coming in at number nine.
The mail man brought me something nice today – my contributor copy of Little Ears magazine, bearing my poem Raining. Always wonderful to see something I’ve written in print, and especially wonderful to see it included in such a quality publication, alongside names including Claire Saxby, Meredith Costain and Dianne Bates.
By email I also received something nice – a PDF of proofs for my new poetry book, Assemble, which will be released by Ready Ed early in 2008. Assemble is designed for classroom use and includes 24 performance poems, each with accompanying teaching notes and suggestions for classroom use. I’m delighted with the design and layout, and can’t wait to hold the final product in my hands.
At this busy time of year I find it difficult to find enough time to write, but when I see my finished work like this I remember why it’s important to keep making that time.
In the meantime, the Squeezy Blog Tour wrapped up today, after seven interesting days and seven wonderful blogs. The feedback on this tour has been excellent and I’m looking forward to hosting other authors in the future. If you don’t know about the tour, see my post below and click through to read all seven entries.
A writer friend sent me a link to a You-tube video today, which had me laughing more than I’d done in ages. It has some rude words in it, so I’m not going to post it here because this is a kid-friendly blog, but if you’re old enough and have ever had problems with proofreading, then click here to see why I’m laughing.
The guy’s name is Taylor Mali and he’s an American teacher, poet and comedian. I enjoyed the first one so much I watched two other clips featuring him, and the one titled What a Teacher Makes is probably my favourite, being a teacher myself, though I don’t profess to be as wonderful a teacher as he sounds.
If you’ve enjoyed those two, there’s a third one here, which is also very good – and very true.
Sometimes a good laugh keeps you going.
I worked this afternoon in my teaching job and came home with an idea for a new kids’ poem in my head, so I’ve just sat down and written the first draft. I opened up one of my favourite sites, looking for a rhyme for (of all things) ‘rhyme’. The site I used is Rhyme Zone. It’s a handy little tool which works like a rhyming dictionary. Type in a word and it will give you a list of rhyme matches, organised by syllables.
I use it often and will be using it again when it comes time to revise this poem and the one I wrote a few days ago.
Pemberthy decided to write a haiku this morning, and I helped him find some information about the form to include his blog.
The search led me to a site which has a listing of over 500 poetic forms. You can see the list here. Each poetic term is a clickable link which leads you to an explanation of the form and, in many cases, further links to examples of the form. It’s fun to experiment with different poetic forms. It can also be great for discipline.
Writing a haiku requires you to bare everything down to just 17 syllables. Abbreviated haiku, I’ve just discovered, have even less – just nine syllables. Other forms need very specific rhyme or rhythm patterns.
Even if you don’t think you’re a poet, why not have a go? You could start with something relatively simple (and fun) such as a limerick, or might want to challenge yourself with any of the other 500 forms. Pemberthy and I will certainly be exploring further.
Let me know how you get on.