instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

JoAnn's Blog

Day 30: Migration Day & the Last 2018 National Poetry Month Book Giveaway!

               Today is the day that spring flies north.
               That’s what the forecasters say.
               I think I will lie right down in the grass
               and watch the sky all day.

               Our feeders are filled. We’ve put oranges out
               for the favorites we see every year.
               Orioles, grosbeaks, indigo buntings,
               and warblers are on their way here!

               Hummingbirds, tanagers, kinglets and wrens—
               I’ve got nothing better to do
               than to lie outside in the grass and watch.
               Come out and join me, won’t you?

 

Poetry has sustained me through this wintry National Poetry Month, but I’m always happy to welcome May with its migrating birds and bursting blooms. This year’s poem-a-day exercise has taught me good lessons about my voice and writing habits. I’m really glad I was able to stick to my plan and write something new every day. I hope to continue that practice, although I don’t expect to post every day.

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. Today is the last giveaway of the month! The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. Good luck!

3 Comments
Post a comment

Day 29: Haiku on Haiku & a Book Giveaway!


Yesterday, we walked around a lagoon in the park, and I posted a silly haiku about my photography skills. (Yes, that's my thumb again in the photo above.) What I wanted to say was something about the flashes of red in the not-yet-spring landscape. Alas, it still eludes me. Here's what came out instead:

 

               too much to say
               in three short lines
               make it a tanka

               making words fit
               I lose the logic
               try another draft

               haiku on haiku
               no nature in these lines
               look out the window

               which matters more
               the form or the meaning
               neither
                              both
                                          let go

 

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share! 

1 Comments
Post a comment

Day 28: Taking Pictures & a Book Giveaway!


birds, flowers, landscapes
all my photos look alike
thumb in a corner


We went to the park this morning to walk around the lagoon and see what was migrating through. I sat on a bench, waiting for the local geese to swim closer so I could count the goslings. They climbed the bank and waddled almost to my feet, pecking in the grass. I deleted the worst of the photos before I realized that my photography skills could be the topic of today's haiku. (In my defense, I was wearing mittens. In April-almost-May!)

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share!  Read More 
1 Comments
Post a comment

Day 27: Birthday Star, Poetry Friday, & a Book Giveaway!

               I got a star for my birthday.
               My grandparents bought it online.
               It came with complete care instructions.
               I think we will get along fine.

               Its name is all letters and numbers
               of the most scientific sort.
               I thought my star might like a nickname,
               so I call it Seven for short.

               Whenever I’m out in the evening,
               I look for my star in the sky.
               I don’t know if I’ll ever find it,
               but it’s surely worth a good try.

               Sometimes, late at night, I imagine
               my star’s up there thinking of me.
               I wonder, from up in the atmosphere,
               What on Earth can it see?

               I got a star for my birthday
               with all the proof I’ll ever need
               on this official print-it-yourself
               frameable title and deed!

 

I'm sorry to say that according to NASA, it's not actually possible to buy a star and name it. Phooey!

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share!

Irene has today's Poetry Friday Roundup at Live Your Poem. Enjoy! Read More 

14 Comments
Post a comment

Day 26: Poem in Your Pocket Day & a Book Giveaway!

              I have something in my pocket.
              It’s a poem I can say.
              I know all the lines by heart.
              I like to read it anyway.

              Do you have a poem to show me?
              We can share our poems. Okay?
              You read mine, and I’ll read yours
              on Poem in Your Pocket Day!

 

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share!  Read More 

Be the first to comment

Day 25: Brainstorming Silly Limericks & a Book Giveaway!


I had so much fun yesterday with my dog-training limerick that I decided to work on getting sillier today. In that early-morning daze that’s my most creative writing time, I thought about other animals and more goofy stunts:

 

          I’m teaching my camel to wink.
          It’s trickier than you might think.
          She is painfully shy—
          won’t look me in the eye—
          but sooner or later, she’ll blink.

          I’m teaching my penguin to sing.
          He keeps hiding his head in his wing.
          He hasn’t sung yet.
          When he does, you can bet
          it will be a remarkable thing.

