Thursday, May 31, 2018

Poetry Friday: It's Hot Outside!

A little over a month ago we had 3 inches of snow on the ground. This last week, we've had temps in the 90s and feels-like temps with humidity above 100. 

The weather inspired this week's poem. 

Lazy Hazy Days of May

Buggy air
Muggy air
Heavy hard to breathe air

Puffy hair
Sweaty hair
Firmly on my face hair

Brightest glare
Hottest glare
Angry sun is growing glare

Little prayer
Bigger prayer
Send some cooler air prayer

Copyright 2018 Kimberly M. Hutmacher 

How's the weather where you live? Has it inspired your writing this week? 

This week's round up is hosted by Buffy's blog. Be sure to stop by and enjoy all of the posts.

As always, thanks for visiting. Happy Poem-Making!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Poetry Friday: Free Verse and a Dinosaur Thank you!

Welcome to this week's Poetry Friday post. To enjoy the entire round up, head on over to Sloth Reads blog and check it out.

This week, I've been studying free verse poems. Free verse is poetry that is not written in a fixed rhyme, and it doesn't have a regular meter. 

What I enjoy in a free verse poem:
- Active verbs
- Sensory detail (I want to be able to see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, feel it)
- Sound tools (alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia)
- Symbolism
- Metaphor, Simile, Irony
- Concrete images

A poem obviously doesn't have to (and in most cases probably shouldn't) have all of these things at once, but careful use of some can make a powerful poem.

One of my favorite children's poetry collections is Kristine O'Connell George's Toasting Marshmallows. This time of year brings more days enjoyed outside with cookouts, camping, fishing, and hiking, and it always makes me want to pull this collection off the shelf and savor it once again. She is a master of free verse. 

A Doe

Stepping timidly
out of the thicket,
she trembles, then stills,
poised mid-quiver.

We don't move.
We don't even whisper.
She's almost
         close enough to touch.

Velvet ears swivel.
Slim spindled legs turn,
a silent shiver
         fading into dusk.

by Kristine O'Connell George, Toasting Marshmallows, Clarion Books, 2001

Strong verbs: stepping, trembles, stills, swivel, shiver, etc.

Sensory detail: I can feel the tremble, the quiver. I can hear the whisper and feel the velvet ears. 

Concrete images: Her words have painted a very clear picture of what she is seeing. I feel like I'm right there, enjoying the scene with her.

I'm challenging myself to read 10 more free verse poems from various writers this week. As I study each, I'll ask myself what tools I see in each poem. I'll also compare the poet's styles and voices. And, I may even take a crack at a few free verse poems of my own.

I don't want to end this post before thanking Matt Forrest Esenswine. I helped spread the word about his new picture book with Deborah Bruss and Louie Chin, Don't Ask A Dinosaur, and in doing so, I was entered to win a copy. Of all the entries, I was lucky enough to be chosen the winner! The book is a giant rhyming wild rumpus of a party, and it could not be more fun! My granddaughter had her first birthday last week, and I gave her this autographed copy. Besides my books, it's her first author-autographed book. She loved the rhythm of the words and the bold, fun illustrations. Both Aria and I thank Matt and Deborah for this very special gift.

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Poem Making! :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

What's New?

Welcome to my end-of-the-month post where I share what progress I've made toward my writing and publication goals. This month, I sent 5 work-for-hire packets to education publishers. I submitted both a picture book manuscript and a board book manuscript. I received two poetry rejections, and submitted 2 more poems. I worked on a small project for an education publisher, and I ended the month with an offer to write a new series for a nonfiction publisher. More on that later :)

My goals for May will be limited because I will need to give the majority of my time and attention to the nonfiction project, but I hope to revise a picture book manuscript that I've been working on. I want to write/submit two new poems, and I want to submit a couple of picture book manuscripts that I feel are ready to go. 

How was your April? How did you work toward your goals?

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be back in a few days with my Poetry Friday post. Until then, Happy Writing!