Wrapping up the week

REMINDER: Don’t forget today is the big day when everyone is headed over to Matt Forrest’s house for a summer virtual blog party! Here’s the link. https://mattforrest.wordpress.com . See you there!

Hi everyone,

It has been a pleasant week. I didn’t get everything on my list done but progress was made. Mary Jo Fresch and I wrote a 1,500 word essay for Sam Bommarito’s blog. Sam is co-editor of The Missouri Reader, a publication of the Missouri ILA, and he’ll be the next state president. I’ve also committed to doing an article for this fall’s edition of The Missouri Reader.

I wrote 500 words about my work to enter for an opportunity to write a 1,000 word column for the November/December issue of Knowledge Quest, a collaborative effort by AASL and the CBC.

Mary Jo and I got word that our newest book proposal is going out for peer review soon, a necessary next step before a contract can be offered. It shouldn’t be more than a few weeks before we’ll know if it’s going to be a go.

The week also saw the official publication date for CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN THE READING PROGRAM. That was a huge highlight!

Early in the week I finished the 3rd telling of the desert middle grade novel. Please keep your fingers crossed that I finally got it right!

And I spent parts of the last two days getting back into the third middle grade story. I started it some time ago and had to set it aside so it took a while to settle back into the groove. I already see changes to make, the benefit of putting a story aside for a while and coming back with fresh eyes.

All in all, a super keeper!

I’m headed over to Matt’s blog party. See you there?

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Blog party at Matt Forrest Esenwine’s house!

Hi everyone,

Unless you have come to this blog during the past six months, you may already know about the twice yearly blog parties. I hosted the first four, starting December 2015, and Matt Forrest Esenwine took over from me in December 2017.

The concept of having virtual blog parties originated in conversations among Matt, Joy Acey, and me in December 15 so it seemed fitting that Matt would step in to become the second host for this fun event that routinely brings so many people together from the comfort of their own homes.

It’s astonishing how fertile imaginations can conjure a party that seems very nearly real. Guests come and go all day. Many bring refreshments. Old friends greet one another as warmly as though they were meeting face to face. Guests with questions feel free to ask them of the group or of individuals.

I don’t know if our blog party has a future but it’s fun to imagine that others will step up when Matt is ready to pass the hosting role to someone else. Right now I think he’s an ideal host because he’s riding a wave of publishing success and seems poised to enjoy more of it as he goes. So good for him and good for us as we click over to his house tomorrow at https://mattforrest.wordpress.com

I hope to see you there. Please spread the word to anyone you know who would enjoy dropping by to enjoy warm company and great food!

It’s ILA in 2018

Reminder: Today is the big day for our virtual blog party at Matt Forrest Esenwine’s place. Here’s the link. (I gave you the wrong one yesterday.)https://mattforrest.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/poetry-friday-welcome-to-the-2017-holiday-poetry-party Please plan to meet at Matt’s and tell everyone you know how to get there. I’m bringing sliders and I double dog dare you to say you’ve had better. See you there!

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to announce that Mary Jo Fresch and I have been accepted to present at ILA next year in Austin. Registration for the 2018 international conference opens in February. The dates are July 20-23.

We’re giving a hands-on, two-hour workshop called 7 STEPS TO WRITING SUCCESS: CHANGING HOW STUDENTS RESEARCH. It draws heavily from our just published book with Scholastic and is designed to give attendees some practical professional development opportunities. We’re both excited.

Remember tomorrow’s party at Matt’s place

Reminder: Matt Forrest Esenwine is hosting the virtual holiday party that has been at my house the past two years. Early tomorrow morning guests will start arriving at https://www.facebook.com/MattForrestVoice?pnref=friends.search and I look forward to seeing you there!

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I passed a milestone of sorts. I filled my second record book and bought a new one. I haven’t written in it yet. I have the same feeling about a new journal. Seems like the first entry should be spectacular. Bee Cullinan and I had a talk about that once. She said to take a pen, mark all over that first page, rip it out, and get on with it. Like getting the first scratch on a new car.

I started my first record book in 1959. The first entry, From Day to Day, ran 5,600 words, was submitted to Atlantic, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Arizona Quarterly. No sale.

The last entry, Little Boy Soup, sold to Ladybird Press on 11/30/89. At that time it was my 177th submitted work.

My second record book ended with my 354th submitted work, My Book of Little Critters. It went out on 11/29/17. Nothing to report yet.

I’ve also kept track of how many individual items I’ve finished over the years — poems, picture books, etc. That total stands at 1,701 as I begin to write in this third record book. When I think about it, my whole life’s work is recorded in these slender books. There is a lot of hope in them, heartache, celebrations.

This new ledger is larger and fancier than the others. Its pages are numbered, and there’s space enough for 400 more submissions. It means I have a long way to go before I run out of ideas . . . or get another record book.

Group photo

Hi everyone,

My thanks to everyone who came to my fourth virtual blog party. Many of you traveled long distances so your efforts were especially appreciated. I thought you all might like a souvenir group photo, so here it is. Lots of smiling faces! If I left anyone out, or you were standing behind someone, I apologize.

I realized later that I had posed you in a really tough place so thanks for being patient with me, especially those who had to sit on the retaining wall, kneel between the fountain and tables, and even grin from the pool. You were all good sports.