Hi Joyce, Keeping your sculpture pristine does take ingenuity! Well done! It looks wonderful.
Egils, your photos are beautiful! Egrets and Herons are everywhere here in Florida. You must
come down! Hugs, Maureen
Hi Joyce, Keeping your sculpture pristine does take ingenuity! Well done! It looks wonderful.
Egils, your photos are beautiful! Egrets and Herons are everywhere here in Florida. You must
come down! Hugs, Maureen
by Eileen Spinelli
My Hallowish is new:
Eileen Spinelli is a well-published author. She has written seventy-two books that are still in print.
When she is not writing poems, stories and books for children you might find her . . .pouring tea. . . trying on hats. . . picking herbs. ‘. . painting in her dream journal. . . browsing in thrift shops. . . dancing barefoot. . . waiting for the mailman. . . star-watching with my husband . . . curled up with a novel. . . taking a nap on the back porch. Zzzzzzzz…..
by Vivian Kirkfield
On Halloween eve up on Fairy Top Hill,
a trio of witches, Pam, Tamsin and Lil,
were practicing magic and chanting out loud,
“Bat-candy, bat-candy…rain down from that cloud!”
“Kaput and Kabob!” Pam invoked with a shout,
The sky quickly filled with a hover of trout.
“Kibosh! and Pish-posh!” Tamsin yelled with finesse.
A chorus of frogs joined the fish-slippy mess.
Then bold Lil spoke up, “This is Trick-or-Treat night,
and children get candy and Turkish delight.”
Costumed as young children…with treat bags to fill,
the trio went guising, Pam, Tamsin and Lil.
Writer for children – reader forever…that’s Vivian Kirkfield in five words. Former kindergarten teacher turned parent-teacher workshop leader turned author, Vivian believes that communication, consistency and compassion are key ingredients in any successful relationship. Plus a sense of adventure – she’s already ticked off skydiving, banana-boat riding and parasailing from her bucket list…what will be next?
To find out more about her mission to help young children become lovers of books and reading, please visit her website, Picture Books Help Kids Soar.
by Carol H. Jones
That crazy October!
It’s really not sober.
It’s so dizzy with yellow and orange and red.
Like a quilt full of color pulled over your head.
And the store that was featuring back to school gear
Is where witches and goblins and ghosts first appear.
They give you the willies!
They scare you half silly!
But of course, we all know that there’s nothing to fear.
That’s what really is fun about this time of year.
Carol is a former elementary school teacher, a grandmother, and an SCBWI member. She’s been writing picture books (none published yet) in both prose and poetry for over five years. Some of my titles are The Three Little Pigs Sing Again, Olaf The Troll And The Billygoat Ambush, My Fly Is In A Jar And The Jar Is In The Car, The Brainkeeper Team, Benny Can Do Anything, Edgar and Gretta: Big City Here We Come, Quit Your Bickering, The Scary Veggie Lady, Octopus Wishes, Princess Pippa, Fox Guards The Henhouse, and Oh, No! Peas!
by Jane Resides
I made a tall black witch’s hat
Then snuck the kitchen broom
My wand was brother’s hockey stick
I pilfered from his room
I leaped onto the jaggy broom
And sailed right off my bed
This witching isn’t going well.
Just see my bandaged head!
Which witch should I become this year,
the good one or the bad?
Good witches wear gold crowns and gowns,
But bad ones I must add,
Although they’re wart-nosed, dressed in black,
They have a lot more fun.
They cackle, snarl, and frighten kids
Kids shriek! They scream. They run.
A crystal ball is what I need
I think that would be dandy.
I’d gaze into that ball to see
Which witch would get more candy.
Jane Resides, a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, writes poetry, picture books, and historical fiction.
She has published stories, articles, and poetry in Highlights, Once Upon a Time, Penn & Ink, and When I can’t Get to Sleep, a West Chester Library poetry book.
Her husband and grandson are beekeepers, and her article “Emme Loves Bees” was published in Highlights.
by Wendy Greenley
Momma Mouse saw harvest moon.
Little Mouse saw pie.
Momma Mouse said, “Come in soon!”
Little Mouse said, “Why?”
“It’s time for bed,” Momma warned.
