Monday, May 6, 2013

Returning with a Daydream

Let the Cat Out of the Bag!
Photo by Amy LV

I'm back from Screen-Free Week, a week that I spent free from my blog, Facebook, and Twitter.  I did use my cell phone, did take care of work related e-mails, and I read a few other blog posts.  But my screen time was seriously diminished, and that was a gift.

Here are the last two sketches from Drawing Into Poems, my daily drawing/seeing/writing study into poetry from April  (I took a break for Screen-Free Week).  You can read more about this month-long project here on my April 1 post.  I am so happy to have taken this time to slow down and focus on my seeing.

Day 29 - Rocking Chair
Click to enlarge the drawing.

Day 30 - Mancala Board
Click to enlarge the drawing.

Here is my last poem inspired-on-purpose by my April sketches. This one comes from the fountain sketch I made on my last day in Fort Worth Texas for the Texas Library Association Conference.

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - Well, I was away for a week, and it is good to be back!  But it was good to be away too.  I transplanted a lot of roses and spent some cuddly time with our kittens, went for lots of walks, worked on a new manuscript, and fried up some dandelion fritters.  All of these were good reminders for me to balance screen time with screen-free time.

You'll notice that today's poem has four short stanzas.  It's quite close to what I jotted in the margins of my fountain sketch, but the part about spitting is new.  New and necessary! You'll also notice that I've repeated the phrase "I want" three times.  (Wishes seem to be on my mind lately.)

Parents - You might be interested in the post I wrote for the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books blog including some ways to be screen free with children, and I also have a post at Pragmatic Mom about writing poetry at home with children.  Please feel free to share these if you find them useful.

Much much gratitude to my friend Renee LaTulippe for her enchanting story about FOREST HAS A SONG this week over at her magical blog, No Water River!  Renee knows how to make a person feel very special, no question, and this post made me beam.  I feel very lucky.  FOREST is also very happy and grateful to receive an enthusiastically lovely review from Wendy Lawrence over at the family that reads together.

I had a fabulous time at the Texas Library Association Conference last week.  It was an honor to be part of two panels, both organized by Sylvia Vardell, and it was a delight to see old friends too.  Thank you, Sylvia, for all of your hard work and hospitality, and thank you to Marianne Follis, Chair of the Children's Round Table (of the TLA), for having this idea and having us all to this wonderful conference.  Over at Poetry for Children, you can watch video clips of poets reading at the 9th annual Poetry Round Up here and see all kinds of photos of P*CON here.

Friends at TLA from Left to Right
Editor Rebecca Davis (WordSong), and Poets Charles Waters,
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  1. What a good-looking gang of giggling poets! So many smiles. So many dimples!!! ;-) Let's do it again soon!

  2. Love your spitting fountain. Congrats on being screen free and spending the time with Mother nature. I downloaded your No Water River video to share with my students. Thanks for continuing to inspire student writers, and me.

  3. I loved seeing all your sketches in April, Amy. Happy you had a great week & fun at the conference. Looking forward to what's next!

  4. So glad you are back. Loved the poem --- and loved seeing it evolve from your sketches.


  5. The poem is just wonderful. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed seeing your drawings this month. They have been very inspiring.