Friday, January 27, 2012

Announcing Our Book Giveaway Winner, a Writing Exercise, and Poetry Friday!

Howdy, Campers!  Author and illustrator Barney Saltzberg is a generous soul, and in his Friday the 13th interview, he offered an autographed copy of his fun and amazing book, BEAUTIFUL OOPS to one of our readers.

And the lucky, randomly chosen winner is...
Sarah Albee--yay, Sarah (who's an amazing author--check out her website)!
Here's Sarah's Beautiful Oops:
My oops moment happened when I was a very junior editor at Sesame Street. I was editing my first big book, a SS songbook (because I was the only editor in my dept who could read music and play piano). I went over to Jeff Moss's house (composer of Rubber Duckie) to show him some song arrangements, and when we got to People In Your Neighborhood (his song) we both stared at the composer credit, which read Joe Raposo (his long-time rival and writer of Bein' Green, among many others). Jeff was notoriously curmudgeonly, and I knew there was a good chance he would flip, even though of course it was just galleys and there would be plenty of opportunity to change it. So I quickly made a joke about it (along the lines of how interchangeable he and Joe were, whatevs). After five tense seconds, he grinned broadly. And we became fast friends.

So...drawing the winning name, watching the exciting announcements of the ALA awards (I felt as if I were in the audience!) and reading Carmela's, Mary Ann's, JoAnn's, Esther's, and Jeanne Marie's fabulous and thought-provoking posts about awards, got me to thinking about winning...
photo courtesy

...which inspired this poem for Poetry Friday, graciously hosted today by Jim at HeyJimHill!

by April Halprin Wayland

I sit under this tree
to sit under this tree.

Not to win anything.
Just me and tree.

If the wind happens to drop
a sweet plum in my lap, though,

I would never say no
to a plum.
Today's Writing Workout: WINNING AND LOSING
1) Take a few minutes to think about how do you feel about winning and losing. About tests and competitions. About gold stars, trophies and medals.

2) On paper, brainstorm your childhood winning and losing memories. Think back to the night before a competition...or the day of. Or the day after.

3) Circle the memory that calls to you.

4) Write a poem or story using this memory as the seed.

5) And remember to write with joy!  Write as if you're finger painting!
(ALL Teaching Authors' Readers are winners.
This tiara's for you.)

poem and drawing (c) 2012 April Halprin Wayland


Author Amok said...

Hi, April. I like this version of "winning" -- just being, with no goal or drive. It's the kind of break we all need once in a while!

Sarah Albee said...

I am so PSYCHED to win Barney's book! Although my anecdote contains more parenthetical clauses than any paragraph has any business containing. Anyway thanks so much and loooove the poem!

Katya said...

Thanks for the tiara -- I've always wanted one.

The winning poem is great.

Linda B said...

Being present in the moment is a kind of winning, so thanks for the thought and the possibility of an idea.

GatheringBooks said...

Hi April, I also agree with the comments noted above. Being is a kind of winning. Sitting under the shade of a tree is beautiful enough as it is. I wish I could win that prize too - been so busy/hectic lately. :)

Joy said...

April, I love your poem on winning and the exercise.
Thank you for the tiara. Every Princess needs a collection. You've added to mine.
Happy Poetry Friday.

Joy Acey
Princess of Poetry

Joy said...

Hey April, I did the exercise (but I cheated a little) I revised one of my own poems about poetry and changed it to winning.


makes my toes


It makes my legs

want to


My knees want to bend

and my bum

wants to

shimmy, shimmy, shake.

My body wants to sway.

My blood pulses.

My fingers

snap, snap, snap.

Winning makes me

want to throw

back my shoulders,

throw up my arms

into the air,

and shout

Wahoo, Wahoo!

I hope winning

makes you feel

this way too.

April, may I link to your poem and exercise on my blog?

Tara said...

What a wonderfully relaxed view of wining...and I love the tiara, especially the idea of wearing it to teach!

Carmela Martino said...

I LOVE your poem, April, and the tiara too. Just this week someone sent me a link on how to make your own "Downton Abbey" tiara. Go to this page and scroll down:

April Halprin Wayland said...

Sarah, Katya, Linda at teacherdance (I think of “teacherdance” as your last name...) thanks for stopping by!

Joy—I love that you're the Princess of Poetry! And I can see how your poem would work well if the subject were poetry, fact, it's kind of a one-size-fits-all poem, with the substitution of just one word. For example, I'd substitute the word, “whipped cream”...(Have you invented a whole new genre of poems? One-size-fits-all poems?)

And Laura (aka, Author Amok), Yes...the poem came out of that memory of when I used to write just to...well, write. For the love of writing. Fun. Relaxing. No end or goal in sight.

Tara-who-is-wearing-the-tiara—what a great idea to wear it while teaching!

Carmela—I'm not that impressed with the aluminum foil tiara...but I love the series Downton Abbey!

Myra, remember to breathe.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Joy--you may ABSOLUTELY link to my poem and exercise on your blog! ALWAYS! (I'm flattered. I feel as if I've just won!)

Joy said...

April, you're right. I wrote a generic poem. I thought of making a writing exercise with it,so you could substitute what ever word you wanted--but I didn't that that was terribly creative.

And yes teaching with a tiara works wonderfully well in keeping the children's attention. I've tried it several times and I love sharing the idea with children that there are lots of princes and princesses--but only one king and queen. So all of the subjects are responsible for helping the prince or princess to be the best that they can be, because some day they may become king or queen and they need the practice to become a good king or queen.
Each person can become a good king or queen if every day they try to be even better than the day before.
This even works for my poetry. Each day I try to become a little better than the day before, but I need the help of everyone to make me better.

Hey, and if you need crowns for all your princes and princesses--Burger King often is willing to help.

Mary Lee said...

"Write as if you're finger painting."

LOVE that!

Janet Wong said...

I think the problem is not with winning/losing but with the false importance that we give to these things rather than just considering ourselves lucky. One could say:

Even the wind picks winners,
even the trees, even the sky.
You thought you were sitting
and doing nothing.
The proof, your trophy:
a perfect plum.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Dear Mary Lee--I'm glad you liked the finger painting image. That may be one of the most Zen things I did as a child...!

Janet--that's exactly what I was trying to say in my poem. You said it so well!

Ruth said...

I'd never say no to a plum, either. :-)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Ruth...I clicked on you and discovered that you teach in Haiti. So amazing to touch each other across the miles...thanks for stopping by for your virtual plum!