The books are intended for PreK-Grade 2 readers. Through leveled text, kids will experience 'a day in the life' of each farm animal. The photographs are absolutely stunning and feature cows grazing in fields, pigs at play, and horses in action. Kids will learn interesting facts like how soon after birth a calf can stand, why pigs like to roll in mud, and how tall the biggest horses are.
Throughout the process of writing my novel, I stopped in my tracks and tried walking in another direction. At other times, I slipped off my main character’s shoes and walked a mile or two in the shoes of other characters, which helped me think outside of the first person perspective. To achieve all of this, I opened up a new ‘experimental’ document. This technique worked on two levels. First, when something felt a little ‘off’ in the direction a character decided to take in my original document, I could still move forward knowing in the back of my mind that I could experiment later. Sometimes the ‘off’ feeling was smoothed over once I wrote a little more and realized why my character needed to do/say what he or she did. Having that ‘experimental document’ just sitting on my desktop, waiting to be opened, allowed me to move forward with a possibly iffy decision. But then if that off feeling only worsened, that’s when I’d turn to the experimental document. Writing in the openness of the new document, allowed my character the freedom to feel out or test other trails, stumble upon new things she hadn’t known about herself.
Having the safety net of the original just sitting there for me to go back to allowed for risk-taking. I
Writing my novel has been a process of ‘two steps forward, one step back’ because I was not able to take the advice of some writers and just plunge forward without looking back. I did turn around and ponder. I sometimes second-guessed the motives or choices of my characters. I challenged them to take risks. I tried different approaches to scenes. As I wrote and I changed something about a character, or about the plot, I couldn’t help myself from going back and making related changes throughout the novel as I wrote the first draft. I revised as I went along. I took breaks. I set the manuscript aside often to gain perspective. After two years of working this way, I finally finished a first draft of my YA novel. At first, I was in shock. My reaction? No reaction. Again, I put the manuscript to the side and took a deep breath. I exhaled. And then, a few days later, came a great sense of satisfaction. Not that my novel is anywhere near perfect or ready for submission but this first draft is complete. It is currently 68, 696 words and 242 pages in length. Now, as I wait for feedback from a few people, I am hoping to develop some emotional distance from the novel so that I can be as open as possible to critiques. In a week or so, after absorbing feedback, I’ll move on to another round of revisions. When you finish a first draft of a piece of writing, how do you prepare yourself for the next stage of revision?
It's actually Sunday, April 29th where I am but Blogger's time zone, I just realized, is Pacific Daylight Time so this post will come up as Saturday, April 28th. I am still up at midnight so I decided to post now.
I’ve had so much fun discovering a new line in the Progressive Poem each day this month! Thanks again, Irene
, for organizing this.
Kick off your silver slippers A hanky, here, now dry your tears And fill your glass with wine Now, pour. The parchment has secrets Smells of a Moroccan market spill out. You have come to the right place, just breathe in.
10 Comments on Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem - Day 29, last added: 4/30/2012
I’m a little late getting my Poetry Friday post up but it’s still Friday and I had a lot of fun putting this together.
This week, I played around with some ideas for found poems. From what I understand, a found poem is one created out of words and phrases that are pulled from another work. The words and phrases are then placed together to create something entirely new and unique.
A poem can be ‘found’ in a speech, a song, a letter, a manual, an advertisement, a newspaper article, or in any written text.
Here is a found poem I created out of a rejection letter.
thank you for
And here is a found poem I created from an acceptance letter.
we will run around the world
Here’s a found poem I created out of some album titles.
1 Comments on Poetry Friday: Found Poetry, last added: 4/29/2012
Have you discovered Poem Flow? Last week, while browsingthe pages at poets.org
, I read all about this app. and downloaded it for free.I’ve enjoyed a poem daily on my iPhone but now have reached the limit with atotal of 20 poems stored in my library. Today I was alerted that I could purchase 100 more poems for 99cents.
The app. is for the iPhone or iPod Touch but I also noticedthat if you go to PoemFlow.com you can “get involved even without an appledevice.”
You can find out more about it here
I enjoy the ‘flow.’ When I click on a poem while myiPhone is turned on its side, the words appear and disappear on my screen in a‘flow’ of words. Held upright, the phone displays the full poem.
Here are a few screen shots:
From “Haunted” by Naomi Shihab Nye:
From “Ghost Elephants” by Jean Valentine:
Although, I'm going to have a busy month finishing up my novel,working on a nonfiction project, and trying to prepare a picture book forsubmission, I'm going to try to get a daily dose of poetry. There are so manypoetry activities going on throughout the blogging world. You can find a greatlist of events at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.
