So how do I look?

Hi everyone,

One evening on the cruise our waiter showed us how to fold napkins and illuminate them with votive candles (not the real kind). I didn’t fold these but somehow became the model.

Hmmm, looks like I’m getting ready to ask the Statue of Liberty out on a date.

The Boss and the bird

Hi everyone,

Not much excitement to report this morning. Sometimes that’s a good thing. It means I’ll probably get something done, and I decided last night in bed what I would work on today.

For grins, here’s a picture of a little guy (called “The Boss”) who sat on my desk at Glenstone Block Company for many years. I think a staff member gave it to me but now I don’t remember who it was. The vulture was another gift. On one of my birthdays I found my office filled with black balloons and the vulture was tied to one of them. It made a perfect companion to my “boss” guy.

These days the boss and the bird reside on another desk in the office, one that was my dad’s where he used to sit to pay his bills. That’s where I sit these days to pay mine.

Back in the wheel

Hi everyone,

Home again! We had a fine time during the last twenty-five days with first the cruise and then the extended stay in Florida with Robin and Jeff. It doesn’t get much better than that! My extra plum was that I came home weighing the same 210 I weighed the day we left. Hooray for that!

Now it’s back to work. This morning I’m in search of an idea for 8th graders that will feature onomatopoeia and personification. Piece of cake? We’ll see. Anyway, welcome home, me.

A good day to end on

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I won! The recalcitrant poem finally tired of teasing me and allowed me to steer it to a rather satisfactory conclusion. I borrowed one of Jane Yolen’s happy dances for that!

It was also a good day because Mary Jo Fresch and I concluded our manuscript for the new NCTE book and she clicked the 190-page manuscript on its way. This one began casually with an idea from Mary Jo on August 3, 2017. “I got an idea the other day…a book of nyms. Here is what I thought…I would give the explanation of the nym (antonyms are words that have opposite meaning, blah blah, blah), give examples (hot/cold; fast/slow, etc.), and a suggested lesson. You, of course, would use some in a poem. They are in the standards across the grades. Doable?” I, of course, said yes. This makes our 7th book together. So now, 889 e-mails and a handful of Skype sessions later, we’re ready to see what our editor makes of it. Next step is that the manuscript will be sent out to professionals in the field to gather their responses. We’ve already gone through this process once, in the beginning, before a contract was offered based on an extensive proposal.

And finally, I got a lovely note from a teacher/editor in France about the new book for ESL students. Here’s her message. I don’t think Melanie Herment will mind.

Dear David,
I want to thank you so much for inspiring our students with your poem. I am a teacher and author of textbooks in France, and we have once again used your wonderful ‘”It’s me” poem in a book for ESL students: In Full Swing 2nd (Ed. Didier, as always 😉 I have used your poem in class and the students loved it. We talked about art and the process of inspiration, which is why I asked them to make their own diptych and poem, and to record the poem. You can discover some of their productions here (if you’re interested): ; and on the Facebook page of our collection:
Thank you so mcuh 🙂

Good day? I think so! And today we pack and leave this lovely place on the gulf to return home after an absence of twenty-five days. I’ll admit to some goo foffing along the way — and it has all been lovely — but a little work has gotten done as well.

A poem fighting back

Hi everyone,

Today marks the fifth work day on the same poem. I haven’t spent all day each day on it but it’s the only poem I’ve worked on since last Tuesday. Poems usually flow fairly smoothly for me. It isn’t uncommon for me to finish one in a day. I’ve had days when two fell into place. But this one is fighting back. I set myself a difficult but doable rhyme scheme, abba, when, in retrospect, free verse would probably have been a better choice. At this point I’m too stubborn to let it have its way and it’s not about to give in and make it easy for me. It’s rare for a poem to develop a personality in my mind, but this one keeps hiding and peeking out at me through tall weeds. My hope is to finish today. I MUST get on with the rest of my life!