Thursday, March 2, 2017

on rolling out the #sol17 Welcome Wagon w/o falling off

This year I signed up for the SOLSC Welcome Wagon. By now Two Writing Teachers has assigned me seven first time slicers. There may be a few more by the March 5 deadline.

All are teachers (sounds obvious is not a SOLSC requirement) and have been writing blog posts or professional papers. Below, I'll lay out my qualifications -- or lack thereof. Upfront, I confess to signing up on a lark and to help me not fall off the blogging wagon. After several days of getting acquainted, reading and responding to posts, I know now that "wagoneering" will what most enriches this year's slicing.
This community of educators, here at Two Writing Teachers, is like no other. Generous, open-hearted, and passionate about life, writing, and teaching. Each year, we ask you, our community of bloggers, to consider being part of the Welcome Wagon during the March Slice of Life Story Challenge.... 
If you have participated in the March SOLSC before, you are eligible to be part of the Welcome Wagon, which is a commitment to reading and commenting on 5-10 first time Slicers blog posts each day. By doing this, you help new Slicers find an audience and feel at home in our blogging community. It is a generous act of “paying it forward”, since likely someone was assigned to you during your first year of Slicing. However, this is a commitment. We ask you that you consider if you have the time and energy to read and comment on your assigned bloggers for the entire month of March before signing up for the Welcome Wagon.
Read more about Rolling Out the Welcome Wagon! | TWO WRITING TEACHERS and welcome wagons here, here and here

The local welcome wagon is part of own place along the way memory bank...perhaps the subject for another March slice. But more about my own skimpy slicing experience.

Most volunteers have years slicing their way through March. I took TWT at their word that participation in one March SOLSC was the only requirement. I came close in 2015 but (due to the usual circumstances beyond my control, etc) have never completed a SOLSC challenge. That makes me more like an AA sponsor than blog challenge wagoneer or sherpa. My name is Vanessa and I'm a chronic slicing dropout. Not falling off the wagon is a one day at a time: no matter how times you fall off, keep trying. Maybe this year.

On the other hand, this is not my first goat roping. I started blogging in 2006, have blogs on three platform and have completed other writing challenges. My teaching experience differs from that of most participants.

A few words about that experience at#sol14 if I can figure out what to do | McGee's Cyber Closet and And so #SOL15 begins | Vanessa Crary Vaile  
Motivated by Kevin's example, I tried the March challenge last year -- or was going to and either got sidetracked early or fell off the wagon -- but can't remember which. Then there was a daily blog challenge in November. I was holding on until my internet went out for a week. 2014 was not a good year for blogging challenges. It was not a good one for writing challenges. Going on 13 years of NaNoWriMo, 2014 was the year I threw in the towel. Chalk that up to the number 13. 
Maybe 2015 will be better. I've done blogging challenges before although not recently. They are a good way to recharge or break through a blogging block. I've got one of those too.
Finally, because I've always liked this Clifford Geertz quote and "net of significance" works for a blogging community too -- for my slicer cohort:


  1. You are encouraging me, not a first-time slicer, but a hard-to-keep-up-a-regular-writing-habit writer. As you say, it doesn't matter how often you fall off the wagon, you just get up and get back on, and keep on truckin'. Thank you.

    1. And I haven't even gotten to the patchwork quilt of my teaching career. Now retired, I like to think of my digital media as unofficial (outside the system) stealth teaching unsuspecting digital networks.

      About getting back on the wagon, that's what studies say about quitting smoking too. The more often smokers keep trying, the better the odds they will succeed.

  2. Love the honesty and reflection. (Also, I am still sorely disappointed when we moved to our new neighborhood last year that there was no longer any sort of "Welcome Wagon." We haven't even met most of the people who live around us, which is a shame.) Thanks for being a part of what makes SOLC great!

    1. Thank you. I had the same reaction to the Welcome Wagon disappearing. Because of my father's work, we moved a lot when I was young. I have early memories of Welcome Wagon ladies greeting us with coupons and free samples, cookbooks from the local ladies' auxiliary, etc. I didn't realize until years later that Welcome Wagon was a company.

      I think we have potential posts there...