Write, Edit, Revise, Critique, Repeat! Wednesday

Write, Edit, Revise, Critique, Repeat! Wednesday       Day 32

*

*

Remember, the Webinar with Mira and Sudipta was rescheduled

Mira's Bear

Join us for our special “Why All Writers Need to Know Poetic Techniques and How to Use Them” webinar, on Monday, May 12th, at 6:00 PM! Reserve your spot today for this important event hosted by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Dr. Mira Reisberg to learn about:

• The 3 critical things people who rhyme need to know
• How poetic techniques are needed in today’s contemporary children’s book writing whether you write in rhyme or not.

*

See more at: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/why-all-writers-need-to-know-poetic-techniques-and-how-to-use-them-free-webinar.html

*
Meet the amazing Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, author of Chicks Run Wild, Hampire,

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, and 32 other books.

Hear from Dr. Mira Reisberg, Literary Agent and Children’s Book Academy founder

as she shares some of the pleasures of poetry.

Register here to reserve your spot for the webinar!!
https://wj168.infusionsoft.com/app/page/free_poetry_webinar

Poetry course

Mira and Sudipta also have a Poetry Course coming up…I hope I see you there!

The Craft and Pleasures of Writing Poetry for Kids
From Storyteller to Exquisite Writer: The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Techniques!
http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-great-discounts-pleasures-and-craft-of-poetic-techniques.html
An extraordinary, interactive e-Course that runs from
May 19th through June 23rd 2014.
That’s 5 glorious weeks of exceptional instruction and a possibly life-changing adventure!
Special discounts end May 5th! – See more at: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-great-discounts-pleasures-and-craft-of-poetic-techniques.html#sthash.3w54DvZB.dpuf

______________________________________________________________________________

*

*

I have been looking forward to this post all month! Today’s guest blogger is the reason we are all here. She is the agent who suggested that I study and learn more about poetry to become a more effective rhyming picture book author.

The story of RhyPiBoMo has now come full circle!
Have you ever met Mira Reisberg?
If you have, you know exactly what I’m going to say…she is such a wonderful, generous and exemplary teacher!
I met Mira last fall when I won a scholarship to her course, The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books.” Mira offered daily lessons, weekly webinars, a Facebook Group, critique groups and access to the information for months. It was my first experience with such a comprehensive course…it changed my writing goals!
You must take her courses to see for yourself how she will impact your future!

Did I mention that she is called the Picture Book Whisperer? It’s because of all the success her former students have had!

*
Next, I won a scholarship to her course The Hero’s Art Journey (Okay, I’m sure you are wondering how I was so lucky, right. Mira often offers contests for scholarships for upcoming courses on various blogs. I won both courses through contests)
Mira and the fabulous Maya Gonzalaz taught the course. I am not an illustrator but have artistic ability. I had never considered illustrating until I took this course. I can’t really explain what happened but it was truly magical. There was a group of about 10 – 12 of us that became very close during the class. It was such a safe, nurturing environment for friendship and creativity.

Mira and Maya created this cocoon of respect, encouragement, joy and sharing that

I have never experienced in my life!

Humm

My digital painting inspired by Mira, who loves hummingbirds!

Not only did my writing change because of Mira, my life has changed because of her! I am so much more focused on my writing goals and I am determined to succeed in this fairy tale-rhyming-picture-book-world we live in!
I absolutely can’t wait to take the new poetry class coming in May! I’m ready to be a student for a while!

I hope I see many of you there as well!
So, it is with great pleasure and admiration that I warmly welcome my mentor and friend…Mira Reisberg

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Mira Reisberg!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Mira Reisberg

*

Why Editors and Agents Hate Rhymes and What You Can Do About It

*
Rhyming is hard–really hard. Unless you are a naturally brilliant poet or you have studied the mechanics involved AND you have a really killer story AND the skills to make the inevitable revisions, editors will not be thrilled to receive your manuscript.

*

Writing a wonderful story is already difficult. Writing a wonderful story that rhymes is way harder. Now, some of what follows might already be familiar but hopefully, there will be something new and helpful.

*

First, I want to start with why those of us who work editorially hate working with rhyming stories that aren’t just about perfect already.

*

If you are submitting a rhyming story, as a writer there is a certain skill set that you need to acquire that accompanies this mode of storytelling. You need to be able to address: meter, pacing, rhythm, beats and syllable counts. Rhyming is the foundation of song and so it is essential to understand the mechanics that enable a series of phrases to fit together fluidly.

*

When rhyming works, it is beyond fabulous. It can make a funny book hilarious or a soulful book sublime. Children gravitate to the rhythm of the words; it actually benefits them developmentally. Rhymes can make reading aloud infinitely more pleasurable. And when it’s done really well, it can make luscious language all that much more delicious. So how can you make your rhyming story sizzle?

*

Here’s a cheat sheet of things you can do:

• Make sure your story hangs together independent of the rhyme. Consider your big tools of P.O.V, character and plot development, setting etc. The rhyme is the mode or device that you use to tell the story.

*
• Make sure your syntax is correct (the order of the words in a sentence)

*
• Make sure that you aren’t using a word just because it rhymes. If it’s not the perfect word, change the whole couplet or stanza.

*
• Use repetition: “Good Night, Moon/ Good Night, Spoon”

*
• Use alliteration: “Mandy’s magical marker made her artwork sing.” Be careful not to overuse this device. If it is too difficult to say out loud at bedtime, parents won’t read it.

*
• Use assonance and onomotapeoia (matching the internal sounds of words–cart/march making sound words–Whoosh)

*
• Don’t get married to your words or rhymes, no matter how much you love them; let go of anything that doesn’t sing. After all, rhymes are meant to be chanted or sung.

*
• Have fun with it. Use the great online rhyming resources like rhymezone.com

*
• Take our Writing Poetry for Picture Books course with the brilliant Supita Bardhen-Quallen. Really. You will learn a great deal about what works and what doesn’t as we mentor you through writing your own story.

*

Once you have a draft of your rhyming story, there are some other tricks you can employ or angles you can consider. Try having a friend read it to you so you can hear it. There is a musical quality we gravitate towards as listeners and that is a key element in composing a great rhyming story. Read a ton of rhyming stories, both traditional children’s poetry like limericks as well as new work. This will help develop your ear and give you a sense of pacing, meter, rhythm and overall flow. Transcribe some of these to do word counts and learn the structure when you type it up. Take risks, be adventurous, let go if it doesn’t work. Embrace it if it does.

*

We will be covering all the important aspects of rhyming in the upcoming annual

“From Storyteller to Exquisite Writer: The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Techniques!” with Sudipta Barden-Quallen” (and for this upcoming course in May, me and Mandy Yates will assist as well). Here are a few topics we will be covering:

• Why poetry and rhyming stories are important for children in terms of development
• Discussion of the various types of poetry and how they fit into children’s literature
• What makes a good story and how rhyming can aid or inhibit it
• Analyzing pacing and rhyme
• Energizing your rhymes for maximum fun
• Tips on researching editors and agents

*

Whether we realize it or not, poetry is in our bones; it is a universal technique that humans have always used to tell stories and this one of the reasons why children love it. While it requires some additional knowledge, it is worth it to have these tools in your literary tool kit because rhyme is a great way to energize your story.

*

*

Bio:
Dr. Mira Reisberg is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, author, art director, editor, former children’s literature professor and children’s book mentor with 26 years of experience in the industry. Following the success of many of her Children’s Book Academy students she founded Hummingbird Literary. Mira is phasing out of teaching to focus on agenting but is excited about live co-teaching the Pleasures and Craft of Writing Poetry for Kids with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, and assisted by Mandy Yates in May.

*

For more information on upcoming courses please visit:
http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/

 

Thank You Mira Reisberg!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Wednesday, April 30th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 32

*

Edit, Revise, Have it Critiqued, Edit, Revise, Have it Critiqued…

*
Boy, do I feel like we have talked about this! We have covered editing in terms of poetry but it is not much different for rhyming picture books.

*
The Basics are:
-Write your first draft until you get it all out not worrying about anything but getting it out of your brain.
-Put it away for a week
-Dust it off, use the sticky note graphic and go to town editing!
-Once you have it as tight as you think you can, submit it to your critique group.
-Do you need to have a critique group? YES!!!
-If a critique group is too overwhelming for you, find a critique partner
YOUABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE SOMEONE REVIEW YOUR WORK!
-Once your crit group has covered it with red marks to be fixed, Fix it!
– Then Put it away again.
-While your manuscript is marinating, research editors to submit it to.
-At least a week later, pull it out and prepare it for submission.
We will discuss the submission part more on Saturday.

write drunk, edit sober
Apparently Ernest Hemmingway didn’t say this…he was never sober! LOL

*
There is a famous saying among writers, “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” I won’t say that this is my normal routine but I do think I write with more flair and less inhibitions after a glass of red wine…but that’s just me!

*

Here is an article written by Jane Yolen on editing and revising rhyming manuscripts. She suggests for us to edit our manuscript as if it is a poem…that cuts the words down for sure! I love this idea!

