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Thoughts, opinions, and ramblings about (broadly) children's literature from my perspectives as a writer, parent, and volunteer elementary school librarian. Oh yeah, and poetry of all sorts... with lots and lots of Fibs.
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1. Fine Advice

I've often been asked by kids about what they should do with their writing (or by parents of kids asking what their kids should do with their writing). Jane Friedman's blog post today gives some great advice, and since I suspect some of you get asked this question, too (or are asking it yourselves!), it was worth passing on.

It's also great advice for any of us contemplating our own writing, frankly!

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2. Things I Resolve To Do This Year - a New Year's resolutions poem

Things I Resolve To Do This Year
by
Greg Pincus

Write lots.
Read tons.
Exercise.

Give back.
Show love.
Compromise.

Question.
Challenge.
Stick to facts.

Practice
Random
Kindness acts.

Speak up.
Fear less.
Boldly leap.

Work hard.
Be good.
Get more sleep.


Happy New Year, first of all! And that the year begins with Poetry Friday has to be a good omen, I figure. You can see the first Roundup of the year over at A Year of Reading... and look forward to 51 more before 2016 comes to a close (extra day and all!).

I wish you all a year full of peace, joy, good health... and the perfect number of desserts.

And if you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!


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3. The SCBWI Book Launch Party!

Wanna join in a huge old book party? Sure you do, because books!

The SCBWI has put together a Book Launch Party where well over 400 books/authors are celebrating launches (of books out in 2015). There's information galore, videos, personal messages, and tons of giveaways, too. You can like the pages, click around, buy the books, and... well... celebrate kids' books in general.

Come meet me over there - I'll be the guy looking for cake!



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4. Thankful - a Poetry Re-Issue

Seems like the right day to dust this off for the first time in seven years....

THANKFUL
by
Greg Pincus

You ask me what I'm thankful for....
I hope I don't sound jerky,
But I'm really, truly thankful that I wasn't born a turkey!


I'm also thankful for all of you who are part of my life (virtual, in person, wherever/however it might be.). I wish you and yours a day of peace, joy, and dessert!

If you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!


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5. Peanuts and Me

A few weeks ago, the "Peanutize yourself" meme zipped through Facebook - a way for you to turn your photo into a Peanuts character from the upcoming animated movie. I peanutized myself more literally in response.

But what I didn't discuss at the time is that, well, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that I read because of the Peanuts gang. I read the books. I re-read the books. I knew the characters intimately. I learned about interpersonal relationships, empathy, sports, Sopwith Camels, and the simple joys of suppertime.

Sure, I read other things like, I dunno, Dr. Seuss (longtime readers of the blog must be shocked by this revelation!). Yet when I think of childhood reading, it's always Peanuts first.

What's amazing to me is that here decades later, some people still debate the value of comics and graphic novels. Luckily for me, my mom and dad were not among the doubters.

A few of my Peanuts books, still on my shelf.

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6. The Shared Lament of Students and Teachers on the Passing of Time - a back to school poem

The Shared Lament of Students and Teachers on the Passing of Time
by
Greg Pincus

It's the end of summer.
Bummer.


(For those of you for whom this sentiment and/or the season do not apply, my apologies.)

It's Poetry Friday, even as the summer dwindles away, and you can find this week's roundup of posts over at My Juicy Little Universe (where Heidi, too, has a poetic commentary about summer and school).


And if you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

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7. Popping Off About Comics and Reading Level

Yes, indeed I am talking comics, reading level, and what's "appropriate." But I'm not doing it here. No! I'm over at the Darby Pop blog, Beyond the Cover.

Go on, check it out - Ka-Boom!

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8. Happy Anniversary, #kidlitchat!


If you're around tonight at 9PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific, I hope you'll swing on by Twitter and say "hello!" at #kidlitchat. We're celebrating our sixth (!!!!!) anniversary tonight, ya see....

When Bonnie Adamson and I first started the chat, I assure you we had no idea we'd still be going six years later. In fact, I don't think we really had a clue if we'd be still be chatting six weeks later! But here we are, and we're hoping you'll stop on by.

