I’m working with my Writing Workshop students on vignette, tiny little snapshots in words that express much more than what’s on the page.  I gave them this gorgeous example (which I’ve been admiring since the day it was published), we talked about what vignette is and how it works, and then I asked them to write their own.

Since I’m fond of doing the assignments I give my students, I’m offering up the first draft of my vignette.  I’ll happily take suggestions and comments.

“It’s a process,” they told me.  “It’s going to take time, and no one can say how long it will take you, but when it happens, you’ll know.”

I got this advice a lot after my mother died; people trying to explain to me that this loss, this emptiness that I felt after she passed, would morph itself into something that I could better live with day after day.  I accepted their advice for what I thought it was – the kind words of people who didn’t know what else to say.

Then it happened; I knew the day I thought of “her” things as “my” things was the day I finally came to terms with her dying.



Filed under about writing, I love my job, Mrs. Chili as Student, writing

2 responses to “Vignette

  1. Wow. What does one say about that? So honest!

  2. Beautiful! I love how kids inspire the writer in us. The lowest performing student in my class worked with me on a personal narrative piece, using repeated phrases to tie the piece together. It was all about her waiting for a birthday card from her Grandpops. We went through eeking it out, paragraph by paragraph, me questioning, her writing. I was super proud of her for digging so deep. I mean, this is a girl who really struggles with every subject and writing has quite possibly been her toughest subject. At the end of her piece her final line was “Every year I wait for a birthday card from my Grandpops, but they don’t come any more.” She wouldn’t tell me why, but there was such rawness in that statement. Awesome how I can be so inspired by her.

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