*
From Jennifer Jensen’s Blog A Better Place to Talk
https://suite.io/jennifer-jensen/34sc25q

*

Can you believe that we only have 3 days left together?

*
It has gone so fast and I can’t tell you how much I am going to miss you guys when it’s over. I won’t lie though…I am ready for a break from the daily lesson research grind and blogging schedule brutality. It doesn’t sound like I had fun, but I did! I will have so much free time…to write!!! I am planning on blogging once a week.

*
More importantly, I learned so much while I was researching and sharing the lessons. I knew that once I committed to this event, I would jump in, feet first, and swim with the big fish…There were a few moments of trying to keep my head above water and hypothermia set in about mid-way through but I survived and so did you! I know it was a lot of information…but that is what we needed to learn to improve our writing.

*
We, together, have accomplished something very big! We may be the biggest group of rhyming picture book writers ever to gather for an entire month and study our craft…that is an accomplishment! Historic!!! LOL

*
That being said, there are some things I will do differently next year. I would appreciate your feedback on how improve this writing challenge so you and others will return again next April.

*
Some things I’m thinking about for the future:
-Only have Guest Bloggers /Daily Lessons on week days…this will give us time to catch our breath on the weekends.
-I want to create an ebooklet of the daily lesson material covered
-I want to offer multiple categories for the poetry contest
-I want to offer critique partner options
-I want to do a few RhyPiBoMo mini-events throughout the year
-I want to host RhyPiBoMo Saturday workshops/weekend conferences in person
-I want RhyPiBoMo to be the #1 resource for rhyming picture book authors…
-I want to offer reviews of the rhyming picture books on our amazing list that we read this month and continue to grow the list!

*

RhyPiBoMo Questionnaire
I created a questionnaire for you to complete…this is your writing prompt today!
I really do need your help and feedback so RhyPiBoMo will grow and continue to help writers. I do want to emphasize that I never intended to make money on this event. That is still not my goal but I did learn that it costs money to host an event and run contests. So, I have asked for advice from several authors who use their blog as a platform for their writing and to help others. It was suggested that I try to generate some income so that this new venture will grow…I would LOVE to offer a Saturday or weekend RhyPiBoMo workshops…That would be the ultimate best because I would actually get to meet you all!
*
I’m also thinking about how my blog can help promote you as writers and especially when your rhyming picture books get published! I’m working on that!
*
I’m hoping to generate some relationships with editors that we can submit to…that if a writer has participated and completed RhyPiBoMo that would hold merit for an editor. Just as we put down that we belong to SCBWI to show our professionalism and our focus to learn, putting down RhyPiBoMo Participant will show your commitment to writing poetry and rhyming picture books.
I’m very open to your ideas and your suggestions to improve this rhyming-baby so please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire now!

PLEASE!

 

*

Thank You RhyPiBoMoers!

 

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

Advertisements

Rhyming Picture Book Cake for Everyone! Tuesday

Rhyming Picture Book Cake for Everyone! Tuesday         Day 31

RhyPiBoMo Souvenirs…so you don’t forget me! LOL

I have had quite a few people ask if I will be selling any RhyPiBoMo items. It didn’t occur to me in the beginning and then I didn’t have the time to set it all up during the event, but I’m thinking that I will look into it more next week.

*

Please comment if you would be interested in purchasing a coffee mug or a notebook with RhyPiBoMo on it. Or, suggest anything else you might be interested in. I did look into CafePress as an option.

*

I’m also going to offer some of the graphics that I created here this month for sale. I just ordered a few of them in 8×10 poster size that would be a nice visual to refer to when writing. I am doing this to offset the cost of the prizes and shipping involved for the Rhyming Parties.  I would like to continue these parties once a month but need to generate a little money to keep offering prizes…it would also make Mr. Karcher happy if I at least break even! LOL

*

These are the objects I’m referring to…

RhyPiBoMo Notebook      RhyPiBoMo Mug

Let me know if you are interested in purchasing

a notebook or coffee mug?

*

*

Today’s guest blogger is someone I added to my list of guest bloggers right from the beginning.  She is a wonderful writer, I’ve heard, an amazing teacher and an awesome blogger. When I asked, she mentioned that she doesn’t write everything in rhyme and wasn’t sure if this was the place for her…If you read her rhyme, you will see how modest she is…and what a great rhymer she is too! She will tell you that she likes to hang out at dessert tables so maybe she will taste a bit of our rhyming picture book cake! LOL I first found her when she was hosting a writing contest on her blog  http://susannahill.blogspot.com/

You must check it out! I am hoping to take her Making Picture Book Magic class in the fall, when life slows down a bit. Here is the link: http://www.susannahill.com/MAKING_PICTURE_BOOK_MAGIC.html   I have heard such great things about her class! You should check it out!

*

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Susanna Leonard Hill!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Susanna Hill 1

 

Accidentally In Rhyme

*

Hey there!
Hill’s the name, and rhyming’s my game!
Except… uh… it’s not actually.

*
(No one was checking ID so I just sauntered past Angie while she was chatting with the RyPiBoMo guests who actually know what they’re talking about. I hung out by the dessert table and tried to look like I belonged. It was surprisingly easy for someone who is not normally good at subterfuge.)

dessert Table
So how am I doing? Do I blend?

*
Because here’s the thing: I write stories in rhyme. Some of them have won prizes. Some of them have been published! But all the while I’m carrying a guilty secret, just waiting for the moment when someone cottons on, because… *draws shaky breath in readiness for confession*… I have no idea how I do it.

*
There.
I said it.
I’m a rhyming accident.
I don’t know any of the rules.
I don’t know an anapest from a dactyl from an iamb – they’re all Greek to me.
Caesura? I’m pretty sure that’s a hairstyle popularized by Julius and Augustus.
Enjambment? I think that might be a kind of raspberry sauce.
So what am I doing here? you ask.
Well, I’ll tell you.

*
I’m here to let you know that you don’t have to know all those poetic terms to write rhyming picture books. (Don’t tell my high school English teacher I said that.) You just have to be able to feel.
Rhyming poetry is like music. It has a rhythm – a rhythm you can feel.

Footloose
Have you ever seen Footloose (the original fantastic one with Kevin Bacon, not the dreadful remake =)?

*
Do you remember the scene where Renn is trying to teach Willard to dance? They clap hands to the beat of the music, and bang on the dashboard, trying to get Willard to feel the rhythm.

*
You can do that with poetry.
Let’s try it first with something easy.
Think of childhood songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, London Bridge, The Farmer In The Dell, BINGO, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Yankee Doodle. You can learn from them.

*
Sing one of them. Right now. Don’t worry, you’re in a judgment-free zone. Let’s try a rousing chorus of Twinkle Twinkle. Are you singing? Feel how you naturally put more stress on some syllables than on others…

*
TWINK-le TWINK-le LIT-tle STAR
HOW i WON-der WHAT you ARE
UP a-BOVE the WORLD so HIGH
LIKE a DIA-mond IN the SKY
TWINK-le TWINK-le LIT-tle STAR
HOW i WON-der WHAT you ARE

*
Tap it out on the table while you sing – a strong tap for the word or syllable that the song makes you want to accent (i.e. put more stress on) and a lighter tap for the softer, less-stressed syllable. Or, if you’re a get-up-and-go type, walk around the room. Take a heavy step for the accented words/syllables and a tiptoe step for the softer/unaccented ones.

*
Are you feeling it?

*
You can use songs like this, or well-known nursery rhymes, or even the rhyme structures used in the picture books of all the fabulous writers who have posted this month as models for your own rhymes. Read the song, nursery rhyme, or picture book rhyme aloud. Find the pattern of accented/unaccented. Tap it on the table or walk around the room. Feel the rhythm. Then copy the pattern with your own words.

*
Now let’s try it with a plain rhyme (no music). Don’t be scared. You can do it!

Susanna Hill 5

FREIGHT train’s PULL-ing FROM the YARD.
LOC-o-MOT-ive’s WORK-ing HARD.
“SAFE trip!” CALLS the STAT-ion-MAS-ter.
CHUG-ga, CHUG-ga, TRAIN rolls FAS-ter.

*
See? It’s not that hard.
All you have to do is pick a rhythm and stick to it!

*
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to hide behind the dessert

*

*
Bio:
Susanna Leonard Hill is the award winning author of nearly a dozen books for children, some of which accidentally rhyme. Her titles include Punxsutawney Phyllis (A Book List Children’s Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice),No Sword Fighting In The House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can’t Sleep Without Sheep (a Children’s Book of The Month), and Not Yet, Rose (a Gold Mom’s Choice Award Winner.) Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, and Japanese, with one hopefully forthcoming in Korean. Her newest book, Alphabedtime!, (one of the accidental rhymers) is forthcoming from Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, in Fall 2015. She lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs.