Sap is already flowing in the local sugar bushes because of the warmer weather. It will be interesting to see how long 'the run' lasts this year.
My poem "Sounds Like Maple Syrup" appears in the March 2012 issue of Highlights High Five.
I was so thrilled to see Jim Bernardin's beautiful illustrations. Don't you just love that dog?
Laura is hosting Poetry Friday here .
I’ve had a slower start to the year as I completed a nonfiction project that consumed me for the entire fall season. What also resulted for me was a forced distance from my creative work. The break from my YA novel and my poetry picture book has had some benefits. Over the last several days, I’ve given myself a little time to reflect. I’ve been going back and reading my novel and my picture book with fresh eyes. I’ve gained a new perspective that I think I need in order to make it to the finish line. Now to settle in for some serious work. Wish me luck! Both books are almost complete. Taking the time for reflection can feel like a gift to the self. Have you given yourself any of that good stuff lately? I highly recommend it. It’s the best response to chaos that I can think of. The tortoise and the hare come to mind. Slow and steady will be my approach this year. My 2012 perspective – see the world with fresh eyes.
Over the last several weeks, I have been working hard to meet a few deadlines so I have had to set my blog on the back burner. I hope to establish a blogging schedule this month because I really enjoy connecting with other writers through these posts and the posts of other bloggers. I’m wondering how all of you do it. How do you juggle the demands of life, work, and writing, and still manage to squeeze in time for blogging? Do you find that a blogging schedule helps? I have been so immersed in my writing projects that when I do pop up and out of the world of words it really does feel like I am coming up for air. Just recently I emerged and realized that all of the books that I’d taken out of the library for research are overdue. When you have twenty-two books on loan, it doesn’t take long for the fines to be outrageous! I renewed all of them but I am left with a hefty fine. Oh, the guilt. Is it okay to think of library fines as a kind of good donation to the library? Having cards for two different library systems just complicates everything! I set up my accounts so that I would receive email notifications when my books are due. For some reason, I didn’t receive a notification for these books. That’s not an excuse. Maybe I should write down the due dates in my day planner. Do any of you know of a way to ensure that books are returned by or renewed before the due date?
I just signed up for the "Third Writers' Platform Building Campaign" over at Rach Writes!
It sounds like a great way to connect with other writers so I hope you'll join us for all the fun.
I just finished reading More Writers First Aid: Getting the Writing Done
by Kristi Holl. The timing is perfect. The end of February(and “February’s Writing Blues”) couldn’t be shrugged off faster than with this motivating book. It’s March now – spring is just around the corner and I’ve started the month off on the right foot, thanks to Kristi’s book filled to the brim with helpful tips on getting the most out of a writing life.
I’m working on developing some of the good habits discussed in the book. For example, I’m practicing ‘mindfulness’ in my approach to my work. I’m using Kristi’s tips on time management, organization, prioritizing, and goal-setting. Kristi also covers the emotional side of writing, focusing on how to tap into positive thinking in response to dealing with fear and guilt. She offers practical strategies to deal with rejections and setbacks.
Kristi is like a writer’s very own life coach. Through More Writers First Aid
, Kristi offers loads of wisdom based on her years of experience as a successful author who has also faced many of the same career and life challenges that all writers face in one way or another.
To learn more about More Writers First Aid: Getting the Writing Done
, click here
To visit the Amazon Kindle page, click here
The Kidlit4Japan Auction began today at 9 AM EDT. The is such a great way for the kid's lit community to come together and provide some aid for the victims of the recent Sendai earthquake and tsunami. To see how it all works, please visit Children's Authors & Illustrators for Japan
I am kicking off Poetry Month by visiting Poetry Friday posts. Round up is at The Poem Farm.
I am also going to head over and buy a PoetryTagTime ebook. (It's only 99 cents!)
There is still a little time left to enter the Writing for Children Competition.
Details below or visit The Writers' Union of Canada for more information.
Entry Fee: $15 per entry, cheque or money order made payable to The Writers' Union of Canada.
Deadline: April 24.
- Entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three publishers of children's books for consideration.
- Canadian citizens or landed immigrants
- All writers who have not been published by a commercial or university press in book format, in any genre, and who do not have a contract with a book publisher
- Any writing for children up to 1,500 words, English language
- Not previously published in any format
- Multiple submissions are welcome
How to Submit Entries
- Typed, double-spaced, with pages numbered, on plain 8.5'' x 11'' paper, not stapled. Do not send entries that have only a few sentences per page; they will not be eligible.
