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<<December 2017>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: monkey, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 75
1. illustration friday...

the lucky one
6x6 acrylic on canvas
©the enchanted easel 2016
and a little throwback thursday!

adorable little Mei-Lin was created back in february to commemorate 2016's year of the monkey. holding her lucky orange well, she was too cute not to submit into this week's IF theme of what else...."orange".

PRINTS HERE and other goodies featuring her sweet face HERE

{it's september so i can still say, "gung hay fat choy!"}

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2. Jim and Ted 7: Monkey Attack!


Things are looking really bad for Jim and Ted. Poor Ted is getting swarmed by savage monkeys.

This little series I’m doing keeps getting more dramatic and I’m not sure how this happened. I’m working without a plot or any real plan– I’ve begun each of these with a blank paper and the question: “What happens next?” Hopefully, I can think of happier things for Ted and Jim soon. Assuming they survive the monkeys, that is.

The post Jim and Ted 7: Monkey Attack! appeared first on rob-peters.com.

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3. the making of "the lucky one"...step by step!

another peek into my step by step creative process....this one for the painting entitled, "the lucky one". done to commentate 2016's year of the monkey, this little cutie was lots of fun to paint.

for a look at the album and explanation of the step by step process, take a click over to my Facebook page and maybe give it a "like" if you already haven't...and would be so kind. :)

the ORIGINAL painting is FOR SALE! contact me if interested. or send me a message through my Facebook page. PRINTS available here.

 speaking of PRINTS, i'm in the middle of opening up a S6 (Society 6) shop which will feature my paintings on cool products from tote bags to tapestries, clocks to (duvet) covers. i'll post the link as soon as i get around to finishing setting up shop.  meanwhile, click on over to the S6 homepage and check out some other really wonderful artists. always awesome to see hard working, talented people have their masterpieces transformed onto products we can buy for ourselves to give away as gifts. 

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4. Gung Hey Fat Choy!!!

"the lucky one"
6x6 acrylic on canvas
©the enchanted easel 2016
here's to 2016 and the year of the monkey! this is beautiful little Mei Lin. she comes to bring good fortune with her lucky mandarin orange


"the lucky one" is sized at 6x6, acrylic on canvas. what a lovely little addition she would make to your home, bringing good fortune and happiness along with her.

{hey, i was working on her when my man Peyton won the SB yesterday so she is lucky for sure! :)}

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5. Another unpleasant infection: Zika virus

Over two years ago I wrote that “new viruses are constantly being discovered... Then something comes out of the woodwork like SARS which causes widespread panic”. Zika virus infection bids fair to repeat the torment. On 28 January 2016 the BBC reported that the World Health Organization had set up a Zika “emergency team” as a result of the current explosive pandemic.

The post Another unpleasant infection: Zika virus appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Themed Art: Monkeys

I have to admit that monkeys haven't formed a large part of my children's portfolio, but here's a little sketchbook doodle from a while back!

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7. Monkey and the Engineer

David Opie - Monkey and the Engineer

Monkey and the Engineer
By David Opie
Ink, digital

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8. ...and Chico was his name, oh.....

sharon lane holm

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9. Elizabeth Dulemba's January "Monkey"

by Elizabeth Dulemba

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10. Sketch of the day - bounce

This is a a happy, bouncy, creating monkey!
Ilustration Friday entry this week too.



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11. All About Boats: A to Z by David & Zora Aiken

5 stars
All About Boats: A to Z
David & Zora Aiken
Schiffer Publishing
No. Pages:  32       Ages: 6 to 8

Back Cover:  Boating time is family time as everyone often shares both the fun and the work. Even young children are eager to help. Their curiosity is roused and they’ll look for ways to learn more about boating. All About Books: A to Z shows the youngest crew members the purpose of the many things they see while boating. The book can prompt conversations about all aspects of boating as families develop their onboard teamwork.

All About Boats: A to Z is a unique alphabet book. For one, it is written for older children who already know their ABCs. A boating term, beginning with that page’s letter, helps a child learn about boats and boating terms. A rhyming verse explains the term in a light, easy tone. Finally, the illustrations add further explanation of the term.

For example, the letter K’s word is keel.

Most boats have a keel—

It’s part of the design.

A sailboat’s deep keel

Helps hold a straight line.

