Slice of Life: On My Desk


Despite having the past three days off, and despite the fact that I actually spent a fair amount of time reading and writing, I am at a loss for a slice. Wait. That’s not entirely true. I have at least three slice ideas. But each requires more time and energy than I have at the moment.

So I’m stealing an idea from Grace Lin, author of The Year of the Dog, the Newbery Honor book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and many other wonderful books for kids. On her blog, Grace occasionally posts about what’s on her desk. Since I spent a good part of the morning sorting through the piles that had accumulated on my desk over the holidays, this seemed like a good idea.


At the top of the pile is my notebook. After I got my desk into shape, I worked on a poem inspired by a trip to watch bald eagles at a local hydroelectric dam. I was hoping this would be my slice for today, but it’s just not ready.

Like many of you, I’ve been thinking about Matt de la Peña’s picture book, Last Stop on Market Street since it won the Newbery Medal last week. I have drafted the beginnings of a post about this lovely book.

Finally, Irene Latham’s new poetry picture book, When the Sun Shines on Antarctica, is coming out on February 2nd. Check back here next Friday for more information about that!

What’s on your desk?

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life: On My Desk

  1. Love reading your posts Catherine. I am waiting for my copy of Arthur Rackhams’s book of Illustrations – “Fairies, Elves and Goblin’s. Can’t wait to read your Eagle poem.


  2. Catherine, I laughed at this line, “I have at least three slice ideas. But each requires more time and energy than I have at the moment.” YES! That’s me too. On my desk…my favorite pens, a candle, my notebook and my computer. I also have a small stuffed animal of FEAR from Inside Out…to remind myself to make friends with fear…hmmm, I may have another slice to write!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had that “no slice” feeling too.Perhaps that’s what happens when we go underground in our reading and writing process. It’s just not ready to surface. Thanks for the tour of your desk and preview of good things to come!


  4. Love the advertisement ‘feel’ of your post Catherine, all ideas I look forward to hearing. My desk is full of my computer, printer, & sweet little gifts from others like a crystal star, but my worktable needs a cleaning out, full of stacks of junk mail (re-cycle comes tomorrow), my writing & sketching work, & just stuff. You’re inspiring me to do a little cleaning!


  5. I love the idea about writing what is on your desk. I will have to file this idea away for another day! I know what you mean about having ideas for slices, but not having the time or energy for those particular slices. I have struggled with that at times and love how you didn’t feel pressured to publish one of those ideas. I think that is something that we need to allow ourselves to do as writers. Thank you for the inspiration!


  6. I’m embarrassed to admit how much junk I have on my desk. And that’s after I recently cleared it off! That said, I keep my gratitude journal quite close to me so that I remember to write and it daily. Of course it is not located far from the bills which I have to remember to pay on time.


  7. Oh, your desk sounds so much neater than mine! I think I’m just a paper magnet….I really like what’s on your desk, especially the books. Need to get the Newbery winner in my library!


  8. LOVE the tour of your desk, and hope you won’t mind if I steal your idea for a slice one of these days! Starting to think about the March challenge again…and from this new place it seems slightly daunting. Still, I think it is so important to DO it! Can’t wait to read your Eagle poem and to know more about the book you’ll review.


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