Friday, March 19, 2021

1 Day, 2 shots, 3 teachers: So Grateful!

Howdy, Campers, and Happy Poetry Friday! (The link to PF are below)

This round, we’re sharing “Matters of the Heart”πŸ’•. Esther starts us off in her characteristically generous, loving manner, offering three books that keep her heart beating;: Of, By and For Our Reader’s,Writer’s and Teacher’s Hearts; as she takes time off from this blog (I miss her already), Bobbi shares a song I’ve fallen in love with, Baba Yetu, in her very short post, Song of the Week: Here’s to You!;  Mary Ann, who always writes honestly from her heart, shares old family photos as she chronicles her process of returning to writing in Welcoming Home the Prodigal Heart; and Carmela shares two original haiku inspired by a prompt on Storystorm in her post, #TwoHaikuFromTwo.

And me? As a spring breeze of hope blows across my face, three things come to mind when I hear the word "heart"...

1. Heartbreak: March 7, 2020 ~ the last time I taught in person at UCLA.πŸ’”

I thought I was so clever putting up this sign to keep our classroom safe that day     :

Pl                                                Please read the exciting tale of
                                   ALCOHOL AND KLEENEX ~ A LOVE STORY 
· Pour a small amount of alcohol in your palm.
· Wash" your hands the same way you would with soap and water (the classic love story you may be more familiar with). 
· Let your hands air dry completely.  Do not rub them on your clothes to dry. 
                                          Thank you.

(We live and learn: I quickly stopped using alcohol. Anyone need a bottle? I have extra.)

There are many markers for when, exactly, the pandemic began in the US. The consensus is March 11, 2020. I was haunted recently, thinking felt as if it had been at least two years. Or ten. I wrote this poem March 11, 2021:


by April Halprin Wayland

This day.

This day a year ago

(or maybe more? Am I remiss?)

We stood upon a precipice

and knew not this:

this day the route was stayed, dismissed.

We thought it was the way but no—

it was the cliff.

2. πŸ’•Take Heart: Two shots!πŸ’•

Now, thanks to the policies of a human, humane POSTUS, I’m double-vaccinated, as is my husband. And though we know democracy is not and has never been a spectator sport, still, my heart beats with hope for our country. Soon we may have a big, warm hug with our son and his beloved (he's an ER doc in Albuquerque, we live in Southern California)!

3. πŸ‘ͺFrom Heart Burn to Open Hearted: Three Musketeers teach a three-hour classπŸ‘ͺ

In the writing/teaching realm, my heart is filled with affection and appreciation for... 

Alexis O'Neill ~ photo by Sonya Sones



...two dear friends with whom I've been teaching intro to picture book class for absolute beginners each spring for many years. This quarter, UCLA Extension Writers' Program asked us to condense our one-day eight hour class into a one-day, three hour class.

Did you catch that? From eight hours down to three.

How were we going to teach everything a beginning picture book writer wants to know but is afraid to ask in THREE hours?

ACK! There's so much students won't be getting. 

But as every seasoned teacher knows, that's nothing new, right? Learning what to leave out is part of teaching. It's just that remote classes gobble up time like bears gobbling blueberries

Once we agreed that stuffing eight hours into three was like stuffing a dictionary into a thimble, we ripped up our syllabus and our carefully paced 8-hour schedule, created a tear in the space-time continuum,

...and crawled through.

And now it feels as if we've birthed something new. It's exciting!  So...if you know someone who doesn't know ANYTHING about picture books but is curious, please tell them about our class ~ just $30 for 3 hours. It'll be an adventure. Tell them to join us!  

Here's our flyer with Barney's fabulous illustration:



Saturday, April 3, 2021, 12-3pm PST

You have the dream~ I've always wanted to write a children's picture book. 
But how? This inspiring class offers you practical tools to help you realize that dream. It includes writing exercises, examples of current picture books and behind-the-scenes stories and advice from award-winning authors. By the end of this class you'll have tools to guide you in this vibrant field.

