A mixed week

Hi everyone,

I may not be blogging much this week. I have several things on my list that need attention. I need to make every minute count for the ongoing book project with LAURA ROBB and TIM RASINSKI. I need to write a letter of recommendation for a friend, and make a video with Tim and MARY JO FRESCH to promote our pair of books that come out on February 1.

The fun news is that I spoke yesterday with maestro PATRICK REYNOLDS of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and we agreed that I’ll make a series of videos to be part of the “Bugs” concert on March 20 in Dayton. There will be one video that will be aired as advance marketing for the performance, two of me reading poems from the book, BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS, and two others that are poems for two voices.

I’ll record my part here and my reading partner will be the orchestra’s pianist, live on the night of the concert. My image will be cast on a large screen above the orchestra so I’ll look down as though I’m looking at my reading partner and she’ll look up to the screen during her parts. If you’ve ever seen my Halloween poem with RENEE LATULIPPE, it will be similar to that. She was in her home in Italy looking to her right to “see” me and I was here looking left to “see” her. For this week I’ll just make two of the videos so that Pat can check how well my images will project on a screen that size. If it doesn’t work, he’ll make the recording from his end. Wish me luck!

Recording some bugs

Hi everyone,

Thanks to Nathan Papes, Springfield News-Leader, for the picture

Yesterday I had a note from PATRICK REYNOLDS, conductor of the Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in Dayton, Ohio, inviting me to record some of my choices from bugs, poems about creeping things. that he might use to help promote the “Bugs” concert in March and perhaps include during the performance.

Don’t have the bugs worked out of the idea yet, or into it, but I’m so happy at the thought of participating in this way. I’m still considering the idea of attending the concert in person, but either way the fun factor just took a leap upward. The maestro asked about my favorite poems from the book and I sent him this list.

a tick’s friends
dumb beetles
bad beetles
other bugs

I wish I could show you the marvelous illustrations by ROB SHEPPERSON. No matter how funny I think I am, Rob always makes each poem better with his own puckish sense of humor. You can  guess just by seeing the cover alone. I'd love to do something else together one of these days. 

Dayton concert in March

Hi everyone,

I’ve just discovered the program has been posted for the March 20 “bugs” concert.

As they did at the first concert a number of years ago, several poems from my book, BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS, will be read throughout the performance, which will also be accompanied by the Dayton Youth Ballet. I believe the cover of the book, wittily illustrated by ROB SHEPPERSON, will be displayed in some way. I can’t make it to Ohio at that time and get home in time for my birthday party at David Harrison Elementary two days later on the 22nd. Wish I could!

Another bugs concert

Hi everyone,

In 2014, my book, BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS, illustrated hilariously by Rob Shepperson and published by Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, was featured in a Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra concert in Dayton, Ohio. The concert was dubbed, BUGS and a number of poems from the book were read and performed on stage during the concert, which also featured dancers from the Dayton Ballet II Senior Company. The conductor, PATRICK REYNOLDS, conducted the final number of the performance with a flyswatter. The evening’s sponsor was — wait for it — Extermital Termite & Pest Control.

A few days ago I had a note from Patrick saying that in March of 2022 he plans to reprise the BUGS performance! What I would love to do is make a video of me reading some of the poems and Rob could make one with some of his artwork to project onto screens during the concert. I know that probably won’t work, but it’s fun to think about. A different long shot would be to plan a trip to New York at that time and stop off in Dayton to be in the audience or perhaps do a reading or two live. All great fun to consider.

In March 2022, I’ll turn 85. Wouldn’t that be a great birthday gift to me? Hmmm.

A different kind of book worm

Hi everyone,

When I went out at 7:00 to pick up the paper, I discovered an earthworm under it.

In my book, BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS, I wrote a poem:

Bugs moved under
my welcome mat.
If bugs can’t read,
explain that.

I’ve always said
that bugs are pests,
but bugs who read
are welcome guests.

This morning’s worm brought that flashback and tempted me to reprise it for the sake of the intellectual worm in my driveway. I haven’t written a word yet but can already feel a good character in the making.