Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More Poetry Madness!

I've made it to the Elite Eight of the poetry bracket. It's an epic word battle -- titillate vs. warbled. May the best poem win!

And, don't forget to check out all the action at Think Kid, Think!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hectic Week

I'll give you a run-down.

- The latest draft of my thesis was due. It's going really well, and I think I'm nearing the end thanks to the support of my wonderful advisor, Shelley Tanaka. But, it's still stressful trying to create the best product I can. I'm learning from it, and it can only help my creative work moving forward.

- The students at the school I work at were crazy this week. It's sort of understandable considering we had record temperatures around here -- 80's in March! Some students, though, don't think that our library should have any rules. They decided to takes pictures of me and one of my colleagues and paste them up on the doors. Our heads were superimposed on the bodies of superheroes like The Hulk and Iron Man. I was The Hulk. The poster said something like, "I rule the library - Hulk SMASH!"

- I've been participating in a March Madness Poetry Competition at thinkkidthink.com. It's been fun, and I've won two rounds to get into the round of 16. There are some amazing poems being written on the site, and I'm just happy to be included. You can vote for your favorite poems to win HERE.

- Finally, my men's league hockey team has been making a run in our league playoffs after a disappointing end to our season. The next game is tomorrow night, and I'm feeling pretty good. I hope we win. More hockey is always a good thing. More skating!

Just Finished: The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman and Illustrators.
Currently Reading: Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson
Up Next: A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'Engle

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I just don't see e-books completely taking over...

I was at my favorite independent bookstore yesterday, and it's pretty clear that people aren't ready to be free of physical books just yet.

People were discussing books with each other and the store staff. Everyone was checking out the displays, flipping through new books and reading the jackets/looking for any pictures or fun facts. I was doing the same. I like to pick the books up, almost just to feel the weight of them. It's an odd sensation, but it's a real one and anyone who loves books probably knows what I'm taking about.

In the children's section, parents and older siblings were reading to a few little kids, and older kids (including me) were racing around the shelves, picking books up, putting books back, picking books up... you get the idea. The atmosphere was just awesome. All positive and all awe.

You just can't get that sense of community with an e-reader. Ironically, it's not as interactive. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-e-reader. Some people love them and that's fine, I just don't think they are going to take over as fast as many people think. The feeling that a physical book can give you is just too strong.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Poetry Madness

Sticking with the poetry theme this month, I'm participating in a fun event called MADNESS! 2012, a children's poetry tournament at Ed DeCaria's Think kid, Think! website. There are 64 writers participating, and it's set up in a bracket just like the NCAA basketball championships.

Ed organized the brackets through a random numbers program, and I got a #16 seed, which means that I will be given one of the hardest words that I must include in the short poem I write.

A poem wins by garnering more votes than the poem it is matched up with. Anyone who visits the site can vote. The voting window for my 1st round match-up begins on Thursday (3/15) @ 8:00 am.

It should be fun! Who knows, maybe I'll even win a round or two!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rejected Hockey Poem

During an exercise at my last VCFA residency, I began writing a poem about skating. The only guideline for the exercise was something like, 'go to a silent place and do something there.' Skating on a pond immediately popped into my head. I wrote a small little draft and shared what I wrote with the group I was with. They seemed to like it. I really liked it. So, I made a few different drafts and submitted the poem (along with a few others) to a sports poetry anthology. I really didn't know what to expect. I'd never submitted any poetry to anything in my life. None. I got an e-mail response the other day:


But, I still really like my poem about skating on a pond, and I thought, you know what, I have a blog! Accepted! I can publish myself on this one.

Here ya go:


Hips engaged
Knees bent, yet rigid
Energy flowing to my toes
Pushing off
Blades cutting the ice
Arms churning
Legs grinding
Back and forth
In and out
Back and forth
In and out
The breeze against my face
Up my nose
My breath creating an icy fog
No coach yelling, “Skate! Skate Skate!”
Just the rhythm of my blades
Faster and faster
Faster and faster
Back and forth
In and out
Back and forth
In and out
Faster and faster
Until I
Spraying ice into the wind
My wake the only blemish on a sheet of glass
My pond

Friday, March 2, 2012

I want to run with Atreyu!

One of my favorite movies as a kid was The Neverending Story. Awesome. I loved almost everything about it. When I think back on it, I remember the way Bastian skipped his classes, hiding out in the attic of his school for an entire day because he just had to finish the book. He had to get to the end. Nothing else mattered. He was completely gripped.

The last two books I've read made me feel this way. I just wanted to run and hide until I finished them. No work. No writing. No sleeping. Just reading. They had me, and I loved it.

Thank you, Jenny Hubbard, for Paper Covers Rock, and thank you, Laini Taylor, for Lips Touch, Three Times.