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Posts Tagged ‘Gae Polisner’

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Reach copy

I chose Reach as my OLW for 2015. The recent gift of an Amaryllis bulb reminds me daily to reach. It has quickly grown about 2 inches in 2 days, reaching up to be a blossom.

Amaryllis 2

I am reaching out to other writers, sharing my work and encouraging theirs. A recent writing partner was introduced to me by Gae Polisner of Teachers Write and the author of two YA books, The Pull of Gravity and The Summer of Letting Go. Linda Mitchell and I have been exchanging poems for a few months. She is not blogging yet, so when she told me she had chosen her OLW, I asked her to write a poem about it. Here is her poem about the word Nourish. Love this word because you can nourish yourself as well as others. Her writing and advice nourish me.

New Year Resolution 1.1.2015
The women residing in me– but not limited to:
Daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend,
teacher, student, poet.

Whereas limited time is granted daily
by our creator and selfish choices;

Whereas desire to express meaning
is hindered by our ability to grasp
the essence of the language;

Whereas our attention and focus
is worn away and eroded
by frivolous pursuits;

Whereas our hope is to achieve
peaceful and mutual understanding
with our world;

RESOLVE, THAT the verb and action nourish
fortify all work, play and spiritual activity
January 1 through December 31, 2015.

And as such,

Be it resolved that we commit to:

Promote growth

Provide sustenance

Train, build and raise up

Ourselves, our loved ones
and our communities
beginning with prayer,
contemplation, word,
silence and
meaningful action
whenever and wherever
possible.

–Linda Mitchell, all rights reserved.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Today I am celebrating comments. I am admitting how important comments are to me. They drive me to write more. They give me confidence. Comments are like attention from a close friend; they wrap me up in warmth.

Every Friday of Kate Messner’s Teachers Write Camp, Gae Polisner hosts a Friday Feedback on her site with a guest author each week. A week ago, the guest was Avi. Yes, the one and only. If you are steeped into the kidlit world of middle grade books, you know Avi well for books like Crispin and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and many more. I was a bit star struck when I saw this and hesitated to post anything, but I got my courage up and posted this little piece of Sunshine, the sequel to Blessen.

On the porch hidden by the screen door, I think I see a child. All I can see are eyes, big and round like white marbles, staring out at me. Still, I am startled by the voice.

“Hi, there! Whatcha’ doin? Swinging?”

A little black girl swirls off the porch and flies like a raven to my side. She wears a tattered pink dress that’s too short for her long skinny legs. Her hair is plaited in braids close to her scalp. Her skin is as dark as a moonless night. She runs around me and pushes me forward on the rope.

I swing higher and squeal. Holding tighter to the rope, I ask the girl, “Who are you? Where did you come from?”

“My name is Harmony, Harmony, Harmony.” Harmony sings her name higher and higher on the scale. “Who are you, you, you?”

Holding tightly to the thick rope, I unwrap my legs and stand.

“I’m Blessen. I live right there in that double-wide with my momma, Miss Gardenia LaFleur. Are you living here now?”

“Oh, well, it’s all just temporary. We’ll see, we’ll see. Will you swing me high?”

And from Avi, “Dear Margaret,
Not much to add, because this seems to work as is. Good job!. I assume there is more, and would like to read.”

And this week from Gae herself, “Margaret, I’d offer constructive criticism if I had it. But your writing is really stellar and compelling. Just beautiful. Keep going!”

How can I not keep going with support like this from successful authors like Avi and Gae. A huge THANKS to Kate Messner and Gae Polisner and all the other amazing authors who are devoting their time and energy to nurturing struggling teacher-writers like me.

Rami_Quote_Posters2 copy

I am trying to trust my authentic voice. Comments strengthen this voice and make me feel worthy! Totally selfish and totally true!

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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

On Friday Feedback with Gae Polisner, author of Pull of Gravity, the guest author was Caroline Star Rose who wrote May B. May B. is written in verse, like Love That Dog and Heartbeat by Sharon Creech, two of my favorite books. It was such a serendipitous stop. Like Caroline, I first wrote poetry. Only lately, the last 3 years with the work of Blessen, have I written fiction for young readers. So imagine my thrill to think about writing a young readers novel in verse.

I read all of Caroline’s advice about writing in verse. The two things that stood out most for me were 1) Each chapter or verse must be able to stand alone, and yet 2) Each verse must move the story along. I considered a book I had started ages ago and put aside. Now I think I have discovered the key that will open this old book to a new life–verse. So I tried it out. I posted one chapter that I had reworked into a verse. Before I even hung around long enough to get feedback, I was reworking more chapters until Friday night at 8 PM, I had 16 verses. I am hooked. The process has come alive for me.

I am posting the verse/chapter I posted on Friday Feedback. The main character, Jean, is writing letters to God because her best friend Simone has lymphoma. She is struggling with her own self-doubts as any 13-year-old would as well as the illness of her friend. Let me know what you think.

Dear God,
Simone’s hair,
soft and thick,
wavy blond curls I envy,
started falling today,
in handfuls she handed to me.
We looked in the mirror,
side by side.
My hair, short and bobbed,
looked shiny and healthy
next to her balding spots
appearing and frightening.
At the wig store, we had laughed
at the large lady drawling out
r-e-e-e-a-a-l hair,
The wigs are made with REAL hair!
I chose a wig, too,
I’ve always wanted long hair.
Simone handed me a lock.
It fell over my fingers.
I held it to my face,
so soft, so long,
so sad.

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