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JoAnn's Blog

Day 12: What Spring Brings & a Book Giveaway!

          kids ride their own wheels—
          skateboards, scooters, roller skates—
          parents drive alone

          spring brings warm winds, migrant birds,
          budding trees, independence


Walking the dog this morning, I noticed an increase in kids making their own way to school. Warmer weather brings out the wheels!

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 11: Sunshine! Book Giveaway!

          Sunshine! Oh, sunshine!
          Good morning! Hello!
          You wrap up the world
          in your warm, soothing glow.
          Shine on all creatures.
          Make everything bright.
          Sunshine! Oh, sunshine!
          We all need your light.

 

Last night, I heard Jack Prelutsky's "Homework! Oh, Homework!" in a TV commercial. With that sound in my head, I thought it might be fun to use it as a model for a new poem. Mine ended up going in a different direction (as poems do), but the exercise was fun!

Jack Prelutsky's poem appears in The New Kid on the Block. Some of the poems in the book (but not "Homework! Oh, Homework!") are included in a sampler here.

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!

If you get this error message

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Day 10: Following a Sound & a Book Giveaway!

          snowflakes camouflage
          demolition in progress
          hammering echoes


See the woodpecker halfway up the utility pole? I had to follow the sound of its pounding to find it yesterday. It was almost invisible in the falling snow, but I could sure hear it!

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!

If you get this error message

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Day 9: Tomorrow & a Book Giveaway!

          Today, I started three new poems
          but didn’t finish one.
          I always wish I had more time,
          but clearly, I have none.
          Tomorrow is another day
          to redo what I’ve done,
          to take the time to try to finish
          what I’ve just begun.

 

I often start the day at the playground with the dog. I gather up the gloves and hats that appear when snow melts, leave them in a conspicuous spot like this bench, and hope their owners find them. I like the message on the glove in the middle.

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. Be sure to include your email address with your comment—it won’t post, but I can see it. 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!

If you get this error message

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Day 8: Do I Know You? & a Book Giveaway!

          You remind me of somebody.
          I don’t know who.
          Do I look like someone
          familiar to you?

          We might be related.
          Do you think we might be
          buds on the branches of
          one family tree?

          Or you could be someone
          that I used to know
          when I was younger
          a long time ago.

          Your face is a face that
          I wouldn’t forget,
          so it doesn’t seem possible
          that we just met.
          But the memory hasn’t come back to me
          yet.

          You remind me of somebody.
          I don’t know who.
          Do I look like someone
          familiar to you?


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!

P.S. If you get this error message

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Day 7: The View from My Window & a Book Giveaway!

          sunlight spreads
          across frosty rooftops
          windows reflect hope

 

Will spring ever really arrive? I woke up way too early today, restless. Coffee and the view reminded me that the world is still turning. Everything looks better in the morning!

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!

If you get this error message

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Day 6: Helping the Planet, Poetry Friday, & a Book Giveaway!

          If you walk along the river,
          you’ll find trash among the bushes,
          snagged in branches,
          stuck in trees.
          You will find a plastic bag.
          Plastic bags are everywhere.

          Pick one up. This is important.
          Fill it with the trash you find.
          Yes, I know you didn’t drop it.
          Help the planet anyway.
          Someone has to be a steward.
          Someone has to care.


For the past year, a group I cofounded (Bring Your Bag Shorewood in Shorewood, Wisconsin) has been sewing reusable shopping bags from donated fabric and stocking them in a local grocery store. People who forget their bags can borrow one and bring it back for someone else to use. I wrote about it on the Authors for Earth Day blog. Tonight, we’ll be at the Shorewood Conservation Committee’s free screening of Bag It at 7 p.m. at the Shorewood Village Center. We'll talk about reusable shopping bags and our group’s efforts to reduce the use of unnecessary disposable plastic.

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!

If you get this error message

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Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has today's Poetry Friday Roundup at The Poem Farm. Enjoy!

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Day 5: Buckle Down Day & a Book Giveway!

          Do you ever bite off more than you
          can chew?
          Does your To-Do list flow beyond the page?
          Mine, too.
          Though all the old advice sounds trite,
          I figure it’s most likely right.
          There is no way around it—
          only through.


I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning. Can you tell? So I’m declaring this a Buckle Down Day. Wish me luck!

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!

If you get this error message

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And one more National Poetry Month resource: 30 ways to celebrate national poetry month from The Academy of American Poets. Enjoy!
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Day 4: Lalalalala & the Daily Book Giveaway!

          A song is running through my head.
          Been hearing it all day.
          Unfortunately, it’s the only thing
          my brain will play.

          A song is running through my head.
          It’s driving me insane.
          I have to find a way to shut off
          my annoying brain!

A song is running through my head.
There’s only one solution:
Replace it with a song that doesn’t
sound like ear pollution!



I almost always have a song playing in my head. One song might stick with me all day or be replaced by something better—or worse. Lately, many of the songs I’ve been singing to myself are songs I remember my mother singing. Today, I woke up with this one.

My brother-in-law swears by "Lemon Tree" as the best replacement for an earworm. I maintain that then I have to replace "Lemon Tree" with something else. Fortunately, I have lots of options!

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! Spread the word!

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For more poetry goodness, check out Jama Kim Rattigan's roundup of Poetry Month events. Enjoy!
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Day 3: Annual Duck Sighting & Daily Book Giveaway!

          neighborhood ducks
          flap into town—
          snow on its way


Ah, spring! Here in Wisconsin, it’s unpredictable. As I gazed out the window watching for inspiration, it flew by. Lucky me!

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. Be sure to include your email address with your comment—it won’t post, but I can see it. 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!

If you get this error message

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