SOLC 2014: Things to do if You’re a Writer


How to write this final post of the 2014 Slice of Life Challenge? Yesterday’s post was reflective and full of thanks to everyone who made this challenge possible and who encouraged me through their generous comments. I had planned to do a standard “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” post, but as often happens, life intervened and I knew that plan wasn’t going to work. 

I spent much of the day revising our fifth grade poetry unit and thought I could write about that, but that didn’t seem appropriate for my final slice. “In the end,” I decided to use a list poem (another list!) I read today, “Things To Do If You Are The Sun,” by Bobbi Katz, as a model for a poem that sums up how participating in this challenge has changed me as a writer.

Things To Do If You’re a Writer

Let words envelop you and swirl inside your head.

Look at a flower bud and see a diver poised on the brink of the board.

Hear an owl hooting and wonder what coded message he’s sending out

into the night.

Bite into a pear and taste summer in its sweetness.

Touch a puppy’s ear and feel the satiny edge of a well-loved blanket.

Breathe in the late winter air and sniff a hint of spring.

Gather these bits and pieces, like a magpie, and weave them

into something wonderful.

Share your creation with friends, who, through reading your words,

know what is in your heart.

© Catherine Flynn, 2014

Thank you, everyone, for an amazing month.


If you’d like to read “Things to do if You Are the Sun,” it can be found in Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems (Roaring Brook Press, 2009), edited by Georgia Heard. If you’d like to read other list poems and gather more ideas for using them as mentor texts with children, read Elaine Magliaro’s post at Wild Rose Reader.

13 thoughts on “SOLC 2014: Things to do if You’re a Writer

  1. Catherine, I hope you will allow me to use your poem as a model and prompt for my students during April. Thanks so much for the link, too. I will be doing the ABCs of poetry forms this month. I’d like to link back when I get to L–list poem. Thanks!


  2. Oh so beautiful! I love it. My favorite line was “Look at a flower bud and see a diver poised on the brink of the board.” It captured such imagery and inspiration at the same time!


  3. Oh, that is a lovely poem, Catherine, and I, too, would love to share it with my kids. So good to have you to slice with all of March – and now we have a month of poetry to look forward to – what could be more delightful/!


  4. It is a beautiful book-so many out there! I think this is your best poem yet, Catherine. Or maybe it just touches me most. I love: “Gather these bits and pieces, like a magpie, and weave them/into something wonderful.” And I too would like to print & share! Thanks for all your comments through the month. It feels good!


  5. Wow. You are a poet. Thanks for sharing this poem…I’m going to have to bookmark it for future reference. Oh, and I started following you…I love reading your words! 🙂


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