The votes are in. This summer the 10 branches in the Barry Lawrence Regional Library System sponsored reading contests. Janea Coker, Marionville Branch Library Supervisor, invited me to speak at the two winning branches and I happily agreed. The winners are Pierce City, Missouri and Cassville, Missouri. Here’s the schedule.
10:00 am- Pierce City Branch Library-101 N Walnut- (417) 476-5110
2:00 pm- Cassville Branch Library- 301 West 17th Street (417) 847-2121
These events are open to the public at no charge so if you live in the area I hope you’ll come to say hello and bring any youngsters you can round up this close to the end of summer. I’ll read some of my poems, talk a bit about reading and how important it is, answer questions and read a poem with my favorite great-niece, Alexis Egleston!
Who came up with this one? It’s a doozy but I say let’s go with it. Maybe it will help us put a little oomph into our writing during the lazy hot days of August. Ready? The word is OOMPH!
Let’s do it.
I don’t know all of you who visit me here equally well. I’ve tried in the past to figure out how my visitor-ship breaks down among authors, poets, artists, teachers, librarians, administrators, professors, agents, young people, parents, friends, family, and supporters of literature in general and children’s literature in particular. I wish I did know but most days I can only go by raw numbers: X number of visitors clicked on my blog.
What makes me think of this is the humorous poem published on my blog yesterday by poet Bryn Strudwick. Gentleman that he is, he was kind enough to ask in advance if I would be comfortable publishing it. I decided it would be okay because the poem isn’t about prurient sex and because the animal kingdom abounds in stories of reproduction and death. If by chance I have some young reader who spots that poem, my question to myself was whether the reader would be exposed to anything his or her parents might find objectionable. I voted for humor.
But I turn to you for input on this subject. A number of you have, over the years, offered poems seasoned with slang that I’ve asked you to rephrase and you — ever so sweetly — have readily complied. If you are a classroom teacher preparing to throw my daily post onto the wall, I trust that you check it out before you do. BUT, if you happen to be in a hurry and trust the blog to be classroom friendly, would this cross a line?
Thanks for helping me out with this.
Sitting outside late last night beside the water. A full moon worked its way through the hackberry overhead.
To our left a busy spider trapped a small moth and dashed across its web to claim its trophy.
Five feet away a second magnificent web was the stage for the nimble dance of another spider with its midnight snack.
I didn’t look around for more webs, but I knew they were there. Warm night, plenty of moths, great for hunting, if you’re a spider.
So here I am again. I obeyed the alarm. Did my toiletries. Shuffled to the kitchen and hit the coffee maker switch. I’m starting another day as a writer. I’ll decide what to work on and settle into the routine. Most of the time I do this without thinking about it, without asking myself why I am a writer.
It’s a valid question though. In my case I’ve been doing this for fifty-six years. Why? Why do artists draw and writers write? How do you answer that question when, from time to time, it bubbles to the surface? Is it a calling? An addiction? A hunger? A need to explore the universe of our minds? What do you think?