Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Stacey and Ruth. I have to say that I owe these two ladies much gratitude for continuing to support and encourage me and so many like me to write. I could not have stumbled onto Slice of Life and their blog three years ago at a better time. Thank you (one of many).
Then came Jen Vincent from Teach Mentor Texts who this year inspired me to read more. I have found more good books and resources this year than ever from people who have linked (like you Linda Baie) as well as Jen and Kellee on their blog. And now Jen has teamed up with Kate Messner and Gay Polisner. A new mix of inspiration as I started Teachers Write camp yesterday. My plan is big, too big, but I don't care. I am thinking big and have big plans, (that was for you Mary Lee)!
Day Two of Camp:Pick a place, write for two minutes, then visit and notice.
I chose the pine tree on the side of my house. There are a lot of places I could write about, but lately I obsess over places and settings that are not necessarily conventional meeting spots. Instead I imagine a place a bird might go, a place for a chipmunk to scurry, a place for a feather to fall. So, I didn't pick a typical setting, but a place I would like to visit if I were smaller and could venture there for a moment.
The branches of this pine tree blanket me and drape. There are pine cones in my way, dangling like ornaments. I sit balanced like a bird on trapeze, sticky sap seeping between my fingers. I dance, tiptoe. I see speckled bits of skylight overhead. Below me a mess of brown decay with beetles creeping without pause. Worms likely to follow below the spread of warm needles and leaves. The pine needles whispering wind songs through their green hairlike finger tips. They glide past each other combing the air and batting at bugs. Green and strong, tall and long. So poised, stoic. I wonder how long it has been here, how long will it stay? Could I crawl up inside further, to the top?
Outdoor observations and sensory details:
pine cones, not ready to let go
clear crisp scent
rough gray bark
green, so green
the branches look like they have knuckles
each seam where a limb departs is glistening with drips of sap
a crypt hollow space
many limbs climb to the top
it almost sweeps the sky
the top like a peak
(Above: My Pine Tree)Rewrite comes below, which I began in paragraph form and then thought it sounded like a poem.
A Visit In the Green
A dark shadowy green, these branches blanket me and drape.
I balance like a bird on trapeze on the knuckle of a branch.
My tiny fingers grabbing the gray, the bark chips and I flail,
one hand stuck on a young pine cone, not ready to let go.
My eyes fly back and I am speckled with skylight.
the whispering pines sing their song to me.
In haste I look down to the sea of decay and awaiting beetles.
Poised, I exhale.
The needles glide under me and comb the crisp air guiding me toward the sticky seams.
To safety, my hollow crypt of space.