Slice of Life Challenge – March 1 :The Slicer Meet-Up

When I was in California last November for the NCTE Convention, I programmed my phone’s navigation to take me to McCormick and Schmick’s at the Anaheim Garden Walk for the Slice of Life Meet-Up at 5:00. I couldn’t wait to meet everyone, to put faces with the names of the bloggers whose posts I read every Tuesday throughout the year and everyday during the month of March for the Slice of Life Writing Challenge. We were each bringing a gift for a writer for a gift exchange, but I knew that the best gift of all would be the personal connections I would make with my fellow writers.

I planned to arrive right on time so that I could be back at the Anaheim Hilton at 6:30 for the Open Write Meet-up in the MIX Restaurant for dinner with my group giving a presentation at the conference. Even though I was still in a boot as my broken right ankle healed, I figured this walk would be quick and easy.

I was wrong.

I’m not sure why, but whenever I’m walking in a major city along with hundreds of thousands of other people, I imagine that everyone is going to the same place I’m going – or at least that they know where everywhere is and can help me if I get lost. At the first intersection, my arrow was still wonky, changing directions like a compass that couldn’t locate magnetic north, so I took a chance and stayed in the stream with the masses.

I started scanning the throng of people for anyone who looked like a writer who might be headed to the table for the dozen or so of us who would be attending, and my eyes fell on two women about my age who appeared to have had the characteristic writer’s callus on the last knuckle of their middle fingers. I was convinced I’d successfully used my detective skills and found them.

At the next traffic light, I eased my way closer to them so that I could tag along and listen for a moment. They’d stopped talking, so I made a bold move and decided to ask.

“Are you going to the Slicer meet-up?”

No sooner had I gotten the words out of my mouth, I realized I had asked the wrong people the right question the wrong way, given the state of our world.

I found myself looking into two completely horrified faces. Horrified.

The walking light turned white, and they turned and took off in another direction, looking back over their shoulders at me as if I’d been sporting a knife in my boot. Me. A murderous slicer. I was glad I had saved a chain of emails in case the cops came and I had been taken in for questioning.

Next time, I’ll know to inconspicuously whisper, “Would you happen to be headed to the Slice of Life invitational dinner for celebrity writers?”

I walked on another block, and then I saw a familiar female face standing at a traffic light, waiting to cross. At least I was pretty sure it was her. I decided on a safer tactic.


“Yes,” she replied, looking at me curiously.

“I’m Kim. I recognize your picture from your blog. Are you going to the meet-up?”

We walked the rest of the way together, and we managed to find our fellow writers.

A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing the Slice of Life Writing Challenge now and throughout the year, and to Melanie Meehan for arranging such a lovely gathering, full of fun, laughter, writers’ gifts, and stories! I’m hoping that we will be able to enjoy time together again at this year’s NCTE Convention. I’ll plan to Uber and would love to share a ride with you to the Citrus Society Celebrity Writer’s Red Carpet Invitational Gala!

2022 Slicer Meet-Up in Anaheim, California
A street somewhere in Anaheim where I got lost and somehow avoided being arrested.

8 Replies to “Slice of Life Challenge – March 1 :The Slicer Meet-Up”

  1. Ohhhh! What a fun post to read! That was the night that Pam and I walked in the wrong direction as well and got there late! Thanks for launching with this memory as it shows the power of the community. Love that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Murderous Slicer Loose in La La Land. This was a great opening. I loved the line, “I realized I had asked the wrong people the right question the wrong way.” I share your frustration with walking directions on a phone. Very challenging. I want to know which Slicer celebrities were at the meet up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kim, So glad you captured this moment and included photos. I just snagged it to add to my photo memories. I also struggled to find the restaurant that evening and the blocks were LONG. I could feel your pain, doing it in a boot. You are a conference trooper!
    I agree: best gift of all would be the personal connections I would make with my fellow writers. So glad we met in person, though at oppposite ends of the table that evening!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have been saving up this wonderful whopper first day of SOLC! I loved meeting you and spending time with you writing and presenting and all of it. I feel calmer now about the challenge with you by my side, a celebrity writer! BTW, Sally D. sent me to your post from her comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kim, I love the humor of your post. Aggghhh, those awkward moments when we do not use the correct words. Also, why in the heck is it so hard to use maps when walking? It happens to me all the time when I’m traveling and think I can get to a particular destination by foot.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim, I’m sitting in a plane and giggling! I can only imagine what those women thought when you asked about the sliver meetup. When I download directions I take a screenshot when walking to avoid missed turns and bouncing arrows! I’ll gladly go to the Cincinnati meetup!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kim, this is the perfect way to kick off the Challenge – hilarious, yes, albeit unfortunate getting lost and having a broken ankle and alarming others with your Slicer query (priceless). It is perfect for illustrating the ties that bind this community together, born of writing, and what a gift it is. So well-done, friend. Oh, and would you believe that last Saturday night I got out of bed and managed to sprain (not break, thank heaven) my right ankle??

    Liked by 1 person

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