ;)
    I just hope to remember to have fun when writing and not to worry too much.

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    1. I think it will be fun, but not always easy, Terje. I shared your post of ideas with a new blogger & I've kept it close, too!

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  11. I love how you brought rhythm into the discussion about developing a writing routine. There is a rhythm that develops once you get started, isn't there. Lovely, Linda.

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    1. Thanks Stacey, absolutely true about the rhythm.

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  12. So true... there's nothing like that daily exercise... Can't wait until March...
    BONNIE

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  13. Great words of inspiration, Linda....and I do feel ready this time!

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  14. Thanks for your words of encouragement. Last year I worried about my writing every day, but have found that I enjoy it and am looking forward to more slices - both reading and writing. Writing is no different that anything else we do, the more we do it, the better we get.

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    1. Exactly, Judy. The slicing will be fun & we'll learn so much. Thanks!

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  15. What a wonderful way to encourage each other. Sounds like an inspiring book as well.
    I would like to try this but not sure if I have the stamina.
    You offer great encouragement - thanks Linda.

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    1. You can post your other creative pieces right along with the slicing too, Beverley. Just be sure you say that you're doing the slice of life challenge too, & hook up at Two Writing Teachers!

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  16. Ooh, I love the comparison of writing to music, Linda! Both are such beautiful, personal arts that do require so much practice, and lead to such deep self expression! I can't wait to write with you every day again!

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    1. I thought of you when I wrote because of your homecoming at OSU that you do each year, Jennifer. I knew you'd like the connection. It will be terrific won't it?

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  17. I think your comparison to the chello player is about the nicest inspiration I can think of today. I had been using a "sports" metaphor and thinking about preparing for a big season - but it is more like preparing to be part of an orchestra. I will carry your words with me for the weeks ahead1

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    1. Thanks Anita-I loved the words too & that's why I shared them. I look forward to slicing with you!

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  18. Beautiful words Linda. I'm going to print these out and hang them by where I sit when I write. They remind me of Don Murray and Don Graves. Their motto was never a day without a line. Both of them lived that until the very end of their lives.

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    1. I remember that, Carol! And it is said that William Stafford wrote a poem every day. I think we can do it! Glad I inspired! I'm going to hang that quote up for sure! Thanks Carol!

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  19. Thanks Linda. This takes me back to last year. Towards the end of my month of slicing, I found myself recording my thoughts into my iPhone as I drove to work, jotting down short memos, but most of all I found myself viewing my world each day as a writer. That, my friend, is what I miss. Happy slicing to you as well.

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    1. Thank you! I love the idea of recording the thoughts, Maya. I just kept a small pad of paper in the car to jot things along the way, but recording is easily better; I can explain the context!

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  20. Linda,
    This is one of my favorite books about writing. Here is one of my favorite quotes that somehow seems fitting right now: "The short songs we need now are about to be written by voices we don't yet know. We will need to be eloquent listeners to invite these songs forth, and share them all around." Kim Stafford, The Muses Among Us.

    Thanks for helping to inspire and share the songs.

    Cathy

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    1. You are so welcome, Cathy & thank you! I love the quote & will look for it as I read! It'll be quite a month I know!

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  21. Thanks for your words of encouragement.Thanks for sharing these lovely lines to inspire our daily writing.

    The Equation book

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    1. You are welcome, Henry. I hope to see you in the slicers!

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  22. I'll chorus so many others - just the words of inspiration I needed to read!

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  23. "Already shouting, poised, and happy." Yes, yes, and yes! Love the metaphor of the musical instrument and the personification of the pen. Thanks for sharing this gem from your muse!

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    1. As said, I can't take credit, but couldn't wait to share with everyone! Thanks Christy!

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  24. I read Kim"s book years ago. Now I will go back to it. I also had the pleasure of meeting him and writing with him. I had a dream last night, or nightmare?, about the March challenge. Here it comes...

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    1. Another blogger friend wrote me that she too had had a class with him. Oh my, Margaret, I hope you'll tell about your dream sometime! Yes, here we go!

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  25. Very helpful words indeed, and so wise. Interesting to see that writing gets passed down from father to daughter. I have a feeling I'd love this book too, but I'm putting off reserving it from our library just yet, simply because I have way too many books that I just borrowed from the library this weekend. perhaps next week? Hahaha. :) Good luck on your journey, Linda, of writing everyday. I've also been religiously writing down my thoughts daily on the Paulo Coelho Transformations Journal that a friend of mine gave me as a gift for 2013. I'm enjoying myself tremendously. :)

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Having a conversation is a good thing!