Tag: poet

A Wild Celebration

This week is Irene Latham’s 10th blogiversary. Irene is a sweet lady who writes beautiful poetry.

I cherish two books of hers.



and Don’t Feed the Boy which is a great novel in verse about a boy at the zoo.

The theme of this celebration is Wild. See it’s even hidden in the title of her books 😉

After reading Matt’s great found poem it inspired me to do one too from an article in thriving family magazine.




Irene is an encourager of dreamers so this article seemed very fitting.


Read more wild celebrations at Irene’s blog. Happy Blogiversary, Irene!

Poetry Friday is here!


Welcome to Poetry Friday. This is the first time I have hosted this marvelous Friday ritual and how nice to do it in summer with birds tweeting all around.

I have Holland on the brain since my husband has been there this week and a poetry book I can’t wait to read is by a Dutch poet. So get your poetry clogs on.

Some of you may have read A Pond Full of Ink by Annie M.G.Schmitt.

It sounds ever so quirky and full of all sorts, perfect!

Here’s a fun quirky poem called If All the World were Dried Fish. What a fun name for a poem.

I was quite young when I visited Holland but I remember how clean and green it is. Of course lovely flowers, I’ve always loved tulips. Anyone been to The Netherlands?

If you have a poem to share please leave it in the comments and I’ll move it into the post.

Happy Poetry Friday!


Carol Varsalona wrote a wonderful poem about online connecting here

Myra GB has some beautiful summery poems from Mary Oliver to share today.

Tara Smith is sharing an Anne Frank quote today to celebrate Anne’s birthday. What a remarkable young girl that was.

Laura Shovan is sharing a poem about a young girl dancing since her daughter is in a dance tomorrow. I love how a lot of today’s poems are connected to real events.

Liz Steinglass shares two cinquains, a form I’d like to try more often.

Lorie Ann Grover shares a cute rhyming board book at ReaderTotz and Lorie has written a haiku over at On Point

Julie Larios is sharing an essay she wrote on the late poet Russell Edson.

Tabatha Yeatts has a monster poem for us and reminds us that The Netherlands are playing soccer today in the World Cup. Go Orange!

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is basking in all things Holland so she gets a virtual tulip today 😉 Amy has a little poem about a little sketch to share at The Poem Farm today.

Ruth is sharing a poem about the chikungunya virus her husband just had.

Matt Forrest is sharing an original poem called The skipping stone on Radio Rhythm and Rhyme today.

Jama Rattigan is interviewing Maryland poet Julia Wendell about her new chapbook Take This Spoon over at Alphabet Soup.

Michelle Barnes has two cinquains about Holland and she is featuring Liz Steinglass in the Haiku Garden.

Chase the rain away with Donna and she shares a lost and found poem on Poetry Jam.

No dried fish at Robyn Hood Black’s blog where she says farewell to a beloved doggy.

Monica Gudlewski dons her poetry flip flops and shares an animated version of one of Claude McKay’s poems.

Becky Shillington shares ‘The Barefoot Boy’ by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Diane Mayr shares an original poem inspired by a Lewis Wickes Hine photo at Random Noodling.

Kurious Kitty celebrates the birthday of the rollercoaster and has a poem by Lisel Mueller called ‘Palindrome’
K.K’s Kwotes has a quote from Lisa.

Mary Lee Hahn shares an original poem here and has the sign up for Poetry Friday hosts here.

Charles Waters shares an original poem on his new blog Poetry Time.

Irene Latham shares a Joyce Sidman poem UBIQUITOUS and here is a link to a review of A Pond Full of Ink.

Margaret Simon has a poem movie for us today following a challenge on Michelle’s blog.

Jeanne Poland has written a fabulous poem about herself here.

Violet Nesdoly shares a whorl of a poem on her blog today.

MsMac shares a School Garden poem today brimming with metaphors.

JoAnn shares a butterfly haiku today.

My favorite poet, Douglas Florian has a neat Ode to a Blurb over at Florian Café.

Joy Acey has a polar bear poem for us.

5-1 to Holland so far!


Margarita and her dogs

I first became familiar with Margarita Engle on Renee LaTulippe’s blog, No Water River in this splendid interview. I could not get the image out of my head of Margarita Engle hiding in the woods from her dogs (training for guide dogs) so I decided to ask her if I could paint that image and voila:

001 (16)

Here’s the real deal:

8.search and rescue practice (2)

Margarita told me that this photo was taken in an orchard rather than true wilderness, but it shows both dogs, so it’s her favorite. The Aussie/heeler mix is Maggi, now 13 and retired from search and rescue work. The yellow Lab is Chance, still young and actively searching whenever a local hiker is lost.

