Human minds yield helplessly to the suction of story. No matter how hard we concentrate, no matter how deep we dig in our heels, we just can’t resist the gravity of alternate worlds. ~Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling AnimalIt was December 28, 2010, when I wrote my first slice. I have to say it was a life-changing moment. I had no idea it would be so meaningful. There were fourteen links in the comments that day. I didn't really know what I was doing yet, but I already felt like part of something special. Today as I visit the blog there are already 159 links and there will be lots more before the day is over. At that time, I did not identify with the word writer. I had always enjoyed writing. All through school I liked the process but it hadn't necessarily gone well for me and I didn't have great experiences to associate with writing, but I didn't hate it. Funny, when I think back now, how things would change over these past five or six years. I have to admit that some days my well of words is fuller and on others feels dry, as though a drop of words never resided there. I think this is how most writers feel. I think it is why, we, as teachers value this experience each year. Watching myself struggle is the single most powerful tool as a writing teacher I have ever experienced. I have great days, good days, and terrible days as a writer. I watch this same thing happen every day with my students. Yesterday, one of my students proudly came up to me with her four-page realistic fiction story. She said to me, "I had no idea I could do that!" I responded by saying, "Well, you are a writer you know?" What an amazing accomplishment for her. At that moment, it was about quantity for her, but within that moment, she felt like a writer. That very feeling is something that can be built upon. When you do something you never knew possible, it creates a realization and a curiosity about what else could be possible. What else am I missing? What risks should I be taking? Doing this challenge helps me see what I am missing. It allows me to visit alternate worlds of others through their stories and share a piece of my world with all of you. It really is an astounding feeling and I am so humble, proud, and thankful to be a part of it.