My last blog post for a while

Hi everyone,

This past week I wrote four poems and four 500-word essays for the Teacher Created Materials book with Laura Robb and Tim Rasinski. I’ll share the results with them in the morning so they can start working on their own contributions to the book. After that it’s all about the scope and sequence project with Tim from now until the last of the seventy-five poems is written.

I’ll come up for air when I can, most likely on Fridays or weekends. I know I’m going to miss writing a daily blog after twelve years. I’ll probably do a little better on Facebook so watch for me there.

Making some temporary changes

Hi everyone,

I’ve just accepted, along with Tim Rasinski, a project to help revamp the early reading program for one of the twelve largest school districts in the nation. My part calls for writing seventy-five original poems suitable for the 40,000 K-2 students in the district. Final details are being formalized this week and I’ll begin work on Monday.

Although I’m delighted by the challenge and look forward to getting started, there’s a huge scheduling conflict. Tim and I, with Laura Robb, are supposed to be writing a new book for Teacher Created Materials right now, with a target deadline of December 15 and a pub date of early 2022. By squeezing in, more like shoehorning in, this new project, there’s no way to stick with the TCM schedule. The kind folks at TCM have graciously agreed to a several week delay in their plans.

So this has turned into my year to work on education books. I began on March 5 writing poems for the first of two books for Scholastic with Mary Jo Fresch and Tim, and finished last week. This week I’m getting in a few licks on the TCM book before shifting gears into the new project. The minute I finish with that, I’ll get back to the TCM book and hope to finish my part by the end of January. That will mean eleven straight months of writing poems for the classroom almost every weekday except when out of town or doing virtual visits.

There is no way this is going to happen without making more work time in the day so I’m making a hard decision to start Monday cutting blog posts to a minimum. Hopefully, it won’t take as long as expected to finish the last poem but at this early stage I’ll want to error on the side of being conservative.

Look for me on the blog when I have something I really want to say. I’ll try to keep up on Facebook but might fall behind in my responses there too. Sorry!

Adding some new dates

Hi everyone,

This is noted portrait photographer Randy Bacon taking my picture for a literacy project in March. I love this picture and can’t wait to see which shot Randy will choose for the exhibit.

Yesterday I heard from a journal editor in California inviting me to do a little tweaking on an article on poetry I submitted in May and send it back. I’m in a time crunch for now but hope to get back to that before long.

At Kate Cosgrove’s invitation I’m joining her for a virtual book talk in a Florida book store in August.

In October, Laura Robb and I are now booked to do a zoom tweet about our book, GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH, TEXTS AND LESSONS TO IMPROVE FLUENCY, COMPREHENSION, AND VOCABULARY, Grades 4-8.

A conference call set for tomorrow will determine the fate of a major project in the works. More about that tomorrow.

Dreaming my life away

Hi everyone,

I’m potentially one day from an editorial meeting that will determine if a new educational proposal with Tim Rasinski will be accepted. If it is, I won’t have that window of time I was expecting until mid-August when I’ll begin work on the book for Shell with Laura Robb and Tim Rasinski. In anticipation of getting the green light, I’ve already begun work on the first of what would be 75 new poems.

If the proposal is accepted, I’ll have very little time for the rest of the year to develop new ideas for trade publishers. The other day Nikki Grimes was relating how she has recently pull some old manuscript out of storage and given them fresh chances to be accepted. Jane Yolen does now and then. So does Sandy Asher and any number of other writers including me. That might be about all I’ll have time for. That’s not altogether bad though. I once sold a book years later to an editor who had turned it down in the first place.

Contract signed for new book

Hi everyone,

Yay. I just signed the contract for the new 170-200 page book for Teacher Created Materials with Tim Rasinski and Laura Robb. The finished manuscript will be due December 15 so much has to happen between now and then. Today I’m sending my last six poems to Tim and Mary Jo Fresch for the two-book set for Scholastic so the way will soon be clear for me to return to some trade book projects. I think I have six weeks or so before I’ll need to get started on the TCM book. Happy guy.

I apologize for still being clumsy at times with the recent changes in WordPress. I’m all thumbs with placement of pictures. I have a devil of a time moving them around. Here I got Laura by herself when I meant to place Mary Jo and Tim with her. At least my friends are all together on the page. A dynamic trio if there ever was one!

Laura

Mary Jo and Tim