Website: http://susannahill.com/home.html

Blog:http://susannahill.blogspot.com/

*

Here are a few of Susanna’s wonderful books:

Susanna Hill 3 (2)

*

Susanna Hill 2

*

Susanna Hill 4 (2)

*

*

 

 

Thank you Susanna Leonard Hill!

 

________________________________________________________________________________

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Tuesday, April 29th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 31

*

*

Let’s see how our Picture Book Cake turned out!

*

Yesterday, I shared a recipe with you on how to bake a rhyming picture book cake. I baked that cake today and thought I’d share a piece with you all…

*
I’ve been baking this cake for years but it has never turned out quite as well as it did today. I know the reason why…Because of all the poetry that I’ve studied in April. Those poetic elements have really made my cake rise higher than ever before. It is light on words, moist with rhyme and so rich with lyrical texture that I can’t wait to serve it up to an editor or agent.

Picture Book CakeBut, of course, it will be served to my critique group first!

This is the traditional story arc with a bit of poetic/rhyming technique thrown in for

us Rhyming Picture Book Cake Bakers!

This graphic is for you RhyPiBoMoers!

Please enjoy and promise to share it with other rhymers out there!

*

*
This is the classic picture book structure that has been handed out to me year after year at conferences and workshops. It hasn’t changed from this format in my 12 years of writing for kids. I think the reason it hasn’t changed is because it works! Of course, your book doesn’t need to have each item exactly on the page where this is suggested. It is merely a guideline for you to base your work on. Unfortunately it doesn’t help us rhymers with our specific goals in writing rhyming picture book manuscripts.

*

CLASSIC STORY BOOK STRUCTURE
Page 1:             Half Title Page
Pages 2-3:       Full Title Page
Page 4:             Dedication
Page 5:             Intro Main Character, Setting, Problem, Point of View, Voice
Pages 6-7:       Deepen Awareness of Problem and Character
Pages 8-9:       Main Character’s First Attempt to Solve Problem
Pages 10-11:    Result
Pages 12-13:    Things Get Worse!
Pages 14-15:    Main Character’s Second Attempt to Solve Problem
Pages 16-17:    Result
Page 18-19:     Things Get Worse!
Pages 20-21:   Main Character’s Third Attempt to Solve Problem
Pages 22-23:    Result
Pages 24-25     Black Moment: Things Are at Their Worst!
Pages 26-27     Main Character Understands (Inner Climax)
Pages 28-29     Main Character Acts (Outer Climax)
Pages 30-31      Solution Works!
Page 32:            End with a Surprise or Twist

*

The thing that is missing from this wonderful list is the rhyming aspect. That’s because this is such a specific area that we have chosen and no one has created a list for us that includes the rhyming aspect of the picture book. Not that I’m aware of anyway…and I’ve been looking.

*
I have created another visual that adds all these elements together so you can ensure success with the picture book guidelines and the poetic devices necessary to write a superb rhyming picture book.

RhyPiBoMo Revision Post its

 

This sticky note visual includes everything you need to write a rhyming picture book. The orange notes are the rhyming/poetic elements and the rest of the notes include everything you need to write a traditional picture book…add this rainbow of notes together and you have a pretty good device
to help with writing rhyming picture books!

*

Start at the upper left corner and move down and over to the right gradually and you will find yourself at the bottom right with everything you need. There is not a definite order of things. I prefer this flowing list rather than a definitive list because we all have different processes. When I use a revision checklist, I never follow it in the order it is written. You probably don’t either. As long as you get to the bottom right with a rhyming picture book that is ready to submit…that’s the goal.

*

The Rule of 3’s

*
The rule of three is an old writing technique that is still around today. It is believed that things that come in threes are more effectively understood, enjoyed and remembered. It is a pattern that helps us process the information. (write this down)

For example:
The 3 Pigs
The 3 Stooges
3 Billy Goats Gruff
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears
The 3 Blind Mice
The 3 Muskateers

*

Slogans/famous quotes and phrases:
Go! Fight! Win!
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
Government of the people, by the people, for the people
Friends, Romans, Countrymen
Blood, sweat and tears
Location, location, location
Faith, Hope and Charity
Mind, body, spirit
Stop, Look and Listen
I came, I saw, I conquered

*

I say if it’s not broken…don’t fix it! So I highly suggest that you apply the rule of threes in all your writing, especially in your story arc concerning the conflict, the common use of beginning, middle and end and when you give examples.

*

*

Writing Prompt: Use the Bake a Picture Book Cake graphic and the Revise Rhyming Picture Books graphic and apply them to your work-in-progress.

*

 

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

Let’s Bake a Picture Book Cake! Monday

Let’s Bake a Picture Book Cake! Monday         Day 30

RhyPiBoMo Participant badge

Wow…There are nearly 40 entries in the Golden Quill Poetry Contest! I’m thrilled that so many of you were brave enough to write something that may be out of your comfort zone and enter the contest…Thank You!

*

I am in the process of going through them making sure that each poem has all the criteria required.  There are a few people that forgot to add in 3/5 senses into the poem, so this will disqualify it.

*

Once I have eliminated poems without the requirements, I will remove all names from the poems and send them to our judges. They will have a scoring system to critique each poem as fairly as possible. Once they are done, they will send me the tallied scores for each poem. In case of a tie, I will score the poems myself. In case of another tie, the winner will be the person that submitted their poem first, in order, for the contest.Due to the number of poems submitted, we will not be able to answer questions concerning poems that don’t win.

*

Our wonderful judges are Jill Esbaum, Renee LaTulippe and Tiffany Strelitz Haber!

*

I have three wonderful prizes !

*

First Place
Scholarship for From Storyteller to Exquisite Writer: The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Techniques!
Donated by Mira Reisberg and Sudipta Bardhan Quallan

*

Second Place
Scholarship for The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching up Prose with Poetry
Donated by Renee La Tulippe

*

Third Place
Scholarship for a spot in Picture Book Magic Course
Donated by Susanna Leonard Hill

*

Good Luck to Everyone!

*

*

Today’s guest blogger is someone I haven’t met but boy would I like to! She has been so incredibly gracious and friendly throughout this entire process. I have met such wonderfully talented authors while hosting and Jill has helped make my job so much easier. She has offered to help judge our poetry contest this week. I really appreciate that as we have so many wonderful entries. Thank you Jill for being here to share some of your insight into rhyming picture book writing with us!

*

*

 

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Jill Esbaum!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Jill Esbaum 1

*

*

GOT RHYTHM?

*

First of all, a huge THANKS to Angie for asking me to participate in RhyPiMoBo. I’m excited to hang here for a whole month with so many others who share my rhyming addiction. Genius idea, Angie!

*

Today, I’d like to touch on the importance of choosing the most effective rhythm for a story. This was brought home to me recently when I critiqued a rhyming manuscript in which the writer had used a bouncy, lilting meter to tell a very sad story.

*

*brakes squealing*

*

The advice I give most often, as in this case, is to try writing the story in prose. While writing in rhyme is highly enjoyable (when you’re not banging your head on your desk), not every story is best presented that way.

*

But if you have a lyrical – or goofy– story that begs for rhyme, be aware that the rhythm you choose can make or break it. The right rhythm helps create a mood, establish a certain atmosphere. Keep in mind, too, that within that chosen rhythm, your word and style choices can slow the pace or speed it up.

*

To illustrate, here’s the opening of my first published pb, Ste-e-e-e-eamboat A-Comin’! The story is set in the 1860s and shows what happens when a steamboat visits a small, downriver town. The relaxed pace reflects the hot, lazy day and is meant to mimic wavelets lapping at a shoreline. Note that every line includes long vowel sounds that encourage the reader to slow down.

*

Wavelets lapping,
river wide,
mighty, ever-rolling tide.

*

At mid-story, the established rhythm remains, but the pace picks up to reflect the chaotic unloading scenes:

Pickles, sugar,
coffee, spoons,
spectacles
and brass spittoons.

*

See how plenty of short vowel sounds and punchy, unmodified nouns keep the reader moving along quickly?

*

Through most of my newest book, I Hatched! (Dial, 2014, illustrated by Jen Corace), a rapid-fire pace reflects the energy and enthusiasm of a newly-hatched killdeer as he zips around his neighborhood.

*

Run-run-run-run!
Hurry-scurry!
Bet my little legs are blurry!

*

My next pb, I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! (Dial, May 2014, illustrated by Gus Gordon), unwinds at a leisurely gait that feels, to me, like a cow swaying along. The meter doesn’t change through the story, but word and style choices make the pace pick up when something frightens Nadine (the cow MC) and she tears off to gallop through a dark, unfamiliar forest in a blind panic.

*

She thundered through thickets,
deep gullies,
tight squeezes,
and ragweed that triggered spectacular sneezes.
She worried, The bear’s gonna get me! (As if.)
She kept galloping, galloping, right off a . . .

*

So take a look at your work in progress. Does the story’s rhythm pattern (beat, meter, cadence, or however you like to think about it) help create the tone, the mood, you’d intended? Do your word and style choices speed up or slow down the pace when appropriate?

