From my e-book from nine years ago: GOOSE LAKE

Hi everyone,

A very dear friend of mine, Deanna Smith Schuler, has asked if I might record some poems from GOOSE LAKE, A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A LAKE, which I published as an e-book in 2011. Editors who read the manuscript liked it but said it was too specific so wouldn’t have a national appeal. I believed in the work so I ventured for my one and only time so far into the world of electronic books. I’ll make the video as requested, hopefully this week, but thinking about the collection again made me want to share some of it with you today. I’ve done this before but it has been quite a while.

Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong wrote the foreword for GOOSE LAKE. Sladjana Vasic’s illustrations captured beautifully my sense of mystery and intense interest in everything about the lake.

You can buy it for $1.99 on Amazon or B&N. Here’s the cover. Here’s the introduction. To those of you are familiar with my love affair with the lake behind our house that I dubbed “Goose Lake” many years ago (it has no official name that I know of), this will come as no surprise.

The lake behind our house entertains me. In, around, and above the water a cast of swimmers, flyers, hoppers, chirpers, croakers, honkers, quackers, and hissers comes and goes, lives or dies, eats or is eaten, each a valuable member of the lake’s community.

According to season, rising suns paint mornings fresh as spring. Fish leap for insects. Turtles lie out on rocks like summer tourists sunning at the beach.

Fall rains strip leaves from trees and storms howl across the water. Ice covers the lake. Snow covers the ice.

Then it’s spring again and ducks wander the banks, searching for secret places to hide their eggs.

If only you could be here to share my binoculars when I look out my kitchen window or lounge beside the water at dusk. There are so many sights I would love to show you! Since you cannot join me in person, I’ll do the next best thing. I’ll bring Goose Lake to you.

And here is how the book begins.
When we moved here in 1989, we were not welcome. As I stooped in the driveway for my first morning paper, a delegation of geese hissing like punctured tires flat-footed it toward me across the grass. This was not a social call. My new house squatting on their land beside their lake was an outrage.

Indignant to their pinfeathers the geese closed ranks and delivered their ultimatum in a furious chorus:

Bills hard as chisels,
tails aquiver,
necks recoiling like missile launchers
firing off fierce glares —
the posse bristles pigeon-toed
to enforce goose law:

Trespassers
will be hissed
until
they learn their lesson.

Text copyright © 2011 by David L. Harrison
Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Sladjana Vasic
All rights reserved.

Can’t go wrong for two bucks. (:>

Thanks to Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

Hi everyone,

This week I received a royalty check for five of my poems that are in various Pomelo books published by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong in their line of poetry collections. It was a reminder of how much these two have contributed to the state of poetry in our country. Not since Kent Brown created Wondsong at Highlights dedicated to publishing children’s poetry has anyone done as much for the genre and the people who write it. Thank you, Sylvia and Janet. I appreciate the check, but I love what you have done.

Getting ready for Texas

Hi everyone,

Today I’m pulling the last of my thoughts together for next week’s TLA conference in Dallas. TLA is always a great conference. Boyds Mills is sponsoring me to mark the publication of CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS and I’ll also sign the new title, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY for Charlesbridge.

On Tuesday I’ll be part of a gang of poets in Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong’s pre-con workshop taking turns talking about selected subjects. I chose “Science through Poetry.”

On Wednesday I’ll join Sylvia, Janet, and others to speak about poetry related subjects. My topic is “Word of the Month Poetry Challenge.”

I’ll wind up on Thursday being a featured poet in another Sylvia classic: Poetry Roundup. I have 8-9 minutes to read some of my poems and I look forward to it. I enjoy hearing other poets read their work too.

A nice thing

Hi everyone,

My thanks to Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong for publishing a page from POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR SCIENCE TAKE 5! in SCIENCE & CHILDREN (a National Science Teachers Association publication). The page includes a poem of mine, “My Robot,” with practical suggestions on activities based on the message. It’s a handsome magazine and I’m delighted to be in it. Thank you, Sylvia and Janet!

CBC List of Gifts Galore

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Janet Wong posted that GIFT TAG, the e-book published by Pomelo, has been selected by CBC (Children’s Book Council) for its 2015 Gifts Galore list. The description says that 28 poets from the PoetryTagTime and P*TAG e-books reflect on a wide variety of holiday subjects. Editors: Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Here’s the link. http://www.cbcbooks.org/cbc-book-lists/gifts-galore

Poetry Tag Time

Gift Tag

When I congratulated Janet and Sylvia, Janet pointed out that a book of mine is on the same list. It’s A PERFECT HOME FOR A FAMILY, published by Holiday House and beautifully illustrated by Italian artist Roberta Angaramo.A Perfect Home for a Family