I’m feeling retoaded

Hi everyone,

As Jane Yolen and I pointed out, the past few days have made it tough to be a toad around here. We’ve now registered over eight inches of rain in the past week so that adds to the mix. But moving on . . .

It took all week but yesterday afternoon I finished my last of five poems for the collection I’m doing with two other poets. I still have the end notes to attend to, but that won’t take more than three days, I hope. Standing by is the need to finish editing the poetry chapter I’m doing for CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN THE READING PROGRAM while also getting back to work on the Scholastic book with Mary Jo Fresch and deciding what my subject will be for an article I’ve promised to write for a state reading journal. When I can, I want to get back to the middle grade novel that is all but finished. May should be a busy but good month.


To croak or to croak, that is the question.

Hi everyone,

Two nights ago our lovelorn toads were singing the rain their lustiest come-hither songs. I counted seven but knew there were others. Yesterday three men came and opened our pool. To do that they first drained off the water that covered the pool cover with a nasty soup that harbored crane fly larvae and toads that tucked their secrets out of sight.

The men cleaned off the cover and put it in storage before attending to the clean water beneath and refilling the top few inches of the pool. Now the water is nice and clear again and waiting for us to enjoy our first dip once the weather warms up enough.

The toads? The guys said they never saw any. They either sucked them up in the large hose they use to transfer the water downhill into the lake or they picked them up in their wide-mouthed leaf scoopers they use to gather up accumulated debris. The toads either escaped through the hose — a rather daring-do deed indeed — or they met an untimely fate stuffed in large cans packed in among the leaves. If the latter, I can only say, with a man’s logic and sense of humor, at least they went out happy.

An evening with tomorrow’s writers

Hi everyone,

I was one of five readers last night at the annual Writers Hall of Fame of the Ozarks Student Recognition Banquet and was, as always, impressed by the talent of the winning writers. Students from grades 5-12 created a wide range of poetry and prose that was impressive. My congratulations to the young writers, their teachers, and their families. My thanks to Writers Hall of Fame for sponsoring such a valuable event. Scholarships from $500 to $1,500 were awarded to several college bound seniors who will be pursuing careers in writing. For twenty-five dollars a ticket, it was a banquet worth attending!

Something About the Author

Hi everyone,

I’ve heard from the folks who publish the series of reference books called SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR that they are planning an update of my profile in an upcoming edition. I checked my records and verified that I was in a volume in 1997 and updated in 2008 and 2113. Is anyone familiar with this series and do you find it useful? It’s a reference book priced at $246 and geared for libraries. They pay me to be in it so unless I hear negative feedback from you, I guess I’ll okay the new article. The last one ran around 5,000 words and I received a pre-pub copy to review and edit. Thanks.


Singers of the night

Hi everyone,

For the past several nights we’ve been hearing a chorus of toads or frogs singing in and around the water on our pool cover. I think they’re toads and am trying to identify them. It’s hard to see their coloring and patterns clearly enough in the dark even with my night binoculars. After a winter’s accumulation, the water on top of the cover is nasty looking but it suits the neighborhood toads just fine. The pool will be opened three days from now so their window for finding mates is drawing down. I can certainly testify that those little males were singing their hearts out last night as we sat in chairs a few feet away to watch and listen, and they never quit all night. At 6:00 this morning they were still at it.