The illustration for letter K is a sailboat on transparent water, allowing the child to see the keel on the sailboat. This is a great way for anyone to learn something new. The more senses involved, the better the retention.

All About Boats: A to Z uses sight and sound, but in multiple ways. The child will read the letter and its word in bold type. Then they will read a short verse, which rhymes and includes the word’s purpose. Each illustration shows the child where the term is in relation to boating. Assuming the family owns a boat, the child can connect then term with the real thing.

I like the book’s multiple avenues for learning both the alphabet and boating terms.  Younger children can use this as an ABC book, especially if interested in boats. All About Boats: A to Z is written for the older child who wants or needs to learn the terms of boating. Each verse helps the child remember the purpose of each word. The important word is in bold type and always in the verse. The illustrations do a wonderful job of capturing the word, while still keeping the book’s feel light and airy, somewhat like boating itself.

I think kids will love to learn about boats by using this book. It is friendly, fun, and familiarizes the child to boats and their functions quickly. A young child, under the age of five or six may not understand all of the terms, even after having the verses read to them and looking at the illustrations. Still, I would not hesitate in giving this ABC book to a youngun (as my fellow book reviewer Erik, called young children in a recent review).

This is a book that can help a child prepare for a boating trip and then reinforce the boating term, part, and function while on the trip. Some adults, not accustom to boating on a regular basis, will learn much from this cute book. T is for transom,which is the area on the back of the boat, where a boat’s given name is painted. I did not know that.

I like this book. Kids will enjoy the illustrations and learning about boats. I think girls will enjoy this as much as boys. Anyone with children, or grandchildren, who regularly boats, especially if they own a boat, will find this book valuable. Any child who loves boats, be it the large ones sailing the ocean or the small ones sailing the carpet, will want this boat, learn from this boat, and be thrilled to own this book. All About Boats: A to Z is a great book for many reasons—all of them kid friendly.


*One possible game that can be played to reinforce remembering a term, is to find that term on other pages of the book.  For example, the term transom, which I did not know until reading this book.  There are seven transoms with a name in this book. One boat has its name on its side, so I would think it does not count.

Those seven boats with names, when found by the child, will help reinforce what a transom is for. The last spread is a beautiful scene of all shapes and sizes of boats, yet not one has a name on its transom.  This is a missed opportunity for reinforcement of letter T’ and the word transom.

All About Boats: A to Z

Author: David & Zora Aiken
Illustrator: David Aiken
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing   website
Release Date: July 28, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4184-7
Number of Pages: 32
Ages: 5 to 8

Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, NonFiction Tagged: ABC, alphabet, anchor, boating terms, boats, children's book, compass, dinghy, ensign flag, family fun, fender, galley, horns, instruments, jib, keel, learning about boats, lines, middle grade book, mizzen, monkey, motoar boats, oars, ocean liners, port, quarterberth, radar, sailboats, ship's bell, sou'wester, starboard, tack, tow boat, transom, yawl, zigzags

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12. HoHoDooDa Day 17

jungle bells 450JUNGLE BELLS

Super quick sketch today! Off to make merriment!

Speaking of merry, jingle on over here to see what my fellow HoHoDooDa Doodlers are doing!

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13. Circus Train

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14. Wrenching an etymology out of a monkey

By Anatoly Liberman

Primates have given Germanic language historians great trouble. In the most recent dictionary of German etymology (Kluge-Seebold), the entry Affe “ape” is one of the most detailed. In the revised version of the OED, monkey is also discussed at a length, otherwise rare in this online edition. Despite the multitude of hypotheses, the sought-for solution is not in view. (Mine, however, will appear at the end of the present post.) Only one thing is clear: wherever the ancestors of the modern Germanic speakers lived, including the southernmost areas of the lands they once inhabited (Italy and the shores of the Black Sea), they could not observe monkeys and apes roaming tropical woods. This means that the names of both animals are, most probably, borrowed.

No extant citation of monkey predates 1530 (so the OED), and the word cannot be much older. Before the sixteenth century, ape was the generic term for both species. The question is about the original land of the import. The suspects are two: northern Germany and some Romance country. In Spanish, mona (feminine) and mono (masculine) resemble monkey, and in Middle French monne (Modern French mone) has been attested. Likewise, Italian had monna ~ mona. The source of those words remains undiscovered; clearly, monkeys were as foreign to the Romance speaking lands as they were to the English and Germans. In the nineteenth century, etymologists accepted the explanation of Friedrich Diez, the founder of Romance comparative philology, who looked upon mona as a “corruption” of Madonna. He based his conclusion on the fact that the name of a female monkey surfaced before the name of its masculine partner.