“Back soon!” said Little Mouse,
Running toward the broomstick
He’d left beside the house.
The broomstick creaked and sputtered.
Little Mouse took flight,
Headed for a pumpkin treat
Before he said goodnight.
Past the trees,
Through the stars,
Little Mouse rose high,
Aiming for the scrumptious shining pumpkin in the sky.
The voyage was untested.
The landing pad untried.
Dropping to the orange orb,
Little Mouse was pie-d.
A childhood prankster who finds it hard to change her ways, Wendy Greenley is an aspiring children’s book author, writing for picture book and middle grade audiences.
by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
Scary things come out at night
Ghosts that boo! and bats that bite;
Warlocks cloaked in purple capes;
Satyrs wearing wreaths of grapes.
Sometimes you might spy a witch
Or a hunchback with a twitch
Don’t be frightened by this scene –
After all, it’s Halloween!
Kelly Ramsdell Fineman is a children’s author and award-winning poet. Her picture book, At the Boardwalk, came out from tiger tales books in 2012. Her children’s poems appear in National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry, ed. by J. Patrick Lewis (coming in 2015), Dare to Dream . . . Change the World, ed. by Jill Corcoran (2012), National Geographic’s Book of Animal Poetry, ed. by J. Patrick Lewis (2012), Write Your Own Poetry by Laura Purdie Salas (2008), and in Highlights for Children magazine, as well as other places.
by Carol Murray
up and down the hall.
hanging on the wall.
Spooks and spiders lurking,
Black cats can be seen.
Ghosts are flying through the sky.
Boo! On the wicked witch.
Her hat and cape are black as pitch.
It seems like she mad a little glitch.
And dropped her broomstick in a ditch.
So now I know what I will do.
I’m doing more than saying, “Boo!”
I’ll grab that broom this very day
and sweep the monsters all away.
Carol is a published poet and author of several books for children. She has been a teacher for over thirty years with students, aged three years (Wee Wigglers) to ninety-three (Elderhostel). She taught English and Speech at Hutchinson Community College for twenty-five years and has also taught Creative Writing, Poetry, Interpersonal Communications, and Children’s Literature.
Her picture book titled, The Cricket in the Thicket being Illustrated by Melissa Sweet and published by Holt will hit bookshelves in Spring of 2016.
by Carol MacAllister
Fresh newt’s eyes and frog legs flinch
while boiling in the brew,
Spells are cast on howling winds,
There darts a trick or two.
Trouble lurks at every turn,
unknowing victims race
from moaning dead, banshee cries,
monster’s snarling chase.
Autumn’s rustling branches drone
at demons overhead
on ancient brooms, phantom steeds,
Rousing up the dead.
Strange, how innocence is lured
to wander through dark streets,
Each year, a few just disappear,
Snatched! – a demon’s treat.
Carol MacAllister holds an MFA in creative writing with a concentration in poetry and fiction. She has been widely published in poetry for years on both a children and an adult level. Her poems have won many awards and have been presented in public venues. Her book RIPASSO is a privately published collection of poetry by others and includes Robert Pinsky, and other poet laureates, as well as her own work. She judges the annual Federation of State Poetry Societies competition, as well as others.
by Pia Garneau
All natural, sustainable
The Green Witch is brewing a nourishing stew
with wholesome ingredients for her little Sue.
Six silver eyes of humanely-farmed newts
Fangs from a bat ground with seasonal roots
Fine golden locks from a gluten-free child
A pesticide-free rodent grown in the wild
A bunch of greens (fresh triple-washed frogs)
Two coiled tails from hormone-free hogs
The old door creaks. L’il Sue walks in.
“Come mix with the broomstick,” Witch said with a grin.
“Mom, what’s that smell?” Sue said with dread,
wishing she smelled pumpkin pie instead.
When she’s not brewing a green stew, you can find Pia Garneau brewing picture book stories instead. She seasons her stories and cooks them just right in hopes that a publisher or agent will gobble it up and ask for more.
You can also find her chauffeuring her two gluten-filled boys around, who are good sources of inspiration…and protein.
For kidlit tweets, follow her on Twitter:@piagarneau.
by Donna Weidner
‘Tis All Hallows’ Eve and in true scary fashion,
The wind is a’ howlin’ with fury and passion.