          I’m teaching my zebra to sneeze.
          He’s very determined to please.
          He is such a good sport
          that he’ll shiver and snort,
          and he’ll sputter and sniffle and wheeze.

          I’m teaching my turtle to fly,
          and here is the main reason why:
          It’s not easily done,
          but I think she’d have fun,
          so I wish she would give it a try.

 

Why don’t you give it a try? An animal with a two-syllable name and the stress on the first syllable fits into the rhythm well. Here are some more options:

• muskrat
• eagle
• wombat
• walrus
• beaver
• groundhog
• peacock
• lizard
• bison

Remember that lines 1, 2, and 5 have three beats and rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 have two beats and rhyme. Maybe you can come up with a silly animal trick to teach, too!

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please try again. I'll have 31 copies to share.

3 Comments
Post a comment

Day 24: Dog Tricks & a Book Giveaway!

          I’m teaching my dog to do tricks.
          She was born knowing how to fetch sticks.
          She learned how to shake
          when she jumped in the lake,
          so we just have some details to fix.

          “Roll over,” I say. She holds still.
          Sooner or later, she will
          follow my lead
          to get up to speed,
          but I’m dizzy from rolling downhill.

          She knows what I’m saying, it’s clear.
          She sits when I tell her, “Come here.”
          When I tell her to stay,
          she runs right away,
          but we’ve only been training a year.


So far this month, I’ve written a new poem each morning and posted it that day. I’m not always completely satisfied with the results. This one needs more attention, but I’m out of time for today, so I’ll have to get back to it later.

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
 Read More 

2 Comments
Post a comment

Day 23: Insomnia & a Book Giveaway!

          For hours, I’ve been tossing and turning,
          trying to sleep for so long.
          I followed my usual bedtime routine.
          I don’t know what went wrong.

          I wrestled a bit with my brother,
          found some Halloween candy to eat.
          checked my status online to see if anyone
          noticed my latest Tweet.

          I watched a new horror movie,
          poured a big glass of water to drink,
          and played all my favorite video games,
          but I still haven’t slept a wink!


I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
 Read More 

5 Comments
Post a comment

Day 22: Earth Day & a Book Giveaway!

          Welcome to Earth Day!
          Hello to spring,
          to tulips and daffodils,
          robins a-wing,
          to earthworms below us,
          to buds on the trees,
          to migrating monarchs,
          and all kinds of bees.

          On Earth Day and every day,
          we must take care
          of prairies and forests
          and all who live there.
          From rivers and oceans
          to mountains above,
          Earth is our planet.
          Let’s treat it with love.


I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
 Read More 

3 Comments
Post a comment

Day 21: Beavers, Beware! & a Book Giveaway!

beaver dam on the Milwaukee River

          Slap your tail, Beaver!
          Smack a warning on the water for herons, turtles, frogs,
          and all the creatures on the pond beyond
          the dam you built.

          Slap your tail, Beaver!
          The fiercest predator on Earth is on its way
          with plans for a development
          and tools more powerful than teeth.

          Slap your tail, Beaver!
          Gather up your kits and swim away.
          Stake out a stretch of wilderness where you’ll be safe
          till people find a way to live in peace.


I've been researching beavers because we see signs of their activity--and once in a great while a glimpse of them--when we walk along the Milwaukee River. I keep finding articles about people who can't figure out how to get along with the beavers they are so lucky to see and insist that their only option is to relocate or destroy them.

I despair.

I hope someday we can all understand the benefits beavers provide. If you're interested, you can read more about these fascinating creatures at The Beaver Believers.

I'm giving away a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step every day in April. The book is based on my school visit presentations and includes a simple plan you can follow to create your own poems. I wrote it for students, teachers, and writers of all ages.

Post a comment here to enter. I'll choose one at random tomorrow and drop a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step in the mail—U.S. addresses only, please. I’ll email you for your mailing address if you win. And if you don't win right away, please check back again. I'll have 31 copies to share!
 Read More 

6 Comments
Post a comment