Passing the bottle

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I finished my parts for the book with LAURA ROBB and TIM RASINSKI for Teacher Created Materials. There could still be tweaks and fixes in my future, but at this point I feel like celebrating. Tonight SANDY says she’s buying champagne.

This book began with exploratory talks among the three of us in January and February, 2021. By March we were ready and submitted our proposal to TCM. I committed to write 25 poems and 25 500-word essays, starting July 1 and finishing by October 1. It would be a killer pace but timing was critical to meet an early 2022 publication date.

I couldn’t start before July because Tim, MARY JO FRESCH, and I were finishing two books for Scholastic Teacher Resources that began with discussions in late 2000 and took nearly all my time through the first half of 2001. One of those books came out last month. The second is due out ten days from now.

When Fairfax County Virginia Public Schools approached Tim to re-write its Scope and Sequence program for grades K-2 and Tim invited me to join him, we asked for and received permission from TCM and Laura to delay pub date for our book long enough to insert the new project. For a matter of months, all I did was work on that project. The day I finished the last of 70+ poems, I turned back to the TCM project and jumped back into that.

It took from November 15 to yesterday, March 3, without a break, to finish the poems and essays for the TCM book. I hope my wife gets a BIG bottle of the bubbly.

Today? I’m sorting out where to start tackling a 16-month backlog of ideas and commitments in the trade world. I’m ready!

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.

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

Happy 40th Anniversary, Teacher Created Materials!

Hi everyone,

My friends at Teacher Created Materials are celebrating their 40th anniversary in the publishing business this year and they’re doing it in a generous way that features lots of giveaways throughout the year. I have published five books there with Mary Jo Fresch and one with Tim Rasinski. For more information, here’s a the link. TCM 40th Anniversary 40 Weeks Flyer LR

On another subject, next Tuesday I’ll post Part 4 of this month’s series of WRITERS AT WORK: WAIT FOR IT. There are five Tuesdays in October and we’re reserving that last one for you and your own experiences with bringing “lost cause” manuscripts to life. Please send your messages to me via e-mail by the end of this week so I’ll have time to assemble them. Next week is a busy one for me and I won’t be available on the last Tuesday. Thanks!