Happy Thanksgiving


BULLETIN: Guess what? We have, for the first time, some poems posted by high school students! Thanks to Lisa Martino and her students in Crescent City, Florida, we can finally use our student group for grades 8-12! Thank you, Lisa, and thank you students. I hope everyone will click on WOM Young Poets, scroll to the last three entries, and enjoy the work of Lisa’s students.

REMINDER: Cutoff for November Word of the Month poems is tonight at 10:00 CST. So far we have a bumper crop of poems inspired by the word WORD. Don’t forget to post yours.

BULLETIN: For those who wanted to leave comments about my Tuesday post to WRITERS AT WORK: By a strange quirk, comments were shut off on that day — the only time this has happened — and we can’t seem to get it fixed. To save you from scrolling around, I’m cutting and pasting the whole thing again and asking you to try again if you wish to post a comment.

REMINDER: During my recent absences from the blog, I must admit that our Woza Woza Poem has not prospered. I’m reposting the last update we had, on November 12. November 12 was 13 days ago. Come on, poets, we need some help!

Today I witnessed something I’d never seen before –
A sea of cinnamon swirls surfed the forest floor.
The reason for the swirling suddenly dawned on me –
Tiny brown-clad creatures surfed that cinnamon sea!

Tiny brown-clad creatures wearing leather hats
Trimmed with golden feathers! Can you imagine that?
They danced in whirling circles, singing to themselves.
I blinked my eyes in wonder, these tiny folk were elves!

They sang of distant places, they sang of sea and foam,
They sang of Woza Woza, the elves’ ancestral home.
The magic of their voices carried me along
As faster whirled the circles, higher pitched their song

Of fairies, trolls, and giants, mere humans never know

Hello everyone,

I wish you a Thanksgiving filled with the pleasure of being with family and friends. My mother (at 98 our last living parent) will join us for Thanksgiving at our daughter’s house. We are saddened by the loss of Sandy’s mother but still have a lot to be thankful for. We also thank you for your kind notes of condolences at our recent loss.

Here once again is the Tuesday post to WRITERS AT WORK.

Hi everyone,

I’m adding my concluding thoughts on the subject of rejection. I heard plenty of comments about it during the NCTE conference that I can share with you.

Topic: The Reality of Rejection
Response 4: David
Date: November 23, 2010

So I’m attending a major convention. This morning I made a presentation about Word of the Month Poetry Challenge which, I think, was well received and might result in more teachers introducing their students to the project. Not ony that, I'm signing books at the Scholastic booth and last hour I signed books at the Boyds Mills Press booth. In both places, I greeted many old friends and met a number of new ones. When I finish here, I’ll attend the Authors Luncheon and sit around a table of teachers, each of whom will receive a copy of my latest book. They will ask me to sign their books and I’ll do it with pleasure. It’s hard not to feel good about this day. Until

I check my e-mail just prior to the luncheon. And there I find

a r-e-j-e-c-t-i-o-n.

And I am bummed.

Never mind how grown up we all try to be about having our work turned down, it still stings when someone says, “Not for us.” As Sandy says, we gradually reach a point where we take these rejections in stride as being part of the job. Maybe our sulk time shortens and the hysterics diminish. But come on, I’m having a Rejection Moment here. How about a moment of silence?

Okay, I’m back.

Today I visited with several other writers, among them some of the brightest and best. And guess what? One of them just got turned down twice; same for another. Others mention how hard it has been lately for them to get approval for new projects. These are STARS for Pete’s sake. I also talked with editors and they, too, lament how difficult it can be these days to get a book accepted. I mentioned earlier in my conversation with Sandy that I developed a habit years ago to keep a list of potential publishers for every new manuscript so that I could get a rejected manuscript back in circulation as soon as possible after it came back. The tactic still works. We’ve talked about dealing with rejection before the fact and how to handle it after it happens. Here’s my executive summary.

1. Write something.
2. Polish it until you can’t read it without sunglasses.
3. Study the market.
4. Make a list of potential publishers.
5. Submit to the one at the top of the list.
6. Remind yourself that there is a strong chance you’ll be rejected.
7. Be prepared to hold the briefest pity part possible before going to #2 on your list.
8. See #7.
9. See #7.
10. See #7.
11. If you sell something, bask in the glow, but don’t get used to the idea that you are now invincible.
12. See #7

Sorry to be so spotty lately with my posting. Once I’m home again it won’t take long to get back on schedule.