Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekend Window #8 - Mother's Day!!!!

I find so much cool stuff on the internet. Pictures of people posting their latest artwork, amazing photographs, beautifully-crafted poems, and well-written short stories. Every weekend I like to acknowledge these works and post links to them so other people (like you) can enjoy them.

Since today is Mother's Day, all the links are related to "mom". I hope you find something you enjoy. If so, feel free to tell me which ones you liked and leave a comment for the artist on their post (if possible).

Here are the links:

A poem by the wonderful Laurie Kolp is featured in the current issue of The Linnet's Wings. Much of motherhood is made up of simple moments like a day at the park and this poem captures the essence of that and much more.

The next poem is called "Unsigned Mother's Day Card" and it is written by Bayleigh Fraser. It is currently featured in Rattle. I think it is beautifully written.

Every Mother's Day I find myself going to YouTube to watch Billy Collins read his poem "The Lanyard". Such a funny poem yet so true. If you ever, as a child, hand-crafted a Mother's Day gift, you will probably enjoy this.

And last but not least, for my friends and family who have lost their mothers, for mothers who have lost a child, or for any other reason why this day might be difficult for you, John Pavlovitz has written an excellent post entitled For Those Who Hurt on Mother's Day. My sister lost her son in October and this is the first Mother's Day without him. It's not an easy day, but she found comfort in his words. If this is a sad day for you, hop on over to his blog and read the post.

No matter what your situation, no matter what you do today, whether you are female or male, I hope this day brings wonderful things your way.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekend Window #7 -

 The weekend is almost over and I am late posting my Weekend Window, where I share cool art (written or visual) that I discovered on the web this week.

I usually have about three links to share but the weather has been so nice and I've started spring cleaning and am spending time outdoors with family, so today I have only one for you-- a poem by De Jackson. Scoot on over to her blog and check out To Love the Poem.

I hope the weather is also lovely where you are and that you've enjoyed the weekend.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekend Window #6 - February/Water Fall/Celebration/Black & White

For today's weekend window (where I share links to cool artwork or writing I've discovered online in the past week) I have two poems and , a photo, and a blog post.

First, poetry.I was reading the latest work at Autumn Sky Poetry Daily. If you aren't familiar with this journal, go check it out. I like how they combine photos and poetry by different artists (though they don't do that with every post. But when they do, they complement each other perfectly.) I found a lovely poem by Donna Vorreyer posted on March 31. It caught my attention because it is one a theme I've been writing about recently, learning to let go of a loved-one after they have passed. This is beautifully written, so go on over and read "You Leave in February". And while you are there, maybe check out more of the work on their website.

The second poem I'd like to link to is "Water Fall" by Kailani Bird Clarke. When I read this poem in my Rattle newsfeed it blew me away to think that a 14-year-old wrote it. I like the concept, the imagery, the play on words. If you are curious about writers of the younger generation today (or even if you just want to read cool stuff), this is definitely worth a read.

Speaking of kids and writing, what about people who write for children? When I think of some of my favorite childhood books I think of Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, and Judy Blume (and Rockwell's book How to Eat Fried Worms). I stumbled upon a post today about Bevely Cleary. Today is her birthday. She's 99! To read that blog post by Juliana Lee, follow the link to her post "Drop Everything and Read".

Last but not least is our artwork post of the week. I love black and white photography. Another element I like in photos is the use of shadows. A photo by Vivian Maier utilizes both of these and Maud Casey reflects on it at a post from July of last year in The New England Review.

I hope one of these links brings you to something you enjoy. And if you go to all four links, feel free to write in the comments box and tell me which one you liked best.

Enjoy what is left of your Sunday and best wishes for the week to come.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weekend Window #5 on Tuesday

I did it! I finished the latest revisions of a picture book I am writing. It started as a silly poem. Then my friends said, "Hey, that would make a fun picture book!" So I wrote it into a story. Then I revised. And revised some more. And once again. Then I had an idea of how to make it even better/more marketable. So I totally rewrote it. New POV. New angle. Changes in the plot. Different ending. I like the way it turned out. I went back and looked at each sentence. I made my final revisions this weekend-- just in time to submit to the SCBWI work-in-progress contest. But because I was so busy working on my manuscript, I forgot to post my Weekend Window links. Sorry! So, here they are... on Tuesday.

The fabulous Jessie Carty has started a new online literary journal (called Then and If) which is similar to her old one (Referential). A piece of writing (flash fiction, poem, or non-fiction) or photo is posted and writers response to it with their own related piece. I am curious to see how this site develops. If this sound interesting to you and you won't to take part (or just want to read) here is the link:

Also, since I am posting a link to Jessie's new site, I thought it might be nice to link to one of Jessie's poems. I found her short poem Hospice has been made into a video at "Moving Poems".

and here is one of Jessie herself reciting one of her poems

OK. That's all for now. I'm off to prepare for RhyPiBoMo and April poetry month challenges.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

World Poetry Day 2015 is today!

