Monday, November 25, 2013

Slices of Pumpkin Pie

       Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Visit to see all the other slicers' posts.  It is always a pleasure!

          I had an estate sale earlier this year, and sold quite a few things, many of them old pamphlets, books, etc. that belonged to my husband’s and my family.  I don’t keep everything!  But I have kept one pamphlet that I’ve read often since I was young, full of wise essays and poems about Thanksgiving.  It was given to me by a teacher in high school.  In the inside cover there is a part of a piece I’d like to share, by a B.W. Eva, credited as editor.  The title is Thanksgiving Thoughts
       The words:  “Thankfulness is a state of mind.  It implies appreciation, joyousness, courage, hopefulness and moral strength.  The sum of human comfort during the year past has been greater than last year, as it is each successive year. It is a thankless heart indeed that does not recognize this.  The best part of it is that gratitude is within the grasp of everyone. No soul is entirely bereft.”          
       There are other words that inspire me, yet few talk about the need for courage.  In challenging times, doesn’t it take courage to find things to appreciate?  Finally, there is a quote from Cicero:  “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”


Tara, me and Bonnie-Slicer breakfast-I'm sure someone will share the group pic, or I will next time!


       Because this is Thanksgiving week, I wanted to share this with you all, for whom I am thankful for the connections we have made and nurtured.  And no better time is this, before many of us celebrate Thanksgiving, and after many spent time meeting or re-uniting at NCTE last Thursday through Sunday.  It was indeed a time of thankfulness, for the ability to travel and gather, to learn and grow as educators, to talk and laugh, to be both serious and silly.  Among many whom I will write about in other ways, I want to thank Tara Smith, my roomie!  We had never met until this conference.  We never talked directly, but planned everything via e-mail.  We sent a few messages here and there.  Tara found our hotel.  I sent some ideas for sessions; she shared others.  And then, through our time together, and in our room we had to make ourselves stop talking so we could get some sleep!  It was a pleasure to be with and work out our days together.  THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, TARA!

       The first session I attended was “Creating and Inhabiting Story Worlds” presented by three authors.  What a thrill to see Kirby Larson (Hattie Ever After), Barbara O’Connor (On The Road To Mr. Mineo’s) and Karen Cushman (Will Sparrow) speak.  They have written other books you might recognize, but I’ve only shared one.  Karen Kushman reminded us that next year is the 20th anniversary of Catherine, Called Birdy.  If you have a favorite memory of this book, please share it with her.  She is collecting them for a special project.

        My notes highlighted the following ideas from these authors:
  
      *from  Barbara O’Connor: “World building is not the story, but the stage for the story. Readers don’t care about knowing if dragons exist, they want to know that dragons can be beaten.”
      *from Karen Cushman:  She loves putting in typical southern things found in small towns, says “if you see something real, use it!”  
      from Kirby Larson:  “Truth is wily when rummaging around in our country’s history. It’s like beachcombing to look through primary sources for important stuff that adds to the goal.  You must keep digging and digging.”

       Although I just gave you a little taste, this beginning session showed me that it was going to be a good weekend filled with learning, words to ponder, to take with me and share with anyone who would also take something of value from them.  

        If you are really thankful, what do you do, you share?       W. Clement Stone

        So-one final sharing!  Today is my 599th post!  I couldn't have done it without you!  Thank you all!

60 comments:

  1. Happy 599th!! Wise words in that pamphlet...words to fill our hearts in this season of Thanksgiving. Until our next conference, Linda, and the making of more memories! meanwhile, I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, with just enough snow to dust that gorgeous Colorado landscape.

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    1. Thanks Tara, life is pretty quiet without all the hubbub of NCTE! Hope you & yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

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  2. I'm thankful for you, Linda! Your words are inspiring, comforting, and loving. Thanks for your 599 posts!

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    1. Thanks Tabatha-the very same back to you!

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  3. Love all the quotes and wisdom found in stored pamphlets of long ago and new ideas from writers here and now. Congratulations on all your accomplishments! 599 is amazing!

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    1. Thanks Margaret, it's been quite a ride in Cyberspace!

