Irma’s Tinkerbelle

(PoemFriends are peacefully greeted (Sept. 21 – International Peace Day) over at The Poem Farm with Poetry Friday host, Amy.)

Directly across our house. From Hurricane (tropical storm) Irma Sept. 2017

In flights of twos and tens,
hummingbirds darted in light rain to a feeder
I watched in Alabama.
That was one of the beauty spots
calming us
when we evacuated North Florida,
away from high winds
and waterfalls of Irma’s rain.

Maybe because my pictures of them define blurry,
or there were so many
of the whirry, bitty birds,
I made a startling leap of
imagination. J.M. Barrie must have been a
hummingbird watcher
. And I decided that
hummingbirds must have been his inspiration for
Tinkerbelle in PETER PAN.

TINKERBELLE

Our city & county officials called for
a voluntary evacuation.
When a sturdy, outdoorsy,
trusted writer pal informed
me of that alert, we knew it
was right to go with the flow.
Although I had snared the last room reservation
at a chain hotel we like, it was nicer to give that up
to another family & accept
the offer of shelter of another writer pal, whose
spacious house at tree top level,
book-filled from beam to brim,
defines the word retreat.

The hovering Tinkerbells inspired me to
write a poem, Jaunty,
in longhand there (below), which
may fit an intriguing
prompt from Carole Boston Weatherford
at TODAY’S LITTLE DELIGHT/DITTY.

I also found out how one very special canine
works a laptop.
I read borrowed books from our pal,
Joan Broerman, author, writer’s workshop leader
who is a legendary leader in the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators.
In generous Joan fashion, she also gave me a book for the road
(BIG MAGIC, Elizabeth Gilbert.)
My hubby & I so very much appreciate Joan for providing calm
energy & generator advice & much more
in the storm.

Maggie & Me

Back home, in North Florida Irma slowed
to a wide, walloping tropical terror, downgraded
from a hurricane.
Irma veered away east of our North Florida hilly town,
leaving people to cope with downed trees & hours
without power. I hope that many, looking at the
destruction on islands and along rivers/lagoons/canal
communities,
understand how fortunate they are not to have to live
in a Florida flood plain. (This is land that should
be set aside from development, as along the
Hillsborough River near Tampa.)

Here is my Hurricane Irma poem.

Jaunty
by J.G. Annino

A bitty bird creature,
darting,
discovers
empty feeder.
Food gone.
Hovers, hovers, hovers.
Human helper, help instantly!
Jaunty keeps looking.
More nourishment needed!

One person
quickly,
quietly,
responds,
rendering
sustenance
to
ultra-vibrant
winsome wonder.
c.2017JanGAnnino

Jaunty

Thank you all, first responders. Thank you librarians, who are among the many groups organizing for hurricane relief.

Thank you for collecting images of Hurricane Irma’s impact,
Washington Post , including photographs from my
beloved streets of coastal Southwest Florida,
where I no longer work & live, & from coastal Northeast Florida, where
we sometimes play.

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Sanctuary + pass along books

Sanctuary + book pass alongs

I am exiting from my self-created
verse novel writing retreat
to share three book titles for
these times.

These times
meaning, days following
the loss of three lives at Charlottesville
due to a domestic terrorism murder &
affiliated helicopter crash.

LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE
Heather D. Heyer
H. Jay Cullen Berke M.M. Bates
PEACEPEACEPEACEPEACEPEACEPEACEPEACE

c.2017 JanGodownAnnino Tallahassee memorial for Charlottesville – two friends, two lights

As one of my first actions in response to these deaths,
I sought out books that can help me better understand
various faiths & cultures.

I am one of those uninformed persons who has never
taken a world religions class, although as
a Christian, I feel it is my responsibility to know much
more about my Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Baha’i, Jewish
& other-faith, neighbors.

So I am fortunate to be learning from
WHAT DO OUR NEIGHBORS BELIEVE?
by Howard R. Greenstein, Kendra Hotz and John Kaltner.
I will pass this book along to a commenter here.