Skeat, The Century Dictionary, and others followed him, though Skeat suggested that monkey was an alteration of Old Italian monicchio, a diminutive of monna. He traced it back to Latin domina and referred to Madonna “my lady”: “The degradation of the term is certainly very great; but there is an exactly parallel instance in the case of the term dam, which has been degraded from the Latin domina, in French ‘notre dame’, till it now means only the mother of racehorse, or of a less important animal.” This reconstruction is but slightly different from Diez’s. Later researchers went to Greece, Turkey, India, and the Arab lands for the elusive etymon. I am leaving out of account a few fanciful suggestions that may amuse but not enlighten our readers. In no modern Romance language, except Spanish, is mono the main name of the monkey. In Italy, it turned up in 1438, a century before it reached an English book. The first French citation goes back to 1545.

The central argument in my reasoning resolves itself into the following. The English hardly coined the word monkey; they must have borrowed it. Therefore, I have no sympathy for the conjecture of Klaus Dietz (not to be confused with Friedrich Diez!) that monkey is a native word, made up of the root monk and the suffix -ie ~ -(e)y. Little capuchin monkeys allegedly resembled little Capuchin friars; moreover, apes were traditionally used in satiric portrayals of the clergy. Dietz advanced his idea in 2006 and wrote a short article on this subject in 2008. The most recent entry in the OED online testifies to Dietz’s influence. Long ago, Eduard Mueller (or Müller) remarked in his useful but now forgotten dictionary of English etymology (1865-67; 1878) that English speakers could not help noticing a strong resemblance between monkey and both monk and man. Before him, Franciscus Junius (1743; a posthumous edition) had the same idea, and in 1863 August Lübben considered but rejected this possibility. I also refuse to treat monkey as a word initially endowed with the sense “little monk.”

William Caxton, the first English printer. In 1481 he brought out his translation of the Dutch version of Reynard. The Booke of Reynarde the Foxe (in prose; the original is a versified poem) is a delight to read. It exists in several excellent modern editions.

Another theory takes us to the famous Low German animal epic Reynke de Vos (1498) or (in French) Reynard the Fox. In it Martin the ape has a son Moneke; in French, the “youngster” is called Monnekin. Both -ke and -kin are familiar diminutive suffixes: compare Engl. manikin, another word strongly resembling monkey. Some scholars thought that Moneke had come to England with German traveling showmen or by some such route. But there are problems with this idea: the vowels of monkey (whose first syllable rhymes with dun rather than don) and Moneke do not match, and nothing testifies to the popularity of the poem’s fame in England in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. The name of Martin’s son occurs only once in the poem, and it is unbelievable that it could have stayed in people’s memory and caught their fancy to such an extent as to cause the formation of a new word. Dietz makes this point, and his objections to the Moneke theory, contrary to his etymology, are irrefutable.

The real question is why the ape’s son bore the name Moneke, and it was answered ingeniously and, I think, persuasively, in 1869, but etymologists have a short memory, which is not their fault, for without exhaustive bibliographies unearthing a relevant note with a vague title is impossible. Moneke was a familiar name for Simoneke, that is, Simon. Simon is a Greek word, derived from the adjective simós “snub-nosed” or “flat-nosed,” and the meaning of the name was known, even though in the late Middle Ages few people may have realized that Simon had been confused with Hebrew Simeon. Apparently, Moneke “the flat-nosed,” was, in addition to the pet name for Simoneke, a slang word for “monkey,” with reference to the German-Latin pun, for the Latin for “monkey” was simia (a borrowing from Greek; feminine, like Modern French guenon and the Romance words, cited above). Judging by Dutch simminkel, the unattested Latin simiuncula “little monkey” also had some currency; hence the name of the ape’s son in Reynke. It is this word that must have become known in England. In German and Dutch it did not stay, but in English it did. The phonetic difficulties (the quality of the stressed vowels) are hardly insurmountable here. To be sure, I have no proof that moneke “monkey” existed, but if this word had been recorded, the riddle would have been solved centuries ago and saved us a lot of monkey business. In any case, Martin must have had a good reason for calling his son Moneke.

