What to do today?

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I submitted a proposal for a book that DAN BURR and I want to do. He and I haven’t worked together since I wrote and he illustrated PIRATES (2008) and COWBOYS (2012) for Boyds Mills Press.

PIRATES, especially, received recognition, including Kansas State Reading Circle, NCTE Notable Poetry Book, Nominated for Cybils Award, selected for VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List, Texas Bluebonnet Master Reading List, Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List, and selected to represent the state of Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C. I would love to get a new book in the works with Dan.

I also sent a proposal for a book with TIM RASINSKI. We’ve already done the work and leased rights to use it in schools in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Now we’re thinking we might see about getting it published instead of marketing it ourselves.

Also submitted a new story I wrote with JANE YOLEN to a publisher neither of us has worked with before. I need to start thinking about something else I might do for that house.

Jane and I haven’t done anything together since RUM PUM PUM (Holiday House, 2019), which I loved doing.

Also checked signals with KATE COSGROVE about a book we’re interested in doing together. THE DIRT BOOK continues to do well and we love working together.

I think today I’ll work a bit more on the idea to do with Kate. I need to move that one along enough that I can submit it somewhere.

Elsewhere, Tim Rasinski, LYNNE KULICH, and I continue to wait for the readers to report in about the proposal we submitted several weeks ago for a new education book.

LAURA ROBB, Tim Rasinski, and I expect to get a pub date anytime now for a book we’re just completing for Teacher Created Materials. I hope to see that one come out late this year.

Going to NCTE this fall?

Hi everyone,

We now know that our proposed panel on poetry has been accepted for National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) in Anaheim in November. If you plan to attend this year’s national conference, I hope you will make an effort to come to our session. I’ll tell you where and when as details are published.

Thanks to LAURA ROBB for getting us organized and to

JANAY BROWN-WOOD

and MARGARITA ENGLE for making this such a dynamite foursome.

Our title is, “Poetry: Lights Our Imagination and Humanity.”

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!

Hi everyone,

This will be an interesting week, or at least Wednesday will. That morning I’ll join eleven other children’s authors for a virtual literature festival hosted by Park University in Parkville, Missouri, not far from Kansas City. The event is called “Pirates Read.” Too bad I didn’t think to pack a copy of PIRATES.

Wednesday afternoon I’ll meet by Zoom with LAURA ROBB, TIM RASINSKI, and our editor at Teacher Created Material, CATHY HERNANDEZ, for a creative meeting about the book we’re doing.

Otherwise, you’ll find me in the cage if you need me.

Op-ed article in California Reading Journal

Hi everyone,

The winter issue of California Reading Journal is out and I’m happy to be in it with an article called “Poetry for All.” You have to be a member to see it but for those who are, it starts on page 24. My thanks to editor NANCY ROGERS-ZEGARA, past president of The California Reading Association, for including me in this issue. An earlier version of the piece first appeared in The Robb Review, Education Blog, hosted by EVAN and LAURA ROBB.