*

If you craft a story, rather than just pick an easy meter and rhyme your end lines, agents and editors will notice. And so will your future readers.

*

Good luck!

*

*

Bio:
Jill Esbaum is the author of many picture books. Her newest rhyming story is I Hatched! (Dial). Her Tom’s Tweet (Knopf) and Stanza (Harcourt) are/were nominated for state awards, and Ste-e-e-e-eamboat A-Comin’! (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), was an IRA Notable Children’s Book. Her next rhymer (due out next month) is I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! (Dial).
http://www.jillesbaum.com
http://www.teachingauthors.com

*

Info on latest of upcoming books:
Jill’s latest rhyming picture book, I HATCHED!, was named a NYTimes Editor’s Choice (2.23.14). In April, National Geographic will release her ANGRY BIRDS PLAYGROUND: RAIN FOREST, and in June, her two titles in their new Explore My World series, PENGUINS and SNOW LEOPARDS. Her next rhyming picture book, due from Dial May 15th, is I AM COW, HEAR ME MOO!

*

Jill Esbaum 2

*

Jill Esbaum 3

Thank you Jill Esbaum!

______________________________________________________________________________

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Monday, April 28th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 30

Hook, Characters & Plot

*

First, we are going to examine the beginning of a story called Granpappy’s Grizzly. This is a work in progress but I had a good critique from an editor who liked the hook, the character and plot set up in these first paragraphs so I thought I’d share this as an example.

*

I know it makes it hard to read but please “bear”  with me as all the colors will be explained when you are done reading. = )

*

*
The sun-dried leaves on the old mountain trail crackled as I heard that grizzly bear comin’. I held my breath, stayin’ as still as a pine board on a barn so I could hear her footsteps. I waited out there ‘til the clouds turned violet and my fingers ached.

*

*
Most boys my age would be a fearin’ a grizzly but not me. Granpappy’s grizzly doesn’t scare me one bit! She is solitary though, doesn’t come around for me to see her…well, ever actually. But I’m bound and determined to see her this winter!

*
Do You Want to Read More?

*
I sat on my lookout-log countin’ snowflakes that looked like cottonweed justa’ spittin’ outta’ the sky, when suddenly, I caught a scent of persimmon tobacco swirling up the mountain. It was from Granpappy’s pipe. If he was nearby, so was his grizzly.

*
I could hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of them comin’ one step at a time…
The fur tree’s branches “SHOOK WITH DELIGHT” as Granpappy peeked through them.

*
Do You Want to Read More?

*
“Howdy there, Lil’ Bo,” he said, in his loud, Appalachian twang. “There’s gonna be a heapa’ snow come down at nightfall.”
His voice always reminded me of a saw cuttin’ through a log.
“Hey there, sir,” I said anxiously. “Where’s your grizzly?
“Aw, she’s laggin’ behind but she’ll be around before the moon glows.

*
Do You Want to Read More?

*
Granpappy walked with an old cane he whittled from the first tree he ever axed. It was old and worn and strong, just like him.

*
“Come on in out of that mean, winter blow,” yelled my mama through the screen door, cracked open just enough for her voice to squeeze through. Granpappy left tracks as he made his way to the house. I stood, peekin’ through the fur tree branches, hopin’ to catch a sight of that grizzly tonight.

*
Do You Want to Read More?

*
October always brought Granpappy and snow up the mountain for the winter. The snow stayed until March and Granpappy stayed until April. Pa said Granpappy should have come up the mountain last week, before the snow, but he was set in his ways. That grizzly was set in her ways too ‘cause she never came ‘round where I could see her…not yet.

*

*

The breakdown of each necessary element of the hook, characters and plot helps to show you where these are in my manuscript.

*

I hope your answer to the questions were yes, but I mainly put those there to help you think about what the reader is feeling. I have broken down each important part with different colors for you to see how it is included above.

*

Study this so you can apply it to your manuscript. While this manuscript isn’t rhyming, notice all the poetic techniques used in it. I purposely chose this text for that reason as I hope that you will apply what we have learned to all of your writing…not just the rhyming manuscripts.

*

THE FIRST SENTENCE GRAB:
The first sentence must grab the reader by the heart and hold on tight!
“The sun-dried leaves on the old mountain trail crackled as I heard that grizzly bear comin’.”
There’s a darn bear coming…of course you want to read more!

*
WHO:
Who is the main character?
A young boy; Li’l Bo; the narrator
Who are the other characters?
Granpappy; The Grizzly; Mama; Pa

*
WHAT:
What is the setting?
A boy waiting for his Granpappy and the grizzly out in the cold weather

*
WHEN:
When is this scene occurring?
October; In the winter; the evening; before night time

*
WHERE:
Where does the scene take place?
Outside; a mountain; cold weather; woods

*
WHY:
Why should I continue reading?
The reader is rooting for the main character to see the grizzly and/or not be the grizzly’s dinner!

*
INITIAL TENSION/CONFLICT:
Is there tension or conflict in the beginning?
Yes, initially he is standing still to hear the footsteps but the reader doesn’t know that and thinks a grizzly may be approaching; a potentially dangerous situation. He states that he isn’t afraid of the grizzly but there is certainly anxiousness and anticipation of seeing her arrive.

*
I color coded everything so you can see where each piece of the puzzle is.
Go back to your manuscript and color code the different parts needed.

*

The Hook
The most important part of any picture book is the hook! You must grab your reader right from the beginning. Once you have the reader invested in the story, you can work on keeping him interested. We will talk about that more tomorrow.

*
The hook must create immediate tension, ask a question or find a way to allure your reader into the story. The hook sets up the entire scene, makes way for the plot and opens the door for the characters to shine, flawed and all.

*
Characters

*
When creating characters for a story, I tend to think of someone I know and assimilate their traits, mannerisms and personality quirks. I might use a phrase that that person might say or refer to them in a certain way that gives them an edge or uniqueness to their persona. Li’l Bo, Mama and Pa are molded after an Aunt, Uncle and cousin of mine and Granpappy is my grandfather. They all grew up and lived in western Kentucky and had a very southern twang to their dialect. That voice comes easily to me because of growing up around them, although I don’t have that southern accent at all. I imagine how they might say something or what they would think about a certain situation.

*
It is important to keep your characters interesting but not perfect. Give them flaws. We all have them and that makes a character more believable, more relatable and more fun.

*
Plot
The plot of a story must be well thought out. Must have a beginning, middle and end. The plot uses cause and effect to get the reader from point A to point B with some excitement and surprises along the way. Think of your manuscript as if it were a play that is to be performed by actors. You must give your audience a reason to stay in their seats, watching the story unfold. You wouldn’t stay at a play that was boring and without incident. You would either leave or fall asleep. For a reader, it’s easier than that…they quit reading and close the book. BOOM…DONE…MOVED ON…without looking back. Give the reader a reason to stay! We will delve into this much deeper tomorrow but ultimately, you must write the story that you want to read! I love this quote but I don’t know who said it… “For the reader to cry, the writer must cry.” That was very moving for me when I read it the first time…and so true!

Cake
cakecentral.com

*

Let’s Bake a Picture Book Cake

*
Picture Book Baking Recipe:
1 scoop of a Beginning with an irresistible hook
1 teaspoon of Scene set up
2-3 tasty Characters introduced
1 heaping teaspoon of a Main Character to solve the problem
3 cups of Problems/Incidents of tension
Then stir it up! But we are not done yet…
1 dash of the Middle of the story transition/character has choices to make
1 tablespoon of Character struggle/emotional and physical
1 level cup of a turning point
1 heroic Main Character to solve the problem
A tablespoon of Resolution
1 dash of Happily Ever After ending
Mix it all together carefully and don’t leave any lumps!

*

Bake for a loooooong time in your revision/critique group oven.
Take it out of the oven to cool for at least a week.
Let it sit for a while before you frost it. Okay, A week’s a long time for a cake but not a picture book! LOL
Now it’s time to frost your picture book cake.
It should be covered and layered and oozing with joy, sorrow, excitement, eagerness, and sprinkled with candy coated lyrical words, descriptive word choices, delicious rhythm and multi-syllabic rhyming words for good measure.

*
Now, it’s time to test it out…offer a piece to a group of children in your target age and see it they like it. The true test…do they ask for more?

*

*

Writing Prompt: write out the recipe for your manuscript. See if it has all the ingredients that are needed for a delicious picture book cake of your own.

*

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

It’s Finally PiBo Time! Sunday

It’s Finally PiBo Time! Sunday                Day 29

 

Congrats to the Daily Prize

Winners for Last Week

Sunday       Kristi Veitenheimer won

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys donated by Julie Hedlund

*

Monday       Gayle C. Krause won

Dozens of Cousins donated by Shutta Crum

*

Tuesday       Nicole Busenbark won      

My Father’s House donated by Kathi Appelt

*

Wednesday    Robyn Campbell  won

Toddler Two-Step donated by Kathi Appelt

*

Thursday  Jane Healy  won

Barnyard Song donated by Rhonda G. Greene

*

Friday  Heather Reading  won

A Critique donated by Jill Esbaum

*

Saturday   Judy Rubin won

No Pirates Allowed! Said Liberty Lou donated by Rhonda G. Greene

Congrats to all the winners!