I also bought THE FAITH CLUB from Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver
and Priscilla Warner. This is also a book for adults, but it grew from
discussion, when the three authors actually
orgaized to write a children’s
picture book. I will
also pass it along to a commenter here.

Please help.
I’m looking for titles of recent (2016-2017 or upcoming)
K-1st grade excellent picture books
that unfold lively, engaging stories with joy,
while managing to represent
various cultures & beliefs.
Appreciations for your recommendations, which
I expect to find & place in the book bag I take to school,
as a longtime volunteer reader.

LITTLES
c.2017 AG Ford illustration
Kelly DiPUcchio text

I found a 2017 bundle of joy, compliments of
the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library,
that is
LITTLES, And How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio
(Grace for President), with artwork from AG Ford
(What Color is My World.)

From LITTLES:

Littles are washed in warm sudsy baths
with duckies and daddies
that quack and who laugh

I can’t help but feeling, even knowing in my heart,
that if the Ohio young man responsible for
the compassionate Heather’s death,
had grown up in a compassionate
family whose members
regularly read him books
such as LITTLES, he wouldn’t have been on
the wrong section of the participants, that
weekend. Nor would he have written
that high school paper tribute to
the hateful set of beliefs that is Nazism.

My heart goes out to
the victims’ families,
to Charlottesville and
personally to the children’s authors
I know in that lovely area of Virginia,
along to educators and librarians,
as the community
works harder than ever,
to continue on what many know is its
true progressive path.

Deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall Overcome
Some day

I feel fortunate to know Poetry Friday, a Shining Light
& promoter of peace.

And I found this little light to shine
for the whole world
via LITTLES’ author
Kelly DiPucchio & I hope you like this little light 🙂

Also please know these urls:
http://www.wjkbooks.com/Products/0664230652/what-do-our-neighbors-believe.aspx

https://www.thefaithclub.com/ranya-idliby-questions.html

HERE WE GO

Whee! Here We Go!

Just the sort of thing I would sing after –
a holiday weekend traffic jam is unstuck, OR
we set out on a loooong beach walk that doesn’t end until land ends, OR
my verse novel clocks in at halfway home.
I can now say I’ve experienced these three.

So this post celebrates a gift that Bookseedstudio
received aways back, awarded for my correctly
guessing the number of dactyls jammed into in a jelly jar
or somesuch feat over at Today’s Little Ditty,
which is also known by me as
Today’s Little Delight.

My prize is to finally pop the cork on my
pretty copy of the
anthology HERE WE GO, created by poetry mavens
Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.

My particular sample of the book is graced with
autographs from poem makers Robyn Hood Black and
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. Alongside them, between
World art covers from Franzi Draws, are
Naomi Shihab Nye, Joseph Bruchac,
David Harrison and Renee LaTulippe, among a buncha
poet luminaries whose work I
like to fetch off the shelf for fuel.
Because of this book
I am also now a fan of artist Franzi. Go look
her up.

“HELLO” copyright, Franzi Paetzold, all rights reserved

HERE WE GO, lifts up ideas on every
page of the slim volume,
which is also a workbook. But I especially
want to share just a coupla lines from two poems.

Girl Grit

What if
I saved lions
some endangered species
using every strong, skillful word
I know?

© Margaret Simon

Look for the Helpers

Look for the helpers
the healers
the givers

The arms-open
hands-holding
everyday heroes.

© Michele Heidenrich Barnes

Potent.

The main character I’m moving through
life in my 1800s-set story,
is in the business of
saving, similar to the character
in “Girl Grit.”

And she is also looking for the
arms-open
hands-holding
everyday heroes
of “Look for the Helpers.”

The full poems are in the book. If your students or you are about saving
and helping, remember to crack open your
copy if you have one, or find a sample for your
table. Lucky you, if you nailed a coupla autographs!