#kidlitchat happens every Tuesday, by the way (at 9 PM Eastern, etc.), so if you can't make it this week... another time. Who knows? We may still be going six years from now....

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9. Consult with Me in LA at the SCBWI Summer Conference



For the second year in a row, I'll be offering social media consultations at the big old SCBWI Summer Conference. If you're attending the event (and it's a great event), you can add me on just like you would a manuscript consultation. Last year, I filled up... but as of now, you can still sign up (until July 20th) as long as you're registered.

You can read all sorts of details about the consults courtesy of Lee Wind's posting at the SCBWI blog.  The short version is that the consult is designed to help you use your time online efficiently and effectively (and without stress, if possible). If you have unlimited time in your life, don't sign up. But if time, money, energy, and frustration levels are limited... this could be for you!

(In any case, by the way, if you're at the Conference, please say 'hi'!)

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10. Happy National Donut Day! (a poem re-issue enclosed)

It's once again National Donut Day and Poetry Friday at the same time. That means it's time to dust off a poem (originally published back in 2009 and re-issued before, I know. But DOUGHNUTS!)

Doughnuts! Oh, Doughnuts!
by
Greg Pincus

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!


Now it's time to go fill up on something else delicious - the Poetry Friday roundup (as hosted this week on Buffy's Blog (and featuring a lot of original odes among many other fabulous things)).

(By the way, you can find this poem and 53 others in my collection The Late Bird, available on Kindle (and all the free Kindle apps, too) and Nook. I so rarely mention The Late Bird... but there ya go! It goes well with doughnuts, ya see....)


If you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

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11. Trailer! Bookreels! Award Nomination! Stuff!

Well, if I had timbers, I think they'd be shivered with my surprise at finding the 14 Fibs of Gregory K. book trailer nominated for the Best Children's Bookreel award over at Bookreels. The winners are announced next week (and competition is tough, at least to my eye).

I am, as many of you know, quite partial to the trailer and the song in it. And no, it's not just cuz I'm a "Gregory K." too and thus now have a song. Nope. It's just that I think Andrew did a great job capturing the book in song form.

Anyway, you should watch all the nominated trailers if you have any interest in book trailers as there are some really fabulous ones nominated. (There's more at Bookreels, too, beyond the nominees, including a whole Children's section and a Young Adult section, too.

And while I'd love you to go watch my trailer over at Bookreels so that it seems super popular, I'm gonna post it right here because, darn it, it makes me happy!


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12. Three End of the School Year (or Summer Vacation) Poems

Happy Poetry Friday... and happy "school is almost over!!!!"

I figured it was the right time of year to link to the three end-of-the-school-year type of poems I've written and posted here. And just for fun... I'm including the first couple lines or so of each. Just click on the titles to see the whole poems.

(And if you're already done for the year or not dealing with school anymore, well, just try to enjoy 'em anyway, I say to you. And don't gloat!)

Hello, Summer!

Goodbye, classroom!
Goodbye, Teach!
You can find me at the beach...
Or in the park or at the pool
Or any place that isn’t school.


Counting Down (Always)

Counting down
Time goes slow...
Six long days of school to go.


It's June (And I Am Still In School)

I’ll tell you something most uncool –
It’s June… and I am still in school.


Not enough poetry? Too much? The wrong poems? Why not go check out the Poetry Friday roundup this week, hosted over at Reflections on the Teche.

And  if you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

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13. Me and Sasquatch (No Fib!)

I'm honored, excited, pleased, and many other adjectives to learn that The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. is a nominee for the 2015-16 Sasquatch Award, courtesy of the Washington Library Media Association!

Being recognized by librarians totally rocks... and to find myself alongside these other authors and their books? Flattering beyond words. I mean seriously... check these out (image of the covers put together by Librarian Arika (on whose blog I first saw the news)):


Yes, honored indeed. And to know that kids will be exploring our books (in order to vote for a winner) is rather incredible gravy. Because really, at the end of the day, I think I can speak for all the authors and librarians involved in this or any similar award: kids + stories = win!

