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JoAnn's Blog

Day 17: Our Bed-Hogging Dog & a Book Giveaway!

          Sometimes, she stealthily sneaks aboard,
          and we find her there in the morning.
          More often, she clambers onto the bed
          with a wheezy, whiny warning.

          Somehow, she knows when we’re both too tired
          to defend our meager space.
          She’ll carelessly land on a leg or a hand
          with her nose in somebody’s face.

          She’ll burrow beneath the blankets.
          She’ll wriggle, she’ll shove, and she’ll snore—
          our seventy-two-pound Rosy,
          the bed-hogging dog we adore!


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 16: Migration Advice & a Book Giveaway!

          Note to Birds and Butterflies

          If you’re migrating north
          with a plan for a feast
          of young bugs or fresh greenery,
          turn around!
          Circle back!
          Stay as far as you can
          from our winter white scenery!


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 15: Daily Inspiration & a Book Giveaway!

          November snow is a pleasant surprise.
          Everyone wants to go play.
          December snow adds a festive feel
          to a winter holiday.
          In January, shoveling
          is part of our daily routine.
          In February, everyone dreams of
          a springy change of scene.
          By March, we’re all growing weary
          of blizzardy gusts of snow.
          In April?
          In April?
          Oh,

          no.


So far this month, I’ve written a new poem each morning for National Poetry Month. From the beginning, I’ve told myself that I could always post an old poem if I couldn’t find a good idea. Today’s inspiration was unavoidable. It swirled all around. And there’s no point in shoveling yet—it’s still coming down!

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 14: Last Night, This Morning, & a Book Giveaway

          outside our window
          house finches shelter
          in bare Rose of Sharon
          tree limbs block the driveway
          pinecones litter the lawn
          wind roared through my dreams

          what happened last night


I went to bed worried last night and woke up feeling obligated to check the news even though part of me did not want to know what happened overnight. I stayed in bed as long as the dog let me, walked her in the rain, and started writing this before I looked.

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 13: Poetic License & a Book Giveaway!

          I’m applying for my poetic license.
          The paperwork’s due today.
          I’m gathering poems and filling out forms
          and figuring out what to say.

          I’m applying for my poetic license.
          I’m nervous about the test.
          I have a feeling the judges won’t be
          easily impressed.

          I’m applying for my poetic license.
          I’ve brainstormed and scribbled and scanned,
          grateful to every poet who
          has held out a helping hand!


Happy birthday to Lee Bennett Hopkins, whose helping hand has reached out to spread poetry joy around the world!

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!

Robyn Hood Black has today's Poetry Friday Roundup and a celebration for Lee Bennett Hopkins at Life on the Deckle Edge. Enjoy!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Day 2: What's That? Book Giveaway #2!


     What’s that flying from the tree?
     A kite? Balloon? A flag?
     Take a closer look and see:
     another plastic bag!


Especially since I wrote an educational book for kids about plastic, I’ve noticed it everywhere. There’s a bag flapping in a tree across the street that I can see from my window as I write this. Because it's such an important environmental issue, I'll come back to it again later this month. Stop by and see!

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 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 1: What's with the Weather? & Book Giveaway #1

I woke up this morning, grabbed a cup o' coffee, checked the weather forecast, and changed my plan for today’s post.


          The weather here’s a little cool.
          Is this a joke? If so, it’s cruel!
          I’m wrapping up in layers, hoping
          someone will say, “April Fool!”


I'm celebrating National Poetry Month by 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 winner at random 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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National Poetry Month & Book Giveaway Start Tomorrow!

Happy National Poetry Month!

Starting tomorrow, I'll celebrate by 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.

If you don't win right away, please check back later in the month--I'll have 31 copies to share!

And if you try to post and get this error message

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The View from Our Kitchen

              Through the Window

              Woodpecker tilts his head
                       flash of red
                       banded cheek
                       pointed beak
              pecks at the suet
              peeks in the window
              watches me watching him
                       cautiously motionless
                       watching him watching me
                       taking in that feathered scene
              both of us filling up

              JoAnn Early Macken



Buffy Silverman has today's Poetry Friday Roundup at Buffy's Blog. Enjoy!

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Recipe for Morning

              Recipe for Morning

              One dog
              One sunrise-red sky
              One wind-chilled field
              One ball—watch it fly!
              One scramble-sprint-leap
              One catch dropped at my feet

              Repeat

              JoAnn Early Macken



This poem was inspired by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s “Recipe for Joy." Check it out and try your own recipe poem.

Amy's new book Read! Read! Read! brought back memories of reading comics, road signs, and cereal boxes. Enjoy!

Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Random Noodling.