 

HERE WE GO Final front cover 121116 JPEG

A visit with Irene Latham

Happy summer! The very helpful Diane is herding haiku folks &
other poetry people into the weekly partee known as Poetry Friday.

A visit with Irene Latham

I have twice bumped into Alabama-based author
Irene Latham.
We exchanged grins at a cozy SCBWI Southern
Breeze workshop. Then months later, we appreciated
the airy space of The Bookshelf, a friendly emporium
in a Georgia village.

Irene Latham P.B. Shelf (with approving elephant) The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA  c. 2016 JanGodownAnnino

Irene Latham P.B. Shelf (with approving elephant) The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA
c. 2016 JanGodownAnnino

All my moments with this often-traveling, award-winning poet,
novelist & picture book author give me the feeling that
I want to be a calmer & kinder person & a much more
creative writer. No wonder I’m craving an Irene Latham fix. 

I left a trail of peanuts, in hopes of enticing this
elephant-loving woman into the Bookseedstudio studio.
The snacks worked. We are today’s exclusive site for,
A visit with Irene Latham.

Q.  
Peanuts or popcorn?

I can’t pick… enjoy them both! Especially if there’s
chocolate involved…

Q.  
 Book wrangling. Keep them in a tall, narrow bookcase? A
short, fold-up bookstair? Alphabetized by author?  How do
you tame your home/office library?

I have books in every room of the house — but I try really
hard to keep only the books to which I have strong attachments.
(Books are meant to be read, not collecting dust on a shelf!) I don’t
do alphabetical, though it sure would make things easier to find! I
tend to group according to emotional impact. I do have several
bookshelves devoted to only children’s literature.

Q.  
Background sounds. What is your writing zone playlist?
Is silence when you write, golden?

Silence is my sound of choice. Or birdsong.

Q.  
We are visiting Birmingham, your town. 
What are 3 places you’d take us to?

Vulcan at night,
Johnny’s in Homewood for the best
upscale meat-n-three you will ever eat,
and Reed Books.
And then there’s the Civil Rights Museum, Railroad Park,
Birmingham Museum of Art, the Botanical Gardens,
our fabulous zoo… 

Q.  
Please finish the sentence. A map is…

. . . unnecessary.
Let the journey guide you, not the map! (I actually love maps
and am learning some of the best things ever are found when
you put the map away.)

Q.  
If your name weren’t Irene, it would be…

. . . Hannah. (I am named after my great-grandmother,
Hannah Irene.)

Q.  
If writing weren’t your work, it would be… ?

My husband and I love to travel and love to EAT, so
maybe together we’d host a TV travel show? 
 
Q.  
What should children’s writers ask
themselves when they start a new project? 

Am I having fun? Am I delighted?
Does this story fill me with wonder and joy?

Irene Latham with young friends, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

Irene Latham with young friends, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

Appreciations
to Irene for these fun thoughts. You can glean a fine dollop of
poem-making tips & shake paws with the elephant-loving
Irene Latham at these fresh & delicious 2016 events: 

Alabama Writers Conclave (Birmingham, AL) – July 15-17
Mississippi Book Festival (Jackson, MS) – August 20 
Poetry Camp (Bellingham, WA) – October 1
SCBWI Writing & Illustrating for Kids (Birmingham, AL) – October 8
Louisiana Book Festival (Baton Rouge, LA) – October 29
NCTE (Atlanta, GA) – November 17-20

ALSO
you will not want to miss, coming to a bookshelf near you
(sooner or later) this hard-working poet’s way with words in:
IT’S NOT BLACK AND WHITE
(poetry picture book, co-authored with Charles Waters)
FRANK AND MISS FANCY
(historical fiction picture book)
POP, BAM, BOOM!
(poetry picture book)
THE OCTOPUS POSTCARDS
(nonfiction picture book)

FOR
more juicy details visit www.irenelatham.com

AND
if you have’t already, read these Irene Latham books
find them fast:
FRESH DELICIOUS
DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST
WHEN SHE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA<
/>

LEAVING GEE’S BEND
DON’T FEED THE BOY


THE COLOR OF LOST ROOMS
THE SKY BETWEEN US
WHAT CAME BEFORE <
/>

Here is a little Irene Lantham poem-in-progress,
about Irene,
but certainly not BY Irene.