‘Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American winner of the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino. Her award winning young adult novels in verse include The Surrender Tree, The Poet Slave of Cuba, Tropical Secrets, and The Firefly Letters.

Engle’s most recent books are The Lightning Dreamer and When You Wander.
Her new middle grade chapter book, Mountain Dog, was published in August 2013. Margarita’s upcoming book, Silver People, Voices From the Panama Canal, will be released in 2014.

She lives in central California, where she enjoys helping her husband with his volunteer work for wilderness search and rescue dog training programs.’
From Margarita’s website here.

I have since read a few of Margarita’s books and I can’t wait to get hold of Mountain Dogs. Margarita encouraged me to paint other poets and their dogs so stay tuned for more of them. Thank you so much, Margarita.


Metaphor Monday

The frog picture originally came from Palestine Rose.

Here’s a few metaphors to get the juices flowing.

The human book.
Pages of arms and legs.
I need to find the word ‘sight’ before I can read a single word of this.

I hope these fireworks don’t go off until dark.
The aperatifs grew and escaped to a bigger party.
There are too many cocktail sticks in my drink said land looking at his lake.

Shake a leaf.
The roof is leaking.
Move, green hoarder of moisture.

Penny wrote a poem on her blog from last weeks picture. It’s so nice to see Metaphor Monday spreading its metaphorical wings 😉

There’s a great metaphor post today on Swagger blog by Kim Van Sickler. Please check it out.

Well, this is the last week before school holidays here and life is busy with summer activities already but I’m managing to write a bit so that’s a bonus. I’ve started working on a new book of poems about the Everglades using lots of characters and ideas from my Big Al picture book. I’ll be talking all about picture books in Wednesday’s post which is the big 12×12 blog party!


Green hoarder of moisture
rain dropper
particle bombs
on innocent amphibian.

Fireworks and water works,
Giant shish-kebab
Who will eat thee?
Or paint the landscape
with crayon bait
and water picks.

I see write through you
and read you like a book.

Special thanks to the poem contributors: Penny, Erik and Julie 🙂

A melange of metaphors

Green hoarder of moisture,

giant shish-kebab, crayon bait,

I see write through

your water works.



Metaphor Monday

In light of the release of Surrender tomorrow, the follow-up to Possession by Elana Johnson, I’m using the book cover for Metaphor Monday.

Claustrophic rainbow of feathers.
If I stay here too long I’ll be pickled.
A tweet too far.

And since this book is uber cute, I’m going to use the cover again:

Yellow fur balls exercising
Who got out the helium?
Giant floating cornflakes looking for the bowl.

If anyone knows of any books due for release soon of mucho excitement please give me the heads up and I’ll use them. Otherwise I’ll have to get lost on Pinterest to find one. Pinterest is like a maize, it’s hard to get out 😉

Have a great week!

As requested by Julie, here’s a poem about cornflakes:

Breakfast, please!
Clap! Clap! Chop! Chop!
Door squeaks open,
Cornflake packet shuffles out of the cupboard,
Cornflakes escape,
Giant floating cornflakes looking for the bowl.
Drawer opens and bowl flies out,
Spinning and whizzing
clanks on the table.
Drawer with spoon slides open.
Spoon wakes up with a yawn,
rises to its feet,
a gymnast of the kitchen,
head over foot,
clatters on the table.
Cornflakes still at play.
Fridge door opens slowly,
Milk slow to rise,
Not wanting to spill.
Takes a graceful flight to the kitchen table,
a quick whistle at the cornflakes
to get in line and dive into the bowl.
As the last cornflake join its brothers,
the milk pours out like a waterfall,
crashing and plunging to its fate.
Spoon goes in,
Goblin sits down for his breakfast.


Guest post – Rena J. Traxel

Today Middle grade writer and poet buddy Rena Traxel is here to talk to you about her recent conference experience. Take it away Rena!

My Journey to Canada West SCBWI Conference

Thanks Catherine for having me on your blog today.

On May 3, I packed up my car and headed west to attend SCBWI Canada West Conference in Burnaby, BC. Two days later and several bear and goat sightings later (I was travelling through he Rocky Mountains) I arrived in Burnaby.

