Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sandcastles #SOL19

I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers Annual March Slice of Life Story Challenge.  
This year I decided to complete my slice of life challenge through the use of quickwrites.  By doing this, I hope to explore my own writing, identify problems my students may be experiencing with these quick bursts of writing, and show them authentic revisions in the writing process.

Today's quick write comes from Paula Bourque's new book SPARK! Yesterday, on her blog, Lit Coach Lady, she encouraged us to use pictures to spark our writing. She provided a link to a Google photo album, filled with pictures. I chose a picture which led me to think about my mother and my grandmother and to today's quick write.

In true quick write form according to Kittle and Graves, my process began like this:
  1. Choose a starter.
  2. Write rapidly for ten minutes.
  3. Change nothing.
  4. Lower you standards. (This is hard to do when you are writing publicly!)
  5. Let your own thinking guide you, not the prompt.
Here we go:


As children, we scramble with shovel and pail, digging deep to fill it with wet sand. We turn the pail over, carefully wishing that the packed sand doesn't collapse. We dig a moat around our castle to protect it from seaweed creatures and evil villains.

And the ocean from washing it away.

We squeal with delight as the waves inch closer and closer and our sandcastle remains strong.

As adults, we scramble with shovel and pail, digging deep to fill them with memories. Memories of family, and friends, and life. We turn the pail over with each year that we grow older, carefully wishing the packed sand doesn't collapse and leave us with emptiness. We dig a moat around our castle to protect it from burdening love ones,

And dementia from washing it away.

We sigh with relief as the waves inch closer and closer and our sandcastle remains strong.

For one more memory.


  1. This was a beautiful reminder to not take anything for granted. I'll be holding this image with me all day, Leigh Anne. Thank you!

  2. This sandcastle metaphor with the ocean able to and waiting to wash it away is so powerful. It is a symbol of the impermanence of all things that I think so many of us resist or repress. In embracing impermanence, I think we can better accept and even embrace change -- not that it is ever without pain.

  3. Thanks for the inspiration to share quick writes. I am intrigued by your writing that goes from the literal to the figurative, all in a matter of minutes and the impermanence of sandcastles.

  4. Wonderful to learn about this new resource. Sandcastles are a fitting metaphor for growing older. I just finished reading “Being Mortal” and passed it on to my surgeon because the ones who work hardest to keep the waves from crashing over a life are the medical community, although at times they need to take a step back.

  5. Love the transition in this piece. As we age we all hope that the waves (time) will not wash away our sandcastles (memories).

  6. Something so powerful from a quick write...

    I had a quick write inspiration today, too... from a student.

  7. This is pretty amazing thinking for a quick write!

  8. Hmm.. lost a comment using my phone. I live your purposeful quick write approach to the challenge! These sandcastles are on the shores near my Florida home — your description activates my Mom and worry radar.

  9. Your post brought me back to a beautiful memory with my family. Thanks for the journey!