Seeing some light

Hi everyone,

Good work week coming up. Today I need to make PowerPoint slides and handouts for tomorrow evening’s poetry workshop. Wednesday I have my semi-annual physical. Otherwise I’m free to get back to several projects that have been on hold. I can also be a better correspondent again, blog-wise and otherwise. Thanks for your patience.

It’s Everybody’s Job

Hi everyone,

While pulling notes together for my segment of Georgia Heard’s workshop Tuesday evening, I ran across a speech of mine called “Promoting Literacy: It’s Everybody’s Job,” which was published in the Alpha Chi Recorder in 2009. I gave the keynote talk in Indianapolis to the annual conference of the national honor society for undergraduate juniors and seniors in all academic disciplines. First LadyLaura Busch had been scheduled to deliver the address but had to cancel at the last minute. Laynah Rogers, good friend and professor at Evangel University in Springfield, was working with Alpha Chi at the time. She suggested me as the replacement, and off I went. Thank you again, Laynah, for the great memory.

I’d like to quote a bit from that talk one of these days soon. For now I’ll take a thought from the end of it. “This may not be a good time to consider such matters (of becoming a literacy advocate). So make yourself a note and put it in the form of a commitment, a promise that one day you will fulfill. This is what the note should say: ‘I will be the person who makes a difference.'”

Brilliant lights of Branson

Hi everyone,

No time yet for anything creative but I hope you’ll visit FAMILY VOICES page at and consider sending me pictures of you reading to a child under 5. I need to replenish my supply!

Enjoy some of the 1,000,000 the lights we saw last week when we stayed two nights at Wilderness Club/Big Cedar.

Can’t play yet…

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. Many families chose to eat separately, but for now it’s hard to be too careful.

I’m still heads down preparing for the upcoming poetry workshop. I made some progress yesterday but have a lot of work still. Yesterday I received a request to write an article about a friend of mine for a magazine. I said yes to making four presentations next summer — one each for three age groups plus adults — for a reading program in a rural community north of here. I worked with them on their budget because I’m starved to be in front of kids again.

I was honored to be nominated for the Individual Artist Award from Missouri Arts Council, based in St. Louis. Many thanks, Joan Arth, for nominating me, and to those of you who wrote letters of recommendation on my behalf. I appreciated all the support very much. Awards are given annually in six categories, including the one for Individual Artist. The award, just announced, went to India-born Priya Kambli, a resident of Kirksville, known for her exceptional photography. The last time anyone from Springfield was recognized was in 2011. All 2021 awards went to recipients in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

Georgia Heard poetry workshop next week

Hi everyone,

Next Tuesday evening, December 1, I’ll be Georgia Heard’s guest speaker on Poet’s Studio, an online series of workshops on writing poetry. It will start at 7:00 CST and I’m scheduled to start around 7:30. My subjects will be rhyme and meter and I’ll work with the attendees for 35-45 minutes. Georgia says, “The wonderful poets in my classes are a mixture of poets writing for children and adults.”
The series is marked full on Georgia’s site but here it is in case you or someone you know might like to check to see about late enrollment.

I look forward to participating in Georgia’s workshop. Because of the activities around introducing three new books since September I’ve had little time to prepare for it until now. And that’s why I can’t play very much between now and next Tuesday.