Yoga, poetry, a writing retreat and school/library bookings. Phew!

The last two weeks have been jam packed. This blog is my attempt to explain.

Ahhh… Princess Bride as a metaphor for life.

Okay so summing up:

  • Last week I went to Kripalu Yoga & Health Center. It was a safe and supported space for my newly-returned-from-deployment husband and I to reconnect. 
  • At the same time, I was deep into Rounds 1 & 2 of the March Madness Poetry Contest. I’m only disappointed that more people didn’t like my Miss Trumpet poem because I loved it so much. (reprinted below)
  • From Kripalu, I went to visit with my dear friend and author Meg Wiviott. I was able to revise a few picture books and get some perspective on life.
  • From Meg’s I went to VCFA for the Novel Writing Retreat. (Deb Michiko Florence is doing a great summary of that on her blog. Check it out.) At the retreat, I met wonderful people, got helpful (and positive) feedback on two novels. Right now, I’m trying to get amped up for another round of revisions on my crew novel.
  • All this time, I have been building a new business as a school and library booking agent!!! More about this soon but if you are a teacher, librarian, or conference planner I hope you’ll bookmark my site.

For those of you who might have missed my poetry, I’ve posted Miss Trumpet below. Happy Poetry Friday and keep voting over at ThinkKidThink. We are closing in on the final four (without preempting your favorite TV shows.)

Miss Trumpet
By Anna J. Boll

When the jazzy band, plays its jazzy jam
Miss Trumpet steals the show.
She slinks in, buttons down her back,
With a wink she says, “Let my brass gown
in your eyes.
Let me skip you, trip you, Biddley-bop you, through meadows
Let me Wa-wa you, rock you low, slow, like a hammock in springtime.”
And when you’re even and easy she plunges you, Zweedley- BAM,
into ice cold waters.


Stuck in the middle

I haven’t disappeared. I’m here, but working. Writing each morning from 5:30 am until 7:30 then getting my kids out the door. But right now I’m stuck and I figure that if I just keep my fingers moving an idea might come. I’m in the middle of my novel. Page 55. That middle point just before the climax where I need to start ramping up the action but I’m not exactly sure what the climax is so I’m typing, but not really liking the results.

This week I’ve been leading a poetry workshop for a first grade classroom. I love being with them, their excitement is infectious. This class is my son’s class and his teacher is fabulous. She spends the entire month of April celebrating Poetry Month. I am the finale to their month of reading and writing. This week we’ve looked at their own class-written poetry noticing figurative language that they are already using to “paint pictures in the reader’s head.” We are focusing on metaphor and alliteration and the writing process. I explained how I am constantly revising my work. I showed them drafts and notes and drawings in my sketch book that informed my poetry. When I  got the kids settled at their desks for some writing time, Mrs. K leaned over to me and said, “First graders don’t really like to change things.” I had to laugh. As a substitute teacher I know that first graders are the most inflexible of creatures. They always correct you explaining that, “That’s not the way we do it, Mrs. Boll.” So getting them to revise has been difficult.

The other thing is that they have been working all year on writing complete sentences. Their poetry tends to be a couple of really nice sentences without the rhythm or song of poetry. They can find rhyme and alliteration and metaphor in poetry that is already written. Now they need to be able to transfer that knowledge into their own writing. Anyone who writes poetry knows that is no easy task.  Now they have two rough drafts. One done on a rainy day and one done on a sunny day. I’m hoping that they can take their ideas and build it into a piece they feel proud of.

Tomorrow is poetry Friday. I’ll post the sonnet I made for the Prairie Home Companion contest. Happy writing and re-vising.