The moon’s begun waning, but still lights the way,
For our loved ones who’re now on the ‘other side’ of the bay.
Up from the floorboards, through ceilings and walls,
They knock on the windows and shriek down the halls.
There’s laughing, and singing, and regular howls.
If we didn’t know better, it might clench our bowels.
‘Tis their annual visit. They come once a year—
The thirty-first of October, when it’s easiest to appear.
Two Anns and one Otto, three Roses and Abe,
Aunt Zelda and Tina and Vito, a.k.a. Dave.
The Willys and Johnnys, the Franzes, Gwinnells,
With Weidners and Omi, they assure us all’s well.
More souls arrive. We party into the night
With swooping and swaying, a paranormal sight.
Till just before dawn, when the ruckus calms down,
Not only at home, but all over town.
The candles, still burning, flicker twice then stretch high,
When Mom clears her throat, then begins with a sigh,
“For all gathered here, this eve’s been a treat—
“Though for you, our dear loved ones, perhaps ’tis bitter-sweet.
“So let me assure you, we are always nearby,
“Just put out your hand and close your eyes.
“Feel our breath in the wind, hear our words in a song,
“The trick is to know us—have faith — you are strong.
“We whisper in dreams, in a butterfly’s flutter,
“In brooks we may babble, or sigh — sometimes, mutter.
“We send you our love through the smile of another—
“Friends, neighbors, strangers—even someone else’s mother.”
Then as fast as they came, they disappear in a second,
Leaving us alone—or not—what do you reckon?
Donna is a Writer, Reiki Master, Wisdom Keeper, all around adventuress and everyone’s cheerleader. I also love anything that deals with archery, armor, and swashbuckling. I can especially appreciate a good sword.
by Robert Zammarchi
Oh no, its that witchy poo
spotted with gooey goo
and her unusual cat
On Halloween fright night
she turns on her night light
and bakes an unusual batch
Her evil, disgusting,
usual potful of stench
She feeds it to children
who travel so pilgrimed
to see this unusual wench
She sprinkles in hob-nobs
and boils it with gob-gobs
and all her unusual rinds
And all of the children
will come by the millions
to sample her usual grinds
She tosses in bones
of goblins and moans
“I love my unusual stew!”
“But this year needs something
to make it more frightening
beyond all the usual goo.
“She looks all about,
but there’s none to find out
that is past all her usual stuff
natty and dratty and rough.”
“Something so rotten,
it won’t be forgotten
beyond just the usual mourn.”
“Something so ugly,
it shouldn’t have even been born.”
She looked all around
and what this witch found
was unusual even for her
She flinched for a bit
with her wickedly wit,
then she heard that unusual purr
Goodbye my dear kitty
You never were pretty!
I’ll miss your unusual eyes
She picked up her cat
and went, “plop in the vat”
Her unusual stew did a rise
But when word got out
that the cat was in doubt,
unusual things did occur
The children no longer
came far by to wander
inside her unusual door
It wasn’t the witch
after all, that the kids
came to see with unusual fervor
It was the old cat
on his natty, old mat
they found to their usual favor
Now witchy-poo groaned,
she mourned and bemoaned
this unusual turn of events.
Then she walked in her dread
to her usual bed
and never was heard from again.
Robert Zammarchi is an award-winning freelance illustrator who has worked for a wide range of clients over the past 20 years in various mediums. At this point in my career, however I am most interested in pursueing the whimsical world of the children’s illustration field, where my heart truly lies.
Robert Zammarchi’s Childrens’ Illustration Website http://www.robzammarchi.com
Thank you to everyone for your poems and illustrations. It really is a great gift to help us celebrate HALLOWEEN!
