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Slice of Life March Challenge. No. 29.

I stopped by Kim K’s Blog post  today and enjoyed her poem created from the titles of her March slices.
Why not? I thought. And so, I crafted the titles of 28 slices into a poem. It was fun, and I  must say I was doubtful at first but then pleasantly surprised with the whimsical nonsense that I discovered.


It has been like a tale
of four shirts–
When we gained three,
and lost one
on the journey home–
When without words
we were writing
through the block
putting pen to paper
crafting blessings
and limericks–
When we cried in
the passing moment
as the earth moved
While we sipped coffee
and ate blueberry pie
at La Molienda
in Portoviejo
just south of the Equator
where the sea is calling me–
And my friend
joined our party
with little sand crabs
who were storing eggs
in running water–
There we ate greenfrost
made from recipes
from the 19th century–
There we were thankful
that we could embrace
with great love
and much forgiveness
even though I failed,
or did I?

Writing about my writing

From my blog posts, I copied the titles onto sticky notes, keeping the titles in order in a list. That was not significant in any of the writing, it was just a way of making sure I didn’t miss one. I thought about cutting the sticky notes into strips but my writing was spaced evenly. So I opened Word on my Mac and created a single column table. I typed a title on each row. I didn’t worry about capitalization — some are capitalized, some aren’t.

I printed the document and cut the titles into strips. Here are the strips along with my original sticky note version.

I sorted the title strips, hunting for connections,  looking for lines that might follow each other, single word titles that could be clustered together. I was just hoping something would jump out at me. Nothing did.

Then I decided to try to put clusters together–two, three, or at the most four titles, each a line, like a stanza.

At that point I began to type the clusters into Notes on my Mac.

Slowly connections began to emerge, I played some more with the title strips on the table, and then I typed in a continuous flow of lines adding as few words as possible, keeping the titles unchanged within the lines, sometimes divided. I felt a poem forming.
Draft 1:

I read it several times, playing with the imagery.  I decided where lines should break and how I would use em dashes to indicate that a thought created by a continuous flow of lines had ended and capitalization at the beginning of the next line to emphasize a new idea. I put the caps in bold to give more emphasis.

I then worked on the beginning and the ending, moving two lines from the beginning to the end. I liked the effect created by leaving the reader with a question at the end (compare draft 1 above with my final poem at the top).  I tried creating stanzas but felt all the lines needed to stay close to each other.

Here is a galley of the final draft with the slice titles — all of them from March 1st to March 28th — highlighted in color.

There was one thing that I hadn’t anticipated: I consciously had to work at not associating the words in the titles with the meaning they had in the original slice. I had to free them so I could use them with other meanings, in other context.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for hosting
2017 Slice of Life Story Challenge