How to find a ThankU

courtesy of TEACHING AUTHORS

courtesy of
TEACHING AUTHORS

How to find a ThankU
by Jan Godown Annino

(first- a deertale – follow the blue words for POETRY FRIDAY.)

My heart is wrapped in appreciations.
& I want to share a few of them.

I have seen the eyes-wide
open photographs of Ian, a bursting-new babe in my
Circle of Love world.

ON THE DAY YOU  WERE BORN c. Debra Frasier

ON THE DAY YOU
WERE BORN
c. Debra Frasier

I wake up every morning & am fortunate to see
the smiling face of my handsome husband.

And, this is indulgent, forgive me, but I see
good news for my work.

So I am thinking – THANKU

As you may guess from the inventive name,
a Thanku is a form of Haiku.

I read about it via the Teaching Authors of 2011 –
April, Carmela, Esther, JoAnn, Laura & Mary_Ann_Rodman”
(I hope I’m not forgetting anyone vintage 2011.)

And it was author/teacher Esther Hershenshorn who created the Thanku.

So, a 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables construct is the guide.
An appreciation is given. Like that – a ThankU.

So if you have time to read now, or later, I’m sharing
three. All c. Jan Godown Annino. And ThankU, for visiting
this page.

ThankU, Ian

Stretchy legs feel air
Wide eyes seek out shapes of love
Toes say “nibble me”

ThankU, Paolo

Morning wake-up call
Wrinkled faces meet at lips
Doesn’t feel routine

ThankU, Book notes

“Congratulations!”
Unanticipated joy
is the finest kind

Regarding the last ThankU, recent developments
related to a book of mine published back in 2010
are quite fine.

BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER, first news
In 2016 the trail-blazing BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER (1923-2001),
the subject of SHE SANG PROMISE, will be celebrated alongside other
great women of achievement. The National Women’s History Project will honor Betty Mae Tiger Jumper’s historic leadership of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

NWHP-carttop
As if that isn’t enough to appreciate…

BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER, 2nd news
This fall, Betty Mae Tiger Jumper was honored by the Library of
Congress when that same title was featured at the LOC
National Book Festival, as one of 52 Great Reads for Young Readers.

(see poster, below)

Also, Scholastic has brought out SHE SANG PROMISE in a lovely paperbound edition. It’s on sale at a nifty price right now at the Scholastic Teacher Store.

Some of the opening lines in SHE SANG PROMISE are –

Think of the gigantic glades near the end of land
A mama alligator floats babies on her back
And itchy black bear takes a palm tree scratch
Leaving soft fur tufts that swamp mice fetch

© Jan Godown Annino

My November cornucopia is ripe, sweet, spilling.

I am thankful to all helping along this book’s path, especially
the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum & Store (where She Sang Promise is sold online),
the family of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, notably Moses Jumper, Jr. the artist
Lisa Desimini, the editors, especially Jennifer Emmett.

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The “p” in April is for ?

The P in April is for ?

We played a game in our family that involved verses.

When I was six, seven, eight, my Aunt Florence if she was visiting,

but more often my mother, would point to me.

Then began the count, out loud: “ 1, 2, 3….

By 10, I had to start saying a nursery rhyme or poem.

I never saw a purple cow

I never hope to see one…

Then it would be my turn to point to one of them and count,

“1,2, 3…”

O captain, my captain…”

Woodman spare that tree…”

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea…” 

That Edward Lear ditty would be recited by Aunt Florence, who would give her other kidney in transplant to a cat if it would have prolonged the pampered life she provided her felines.

It would seem silly to the sisters, Florence, Marian and Lilly, to create only one month for poetry, when limericks, light verse & poetry, including patriotic ballads, filled a walloping large part of their world.

Today it might take a college poetry class to inveigle a young person to memorize a poem. But the gals finished their high school learning that poetry is meant to be heard. They carried their memorized recitations, declamations & elocutions with them, & shared them as portable nourishment all their days.

With the memories of those performances as part of my literary legacy, I was thrilled this month to visit a public school & find that a first grade teacher I’ve always suspected of being wildly creative, intends to lead her class in learning by heart one poem ( Shel Silverstein’s -“Sick.”) Not only will her wiggly ones be challenged to recite it, but they will also be asked to create their own list poem about sick days they have experienced & to create other responses.  If there is a National Poetry Foundation or Library of Congress poetry honor for school teachers, I want to nominate her.