The Young Readers Center produced a symposium on reluctant readers, children who struggle with reading skills that can impede their ability to learn and their interest in books. The panel, moderated by Center for the Book director John Cole included pediatrician Trude Haecker, psychologist Claire Agard and author/illustrators Stephan Pastis and Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
It was while researching the French explorer Nicolas Baudin that Australian children’s author, Chrissie Michaels came across one of those gems that every writer loves to find. It was the story of a young convict girl, who was transported to New South Wales for theft and ended up as a passenger on Baudin’s ship as […]Add a Comment
I watch reality television. My favorite kind of show are design or cooking challenges. I am a Project Runway addictee and I’ve pretty much watched every season up to date. This past weekend I finished watching the finale for the past season and HULU suggested another show, Australia’s Top Model. I do admit to watching the last guys and girls season of America’s Top Model, and I was entertained by the drama and the fashion photography. That show falls into the same category as the cooking shows I watch. I am a horrible cook so watching good cooking is a bit of a fascination for me. There’s no stress because I know I will never aspire to be even a bit better than I am as I have no talent in this area. The model shows are much the same. I will never be 5’10, twig-like, flat-chested, or eighteen again, so it’s safe to witness another world I will never be a part of. I have realistic expectations.
Surprisingly, the Australian show was much more brutal with criticism then the American show. From watching a two season marathon (yes, I watched two seasons while drawing most the day), it seemed the judges made up the rules as they went along. Girls were judged by their runway walk, but once they got that down, they SHOULD have worked on their photos instead. And the judges picked out their final photos from a large pile they took of them usually choosing the best or the odd one of the bunch to their preference. Sometimes, criticism made perfect sense and we, the audience, learned a great deal about how to model, although, I have to say, I really don’t have that interest. Other times, criticism was random and odd. Particularly brainless was giving the girl criticism about the size of her butt who clearly showed signs of early eating disorder and was model thin.
All this model show watching had me thinking about clear expectations. I am realizing something rather important as a sensitive. I need clear expectations. What is often hard having my own business is that there is a part of me that thinks, I will do all this work and offer all this, and in return, I will be rewarded with what I need. The problem is often when that doesn’t happen and I am left with an uneven exchange.
Most sensitive folk are very responsible and we like to please. Whether that pleasing is for approval, and approval can mean acceptance, or it is simply to keep the peace because we hate conflict. In order to please we need the rules, and the rules, like in that tv show, aren’t always very clear. We want to know that if we do A/ then B/ we get a reward. Many situations we think we do A and B, we may even get chastised for not doing C and D, when we hadn’t even known there was a C and D, which is what often happens with unclear expectations or hard to please people.
In Grad School classes we were told about Rubrics. We had set expectations for each course we took describing what was expected of us. If we did a certain amount of work we received a grade. If we did things well or did more than expected, we received good grades. None of this was subjective, it was super clear. If I wanted that A, I had to do a certain amount of work and I was rewarded. WE NEED THAT!
I think we’ve all lived through situations growing up that we may have been expected to be more extroverted and do things like extroverted people do, and to be less sensitive or emotional. This is much like being asked to be eighteen again and model thin. Impossible expectations are just that…crazy and unrealistic. We will fail but not because of what we are attempting. Trying to please and fulfill those expectations might be even crazier. (It’s what I call the Treadmill). Maybe it’s time to walk away from situations that ask that of us and be pulled to the ones that have a very clear, upfront formula for success. And if isn’t clear, we can ask that it is.
I love writing, but I can’t do it for long.
I do it in quick bursts (30 or 40 minutes is usually enough) then I need a break, partly to recover emotionally from the fight or chase or argument I’ve just written, partly to get up from the chair and keyboard to give my body a change of posture, and partly to give my brain time to consider solutions to the questions and problems that particular burst of writing has thrown up.
So on the rare and wonderful days when I have all day to write, I don’t spend all day writing. I do a variety of things to take a break, at least once an hour. And over the years, I’ve discovered things which REALLY don’t work as breaks from writing:
Logging on to my email or twitter or facebook or even lovely blogs like this, because I get involved in conversations then feel rude if I break them off to get back to writing, and anyway it doesn’t give me a break from the screen and keyboard.
Reading a novel, because if the novel is any good, 10 minutes isn’t enough, and I risk getting sucked into that world, forgetting the time, forgetting the book I’m trying to write…
Doing a bit of housework, which usually annoys me more than it relaxes or inspires me, so I do as little housework as possible (this is a life rule, not just a writing day one!)
So this month, I made a new resolution (why make them in January? October can be a new start too) and I’m trying to find other things to give me a quick mental and physical break, then send me back into the story refreshed and possibly even inspired. And so far, these have worked:
This is a repost from around this time last year (with a few edits), for those of who who are not doing NaNo but want to share in the writing mojo that fills the air this time of year.
