March 2 is here!

One of the best parts of yesterday was reading the comments from others on my first post. All of a sudden, I now see how important "sharing time" is for writers workshop -- not just because it is the third part of the model, but because it is the engine for writers, the motivation to keep on doing the hard work. Thanks for the boost! Another personal small moment:

I owe my friend C. a sympathy card. She included me in a group email about two weeks ago, sharing the sad news that her mother had passed away. I have not talked much with C. the past four years; we live in different cities, and our friendship was mostly professional. But when our paths crossed at a conference a year ago, our shared passion for children’s literature (especially chapter books for boys!) led to a passionate and engaging conversation over a long dinner.

About a week later, she sent me an incredible package: a collection of her own writing. When the envelope arrived, I started reading right away. The essays were personal: memories of childhood, family events, strong relationships and some pain points shared, too. I made it halfway through, but wasn’t savoring the gift. After 30 minutes of skimming through half the package, it was time to make dinner, then help with homework, then… then… then… I wish I’d read each story carefully and sent C. a writerly response, full of the praises and pushes authors crave, acknowledging her heart on the page. Instead, I tore through her treasure and discarded it before finishing it. I feel like I abandoned a friend, and it's my responsibility to take the next step.

I chose a sympathy card with a beautiful image on the front, blank on the inside, so I would have the space to respond to my friend. Here in this card, I can complement her writing and thank her for sharing it with me; I can also celebrate how her mother lives in these stories, and express my sadness for the aching loss of a parent. My next assignment is to finish my incomplete work with and for my friend. So I’ll step away from the computer now, and put pen-to-paper… the old-fashioned way and the way C. deserves.


  1. Your slice reminds how important the human relations are, really taking time and connecting. Thank you for such a thoughtful post this morning.

  2. Precious moments. The power of friendship intertwines through our life.

  3. Pen to paper ... the old fashioned way is a beautiful way to respond to your friend's loss and her writing. I can tell you've put thought into this effort and I know it will be appreciated by her. Sharing time really is the engine for writers. I shudder to think how often we didn't get around to sharing in my classroom.

  4. Thanks for the reminder that personal attention and contact is always welcome and the best route.

  5. Great term, "engine for writers!" I have cards to write, too. Thank you for inspiring me to do it.


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