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14. Seven Incredible Things a Poem Can Do! (The Third One Blew Me Away!)


Seven Incredible Things a Poem Can Do!
(The Third One Blew Me Away!)
by
Greg Pincus

A poem can tickle your senses.
A poem can capture a scene.
A poem can fill you with sorrow and joy
And every emotion between.

A poem can hammer out justice.
A poem can plant a truth's seed.
A poem can conjure up healing and hope.
A poem can be what you need.


Is there still a place for a poem in a world full of widely shared, attention grabbing content? Of course there is, particularly with the right title! Seriously, though, poetry was widely shared and attention grabbing for thousands of years before "meme" was even coined, and it's still going strong.

National Poetry Month is coming to a close today, but poetry goes on and on and does soooo many incredible things all the time. So celebrate poetry always. Share it widely. Because sometimes, a poem can be exactly what you need.

If you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe:

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15. I've Bean Too Quiet....

I've been a little quiet here on the blog this poetry month, but if you've run into me elsewhere, you have likely heard me talking about S&W Premium Beans fantastic poetry book giveaway.

Yes, you can win 17 autographed poetry books (including my novel with poetry, The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., as well as books by Nikki Grimes and Linda Sue Park and Lee Wardlaw and and and!!!!!). How can you have a chance at winning 'em?

Submit a bean poem by the end of the month for a chance! It's that easy!

Details are at their Facebook page. It's Super&Welcome that a big company is pushing poetry, don't you think? I do!

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16. Walk On - a walking poem

Walk On
by
Greg Pincus

When thumbtacks are strewn on the paths we must tread,
When sharp, jagged rocks are behind and ahead,
When we have to walk over freezing, slick snow,
When puddles of liquid hide dangers below,
When we cross hot pavement or scorching, red coals...
These are the times that will try all our soles.


And you're thinking "he really went there in National Poetry Month and on Poetry Friday?" And, well, yes... he did! If you're still craving more, the good news is that you can see what else is out there, too, if you head on over to No Water River to see this week's Poetry Friday roundup. There's great stuff posted there (including Renee's description of what Poetry Friday is and how to be a part of it).

And if you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe:

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17. Come Say "Hi!" at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!

If you're in Los Angeles on Saturday the 18th, I hope you'll come say "hi" to me at the LA Times Festival of Books.

I'll be signing copies of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. at the SCBWI booth (that's booth 834) from 12-2. I'll have a few copies available for sale, cash only, or you can bring your own copy OR you can just stop by and say hi because, well, because "hi!!!"

As if that's not enough, you can come see me earlier on Saturday at the Darby Pop booth (booth 066) where I'll also be signing, but in this case, I'll be signing copies of Indestructible... a comic book whose main character happens to be named Greg Pincus. Honest! The creator of the book and some of the amazing artists will be there, too (all weekend, actually), so please check 'em out.

The LATFOB, as it's lovingly known, is a great place to spend some time. There are soooo many amazing children's literature folk will be there that I know I'll be spending all afternoon chatting (and buying, too). I hope to see you there!

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18. Clothes Don't Make the Poet...

But they DO make a good post, I tell ya!

Last week, Tabatha was nice enough to feature some of my poetry over at Author Amok (which you should be and maybe are reading already, of course, so if you already saw the post, forgive me). It's a post that features a few of my clothing-related poems and much more (and is part of a larger feature on clothing/poetry that you should be checking out (as per my prior parenthetical)). I hope you'll check it out....


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19. Vacation Timekeeping - a vacation poem

Vacation Timekeeping
by
Greg Pincus

Time flies on school vacation!
Up 'til now I'd found that true.
But this time 'round, I have to say,
I found that my time flu.


Just for the record, this poem is (thankfully) not autobiographical. It's just some silliness, I tell ya!

This week's Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Tabatha over at The Opposite of Indifference. Check it out for all sorts of poetry fun.

