Time to revamp my blog?

Hi everyone,

When Whiz-Kid Kathy Temean designed my website and blog in 2009, we worked until both sites met our expectations. We’ve made some adjustments along the way but it has been a while now since we stood back to take a look to see how well they fit today’s reality based on six years of experience. Nothing major, just a snip here and a tuck there ought to do it I think.

For example, I NEVER think to keep my schedule current so I think I might drop that little box and maybe replace it with the background information I just finished compiling. Anyone interested in reading some of that would find it a handy reference.

I’m sure I need to drop or rewrite my letter to principals about the Word of the Month Poetry Challenge section for students. I’m sad that teachers everywhere seem overwhelmed these days and few can carve out the time to work with their kids on writing poetry. We used to get dozens of student poems and now we get none most months and a handful in others from stalwarts like Ken Slesarik. I’m not sure what to tell principals but most of them are former teachers themselves so they understand the problem and are sympathetic to it. I keep hoping that the educational pendulum has reached its amplitude and as its velocity slows there will be more time to add in some of the important elements it lost during its initial rush toward change. Kids need time to read, time to write, time to become familiar with and passionate about the power of our language.

Okay, where was I? Oh. So I’ve asked Kathy to look over the current format and content of my blog. Many of you know my blog about as well as I do so I would be remiss if I didn’t ask for your input.

I’m going to leave this up for a couple of day. I think it’s important.

David

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An interview

Hi everyone,

My thanks to Dr. Tom Peters, Dean of Library Services, Missouri State University Libraries, in Springfield, Missouri, for coming to our home in September to interview me for the university’s oral history collection called Ozark Voices. The interview is now available to anyone with an interest. Full disclosure: this one lasts 70 minutes so bring your own popcorn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xeTZtApDgg&list=PLyugBRJhQ4EwftBGQOCn2HDmPk2-9cAMd

I haven’t asked for a while but if you haven’t signed the guest book on my website, I hope you’ll consider it. I’ve been blogging so long I almost forget I even have a website — and people who follow the blog may forget about it, too, but it’s a nice one, thanks to Kathy Temean who created it. She’s also the one who said I needed a guest book.

For a while a lot of visitors signed the book but I keep forgetting to ask, remind, or outright beg. Make Kathy happy. Sign the book. Thank you!

Post number 1,407

Hi everyone,

Kathy Temean, if you are reading this, I’m dedicating today’s post to you for getting this thing started in October 2009. I didn’t want to do it and I still fuss about it now and then but I’ve met a lot of good people this way and must admit that blogging has its rewards.

One change I’ve noticed over the past (almost) five years is that I get fewer comments posted on the blog and more posted on the Facebook copy from the post. Then there’s that thing about “like” that makes it easy to click and keep moving. All responses are appreciated, of course, but the ones that mean the most are those when someone takes a moment to type a comment to share a thought.

Today I’ll finish updating my vitae to include in a presentation proposal for IRA in St. Louis next year. This chore would be easier if I would keep it current. Instead, I put off hateful jobs like this until it becomes a last minute task.

Thanks for the fun PICNIC poems that have been shared so far. It’s going to be a good month!

Kathy Temean’s new book

Hi everyone,

Kathy Temean, who created my blog and website, has illustrated a new book that’s just out. http://www.amazon.com/Yogis-Team-Tina-Doughtery-Overman/dp/1612962610/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380338699&sr=1-1&keywords=tina+overman . It’s a handsome book about Yogi Berra and is written by Tina Doughtery Overman. If you like baseball or just want to know more about the legendary Yankee catcher, this is the book for you.

I’m hustling to get ready for Honesdale.

David

Ralph Kennon, part one

BULLETIN:Thanks to my webmaster, Kathy Temean, two pages on my website have now been updated. If you click on TEACHERS, you’ll see covers of some of my most recent books. Click on BOOKS and you’ll find the new books and also the most recent anthologies. It has been a while since we updated so I’m happy to have it done. Here’s the link: http://www.davidlharrison.com Sign my guest book if you’d like. I always appreciate hearing from visitors. Thanks, Kathy!

Hi everyone,

Sandy’s dad, Ralph Kennon, died in 2004. After his death I wrote two poems about him. Sandy rediscovered them a couple of days ago when we were in the kitchen dumpster diving for receipts, 1099s, and such for our accountant. Don’t ask. I’m going to post one today and the other one in two days. Tomorrow I’ll share a poem that I put in THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS. It’s about Ralph, too, and his love of the earth and of gardening and of seeing his loved ones enjoying his vegetables.

For now, here’s the first poem. It’s about the many ways that people express their love.

LOUDER THAN WORDS
David L. Harrison

He never told her,
not in so many words,
or kissed her,
or said she was pretty.

Sometimes she might have wished
for a hug,
might have wished
to hear the words

Yet she knew, always knew,
he did.
Whatever she needed he’d do —
blow the hurt off a skinned knee,
save his best tomato for her,
take her hunting and let her
carry the squirrels.

When she started school,
he picked her up
in his bread truck
and took her home
for a better meal.

Later,
when she lived three states away,
after work he’d drive all night
to see her for a single day,
bring her baby a bunny,
press small amounts into her hand
that made all the difference.

He’s been gone awhile and with him
his favorite expressions:
“You did that to yourself.”
“Boy I like ‘em.”
Gone, his boyish grin, beloved garden,
gone, those words unspoken
but few right deeds undone.

And even now she knows,
has always known,
how he loved her.