Brave Irene

Deep down in
another writer’s desk
dwelled fusty words,
not the best.

Irene swatted the dull things
away. She clapped her paws:
“Walloping crisp verbs,
come in and play.”

A calvacade of tight terms
appeared:
crack
creak

gulp
flick
shine
peel

hammer
squabble
gobble
burble

leap
convene
squint
grimace

Multitudinous words danced
in the now-lively place.
Appreciations extended!
Violets in a vase.

“Tut, tut,” Irene said,
“Good words always lived here.
You just had to banish
that writerly fear.”

-jga

Highlights of Working at Writer’s Wonderland – 2

Favorites from the Workshop – The Work at The Novel-in-Verse Workshop
by Jan Annino

(Seekers of the POETRY FRIDAY round-up, of which this article is a part, are collected by Jone at CHECK IT OUT. https://maclibrary.wordpress.com/)

To cope from withdrawal symptoms
following a Highlights Foundation Workshop
last month, I’m writing about my favorites
from the experience.
In the last post I listed High Five
Favorites from The Tour of The Office.

Favorites from the Workshop – The Work

Work!
A lot of it.
In an ardent
doodle, doodle, idea, idea, scribble, scribble,
sense.

Breakthrough moments
bubbled up,
so I chucked swaths of lines,
retooled others in light of
directions newly imagined.
Terrific progress.

Mornings I awoke to birdsong.
First light filtered in from a wood,
across a red clover field where
a red tractor sat.
A breeze tickled delicate white curtains
against honey blond, paneled, cabin walls.

Each of the perfect-weather mornings,
I grabbed my journal/notebook that wears
an embossed mantra,
“A moment of gratitude makes a difference in attitude.”
It arrived home juicy with impressions,
characters, thoughts, titles, snatches of
dialogue & questions.

I tugged myself away from the cabin’s
spell & went outside early.
Plump robins worked to make a nest
in a beam of my front porch.
Writers also saw Baltimore orioles.
I stopped in my path for the flight
of an indigo bunting.
Bluebirds visited me uncountable times.
And more delight –
chipmunks wove in an out of slate walls near the 5,200 square
foot airy conference center fittingly known as The Barn.

copyright 2016 Joanne R. Fritz, all rights  reserved

copyright 2016
Joanne R. Fritz, all rights
reserved


More Work
Each morning top-drawer authors,
Kathryn Erskine and Alma Fullerton,
guided us with pithy & lively lectures & writing prompts.
They are each of them such
physical presenters, it felt at times as if we
watched theater.
We listened to a potent talk &
enjoyed many conversations with
visiting author Padma Venkatraman,
(A Time to Dance, Island’s End, Climbing the Stairs.)

Afternoons offered time for one-on-one
meetings with the mentors.
Plus, individual writing marathons inside.
Or out, with assistance from previously noted
chipmunks and avians.
Writers found the creek at the bottom of the hill.
It reflected a clearness that guided
thoughts & work.

copyright,  Kathryn Erskine,  all right reserved

copyright,
Kathryn Erskine,
all right reserved


<

By 4 we collected in the living room of The Barn
in a daily group critique
for the brave. Everyone felt brave,
drawn out by the nurturing faculty.
We appreciated the Floyd Cooper art on the walls &
the big sofas holding red pillows emblazoned with the
distinctive H for Highlights, logo.

The nights were usually free for reading,
writing, or discussion. I felt fortunate that an
insightful librarian, also working on historical fiction
like me, asked to share evening work time in The Barn.
Another night we were gifted with visits from City
Folk, an accomplished agent & an esteemed editor.
Such insights, we gleaned. Such access, we appreciated.

