Friday, January 30, 2015

Beautiful OOPS Day--Mistakes into Masterpieces

Howdy, Campers!

Happy Poetry Friday (link at the end, original poem's in this post)...and make sure to enter our latest Book Giveaway of Sherry Shahan's Skin & Bones (which ends February 6th)!

If you follow this blog, you'll remember the day we spent with author/illustrator Barney Saltzberg and his marvelous book, Beautiful Oops! (Workman). Well, guess what?

Now there's a worldwide Beautiful Oops! Day!

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you've wrapped the gift for your friend Julie, sealed it in a box, stuck stamps on it and then, as you're listening to the Beatles sing "Hey Jude," you address the package... to Jude. OOPS!

Now what?  Well, if you're Barney, you'll make a weird-looking cartoon heart over the word "Jude"...which sprouts legs and arms, a top hat and cane, and suddenly there's a host of fabulous creatures framing Julie's mailing address...a veritable celebration.  That's a Beautiful Oops...a mistake made beautiful.

The point of this book is to encourage all of us to allow "the magical transformation from blunder to wonder," and as schools all over the world celebrate Beautiful Oops Day (in any month, on any day; a school could decide to celebrate Beautiful Oops Day each month), I wish we'd celebrated it when I was in school!

The Beautiful Oops Day website includes project ideas shared by teachers from all over the world to get you started.  And here's a 1:41 minute video of Barney sharing with young students:

How does this translate to writing?  I just happen to have a perfect example.  Here's a new poem author Bruce Balan sent me just this week; beneath it is his "mistake" backstory:

by Bruce Balan

I submit to the court
that this species
has ignored the proper protocol:
They’ve decided that it’s all
for them
and no one else;
Not fish nor elk
nor tiny eels.
Their ills are real.
They spoil and take
break and forsake
and maul
every spot and plot
and it’s not as if
they don’t know…
They do!
They just ignore,
which underscores
my call.

Please dear Judge,
I do not intend to fawn,
I pray the court
will look kindly on my call
before my clients all
are gone.

(c) 2015 by Bruce Balan. All rights reserved.
Bruce (whose newest book, The Magic Hippo, is available at the iTunes store, B&N, and Amazon) explains: "I was going to write a poem called The Plaintive Call of the Wild (it just popped into my head), but I misspelled plaintive and so ran with it…"

Perhaps today's Beautiful Oops lesson is RUN WITH IT!

So, thank you, Barney Saltzberg, for gifting us the space to make mistakes; to be human.Campers, stay tuned: next week, Barney will share a Wednesday Writing Workout (link goes live on February 4, 2015) on this very blog!

Poetry Friday's at Paul Hankin's These 4 Corners today...thanks, Paul!

posted with inevitable mistakes by April Halprin Wayland


Linda B said...

My class is in the midst of preparing for a huge celebration of their work at an "Expo" in two weeks. I think I'd better get this book to relieve the stress of mistakes so they can find "Beautiful Oops". Perfect timing, April!

Carmela Martino said...

I LOVE Barney's BEAUTIFUL OOPS! and wish the book had been around when my son was young. Linda, I do hope it helps your students.

Bobbi Miller said...

What an inspiring post, and a lovely, lovely book! I love this Beautiful Oops!

CS Perryess said...

April - may all your oopses be beautiful!

GatheringBooks said...

Beautiful chaos is what it is. Thanks for sharing this! :)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carmela and Bobbi...I wish this book were around when I was young, when my kid was young, too...but it's around now and it sure does speak to all of us!

Linda ~ YOUR students are so lucky to have an always-enthusiastic-about-new- ideas teacher!

CS ~ Thank you! I think this book really has helped me "reframe" my oopses...

Myra ~ Yes, beautiful chaos! <3