Thursday, February 15, 2018

Poetry Lesson: Mask Poems

Welcome back! This week, we're taking a look at Mask Poems.

Mask Poem: A first person description or observation told by an object or creature. What am I ? poems fall into this category. The title of the poem is often whatever the object or creature is that is speaking, but if we write our poem well, we usually don't even need a title.

Example:

Marshmallow

I'm a jumbo puff
Sticky sweet
Toasted brown
Camp-out treat!
Copyright Kimberly M. Hutmacher Poetry Play for Preschoolers, A to Z Kid's Stuff

The marshmallow clearly describes itself, and the reader knows what it is without reading the title.

Challenge: Choose a creature or an object, and write a poem from its point of view. It can be a what am I? or an observation. Happy Poem-Making!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Poetry Lesson: Alliteration

I hope to regularly share information and examples on various poetry forms and tools that help poetry sparkle. Today, we'll look at alliteration.

Alliteration: The repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words.

Example:

Paint Play

Draw with fingers
Dance with brush
Dab with sponges
Swish!
Swoosh!
Swush!


Copyright Kimberly M. Hutmacher Poetry Play for Preschoolers, A to Z Kid's Stuff

In the above poem we see repetition of both the initial 'D' sounds in draw, dance, and dab and the 'Sw' sounds in swish, swoosh, and swush.

Challenge: Write a poem (you pick the form) and try to incorporate alliteration.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Trading Spaces

I heard recently that a reboot of the show Trading Spaces is coming back. It got me thinking about my work space. Where is your work space? Is it in the family room as you play a board game with your children? Is it in the car when you're running errands? Is it on your front porch or on a blanket lakeside? Maybe it's in a movie theater or at the dining room table where you read the newspaper?

Notice I didn't mention a desk in an office. The reason for this? A desk in an office might be an obvious choice for many occupations, but not ours! We chose to be writers, and many of us enjoy the seemingly reclusive nature of the work, but this job actually requires that we get ourselves out there and experience the world around us. As writers, we must be willing to trade spaces. How in the world can staring at a computer all day inspire creativity? We have to seek out our muse. We have to open ourselves up to the outside world and allow inspiration to flow in.

We're never quite sure where we'll find our muse. It could be in the sounds of the cappuccino maker at Starbucks. It could be in a line from a song blaring on the radio. It could be in a sculpture made from recycled materials at the art museum. It could even be found in a bushel basket of apples at the grocery store.

Now the question is, what do we do when we find our muse? More often then not, we'll find it at the most inopportune moments. We won't be able to sit down right then and there and write our story. Writing in the middle of the mall the day after Thanksgiving or on the merry-go-round at the county fair would definitely be a challenge!

I like to carry a small pocket notebook with me at all times. You can put a note in your smartphone. Whatever works for you. Just have something with you that allows you to quickly get that rough idea out so that you can have that treasure for later.

We go out into the world. We taste it, smell it, feel it, listen to it, see it, and we take notes. Bottom line, our work space consists of every space. We have to be willing to leave the comfy nest of our laptop. We must be willing to trade spaces!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Poetry Corner: Assonance

I hope to regularly share information and examples on various poetry forms and tools that help poetry sparkle. Today, we'll look at assonance.

Assonance: the repetitive use of vowel sounds in successive or proximate words

Example:

The Ladybug
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

An eensy red bug
with teensy black dots
walks weensy black legs
on red flower pots.
Copyright Kimberly M. Hutmacher

In the above poem, we see and hear the repetitive long ee sound throughout (eensy, teensy, weensy).

Poetry Practice: Create a poem (you choose the form) that incorporates the use of assonance.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

What's New?

My article, The Writer's Toolbox: Getting the Most Out of Your 2018 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, is set to appear in the February 2018 issue of Children's Book Insider.