Last night on the sofa



Hi everyone,

I’m still croaking but my fever’s gone and the soreness has left my throat. I think it’s safe to return to our bed tonight. Fingers crossed that Sandy doesn’t get what I’ve had.IMAG1771

Tomorrow night we’re in for a hard frost so I’m hoping it will kill the swarms of gnats that have filled the air lately, biting us even in the pool and leaving red welts that itch for days. IMAG1767Our gorgeous late season flowers will need our help to survive so out will come the sheets and towels to make the yard look like an explosion in a laundry-mat.

The spirits got me too

Hi everyone,

For anyone who tuned in last night’s Google Hangout with Ruth Culham, Kate Messner, Lisa Yee, and Varian Johnson, expecting me to be there, too, I apologize. The cast agreed to get hooked up thirty minutes ahead of the start time because the previous night when we rehearsed it took nearly that long just to get us all together on the Google connection. Our host Jayme was the last one to figure out where the rest of us were waiting.

Last night I clicked on the link provided at 6:30 CST and was the first one there. Unfortunately, the others were gathering somewhere else and neither they nor I could figure out why the same link took me one place and them to another. I tried everything I could think of. After forty-five minutes, which was fifteen minutes into the live program, I finally called my son for help. He couldn’t crack the code either. So with only fifteen minutes remaining in the show I finally gave up and watched the others do a wonderful job and wished I were there too.

I’m not sure I could have made it through the program anyway. I’m in my third day of fever, sore throat, coughing, and croaking. I’m on antibiotics and prescription gargle and have tried every home remedy that friends have suggested, but truth is I can hardly say two words without another round of coughing. This, too, shall pass. Until it does, I’ll continue to spend nights on the sofa, get up late, and stay indoors.

The spirits have returned to my hummingbird feeder

BULLLETIN: Here’s the link for this evening’s GOOGLE HANGOUT WITH RUTH CULHAM AND FRIENDS. Hope you can join us.


Hi everyone,

A year ago I showed you our hummingbird feeder hanging in a maple tree in the back yard, glowing in the morning sun in a most suspicious manner! After all, this IS the season for haints and such and the feeder had never glowed like that before.

Another year has passed and yesterday the feeder was once again moved by the spirit of the season to take on an eerie glow. I leave it to you to decide the cause, but as for me I think my witch at the crock pot has sent out the call, and they are coming!

Happy Halloween Season!

1,500 posts

Hi everyone,

The stats on my blog inform me that today marks the 1,500th time I’ve posted something. I know that some of you have been at it longer but this sounds like quite a few to me. Thanks to everyone who has joined me along the way and enriched the experience with your wisdom and support.

As we begin the last five days of October, I hope to see other poets join us in celebrating the 5th anniversary of Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. It has been a good month and I’ve enjoyed hearing from you, some for the first time and others who haven’t been around in a while. Here’s the roster of contributing poets so far. Let me know if I’ve overlooked you, and please keep them coming.

Jane Yolen
Kelly Kusterman
Jeanne Poland
Jessica Jensen
Cory Corrado
Julie Krantz
Linda Baie
Joy Acey
Linda Boyden
Mary Nida Smith
Karen Eastlund
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
J. Patrick Lewis
Ken Slesarik
Patricia Cooley
Deborah Holt Williams
Michelle Kogan
Bridget Magee
Kenn Nesbitt
Buffy Silverman
Leone Anderson

Ana, 4th grade, Montverde Academy, Montverde, Florida, with thanks to teacher Kelly Kusterman
Emma, 4th grade, Esperanza Music Academy, Phoenix, Arizona, with thanks to teacher Ken Slesarik
Kristene, 4th grade, Esperanza Music Academy, phoenix, Arizona, with thanks to teacher Ken Slesarik

What would you tell kids?

David as bookends IMAG2753

Hi everyone,

Friday I visited third grade classes at Eugene Field Elementary School in Springfield. The kids brought their questions written on note cards and they listened well when someone else was talking. Good teaching at work!

As we concluded, teacher Courtney Becker asked me what advice I would give their students about writing. It was an excellent question and one that might be answered in many ways. I’ll tell you what I said but am curious about how you would answer the question.

We had already talked about the importance of reading. I told them to observe the world around them, think about what they see, and make notes in case they decide to write about it. I said that writers pay attention to details. They don’t just look at flowers. They see the life going on in and around the blossoms. They see things that many people miss because they are paying attention. What writers observe brings them pleasure and a never ending world of possibilities to think about, read about, and write about.

How would have answered Courtney’s question?