Taking care of business

Hi everyone,
I’m in the process of setting up meetings with editors next month. When I finish the workshop at Honesdale, I’ll go to NYC for a few days for my annual trip. I try to meet with two in the morning, one for lunch, and two in the afternoon. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. That time of year a lot of editors are out of their offices. I don’t remember when I started making these trips. I know it was before THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES was published in 1972 because the idea for that title originated during one of those visits. Must have been in the late 60s.

As we’ve all discussed numerous times, a writer is a multitasking small business person. Getting to know editors and learning where their current interests lie is part of the job. Besides, I love New York. We always see some plays, visit museums, shop a little, drop by one or more of those welcoming Irish pubs, and generally walk around looking up saying, “Golleee.” Takes me a week to get the kinks out of my neck when we come home.

Happy birthday, Larry

Hi everyone,

Larry Wakefield’s birthday came a couple of days before we got home but we celebrated anyway the other night and had a fine time. Larry and Maryann were due any minute when we discovered the water blasting out of the heater in the basement. I’ve already told you THAT story.
Larry and I met in 8th grade at Jarrett Junior High School and became fast friends. We took a correspondence course in taxidermy. Later on we would double date with Maryann and Sandy. In high school Larry lettered in football; I lettered in baseball. When Larry’s and Maryann’s first son was born, they named me Allen’s godfather. The four of us have gone on vacation together every year for decades. We’ve been business partners.

So here’s to my pal Larry, and to many more good times to come.


One month from today

Hi everyone,
Honesdale, David and Jeanne
Thirty days from now I’ll fly to Scranton and go from there by car through Honesdale and a few miles farther into the Pennsylvania countryside to the original site of Boyds Mill. Across the road is a farmhouse, the home of the folks who started Highlights Magazine for Children. On that property writers and artists from the United States and abroad now come to meet together, work under the guidance of established professionals, and take home good memories as well as knowledge that applies directly to their creative goals. Workshops take place in “The Barn” and attendees stay in cottages located short walking distances away.
One month from today I’ll greet this year’s poets who will be there to participate in a workshop I’ll lead over the following two full days and through noon on the third. During that time we’ll eat together, play together, and work together. I’ll divide our time into half-day segments, each highlighted by a presentation from an editor, a presentation and prompt by me, and plenty of time to work on that segment’s chosen form of poetry.
Ken and David
These workshops are small so everyone gets to know the group and feel comfortable as we spend the days and evenings together. Some poets are still looking for their first publication while others have already experienced that pleasure and hope to achieve additional success. No matter where the poets are in their careers, the small size of the group assures that everyone benefits and learns from one another.
Honesdale, Becca, Susan, and David - 2
As of this morning, seven poets have signed to join me at The Barn. With four weeks to go, I think we might hear from two or three more. That would still be a good number. Here’s the link for more information. http://tinyurl.com/poetspublish

Honesdale, David and Cory

Back into the wheel

Hi everyone,
Settling back into the routine little by little. A plumber is coming this morning to see about our water heater problem. Triple A came out yesterday to recharge Sandy’s car battery. Today I WILL get my hair cut. I’ve never been this shaggy.

Yesterday I learned that the summer issue of Colorado Reading Association Journal is out. It includes a reprint of my article that originally appeared in the New England Reading Association Journal last year called “Poetry Just for the Fun of It.” The article has been accepted for a fall or winter issue of the Missouri Reading Association Journal, and a slightly amended version of it is tentatively accepted for next year in the California Reading Association Journal. Arizona is reviewing it now as well as two or three other state journal editors.

I’ve completed the poetry chapter for the 5th edition of CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN THE READING PROGRAM and this week I’m focusing on a new poetry manuscript. I think I can get it far enough along by the end of this week to share with the editor.

So onward and upward everyone.


A bra-zen plumber

Hi everyone,
Good day yesterday, first full day since we got home. Okay, I did oversleep so I lost one hour, but I’ll get the hang of it soon.

On Sunday we were getting ready to entertain Larry and Maryann Wakefield to celebrate Larry’s birthday when we heard the sound of rushing water in the basement. We were both dressed for guests in shirts, slacks, and shoes as we stood at the foot of the stairs and gulped at the heavy stream of water spraying from a water heater.

I was trying to remember where the main cutoff valve is located when my instant-action wife came streaking past me, almost literally. She had shucked her clothes down to her undies and went straight to her work of locating and turning off the valve that controls water to the whole house.

I offered to post a picture of her in her work clothes but she patiently explained why I might not want to do that.

Today we’re back in cold water (and I avoided hot water) but we still need a plumber to come fix or replace the heater. If it’s a guy plumber, I hope he keeps his clothes on.