Poetry Friday: Getting Ready for National Poetry Month

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It’s only thirty-seven days until April. Not only does April bring showers and May flowers, it brings us National Poetry Month?

I love this month. Actually every month is poetry month for me. I just finished be the chair for the CYBILS Poetry category and for the New Year, I participated in a haiku new year postcard exchange. I received over 20 postcards from around the world. Who said snail mail is dead.

For the fifth year, students from my school, illustrate postcards with their poems printed on them. We then send them throughout the word. I have a map in the hallway with red push pins to indicate where the poems are going.

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Last year, people started sending poems back so we posted those as well. It is not expected that people respond but I have to tell you that the students loved getting responses.

I am hoping that people will sign up again this year. If you do, feel free to fill out the form HERE

CONGRATS to Matt Forrest who won and ebook copy of The Late Bird by Greg Pincus. Matt email me.

Thanks to Sheri Doyle for hosting today.

Happy Reading.
MsMac

It’s Monday…What Are You Reading?

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In 2008, I was in the midst of taking the national boards for my teacher certification in library. In order to prepare for part of the exam, I immersed myself in Newbery Award audio books.

This meant listening to HATTIE BIG SKY by Kirby Larson. If you haven’t read it, run to your nearest library or books store and get it to read. I love historical fiction and stories of resilient young women.
Women with big dreams so this was a perfect book. I remember finishing it and wanting more. What would Hattie do next, I wondered. So I wrote the author and asked that she write the sequel. She politely responded and said she didn’t think that there would be a sequel.

But
Guess
What?

THERE IS!

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I just finished HATTIE EVER AFTER, the sequel. It doesn’t disappoint. We find Hattie pondering what to do. Go to Seattle, stay in Montana or choose to do something a bit exciting? When Hattie finds herself on the road to San Francisco with a traveling vaudeville act, Hattie discovers she might have that opportunity to pursue her journalism. It’s the early 1900’s and opportunities for young women are limited. And what about Charlie?

Loved it and hope you will too.
What are you reading? Find out what others are reading HERE.
Don’t forget to for a chance to win a copy of The LATE BIRD by Greg Pincus by commenting HERE.
Happy Monday.
Happy Reading.

MsMac

Poetry Friday: Doughnuts! Oh, Doughnuts! And a Giveaway

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I love doughnuts, especially French Cruellers. Greg makes me drool for one. Enter a comment and tell me your favorite doughnut to win a copy of Greg's ebook, The Late Bird. I will announce the winner next Friday.

Doughnuts! Oh, Doughnuts!
by
Gregory K.

Doughnuts! Oh, doughnuts! Fried circles of yum.
You food that I simply adore.
You’re sure not nutritious, but you’re so delicious
I’m always left wishing for more.

I love you with frosting or covered in sprinkles.
I swoon for you, sweet, sugar raised!
When you’re filled with jelly, you warm up my belly…
While still leaving room for a glazed.

I’ll dip you in coffee or dunk you in milk.
I’ll eat you for breakfast or brunch.
I get so impassioned for simple old-fashioned
That sometimes I make them my lunch.

Doughnuts! Oh, doughnuts! Definers of yum.
You perfect fried circles of dough.
Although you’re caloric, you leave me euphoric…
So give me a dozen to go!

Poetry Friday is hosted by none other than Linda At Teacher Dance. Thanks.

Happy Reading.
MsMac

And the Winner Is….

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If a book remains unopened
and no reader turns its page,
does it still embrace a story
or trap words inside a cage?

BookSpeak! celebrates all things books. One of our judges stated that it shows kids “how to look at a common object with new eyes.” Another said, “I love the many ‘voices’ she created within the book world.” A third judge noted, “when read aloud, I feel these poems have heaps of personality–and utility, too.”

Laura Purdie Salas explores reading, writing, stories, and book components in a wide variety of poetic forms, styles, and imaginative voices. From the lyrical “Skywriting” to the clever personification of “Index,” the poems flow from beginning to end, providing helpful models that young writers may enjoy exploring and imitating.

Josee’ Bisaillon’s use of collage, digital montage, and drawings complete the whole package. Complemented by a distinctive use of typeface and energetic and expressive illustrations, BookSpeak! is a book of book poems that readers of all ages will return to again and again.

No worries about words being trapped in this winning book!

Thank you to the following judges:
Linda Baie
Ed DeCaria
Renee La Tulippe
Diane Mayr
Sylvia Vardell

For the full list of the CYBILS Award winners visit HERE
Congratulations.

Happy Reading
msMac.

Interview Wednesday: Greg Pincus

Many know Greg at Gotta Book from KidlitCon. Last year, he published an ebook of poetry, The Late Bird. It was nominated for the CYBILS Award in poetry. He’s hear today to answer questions.