Email me your address asap at

Angie.karcher@yahoo.com

___________________________________________________________________________

We had our last Rhyming Party yesterday…it was so much fun and the rhyme was korny and quirky and entertaining! I’m thinking we will continue to have them once a month. Go to the Facebook Group Page to see more of my favorite comments from the party…Here is a sampling.

Lucky Williams       “Charlotte Dixon, you speedy vixen!”

Lucky Williams         “I lost in this combat–did I really guess wombat?”

Angie Karcher           “Charlotte is on fire sang the town crier!”

Danna York               “Big Will fan here~ I dream he looks like Richard Gere”

Jane Heitman Healy   “Slick Willy sells used cars downtown, not plays acted in the round”

Jane Heitman Healy  “Pay fees, get fleas”

Angie Karcher             “Lucky is lucky tonight…and don’t sub to a poetry contest that will give you fleas…Please!”

Danna York                 “Good night, good night! ~Parting is such sweet sorrow~That I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.~Juliette”

The prize winners were Charlotte Dixon and Jane Heitman Healy!

___________________________________________________________________________

Today’s guest blogger is a busy lady! She is a very successful author of many award-winning picture books, a talented illustrator and a Regional Advisor for SCBWI in Michigan. She is also teaching several up-coming picture book classes…please consider signing up for them. If I wasn’t already attending the WOW Retreat this summer, I would definitely sign up for the PB and J course! What a yummy name!

I know these classes will be wonderful! I was fortunate enough to meet her at a conference last spring and I am so happy she’s here to give us some more writing scoop!

*

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Leslie Helakoski!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Leslie Helakoski 1

*

Leslie will be running a picture book intensive with Alexandra Penfold
(agent from Upstart Crow Literary) and partnering in a pb track workshop
in Orlando on June 6 & 7. More info at florida.scbwi.org

And she’ll be
running a workshop called PB&J (Picture Books and All That Jazz) with
author/teacher Darcy Pattison at Highlights June 13-15.
https://www.highlightsfoundation.org/workshops/picture-books-and-all-that-jazz-2014/

*

*

I remember distinctly finding out that writing in rhyme meant more than just counting syllables.
DUH you might think, but for me it wasn’t that long ago. How could I have not known this? Because I was not paying attention to good rhyming text and what makes it work.

*

Don’t settle on rhyme as a way to tell your story without a lot of thought. Try to write the same story idea out in prose. This is a good exercise to make sure you have an actual story to tell and are not just being seduced by a few rhyming lines that popped into your head. Make sure you have a strong character, a story arc, a satisfying resolution and good visual possibilities. If you do not find these things, then perhaps what you’ve written is not a rhyming pb but rather a child’s poem? Does the rhyming version have information that the prose version does not? That could be an indicator of the dreaded forced rhyme–putting in information to make a rhyme that is not necessary to the story.

*

Writing in rhyme can mean hours playing with one or two lines or even one or two words. It is sometimes tedious and frustrating. But if rhyme is still calling to you, I’d encourage you to give it a try. Playing with words is fun and it can be surprising what comes up when you force yourself to work within limits.

*

To those of you who feel you don’t know enough about rhyme to write rhyme—I say, PISH POSH! You don’t have to consciously know the correct terms for all the rhyming patterns and rules just as you don’t need to consciously know all the rules about writing in order to write prose. It can be helpful if you understand some of the whys and wherefores, but if all the terminology and rules make you feel like you are going to bolt, there is hope. We can learn intuitively, almost by osmosis, if we do a lot of reading and analyzing. It still means work on our part but it feels less intimidating.

*

Take a few rhyming books that you like, type up the words and mark out the pattern of accented and unaccented syllables. Pay attention. See what the author has done and where the patterns vary. In all likelihood the pattern will vary here and there, especially at the beginning of a line but the main body of each line should fall into the same pattern.

*

Notice that phrases often end with an accent on the last word as in “to the TOP” or “on the FENCE”. Notice that a particular word can start with an unaccented syllable but then turn around and function as an accented syllable depending on its placement.

*

Notice which lines end with an accented beat. Notice that sometimes a line or phrase ends in a feminine upbeat, and its rhyming partner should do the same, creating a fun unexpected rhyme as in this example from Janie Bynum’s Altoona Baboona:

Altoona

Altoona Baboona
ate peas with a spoona.

*

Some lines complete a thought or sentence as in Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom:

Chicka

Skit skat skoodle doot.
Flip flop flee.
Everybody running to the coconut tree.

*

And some lines will carry a thought over to the next line as in this example from Mary Ann Hoberman’s Seven Silly Eaters:

seven

He did not like his milk served hot.
He liked it warm…
and he would not
Drink it if he was not sure
it was the proper temperature.

*

Watch the author’s punctuation and placement of words. Do these things add to any feelings in the story? Are spaces added or are all lines rigidly flush left? What do the extra spaces do? Do they make the reader pause? Do they create tension or humor?

*

Pay attention to the stanzas throughout a piece. Are they always the same number of lines? Are they broken up with a refrain here and there or is it the exact same pattern over and over again?

*

Does the rhyming story have any fun words or invented words? What words would a kid want to say out loud when being read to?

*

From my newest book, Big Pigs:

Leslie Helakoski 3

Blip. Blop. Bloop. Three pigs sank into the mud…

*

And from Big Chickens:

  Leslie Helakoski 2

The chickens pwocked, flocked and rocked.

*

Most of my books are not in rhyme but I use a lot of internal rhyme and rhythm. In this way I’ve sneaked my way into being a rhymer. If you are unsure of yourself, consider slipping in a rhyming refrain or a repeated line of rhyme in an otherwise prose text.

*

This is all so much more than counting syllables. But reading and paying attention to books is fun, right? It hardly feels like work.

*

Leslie Helakoski

*

*

BIO
Children’s author and illustrator Leslie Helakoski is the author of eight award winning picture books such as Big Chickens, Woolbur, and Fair Cow. Her books, known for their word play and humor, have won acclaim from Junior Library Guild, Kirkus, Book Sense Picks, and were nominated for honors in over 20 states. She has illustrated her three most recent books, including her newest release, Big Pigs. She lives near Kalamazoo, Michigan where she is a Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Leslie Helakoski 4

*

woolbur

*

fair cow

my website is helakoskibooks.com, my youtube channel with book trailers is http://www.youtube.com /user/lesliehelakoski

Thank you Leslie Helakoski!

___________________________________________________________________________

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Sunday, April 27th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 29

*

*

We have finally made it to the PiBo part of this writing challenge…the Picture Book part! YAY!

*

It has been a long month of learning how to create the musical, lyrical, artistic words…now we must go back to the basic rules for writing picture books. We only have a week for this part so you will have to study more in this area if you are a new writer. Many people offer classes and there are lots of books out there on how to write picture books. Ask around before signing up for any class…get recommendations from friends!

*

My favorite resource book by far is Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul.
http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Picture-Books-Hands-On-Publication/dp/1582975566

*

Courses that I can recommend based on my personal experience or from recommendations of friends that have taken them…

Mira Reisberg offers The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books
http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/writing-childrens-picture-books.html

*
I have personally taken this course and it is phenomenal! Mira is so thorough and generous with her information. She is known as “The Picture Book Whisperer” as she has many students that have been published after studying with her.  I am now friends with Mira and she is very supportive and encouraging to her students. Highly Recommended!

*

Susanna Leonard Hill offers the Making Picture Book Magic Course
http://www.susannahill.com/MAKING_PICTURE_BOOK_MAGIC.html

*

Highlight’s Foundation Writing Workshops
http://www.highlightsfoundation.org/

*

I know there are more wonderful courses out there. Please mention any you have taken and would recommend in your comment today. Thanks!

*

*
Target Age

*
Who are you writing your book for?

*
If you can’t answer this question…stop!
You must go and research at least a dozen other well-received picture books as similar to your manuscript as you can find and study them.
Type the text out and watch for all the things we have studied this month. You also must see what age group it is suggested for and what the word count is.
These are both VERY IMPORTANT!

*
There are a few easy ways to do this research.

*

Do you know what AR is?

*
AR stands for Accelerated Reading and it is a program that schools use to encourage children to read. This system categorizes books into age groups by content, reading difficulty vocabulary and other educational factors.

*
A student is given a reading goal, (a number) that he/she must meet at the end of a desired period of time. At my son’s school they must reach their goal each grading period. The goal is typically increased unless a child is struggling to make the goal.

*
It is a fairly controversial topic and there are great points on both side of the fence but ultimately, the goal is to get kids reading…and that’s a good thing.

*
I tell you about this program because as a writer, you can access their system to research target age and word count in your research.

*
AR Book Finder
http://www.arbookfind.com/bookdetail.aspx?q=60893&l=EN&slid=492551668

*

Here is the information for Leslie’s book Doggone Feet!

