#SOLSC21: Same? Different?


Prep in advance. Study schedule. Decide on big questions. Develop a plan. Set all devices to charge.

On Saturday, review schedule. Develop a “notes” page. Set tabs. Check power levels on all devices. Hydrate. Caffeinate.

10 minute alarm. Ready. Set. Go.

Flurries between sessions for drinks, snacks, restrooms.

Worry about keeping caught up.

Worrying about wi-fi connections.

Worrying about rooms being filled and second and third choices.

Rousing keynotes

Readers, Writers, Makers, Authors, Thinkers!

Informative sessions

Practice doing the work

A wish list . . . long and lengthy



No subway

No travel

No F2F meet ups

Many square boxes

Sitting in my living room in Iowa

Saying group and individual “hellos” in chat boxes

No time to process with others

No coffee with friends

The 99th!

It wasn’t my first. I wrote about that day here. Six years ago was my first #TCRWP Saturday Reunion (88th), and I missed it terribly yesterday. The hustle and bustle of NYC. The traffic. The navigation. The travel. The farm girl in the big city.

The people. Clare, Tammy, Melanie, Tara, Julieanne, Dayna, Sally, Catherine, Stacey, Ryan, Christina, and Lanny. Just a few of the familiar faces.

The hustle and bustle of the day long ago and yesterday.

Some same. Some different.

What do you find when you compare two days across time and space . . . one pre-pandemic and one still regulated by the pandemic?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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16 responses

  1. This touched me deeply…you captured the contrast beautifully. I have been trying to find a way to do this with so many different moments, but I could never find the right words. Thank you

    1. Good luck with finding ways to show contrast. I’m trying to demo different ways that structure can visually enhance the meaning of the words/sentences/post.

  2. I’m glad you got to see friends…but sorry you weren’t able to have the chats, coffee and in person experiences!

    I have got to try out this left/right alignment. I “hear” when I read and the inflection changes when I get to the right aligned part. So cool!

    1. Structure, structure, structure!
      It even ” sounds” different as I write it when I change the alignment!

  3. What a great idea for a post! I have missed those reunions for over ten years now. Rose Cappelli, Sue Mowery, and I always attended the spring gathering and stayed in NYC for the weekend to shop in book stores and have Sunday brunch on Broadway. What great memories! I loved the way you used text alignment to push the contrast. Thanks, Fran.

    1. Weekends in NYC.
      What a treat.
      Sights to see.
      Learning to explore.
      And fellowship with friends.

  4. I have only been able to attand the pandemic reunions, so appreciate your contrasts. I am sure it felt like a loss. It was fun to “see” you there last night. I am grateful I got to attend and learn.

    1. Erika,
      So grateful for virtual sessions, but time goes so quickly. Today will be spent figuring out what I heard!

  5. Hopefully next year things can be aligned right again. This past year has brought about so many changes in our lives. This way of pointing them out really adds a visual aspect to those changes.

    1. I am having fun with visuals for sure!
      Color, space, alignment . . . So many ways to focus on visuals without using pictures!

  6. I love how you captured the same and different. I invited the 2 friends I’ve trained up to NYC “before” over afterwards and we sat in the backyard and debriefed. We learned and loved that people ALL over the world could learn together. We thought about all the things not needed when it is on zoom – like xeroxed handouts and colored balloons! We also agreed that we miss NYC!

    1. Ah, the colored balloons . . . the visual image that evokes when I near the corner and see the first sign of balloons (Saturday reunion or institute)!

      It seems strange but we are a stronger community in our online learning together because we are together from so many locations simultaneously in those itty bitty boxes!

  7. Same and Different is a great prompt for this time, one year of shut downs and Zoom calls.

    1. It is a great “anniversary” type prompt, Margaret. Can’t wait to play with that!

  8. I love being able to learn from home, but I definitely miss the human interaction, the crowds, the energy, and the crowded New York subway!

    1. Yes to the crowds, energy, and subway!

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