Something should also be said about the Romance words. One might suggest that in French and Spanish we are dealing with the Germanic noun that lost its suffix, but this would hardly be a convincing solution. Also, Italian mona was recorded a hundred years before monkey surfaced in English, and a loan from German or Dutch is probably out of the question. I would risk the hypothesis that the Romance names of the monkey have nothing to do with their Germanic look-alikes. In Kanarese, a Dravidian language, the male monkey is called manga; a related Tamil noun sounds mandi. One may perhaps ask whether a migratory culture word for the monkey, known from India to northern Germany, enjoyed some popularity in the past. It may not be for nothing that so many similar simian forms have been found. If some such word traveled with the animal, in every country speakers would adapt it slightly under the influence of folk etymology. Whatever the answer, I believe that, as regards the etymology of Engl. monkey, both monks and the medieval animal epic should be left in peace.

Anatoly Liberman is the author of Word Origins…And How We Know Themas well as An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology: An Introduction. His column on word origins, The Oxford Etymologist, appears here, each Wednesday. Send your etymology question to him care of blog@oup.com; he’ll do his best to avoid responding with “origin unknown.”

Subscribe to Anatoly Liberman’s weekly etymology posts via email or RSS.
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The post Wrenching an etymology out of a monkey appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. Monthly etymology gleanings for January 2013, part 2

By Anatoly Liberman

I am picking up where I left off a week ago.

Mare and Mars. Can they be related?
The chance is close to zero. Both words are of obscure origin, and attempts to explain an opaque word by referring it to an equally opaque one invariably come out wrong. Although Mars, the name of the Roman war god, has been compared with the Greek verb márnamai “I fight,” this comparison may be the product of folk etymology. Some festivals dedicated to Mars involved horses, but the connection was not direct. Since the success of campaigns depended on the good state of chariots, war and steeds formed a natural union. Mare has multiple Germanic and Celtic cognates. However, it may be a migratory word of Eastern origin. For example, Russian merin “gelding” has almost the same root. A similar case is Latin caballus “packhorse; nag,” later just “horse” and Russian kobyla “mare” (stress on the second syllable).

Along the same lines, I must defer judgment with regard to the word for “monkey” in Arabic, Farsi, and Romany. At the end of my post on monkey, I suggested that we might be dealing with a migratory animal name. If I am right, the etymology of one more hard word will be partly clarified.

In the post on suppletive forms, I wrote that better is the comparative of a nonexistent positive degree (good has a different root).The question from our correspondent concerned Farsi beh, behtar, behtarin. Are those forms related to better? Not being a specialist in Indo-Iranian, I cannot answer this question. (However, if h is a separate phoneme belonging to the root, the relation is unlikely.) I will only say that better is akin to Engl. boot in to boot and bootless (all such cognates refer to gain and improvement) and that the standard etymological dictionaries of Indo-European (Walde-Pokorny and Pokorny) mention only Sanskrit and Avestan congeners of better (Gothic batiza); they mean “happy.”

En gobelet (French) ~ en vaso (Spanish).
These phrases designate a vine pruned to the shape of a hollow cup. Was the drinking vessel named after the shape of the vine, or was the shape of the vine named after the drinking vessel? I am sure the second variant is correct.

Overused Words

As noted last time, I received a sizable list of words that the listeners of Minnesota Public radio “hate.” It is an instructive list. I also have my peeves. For example, I wince every time I hear that so-and so is a Renaissance man. In some circles, it suffices to know the correct spelling of principle and principal to become an equal of Leonardo. Fascinating is another enemy, and so is the cutting edge (in academia, to be on the cutting edge, one has to be interdisciplinary). Nothing is nowadays good, acceptable, or proper: the maid of all work is sustainable: sustainable behavior, sustainable budget, sustainable tourism—every quality and object has its sustainable niche (rhyming in the Midwest and perhaps everywhere with kitsch, witch, and bitch). Some of my “enemies” are pretentious Latinisms. For instance, I never accepted utilize outside its technical context (use is good enough for me) and morph for “change.” Why should things morph instead of changing? And why do students hope to utilize my notes? Do they want to recycle them?