Leslie Helakoski 4
Doggone Feet!
Helakoski, Leslie
AR Quiz No. 157944 EN
Description:As the household changes from a single man to a man with a wife and children, a dog learns to adjust to and enjoy each new member of the family.

*

AR Quiz details for Doggone Feet
Reading Practice
ATOS Book Level: 2.9 (grade 2, 9 months)
Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)
AR Points: 0.5 (the child will get half a point for reading and taking a quiz for this book) There is a scoring system for the quiz that plays into the points achieved.
Rating: 3.5 (3.5 out of 4 stars by readers)
Word Count: 532
Fiction/Nonfiction Fiction
Topic – Subtopic: Animals-Dogs; Interpersonal Relationships-Family

*

You can also use Amazon.com for a quick reference

*
Amazon will give you target age and page count but not word count.
Amazon’s listing for Doggone Feet
Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Hardcover: 40 pages

*

Word Count

*
I spent quite a while reading articles and trying to come up with a definitive answer for word counts and the best I can do is average the numbers from all the articles I read as there are many answers to the question, “How many words should a picture book have?” The best answer should be what word counts the best-selling books have so keep researching. If I had to give you one number it would be 800. Picture books should be 800 words or less in today’s market.

*

This is a chart I came up with but none of it is set in stone…just a suggestion.

*

CATEGORIES                                 GRADES                                     Avg. Word Ct.
PreK Picture Books                      age 4 and under PreK                           300
Early Picture Books                     age 5/6 K/Grade 1                                  500
New Reader Picture Books           age 7/8 Grades 1/2                               800
Non-fiction Picture Books K        Grade 3                                                  800
Non-fiction Picture Books            Grades 4/6                                            1000
Non-fiction Picture Books            Grades 7/8                                           1500 & Up

*

Remember, recently In Bad Bye Good Bye, Deborah Underwood did it in 78 words! And it’s marvelous!!!

*

There are lots and lots and lots of techniques you can use for reducing your word count. I will give you a good list to start with and some resources to help you continue your efforts to chop it down to size!

*

Words to eliminate: (if at all possible and remain the same story)
Very             Then
Were           Just
Different       That
Is                   It
Really         Was
Are              Really
Isn’t             Wasn’t
Nearly         Almost
Seems         Fun
Beautiful      Ugly
Who            Smart
See              Hear
Watch        Look
Which        Because

 *

*

What to remove:
□ repetitive descriptions
□ words that tell and don’t show
□ words that get in the illustrator’s way
□ adjectives/adverbs
□ wasted words – these are the words you add to get the rhythm right but     don’t add to the story
□ passive verbs
□ emotion words – the illustrator does this
□ unnecessary dialogue
□ if it doesn’t move the story forward, take it out
□ passive verbs

*
Resources:
Margot Finke – So You Want to Write a Picture Book?
http://www.underdown.org/mf-picture-books.htm

*

Cutting Your Word Count: Five Words to Chop by Nina Whittaker
https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/cutting-word-count-five-words-chop-154940971.html

*

Tips for Cutting Word Count by Kaylee Baldwin
http://www.kayleebaldwin.com/2013/01/tips-for-cutting-word-count.html

*

*

Writing Prompt:CHOP HALF YOUR STORY
Print out your manuscript
Take a black sharpie and mark through every other word throughout the entire manuscript.
Now go back and tweak it…see if you can add back the bare word minimum and make your story understandable…This isn’t the version you want to submit to an editor but it will show you what you can do without and what you decide, as the author, needs to be there.

*

*

Writing Prompt:150 WORDS
Choose a manuscript and rewrite it, telling the whole story in 150 words.
Yes…I said 150 words!
Those 150 words are the base for your story. Now decide on a word count goal. Add back in what you NEED and nothing you don’t!

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

What Would Willy S. Sayeth About RhyPiBoMo?

What Would Willy S. Sayeth About RhyPiBoMo?              Saturday April 26, 2014

*

*

*

I must confess…I am on my 25th hour, no…26th hour without sleep right now and I promise It couldn’t be helped! I’m heading to bed right now so don’t yell at me Kathy Halsey! LOL But I wanted to share my good news with you…

My 2nd book, The Legendary R. A. Cowboy Jones goes to print on Monday!

                    The  Legendary Cowboy Jones              Coming Soon!

The
Legendary Cowboy Jones
Coming Soon!

It is a MG Biography about a 70 year old horse jockey who still races in Henderson, Kentucky. And yes, his name is Cowboy. He is a character and this book was so much fun to write. You can pre-order it from this link if you are interested…thanks for letting me share my good news! It is due out mid June.

http://mtpublishing.com/index.php/soon/cowboy-jones.html#.U1rjgVc3fIk

I was up all day, remember, I am nocturnal so I usually sleep during the day and write at night…anyway I was up all day doing the final proofing for the book so my editor could give the printer the thumbs up by 5:00 today to put it on the printing schedule.

See, it was for a good reason! But with that being said, I am pooped and I’m sure this is full of typos as I’m edited out. I did sit and read my entire manuscript from cover to cover out loud today. It was unbelievably helpful!

One last thing…today’s lesson is a re-blog from one of the first blog posts I did in advance of RhyPiBoMo. I remember thinking how maybe I could use it again somehow during the event. Perfect timing for this tired writer! So, I hope you enjoy it and let’s celebrate Willy S.!

*I’ll see you at the Facebook Rhyming Party tomorrow

at 8:00 p.m. Central Time!

*

Today’s guest blogger is someone I’ve admired for years. I never thought I’d be swapping emails and introducing her anywhere but today, she is here and I’m going to gush about her and my favorite rhyming picture book …Bear Snores On.

*

Of course, you say…It’s wonderful. Yes it is but it changed my world as a mom, a teacher and a writer. And I had read lots and lots of picture books before I found this one.

Bear Snores On

The first time I read Bear Snores On, I was reading it to my own children in our family room. They were all sitting criss-cross applesauce on the floor. (if you are a kindergarten teacher you know what that means) There were four little faces staring up at me and I will never forget that moment…it changed the way I looked at rhyming picture books. You have to read it to understand, but Bear Snores On is magical in content, precious in sentiment and delicious in word desserts. And the rhythm…just read it! LOL  I could read it all day!

*

It really did make me stop and take notice at what a great rhyming picture book looks like, sounds like when read out loud and what it looks like on the faces of my kids, who were laughing, swaying to the musical verse and totally engaged in the story. We all feel so bad for bear, that he is missing the party in his very own lair! All I know is that for weeks after reading that story, all I wanted to do was to sip tea and munch popcorn while my husband was snoring!

*

Is that enough gushing? No.

*

Today’s guest has been busy for many years writing books for kids and I’m thrilled to share her latest book with you. Outside the Box is a collection of humorous poetry and it is brilliantly sitting on my book shelf next to my other faves!

Karma Wilson 2

It was just released in March! Congratulations Karma and thank you

for continuing to do what you do best!

*

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Karma Wilson!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Karma Wilson 1

*

Picture books matter. As picture book writers we can buy the line that our work is less “important” than say, a classic YA novel. When I tell people I write picture books I’m sometimes asked when I’ll write a “real” book (translate: novel, Harry Potter length or above.)

*

I don’t get mad. I would love to write a novel someday. But I do write real books. Picture books, rhyming picture books in particular, are a time-tested tool in fighting illiteracy. They are the building blocks we use to create minds that appreciate language, and know how to communicate using it.

*

When you write a book in verse you are weaving language, word play, cadence, meter, and characters into a marvelous tapestry of story. You are an architect of language building a bridge to those “life-changing” young adult novels your young listeners will one day read. Your words can establish a child’s love of words for a lifetime.

*

So now you know that it’s important to do well, HOW do you write an excellent rhyming picture book? I’m told I write good rhyming books. I’m also told I make good lasagna. I’m sorry to say I don’t have a recipe for either. Every time I make lasagna it’s different, and it’s the same writing books.

*

The first step in making good lasagna was eating a whole lot of different lasagna, which taught me what good (and bad) lasagna tasted like. It’s the same with writing books. I read poems, picture books, song lyrics, and classic poetry. I studied obsessively and asked what made me love one story, and find another boring or trite.

*

Good cheese is a crucial step to good lasagna, and a real story is the “cheese” in a rhyming book. If there is no real story, it’s a cheeseless lasagna, and nobody wants to go there, right? Ask yourself: Do you have a real story to tell, with a beginning/middle/end? Or are you just trying to make a story out of some cute end rhymes? If you realize you don’t have a story, DON’T DESPAIR. Put those lines aside and come back to them when you have the other ingredients for the lasagna. 😉

*

Herb and spices make delicious lasagna stand out. So how do you spice up a picture book? Strong words are the garlic and oregano of a story. In rhyme it’s easy to use weak words to make end rhymes easier.

*

I once wrote for a children’s magazine that banned the word “fun”. As they put it, the word “fun” is so overused it’s not fun anymore. I used it because it was a perfect end rhyme, but fun is a boring word.

