Category Archives: TeachersWrite

#sol19 March 5 Last day in D.C.

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂



After we had eaten more than our fair share of Speculoos spread  for brunch, my son bought a very small leaf blower.

“Wouldn’t it be funny,” he joked with Mr. Thought, “if I offered to leaf blow the neighbors’ yards. They would be like ‘Let me pay you.’ I’d say, ‘No, no. I’m doing this as a community service.’ Then I’d pull this out.”

Outside he bent down to clear the sidewalks of Georgetown without a care in the world about people passing by.


We stopped to look in the windows of The Kitten Lounge, wishing we had an appointment and money to spare for such a thing.


“We can’t spend $75 for us all to go in and cuddle with kittens for 15 minutes, even if it goes to a good cause.” We told the kids.

“Well, daddy doesn’t need to go in, and I don’t need to go in. I have my leaf blower.” H said — and he leaned down to do a little more sidewalk cleaning.


Disappointing the kids (and me to be honest), we left the kitten lounge window, with dreams of opening our own one day.

“Maybe when I retire,” I said. “It can be my new retirement dream.”

“So, when I’m already out of the house? Gone? Can we do more than dream ever?” My teenager said. (Or something like that, I don’t know her exact words as she was busy walking away from me. Mad, since I wasn’t ready to immediately open a Kitten Lounge.)

%jAq1cWISLKtlflkDF%dDA_thumb_1f.jpgLuckily, there was a Lush down the street, and that cheered everyone up. I didn’t know the boys would enjoy that store so much, but they did — each picking out something for their hair, and watching a demonstration of an amazing rainbow bath bomb. I’m glad nobody noticed that we spent the money we didn’t have for the Kitten Lounge buying hair products, face wash and a body wash bar…

Back at the hotel, we asked for our bags and our car, and fought a little about where the mini leaf blower should be while we waited. L was embarrassed that H still had the leaf blower in his hands. She was worried people would think it was a weapon, and didn’t even want him to put it in his pocket. Since it just looked like a leaf blower, but very small, I wasn’t so worried.

My youngest came out of the fancy hotel bathroom and said, “I didn’t know where to put the towel, so I just rolled it back up.” I didn’t understand what he was talking about until I went in the bathroom. IMG_0727.JPG

(Don’t worry, I put his in the little used towel basket.)

Then we got out of the city, and got to listen to the sound of the mini leaf blower while we drove home in the packed Prius.

“I’m saying something very important!” H told us, with the leaf blower pointed into his mouth.

And then, turning it off he said, “My mouth is very, very dry.”




#Sol18 March 10 Honest-E

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

Yesterday I sat outside brainstorming some ideas for a picture book. I read a few ideas aloud to my kids.

“Wait” L said, “Is this another picture book you are writing?” She was incredulous.

I explained, “Yep! I want to write as much as I can.” Then I turned to E. “What do you think? Do you think this will make a good book?”

He scrunched up his face. “Well, maybe like an 8 1/2 out of 10. I don’t want to be mean, mommy… But, I think it would be better if, you know, a professional author published it.”

“Well, that’s what I want to do! I want to get books published… then I would be an author…”

He looked at me, still with doubt written in the crinkles of his forehead.

“Do you think it would make a good book if I got it published?” I asked. “Would you be proud?”

“So proud.” He beamed.

I told him how I thought it would be cool if I came to his class to read a book aloud that I actually wrote.

Smiling, E said, “I can imagine Mrs. Wilson introducing you to the class. ‘Ms. Ona is here with a special surprise!'”

We laughed at the thought.

I didn’t feel like it was the right time to mention that even if this dream comes true, he won’t be in second grade anymore by the time there’s an actual book in our hands.  I just wanted to enjoy his proud smile for a bit.


#Sol18 March 9 If I’m going to be a writer

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!


If I'm going to be a writer

I need a room of my own
or at least a quiet desk somewhere
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a time of my own
or at least a quiet 20 minutes sometimes
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a daily walk of my own 
or at least a quiet walk with the dog
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a way to finish my thoughts
or at least a way to start them
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a handy writer's notebook
or at least a corner of a page
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a bunch of revisions
or at least a few harsh critiques
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need to send a query letter
or at least do more than a twitter pitch
if I'm going to be a writer.

I need to live a writerly life
or at least a few writerly minutes
if I'm going to be a writer.

A Slice of people watching: Middle Son Edition

Slice of LIfe  . . . and. . . 11037905_10154067646782516_5750329657918691438_n

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for info and links to more Slicing! Today’s slice inspired by today’s prompt on #TeachersWrite

I’m driving and my attention is on the road, but with three kids in the backseat, my rearview mirror glances award me more than a road view. I’m watching you. You are joking with your sister and brother. I hear you. Your laughter is a delight. You are funny, but your words quickly become cutting. I don’t know why. Your little brother is growing a thick skin. I give you reminders to be kind, and tell you to stop. And then I watch as you decide to put your hands out your window. All I see is your hands raised to the sky, and I know that feeling: the air pushing on you, the wind so loud. Your hair is blowing from your face, and I wonder what is happening in your mind. I’m hoping you are feeling peaceful with the white noise, and the chance to let go of impulse control and just breathe. The next time I glance back you have a water bottle hanging out of the window too, and you are experimenting with drops. They are falling out of the bottle directly into the car. You have invented a misting air conditioner, and nobody else in the backseat seems to mind. I wonder about the water since I can’t see it leaving the bottle, but I can see it on your face and hair, and I can hear your brother and sister laugh as you say “Our own rainstorm!” I’m proud of myself. I smile at your antics, and your joy. Checking myself, I don’t feel an urge to have you stop.

We turn down the road that leads to the coffee shop, and suddenly your brother and sister complain loudly, “Ugh!” and “He dumped the rest of his slushy out the window!” and “It’s all over the car!”

I’m annoyed, and I’m sure the drive through barista thought it was weird, but that’s okay. I decided that it’s no big deal. My annoyance is easily forgotten if I just picture you: hands out the window, hair blowing in the breeze.