Alison Asks Away!

Here we go again! It’s Friday which means it’s time for #AskAwayFriday hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife Of Caroline Country and Amber from Bold Fab Mom. Typically for Ask Away Friday, bloggers pair up, swap 10 questions,answer them on their blogs, and link up their posts with Penny and Amber. It’s such a great way to get to know someone better.
Plus it’s way fun.

This week my very VERY good friend, Alison is the master question asker. Isn’t she pretty!


Her questions are so good. Are you ready?  Here we go!

1. You’ve been teaching for 13 years – what keeps you motivated to stay in a job that is undoubtedly challenging?

It’s so cliche, but the students are the reason I keep coming back every day. It’s difficult for me to put into words what I love. Simply, it’s the students. Complexly it’s the students and the love of learning and the love of imparting knowledge and the privilege of being a small part of someone’s education.

2. What are your top 3 moments as a teacher?

Graduation every spring. Every year I break down and cry.

Getting nominated as teacher of the year in 2005 by the staff of my school.

Getting awarded Elective Teacher of the Year by the senior class of 2011.

3. You write openly about depression. Do you remember the first time you opened up about it on your blog?

Yes. It was spring of 2010. I had been diagnosed less than two months before. It was the first time I had ever posted anything on my blog that showed my real feelings about something.  It was the first post that wasn’t just an “update” for family and friends.  You might say it was my first real WRITING post.

4. You’ve been blogging for 6 years now. How different was blogging back when you started, and now?

This summer it will actually be SEVEN years of blogging!  Sheesh! Where did the time go?

I honestly don’t know how things are different. When I started blogging I was completely unaware of the blogosphere. I was just going about my business posting pictures of my cat not knowing there was this whole community out there.

About three year in, I came clean about my PPD and it was like the heavens opened up and rained internet friends upon me.

5. I love your series on writing. What’s your top two pieces of advice for aspiring writers?

Write A LOT and Read A LOT. Like every day. Again, I know that is the most frequently given advice, but I find it to be so very true. I know there are people who say, “if I don’t feel like writing, I just don’t,” but that doesn’t work for me. If I take a day away, I’m more likely to take another day away, and then I might not get back into it.

I write every day.

I have a journal I carry with me, but I also have a “Copy Paste” draft on my blog. It’s where I just type. I tend to copy/paste (or cut/paste) stuff from there all the time for blog posts. But it’s a place to just brain dump.

I also read every day. These days it’s academic stuff, but I am also about halfway through 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Reading words sparks my own words.

6. What are your favorite books ever?

Why do people always ask the English teacher this?? It’s so hard to choose!!

Of course I love The Great Gatsby  by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have read it over 100 times and find something new to love each time. I’m not sure I would love it as much if I didn’t teach it, though. I’m not sure a one-time read would have captured me the way 100+ reads have.

I also love The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Rhoald Dahl, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

A book that changed my life in terms of seeing the beauty of language and story is East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

7. I love reading your stories about your boys, Eddie and Charlie. Do you think they’ll enjoy reading about themselves when they’re older?

I hope they do!  Eddie already loves that “mommy writes stories.” He doesn’t know what blogging is, but he knows I write about him and his brother. He knows my piece for my Listen To Your Mother audition was about him.

I’m certain a time will come when I will be able to write less specifically about my boys, but that will be Ok.

8. What do you love most about Eddie right now?

Just looking at Eddie makes me smile these days. His concentration face, how he is learning to draw people, his conversation…four and a half is a sweet age.

I mean, best drawing of me EVER!

I mean, best drawing of me EVER!

9. What do you love most about Charlie right now?

Charlie is a jabbering fool lately. Just this weekend he said “I love you” (which sounded more like Ah uvoo) for the first time. It was ridiculous how many times I asked him to repeat it. His personality is so ridiculous lately too!  If you ask him if he wants something, he will do a huge pause and then say yes. Like, “Hey Charlie, do you want this cookie?” “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. yup.”  It’s so funny.  THISCLOSE to two is a sweet age.



10. You’ve been with your husband, Cortney for a while now. How do you keep the romance alive?

It will be nine years of marriage this summer. I’m not sure we are really the romantic types; maybe that is why the romance can’t die…we never had any to begin with!  Ha ha!

Seriously though, we are all about the little things. Helping each other out and always remembering that we are on the same team. And occasionally he brings me flowers or shows up with Starbucks for me.

Look at us OOZE romance!

Look at us OOZE romance!

And now you should head over to Alison’s blog, Writing, Wishing to see what I asked her!


About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. As I read your answers from 1 to 10, I swear my smile got bigger.
    I think the most important thing about being a good teacher? IS loving your students.
    I love your book choices. Gosh I could read Winnie the Pooh for the rest of my life and never get bored.
    I’m so glad you decided to open up about PPD and discovered a community – because otherwise, I’d never have met you.
    I love your boys as you know! Charlie’s picture just slays me.
    And in marriage, the little things really do matter, don’t they?
    Thank you for playing along with me this week, it was so fun!

  2. I love learning more about both of you ladies! I can’t believe we might never know each other if not for blogging. Opening up gave us all so much. It is really crazy. I love your stories about the boys and I am crazy for your teaching posts and I can always tell just how much you love those kids in and out of the classroom. You are a real gift, my sweet friend!

  3. This is great – I could listen to you talk about teaching and writing all day long. Which is another reason why you need to move to Canada, just sayin’ 🙂

  4. 4 1/2 is such a great age! And I’m convinced that one of the reasons we are such good friends is because you’re a teacher and our shared love of The Great Gatsby! xoxo Super questions and even better responses.

  5. Your family is adorable! I have seen you around the internet, but finally landed on your blog today after reading Alison’s answers to your questions. I like your answer to #4. I have been blogging for about 4 years, but when I started, I had no idea what a huge community was out there.

  6. Love you book choices!! I had always loved reading, but the day my high school English teacher started reading aloud from Steinbeck (in my case, Of Mice and Men) : a whole new world just opened up for me.
    I couldn’t get my hands on enough books after that. So inspired by that singular moment, I studied English Literature in university hoping one day I could pass on such inspiration. Turned out I am an excellent reader; not so much a teacher! Ha
    So I can honestly say that drive and heart to teach — is a very, very unique and special thing.
    And I love how you do romance 🙂

  7. Love all the photos! I have a four and a half year old, too – it is a great age. (So was 2 – I love all the ages if I am being honest.)
    I always say that David and I are a team, too.

  8. Love the picture of you and Cortney! And of course everyone’s always interested in the books an English teacher loves. I’ve only read one of the ones you mentioned, and only once. Yep. It was The Great Gatsby.


  1. […] Thank you, Katie for your thoughtful questions. I really had fun with them! Now, head over to Sluiter Nation to check out what I asked her.  […]