Friday, October 9, 2015

While the Sun Shines

If you’re anywhere near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, look for me this weekend at the Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival. The celebration, October 9-11, features free programming for children, teens, and adults with 16 authors and illustrators presenting at three venues.

I’ll be presenting a program for children on Saturday at 11:30 at Bookworm Gardens. I’ll read Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move, and we’ll do a milkweed seed activity and talk about monarch butterflies.  I can hardly wait!

On Sunday at 1:30 at the Mead Public Library, I’ll present a workshop for adults about writing lively nonfiction and share examples from exciting nonfiction books for kids. I found such wonderful resources!

The following weekend is our SCBWI-Wisconsin Fall Conference, where I’ll present a breakout session on Activating Passive Language. I’m also doing critiques. Here, Im interviewed on the new SCBWI-Wisconsin Blog. You can read interviews with some of the other presenters here

Just in time for my conference planning, I finished revising a test passage for an educational publisher. Sometime before I take off for Sheboygan, I intend to send out a letter about a school visit. All this preparation can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s all fun stuff. After a pretty quiet summer, I’m happy to be busy! So when work is available, I always say "Yes!" if I can.

This week’s To-Do list demonstrates our current Teaching Authors topic: the variety of ways we try to make a living in addition to writing and marketing our books for children. Marti started us off with a post about her two articles in the 2016 Childrens Writers and Illustrator’s Market, including "Make a Living as a Writer." Last week Monday, Esther mentioned teaching, writing book reviews, and educational writing. On Wednesday, Laura Purdie Salas shared an exercise about writing on assignment. On Friday, April gave us three tips and a story. Mary Ann started this week with another story and her take on school visits and teaching. We all wear multiple hats!

When I’m busybusybusy, I have to remember to take breaks. Yesterday, I walked to the lake and saw this brief, tiny rainbow overhead.

Here’s a cloud-watching poem to go with the view:
Summer Job 
My favorite occupation
is to lie back and look at the sky.
If you find the right spot,
you can see quite a lot
in the shapes of the clouds rolling by. 
You can study the habits of insects.
You can see how they flutter and fly.
You’ll see birds on the wing.
You can hear how they sing
as they swoop and they soar through the sky. 
All in all, it’s a fabulous habit.
You really should give it a try.
There’s nothing to do
but consider the view.
As the day drifts away, so do I.
JoAnn Early Macken 
I hope to see some of you out and about! In the meantime, be sure to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the 2016 Childrens Writers and Illustrator’s Market (courtesy of Writer’s Digest Books)! Saturday, October 10, is the last day to enter.

Laura Purdie Salas is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Writing the World for Kids. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken


Linda B said...

Your presentation about milkweed & monarchs will be much loved, JoAnn, with all that happened this past summer. I'd love to sit in on your adult n-f session. How great to hear what you share. Glad you have all these things coming up.Being busy is a good thing! And, Happy Birthday, hope your 'crowds' will sing for you!

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

I love taking pictures of clouds so a cloud-watching poem is just right!
You're workshop sounds wonderful. Wish I lived close enough to attend.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Oh, my, JoAnn--I'm impressed that the combined activities make you happy!
I appreciate the flow of your poem--it's deceptive how challenging it can be to create that flow... and I love how it ends with a small surprise.

Bobbi Miller said...

Busybusybusy is right!! But such beautiful work! Thank you for your poem!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thanks, everyone! My computer refused to open this site for awhile, so I'm extra happy to find you here!

Linda, I'd love to see you in one of those sessions--maybe we'll meet again at Highlights someday!

Penny, I always enjoy photos & poetry together. Clouds & poems are both tough to pin down but worth the effort!

April, the poem is a very old one. I think I only sent it out once. When it was rejected, the editor wondered why I used the limerick form, which she thought didn't fit the subject. I hadn't realized I did. Oh, well.

Bobbi, thanks also for your help with the disappearing web site! I hope it's back on my computer for good!

laurasalas said...

What a lovely rollicking, rolling meter in your poem. Beautiful. I need more moments like that, too:>)

Have a FANTASTIC time in Sheboygan. It's such a great festival!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you, Laura! I'm really looking forward to the weekend!

jan godown annino said...

Likely you will see this upon your return from this wonderful past weekend & days of workshop leading & the like JoAnn.
It's a great fall schedule & your participants are going to float with you & that wonderful picture book, which is rite here on my close by shelves.

Enjoyed hearing all the good news about all the work from everyone.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you, Jan! I wish I had taken pictures, but I decided (probably wisely) that I had enough to keep track of. The milkweed activity was a big, messy hit with kids playing in mud and making seed balls to toss while milkweed fluff floated everywhere! I hope to do it again.