New morning, new day, new week. Let’s do it.

Hi everyone,

Tim Rasinski and I did a 27-minute video Saturday morning to wrap up the Fairfax County Virginia project and this Thursday, Tim, Mary Jo Fresch, Laura Robb, and I are set to do a 60-minute webinar for California Reading. On Friday or December 1, Laura and I look forward to an interview by Missouri’s Sam Bommarito on his great blog. Guess I’d better get a haircut.

For now, it’s a new week. I’ve set out the trash, got the coffee going, and am settling down to work on a poem for the upcoming Laura/Tim/David book for Teacher Created Materials.

Moving on to other priorities

Hi everyone,

This is the first morning in many months that I don’t have a poem to write for the Fairfax County Virginia project with Tim Rasinski. I finished #75 last week before going to the Mansfield children’s literature festival. Sometime this week Tim and I will record a video of me explaining how teachers can write and tweak poems like I did for their scope and sequence program for kindergarten through second grade. The rest of the week I’ll play catch up as much as I can and then get back in the groove for the book I’m doing with Tim and Laura Robb for Teacher Created Materials. My editors there were kind to delay the publication date long enough for me to work in the Fairfax project.

Peggy, and others, the skull in the middle is an extinct form of black bear a boyfriend and I found in a local cave when we were twelve years old. On the left: a replica of a short-face bear, the biggest bear that ever lived. It could top 1,500 pounds, on its hind legs reach more than 14′ into the air, and run 45 miles per hour. On the right, a replica of a saber-tooth cat. Signs of both beasts were discovered in Riverbluff Cave in Springfield, Missouri in 2011.

A good week

Hi everyone,

A short week but a good one. We returned from Oregon on Tuesday after a great trip with Jeff and Jennifer that included Portland, Crater Lake, Sunriver, and Cannon Beach. Spectacular views, wonderful food, and loving company. Couldn’t ask for more or better.

I’m twenty work-days away from my Fairfax deadline and feel confident I can make it. A lot of things are going undone for now but it won’t be much longer before I can return to a more normal routine. This past week I agreed on terms for an old story of mine, “The Little Boy’s Secret,” to appear in a U.K. HarperCollins anthology for 7-year-olds. The story originally came out in THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES, co-published by American Heritage Press in the U.S.A. and Jonathan Caple in England in 1972.

I’m set for a virtual return on October 30 to The BookMark in Neptune Beach, Florida. This time I’m introducing the new book, I WANT AN APPLE. I look forward to it.

I began sketching notes for a video I promised to make as part of the Fairfax project. I need to make it before the end of November. Mary Jo Fresch, Laura Robb, Tim Rasinski, and I made plans to rehearse a 60-minute webinar for California Reading Conference that will be broadcast live on November 18.

Next week I speak at American Association of School Librarians at its national conference in Salt Lake City. Kate Coombs and I will discuss science/nature-based poetry for young people. Our presentation, “Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Connecting Young Readers to Nature,” will be moderated by award winning librarian Amanda Jones from Louisiana. I’ll speak on the subject in general but with emphasis on THE DIRT BOOK.

Time to get to work.

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!