Thank you to Ruth Ayres at Ruth Ayres Writes. She hosts a link-up every week that focuses on the reasons we have to celebrate. This is my reason to celebrate, but you can visit her website to read about other bloggers' celebrations.
This week I participated in a leadership workshop with the Massachusetts Reading Association. One of the speakers was Ralph Fletcher. He spoke about how he came to be a writer, giving us insight into the writing process, but also entertaining us with stories from his childhood. At the end of his presentation, he left us with these words, "A writer is someone who finds interesting stories in an ordinary life." When I teach writing, I encourage students to write about the small moments of their lives. These ordinary, everyday moments of my students' lives are the stories that show who they are and what matters to them. I know Ralph's words to be true. In spite of this, when writing myself, I find I sometimes long for a story to tell that's extraordinary. I've stared at a blank page wondering what story I could possibly tell about my ordinary life. As I thought more about Ralph's words, I realized it's the ordinary stories that connect us and bond us to one another. We can see ourselves reflected in others' ordinary stories, while we also see something different we may not have seen before. This week has been filled with the ordinary. I read a picture book, poetic and moving, that made me cry, but also made me think about bravery. I played a tennis match against someone much better than me and smiled inside when someone off-court yelled, "Great shot, Lisa!" I ran into a friend, with a listening ear, at the coffee shop on a morning that nothing was going as planned. These are the ordinary moments of an ordinary week. This week, I celebrate the stories of my ordinary life.