I began to pay attention to other buzzwords only after they were pointed out to me:

True enough, newspapers and TV find themselves constantly enraptured. Their frame of mind is one of permanent astonishment and wonderment: the simplest things amaze them: a readable book, cold weather, and even cheap pizza. As a result, amazing has come to mean “worthy of notice.” It followed the same “trajectory” as Renaissance man. Rather scary are also the adjectives epic and surreal. The protagonists of epic poetry are larger than life, but with us every important event acquires “epic” dimensions. Likewise, though reality is full of surprises, every unexpected situation need not be called surreal.  

The word has been worked to death. Path, road, way, development, direction, and the rest have yielded to it. This holds for journalists and speech writers at all levels. President Obama: “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.”

This word has killed influence and its synonyms. I remember the time when the concerned guardians of English usage fought the verb impact. Now both the verb and the noun have become the un-words of the decade. Everything “has an impact” and “impacts” its neighbors. Impact is a tolerably good word, but, like chocolate, it cloys the appetite and produces heartburn if consumed in great quantities.

I will now quote some of the messages I received. Perhaps our correspondents will comment on them:

“I absolutely hate dialogue used as verb, as in let’s dialogue about that. Also hate go-to as in it’s my go-to snack or it’s my go-to workout.” Both do sound silly, for go-to (never a beauty) originated in contexts like this is the person to go to (= turn to) if you need good advice. Shakespeare would have been puzzled: in his days go to was a transparent euphemism for go to the devil. As for dialogue, it has succumbed to the powerful rule that has “impacted” English since at least the sixteenth century: every noun, and not only nouns, can be converted into a verb (consider “but me no buts,” “if ifs and buts were candy and nuts,” and the like). Sometimes the opposite process occurs: meet is a verb, and meet, a noun, came into being. It does not follow that we should admire the verb dialogue.

“My least favorite word… when politicians use the word folks, like they are intimately familiar with their audience.” I agree! Folks should not be used as a doublet of folk.

“Whenever so-called experts weigh in on news stories, they preface their statements with the word clearly. Clearly somehow makes whatever they say irrefutably true.”

“…count the number of times the word is used in a culture of growing mistrust of analysts and experts who make predictions about news before it happens…” I have waged a losing war against such adverbs (actually, really, clearly, definitely, certainly, doubtlessly) for years, but actually is the worst offender, a symptom of what I call advanced adverbialitis (–Where were you born? –Actually, I was born in California.)

Doubling down.
“The one I started hearing a lot this year is ‘So-and-so is doubling down on [a provocative statement or position]. Holy cow, political commentators, what did you do before this phrase crawled into your brains!” I guess they were milking some other venerable cow, possibly unrelated to gambling.

There was a complaint about the use of the verb evolve as meaning “develop; change” (“…so many people describe themselves or their opinions as ‘evolving’….”). In the past, I resented devolve as a synonym of degenerate, because I had been using this verb only in contexts like “I devolved all authority to my assistant,” but gradually accepted the other sense. By now I have heard evolve “change” so many times that it no longer irritates me (unlike morph).

In my talk show, I said that I am tired of hearing that nearly everything I buy is called organic or natural and was reprimanded: “There are strict standards set by government for the term organic, while the term natural is not regulated. You are maligning the organic food industry by proffering the incorrect information.” I stand corrected and apologize.

One of the listeners resented the promiscuous use of the adjective random (the epithet above is mine). Mr. Dan Kolz wrote in a letter to me: “In programming circles, a random value is one generated by the computer which is not predictable or predefined by the programmer. It can be used like: ‘I found a bug in test which generated random values as parameters’. It is sometimes used as a synonym for arbitrary or in a longer form ‘an arbitrarily chosen value’. This indicates that from the programmer’s perspective the value was unpredictable (if not actually from the user’s). It is in this sense that the word random could have acquired the meaning ‘selected or determined for no reason I know or could have predicted’, as in ‘I went to the party, but there were just a bunch of random people there’.” This strikes me as a reasonable explanation. Computer talk has really (clearly and actually) had a strong influence on Modern English. For instance, cross out and expunge have disappeared from the language: everything is now “deleted.”

May I repeat my old request? Sometimes people discover an old post of mine and leave a comment there. I have no chance to find it. Always leave your comments in the space allotted to the most recent posts. Above, I rejected a connection between mare and Mars. By way of compensation, you will see an equestrian print of the Roman war god, though I suspect that his horses were chargers rather than mares.

