Slice of Life March Challenge March 1, 2015

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“What’s your story?”  These were the words I heard as I was on the checkout line at Walgreens during my lunch break.  In my mind I was rushing in to grab a few bags of candy for an after school professional development, going over checklists in my head while I was watching the clock.

The line was long and slow, before I heard the older woman at the check out say this, I had been pre-occupied in my thoughts, finding myself annoyed with the wait.  When those words traveled through the air, they stopped me right in my thoughts.  She followed that question with, “Well you know, everybody got a story Miss.”  The line may have been moving slow, but this woman, this woman who worked at Walgreens was so much more insightful than I, she knew everyone had a story and she, she wanted to listen. Time could keep on going, she wanted to hear everyone’s story and I imagine this was the rhythm of her day, connecting narratives and people as the minutes and hours passed on her shift.

I have told this story to others, especially when I have coached or taught instruction in writing and I saved this story in my list of things to blog about, it is only now when (the night before the SOL challenge begins) I realize just how insightful and what an impact this woman, this woman who was checking out the customers at Walgreens had been.

So through the 31 days of March, I will write a blog post for each day and as I do, I will hold this woman close in my heart and my mind.  Her words and this challenge will push me to write each and everyday.  I will charge myself to listen for stories each day, and make time to really listen during those ordinary moments.

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19 thoughts on “Slice of Life March Challenge March 1, 2015

  1. What an inspiration! The fact that she wanted to hear the stories, and not tell the stories says a lot about her. She is right – “Everybody got a story!” And March is the perfect time to tell them. Thanks for sharing yours.

  2. I love this piece of inspiration that came to you out of the blue and will stay close during the next 30 days. Good for you for jumping in! Your choice to repeat a few words is really effective. It helps me feel how important what you are saying right there is to you. Your slice also makes me think of the inspiration quote on today’s post at TWT about ideas coming not at one’s desk but in the midst of living.

    • Thank you Lisa for the reply! Thank you for the feedback on the repetition, I used it a bit too much at first and edited back to the way it was published. So I am glad that technique met my goal! I too had that connection when I read the quote today!

  3. I love this “slice” and the idea that “Everybody got a story, Miss.” I was searching my brain to think, “Where had I just heard this?” when I remembered it was in a book a friend and colleague just recommended, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce. This book is a must-read (must-buy) for reading and writing workshops and I can’t believe I never read it before. But back to the idea that everyone has a story. In the book, one page says, “Morris liked to share the books with others. Sometimes it was a favorite that everyone loved, and other times he found a lonely little volume whose tale was seldom told. “Everyone’s story matters,” said Morris. And all the books agreed.” Everyone has a story and everyone’s story matters. Looking forward to hearing more of your story this month!

  4. “When those words traveled through the air, they stopped me right in my thoughts”. You captured that moment of impact and how they have rippled through your thoughts ever since. You have an exciting journey ahead this month! Enjoy!

  5. Those words will echo in my ears this March. It’s my 5th year. I almost didn’t join this year, but with the turning of the calendar page “What’s your story?” will keep me writing. Glad you are joining the slicers!

  6. Wouldn’t it be fun to stop people randomly and ask “What is your story”? Perhaps with our journal open, or just an ear ready. On a train. At the diner. In a park. In the airport terminal. At the hospital.

    I love that she stopped to ask you. Often I feel too busy to listen – but the stories, that’s where the gold is.

    Thanks for sharing this! I can’t wait to see what other golden nuggets you share!

  7. Wow! What a powerful reminder! It sounds like this woman really understands some big truths! I heard Kelly Gallagher speak a couple of weeks ago, he was talking about persuasive writing, but talked about how people often mix genres and include some narrative. And I’ve been wanting to order Tom Newkirk’s new book, A MIND MADE FOR STORIES. You make me want to do it even more! Welcome to slicing! You’ll read lots of great stories here!
    Carol

    • I just got Newkirk’s new book, so far I am enjoying it. One of my colleagues may do a Twitter chat around it- would be great if you join us! Yes, I think we are all drawn to narratives, it is the heart of our lives. Most really great writing that I have had the pleasure to read has combines genres and often has pieces of narrative.

  8. Wow, what a great story! Thanks for sharing that with us. One of the great things about this SOL community is being able to hear everyone’s unique stories through their slices. Happy writing!

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