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Evidence (A DMC Challenge Poem)

One way to find tiny monarch caterpillars on milkweed leaves is to look for their characteristic C-shaped chewprints.

I wrote this poem as a response to editor Carol Hinz's November 2017 Ditty of the Month Club challenge for Michelle Heidenrich Barnes's blog, Today's Little Ditty. The challenge was to write a poem that finds beauty in something not usually considered beautiful. Visit the padlet to read all the inspiring poems.

              Evidence

              Something is eating the milkweed plants,
              nibbling them naked,
              stripping the garden bare.
              Something is chomping this tattered leaf.
              It left its mark in the shape of a C—
              C for chewing
                       and crawling
                                 and caterpillar
                                           and cheering!
              Hooray! The monarchs are here!

              JoAnn Early Macken



Mary Lee Hahn is hosting Poetry Friday at A Year of Reading. Enjoy!

Whoops, I forgot this at first: For more monarch info and photos, see my Monarch page.

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Spring in Wisconsin


                                                            Cold, damp, dreary day.
                                                            Robin’s sunny reminder:
                                                            Cheeriup! Cheer up!

                                                            JoAnn Early Macken

Happy National Poetry Month! Happy Poetry Friday! Tabatha Yeatts is hosting the roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.

Next week, I'll host the Poetry Friday Roundup at the Teaching Authors blog. Enjoy!

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Owls, After the Storm

              Nightly Owl Check

              We heard their gentle hoots before we found
              the great horned silhouettes in their new tree,
              one doting parent tearing prey apart
              to feed their fluffy feather duster chick.

              Too young to fly, it must have fallen when
              the storm hit their dilapidated nest,
              now draped like curtains down the old tree’s trunk.

              The crows cried out their warnings all day long.
              They must have seen the flapping owlet climb.
              We missed it, but all’s well. We head back home.

              JoAnn Early Macken



Happy National Poetry Month! Happy Poetry Friday! The roundup is at Dori Reads. Enjoy!



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Daffodils!

              Gravitational Pull

              A constellation of daffodils
              brightens our dining room table,
              stems aligned in a spiral ascending
              to petal stars.

              We cluster around,
              planets in orbit,
              drawn to the light.

              JoAnn Early Macken



Happy National Poetry Month! Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Live Your Poem. Enjoy!

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Pre-Poetry Month Poem


trampled soccer field—
scilla defends muddy turf
along slim sidelines



I'll be posting new poems here for National Poetry Month from time to time throughout April. I saw these early spring flowers and couldn't wait to start!

Be sure to check out all the Poetry Friday posts! Today's Roundup is at The Poem Farm.

You can see all the 2017 Roundups here.

On April 28, I'll host the Poetry Friday Roundup on the Teaching Authors blog. Stop in and visit!


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SCBWI-Wisconsin 2016 Fall Conference Links


I'm speaking on Sunday afternoon at the 2016 SCBWI-Wisconsin Fall Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Instead of creating a handout, I'm posting the links from my talk, "Three Routes to Publishing and a Few Side Trips."

Trade Books

2016 SCBWI Market Surveys:
- Publishers of Books for Young Readers
- International Market Survey
- Edited By
- Small Press Market Survey
- Religious Press Market Survey
The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children
(SCBWI members only; log in first.)

Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (CWIM), Writer’s Digest Books

Who's Moving Where? News and Staff Changes at Children's Book Publishers by Harold Underdown (The Purple Crayon)

Educational Books

SCBWI Educational Press Market Survey
The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children
(SCBWI members only; log in first.)

Evelyn B. Christensen’s Education Market Resources:
Tips for Writing for the Education Market
and
Educational Markets for Children's Writers

Self-Published Books

“Self-Publish or Not?”
by Harold Underdown (The Purple Crayon)

Self-Publishing Company Web Sites:
Lulu
Blurb
CreateSpace (Amazon)
Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing
Fast Pencil
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble's Pub-It! (NOOK Press)
Lightning Source (now Ingram’s)

“Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book” by Jane Friedman

“Self-Publishing Preview: 2016” by Jennifer McCartney, Publishers Weekly

“Self-Publishing: Best Practices” by Deborah Halverson and Randal Morrison
The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children
(SCBWI members only; log in first.)

Magazines

SCBWI Magazine Market Guide
The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children
(SCBWI members only; log in first.)

“Writing for Children's Magazines” by Evelyn B. Christensen

Test Passages

ACT
Scroll down to “Freelance and Item Writing Positions”

Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE)

Educational Testing Service (ETS):
AP, CLEP, GRE, NAEP, PSAT, SAT, and more

Pearson

Good luck!

