The Awesomesauce Nine

Hi everyone,
Yesterday I got a look at A TREASURY OF MEMORIES, POEMS BY THE AWESOMESAUCE NINE. It’s a handsome booklet being prepared to distribute to the poets who joined me at The Barn this year and I’m impressed by it. It’s a private collection so if you want to see the work of any of these poets, you’ll need to get in touch with them and beg for a look!

As soon as it’s officially available, I’ll show you the cover and maybe a teaser poem or two, with permission of course. It will be great fun to put these in the hands of the creative and talented people who participated. My thanks to one and all. Some of these poets traveled across the country to spend time together and work on new ways to develop their skills.

I reminded them at our first meeting the Olympics show us that sometimes the difference between winning gold and finishing out of the winners’ circle can be measured in fractions of a second. I think it’s often the same way with writing. The difference between being published or rejected may be far smaller than one might imagine. To have tried at all should be a source of pride. The AWESOMESAUCE NINE have every right to look at their collective works with pleasure.

The contributing poets are:
Jeanne Poland
Charles Waters
Jim Wise
Lisa Wise
Susan Bickel
Rosi Hollinbeck
Juli Mayer
Thomas Ohl
Jesse Anna Bornemann

The pack master at work

Hi everyone,

Today I pack for two trips in one. Workshop clothes are casual and comfortable.smallDavidHarrisonPosterized New York is more . . . New York. Granted that real New Yorkers dress any way they darned well feel like dressing, but when one goes to a nice restaurant or sees a play or sits across the desk from an editor, well, a certain decorum should be observed.20150926_104741 And there’s the rub. I hate dragging a big suitcase around these days. Too spoiled by squeezing everything into an overhead bag. This is going to take some planning.

For seven days:
6 pairs of underwear (wearing the 7th)
2 pairs of socks
1 handkerchief
3 pairs of slacks (wearing the 4th)
2 dress shirts
1 sport coat (carry on the plane)
2 workshop shirts (wearing the 3rd)
1 light sweater
1 pair of dress shoes
1 pair of sandals (wearing them)
ditty bag

In the computer bag:
Laptop and charger
phone charger
wine opener (well you never know)
copies of poem critiques
presentation outlines and notes
manuscript to work on
extra pens, pencils, leads
throat lozenges
book to read

What do you think? Can I stomp all that into one bag small enough to fit into the overhead? Sometimes I gate check but you can’t count on that. When we came home from Vegas recently, I weighed my bag and it came to twenty pounds. The computer bag was sixteen. But a lot of that was catalogs I was carrying for my M.O.W.


One month from today

Hi everyone,
Honesdale, David and Jeanne
Thirty days from now I’ll fly to Scranton and go from there by car through Honesdale and a few miles farther into the Pennsylvania countryside to the original site of Boyds Mill. Across the road is a farmhouse, the home of the folks who started Highlights Magazine for Children. On that property writers and artists from the United States and abroad now come to meet together, work under the guidance of established professionals, and take home good memories as well as knowledge that applies directly to their creative goals. Workshops take place in “The Barn” and attendees stay in cottages located short walking distances away.
One month from today I’ll greet this year’s poets who will be there to participate in a workshop I’ll lead over the following two full days and through noon on the third. During that time we’ll eat together, play together, and work together. I’ll divide our time into half-day segments, each highlighted by a presentation from an editor, a presentation and prompt by me, and plenty of time to work on that segment’s chosen form of poetry.
Ken and David
These workshops are small so everyone gets to know the group and feel comfortable as we spend the days and evenings together. Some poets are still looking for their first publication while others have already experienced that pleasure and hope to achieve additional success. No matter where the poets are in their careers, the small size of the group assures that everyone benefits and learns from one another.
Honesdale, Becca, Susan, and David - 2
As of this morning, seven poets have signed to join me at The Barn. With four weeks to go, I think we might hear from two or three more. That would still be a good number. Here’s the link for more information.

Honesdale, David and Cory

On the road again

Hi everyone,

Seems like we’ve been gone forever. We left Florida yesterday and will reach Springfield this evening. It will be nice to settle back into home base and start catching up.

I’m not caught up yet in responding to my birthday wishes but have a good start. I have a long way to go but I’m gaining on it. Thanks to everyone who sent them.

I’m stalled out on the poetry chapter. After two pages I hit the wall. I know what I want to say but haven’t determined how to get it out. In a two day period I advanced the cause by three sentences. That’s a lot of staring at paper. I think I need my home office environment to get it all flowing. Not worried but I need to pick up the pace.

The poetry workshop in August is coming together nicely. I hope to tell you soon who my guest speakers will be but I can say now that you’ll like them and learn from them.

Good news from Michelle Schaub

Hi everyone,

One of the benefits of leading poetry workshops is that I have an opportunity to meet so many talented, interesting people. Folks who attend the workshops are likely to remain in touch afterward so circles of friends grow over the years. I don’t suppose I know of all the success stories that former attendees celebrate but now and then someone will let me know when they’ve had a poem or something else published. When I know about them, I’m always delighted to celebrate with them and share their good news here.

And so it is my pleasure to tell you that Michelle Schaub, who attended the Highlights workshop, POETRY FOR THE DELIGHT OF IT in 2013, has just told me her great news. Charlesbridge has offered her a contract on her farmer’s market poetry collection. The book, entitled FRESH PICKED POETRY: POEMS FROM THE FARMER’S MARKET is due to be released in Spring, 2017. I well remember reading some of the poems in her collection and discussing them with her so I can tell you that I’m eager to get a copy when her book comes out.

Her editor is Karen Boss, who was also my editor for a new collection coming out next year with Charlesbridge, NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. Michelle is kind enough to credit her workshop experience at The Barn with helping her shape her collection for publication. Talent comes from within and part of being talented is being open and receptive to experiences, suggestions, and modeling that seem relevant to the one doing the writing. What works for one doesn’t work for all. Recognizing which ones do and putting them to work is part of the growth process that we all go through. Congratulations, Michelle. Way to go! I couldn’t be happier!