How to write an ending

Ok. I have to do this. It is the final post and it must be written. Let me tell you, I’ve been overthinking this one. So I followed a tried-and-true strategy: I procrastinated. I’ve been an evening writer all month, but I decided that this would be a morning post. I mentally made notes on several fascinating ways to write this, but I conveniently rejected or forgot them all. And now here I sit, facing a blank page, and it’s the last day of SOLC18.

Should I say thank you? How on earth could I say thank you in a way that reveals what this month has meant to me? Do you know that I literally found this challenge randomly on Day 3? I don’t even remember how I found it. I have started to believe that something in the universe knew what I needed and placed it in front of my face. And why did I sign up? Naivete? I had no idea what this would entail. I remember thinking, “Well, I keep saying I want to start a reflective blog, how hard can this be?” I didn’t know that I would end up spending 2 hours a day on this challenge, that I would fall in love with commenting, that I would get to know other bloggers, that my heart would burst open with stories and thoughts and observations.

Should I tell you about my happiness? How can I explain what it feels like to read each comment? To read others’ stories? Do you know that my whole world has expanded? Even my 9-year-old has noticed my new demeanor. I feel supported, encouraged, surrounded by a group of like-minded colleagues who will help me grow and improve in my writing and my teaching practice. I have a whole list of books to read. My library hold list is a mile long & I’ve already discovered amazing books.

Should I write about my sadness? How I have realized that I desperately need to connect with like-minded colleagues in my own space & cultivate those relationships more than I have? I will miss the daily affirmations of this community but I can resign myself to weekly, I think. Do you know that I am embarrassed about how many books on teaching I haven’t read? I am so behind. Seriously. And here I thought I was pretty on top of things. So… I have resolved to start a PLN here rather than continuing to wait for it to magically develop. I can do that. And I can read – oh yes, I can read. And write.

Should I talk about how my writing has changed? How at the beginning I carefully curated what I wrote, mining old journals and notebooks for well-crafted moments? And how I was not going to share my personal life – only professional. As if they were not intertwined! Nevertheless, I was stern with myself. And then, I let go a little. And you kept reading and commenting. Even when I shared a *poem* which is terrifying to me. You all, you said nice things about my poetry. And then yesterday I wrote what was happening *in front of me*. THAT IS CRAZY. And still you commented. I am amazed.

Should I talk about my excitement for the future? This challenge has opened up new vistas for me. I know that I am changing, becoming, moving along a new path as a teacher and person as a result of this month. I don’t know exactly where I’m going, but I’m going to coddiwomple along with glee.

But no, it is a Slice of Life challenge. So for my last slice of this life-changing month, I will share this moment: I woke up with my son’s small warm body snuggled next to mine, his eyes staring intently at my face, his breath warming my nose. He does not sleep in our bed, but he often wakes me like this. How does he manage to sneak in there? “Are you awake?” he whispered, “I want to play Starbound without cheating.” Downstairs, he sat on my lap, reading the words on the screen – words that were meaningless to him the last time he played this game six months ago – leaning against me, stroking my face as I got him set up. He is 7 and 17 all at once, this child of mine. When the game finally loaded, I said, “Ok, you play, I’m going to write” and he responded, “Oh good, that makes you happy.”

And it does. It really really does.

Thank you. See you on Tuesdays.



Slice of Life Day 31, March 2018

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful month of inspiration.

41 thoughts on “How to write an ending

  1. This is a beautiful and honest reflection. Within your words are your learning, growth, realizations, and hope. I’m glad you found this challenge and that it had made you happy. You have made many others happy by being a part of this. ❤️


  2. Wonderful slice fitting for the last day! I feel your emotions about this month long journey. Your writing about a sweet moment with your child was a small glimpse into you. It has been a worthy task!


  3. Such beautiful pieces of writing– this really is two pieces for the price of one! First you have your reflection- I’m so glad slicing has been such a positive experience for you. I’ve sliced for a while, maybe six or seven years and have “met” friends and colleagues all over the United States. I love the support for my writing, but maybe more importantly, for my teaching, and parenting, and living! You should definitely keep slicing on Tuesdays- it’s the same group of really great people.

    And there are definitely other communities within this community to help you grow professionally- if you aren’t on Twitter, I’d start there. Other ones I love- Poetry Friday, Picture Book 10 for 10 in August and NF Picture Book 10 for 10 in February (look on Cathy Mere’s blog- There’s also the Nerdy Book Club, which is a whole other group- not writers, but readers.

