#SOL16: March Challenge Day 6 – Sounds

She sighs.  Her head is resting on the arm of the love seat and she faces me as I sit here working on my post for today. Her eyes are closed and yet she sighs AGAIN.  As the coffee pot stops gurgling, I leave the recliner for that first jolt of caffeine.  Her eyes follow me.  I hear one foot hit the carpet and then another while filling my mug.  I hear her stretch. And then another sigh. Today she sighs, “When will she be done? When will she pay attention to me?  When will it be my turn?”

It’s early morning.  I am not yet ready for conversation. Please, just one cup of coffee. Is that too much to ask?  Yes, I am a morning person.  But I am a peaceful, quiet morning person with rituals and routines that begin the day calmly and quietly and without any fuss and especially so on a Sunday!

Here I sit with my coffee and I’m rewarded with her sweet, gentle kiss.  And then she races to the door, tail wagging and snuffling – quietly letting me know that she is ready to head outside.  She is ready to begin the day with her first outside excursion.

What sounds does Mya make?

The answer seems so simple.  When she is in the house, she barks to herald arrivals. She barks and barks as a vehicle pulls into the driveway, as a driver exits the car, and until that knock on the door is answered.  When she is outside,  Mya barks to share her excitement with me when she finds something outside that I need to see.  She barks when another critter (but not the familiar deer) invades her space.  But she also hums when I rub her belly, or cries out when dreaming, or that bit of an attention-getting sigh when ignored too long.

However, this morning Mya quietly goes outside to check out the sunshine and someone who is not working on a computer.


Peak into Process:  

I read Dana’s “Be Inspired” and followed the link to inmanlilysaad’s “The Sound of Plates” (site is no longer available). I opened up my word document where I am drafting slices and put the title “Sounds” and then jotted 4 ideas:  Traffic, Mya, Early Morning Sounds, It’s the News but what does it sound like?  I sipped my coffee and considered each idea.  Thinking mode/no writing until that first cup of coffee was drained and refilled.  I picked up the laptop and began writing about Mya. I typed a draft that began with describing Mya’s barking.  I stopped and drank my second cup of coffee. And then I began to revise.  I began with her sighing because it was the first sound I heard TODAY from Mya. (Another day could definitely be different.)

Drafting/Revision, Process, Tagging, Previewing: 40 minutes from beginning to publication

Which is your focus?  Product / Process / or both?

When does the priority of your focus shift?  Or does it?

Check out Margaret’s comparison of writing to watercolor painting in her post “Technique” !

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts DigiLit Sunday and Slice of Life!


Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!


28 responses

  1. I thought maybe the one waiting was a young girl! Fun post about the sounds. My dog, Ellie isn’t so patient, but she does sigh and let out a low grunt when she doesn’t always get her way.

    1. Thanks, Pat!
      I couldn’t resist “not identifying” the waiting character to add just a bit of a twist!

      I can’t recall a time when Mya hasn’t gotten her way!

  2. My “waiting one” is a young girl with those say thoughts and sounds (mostly). Loved how you not only described the sounds but translated the thoughts for her too. The “peek behind the process” was great!

    1. I think I can speak for her after all these years. And since Mya’s been out for an hour without any inclination to come back in, it must be VERY nice out!

  3. Love the way the sigh was your “again and again” sound. This is all about slowing down and crafting something out of the normal slice of daily life.

    1. I had no idea that she sighed that many times until this morning. Poor exasperated person owner – maybe she didn’t get the owner she deserves! LOL

  4. Loved the peek into your process. I’ve been so busy that I’ve missed out on many posts. I’m looking forward to a bit slower pace for this upcoming week! 40 minutes to publication – you’re some writer!

    1. Ramona,
      I go back and forth on “speed” but also recognize that I can “play with” some posts for hours and still not be happy with the result – so in this cas it’s definitely a “published draft” and could stand some final polish or thought! Because then I would have the value of being able to incorporate suggestions into the final copy!!!

  5. Love the post. I have a cat that likes to keep me company when I am working on my laptop. She loves to follow the cursor as it moves.

    1. You have had some great cat stories in the past. Hope you are recovering well!

  6. Love this piece. I knew it was an animal from the beginning, but I loved how you teased us into it. The BEST part, however, was the window into your process!!! Thank you for sharing it. I, too began the morning reading the BE INSPIRED and lilyimanssad’s The Sound Of Plates. (Wasn’t that lovely?) You’ve inspired and enlightened once again Fran. Gratitude!

    1. Dayna,
      You are so welcome!

      We don’t all get to our writing via the same process, but a window in allows us to consider the MANY possibilities for our students who also don’t just use ONE way! ❤

  7. Wow! Beautiful slice Fran. Reading the slice alone would have been terrific but reading about your process added so much. The end results and look like magic and they are but seeing a bit of the process behind makes writing a process. That process is such a big part of what I love about writing.

    1. Thanks, Julieanne!

      The writing process is definitely not linear nor circular. But it’s not even the same for every piece I write. I wouldn’t even know that if I wasn’t a writer. We have to honor all the possible ways that writing can go, and then get out of the way so students can do the work – so very connected to Burkins and Yaris today . . . http://www.burkinsandyaris.com/yank-and-pull-is-there-an-easier-way

      Unfortunately I am so guilty of Yank and Pull . . .

  8. Fran, leading us into the identity of your character was well worth the wait. Technique counts and you drew me in instantaneously. I will write about technique tomorrow because I already posted my slice and have a slew of other tasks today before I leave for a state conference tomorrow.

    1. Thanks, Carol! It was fun to write! I will look forward to your post . . . and oh, yes to a “slew of other tasks” – checking items off my lists!

  9. As I started reading your slice, I was questioning WHO is sighing and I was predicting a young child OR an elderly person. But since I know a little bit about your life, I quickly pictured it being a dog!! I love how you kept me pondering as I read.

    I found reading about your process so fascinating. And how revision happened and happened better with coffee!!! Thanks for sharing a piece inspired by sounds!!

    1. Sally,
      Mya is such a part of my early morning routine, but apparently she thought she should get more time this morning than I had allocated! She’s still out and about – 7 hours later. She hasn’t noticed that I’ve been home or she would have barked in order to come back in!

      Process is so interesting! Varies so much! ❤

  10. I loved how you kept me guessing as to what kind of pet you have. She sounds like a faithful companion.:)

    1. Erin,
      She’s a gem. And the best meteorologist! But that will be a slice!

  11. Thanks for joining the DigiLit conversation today. Hearing about your writing process helps us realize how one lives the writing life. My dog loves to sit with me when I write, usually snuggled up close and snoring.

    1. Oh, my, Margaret. Snoring?
      Hmmm! I should not be surprised that my dog has routines. Interesting when they merge and annoying when they collide!

  12. The writing teacher me loves this peek into the process, Fran. I love the craft moves and risks you are taking, bravo!

    1. Thanks, Tara!
      We ask kiddos to be brave every day when they risk sharing so it’s important to me that I do this! ❤

  13. I had tomorrow’s post mostly planned in my head, but after reading your post about Mya’s morning sounds, I may have to change my plans. Thank you for pushing me forward, Fran!

    1. Catherine,
      I can’t wait to see where your post leads you! I’m still working on the work work for the day . . . haven’t thought that far ahead YET!

  14. […] did a lot of reading of blogs this morning. (Thanks to Fran McVeigh for this process reflection […]

  15. […] to Fran McVeigh who shared her process for each post this month. You inspired me to think more about my process. So […]

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