Favorite Words of Wisdom
Katherine Erskine, whose books include Mockingbird, Quaking,
The Badger Knight, plus the forthcoming, Mama Africa:

All of your stories will make wonderful books.

Imagine an elaborate line-up of dominoes that you will be setting off, in touching
the first one. Each domino must connect. Each scene must connect with the next.

Keep in mind who is the antagonist. Who is the battle against.

Alma Fullerton, whose books include In The Garage, Libertad, Burn
& the forthcoming, 50 Lashes:

Don’t sacrifice story for poetic form.

My first draft is basically barfing on the paper.

The evil person can be even nastier if we don’t see him/him from
his point of view, but when we view that antagonist from the outside.

Bonus Staff
The kind & funny chef staff (hello there, Marcia,
Amanda, Megan, Derrick & a spot-on walk-on, Kent!) matched
the quality of the story-crafting faculty. And their treats are
missed (hello there, toasted kale appetizer, mushroom loaf,
stuffed peppers, cream of squash soup, rhubarb crunch,
grilled asparagus, local cheeses, et. al!)

In Summary
Pages were required with the application;
this varies workshop to workshop. We 12 brought
library or teaching or children’s bookselling or publishing
tales with us. Students traveled from as far as Idaho, and as
next-door as N.J. and PA.
We grew close to each other, in sharing about our novel-in-verse
(one biography-in-verse) projects.
I’m anticipating news in the months ahead about terrific progress.
I’ve already brought fresh work to an at-home writing partner
at the library last night.

To Be Continued
How cool it is to be collected in an online group by our
spiffy librarian techie, my sharp critique partner
that night, to continue the journey begun at Highlights.
Appreciations to all.
With extra thanks to Kathryn Erskine & Joanne Fritz for
sharing the photos for this article. My 125 images
I took in the 5 days didn’t make it home, but
that’s another Story.

Highlights of Working at Writer’s Wonderland – 1

Highlights of Working at a Writer’s Wonderland – The Tour
by Jan Annino

I write this blog article as a coping mechanism
to soothe withdrawal, from leaving
a Writer’s Wonderland.

Last month I attended my first Highlights Foundation
Workshop for Children’s and Illustrators. A two-word
writing results summary is – terrific progress.
I hope the days there aren’t my last visit to the Highlights
nirvana for writers, editors, and illustrators.

Here today, from the recent Highlights Foundation
Workshop for writers of novels-in-verse, are my High Fives
about The Tour. Tomorrow’s blog article is about The Workshop.

The Tour
My High Five Favorites at the Office – The Tour

images-2
Highlights logo is cheerily emblazoned on scattered carpets.

images-1
A giant skull sits in the editor-in-chief’s office (ask about it on
tour.)
images-2
Magazine editors work in an historic downtown former mayor’s home,
a building accented with high ceilings, big, built-in
bookcases, and tall windows.
images-3

Editor name plates are old Scrabble tile holders that display the
wood letters spelling first names. (Hello Joelle, Channing & everyone!)
images-4
All on the magazine staff answer mail from children; every piece of
child mail is answered.

Finally, my heart also melted when I saw that books created by
book friends (Lee Bennett Hopkins, Lisa Desimini, Irene Latham)
are so handy for reference.

Okay, so I gave you one more – that makes six. The Highlights
folks like to overdeliver and I feel we all carried that spirit
away with us.

I hope you can visit this blog again; tomorrow I expect to post High Five Favorites from the Workshop – The Work.

(printablenumbers.org a resource for educators, is much appreciated
for today’s numbers.)

Progressive Poem, Poem in Your Pocket Day & More

Hello from Bookseedstudio.

It’s the 21st day of National Poetry Month.

It’s Poem in Your Pocket Day.

It’s also the 21st day of the 2016 Progressive Poem party,
with a new line for you to read, below.

