Today’s Guest Reader, Jackie Huppenthal

Hi Everyone,

To Kristi Holl, my gratitude for joining us yesterday with her wise advice for WRITERS AT WORK. If you missed her, she’s just one scroll back!

BULLETIN: Balloting for October poets got off to a great start yesterday. Early leaders were Lisa Martino and Emily Rigby. The polls remain open until this Saturday night, October 30, at 10:00 CST. Lots of time but don’t forget. Meanwhile, our judges are also deliberating over their own selections. I’ll announce all winners on Sunday and give you the Word of the Month for November.

REMINDER: If you haven’t checked the applicable circles in my quick survey of readers, please take the time now. It helps me to know more about who you are and how the blog can serve you better. Thanks!
http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/tell-me-about-yourself/#comment-4641

I love it when friends of my blog agree to step on stage and tell us about themselves. Many of you are familiar with Jackie Huppenthal from her frequent contributions to Word of the Month poems and supportive comments to others. Now I’m happy to “officially” introduce you to our friend, Jackie.

I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Purdue University. After graduation I worked in a domestic violence shelter and another one for youth. I usually worked twelve to sixteen hour night shifts and had to be prepared for anything at anytime.

Later I taught healthy life skills as well as drug and violence prevention programs to elementary students and various community groups in Illinois. Most of the time I was able to develop my own programs and adapted them to the needs of the students and community that I was helping. I liked having the freedom to be creative and come up with something that made learning about serious topics more enjoyable.

At the present time I am raising 4 boys with my husband in Dyer, Indiana. I just started working again, this time as a part-time preschool tumbling teacher at the YMCA. I enjoy step aerobics classes and running in 5K races. Obstacle races are particularly fun and challenging. I try to volunteer at my children’s schools and the local VFW whenever possible.

I have always enjoyed reading (every genre) and writing (some poetry, but mostly journaling). I especially cherish the times I get to spend reading to children. Our home is full of books. When it is nice outside, the kids and I sit on a picnic blanket and read, or do homework.

When I help my kids with their weekly readers I look forward to the about the author and illustrator sections that follow every story. I believe those short bios prompted and inspired me to become more serious about writing. Writing for children seemed like a logical progression with my background and experience, but I didn’t know where to start.

I eventually found and took two adult continuing education classes last fall – specifically on writing for children and marketing. Shortly after, I joined a few established writers’ groups. Some of my work will be in a local publication due out next month. A classmate and I also started our own writing group called Magic Hour Writers. We support and encourage those who write primarily for children and young adults.

So far I have sent one manuscript into publishers, sent a poem and photo to a magazine for children, and entered a few poetry contests. I am hoping to receive some positive feedback soon. I am still finalizing my watercolor illustrations for my “fractured fairy tale” and am working on a book of poems and pictures. I love photography as much as writing. Much of what I write about comes from simple everyday conversations or experiences around the house and yard. So much beauty that surrounds us is so often overlooked. I want to help my children and others notice and appreciate everything nature has to offer.