Char de Mars. Engraving. Wonders: Images of the Ancient World / Mythology — Mars. Source: NYPL.

Anatoly Liberman is the author of Word Origins…And How We Know Them as well as An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology: An Introduction. His column on word origins, The Oxford Etymologist, appears here, each Wednesday. Send your etymology question to him care of blog@oup.com; he’ll do his best to avoid responding with “origin unknown.”

Subscribe to Anatoly Liberman’s weekly etymology posts via email or RSS.
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The post Monthly etymology gleanings for January 2013, part 2 appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. Happy Poetry Friday! Poem-Making!

Howdy Campers, and Happy Poetry Friday!

PF is hosted by Sheri Doyle this week--thanks, Sheri!  Poetry Friday hosting can be a big job, folks, so make sure you help Sheri put away the chairs and stack the dishes before you leave.

I'm continuing the TeachingAuthors thread we're calling Books We Recommend On Writing which Esther began, reverently offering M.B. Goffstein's A Writer...(which I, too, have on a golden altar in my bookshelf!)  On Poetry Friday, Carmela continued with her top three books on the art and craft of writing poetry, and then Mary Ann offered her favorite one or two books in three categories: Inspirational Books, Craft Books and Craft Books for Kids.  Jill gave us three writing books packed with great information and inspiration, while Jeanne Marie focused on books about plotting...and one on writing "Hit Lit."

I'm going to recommend one of Monkey and my favorite books on writing poetry, POEM-MAKING ~ Ways to Begin Writing Poetry by Myra Cohn Livingston.
We like it because it's written for a ten year old--just about my level. For more on this book, read Elaine Magliaro's really excellent review of it on The Wild Rose Reader--I couldn't review it any better.

Myra Cohn Livingston was the "Mother of Us All," as Janet Wong writes.  She was Poetry Mentor/Mother to me, Janet, Ann Whitford Paul, Sonya Sones, Hope Anita Smith, Alice Shertle, Kristine O’Connell George, Deborah Chandra, Madeleine Comora, Joan Bransfield Graham, Tony Johnston, Monica Gunning, Karen B. Winnick, Anita Wintz, Ruth Lercher Bornstein and many, many other children's poets (Who am I missing? Let me know!). 

I have previously talked about two books I require in classes I teach through the UCLA Writers Program.  One of the books is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, about which several TeachingAuthors have waxed poetic in the past. 

Here's a poem from that blog post inspired by Lamott's chapter on jealousy:

by April Halprin Wayland

Varda once told us
we were all cans on a shelf.
Cans of chili, kidney beans, split pea soup.
I decided that I was a can of apricot halves.
She said that the shelf was only one can deep
but that it stretched out forever
so there’s always room
for one more.
“You don’t have to be afraid that adding another can means 
there isn’t enough room for you,”she said.
“You can even help a new can
onto the shelf next to you.”
And she never talked
about jealousy again.
poem (c) 2013 April Halprin Wayland.  All rights reserved.

My brilliant teacher Barbara Bottner taught me to write about my greatest fear...because chances are, we all share it.
Monkey is writing about his fear
of writing something stupid in a blog post.

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17. Wednesday Writing Workout - MoNsTrOuS Fears!

Howdy, Campers!

Be sure to check out the Second Annual March Madness Poetry Tournament (details below!)...and welcome to today's

As I mentioned in last week's post, my teacher Barbara Bottner asks writing students to write about our greatest fears as if they were monsters.

So, I asked myself...if my fear of writing mediocre poems and stories were a monster, what would it be like?

It's a blob. A beige blob.  With blood-shot eyes. It's as big as a refrigerator and hunches on the rug blocking the window. It smells. Like a wet giraffe. It has tuna stuck between its yellowing teeth and a runny nose, and it's dropping Snickers wrappers on my clean carpet. And it JUST KNOCKED OVER MY EDGAR ALLEN POE DOLL which was carefully balanced on top of my stuffed dog!

And since Monkey* and I are both afraid of writing something stupid, I'm bringing back a (revised) poem from a post about second-rate writing:

by April Halprin Wayland

You smell of ink and blood and death
and plastics that are burning.

My hands both shake, my headache’s back
and now my stomach’s churning.

