Tuesday Slice of Life: Two Sides of the Same SweeTART

This post is part of the Weekly Slice of Life challenge from Two Writing Teachers. Check them out!

It’s summer break now (let us pause for a moment of celebration).

I’m supposed to be taking it easy.
I’m also supposed to be getting my house back in order.
To get back into shape.
To carve out time for writing.
To meditate.
To enjoy life.
To check out and read scads and scads of books.

“So, Lainie, what delightful writing projects have you taken on now that summer unfurls before you, vast and wide?”

….ummm….well….you know how sometimes energy needs to be stored as potential energy before it can be released as kinetic energy? Kind of like how you’ve got to draw back and hold tension before you release the rubber band or the arrow? Consider me in that…potential energy phase.

I do have one thing that caught me as a writer. A student gave me a box of SweeTARTS.

Did you know that they’ve started to put words on SweeTARTS? And that the words are connected to one another?

That piqued my curiosity. I’ve long been a fan of words that are two sides of the same coin. As in, you can look at a penny and see Lincoln, or you can look at a penny and see the Lincoln Memorial. They look different, but they’re the same thing. A fellow storyteller, Yvonne Healy, taught me to advise student tellers that fear and excitement are just that – two sides of the same coin.

So naturally I wanted to explore this idea through the candy box. What “two sides of the same coin” ideas would pop up for me in artificially-flavored sugary goodness? What to do the corporate minds at the SweeTARTs factory have in store? Could they impress me?

I’d have to dig in to the candy and find out. But here’s the thing. I couldn’t just open a box of candy and waste it. And to tell the truth, I can maybe tolerate a few SweeTARTS before my teeth begin to hurt. Thankfully, my 20-year-old was on the task. He helped me sort through and find all the different word pairs on the SweeTARTS as I listed them. He also helped me eat said SweeTARTS. Talk about taking one for the team!

Some of the word pairings were pretty expected, nothing surprising:

humble-proud
strong-gentle
rock-pop
global-local
witty-silly
grit-strong
head-heart

But there were also several that, happily, surprised me. These are the ones that struck me as “two sides of the same coin.” It’s proof that there, somewhere buried in an office cubicle or around a meeting table or in some departmental Zoom meeting, there are sparks of creativity and wit at the corporate level:

funny-fierce
math-art
sassy-savvy
wild-wise

Now.

If you need me, you might find me writing. Or maybe not.
I might be walking the dog.
Or reading a book.
Or rearranging the kitchen drawers.
Or spending quality time behind a barbell.
Or trying a new cookie recipe.
Or
or
or…

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14 Responses to “Tuesday Slice of Life: Two Sides of the Same SweeTART”

  1. Lakshmi Bhat Says:

    Fascinating.

  2. Maureen Young Ingram Says:

    Oh my goodness! I am not a fan of Sweet/Tarts, but I may become one with this fun wordplay – love love love that they put the words in opposite pairs, encouraging the writer in every box! Talk about the “potential energy phase”!! (Love this thinking of yours, Lainie!) Happy start to summer – may it be mostly sweet, very little tart.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      I also vote for a summer of sweet. And I guess the hard candy analogy might be a good one – let’s also go for long lasting while we’re at it!

      …I wonder what would happen, by the way, if I asked my students for their ideas on what to put on each side of a sweeTART candy…

  3. edifiedlistener Says:

    I love sweet tarts! I look forward to enjoying a box the next time I find them and I’ll look for this new aspect. All the best for your new freedom! Take it easy, take it away!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Oh, I plan on it! As for the candies, I’ll also have to see if I can find different ideas in the next box. =))

  4. arjeha Says:

    Wouldn’t these make great story starters for students? Give them a Sweet/Tart and tell them they needed to construct a story around the two words plus they had to come up with their own pairing and use them in the story as well. This would also make a great ice breaker for a workshop.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      I love these ideas! Or…MAYBE…it might also be a cool prompt for reverso poems…? Oooh, the possibilities!

  5. theapplesinmyorchard Says:

    This is a great post about one of my favorite candies ….but not really. It is a great post about inspiration and creative writing. My favorite word pair is math-art as we’ve had a discussion about this many times over the years in our house. IF I can get a writer’s circle going over the summer, I am totally stealing this idea as a way to get the students jazzed about writing by using these word pairs! Thanks!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! I’d love to know how you use them. I’m getting a fair amount of ideas myself in the comments! And…if you could get a writer’s circle going, that would be amazing. I’m anxious to hear about it!

  6. Raivenne Says:

    I knew sweeTARTS had words, but as I too busy consuming them when I used to like them, to correlate any meaning to the words on them.

    Those ending lines were delightful and having read everything before it, yes I get it, it is all the same thing.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      That’s the thing. I don’t know when they started putting words on the candies (I’ve asked though!) – was I oblivious to them before? Who knows? And…thank you. I keep trying to get myself to think of other examples – thought of one the other day with “love” and “grief…”

  7. Fran Haley Says:

    Lainie, this reminds me of metaphor dice, which I’ve yet to actually play with (speaking of potential) – and it’s just the kind of philosophical noticing and wondering I love best. So much truth in the two-sided coins. I smile at your math-art pairing, knowing how passionate you are about math and that the universe is made of numbers (architecture is, in fact, art). I think this candy adventure is the perfect segue into summer – a much-needed taste of light-hearted sweetness! I look at your list of to-dos, exactly like my own… and savor really is the word that rises to the surface. Congrats on crossing the finish line – today (Fri.) is my last day. I definitely plan on some serious savoring.

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