Seasoned teachers and award-winning children's picture book creators
Alexis O'NeillBarney Saltzberg and April Halprin Wayland 

Please understand that learning to write a picture book in three hours
is like speed-dating a cheetah on roller skates. Downhill. 
Still, the chase will be quite exciting!

Enrollment is limited.

Many thanks to RhymeZone and its "find phrases with the word heart in it" option.

Now it's your turn: if you were to list 3 things that changed your heart this past year, what would they be?

Thank you to Linda for hosting Poetry Friday at TeacherDance this week!

posted by April Halprin Wayland with the help of Sheldon, our 20-year-old tortoise, who came out of hibernation today to assist with all his heart.


Linda B said...

First, the poem & "it was the cliff" - yes. At the bookstore we were scrambling & arguing about when & what & how. We, like you & all of us did not know about that cliff. Second, eight hours to three! If anyone can do it, I still imagine the class will be fabulous. My three things - my own kids called & visited so often & the grand-girls Facebooked me, too. I was so grateful to have a tiny part of them stay the same. 2 - Walking in nature was the saving grace of all the days. I did more outside than ever before. 3 - online connections, like you, April, & so many others. Whew, people may grown about social media & so much tech time, but it was a help to me. (I have a 4 - reading, but that's not new, always part of my life.) Happy Weekend! PS - I've had both shots, too!

Linda B said...

Yikes, meant 'people may groan"!

Carmela Martino said...

April, I πŸ’• this post. Wish I had a picture book writing class like yours when I was first beginning. I'm sure your trio will do a terrific job!
And, once again, you taught me something new. I use RhymeZone all the time, but never knew about the "find phrases" option. Wow!

April Halprin Wayland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janice Scully said...

Hi April! I signed up for the class. It's always helpful to me to hear more about picture books from writers new to me. Thanks!

Ruth said...

Such a great post. Are you not supposed to use alcohol? That's still what we use at school, in spray bottles, to sanitize the desks after each class. And often on hands, too.

michelle kogan said...

Wonderful post and poem April! It feels like a very long, long year or more to me too.
Congrats on being all vaccinated to you and your husband. My husband just got his first shot this morning and I'm registered for mine next week. Good luck with the Children's Picture Book Writing Class. I took an 6 or 8 week class with Esther at the Newberry Library quite a while back. And I've taught a Children's Picture Book Illustration Class for a number of years and am offering it this summer online at a Junior college–hoping to lasso some new students for it too, thanks!

Kay said...

What a heart-filled post. It's hard to wrap my brain around all this past year has been and brought. How little we knew last March as we stood at the top of that cliff.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Linda! Yes yes, nature. I've always hiked with my dog, but now we're hiking three to four times a week. It's soothing, healing, and changes my cranky attitude... Sometimes!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Yes, yes...that RhymeZone option is something I've just begun to explore!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Janice! I look forward to seeing you in class! ( long as you understand that this class is really for the writer who has never heard of SCBWI before...😊)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Ruth πŸ’• I bought bottles of 91% isopropylol alcohol...much different from hand sanitizer.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Michelle... you're welcome to add a link to your class this summer. Please do! (Maybe I'll take it!)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Yes, Kay, how little we knew... and maybe that wasn't such a bad thing.

Heidi said...

Hello, April--I am grateful for your voice, and glad that until now I have been starting the US pandemic on March 13 and not March 11, my birthday! But hey, my heart is tougher now and I can take it.

My year has ripped some protective layers off my heart, you see, cracked me open. Now I wonder when I do not cry in the course of any given day, have understood that like we eat and laugh and pee and poop every day, we humans are supposed to cry every day.

Happy two shots and three teachers!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Heidi ~

That's an interesting concept. I've heard that it's healthy to laugh every day...but not that it may also be good to cry each day. Something to ponder...
love x 3, me

Carol Coven Grannick said...

Hope it's okay to take the class for "beginning again/brush up". Would love to learn from 3 whom I admire!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Dear Carol! You're welcome to take the class (and I look forward to seeing you there!) as long as you understand that this class is intended for the writer who has never heard of SCBWI before.🌞