The good news…the bad news…


March SOLC–Day 1
A huge thank you to  Anna, Beth, Betsy, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.


Lately, I feel a bit like I’ve fallen into the pages of Marjorie Cuyler’s book, That’s Good! That’s Bad!. This entertaining book has an easy-to-imitate pattern that can inspire some young writers. It’s also a rousing read-aloud and young kids love chiming in on the repeated refrain: “That’s good! No, that’s bad!” Right now, the title also seems to describe my life–For some reason, my experiences seem to be falling into a good news/bad news pattern.

I first noticed myself thinking this way when reading my students’ writing in January and the pattern, or some variation of it, continued through February.

The good news…My students are trying to use figurative language!
The bad news…One of them wrote in her historical narrative that riding on the Oregon Trail was “so bumpy she felt like she was on a roller coaster at Disney!”

The good news: My students are noticing when they forget to write about something in the appropriate section of their nonfiction piece.
The bad news:One of them literally wrote: “Finally we have hunting. See I put in hunting in survival at first but I didn’t talk about it that’s why I’m putting in hunting now.”
The bad news: My engine is making a squealing noise.
The good news: The squealing noise in my engine stopped!
The bad news: Something fell out of my engine and bounced down the middle of the road.
The good news: No one was behind me and you can drive without power steering.
Then just this past weekend:
The good news: The woman at Salvation Army gave me an extra 50% off when I bought a pair of super cute Lands’ End capris!
The bad news: The sign I read on the way out said: “Today–50% off for college students and seniors (55+)!”
The worse news: I’m darn certain she didn’t think I was a college student…and I just turned 50 a few weeks ago!

The refrain in my head continues: “That’s good! No, that’s bad!”

Do you have any similar experiences? I’d love to hear about them!

23 thoughts on “The good news…the bad news…

  1. Tara Smith says:

    Ha! I’m at the stage when senior discount is happily accepted…the good thing as you age – your vanity diminishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. VanessaVaile says:

    yes but I don’t know when I can stop laughing to write about it. Would that be good news or bad news?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This has me speechless because it speaks to me so much. Currently I am in a mix of emotions of good news/bad news. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. travelinma says:

    The good news is that I am stronger than I ever imagined myself to be. The bad news is that I am a young widow.


  5. Dana Murphy says:

    I love this structure. I’m putting in my pocket for later this month. This piece made me laugh out loud a couple of times and reminded me that it’s all in our perspective, isn’t it?

    Happy Day One! Thirty more days… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Dana. The good news is that I finished my first slice for the challenge. The bad news is that the formatting on wordpress was not cooperating!


  6. Amy Warntz says:

    I loved everything about your piece, Molly! I needed a good laugh. Sorry to hear about the car though. You seem to be rolling with it…for now anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Leigh Anne says:

    I love this good news/bad news structure. I am sure we will see this pop again this month! Thanks for the idea. I had to laugh at the Oregon Trail incident. I had a student write about Ellis Island in his Nike tennis shoes! Kids…you just gotta love ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Vickiela says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you for being honest! sometimes, I have to sit back and simply laugh to keep myself from crying. “Mama said they’ll be days like this”!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The bad news is that it’s only March 1st and I already feel behind. The good news is that posts like yours are here, ready to make me smile. Love this, Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I didn’t know there was book connected to my MOST favorite “email update” this year! Of course, I’ve added it to my Amazon cart (and I wasn’t in a meeting when I did that! 😏 ).

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Susan, I’m sure you would NEVER add something to your Amazon cart during a meeting! 🙂 Also, I’m pretty sure there’s a copy of the book floating around at DCS. I could probably track it down for you to check out.


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