The night before the conference I had a bit of freak out because in the morning I would face not one, but two critiques. I was convinced that the reviewers were going to tell me that I was a terrible a writer. Thankfully that wasn’t the case! Poet extraordinaire Tiffany Stone, reviewed some of my poetry and she was wonderful. Right off the bat she told me that my work has a natural flow to it and that I was funny. She went on to show me how I could improve upon my poems and even told me that one of them was ready to send out for publication. She further boosted my confidence when in response to a participant’s question. “Do you need to write in rhyme?” She said “no, just this morning I read Rena’s poems in free verse and they were really funny.” So that was pretty cool!

During lunch I met up with a girl who I had met through an online workshop. It was neat meeting with someone I had gotten to known online. I didn’t know that the majority of the SCBWI participants had lunch together in a room at the conference. I think next year I will stay behind and eat with the rest of the group. It would have been a wonderful networking opportunity; nevertheless, I had a blast hanging out with my new writer friend.

After lunch and giant cup of Tim Horton’s coffee (what can I say I’m Canadian) there was the first page panel, in which the first page of a manuscript was read out and the four-person panel made up of authors and editors critiqued the first page. I submitted the first page of my fantasy novel, Death of Sleeping Beauty, for critique. I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest when Ken Kilback (regional advisor) started reading my submission. I was terrified! But somehow I managed to calm the rushing blood in my head and listen to the words being spoken. It was pretty cool hearing a complete stranger read my words! (Seriously, give it a try). Thankfully the crowd and the panel laughed where I intended them to laugh. All of them liked my characters voice, which is super important considering my novel is told in first person!

After the panel Kallie George the editor from Simply Read Books got up and talked about how to annoy an editor. Surprisingly, she said fixing grammar is easy. Fixing voice is not. It’s hard to turn down a project that is good idea, but fixing problems such as voice is too much work for an editor.

After Kallie came author Danika Dinsmore who travelled across the world to sell the international rights to her novel at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Apparently, this is not something that is done. Agents are usually the one’s who go to the fair, but Danika didn’t have a agent. She is seriously awesome (I thought submitting one page of my work for critique was brave).

That is my journey in a nutshell. This is second time I have been to a SCBWI conference and each time I learn a lot. I’m hoping to save up and attend SCBWI LA conference in 2013 and finally meet some of the wonderful writers I have met through the 12x12in2012 challenge. Also I ate a lot of beef jerky and drank a lot of Tim Horton’s coffee except for the four hours between Kamloops and Hinton in which there is no Tim Hortons (I was seriously disappointed!) The weather was warm. It only rained for about 15 minutes. The guy behind me, who didn’t notice I was slowing down for the herd of mountain goats feeding at the side of the highway, almost hit me. That was almost as scary as submitting my work for critique.

Wow, thanks Rena! It all sounds wonderful.

Bio: Beware of the fiery haired writer who calls herself Rena J. Traxel. She spends her day brewing up a batch of fantastical stories. To learn more about her check out her blog On the Way to Somewhere @ www.renajtraxelblog.com


Metaphor Monday

I hope you all had a lovely Mother’s Day to the mothers out there. Hannah brought home a lovely trunket with a message inside and she was supposed to answer questions like, ‘What does mummy do for you?’ Her first answer is this (no joke!) Mommy climbed up on the volcano and fell off the volcano. Too funny! We must have a lot of fun together for her to come up with that lol. Isn’t it lovely all the crafts you get when you’re kids are young. Bless! I spent such a long time painting this weekend all over the house, it was a nice change and when it’s all finished it will look nice.

Anyway get your metaphor heads on. These beautiful pictures are courtesy of Pinterest. Can you see a poem or a story in there somewhere? Here’s what it whispered to me:

Audrey hid up a tree, the wolves would not find her there, a green blanket of moss if only for a moment. With the amulet in danger of being stolen from her mother lost in the woods, Audrey couldn’t rest for long. She hopped down and hurried across the stepping stones, a risky move in daylight. Her hair stuck to her face as she ducked behind waterfalls, the only safe path from the prince and his legion of hooded, incompetent fools. She snagged her foot on a rock as she scrambled up the ravine. There was more to worry about than that as she straddled over the top to open fields leading to the woods. She shed her bright green attire, not a close enough cousin to the countryside to be invited in for tea and too dangerous to keep with its spontaneous magic deeds. Audrey couldn’t see the many hoods sneaking about amongst the trees, Elves without shoes to keep them busy were a dangerous breed.