*
For example:

We stood in line in the blazing sun,
but it was worth it, the ride was fun!

*

YUCK. I told everything and showed nothing. There is no sense of real fun. Spice it up! Show/tell

*

In the blazing sun, I stand in line,
inching forward one step at a time.
The line moves slowly, my heart beats faster.
My very first time on the Space Race Blaster!
I’m all strapped in, and up we go,
Clickety, clackety….

roller coaster

O H…

*

…S O

*

S L O W….

*
There I sit in the very first row,
Just for a second I peek below.
And then I’m screaming out,

*

“OOOOOO

NOOOOO!!!!”

*

Upside down, around, around,
more blazing fast than the speed of sound!
My hands are up! Can I keep lunch down?

*

Slowing, slowing, the rides at an end.
I gasp and turn to my very best friend,
“You wanna get in line again?!”

*

It’s a fast example, but it gives you a sense of showing.
“Fun” really says nothing. You must show the thrill of that first time memory of riding a roller coaster.

*

I’m over my 600 word limit, but I hope I imparted something helpful in these few tips. There’s more to tell, more to share, but I’ll save it for another day.

*

This is an amazing quote from Karma…

My Life in 8 Words

“Family, country, reading,

writing, seeking,

finding, laughing, learning”

                                                            

What are your 8 Words?

*

Bio:
Karma Wilson is the New York Times best selling author of more than 40 picture books for children, most written in rhyme. When Karma isn’t writing she enjoys brewing delicious coffee, writing rap with her kids (3, ages 17-21), being an assistant photographer, and spending time with talking animals.

– See more at:

http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Karma-Wilson/20539052#sthash.8cBWdW3V.dpuf

Product DetailsMore Karma Wilson books:

*

Karma Wilson 2

Outside the Box  March 2014

 

Karma Wilson 3

If you have not read this book, go read it! NOW!

http://www.amazon.com/Bear-Snores-Classic-Board-Books/dp/1416902724

Thank you Karma Wilson!

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Saturday, April 26th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 28

*

*

Who is Willy S.?

image

*

When I think about William Shakespeare I fondly remember attending a rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream when I was in high school. I remember dreading the performance but left the theater with a surprising respect for the famous playwright.  Honestly, I can say that I didn’t understand everything that was said, as the language was so foreign to me, but I do remember the humor and it was very funny.

*

There were four Athenians: Hermia, Lysander, Helena and Demetrius. It was quite a love fest that left Hermia with two suitors and Helena with none. What a hook! It involved magic potions, fairies, lies and deceit. The play was quite the makings of a modern day “Housewives” show.

*

I’m fortunate to live in Evansville, Indiana, a college town with two Universities who support the arts in education and community. The University of Southern Indiana and the University of Evansville are both known and respected for their drama departments.

*

The University of Evansville’s English Department hosts the annual The Richard Wilbur Award, a well respected poetry contest. Here is the link for more information.

http://www.evansville.edu/majors/creativewriting/wilbur.cfm

*

USI is affiliated with several theaters in New Harmony, Indiana where I later saw Romeo and Juliet with my husband.  New Harmony is a quaint, little, “artsy” town on the Wabash River and must be visited if you are ever in the Southern Indiana area! (http://www.newharmony-in.gov/about_new_harmony.php)

*

There are a number of well respected poetry workshops and festivals held there every year. Poets come from all over the world to attend.

*

http://www.usi.edu/nhww

 

*

I remember as an adult, when watching Romeo and Juliet, I was invested in the underlying meanings of the language, the humor and the tragedy.  It was equally as entertaining but much more meaningful.  I was so excited that I got it!

*

That being said, there are many things about Shakespeare that I don’t get.

 

Blog 2 quote

 

 

The poetry is remarkably complicated. It makes me feel somewhat inferior as I try to keep up. The English language of his day was so luscious and tenaciously relevant to that time period, it doesn’t translate well today.

*

Possibly another problem with the language in his works is that he created thousands of his own words. Only Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss can get away with that! For example, he is the creator of arch-villain, birthplace, bloodsucking, courtship, dewdrop, downstairs, fanged, hunchbacked, leapfrog, misquote, pageantry, radiance, schoolboy, stillborn, watchdog, and zany, just to name a few.

*

Most of his sonnets involve the decaying of time, fleeting beauty and love.  This can be dark and dreary yet also alluring.  I suppose he drew from his past but was fairly young when he became a successful author and playwright. He was only 25 when he wrote his first play and was a successful actor by the age of thirty. There is much controversy about the details of his life as the records are sketchy but he was definitely brilliant in writing, entertaining and a successful business man.

*

Unlike many of his contemporaries, he died a wealthy man. He was a hopeless romantic even in death…in his will he left his devoted wife their “second best” bed. This sounds odd and seems like a hurtful thing to do…but actually, the second best bed is the marital bed, which is considered the most precious and adored possession a married couple has. It was a sign of how much he adored and loved her.

*

William Shakespeare is definitely an intriguing writer that managed to find his niche without any formal education or literary background.  So…does that give you hope as an inexperienced writer? If I were you, I wouldn’t quit your day job! Remember, he was well-respected in his day but the true glory and fame came hundreds of years after his death.

*

Blog 2 book*

I challenge you to pull out an old copy of Macbeth or one of the many other cherished works of Willy Shakespeare and start reading. There is much to learn from this brilliant poet. The playfulness of his words, his humor, hyperbole, symbolism and his darkness…all useful things for writers to have in their pockets.

*

Here is a list of a few favorites: Henry VI, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, A Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.

*

See more at: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/122#sthash.jKuUeocd.dpuf

 *

 20 Interesting Facts about Willy S.

Born on April 23, 1564

(My Husband’s Birthday…a coincidence? I thinketh not!)

Made over 600 references to birds

Died on April 23, 1616

In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway

He was 18 when married and Anne was 26

Had eight children (One son died at age 11)

He was a successful entrepreneu

rWrote 37 plays ( this number varies from article to article)

He was good friends with Elizabeth I, queen during his life

Was affiliated with a theatre group known as the Lord Chamberlains Men

Used the word dog or dogs over 200 times in his works

Was rumored to have created over 1,700 words for the English language

Invented the word assassination

Never attended a University

Did not die in poverty, unlike many of his fellow authors of the time

Had an earring in his left ear

He was known as “honey-tongued.”

Performed in many of his own plays

First job was holding horses outside the theatres

Rumored to copy many of his famous plays from other writers

*

blog 2 image

You may say that his style and content is too deep for children’s authors. I will agree that we shouldn’t use his style or content for a picture book, but we must study the greats to have a deeper understanding of what it is that we do. I have dedicated 2014 to learning the craft of writing poetry and rhyming picture books.  Along the way, I hope to find courage and inspiration.

Please join me!

*

“The rhyme’s the thing wherein I’ll speak

the words and let them sing.”

*

Resources:

Bluebook Style William Shakespeare

http://www.biography.com/people/william-shakespeare-9480323 (last visited Feb 02, 2014).

*

Absolute Shakespeare 

http://absoluteshakespeare.tripod.com/homepage/id1.html

*

Poets.org 

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/122

*

*

Reading Prompt: Read one of Shakespeare’s poems.

*

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

Read it Out Loud Until it Sings! Friday

Read it Out Loud Until it Sings! Friday    Day Day 27

*

*

Don’t forget…

The Golden Quill Poetry Contest submissions are due tomorrow!

 I think I have sent email confirmations to all the competitors but if you are unsure if I got it, please send me an email at Angiekarcherrpbm@gmail.com

*

*

We will celebrate Willy S’s Birthday

on Saturday with one last Rhyming Party!

Brush up on your William Shakespeare facts,

as well as information from the past weeks lessons!

RhyPiBoMo Rhyming Party

 

*

*

*

*

I was mistaken in my post yesterday about Lori Degman’s book Cock-a-Doodle Oops…I said that it came out this month. It actually comes out in May so please go to Amazon and pre-order your copy now!

Cock-a-Doodle-Oops!

 

*

*

*

Also, please remember that the webinar that was originally scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled for May 12th at 6:00 Pacific Standard Time. Here is the link to reserve your spot….

 https://wj168.infusionsoft.com/app/page/free_poetry_webinar

 

Today’s guest blogger is the very talented author of many rhyming picture books. She actually had a book come out this month! I got the two authors and their books confused…It took me 27 authors guest blogging to get two of them mixed up! LOL

Her book Puddle Pug came out April 1st!

 

9781454904366_cvr.inddPuddle Pug

 

It is on my list of books to buy, that is growing by the day. Here is the

wonderful description….

*

“Percy the Pug loves puddles—big puddles, small puddles, swamp puddles, stomp puddles. But no puddle is perfect  . . .  until he finds one with three friendly piglets. But protective Mama Pig says NO PUGS and chases Percy away! Irresistibly illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi, Kim Norman’s tale about a persistent pug and his pursuit of friendship in puddle paradise brims with warmth and charm.”