Your Reading Life

MsMac:What books are on your night stand?
Greg: My TBR list/pile is currently topped by The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (which was there before the Newbery!); The Way I See It by Temple Grandin, and the National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry compiled by J. Patrick Lewis.

MsMac:What was your favorite book as a child? What particular genre stands out?
Greg: As a wee youngster, I loved Munro Leaf’s Ferdinand, as read by my father. Later on, my favorite was probably Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean. As a kid, I was not a big reader, believe it or not, but when my mom started giving me books by folks like MacLean and Ludlum and Christie I found some favorites.

MsMac: Where’s your favorite reading spot?
Greg: We have a very comfy big, green chair in which I love to curl up and read.

Your Writing Life

MsMac: What does a day of work look like for you? What is your favorite time of day to write?

Greg: I love to write late at night until early in the morning. This runs into problems with getting up at 6:30 to get kids to school, however. I’ve tried to adapt! A typical day of work has a block of writing time carved out of the morning and one kinda late but not too late at night. I have made a request for an eighth day of the week devoted totally to writing. I will keep you posted.

MsMac: Thanks, Greg. I need that extra day as well.Writing the first draft or revising? Which is your favorite?

Greg: Whichever one I’m not currently doing! I love both parts in different ways… and curse their existence from time to time, too 🙂

MsMac: What does your writing space look like?
Greg: Currently, a mess. In general, my writing space is wherever my keyboard or yellow pad is. I don’t tend to see much else beyond that.

MsMac: What are your current projects?

Greg: Currently, I’m focused on the final t-crossings/i-dottings of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. – upcoming from Arthur A. Levine Books. I hope to put together another book of my poems, too, and am working on other novels and picture books plus finally diving into the companion book to 14 Fibs.

MsMac: That’s great, Greg. I love the Fibs and teach them, thanks to you. How does social media tie into your writing?

Greg: I view social media as a key part of both my writing and my writing career. For writing, I get support from friends, do research, and find and receive amazing and generous advice. For the career, I find that the connections and friendships from social media lead to incredible opportunities for all of us.

MsMac: What might readers find you doing when you’re not writing?
Greg: Hanging out with my kids and friends. Seeing a movie. Exploring Los Angeles. Searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

About The Late Bird

MsMac: Tell me a bit about this book. What was your process? Why did you choose to publish an ebook rather than print?

Greg: I had wanted to explore eBooks and self-publishing for some time, and The Late Bird seemed like a great way to do that. In traditional publishing, I’m incredibly excited to debut with my novel (that has some poems, by the way!), so I wanted to explore with something totally different. Most of the poems in The Late Bird had already been published on my blog, GottaBook, so I figured compiling them would be easy and fun and would lead, in my head at least, to a book about which I had zero sales expectations. That was key to me, as I wanted this project to be an exploration and learning experience while still offering up something I was proud of. I chose not to do print only because of my own deal with myself in terms of time management. I have had a surprising number of requests for print, however.

MsMac: I think a print book would be great. What do you hope readers/viewers take away?
Greg: Smiles, laughs, and an appreciation for or at least recognition of the fact that we all have different perspectives on the world.

Just for Fun

MsMac: Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Greg: Dark chocolate.

MsMac: Coffee or tea?
Greg: Coffee. With a side of dark chocolate.

MsMac: Dance: funky chicken or the tango?
Greg: I will be the guy watching others tango or do the funky chicken, ideally while drinking coffee and savoring a side of dark chocolate.

Favorite Quote:

Greg: Oh, boy. I have a zillion favorite quotes, and find new ones all the time. But since it ties into this interview nicely, I’ll pick a favorite from Madelyn L’Engle:

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

Come back Friday for Poetry Friday and a chance to win a copy of The Late Bird by Greg.
Happy Reading.
MsMac

Poetry Friday: When to Say Good-bye

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Last week’s poem Old Dog by William Stafford became an inspiration for me in 1996. My faithful cocker spaniel was sixteen and a half and led a fabulous life. Here’s my tribute to her:

When to Say Good-bye
Our days together were the ones we already had.
~William Stafford

I sit with my dog
on the kitchen floor;
watching and waiting for movement
of her midnight fur.
Is she breathing?
Barely.
When will I know it’s time?

She’s a relentless beggar
every meal at my feet.
But not aware
pheasant season is beginning.
She reminds cats, she’s
The Queen.
But
no longer howls at passing sirens
and wanders forgetting her way.

Seated on the kitchen floor,
my hand rests on fur.
I feel the rattle in her rising breath.
noticing its shallowness.
I smell her age,
a centenarian were she human.
Companion loyal all these years.
Her eyes speak,
it’s time, friend, it’s time.

Poetry Friday is held at Teaching Authors.  Thank you for hosting.

Happy Reading.

MsMac