Slice of Life Story Challenge March 31 -Embracing Challenges

Today is an ideal day for some reflection. For today marks the end of another journey. -A journey that commenced exactly a month ago with my involvement in the Slice of Story Challenge for March. I have participated in this challenge since 2009.  It is said that it is the journey not the destination that is important and participating in this month long writing challenge provides ample evidence that is indeed true. Each and every year I make discoveries, for part of this journey involves exploring self. I have also been able to learn of common incidents reading the words of fellow writers. These incidents have allowed me to contemplate and connect, despite our far flung locations. 

Each year I gain an enhanced appreciation of the happiness that resides in the present moment. It is so important to celebrate the simple pleasures of ‘right now.’  When we learn to do this we cease borrowing from the bank of future hope.  I have also made discoveries, -words, phrases, ideas and the optimism that resides in the attitudes of my fellow citizens of the world. Involvement in this writing project enables me to give and receive feedback with respect to the words generated by each participant. As writers and life long learners this sharing is vital. It is a life source.

For me, one of the critical things gained from taking part in this project is the self discipline it requires to write and post a slice of life entry each and every day. Sometimes, it’s the technology that conspires to frustrates you. -Computers jamming, and behaving like obstinate children. Some days getting your writing posted is like climbing a mountain. -A mountain in March that looms up and often appears insurmountable. You struggle with an inner voice that whispers, ‘You’re tired, it’s okay if you miss a day.’ Another voice reminds me to display some ‘stickability’ and stop being such a wimp. I’m glad I listen to that second voice, for there is immense satisfaction in meeting the challenge you have set yourself. The sweetness of the struggle is worth the commitment. 

Another real positive is the sense of community one obtains when feedback is received. It is the responses that make it so worthwhile. To hear of common experiences, to hear of wonder and curiosity, to hear of empathy, excitement and joy is what sustains us all.

As I sit in the departure lounge at Melbourne Airport, waiting to commence my next great adventure (a return to Rome and beyond for the next three weeks) I am preparing to write in a new place, in a familiar way. My notebook is with me and I’m ready to harvest thoughts and ideas.

It is at this point in time the words of Jimmy Buffett always come floating back to me...

Feel it all with a willing heart
Every stop, there's a place to start
If you know how to play the part with feeling
I play with feeling
(Le vie Dansante)

So, it’s all about taking part, being involved, and playing with feeling. No matter whether it’s a writing project or exploring the eternal city…

Thank you once more to our intrepid organizers. Your efforts are much appreciated, as always.

Ciao, fellow slicers. See you here soon.


  1. It has been a pleasure reading your slices, musing, noticings. I look forward to your post each day. This is an incredible community. Have a wonderful holiday, it sounds awesome. I love your sign, always keep a notebook, so true!

  2. I'm excited for your trip!! That sounds incredible. I hope you have time to write (I almost said "slice) from Rome. I've struggled mostly with publishing so raw. I'm a fussy writer and like to polish things up. But at the end of a teaching day, you feel hassled and your brain doesn't feel writerly. However, the experience of knowing that I have something that may be worth sharing and possibly responded to is powerful . . . so it is motivating to give that to the students. I appreciate your posts and look forward to keeping up with your reflections in the coming days as well.

  3. I'm with you on the "life source" of the writing that we do, to make sense of the world.
    Take care, my friend.

  4. Have a wonderful trip! I love the fact that slicing makes me more observant... I see with a writer's eye instead of just letting everything pass me by. Gotta love it.

  5. How fun to picture you heading for Rome! I have loved reading your posts throughout the month--the acute observations and reflections, always coupled with humor and graceful writing, have made me smile and think. Have a wonderful trip, Alan, and I'll see you Tuesdays and next March!

  6. Oh, to be heading off to Rome at the very end of March slicing! Happy travels.

  7. It's been a pleasure reading your writing, Alan. Happy Travels!

  8. I love how you compared this challenge to climbing a mountain, Alan! It's so encouraging to know how many other people feel the same struggle to write that I have felt!


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