Friday, August 29, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: Dog Days

Thanks so much to Jone at Check It Out for hosting Poetry Friday today!
 
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I am so happy to be able to join in the Poetry Friday festivities today! The back-to-school whirlwind is subsiding, my boys are officially middle schoolers (!!!), and I am enjoying much more productive writing time these days. I miss my boys, but I am so glad to have regular writing time back!

My Poetry Friday poem today was inspired by my sweet puppy Gracie and the sweltering, sticky Carolina HEAT we’ve endured over the last few weeks. It is beyond me how this crazy puppy can race around our back yard so enthusiastically when the thermometer is up in the nineties! 
 
 
But, like the month of August, even energetic dogs must eventually take a break...right? ☺

Dog Days
In August, Summer stretches out and sits up, yawning wide.
She perks her ears and wags her tail and beckons us outside.
She romps and plays, nails all her tricks, begs us to chase and run.
And when we droop, she frolics on, despite the scorching sun.
Just when we think she’ll never quit, she drops her favorite ball,
Then takes a bow, lies slowly down, and rolls right into fall.
 
While our summer has been a blast, I am definitely looking forward to fall. So when I saw THIS on my walk this morning, it added a little spring to my step:

 
Enjoy the last blast of summer, have a great Labor Day weekend, and Happy Writing!

Friday, August 8, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: Celebrating Book Lovers Day!

Thanks to Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for hosting Poetry Friday today!

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This Saturday, August 9th is Book Lovers Day!
Because books are at the top of my list of favorite things, I thought I’d share a new favorite of mine, “The Reading Mother” by Strickland Gillian.

This poem particularly resonates with me, partly because I still read to my 11-year-old boys almost every night. I’ve read aloud to them since infancy, but when they were 4, I started reading chapter books, beginning with Judy Blume’s TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING. Since then, we’ve read classics old and new, explored many different genres, and enjoyed books written by author friends of mine. We’re currently reading Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER, and we are all enjoying it tremendously. I hope you like Gillian's poem as much as I do! 

The Reading Mother
By Strickland Gillain (1869-1954)
 
I had a Mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath
 
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
 
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
 
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
 
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be-
I had a Mother who read to me.
I found this beautiful image online but was unable to discover the artist's name. It is such a wonderful picture--I especially love the mother's finger pointing into the air as she reads!
 
Happy Book Lovers Day, Happy Friday, and Happy Writing!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Preventing "Writer's Twitch"

I’ve spent the last few days catching up on some of my favorite writing blogs—summer’s whirlwind of travel and fun has kept me away from my computer quite a bit over the last several weeks, and it has been such a joy to sit down and ease back into a more writerly frame of mind. I also registered for the Carolinas Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Fall Conference* over the weekend, reviewed my notes from a writing workshop I attended in July, and worked on a few writing projects that were begging for attention. All fun stuff!

I’ve noticed over the last year or so that when I don’t take time to write each day, I start feeling twitchy—that is really the only way to explain it. In my reading this weekend, I came upon the following quote from author Christina Katz, which resonates with me loud and clear:
For more writing information and inspiration from Christina Katz, click here.
 
I also found this gem from poet Walt Whitman:

 from examiner.com
I’m printing and posting this one where I can read it often. It is a dose of prevention against "writer's twitch," and a great reminder to take time to write whenever possible—even if it’s a just a few minutes—no matter how much activity is buzzing around me during these sticky-sweet days of summer!

Stay cool, and Happy Writing!
*To look for SCWBI events near you, click here and do a simple search. Many events are open to non-members for a slightly higher fee.