Friday, May 4, 2012

Enter TWO give aways!...and an Author Insecurity Poem for Poetry Friday.

Howdy, Campers!  Happy Poetry Friday!  I’ve been OUT AND ABOUT.  But before I tell you about IRA in Chicago and ask for your advice about my poem, don’t forget to enter both of our contests:
Followers know that we are celebrating our THIRD blogiversary.   Enter our Blogiversary giveaway contest to win one of THREE $30 gift cards from, where you can purchase new and used books from independent booksellers around the world, often with free shipping!!! There are three ways to enter, so get crackin'!

In addition, you can enter our SEPARATE autographed book giveaway: win Guest Teaching Author's Karen Schreck's brand new book, WHILE HE WAS AWAY.

Spring, spring, spring--as I said, I've been out 'n about! The trees were green-leafing, the flowers a-blooming along the slick avenues in rainy Chicago, (our own Esther’s beloved hometown) this past week.  She and I were honored to have taught in a full-day Institute at the International Reading Association there.

Our Institute was birthed, developed, structured and nurtured by Albuquerque author and educator Carolee Dean.  The other authors Carolee pulled on board were: Kersten Hamilton, TeachingAuthor EstherHershenhorn, Kimberley Griffiths Little, Carolyn Meyer,
Uma Krishnaswami, Caroline Starr Rose, Lisa Schroeder, et moi.  (For details and our handouts, click here.) I’d only met most of them online; it was a delicious pleasure to meet each in person. 

Here are a few snippets from IRA:

Someone in our group said, Reading is the inhale, writing is the exhale,” which I’d never heard before, though when I Googled it, it’s all over the web, without an author. I love this quote.

At another session, Jane Yolen said that a child asked her,
“Did you write a Christmas book?” 
“Yes,” said Jane.
“But I thought you were Jewish,” he said.
“I write murder mysteries, too,” Jane replied.

On my final day in Chicago, the skies cleared. One last breakfast with Esther, one last walk past fast pedestrians along Michigan Avenue

Bright orange and magenta tulips, in cement boxes lining the bustling streets, which were just blooming when I arrived, were no longer bright, tight blooms—instead they were faded and splayed open, like unmade beds.

I was thinking about how short their stay is...Bingo!  I found my topic for this day’s poem!
Here are three drafts of the eight or nine I’ve written so far…I need your thoughts!  I’m thinkin’ I went overboard in the last one needs to be more condensed, right?  Just get in, get out—bam!  What do you think?

by April Halprin Wayland

Nice bloom.
Fading fast.
When’s your next?
Books…er, blooms don’t last.

by April Halprin Wayland

I saw you flower in spring.
Good red.
When’s the next one due?
Next June?
Don’t you know
you’re only as good
as your latest, bloom?

by April Halprin Wayland

I saw you flower this spring.                                                 
Great read…er, red (nice bling.)                                            

So…when’s your next one due?                                            
Uh-oh, you say next June?                                                     

If you’re not on some list,                                                      
you simply don’t exist.                                                          

You must create one soon                                                      
so rush to publish…er, bloom.  
poems © 2012 by April Halprin Wayland—all rights reserved

I love Chicago!  I love fellow authors!  I learned so much this week!  I’ll leave you with a writing prompt Uma Krishnaswami taught us, inspired by her wonderful picture book, OUT OF THE WAY! OUT OF THE WAY! 

In her free downloadable activity kit for this book, Uma writes: “The tree in this story became a meeting place for the people of the village, a spot where children could play and grownups could talk…Do you know of a special tree that holds a story for you? A tree that you climbed? A tree that provided shade for picnics? Write your tree story.”

I found this to be an extremely evocative prompt.  Do you?  Try.

 Poetry Friday's at Wild Rose Reader this week--thanks for hosting, Elaine!
P.S: If you've read this far, you deserve a bonus.  Check out Amy Goldman Koss' blog post this week, "Why Write?" (Warning: you will become addicted to her blog posts, so watch out.)


Robyn Hood Black said...

Good May Morning, April! Thanks for sharing some of the IRA magic. Your institute sounds wonderful! (My computer is being slow about downloading the handouts, but I'll track back. Thanks for sharing.) Re. your poem-in-progress - love it! And I'd be in the camp of stopping somewhere before the third one. I like the swift punch (kick?) of the shorter versions myself.

Carmela Martino said...

Sorry I didn't get to see you when you were in town, April. Thanks for the IRA report. And special thanks for sharing your poem-in-progress. I actually like the first one best. :-)

Esther Hershenhorn said...

I miss you already, April! :(
But, didn't we have Fun?!
Thanks for sharing Uma's tree Writing Activity as well as our Institute's downloadable hand-outs.
I was so honored to be a part of our panel.
And, I vote for poem #1.
The tulips, by the way, readers, are by my park, yes?

Ed DeCaria said...

Hi April!

I love that exchange with Jane and the kid about Christmas. Too funny.

Your request for input is very timely. I was thinking ... do you have any interest in putting your three poem options to vote FOR REAL? I could host an impromptu poll on TKT and also ask maybe 3-4 questions to help figure out WHY people voted for the one that they did. And then we'll analyze the results.

What do you say? Yours could be the first poems in kidlit history to be evaluated by and to benefit from the use of "poemetrics"! (See my own Poetry Friday post today for more on that.)


Tara said...

Like Ed, I loved the story with Jane Yolen....that's thinking fast on ones feet! IRA sounds awesome - next year!

Linda at teacherdance said...

Thanks for telling the little tidbits that one receives at conventions, the things that really make them special. And thanks for the activities & the book recommendation. I like poem #1 also. It seems lighter than the others in tone. But I love the idea of that connection to tulips.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Esther, Carmela, Ed, Tara and Linda...everyone prefers #1 and Robyn says something before # 3...this is VERY helpful info!

Ed...Wow! I'll zip over and read your post this weekend and get back to you!

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Happy Blogiversary! Like all the others, I resonated with Poem #1, although on occasion, I hope that books would last a lifetime, sweetest things. :) Have a lovely weekend!

Katie Cullinan said...

Thanks for the recap! I love the quote “Reading is the inhale, writing is the exhale." I can easily get completely absorbed doing one or the other, instead of balancing both. And the beautiful tulips- what a great reminder of Spring.