Not everyone has the time to participate in NaNoWriMo. Many of us who can't participate wish we could. But just because we can't dedicate that much time and effort to our manuscripts for four solid weeks doesn't mean we can take part in the spirit of the event.
Here, for the NoNaNoWriMos, is a list of eight things we can do to make November an especially fruitful writing month:
1. Dedicate time every day to writing.
Two hours. One hour. 30 Minutes. Whatever you can do. It's not easy for many of us to write every day. But for a month, we could probably do it.
2. Take one day as a solid writing day.
Maybe you can't do it every day, but take a day off from work, or take a single Saturday, and set a big writing goal. 5,000 words. 3,000 words. Whatever is a big stretch for you. Tell your family that you'll be happy to do whatever they need that day, but first you have to meet your goal. Then write until you've completed the goal. That might be a good use for that day off on the Friday after Thanksgiving, if you can't set a different day.
Maybe you don't have the time to write a novel in a month. But you can probably do a revision pass, even if it's not deep revisions. Revising takes a different kind of concentration. I find I can do it in smaller bursts, when I need to devote longer stretches of time to writing my first draft. Revise a page a night. Four or five pages a night will likely get you through most of your manuscript in a month.
Write down a story idea every day. The ideas don't have to be any good. Ask yourself what if and then add odd situations. If you can come up with 30 ideas this month, chances are good one or two of them will capture your imagination. One of those will spawn your next writing project.
5. Read more.
Don't have time to dedicate to writing? Then read more. Shut off or shut out the TV for a half hour every evening and read. Read something in your genre. Read a classic you've been meaning to get to. Read research material for the story you are working on or planning. Read a book about writing. Read a biography of a favorite writer. Whatever, just read. Reading doesn't require the same intense energy as writing, but it's an important part of the process.
6. Plan your next project.
Even if you are usually a pantser, the process of outlining a story can spark your creativity. Don't worry about the rules of outlining you learned in school. Make a list of plot points. They can be in order or not. You'll probably change the order anyway. Write a rough synopsis.Then start to build it out, adding more detail. When you're ready to write, you'll have the material you need to get started, and you'll probably find you have less writer's block because you know what's happening next in the story. You could even skip around to the scenes that interest you if you have problems with one scene.
7. Market yourself.
Research a new market every day, then send those queries. Even if you spend two weeks researching and two weeks querying, that's probably better than you do most months.
For one month, keep a writing journal. Keep track of whatever you do each day to work toward your goals, even if it's not actually writing. Let your journal be your slave driver. It feels cruddy to write "I didn't do anything today." It feels really cruddy to write that frequently. Journals don't work for everybody, but give it a try and see if it helps to keep you going.
Maybe you don't have the time or energy or willpower to write a novel in a single month. Or maybe that's just not the way you work best. You can still feed off the writing energy that fills the air in November. Try one of the above, or combine some of them. Whatever you need to do to make November a great month for your writing.
Here’s a sweet shot from a writer’s workshop I conducted during a school visit last week in Virginia.
After my prefatory remarks, in which I endeavor to focus & rally the troops, there’s always that uncertain moment when I say, “Okay, now it’s your turn.” They pause for a second, stare at the blank page, and plunge ahead. I am always, always amazed when they actually begin to write — and by what they have to say. It really is a revelation, every time.
I realize that it’s difficult for schools to schedule these kinds of workshops, since they can’t possibly give equal time to every student, I do think this kind of activity can make a meaningful impact on the life of a young writer. And, yes, it’s fun to watch them roll up their sleeves and get cracking. While I always say that sharing is optional — I hold to the writer’s right to keep the work to herself — my experience is that many kids are eager to share their work.Add a Comment
The ‘do something you love so you’ll never work a day in your life’ edict is both trite and too often touted. But in the case of Phillip Johnson, it’s probably the one time the saying should be applied: the award-winning landscape designer slash horticulturalist seems to truly have found his perfect-fit career. In the […]Add a Comment
The decks are slated to arrive the end of this week from the printer. This is so darn exciting. They are being born! That means this is the last week to buy the deck at the PREORDER price of $29.95, then the price goes up. You can order them HERE by Paypal, or if you prefer by credit card head on over to HERE on my art site. Email me if you prefer to send a check (be sure to include the $6 shipping and handling charge).