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  4. I was hoping to spend more time with you Linda, but it feels like I did. So glad that you and Tara got face-to-face time :)

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    1. Hoping for Denver visitors, Bonnie. Loved being with you even for a while!

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  5. 599! Awesome accomplishment--I look forward to 600! Have a great holiday!

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    1. Thank you Diane. I hope your holiday is a very good one-and not too snowy! I've seen those forecasts!

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  6. What a beautiful post -- love the inspiring words and hearing about your time at NCTE with Tara especially. And that panel with Karen, Barbara and Kirby -- wow (love all their books)!

    Friendship and meaningful connections are the biggest take-aways from being on the internet and blogging. I am thankful for your blog all year long. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving, and congrats on your 599th post!

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    1. Jama, you know that NCTE is in DC next year? The connections are very special, I agree! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends too! It's quite a foodie day, too, isn't it? Thank you!

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  7. I knew you would have a great learning experience in Boston with Tara. I also knew you would be sharing your take-aways. Thanks for sharing and always writing so thoughtfully.

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  8. I'm so happy you had this time among inspiring people --- especially Tara as roommate! It's funny, I imagined you as having met before. And of course in deep ways you had. But it must have been great to share some meals and discuss what you were hearing and seeing!

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    1. Jeannine, it was absolutely wonderful to be with Tara. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family! Thank you!

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  9. I love reading everyone's thoughts from NCTE. What an experience to meet these wonderful people we only know through words. I hope to do that someday soon! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome Leigh Anne, perhaps next time we'll meet! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  10. So many wonderful things to be thankful for in this post! 599 posts...friends - old and new, near and far...learning and growing...and sharing too! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks Robin. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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  11. What a journey you have been on throughout your 599 posts. Talk about a milestone. Your NCTE adventure sounds amazing. And you are getting to meet so many Slicers! I've started saving for NCTE. I just have to do it.

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    1. Ruth and I talked about you, hoping you might try for All-Write next summer? Would love to meet you, Deb. We started this journey together! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  12. We love this quote:If you are really thankful, what do you do, you share? W. Clement Stone Thank you for sharing. It was wonderful to meet you in person.

    Happy Thanksgiving
    Clare and Tammy

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    1. Thanks Clare & Tammy, fun to be with you, too, if only for a little while! Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

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  13. Already snowing here! Hope it holds off enough to get our families everywhere they are going!
    Sounds like you had a marvelous time in Boston and got back just in time, too. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And congratulations on the big 599!

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    1. I saw about your weather. Seem as if I left Boston just in time. We've had nothing, in fact it's warming up, but my son in North Texas had snow! Hope your family is safe and you have a very Happy Thanksgiving Donna!

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  14. I can feel how Boston filled your cup. Appreciation and inspiration sing loud in your words. Happy 599! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks Terje, it did fill it up to overflowing! A marvelous time!

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  15. Happy 599! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for you, Linda, for your thoughtful words here and in the comments section of other blogs, mine included. Your quote about courage resonates with me. Thanks for sharing. =)

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    1. Thanks Bridget, for all your words, including the daily nudge you give me to 'get writing'! Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family!

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  16. This quote really speaks to me.

    “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”

    Thanks for sharing that today, Linda.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. Wonderful to believe the quote is from so long ago, too! Thanks Stacey, & happiest of Thanksgivings to you too!

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  17. Happy 599th post! I so enjoyed meeting you in person. What a fantastic conference weekend it has been. Thank you for sharing notes and standouts from your sessions. Happy, happy thanksgiving. I am grateful for your voice and open, sharing heart. You inspire me, Linda.

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    1. Thanks Lee Ann-loved meeting you too-so sorry it wasn't longer! One of my former students just won a slam contest again last week-was so proud of him & thought of you! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

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  18. Thank you, Linda, for reminding us all how to be loving no matter which way the wind is blowing. I count you among my life blessing this year, and while we did not get to talk much at NCTE, I look forward to next time! Happy Thanksgiving to you and to your family... xxoo

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    1. Lovely to exchange hugs anyway, Amy! I know we'll keep in touch. So great to see you a little & especially at the Joyce Sidman session-so special! Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!