The poem party is an annual online meetup launched by my (& your)
terrific poetry pal, Irene Latham.
of Live Your Poem fame.
Who by the way, has a brand new ARTSPEAK poem up
at her site. Along with picture book, poetry book & adult
novel, goodness. http://www.irenelatham.blogspot.com/

2016 Kidlit Progressive Poem
After today the 2016 Progressive Poem, as yet unnamed,
bounces from Florida up to South Carolina, to my
Haiku & artist pal Robyn Hood Black at
Life on the Deckle Edge. Yesterday the poem
visited Haiti, and Ruth at
There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken
Town. From that important post, she provided an intriguing line.
April 1st the lively children’s poet, picture book
author & mentor, Laura Purdie Salas, set the stage.

2016 Progressive Poem

A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky.
A hummingbird holds and then hies.
If I could fly, I’d choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees.

A cast of crabs engraves the sand
Delighting a child’s outstretched hand.
If I could breathe under the sea,
I’d dive, I’d dip, I’d dance with glee.

A clump of crocuses crave the sun.
Kites soar while joyful dogs run.
I sing to spring, to budding green,
to all of life – seen and unseen.

Wee whispers drift from cloud to ear
and finally reach one divining seer
who looks up from her perch and beams —
West Wind is dreaming May, it seems.



Golden wings open and gleam
as I greet the prancing team.
Gliding aside with lyrical speed,
I’d ride Pegasus to Ganymede.

To a pied pocket, the zephyr returns

. . .
But there is more. First, here are each line’s contributors:
1 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Diane at Random Noodling
5 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots
6 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
10 Pat at Writer on a Horse
11 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
12 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
13 Linda at TeacherDance
14 Jone at Deo Writer
15 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
16 Violet at Violet Nesdoly
17 Kim at Flukeprints
18 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Charles Waters at Poetry Time
20 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
21 Me at Bookseedstudio
22 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
23 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Mark at Jackett Writes
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
28 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
29 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
30 Donna at Mainely Write

Quite a crew, eh?
But wait – there is more.
Remember Poem in Your Pocket Day?
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A pocket is one of my favorite features of clothes.
Pockets tie in first place
with buttons & hats in my delightful duds pantheon.
For 2016 Poem Your Pocket Day, I wear an apron for its pockets,
to carry poems for sharing in Kindergarten, where I am a longtime
volunteer with the lovely national literacy program,
BookPALS. Some of those poems are quite naturally, from poetry picture books of the Poetry Friday crowd.
https://www.poets.org/national-poetry…/poem-your-pocket-day

But there is more.
As I said, it’s National Poetry Month.

In a lovely surge of synchronicity, I’ve soaked up
up wisdom in person from poetry greats. In my April 15
article here at this site, I wrote about past U.S. Poet Laureate
Robert Pinsky’s visit to our town.

Devon Glover’s lively Sonnet Man
visit to our just-closed
Shakespeare Festival
immersed me that historic form,
& also as it can be recast in rap.

thesonnetman
Nikky Finney’s visit to FAMU’s literature conference
last month set a sensational poetry stage. She told how
her Talladega College mentor strode up to her on a Friday
when she saw that this student was, as students will do
on a Friday at 4 p.m., goofing off with her pals before they
headed to the gym to dance.

“Miss Finney, tell me, do you really have time to sit there, have you
finished reading every book in the library?” asked
Dr. Gloria Wade Gayles.
The formidable mentor turned and strode off with her briefcase.

Nikky Finney said the abrupt reminder – great expectations are held
for the promise of your talent – kept her reading books in the library instead of goofing off all through college. And yes, she read in the library that night instead of hanging out in the gym.

Who is Nikky Finney? Child of South Carolina
segregation-into-integration times.
National Book Award Winner for Poetry for the atmospheric
HEAD OFF & SPLIT and winner of other mighty fine honors
including fellowships, grants & awards. Her other titles include
ON WINGS MADE OF GAUZE, RICE, HEARTWOOD and THE WORLD
IS ROUND.

Happy Poetry Month to you & yours
in all its varied celebrations!
Jan
unnamed-10