Archive for April 8th, 2014

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

I was invited by my friend, Sandra Sarr, to participate in a writing process blog tour. Sandra completed her MFA from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, Whidbey Writers Workshop, in 2013. She is currently seeking representation for her first novel, The Road to Indigo. I met Sandy last May when she was visiting Louisiana to complete her research for her novel. Sandy blogs at The Road to Indigo. I wrote a poem for her last year and posted it here.

What am I working on?

I don’t like this question because it so presumptive. Like a writer should be working on something all the time? Ok, I guess if I’m going to call myself a writer, I should be working on something. In my writing folder, you will find a completed verse novel, a sequel to my first young readers novel Blessen, and many poems. I can’t say I am working on the sequel because that would mean I need to open the file and write something. Who knows why it is sitting there incomplete.

Lately, poetry has been the draw for my time and energy. I am trying to post a poem a day in April. In February, I wrote poems with Laura Shovan for her Pantone color project. She published quite a few on her blog. My favorites are here and here.

In March I wrote a blog post every day for 31 days for the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge. This was my 3rd year and I was surprised by how much easier it was this year. I participate in four blog round-ups, Slice of Life Tuesdays, Poetry Friday, Celebration Saturdays, and (my own creation) DigiLit Sundays.

So what am I working on? Writing, that’s it.

How does my work differ than others in its genre?

If I look at other books in the young readers genre, I see few that are as placed based as Blessen. She is growing up in St. Martinville on the Bayou Teche. My own backyard was my muse. Many of the locations are real, such as St. Martin de Tours Catholic church. The place looms even larger at the end when Blessen and her father face danger on the bayou.

Blessen is a mixed-race child. I’ve read recently how children of other races are missing from young readers’ choices. Blessen lives with her white mother and grandfather. She does not know who her father is and discovers in the course of the book that he’s a black man. One of the most touching relationships is the one she builds with her paternal grandmother.

In poetry, I write with children between the ages of 9 and 12, but I’m not sure if what I write is children’s poetry. I tend to stay away from rhyme because I am not very good at it. My poems often speak of nature. My muses include poets Mary Oliver, Natasha Tretheway, Ava Leavell Haymon, and Naomi Shihab Nye. I get inspiration and support from Poetry Friday bloggers, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Laura Purdie Salas, and Irene Latham, and more.

This post is getting long winded, and I wanted to also post a poem today, so the last two questions will wait until tomorrow: Why do I write what I do? and How does my writing process work?

F is for Fibonacci poems. The master of the Fib poem is Greg Pincus of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K which I haven’t read yet because my boys are passing it around. The fib poem is based on the Fibonacci series in mathematics; 1,2,3,5,8,…which in nature creates a beautiful spiral as in the sunflower.

when poems
reveal inner truth
and breathe out a sigh of Ah, yes!

–Margaret Simon


The Writing Process Blog Tour continues here tomorrow and next week on my poet/friend Clare Martin’s blog, Orphans of Dark and Rain.

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