I put a few metaphors in there, can you think of different ones? Has this inspired you to write a fantasy?

p.s. My poet buddy Rena Traxel is here on Wednesday doing a guest post 🙂


A blanket of moss on a tree branch,
Audrey dressed in green, kept the hooded wolves at bay.
A moment later running over stepping stones
to her mother lost in the woods,
the amulet she carries is as fragile as she.
Audrey takes cover behind the waterfalls,
out of the glare of the sun, the prince and the hooded fools.
With wet red hair clinging to her face,
she scrambled up the rock face,
snagging her knee on a rock
before scrambling over the ledge.
There waited an open field,
inviting but deadly.
She dropped her bright green cape,
too risky with its spontaneous magic,
no cousin of the countryside,
and no helpful cousins in the countryside.
Hoods lurked unseen in the shadows,
a dangerous breed of Elves without shoes to mend.
The perfect challenge for Audrey,
Queen of the vanishing spirits. 😉


Holey moley!

Hi everyone, It is really weird doing a ‘normal’ blog post now let me tell you and I think I prefer posting in the evenings now. How wild and crazy of me 😉

Everyone needs fresh ideas for their stories so hopefully these posts will inspire you in one direction or another. Are many stories plucked from real life? Let’s see shall we: Little Red Riding Hood – based on bumping into some kind of bully on her way to grandma’s? Hmm.. Roald Dahl’s storylines look freshly plucked from life, don’t you think? The Twits is just one example.

Thankfully no one was harmed in this unfortunate occurence, but the potential for a story out of it is beaut!

In the comments let your imagination run wild for a story from this. Any age.

Here’s what I think. A young girl the same age as the one who fell down the hole, set the ‘hole’ thing up 😉 and swapped places with the other one therefore stealing her identity. Yikes what happened next to the real one and the one who stole the identity? I don’t even write YA. Oh well!

p.s. I found it really hard to get the video straight on the blog, so either click the link or the picture which goes to the video but via Pinterest first. (which is good if you are not on Pinterest yet. See Jody’s post if you aren’t convinced yet)

p.p.s Cat Gerlach got the last of the revenues in from the challenges e-book/POD book from RachWrites campaign and donated it. if you were in that campaign you may be interested in Cat’s post here.


U is for Universal

We went to the KEYS birthday party yesterday and I managed to get a few non-blurry photos from my phone (I’m new to this kind of technology) to show you. Poor Miss Joan who runs KEYS has had a really hard time of late and almost lost her life. (I’m not just making all these dramatic stories up I promise ;)) What a wonderful woman who could retire but chooses to serve the community instead. She is awesome!

Since today is U for Universal in the poetry challenge, I thought I’d link the two and talk about being at home with the kids. Thanks Rena!

Hannah’s in the bathroom its suddenly gone quiet
Suspicion raises up in me, there’s usually a riot.
I recognise feigned innocence, oh dear what has she done?
Her legs and arms and hair’s intact so phew no harm’s been done.
I look inside the bathroom there’s water everywhere,
I’m half a bottle of shampoo down but I don’t really care.
Hannah loves her water play, but mostly she’s a singer.
I really have the perfect job of raising my mud slinger.

I didn’t know how to separate the photos of the party and still have a slideshow of Hannah so sorry they are all mixed up, appropriate for this blog lol. Any WordPress experts out there?
p.s. I promise to write one about Matthew too so he doesn’t feel left out.


Querying pbs and Squish

Okay I’m back from the milk run and ready to write a poem for day 19 of Rena Traxel’s AtoZ Poetry Challenge. But first, please head over to Mike’s blog, his way with words will make you smile.

Today Rena has a special guest, my good friend Ishta, who is there critiquing Rena’s picture book query letter. The tips are great!

We have free reign today to do any poem. I might just make it up as I go, but I’ll need a picture, hmm…







via Google Images

Today the word squish came into my head
I loved how it sounded so I tucked it in bed.
It wriggled and rolled and fell on the floor,
it squished a poor teddy and rolled out the door.
I chased Squish and wrestled it down on the ground
and when I looked up do you know what I found?
The squish couldn’t squish anyone anymore
‘coz Squish was a big mess all over the floor.