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  19. What a fabulous accomplishment! So glad to have met you online and at NCTE, albeit briefly. That was a whirlwind of a weekend. I slept about 16 hours in four days while I was there, and 18 in the two days since I returned. Insanity.

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    1. Great to see you too, Katherine. Sometime we do need to have a longer conversation! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  20. 599th?! Wow!!! I'm so glad to have "met" you this year, Linda. I appreciate your thoughts on thankfulness in this post, and especially that you touched on how important courage is as well. You're absolutely right-- courage, and resolve as well. In that regard, maybe we were on the same wavelength today!

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    1. Yes, I wondered about your post connection when I read it, Michelle. Thank you!

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  21. Looking forward to 600! Thank you so much for all that you are sharing about NCTE. While it's not anything like being there, it helps to hear some of the great reflections and learning that went on. Happy Thanksgiving, Linda!

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    1. Thanks Melanie. This was just the start. I will try to share as much as I can. It was quite a great time of learning and community for me. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, too!

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  22. Thank you Linda for sharing your voice, perspective and life journey over these 599 posts. Your words are always full of thanks giving.

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    1. You are welcome, Kim. It's such a pleasure to write, and to build the relationships too. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  23. I am thankful for many things this season, including the tweets and pics from NCATE AND your wonderful quote that I intend to share on Thanksgiving. Indeed "Thankfulness is a state of mind."

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    1. Thank you Anita, so happy you love the quote. It certainly popped out at me too! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  24. 599!! There is definitely a reason to celebrate! Thank you also for your insights about NCTE!

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    1. You're welcome, Jaana. There are a few of us who began together in March 2011, and we're still going! It's part of my going to NCTE this time, & glad you enjoyed the sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  25. It was wonderful to meet you, Linda! And congratulations on your 599th post. I remember thinking my 100th was such a milestone! This year I'm thankful not only for my family, friends, and colleagues here in CT, but for this amazing community of writers and teachers. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

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    1. It went all too quickly didn't it, Catherine. I wish we could have visited longer but several times was great! I'm so thankful for the community too, and 100 is a milestone-I blogged about it then, & will continue to share at those benchmarks! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  26. Every year my students write a Thanksgiving essay that they share with their families sometime during the holiday. I'm having them add your final quote to the parent signature page that they will return on Monday.
    "If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share."
    Thanks for sharing your thinking from NCTE. I'm looking forward to more updates.

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    1. We have Grandpeople's Day today, and are finished with the day at noon. All the classes do something special for their visitors, and these activities, like yours, are some of the times I miss most, Ramona. I bet the families love those essays! I'm happy you like the quote, and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

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  27. I love the quotes you shared. I'm going to save them and go back to them often. After reading so many posts about NCTE, I am determined to not miss another year. It sounds wonderful! I hope you have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

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    1. Thanks Julie-love hearing about all your cooking! Happy thanksgiving to you also!

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  28. Linda, thanks so much for sharing the quotes from your pamphlet - they are very meaningful and I can see why you re-read them. Congrats on #599 - quite an accomplishment and you have so much to share. Have a blessed Thanksgiving with family & friends. We all have so much to be thankful for.

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    1. So happy you enjoyed the quotes, Judy. I do, too, as you can see! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too! And yes, we do have much to give thanks for.

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  29. Linda,
    I am thankful for you and your generous spirit. You are so kind and it was wonderful to meet you in person! Congrats on your 599 post-THAT'S AWESOME! hope you have at least 600 more to celebrate in the future!
    Thank you for all that you are.
    Also, I was thinking about NCTE when you shared about rooming and chatting about the learning with Tara. I felt the same about Kristi-we had a great time together!

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    1. Wasn't it just terrific, Amy! I'm sorry we didn't get to visit more, perhaps next time. So glad you had a great time, too! Thank you!

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  30. It was so great to meet you, Ms. Linda!!! Seriously one of the highlights of NCTE for me. You are just as great in person as you have been online. So great to know you. :)

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    1. Same here Jen. I loved really seeing you! Hope your holiday was a good one!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!