Describing dawn

Hi everyone,

Being a coffee drinker I make a number of trips down the hall each morning between my office and the kitchen. The back of our house is mostly glass so I see the day begin, turning (cup by cup) from dark to daylight. I often post pretty sunrises but my cell phone camera doesn’t do justice to Goose Lake without light behind it.

Watching the sky awaken fascinates me. One morning what I thought was a rock under my birdfeeder was my neighbor’s cat. One minute she was a stone in the dark, the next she was a wily huntress in the first gray light.

So how does a writer do justice to the dawn? How do we describe the slow motion transition from night to day when our only brush is our imagination? Here is one try. It doesn’t do justice to nature, but maybe I’ll do better next time. Post your own effort if you want to. It can be poetry or prose.


Morning light comes like act two.
Props on a shrouded stage find their edges.
Black takes colors; shadows become shrubs.
Morning light isn’t until it is.
The star of the show peeks over the rim
to check the audience. A bird tunes up.
The day begins.

Reviewing the year

Hi everyone,

2017 is about out of gas but I think we can walk to 2018 from here if need be. My only complaint about 2017 is that it seemed to be a short year.

It was productive for me though. In addition to posting here most days, seven days each week, my work received recognitions (from Society of Midland Authors for best nonfiction book of the year and NCTE’s list of Notable Poetry Books for Children, for NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T), sold my 99th book (to Holiday House, called RUM PUM PUM, co-authored with Jane Yolen), sold my 100th book (to Holiday House, called I WANT AN APPLE), had one new book come out (from Scholastic called 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS, co-authored with Mary Jo Fresch), published an article in Arizona Reading Journal and two (one of which was co-authored with Mary Jo Fresch) in Missouri Reading Journal, was featured interview in Children’s Book Insider), included in anthologies, including POEMS ARE TEACHERS (collected by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater) and THE BEST OF TODAY’S LITTLE DITTY, 2016 (collected by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes), appeared in a multi-skill course book in India called REVISED EXPLORING ENGLISH), took an agent (Karen Grensik), made two research trips (Arizona and New York) signed in books stores in Missouri and Florida, presented and signed at NCTE, visited schools in Arizona and Missouri, participated in two children’s literature festivals in Missouri, and an updated bio appeared in SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

Coming up in 2018: two new titles, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY (from Charlesbridge) and CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS (from Boyds Mills Press) plus two children’s literature festivals, a feature spot in a magazine, two radio programs, school visits, a live evening program at The Library Center in Springfield, more anthologies, another poem in an Indian publication, and will present and sign at Texas Library Association and at ILA.

My first conference in 2019 is inked in. Five new books are under contract and in the works.