- Submissions are accepted by hardcopy only.
- A separate cover letter with full name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and number of pages of entry. Please type name of entrant and title of entry on each numbered page.
Manuscripts will not be returned.
I received an eReader as a gift several weeks ago. I wish I could say that I love it but I cannot.
say a few good things about it:
1. It has relieved the dull ache I get in my bad wrist (broke it while on a kickboxing ‘date’ years ago). It is so light and I can hold it or rest it up against something.
2. Downloading books is so simple. I can get a new book at any time of day or night and in any kind of weather.
3. The e-books cost less than the hard copy versions.
4. Books are stored inside the little gadget instead of cluttering my office shelves. (I did a book purge a few years back and vowed then to sell or donate most of the books I buy in order to keep my office manageable.)
5. It is easy on the eyes – unlike my computer screen.
6. There must be environmental benefits. I wonder what size of carbon footprint an eReader leaves behind.
Although I have tried, I just cannot love this gadget. I prefer hard copy books. Here’s why:
1. Without the ability to turn physical pages, or flip back to a page I have read, or see in my left hand how much I have read, my memory is being challenged. Sure, I can push a button back to the last page or any of the pages I have read, but I cannot ‘see’ where that page lies physically with respect to the whole (although it is noted that the book is 85% read, for example). I am realizing how much this act of turning physical pages serves as a memory tool for me. With each page that I turn, it’s as if I store in my muscle memory, roughly ‘where’ something happened within the story. When reading a regular book, it’s easy to look back and find something I want to revisit. It’s almost as if my hands know where to look in the bulk of pages on the left side. When I have to click back to find something, I feel lost. I have no idea how far back something happened. I don’t know if other readers are in the habit of looking back within a book as they are reading it and I’m not sure how aware I was that I enjoyed looking back as often as I do until this habit was made problematic through the eReader experience. I am just beginning to understand the relationship between how well I remember a story and the physical act of turning pages.
2. It has happened just once so far, but my eReader froze and I was unable to click to the next page. It took a good 5 minutes to get it working again.
3. An eReader runs out of batteries. This is obvious but I didn’t anticipate the inconvenience of having to wait until it was charged to read my book again. Then there is the whole issue of forgetting to re-charge, night after night.
4. I can’t flag my pages with sticky notes! I’m forced to use the notebook that I keep beside my bed to jot down sentences or the numbers of pages that I love. (If there is some way of doing this electronically and you know how to do it, please let me know). I cannot write in my book. Or fold pages that I like.
5. If you are sensitive to scents, as I am, you might notice that your hands smell plastic after holding the eReader.
6. I haven’t looked into this but since there are various text size options, and each option impacts how many words are on a page, I wonder how difficult it would be to refer to page numbers when discussing books with others who have hard copy versions of the book, or have eReaders with a different text size setting
School is not over until the end of June but last night we opened our calendar to the July and August pages to pen in our summer plans.
I can almost taste the fresh watermelon and icy lemonade we'll enjoy on shaded porches. I'm dreaming of our Lake Huron adventures and our long forest walks at Lemoine's Point.
But I have to wait. For now, "Forest Walk" by Kristine O'Connell George is bringing me one step closer to summer. Forest Walk
by Kristine O'Connell George
I'm practicing my
Read the full poem here
Poetry Roundup is at my juicy little universe.
View Next 25 Posts
I have been researching the anatomy, behavior, and habits of cows for a nonfiction project I am working on. There are so many things to love about these animals but one fact really caught my attention - cows like music! Some farmers play music to help cows relax. It has me wondering what a cow’s playlist might be. Do they have preferences? Do they enjoy some styles more than others?
This is such a contrast to something else I discovered last week – a study
suggesting that teens who listen to too much music are at a higher risk for developing depression than teens who do not. The same study found that teens who read books, on the other hand, decreased their risks for developing depression. This is great news for readers! But what about young music-lovers? Growing up, I loved to read and
listen to music for long hours. Music was a great escape for me and I usually walked away from a listening session feeling invigorated. Or relaxed, just like the cows.
While writing my YA novel set in a music school, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bach, Chopin, Ravel, and Debussy. My protagonist also loves jazz so my office has been filled with the beautiful voices of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. It really sets the mood while writing relevant scenes.
Do you listen to music while you write? Does it inspire the process?