Slice of Life Challenge, February Wrap-Up, and Goals

March 1, 2018

This is a post in three parts.

Part I: The Slice of Life Challenge

So, I wasn’t going to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge this year, but when I turned the page of my Steal Like an Artist calendar to March this morning (a minor miracle in itself since I usually don’t remember to change the calendar until several days–if not weeks–in), it only had this text in all caps:


This was especially meaningful because (a) I have some writing projects I want to get done, and (b) I know from doing these month-long daily blogging challenges (last year I did three) that they help me in other areas of my writing life.

So here I am. I filled out the participation form today.

Slice of Life Challenge

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

This will be my second year (in a row, even) participating in the challenge, and a lot has changed since my introduction last year. So, to introduce myself again and highlight the changes:

  • I still teach English at a community college, but now I’m doing it on the West Coast instead of the East Coast.
  • I sold my first house this past summer and am back to apartment living.
  • I discovered my intolerance to onions and chocolate may be because of IBS *and* that I may be able to reintroduce one or both back into my diet because…
  • I am currently doing the low FODMAP elimination diet (it has been about five days; I have many more to go).
  • My new school has a winter session, which means my winter break was about ten weeks long and that I’m on the second week of spring semester. This time last year I was getting ready for spring break.
  • My current must watch TV shows are The Good PlaceOne Day at a TimeInsecureJane the VirginKevin (Probably) Saves the World, and Jeopardy!
  • This is the first time I have ever lived by myself, and I am almost 40 years old.
  • I am so excited about the A Wrinkle in Time movie that I assigned the book to my students.
  • I have no idea how to end this list.
  • Wait, yes I do. I went back through this list and added periods to the ends of all of my sentences to make sure they match/have parallel structure.

I think that gives you a pretty clear picture of me. I’m looking forward to the rest of the month and meeting new people/slicers. I found some great blogs to follow last time.

Part II: February Wrap-Up

As always, I’ll start with the books.

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 8.02.16 PM

I read eight books in February:

  • Giant Days, Vol. 3 by John Allison, illustrated by Max Sarin (YA, graphic novel)
  • Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (middle grade, graphic novel, memoir)
  • Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Free Throws by Janette Rallison (YA)
  • Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 2: Free Women by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Rosy Higgins (YA, graphic novel)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf by Wendelin Van Draanen, narrated by Tara Sands (middle grade, audiobook)
  • Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (adult)
  • After the Funeral: A BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisation by Agatha Christie (audiobook)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy by Wendelin Van Draanen, narrated by Tara Sands (middle grade, audiobook)

It was a good reading month. The only one I didn’t care for that much was Queen Sugar, but it was still intriguing enough for me to want to check out the TV show. No five-star reads this month, though.

Read Harder Challenge 2018

I cleared three categories for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge:

  • Task 15: A one-sitting book (Real Friends)
  • Task 18: A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image (Raven the Pirate Princess)
  • Task 20: A book with a cover you hate (Queen Sugar)

That puts me at 8/20 tasks completed.

Last month I said I hadn’t made any progress on #MustRead2018 which was a load of poppycock. I read two books towards that challenge last month. This month, three of my books fulfilled that challenge (Raven the Pirate PrincessGiant Days, and After the Funeral).

I have made zero progress on Bible as Literature, though.

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 8.11.56 PM

Also, I am ahead on my Goodreads challenge (four books ahead!). Let’s see how long that lasts with the semester starting.

Part III: Personal Goals

Okay, so last month along with my year-long goals, I made some goals for the month of February. Here’s how I did on those, starting with the goals for the year.

Year-Long Goals

Deal with my mail as it comes in so it doesn’t pile up and turn into a towering monster that takes me hours to open/sort/deal with at the end of more months than I’m comfortable admitting here.

I did better with this in January than I did last month, but I am still more on top of it than usual.  I’m calling that a win.

Eat the frog when it comes to grading so I can actually get it done in a timely manner and stop bitching about how much I have done when I’m not doing anything about it.

Well, it’s the second week of the semester, and I’m planning to grade all day tomorrow, so A+ work there, team.

I’m also planning to enter at least one writing contest before the year is out.


And to work on my creative writing every day, starting someday this week that isn’t today or yesterday.

I only did two or three days in February, so that’s a no. Next month will be better.

Oh, and to see Hamilton.

Again, you would know if this had happened.

Also to eat more vegetables.

I did well on this during January by choice. My elimination diet is forcing me to eat more vegetables because most fruit is off-limits anyway. So yes, I’m meeting this goal.

Goals I Made for the Month of February

  • Enter a writing contest – I entered two.
  • Go see Black Panther – Saw it on opening day.
  • Get my classes completely prepped and loaded into the LMS (I have about ten days to do this) – Yep.
  • Keep up my writing momentum – You already know how this went.

My Goals for March

Next month, I have the following goals for myself:

  • post every day for the Slice of Life challenge
  • stick to the elimination diet as prescribed
  • finish a draft of a spec script for another writing contest
  • buy an ottoman for my living room
  • do some creative writing every day
  • post my things to do before I turn 40 list

Whew, that was a lot. If you read all of that, here’s a cookie for making it all the way to the end.



Have a great March, everyone!

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  1. Alice

    How fun. I liked your lists!

  2. JudyK

    Wow, that’s a lot of goals accomplished, and a lot of books read, and a lot of changes in your life! I’m in awe! 😊 ~JudyK

  3. Ally Bean

    You accomplish so much. I’m in awe of you. Perhaps someday I’ll kick it into high gear again… but I doubt it. I rather like Ally Bean 2.0, the purposeful procrastinator.

  4. Elisabeth Ellington

    So glad you’re slicing! I also find that slicing every day helps me get more done during the rest of my day–which is rather odd. I need to get focused on my #MustRead challenge.

    • Akilah

      It’s probably akin to doing morning pages, I bet.


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