I will not let you in today.

(Hooray! I’m learning!)

poem © 2013 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

Now it's your turn.

1) What are you afraid of?  Make a list of at least five things that scare you. Are you afraid of snakes? Of flying? If you’re a writer (of COURSE you're a writer!), are you afraid of rejection?

2) Circle the one that scares you the most…or the one that you can’t wait to write about.

3) Make this fear into a creature.  Try to include as many of the five senses as possible--how does it sound?  How does it smell?  Maybe your fear of heights is a moldy grey vulture who hides in caves, makes snarky noises, and wears high tops…or maybe your fear of the dark is a neon green monster with sticky skin and garlicky breath that whispers evil things in your ear.

4) Write a story or a poem about this creature. You might want to speak to it or yell at it. Dialogue is fun to read aloud. Wouldn’t it be neat to YELL at your fear?  Or maybe YOU'RE the creature!

5) Share your writing with someone you want to scare.

ha ha

*In case you haven't met yet, this is Monkey, who will occasionally be writing blog posts for me:

Oh!  I did mention Ed DeCaria's marvelous Second Annual March Madness Poetry Tournament, didn't I?
Ed revealed the 64 "authletes" on Academy Awards night and I'm among them--yay!  As Mary Lee says, "I'm looking forward to the fun (and the stress)!"

9 Comments on Wednesday Writing Workout - MoNsTrOuS Fears!, last added: 3/2/2013
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18. SkADaMo 2013

SkADaMo 2013 post monkey

So, November is almost here! That means all the cool challenges are fixin’ to start soon. There’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), of which I am a participant of again this year.)

There are probably a bunch more, but suffice it to say, November is a busy month for some.

For the past two years, I thought, just to heap even more onto my plate, I’d make November a “sketch a day month” or SkADaMo (SkADaMo 2012, SkADaMo 2011) , for myself. Just trying to get back to the early days of my blog when I feverishly posted just about every single day. When my synapses seemed to be firing on all cylinders and ideas where presenting themselves to me faster than I could sketch or write them down.

Sigh. Those were good days.

This exercise may not have gotten me back to that place completely, but it did get the ole synapses firing again. And I figure between attempting a picture book idea a day and a sketch/blog post a day, I’ll at least have a notebook/sketchbook/blog filled with chicken scratches of some sort or another again this year.

Better than blank pages and outdated blog posts, I say.

I even made a badge for myself the past couple of years and one again this year.

I may be the only participant, but by golly I have a badge!

If anyone wants to join in, they are more than welcome to grab this badge, off to the side here and start sketching.



“What are the rules?” You may ask.

1. THERE ARE NO RULES! NO SIGN UP! NO REGISTRATION! NO GIVEAWAYS OR GUEST POSTERS!  No regulations, themes, daily words, Facebook pages or anything else resembling organization. Just lots of sketching, commenting back and forth and hopefully lots of inspiration and craft honing!
SkADaMoers are scoff-laws and Mavricks! (Really, I’m just not that organized.) The only code we live by this month is SKETCH! SKETCH! SKETCH! Sketch everyday from November 1 to November 30,or at least try to.
You may not sketch every single day, but by golly you will have tried and you’ll have more sketches in your sketchbook at the end of November than you might have otherwise.
So, there’s that!

2. If you send me a link to your blog, (or wherever you are posting your SkADaMo sketches) I will keep a running list of all the participants and their links on my blog. This way we can all keep in touch and root each other on. If there are any broken links, bad links, I forgot anyone, misspelled anyone’s name or any other heinous act was performed, please let me know and I’ll do my best to correct it.

3. Smile, this is fun!

Sketch on my fellow SkADaMoers, (should there be any!)

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19. New Digital painting! "Alicia's Adventure"

I'm hoping to work on the story for this soon,… after finishing the current picture book dummy.

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20. Today I be making monkeys


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21. A cautionary comic for aspiring authors and illustrators

Originally published in Writer Unboxed.

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22. ANXIETY - grounded in reality

This episode actually doesn't have any Anxiety in it.

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23. SkADaMo 2014

SkADaMo 2014 post monkey

I realize I waited until the very last minute to get things started this year. But flying by the seat of the pants is SkADaMo tradition, afterall!

Sooooo, it’s November First! That means all the cool challenges are upon us.