And if you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe:

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20. Me! A Podcast! And Alley Cats Strike!




Did you know that there is a podcast called the DCOM Podcast, all about the Disney Channel Original Movies (specifically the ones that hosts Eve and Matt remember and are now re-watching and analyzing)? Well, it's true! Why am I mentioning this, you ask?

It just so happens that I wrote the movie Alley Cats Strike for the Disney Channel, and I had a great conversation with Eve about it. It's now available and worth a listen (if, that is, you have any interest in Alley Cats Strike, the old Disney Channel movies, and how many writing decisions get made for different projects, and, very specifically, how I came up with "Delia's shot" towards the end of the film. Or if you're my mom or a relative, of course!).

It was great fun to revisit an project from the past and think about what I might do differently now and, honestly, what still works well. Thanks, Eve, for finding me. And I hope y'all will check out the podcast in general and its tumblr.

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21. Hate the Villanelle!

Probably the first poetry song I've ever posted here, courtesy of They Might Be Giants.

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22. That Was Then.... - a language poem/a stressed out poem

That Was Then...
by
Greg Pincus

I worried and tutted. My muscles contracted.
I stressed and was anxious.  My nerves felt compacted.
I got quite upset, and it didn't make sense....
I'm present right now but back then was past tense.


Would you believe that today marks 9 full years of blogging here at Gottabook? Yep. My first post was February 21st, 2006, so this is the end of year nine. Where does the time go???? Thanks to all of you who frequent these parts. Blogging wouldn't be much fun without you!

I can truly think of no better way to celebrate my blogoversary  than by jumping into Poetry Friday, a community event that keeps me happy week after week. Go check out the roundup of this week's Poetry Friday posts over at Teacherdance and you'll see why.

And if you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe:

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23. Thanks, Cybils!

Sure, I've been doing this nine years, but I still find it surprising and flattering to be a featured blogger anywhere... and even more so when it's at the Cybils' site.

I love the Cybils, have been part of them in a few different ways (a judge the very first year, in fact!), and look forward to watching the award continue to gain the prestige it deserves. I hope you'll go check out my interview there (thanks, Melissa!) and then poke around the site. There's features on other great kidlit bloggers, amazing lists of books, and much more.

Plus you'll get to see a picture of me with a llama. 'Nuff said.


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24. The Drought of March - a poetry poem

The Drought of March
by
Greg Pincus

There isn't a doubt:
It's a poetry drought.

My wordplay is weak.
My images - bleak.
My pacing feels weary,
My word choices dreary.
My assonance? Blah.
And consonance? Ha!
My rhyme's a disgrace.
My meter's a bit inconsistent.
My similes whiff.
And zeugmas? As if!
My output's pathetic.
I'm just not poetic.

Oh! April's sweet showers
Please rebirth the powers
That March has neglected
(This one verse excepted).


I think I should dedicate today's poem to Ms. Harris, my 11th grade English teacher who made all her students memorize the first 18 lines of the prologue to The Canterbury Tales.  In Middle English. To be recited. Yes, in Middle English.

Many years later, the first four lines still rattle around in my head... and somehow, someway gave birth to this poem's title and close. I hereby apologize for thinking that this bit of memorization would never pay dividends.

Now, while I might be in a drought, there's been no such dry spell online. Don't believe me? Well, check out this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at Reading to the Core. Believe me now? I thought so.

And if you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe:

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25. National. Poetry. Month!

Ahhh, April! You come in with Foolishness and sustain us with poetry all month long.

This year here at Gottabook... well... there is no master plan for celebrating the month. I have put a pin in 30 Poets/30 Days for now, though it may very well be back in 2016. And this year, unlike when I began here in 2006, I'm not posting an original poem a day, either. There will be poetry love here during the month, no doubt, but there's not an ongoing thang.

Luckily, throughout the kidlitosphere, many others are celebrating in big, clear ways, so I'm going to send you to this great list of fun goings-on compiled by Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

I look forward to seeing you here, there, and everywhere during April (and beyond)!

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