I hope that by now most of you have toured my website. Sometimes I get so busy with the blog that I overlook some of the great features that Kathy Temean has designed for the website itself.For example, on my bio page just above the picture of me as a six-year-old fisherman, you can click on ARA Interview to read the interview that Dr. Ann Porter Gifford did of me for the Arkansas Reading Association Journal in 2006. If you click on the picture itself, you’ll see my first poem, inspired by a fish, and also the poem I wrote as an adult (for Connecting Dots) about that first fish I caught so long ago in Arizona.
At the bottom of that same column, just below a picture of me giving a commencement address at Drury University, you’ll see James C. Kirkpatrick Library in red letters. A click on that takes you to a list of mansucripts and correpsondence that I’ve donated to the library, which is on the campus of Central Missouri University Library in Warrensburg, Missouri. I think there are seven boxes of material. Once in a while I hear from a graduate student who is working on an advanced degree and has been studying my work. Which reminds me that I have several more boxes in my basement waiting for delivery to the library.
Have you discovered that if you click on any of the book covers at the tops of each page — Bio, Books, Awards, Guest Book, etc. — you’ll see something about that book and read a few reviews of it? I thought Kathy outdid herself on that feature!
If you look under Visits, you can find the Drury commencement speech by clicking on my picture. I called that talk, “Never Go Camping With One Pack of Hotdogs.” I thought that sounded nice and scholarly.
On that same page you’ll see in red letters SCHOOL VISIT KIT. What you find there comes from my pages on the Scholastic website and is meant to assist those who might be interested in arranging for me to visit a school. I don’t do as many school visits as some of my friends but I see a few thousand students each year.
On the Teacher page I post a new teaching tool each month. The one for November is called “Inspiration Through Observation.” By walking around my house and making a list of what I saw (or imagined) there, I eventually wrote the book of poetry called Alligator in the Closet. I wrote that book partly to demonstrate the technique.
On the For Kids page, each month features one of my books and a puzzle to work out based on words from the book. This is pure Kathy. I’m not sure I could create one of those things!
As for me, it’s back to my “thanks” poem. Yesterday I decided I didn’t like what I’ve been working on so I threw it out to give myself a fresh start. Maybe this time I’ll like the approach better.