Also in this poetry month I was surprised to hear writer Laura Lascarso asking me for a poem as we chatted together at our downtown spring festival.

I expected to send her one on a Florida topic that is to be published later this year in a small journal. But instead I found that the hard-worked farm across the road from me in my child years before Florida, sprang to mind. I wrote a new poem thinking of that farm; the result, not light verse, is “April is Open.” I invite you to read it and please leave a word or two about it on Laura’s site.

I started poetry month with the gift of a how-to book intended for younger writers, WRITE A POEM, by JoAnn Early Macken.

I wish Aunt Florence were around to appreciate like I do, the  lines:

Scratchy cat

looking for a rat

leaps to the window

Acrobat!

I thank JoAnn Early Macken for this guide, which brings with it a plan, tools and model poems that are sure to lure words out of little ones and into the lines of poems . She shares with us that her verse above originally was this:

Scratchy cat

in the window sat

wearing a hat

looking for rats

and then she is patient in illuminating the substance of how & why the revised lines sound better. When I am done devouring her guide (I’ve read it once & I like to read books three times through if they are the kind to inhale,) I think WRITE A POEM is headed over to a certain first grade poetry palace.

Question answer: Although the P in April is for poetry, it is also for performance.

Typing with Ginger

National Novel Writing Month 2012

In October I didn’t discern that my neurons held an idea for a particular strong new mystery character.

That was well before the accumulation of the mini-marathons that 30 days of NaNoWriMo in November ushers in, at least for many writers. This year for it, I nested online in a community of keyboarders.

NaNoWriMo is a phenom that almost every writer I speak with knows about, even if participation isn’t part of their plan. Some fortunate writers who I’m cheering on with long-range  agent &/or editor hopes for their just-completed novels, holed up at a delicious island, supported by cooked meals, the swish of salty air, and the focused attention of an award-winning author who dishes kindness with criticism. Brava! I was with them in spirit. I crafted a NaNoWriMo for myself, uplifted by hardworking NaNoWriMo organizers locally. My municipal  liaison coach hand-made an Origami guide for each writer & treated us to an outdoors kick-off party. This was a sweet surprise & set me typing, typing, typing.

NaNoWriMo 2012 guide all rights reserved

NaNoWriMo 2012 guide
all rights reserved

I became the only writer in the entire contest assisted by Ginger, a feline who has nevertheless seen too much for his liking, of vets lately, but he’s fine, just finicky (yes his “Ginger” name is also a story.)  Perhaps the blog of this author who I’ve enjoyed studying with, a visiting professor,  helps explain my absence at our area NaNoWriMo write-in events. I did attend the kick-off party, channeling Big Bird.

all rights reserved

all rights reserved

As a result of the energy from my NaNoWriMo team I have met my character, saluted her perfect name, & wondered over her dreams & her problems. Of course when I return to this manuscript-in-progess some other month, my character Sara may become Penelope Pennypress. And her dreams and her challenges will morph. And that will be a good, good, thing.

Tally:   6,724 words.

I didn’t exceed my goal, 1,000 words a day –  or even match it. But no complaints. In November we traveled far, beautifully celebrated our 25th anniversary, attended to some key family details that also involved out-of-town visits & noshed on an early Thanksgiving with our out-of-town college kiddo. I tackled writing details such as doing the Snoopy dance for finishing & sending out to a contest, chapters in a mystery for young readers & I organized my first blog hop with book topic Qs & As; it begins back here on Dec. 5.

What I’ve begun writing next is the Thanku poetry form. This one is for NaNoWriMo.

A Thanku is a Haiku of Thanks. The Thanku is one of a multitude of plum-perfect ideas to find at Teaching Authors. Say Thanku out loud to fully appreciate the term. Here is my most recent Thanku.

NaNoWriMo 2012

Origami guide!

Kindness of ML Pearl Rose

Prompts words that  mellow

…….

I hope you will return here WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5th for the tag-team Q/A blog hop. Creative folks I’ve tagged who expect to run their Q/As on their blogs, on Dec. 12 will have their links on-board then.

Maybe Ginger’s NaNoWriMo keyboard technique will give you a hoot.

all rights reserved

all rights reserved