Weekend Away

Last night I went to my crit group. During the check in I told them about my great weekend away with my bookclub. “You went away for two weekends in a row?” asked my friend Katie. “No, there was a weekend in between,” I explained. But I didn’t need to defend myself and I don’t feel guilty at all. I always look forward to friends, networking, and learning at the NESCBWI conference. This past weekend was all about relaxing. I ate great food, napped when I wanted to, read without feeling guilty, painted, listened to the thunderstorms rumble off the New Hampshire mountains and enjoyed the ideas, musings, and feelings of good friends. Here’s hoping that June will be a productive month and that summer weather comes soon.

Top: Ellen, Tracy, Katherine, Rachel  Bottom: Kim, Me, Penny

Here is my Chocura Mountain painting. (acryllic) It was so amazing to watch it evolve, layer by layer. I’d paint. I’d rest. I’d paint. I’d stop and talk. I’d paint. Fun, fun, fun. I don’t usually work with color on canvas and found myself loving the size and the process, and the big arm motions involved.

Unloading stuff

1. Hubby comes home on Friday after being away for two and a half weeks. That’s a long time. I’m so tired I could sleep for an entire weekend. In that two and a half weeks I have…
2. Done three poetry workshops for 1st graders: very successful and fun. Beware of teachers who try to revise student writing for them ie: “maybe you could choose some words that rhyme,” or rush them, there-by negating the whole discussion about a writing process, “okay, let’s finish these. We have computer lab next period and I want you to type them up.” Befriend teachers who say wonderful things like, “let’s try acting that one out so we can really understand what the poet is trying to say,” or “let’s put those in our writing folders and you can continue to work on them during writer’s workshop times.”
3. Pasted up the dummy into more of a book format and sent it out to agent who requested the material for May 1st. Please send especially good vibes my way.
4. Completed huge proposal for a mural project at local library. I feel really great about the proposal but if I get it, it is another probono gig. Promises a lot of publicity though so I’m going with that. (See end of post for panel example.)
5. Learned choreography for new aerobics routine and participated in big launch day.
6. Completed synagogue newsletter.
7. Continued love and care of my patient children who heard me yell much more than they should. At least they can laugh with me when I say sarcastically, “Aren’t you glad your Mommy is so calm and understanding?”
8. Endured big storms and rain and power outages.
9. Sort of cleaned, went grocery shopping, and did laundry (as in “Mom, I don’t have any pants!”, and “Oh cool, cereal for dinner.”
10. Built a desk. (A cheapy one made in China kind that I got at Christmas Tree Shop.)
11. Had a sinus infection and took 10 days of antibiotics to get over it. Ended up with the side effects instead. Yup, had that. Yup, that too.
12. Got a babysitter a few times so I could get out. (Salsa dancing lessons from a Latin Hottie is a great way to release. Had a couple of great illustrator and writing meetings too. ) Very worth it.

Okay, so now you are all caught up. And I’m going to sleep. At least until I have to take someone to some extracurricular activity.

Click for bigger image.

A shard of blue

The mood of the country is sad and the weather in the Northeast isn’t helping this part of the country perk up either. The rains and winds paired with astronomical high tides left destruction in their path. There are houses literarly in the sea from this last storm. Our family only lost power only for one day so I’m thankful for that. We are also on a hill and have not had to deal with much of the flooding that others have had. For those who were worried about my not calling, it turns out that my dear hubby switched our phone to Vonage and I didn’t realize it had kicked in. I had many voice mail messages when I finally figured out how to connect the various colorful cables. They came in a box addressed to my husband which I promptly stuck in the corner of the mud room. I guess I needed those.

In other news, I am prepping for three days in first grade classrooms next week to help them celebrate Poetry Month. We will be focussing on our five senses, and noticing how poets engage our five senses in their writing to paint mind pictures for the reader. Next we will be gathering sense words during an outside exploration and then coming back to the class to create a group poem. I’m really looking forward to it.

A shard of blue
by Anna Boll

a shard of blue
sliced through
rain clouds
and sad news
bringing hope for tomorrow
but there was no rainbow