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JoAnn's Blog

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 
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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 

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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 

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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.

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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!
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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 

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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!
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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!
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Day 20: Swimming, Poetry Friday, & a Book Giveaway!

          I glide through the water,
          imagine I’m graceful,
          I’m mermaid, I’m sailboat,
          I’m swift submarine.

          Through the skylight above,
          I see clouds drifting by,
          pretend I’m afloat in
          a cedar-rimmed lake.

          Instead of the lane stripes
          painted below me,
          I dream sandy riverbed,
          turtles, and fish.

          In those glorious moments
          when I’m in the water,
          I’m weightless. I’m carefree.
          The world floats away.


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!

Tabatha Yeatts has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference. Enjoy! Read More 

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Day 19: Squirrel Treats & a Book Giveaway!

          we scatter peanuts on snow
          squirrel gets busy
          burying peanuts in snow

 

Here in Wisconsin, we're eagerly waiting for spring: keeping the bird feeders filled, throwing out nuts for squirrels, putting out raisins and berries for robins, and hoping the snow melts today.

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!

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