Hello Maureen. Thanks from me and from Egils, too. One thing I did not expect about the procedure was the crayfish. I don’t often see them and there they were, observing. Florida…maybe sometime we will take you up on it. A few years ago one of my sculptures was in Winterhaven as part of an exhibit organized by the Polk Museum of Art. There are some fascinating outdoor sculpture shows in Florida from time to time.Add a Comment
How the author and editor partnership makes for a great book.
Just home from New York City -- what a great time at the Society of Illustrators Original Art show!! It was such an honor to be a part of this fantastic show and get to see so many wonderful friends and colleagues. It was a special treat!!
Display Comments Add a Comment
Hogfather and I never get around to reading even those. I ended up reading Zeke Meeks vs the Horrendous Halloween by D.L. Green with illustrations by Josh Alves because I heard on Facebook yesterday that the eBook edition was on sale for 99 cents. I love an eBook sale and Zeke Meeks is a series for young readers, something I was interested in a few years ago.
These come from Budget Bytes. Recipe here. It’s just a twist on the taco, but we love all things taco-related, and it’s nice to change it up now and then. My kids actually cheer when they hear these are for dinner, and anytime that happens, I’m pretty pumped.
The first time I made these, I found the rolling process to be frustrating. By the second and third times, though, it’s no big deal. We’ve been addicted to Trader Joe’s frozen taquitos for awhile now, but although these take a bit more time (obviously) it’s nice to be able to control exactly what’s in the taquitos and how much salt, etc. is involved.
I deviated from the original recipe in a couple of ways. First, I used ground turkey (rather than beef) with the black beans. Secondly, I just used the Penzey’s taco spice mix, which is a favorite, very handy and nicer than most grocery store mixes (i.e. less junk in it).
I like to dip the ends in salsa. My daughter likes to do the same with sour cream, and Beth Moncel (blogger and author of Budget Bytes) recommends her “Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing,” which sounds delicious (it’s in the book but I haven’t found an online link).
The first time I made the taquitos, I made part of the batch with extras like onions and peppers for the grownups. They were really good, but I don’t always have time for the chopping. I’m thinking of experimenting with some other fillings. Spicy chickpeas and sweet potatoes, maybe?
These are great leftover. Not quite as crunchy, but still excellent if you heat them up in the oven or toaster oven. I would not recommend microwaving them, though.
I continue to be addicted to Budget Bytes‘ chipotle black beans. So yummy and satisfying, also simple and quick. For more posts about food, go here.
Listened to a most excellent podcast from Fresh Air the other day about the creation of Wonder Woman. Completely fascinating and also, hilarious. Highly recommend.
As a writer you spend months writing the first draft of your manuscript.You type the last word and part one of the process has been completed. That is a huge accomplishment in itself, but it’s not over yet.
Now you have something to work with: something to edit and polish. Will it change? Will the story hold up to scrutiny and to the feedback of editors, readers and critiques? Time will tell.
This is the best part of writing. The polishing and detailing of the work. The excitement grows. The anticipation of an agent. The rejections of some agents who like to live in their own comfort zone and play the odds to put money in their pockets OR the acceptance of your manuscript by an agent who sees a new writer emerging from the throngs of formatted prose and safe subject matter.
Writing is not for the faint-hearted. It is all about persistence. It is all about great characters and a fast-moving story. But primarily it is all about the prose.
We as writers need feedback. We hunger for it. We need it to grow. If we didn’t write anything then there would be nothing for the critics to extol their criticisms as non-writers. They are the ones who buy books. Let’s not forget that.
Add a Comment
Minhas artes para a Cartilha do Curso Popular em Direitos Humanos, feita pelo IDDH – Instituto de Defensores de Direitos Humanos.
O projeto gráfico é do Caio Amorim.
Here's a short video showing the making of my watercolor townscape in Bryan, Texas. (Direct link to video)
The video is shot with a very compact point-and-shoot camera mounted to a street pole with a flexible tripod that can grab onto just about anything.