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Orchid Spray

              Star-shaped, dawn-colored,
              freckle-faced flowers
              perch on their branch
              like a flock of finches
              peering over each other's shoulders.



This week's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Today's Little Ditty. Enjoy!

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Open the Door!


In a few weeks, I'll be heading to a part of the country I've never visited before to take part in Western Washington University's Poetry Camp. I'm excited about the trip and the people I'll meet there--fellow poet/presenters whose poems are included in the Poetry Friday Anthology series compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong and the audience of teachers, librarians, and writers.

This summer has been loaded with distractions, so on a recent trip to the library, I grabbed an armload of poetry books to study so I could focus on poetry again. I started with Ted Kooser, whose work feels so comfortable, comforting, and at the same time eye-opening. I read his sweet Valentines and then his brilliant Delights and Shadows. That one made me want to write a bit, so I contributed a quick draft to Laura Purdie Salas's 15 Words or Less Poems yesterday. I felt a little bit like a poet again.

Today, I started my morning with Mary Oliver's Owls and Other Fantasies. Here's what jumped out at me:

         ...Listen, everyone has a chance.
         Is it spring, is it morning?

         Are there trees near you,
         and does your own soul need comforting?
         Quick, then--open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
         may already be drifting away.

         --from "Such Singing in the Wild Branches"

and

         ...Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

         even in the leafless winter,
         even in the ashy city.
         I am thinking now of grief, and getting past it;

         I feel my boots
         trying to leave the ground,
         I feel my heart
         pumping hard. I want

         to think again of dangerous and noble things.
         I want to be light and frolicsome.
         I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
         as though I had wings.

         --from "Starlings in Winter"

I'm always looking for something when I read; often, I don't know what. I found something today in the poems quoted here and also in "Yes! No!"

         "To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work."

Always a good thing to remember, I think, both for writing and for life.

Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at The Poem Farm. Enjoy!

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Happy National Poetry Month!

our new puppy Rosy


It's April again--hooray! Last year, I wrote a haiku a day; you can read all thirty poems in the April 2015 Archive. This year, with deadlines and school visits claiming my attention, I decided to focus on reading more poetry. I've posted an old favorite dog poem on the Teaching Authors blog for National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Enjoy!
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Lake Michigan, Winter


                                            Bundle up. Be bold.
                                            Walk through winter's biting teeth.
                                            Your reward: this view.

Click to enlarge the photo. You'll see why this park is my favorite walking destination, even in winter.
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Peace on Earth

              

                                    silence falls from clouds
                                    hush floats past frosty windows
                                    quiet builds soft drifts

I love how snow muffles sound and makes everything still, at least for a while. Wishing everyone a moment of joyful stillness. Happy holidays!

This week's Poetry Friday Roundup is at
Live Your Poem with Irene Latham. Enjoy!

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Echoing e. e. cummings


I've loved the playful, joyful poetry of e.e. cummings since as far back as I can remember—high school? College? I know that my collections of his work are all worn and tattered. So when I read that the Poetry Sisters challenged themselves to write poems in his style, I decided to try it, too. They each chose a particular poem to echo; I just wrote. Here's mine:

earlier than
     bustle
(coffee, frontporch, spiderwebs shimmering)
dog stares at passersby
     (what is she thinking?)
i fill my
     heart
with chirps, tweets, & twitters
justforthismoment
     harmony reigns
only thing
     m i s s i n g
          is You



The Poetry Sisters are Liz Garton Scanlon, Laura Purdie Salas, Tricia Stohr-Hunt, Sara Lewis Holmes, Kelly Ramsdell Fineman, Andromeda Jazmon Sibley, and Tanita S. Davis.

You can hear them all reading their poems
here. Enjoy!



 
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Baby Says "Moo!" Book Giveaway!


Today's the big day! Baby Says "Moo!" (Disney-Hyperion Books) is now a padded board book, so let's have a giveaway! To enter, leave a comment here by midnight on Wednesday, June 10. The Random Number Generator will choose a winner. Good luck!
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Haiku a Day: Day 30 (4/30/15)

              thinking in haiku
              everything I say spills out
              5, 7, 5



Focusing on nature and the present to write haiku has really helped me appreciate spring this year. I've enjoyed every day of National Poetry Month. Hope you have, too!

Don't forget to enter to win an autographed copy of Write a Poem Step by Step--today's the last day!

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Haiku a Day: Day 26 (4/26/15)

              Juncos disappear
              before chimney swifts return.
              On your way, juncos!



Here in Wisconsin, I always see my first chimney swift of the year around April 30 or May 1. This video is from a few years ago. I'm watching the skies!

Find out from eBird when chimney swifts might arrive in your neighborhood!

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