Today is World Poetry Day!
To celebrate I am posting a few links to poems that I've come across the past week. (This post doubles
as my Weekend Window  #4)

The first one is "Light in the Fig Root" by Lori DeSanti (featured at Words Dance).I've been discovering more and more of Lori's work in literary journals and I like her style.

The second is by Matt Rasmussen, winner of the 2012 Walt Whitman Award for his poetry collection titled Black Aperature. I happened upon his work accidentally while doing a search for something else. This poem speaks to me because a few months ago I lost someone dear to me due to suicide. This is the poem "Aperature".

The third is a poem I was introduced to in elementary school and one of the reasons I became interested in poetry. Here is Carl Sandburg's "Fog". It showed me how poetry often looks at things from a different perspective.

And lastly, I want to say that if you are like me and like both poetry and writing for children, you might get a kick out of the work that has been posted recently in the March Madness Poetry competition this year. Participants are given assigned words and must write a poem for children. Poets compete in several rounds until a final winner is chosen based on votes. I've been reading and voting (and enjoying a few laughs as well because many of these are humorous poems) and you can take part in the voting process, too. If there is a child in you who likes to smile and giggle, head on over to the Think, Kid, Think! site.

Oooooh, and I almost forgot. Have you heard some cafes around the world are offering a free coffee to people who hand in one of their poems? Yes, it's true. Get more information here:

Coffee or no coffee, I wish you a perfectly poetic day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Short Note for Today

Two of my writing friends are currently competing in the March Madness Poetry contest. I met Rj through Poetic Asides years ago. Her work often utilizes clever word play and her rhyming is spot on. Dean Damon just took part in the PB14:14 blog challenge which I just finished posting about and he also frequents a few other sites I take part in.

Please show them some support and vote for their poems so they can move to the next round. You don't need to register. Just click the voting circle at the bottom of the posts. IMPORTANT NOTE: voting is today only, so get to it! (pretty please)

Here are the links:


Friday, February 27, 2015

PB14:14 - Day 14!!!!!!!

Today is the last day of the Picture Book 14:14 which is organized each year by Christie Wright Wild. Be sure to check out her blog Write Wild. Not only can you find links to other PB14:14 posts but throughout the year Christie blogs about picture books, gives helpful advice for writers, posts about agents, discusses website management, and holds contests. In addition to all that, she's a really nice person. A round of applause for Christie for being our awesome PB14:14 hostess.   YAY, CHRISTIE!!!!! Thank you.

And now onto today's book:

Title: Spoon
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator: Scott Magoon
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Year: 2009
Word Count: 391
Top 10 Element: conflict

As far as the top ten element for picture books goes, I could have chosen character since the book is written from Spoon's point of view. I could also have picked beginnings and ending because Spoon feels one way at the beginning and the opposite at the end. I also could have chosen them, pattern, or dialogue. This book has used almost all ten elements effectively. But there is no rhyme.

So why did I pick conflict? There are two types of conflict in a book. The physical: it snows so much that you can't go out the door (Blizzard), character is sick and can't do his job (A Sick Dday for Amos Mcgee), character being chased by hungry dragon (Dragon Dinner) OR it can be emotional: character misses friend who moved away, character is afraid of the dark, character lacks confidence, etc. and needs to revolve the internal conflict. This book revolves around the latter, and I think it is very important for children to have books like this. (I also believe children should have a wide variety of books--fairy tales, humor, rhyme, non-fiction, character development stories, and ones that just plain entertain.)

When I first saw this book with the simple title Spoon and a basic illustration on the cover, I didn't think it was going to be a good book. Boy, was I wrong. I love this book. At the beginning of the story we meet Spoon and his family. On this day Spoon is feeling a bit down. He thinks all his friend have it better than he does. They get to do all the cool things. Knife get to cut things and spread things. Fork gets to twirl spaghetti and speer all sorts of things. And everybody loves Chopstick(s). This is a "the green is always greener" kind of story. Except that we all know the grass isn't always greener on the other side. In fact, while Spoon is lamenting his boring life, his friends are all discussing how lucky Spoon is. Knife says "Everyone's so serious with me. No one's ever allowed to be silly with me like they are with spoon." Fork mentions how he never gets to measure things like spoon does. And Chopstick(s) think Spoon is so super cool because he gets to do things alone. Soon Spoon comes to realize that it's not so bad being a spoon.

I like the message of the story but the kicker for me is the subtle humor in the book --for instance, his Aunt Silver being so proper or spoon going stir-crazy. The younger children might not pick up on the humor in those lines but older kids and parents do. And a good picture book has elements that appeal to both crowds. I especially love when Spoon can't sleep and his parents tell him to come into bed with them. His mom says, "Come, Spoon." And then they spoon. Sweet and silly at the same time. Also, there aren't many picture books where a spoon is the main character and original and/or quirky is usually a hit with me.

Yep, this book is a winner. Go out and read it. The author also has written books called Fork and Chopsticks, but I haven't read those yet. If you've read them all, please tell me which one is your favorite.

And if you haven't read spoon, you can hear a class of first-graders reading it at the following youTube link:

Also, the link to other day 14 posts is: