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!

Summer blog party this Friday!

Hi everyone,

This Friday, June 9, I’m having my fourth virtual blog party. If it goes like the first three, we should have hundreds of visits and comments throughout the day as people check in to see who’s here, greet old friends, and ask or answer questions. I don’t claim this as my idea. It was originally suggested by Joy Acey and Matt Forrest. Here’s the link to the first party, which, by the way, lasted three days!
https://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/see-you-at-the-grill .

I hope you will mark Friday on your calendar and plan to drop by my blog anytime during the day and return as often as you wish to keep up with the festivities. To let everyone know you’ve arrived, click on the little balloon in the upper right corner of the post, scroll to the bottom of the list, and post your comment.

Here is more information about Joy, who first came into my life at my 2011 Poetry Workshop in Honesdale, and Matt, who arrived in 2013.

Joy Acey is a childrens poet published in the Poetry Friday anthologies compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Her poems have also appeared in Highlight’s High Five and Pockets magazine. She lives on Kauai with wild chickens and lots of rainbows. She loves adventure and to travel. She has over 2,000 poems and many writing exercises for children on her blog http://www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com


Matt Forrest Esenwine’s children’s poetry can be found in numerous anthologies including Kenn Nesbitt’s One Minute Till Bedtime (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016), J. Patrick Lewis’ The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015), and Lee Bennett Hopkins’ School People (Boyd’s Mills Press, 2018), as well as ‘Highlights for Kids’ magazine. Matt’s debut picture books, Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press), and Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books), are scheduled for Sept. 2017 and Spring 2018 releases, respectively.

Matt Forrest Esenwine
Matt Forrest VoiceWorks
http://www.MattForrest.com
http://www.MattForrestWordpress.com (blog)
http://www.Facebook.com/MattForrestVoice
http://www.Twitter.com/MattForrestVW
http://www.BostonCasting.com/MattForrest
http://www.Voice123.com/MattForrest
http://Soundcloud.com/MattForrestVoiceWorks (demos/samples)
(603) 660-6989
matt@mattforrest.com

It’s party time!

Welcome to my blog party!

DAY TWO: It never fails. One day is never enough. If you’ve been here, come back. If you didn’t make it yesterday, here’s your chance. It’s going to be another great day!

Hi everyone,
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It’s party time! The original virtual party in June 2015 came at the encouragement of poets Joy Acey and Matt Forrest. I held it in our back yard here at Goose Lake. We partied on for three days!
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Later in the year another friend, Sara Johnson, Director of Educational Marketing at Shell Education, suggested that I throw a holiday party. That happened last year on December 17 and we had another great turnout. Ditto the third party in June of this year. And now, at the nudging of teacher Susan Hutchens, here we are with our fourth celebration.
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Welcome to all. If you have jackets, toss them on the bed down the hall. Make yourselves at home. We have plenty of chairs and places to perch. You can also sit on the floor or the hearth. The carpet’s newish and the candles won’t burn you so move them aside.
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The kitchen is through the dining room. The counter is marble so heat won’t hurt it. You don’t need to bring anything but I suppose some holiday tidbits or perhaps a drop or two of something festive would be appreciated by all.
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Thank you for taking time to be here and share in the pleasure of one another’s company. Most of us talk back and forth all year but we’re rarely all together at one time. I don’t know who will show up today but if you have a specific question for anyone in particular, I’ll do my best to get it to him or her. Some of you may be meeting for the first time. If you have something you’d like to mention, such as an exciting activity, an award, your 2017 aspirations, or a new book coming out, let us know. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with bragging on your kids/grandkids or sharing a poem if you’re brave enough to stand up and present it. This IS a party after all!

So come early, drink deep from the cup of friendship, and stay as long as you like. Spread the word far and wide. Tell your friends and tell them to tell their friends. Let’s do it!

David

Don’t forget this Friday, June 10

Hi everyone,

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Sandy and I ate by the lake last night and reminded ourselves that this Friday, June 10, is my virtual party here at this same spot. I DO hope you all plan to attend and will tell others to join us too!

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A friend recently recommended CREATIVE POWER, THE EDUCATION OF YOUTH IN THE CREATIVE ARTS, by Hughes Mearns, first published in 1929 and republished in 1958 by Dover Publications. The language feels dated today but his philosophy and approach to teaching kids to think and express themselves is timely in many ways. For example, this passage, which I take the liberty to quote to make a point. Mearns died more than half a century ago. “The general approval goes to the imitators. We set up models for everything. . . .The demand for one form of standardization is supplied by the publication of millions of copies of books of etiquette. A few of these, of course, have a higher purpose than to supply the proper phrase for all occasions of living, but, in the main, their great sales represent the universal hunger to conform, to annihilate one’s individuality of thinking and feeling. Perhaps the greatest humiliation, this side of criminal conviction, comes of a knowledge of having failed in social conformity.”

Mearns must have been a provocative figure in his day. It isn’t hard to imagine why his students loved him and produced creative work that few others could imagine they possessed. As writers we can draw lessons of our own from these words. To conform to the norm or speak in our own voice is a tough issue. I’ll talk more about this point at the workshop.