Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


Slice of Life Tuesday: Fictional Narrative

This is my attempt at a fictional narrative.

President’s Day Politics

She was in awe; she’d never seen anything like this before. The limestone and marble columns looked regal; the broad stone steps to the front door seemed like a mountain.  As she approached the steps on that frozen winter day in February, she felt intimidated. The bodies surrounding her on the street were much more deserving than her. What could she possibly do? Who was she to say anything in this arena? The older, more experienced crowd pushed forward, but not in a hurry. The clumps of people seemed to bond together as one — maybe to keep warm, or maybe to unite as they merged from separate districts. Everyone must work together today, for the common goal.  What would she say? She didn’t have a script written, although she pulled out her cell phone and opened Evernote. “A few well-known phrases to remember,” she thought, giving herself some confidence to face the next step.

A half an hour later, she was pushed through the wide-welcoming marble doors. “Were those open before? It’s so cold!” she whispered aloud. No one answered. Inside, through the checkpoints and down the long hallway. She kept up with the crowd, peering to see where the path would lead. From the center of the lobby–the atrium–(this wasn’t a cheap hotel, so it wasn’t a lobby), she saw a sea of red shirts. The media said there would be hundreds, but this looked more like a thousand! They gathered to change things — to scare the demons that surrounded this house.  The purpose was to expose truths, ignite fires, face fears. She was there — in the middle of it all — and all of a sudden she thought she saw a ghost! She turned to run away, but the crowd kept pushing her forward.

Wait! He caught her eye! Those dark eyes fixed on her green ones, and she could only move slowly forward, as if pulled by some magnificent force. He walked slowly toward her. His face seemed kind enough, his attire rather nice for President’s Day. (He almost looked like the president.) As he placed himself next to her, he deliberately turned from the crowd. He looked intently at her. She pondered, “Why me? Why am I the chosen one in this congregation?”

Maybe because she was young. Maybe because she looked anxious. Maybe because he could get to her first, coax her to join the table that he had prepared. He reached out his hand.

“Welcome to the State House. I’m Governor Pence. What are you doing here on this frigid day?”

Surprised and unprepared for her own response, she replied calmly, “I’m here to stand with Ritz.”


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Slice of Life Tuesday: Redo, Again

I first wrote this post in 2009. Each year, I redo the post, to teach my students that I’m not perfect, and to encourage them that no matter where you are in the writing process, it’s ok to revisit former writings and change them to meet current needs, change of audience, or revise to improve the text. Even as I typed this current version, I made changes I thought would improve the writing and prove my point.

My closet was a mess! I couldn’t find my new Asics volleyball shoes I bought the month before because there was so much junk on the floor of the full-wall storage center in my bedroom. As I sifted through old shopping bags, papers from school, and shoe boxes, I finally came to the orange box with the wanted shoes. I felt relieved, like a runner just finishing her first Sunburst Marathon, but also sick, sweaty, and exhausted that it had taken me so long to complete the task. I needed to clean!

My closet is white and long, but not deep — only about 2-1/2 feet. It has three wide shelves to the left, each packed with folded, sorted, and stacked categories of clothing, picture boxes, and “stuff.” The rest of the closet is the long metal bar for hanging clothes, a hamper, and plenty of floor space where I stash everything I don’t feel like putting away correctly.

One day after school had ended and there were no other pressing engagements, I decided it would be cleaning day! Monday was perfect — the day before trash day in our neighborhood. I started by tearing everything out of the closet (floor first, then shelves) and organizing items into piles: recycle, trash, and keep. As I got rid of the recycle and trash piles and took one full Hefty bag each out to the garage, I felt so much better — so much cleaner. I was like the marathon runner after returning home, showering, and dressing up for dinner.

After reorganizing the “keep” items into neat stacks on the shelves and floor, and hanging fresh clothes on the bar, I felt an energy that I thought I could transfer magically to other people in the house. I could share my organizing skills with my girls! Well, that’s another story…

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Day 6: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

I like to think of myself as a professional person, but there are days that I do not feel professional. I am thinking of that story, “Eleven,” by Sandra Cisneros (about a girl who had a horrible day on her birthday) that I’ve read about a hundred times. “You don’t feel eleven. Not right away. It takes a few days, weeks even, sometimes even months before you say Eleven when they ask you. And you don’t feel smart eleven, not until you’re almost twelve. That’s the way it is.”

I’m going to relax tonight and avoid professionalism. My “date night” TV show will start soon, the hit, “Suits.” I’m going to watch the characters continue their stories and talk to my husband about our predictions for this season, what we would do in their situations, and how we should go back to school and become lawyers (HA! Too late!).

Have a great evening, Slicers!