Writers at Work is back

Hi everyone,

It has been a long while since Sandy Asher and I added to WRITERS AT WORK, the series in which we visit informally about various aspects of being writers. To refresh everyone’s memory of previous conversations, here’s a list of topics.


September 2010 The Care and Feeding of Ideas
October 2010 Obstacles to Writing
November 2010 Reality of Rejections
December 2010 Editorial Suggestions
January 2011 Perils and Joys of Writing in Many Genres
February 2011 Pros and Cons of Having an Agent
March 2011 Wrestling with Endings
May 2011 Dealing with Speaking Engagements
June 2011 We Get Letters – and Lots of Email, Too
January 2012 Regarding the Emperor’s New Clothes
March 2012 About this Business of Internet Publishing
June 2013 Making On-line Challenges Work for You

So now we take up the thirteenth topic: WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE? And why is this timely? Because even during the short span of these chats the publishing world has undergone changes that impact writers around the world. Living by the philosophy that there will always be a need for good writing in some form, we find ourselves constantly contemplating the market, seeking ways to peddle our peaches (as folks around here used to say).
We hope that you will join us on each of the next four Tuesdays as we post Parts 1-4 of our conversation. As always, it’s an open forum that invites comments and shared experiences. I’ll go first next week on September 9. Hope you’ll join us.

Word of the month for September


Hi everyone,

Yesterday I had bubbles on my mind so let’s go with BUBBLES for our September W.O.M. word. We had a strong turnout for DOGS in August so I hope we keep our momentum as we approach October and what I want to be a true family reunion of all the poets who have ever posted a poem on this blog. Spread the word!!

By the way, Lester Laminack is growing a list of books to read to students during the early days of this school year. If you have an interest in reading the list and/or adding to it, here’s Lester’s link. https://www.facebook.com/lester.laminack/posts/10152405317992523?comment_id=10152405713412523&offset=0&total_comments=21

Onward and upward!


Raining bubbles


Hi everyone,

Company this weekend. We sat outside during a passing shower and I took this picture of the drops creating bubbles in the water. Any ideas about what causes this phenomenon? Maybe when rain falls straight down? I’ve seen it once or twice before.

One before the poetry workshop

Hi everyone,

This morning I heard from Jo Lloyd at the Highlights Foundation Workshops that four more poets have signed up for my workshop. Last year it filled early and this year it has been slow, but now that we’re into the final four weeks we’re seeing last minute decisions being made. I don’t much care for groups larger than 15 but I’m fine with that many.

If you’re still wondering if this one is for you, here’s a link that outlines more of what we’ll do and how we’ll go about it.

I’m happy that Jane Yolen and Kenn Nesbitt have both agreed to be my SKYPE guests this year.

Jane has incredible credentials in just about every aspect of publishing, both for children and adults. Her range of genres would be hard to match by anyone anywhere.

Kenn is our current U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate and follows J. Patrick Lewis who was my SKYPE guest at last year’s workshop. Nothing like hanging out with royalty while we sit comfortably at The Barn.

Let me know if you have any questions about this year’s lineup or slate of activities. You know where to find me.


Brats by the lake


Hi everyone,

Last night I put brats on the grill and we enjoyed them with potato salad by the lake at twilight. Can’t seem to get around to eating any earlier and now the nights are definitely shorter.

I’m delighted by these second DOG poems being posted. Some are even better than the first ones! Yesterday, purely as an exercise, I chose a word and began listing ideas that spun off that word. I haven’t finished yet but my list quickly grew to 25. I could literally write a book inspired by that one word. Mine only had four letters in it.

For years the guideline for W.O.M. has been to post only one poem per month. That made sense when we used to vote on the poems at the end of the month and choose a winner. Now I’m thinking that there may not be a reason to limit poets who want to post more than one poem based on the same word.

September is at hand. Should we change the rules? Let me know your thoughts.