The other day, when I was procrastinating taking a much-deserved break from working so hard, I realized I hadn’t done anything to celebrate Poetry Month. I’ve of course seen the many book spine poems that have circulated over the past couple of years and decided to try my hand. But I made it more challenging by limiting my choices to only those on my desk – my writing books. I got two that way. Then I realized I hadn’t seen anyone build a book spine poem with picture books, so I tried a couple of those. Here are the results.

Beware lest you try this at home. Once you start, it becomes impossible to walk by your bookshelves without seeing potential spine poems. It’s quite addictive! :-)

What if –

The creative dreamer,

Writing from the heart, faces

Mortification?

Funny you should ask.

Writers dreaming have

Second sight,

Writing magic.

Take Joy!

Bird by bird

Escaping into the open, to

Incognito Street.

Save the Cat!

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot,

The Mixed-Up Chameleon,

And Me … Jane

Journey to the Haunted Planet

Swirl by Swirl.

Can you hear it?

Chasing Degas,

Belinda begins ballet

One winter’s day.

Categories: Picture Books, Poetry, Writing · Tags: , , , , ,

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One of Louise's favorite writing books

For today’s Tuesday 12 x 12, please welcome Louise Nottingham.  I love that one of Louise’s blogs focuses on poetry, as I am working on writing more poetry myself this year. I have no doubt you will one day be published and acclaimed! :-)

The Adrenalin Of The Challenge!

Unpublished writer, unrecognized artist, wife, mother, grandmother, and woman of extreme silly imagination! I wonder if I can get that on the label of my urn? ;-)  of course I will want to change ‘unpublished’ and ‘unrecognized’ to published and acclaimed! Fingers crossed everyone!

I have to say I don’t know how I stumbled onto the PiBoIdMo Challenge, but I think it must have been some chatter on my Facebook Wall.  I have over 300 ‘Facebook friends’ who are near and dear to me as well as being totally unknown and unmet! Most are writers and authors.  I do so love the book chatter that the authors share. When Tara Lazar started chatting about her past success with a Picture Book IDEA Month I was intrigued. Then when someone compared it to National Novel Writing Month, which I have started often but ‘won’ never (!), I thought “this is something I can do and win!”  I was right! I did it! Throughout the month I found that what I liked most was the accountability and encouragement of the other participants.

Years ago, a library coworker and I had poetry challenges every April (National Poetry Month) We did a poem a day challenge with each other via email each April.  After a couple of years, we expanded that challenge to a full year.  At the end of that year I was so pleased with myself and so grateful to her.  That’s how I feel today when I think of November. No longer is November the month of writing frustration, but the month of ‘idea’ success! I can hardly wait for next November.

Late into the November PiBoIdMo challenge, someone said that they challenged themselves, the year before, to complete one story a month to draft, I thought to myself, “I wish we had a similar support group for that!” THANKFULLY Julie Hedlund stepped up to be our facilitator and leader!

Because of the 12 x 12 in 2012 Challenge I have written daily.  I have been challenged with a marathon in February.  And in March I am going to flex my writing muscles to do a chapter a day (challenge) as well as writing at least one picture book!

Best of all I feel like I am making wonderful friends who have been so encouraging to me! I have been lucky enough to connect with someone in my area who invited me to her critique group, something I have missed after moving from my previous home in Florida.

Before I end I want to share what I have on my bookshelves. I own a large collection of picture books, and juvenile chapter books and a couple of young adult chapter books.  I also have many books on writing. I have books on writing plots. I have books on writing flash fiction. I have books on writing character. I have book on writing for children. I have books on illustrating the story. I have books on marketing your books. I have books on publishing and self-publishing books. And yes, all of these are plural: books!

If I have to pick three books specifically for children’s writing I would pick:

Children’s Writer’s Word Book.

Most of this book is just a children’s level thesaurus but in the first few pages it talks about how children read. It also suggests what words work best for what reading grade level.  I really like this feature. Although I used this more a few years ago than recently, it’s still one I would recommend be on all children’s writer shelves.

Writing With Pictures by Uri Shulevitz

This is on every illustrator’s shelf, but it should be on every picture book writer’s shelf. Especially if you are NOT an illustrator! On Facebook there is often dialog on what words to cut and how to ‘write for the illustrator’. Read this book and check out some of the books Uri uses as examples.  You will begin to get a feel for what is the writer’s job vs the illustrator’s job.

Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine

Ok, Gail wrote this book for young writers my granddaughter’s age, but I love how she is able to talk about gathering your ideas and writing about them.  Many books for children are total fantasy with fairies and elves and dragons and she taps into that magic fantasy.

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed your time with me as much as I have enjoyed the past unpublished author Tuesdays.  I want to thank each of you for your encouragement! I wish each of ‘us’ luck in our writing pursuits!

And I have a couple of blogs I invite you to visit:

http://poeticlouise.blogspot.com/ Remember when I said I used to write a poem a day? Now it’s a haiku a week!

http://louisesblogtoday.blogspot.com/ Did I mention I was a children’s librarian for 5 or 6 years? During that time I started reviewing books on our shelves, which I liked, for our patrons.  This year I started wanting to keep track of what I read this year.  I am already behind on that, but I do post a few now and then, so stop by every once and awhile to see what I am reading.

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Books, Children's Books, Goals, PiBoIdMo, Picture Books, Poetry, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Quick update: I was not one of the three finalists in Brenda Drake‘s Show Me the Voice Blogfest, but I am thrilled to have been a semi-finalist.  I had a great time participating.  You should go read the finalists’ entries, as they are fantastic.

Meanwhile, this is a post I meant to write a while ago, but it fell by the wayside.

 

This really is Marla and Me

One of the highlights of attending the Big Sur Children’s Writers workshop last December was that I got to participate in a critique group with none other than Marla Frazee.  I jotted down this poem shortly thereafter, and figured I would debut it on the blog today in honor of the start of National Poetry Month.  It also makes sense as an April Fool’s Day post because it exaggerates the truth just a tad… Maybe you’ll recognize the liberties in the lines.  Bonus points if you can name the titles of Marla’s works in the poem.  :-)

 

Marla and Me

Here is a picture of Marla and me
After swapping fantabulous stories.
Equally awed by the other’s raw talent,
Predicting untold future glories.

Because that’s the way it is
With Marla and Me.

All the World is a mighty fine place
When Marla is writing her books.
As such a star team, when we’re deep into craft,
People oft give us envious looks.

Because that’s the way it is
With Marla and me.

She has a keen eye for finding the flaws
That obscure a manuscript’s brilliance.
Just polish and shine, lacquer each line.
Then add a strong dose of resilience.

Because Marla’s the Boss, Baby!

Categories: Authors, Picture Books, Poetry · Tags: , , , , , , ,

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