Slice of Life: Honeysuckle


The word challenge is a appropriate on so many levels for this Slice of Life Challenge! How do I make the time to write everyday? How to read all the terrific posts being shared? How do I come up with an idea of what to write about Every. Single. Day.

It’s not that I don’t have ideas. It’s that they don’t always cooperate, or I don’t have the time I need to develop them. So what to do on those days?

A few months ago, I received an intriguing postcard advertising Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing (Roost Books, 2010) by Karen Benke. The jacket copy goes on to say that the book “Includes wordplay, open-ended writing experiments, encouragement from writers and poets, and enough blank pages to let your words roam…” I ordered it immediately.


To say that this book is full of inspiration is an understatement. I could open up to any random page and have a topic to write about in under a minute. Today’s slice is courtesy “Favorite Words,” a page with sixty random words. Benke describes this as “a list of some of my favorite words to snack on.” I chose the word “honeysuckle,” which unleashed this:

This is the magic…

A word.










with sweetness,

conjures a memory

of summer afternoons,

walking through meadows

lined with masses of

yellow and orange blossoms.

Vying with bumblebees

and hummingbirds






in mid air,

to steal

the nectar stored inside.

Liquid sunshine.

© Catherine Flynn, 2015

By Aftabbanoori (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Aftabbanoori (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
The potential of this book for classroom use is endless. I can’t wait to see what my students come up with based on their favorite words!

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each day during the month of March and on Tuesdays throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

18 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Honeysuckle

  1. Just love not only the excellent resource suggestion but also your beautiful poem about the honeysuckle! Love the line about vying with bumblebees and hummingbirds….makes me want to be there! Thank you!


  2. This sounds like an amazing book! It is now on my to get list! (Which keeps growing every March!) Thank you for a reminder of warm summer days this morning as I head to work with another winter advisory in place.


  3. I keep telling myself I have enough books. You never have enough books. Here’s another one on the must-have list.


  4. bought this book in London at the National Gallery and haven’t opened it since…but that will change because of your fabulous, luscious poem, Catherine! May I share it with my students?


  5. This book is something I need to look for. I can so relate the the beginning of this post. I feel that way with every post I sit down to write.


  6. Had to stop for a SOL titled Honeysuckle. Did you ever pull the blooms and suck the nectar? Sweetness, summer afternoons, liquid sweetness – all are wonderful words for so many stuck in the middle of a tough winter.


  7. I read your poem this morning, before heading off to school. You made an icy, sleety, rainy, snowy triple-the-drive-time commute, feel a little more spring-like.

    I came back this evening, to read it, and savor it, once more.



  8. Love the visual craft you developed in your poem! But your words were just perfect too. This let me feel like summer until I looked out the window and saw the snow. Breathe deep and inhale that sweet honeysuckle scent!


  9. Beautiful poem/slice, Catherine. I love the words & the arrangement of course. I have this book & have used it so often with students. It’s awesome, guess I should pull it out for myself, too. I didn’t even think of it, so thanks very much!


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