    I also love the slice about your son. They grow up so fast, and you have captured him perfectly. If you have some kind of a journal of him at different points, this should definitely go in there. I wish I had been slicing when my guys were this age.

    Best wishes!


  4. What a lovely tribute to what this challenge has meant to you. Like you I was surprised by the power of this experience. Thanks for articulating it so well.


  5. This is great. Now I need to rewrite my very pedestrian final slice. Thanks for pushing us along on this journey, and thanks for saying a lot of the things that I’m feeling, as well. I’ll be on the Tuesday Train, though for some reason I find that a harder routine. I missed a few.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I laughed and cried. Writing makes me happy, too, but it also rips my heart out.
    I’m happy I found you or you found me. I’m not sure which happened first at this point. I’m an evening slicer, too, but not today. I haven’t even written today’s post yet. Soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A perfect ending to a life-changing month. I regret that I haven’t visited often, because I have connected with your posts that I have read. I saw your comment on Margaret Simon’s blog (coddiwomple) about writing poetry. I encourage you to continue to challenge yourself this month. I try to write poems in April, but there is less “pressure” and commitment in this challenge. Happy writing!


  8. I never would have guessed you found this challenge by accident. I have enjoyed your posts and I look forward to reading more on Tuesdays. You’ve captured many of my thoughts after my first year of slicing. I might need to rethink my final slice now.


  9. This post makes me a little weepy. You have come into my life like a glow of sunshine, commenting, connecting. How did that happen? We still know so little about each other, but we have shared a profound experience this month. I hope you will continue to write weekly. You can also join other spaces, like Poetry Friday and Saturday Celebrate.
    I love your ending with your cuddling son. I love how he knows writing makes you happy. That’s a very astute 7 yr. old. I look forward to seeing you again on Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What an incredibly moving post, which made me smile and tear up at the same time! You should procrastinate more often ;)… I cannot shake how much this slice resonated with me… “He is 7 and 17 all at once, this child of mine. When the game finally loaded, I said, “Ok, you play, I’m going to write” and he responded, “Oh good, that makes you happy.” Your posts and comments certainly make me happy. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m glad I randomly stumbled on your blog! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, and am glad you intend to be back on Tuesdays! I love today’s post…so hard to figure out what to write about sometimes, but that’s part of what we learn when we write every day!

    I love having a world-wide PLN online! You should join us for #CyberPD this summer. Starts up in May with people posting ideas for books, then the conversation starts in July. Are you on Twitter? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve loved reading your posts over the last month, and I am SO glad you stumbled upon our community. You’ve connected with amazing people–I can tell from who’s been commenting, and that says a lot about you. I also completely relate to how professional you try to keep it and how the personal world creeps in, and then it means that much more. I’m looking forward to seeing you on Tuesdays!


  13. Awwww! Your post is pulling at my heart. Margaret says it all so well in her comment. I have so enjoyed your posts and appreciated your comments and responses. I feel like we have connected with kindred spirits, the Anne of Green Gables kind. Here’s to meeting every Tuesday on weekly SOLs and perhaps I will see you on others like Poetry Fridays, Spiritual Journeys (once a month), and Celebrate Saturdays. xo


  14. Wow! What a fabulous post. I read along, transfixed, shushing my husband when he tried to say something to me. I am so glad you stumbled into this challenge and that it has meant so much to you. I do hope you continue with Tuesday slicing and venture into the Poetry Friday world. Those weekly communities have meant the world to me. I wish I’d been able to visit your blog more this month. I so appreciated your comments on mine! I’ll be looking for you next Tuesday! Oh–and your son’s words “Oh good, that makes you happy.” Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am so incredibly grateful our paths have crossed this month. I will continue to follow your blog and your journey and hope that one day we will meet up face to face. Thank you for your posts, your comments, your collegiality! It has been a great month.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What an amazing, observant, little soul you’ve raised. I love that he has sensed your happiness and that he wants you to be free to find it. As always, I just want to keep reading, and I will miss your daily posts. You stumbled upon this challenge; I was directly challenged. You shy away from poetry; I run towards it; You are a morning poster, and me, a procrastinating night-poster, and yet, I feel connected to you and your writing. I do know this has been scary for both of us, yet amazing and happy-making too! I love this challenge for the connections I have made, and I look forward to seeing you on Tuesdays!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This was one of my very favorite end of challenge reflections. The repeated “Should I’s” are such a nice craft move to emphasize different aspects of what the challenge meant to you and then that final moment with your son captures everything that a slice should be. So glad we connected and so glad you will continue writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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