There’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and

PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), of which I am a participant of again this year.) Wouldn’t miss it for the world!

There are probably a bunch more, but suffice it to say, November is a busy month for some. So now, for the past three years, SkADaMo “Sketch a Day Month” has also been thrown into the mix.

I really started SkADaMo as a personal challenge and gave it the name as a bit of a spoof on all the other November challenges. I even jokingly made a badge, thinking I would be the only participant. But lo and behold, several other wonderful artists, doodlers and sketchers threw their hats, or pencils into the mix.

So if anyone wants to join in, they are more than welcome to grab this badge, off to the side here and start sketching.

(Oh, by the way, I count this as my first sketch, so neener neener!) We play it fast and loose over here at SkADaMo!

SkADaMo button 2014 monkey220



“What are the rules?” You may ask.

1. THERE ARE NO RULES! NO SIGN UP! NO REGISTRATION! NO GIVEAWAYS OR GUEST POSTERS!  No regulations, themes, daily words, Facebook pages or anything else resembling organization. Just lots of sketching, commenting back and forth and hopefully lots of inspiration and craft honing!
SkADaMoers are scoff-laws and Mavricks! (Actually, the truth is I’m just not that organized.) The only code we live by this month is SKETCH! SKETCH! SKETCH! Sketch everyday from November 1 to November 30,or at least try to.
You may not sketch every single day, but by golly you will have tried and you’ll have more sketches in your sketchbook at the end of November than you might have otherwise.
So, there’s that!

2. In the past I kept a running list of participants right here on my blog. This year, however, if you post your sketches or links to your blog on facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr, flickr or pinterest, why not go ahead and hasthtag it with #SkADaMo. I believe this would be a much more efficient way to keep track and follow fellow SkADaMo participants.

Oh, and did I mention, I’m not very organized?

3. Go ahead and grab this small badge if you’d like and use it as you see fit, on your blog or what have you.

4. Most important rule of all… SMILE! This is fun!

Sketch on my fellow SkADaMoers, (should there be any this year!)

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24. 5 ways to use poetry in class RIGHT NOW

Howdy, Campers! Happy Poetry Friday! (the PF link is at the end)

Authors-anthologists-publishers Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell have written an article well-worth reading (it's brief!) for National Poetry Month in the online magazine Bookology which begins:

"We are pressed for time, so we multitask. You might be eating breakfast while you’re reading Bookology, or doing laundry, or both. “Killing two birds with one stone” or “hatching two birds from the same egg”—integrated teaching—is the best way to fit everything in, especially in the K-5 classroom." (read the whole article here)

Janet and Sylvia's Poetry Friday Anthology series does a LOT of heavy lifting including:

1) helping pressed-for-time teachers and librarians teach poetry while meeting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the Texas TEKS for English Language Arts (ELA)/Poetry and Science & Technology,


2) including a “Take 5!” mini-lesson with every poem in their collection for librarians, teachers, and parents with instructions for sharing, picture book pairings, and curriculum connections.

And in their NEW collection Janet and Sylvia have added another bonus: each of the 156 poems in this newest book appears in both English and Spanish--WOWEE!

JoAnne's recent post sang out about this book (which includes JoAnne's terrific Graduation Day poem), and Esther's post continued, including an interview of these two visionaries and Esther's very green Saint Pat's Day poem.

As JoAnne writes:
I’m thrilled to be one of 115 poets (and 3 Teaching Authors!) whose poems are featured in the brand-new Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations

I'm thrilled that they've included two of my poems. This one's for National Thrift Shop Day (who knew?)
(Click to enlarge )

Have a fabulous Poetry Friday...and consider donating to a thrift shop today and then shopping in one, too ~

Remember to enter our Book Giveaway to win an autographed copy of Paul Janeczko’s 50th book, DEATH OF A HAT, illustrated by Chris Raschka.  You can enter between now and April 22 (which just happens to be our SIXTH TeachingAuthors Blogiversary!).

And...please stop by my poetry blog where all Poetry Month long I'm posting PPPs--Previously Published Poems--from anthologies, Cricket Magazine and my novel in poems.

Thank you, dear Robyn Hood Black for hosting PF today!
And thanks, too, to Jama Kim Rattigan for posting the 2015 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup

posted with love by April Halprin Wayland with help from Monkey and Eli ~

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25. Airborne


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