*

Check it out and order or grab a copy today!

*

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Kim Norman!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Kim Norman 1

 

In the 90s, as I began my journey as a children’s writer, everywhere I turned I encountered this advice: “Editors hate rhyme. They won’t buy rhyme. Don’t write your book in rhyme.”

*

I followed that advice, and the first picture book I sold was non-rhyming. So far, it’s my least successful book. I’m sure there were other factors than mere lack of rhyme that led to poor sales, including the fact that it had a cryptic title and no one had ever heard of me.

*

But the facts remain:
• I’m good at writing rhyme.
• Editors do buy rhyming manuscripts. Sometimes they’ll even fight for them in an auction! (My first auction between three publishers was for a rhyming text.)
• Kids love rhyme.
• Rhyming books can sell very well. My Ten on the Sled has gone into multiple re-printings, has been issued in a wide variety of formats and has been translated into Korean and German… which also refutes the argument that rhyming texts are too hard to translate. I can’t speak for the Korean edition, but I remember my C+ high school German well enough to know that the translator managed to make it rhyme for die kleinen Kinder.

*

That old “Editors-hate-rhyme” chestnut is missing a word. Editors don’t hate rhyme. They hate BAD rhyme. If it’s clever, fresh and well-written, they love it. They were once rhyme-loving kids themselves.

*

Here are a few things you can do to ensure your rhyming manuscript is fresh enough to catch an editor’s eye (and ear!)

• Look for surprising rhymes. It’s hard to surprise a reader when pairing words like “glad” and “sad.” In fact, single syllable rhymes are probably the hardest to keep fresh, because “glad” is so tediously likely to be followed by “sad.” I try to shake things up and phrase my sentences so the rhymes are unexpected. This doesn’t mean pulling out a thesaurus and trying to find a 5-syllable rhyme. It means rewriting and rewriting until I’ve crafted phrases and rhymes my reader hasn’t seen a hundred times before.

*

• Avoid what I call “gratuitous rhymes.” These are rhymes using awkward phrasing or poorly-chosen words just to make the rhyme. Sorry, but Dr. Seuss got away with this a lot. I adored him, too, but there was mighty awkward phrasing in some of his books, not to mention characters whose names seemed to conveniently rhyme with words important to the themes of the books. You and I will not be allowed that leeway. So if you’re tempted to write “fast he went” simply because the previous line ends with the word “bent”… you are allowed this luxury… ON YOUR FIRST DRAFT. Modern American language is not structured this way. Your rhymes need to flow as naturally as modern speech. If this means rewriting it two dozen times, so be it. (Ironic I used an archaic phrase like “so be it” to emphasize this point, don’t you think?)

*

• Write text that would be fun to read even if it weren’t in rhyme. Include other forms of wordplay, like alliteration, assonance, repetition, opposites, humor, etc.

*

• After several rewrites, print up two copies. Give one copy to a friend and ask her to read it aloud to you – cold (no advance practice) – while you read along silently from your own copy, marking any spot where she stumbles over words or meter. Do this with several friends, especially those you know are good with rhythm and meter – perhaps folks who are musically inclined. Then go back and FIX those spots, so that – next time around – your cold reader achieves a flawless first read. It doesn’t matter if you love one particular stanza more than your firstborn child. If it causes a reader to stumble, you MUST change it.

*

I don’t always write in rhyme. In fact, the first of this month, Puddle Pug was released – a mostly non-rhyming book published by Sterling Children’s Books. (It does have a few rhyming couplets, but the story is told in prose.) But, cute-as-a-bug pugs aside, here’s what I have decided about my writing career: I like writing in rhyme. It’s the only type of writing that pulls me back to my desk, instead of avoiding it like homework. To me, writing in rhyme feels more like play than work. And that’s a darned nice way to make a living.

*

*

Bio:
Kim Norman has ten picture books in print (six in rhyme) with another three in production. Her books have been published by Sterling Children’s Books, Scholastic and two Penguin imprints. Several of her books have been featured in Scholastic Book Fairs and Club fliers. I KNOW A WEE PIGGY, illustrated by Henry Cole, (Dial Books for Young Readers) received numerous starred reviews, was favorably reviewed in the New York Times and was added to the 2013 “Texas 2×2” reading list. Kim lives in Virginia but travels around the U.S. doing author visits to elementary schools, where she shares her love of reading and writing. She is represented by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. http://www.kimnormanbooks.com

*

I want to introduce you to Kim’s latest book baby…Puddle Pug!

9781454904366_cvr.indd

 Released April 1, 2014 Congrats Kim!
http://www.kimnormanbooks.com/

*

More of Kim’s wonderful books!

JACK OF ALL TAILS, Dutton, 2007
CROCODADDY, Sterling, 2009
TEN ON THE SLED, Sterling, 2010
ALL KINDS OF KITTENS, Sterling, 2010
STORYTIME STICKERS: WHALES, Sterling, 2011
I KNOW A WEE PIGGY WHO WALLOWED IN BROWN, Dial, 2012
STORYTIME STICKERS: DINOSAURS, Sterling, forthcoming
UNDERCOVER CLAUS, Sterling, forthcoming

*

*

Thank you Kim Norman!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Friday, April 25th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 27

*

Read it Out Loud!

Have a Friend Read it Out Loud!

*

Why read it out loud?
When text is read out loud it takes on a new personality…it becomes an interactive, oral, dramatic piece of work.
When you read a story out loud you take on a new personality too. You take off your writer hat and put on your snazzy, sequined, story teller hat. Your voice takes on character’s voices, your intonation rises and falls, you speed up and you slow down depending on the events occurring. You even pause in the perfect spots to set up a dramatic moment. That is if you are reading a well written picture book manuscript!

*
Reasons Why:
test word choices
test pacing
hear intonation when reading aloud
To catch typos, grammatical errors and omitted words
Listen for the pauses
To test the order of the story – does it make sense?
To test the plot – is it effective?
To test the sentence structure – are they too repetitive, too convoluted or too long?
Does the rhythm flow?
Reading it out loud is multi-sensory – you will now hear your text as well as having already seen it. This allows for more absorption as we all learn more from different sensory techniques.

*

*

Checklist
It is very important to only look for one type of flaw at a time! Start with one and then read it again to look for the next
□ Spelling – don’t trust spell check!
□ Grammar
□ Sentence Structure
□ Omitted Words
□ Word Choice
□ Pacing
□ Plot
□ Meter
□ Pauses
□ Poetic Devices

*

This is a starter list so you can add to it!

*

Here are several wonderful resources explaining why to read your manuscripts out loud:

*
How to Read Your Writing Out Loud
http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/how-to-read-your-writing-out-loud/

*
The Writing Center
http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/reading-aloud/

*
The Writing Center
http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/for-faculty/teaching-writing/instruction/reading-aloud/

*

This site has an AWESOME list of editing tips from professional proofreaders and editors.
LR Communication Systems, Inc.

http://www.lrcom.com/tips/proofreading_editing.htm
*

*
We have covered the why, so now here are a few options of how to do it…

*

Read it to yourself

*
The first and most obvious way is to sit down and read it out loud to yourself. My dogs are my best audience. They love everything I write! I know this because they dance around with tails wagging…I say, “Let’s read” They come running…LOL
Okay, maybe my dogs aren’t my best audience for feedback.

*

*
Read it to yourself one sentence at a time – starting at the end of the story and moving backwards to the beginning.

*
This forces you to only focus on that sentence. You won’t be thinking about anything but the sentence structure, word choices, punctuation, rhythm, meter and omitted words. It is about the sentence. If you try to do this in the natural order of the sentences, you tend to start thinking about other story details and not just focusing on the sentence.

*

*

Have someone else read it to you

*
It is actually better to have someone else read it to you. When we as writers read it, we automatically add the pauses, intonation, and adjust the pacing for the story because we know how we want it to read. That is different than the actual way it reads.
Find someone who will read it to you while you sit with a copy of the text in front of you. Mark all the spots where they trip on words, stumble on phrases and literally fall down when it comes to the pacing.

*
Ask lots and lots of people; adults, teachers, kids, neighbors, friends, relatives, other writers, critique group members, ets…

*

*

Record yourself while reading the text out loud

*
Most telephones and digital devices have a recording option. This is a quick option and also nice because you could listen to it over and over as needed for editing purposes. You can also re-record it as you go through the process.

*

*

Did you know that Word can talk?

*
Janet Smart, a RhyPiBoMoer mentioned in our Facebook Group that Microsoft Word has a speech command. It is very simple to set up and very useful. I had never heard this before so I followed her quick instructions and immediately, my stories were being read back to me on the spot. Thanks so much Janet!

JanetSmart’s blog The Blackberry Patch where she gives detailed instructions on how to find and enable this feature.

*
http://creativewritingintheblackberrypatch.blogspot.com/2013/07/learning-every-day-speak-command-on-word.html

*

*

Another Voice Command Option

*

I found another voice command option that is free for 10 minutes a day and easy to use. You do have to down load it but I tested it and it was quick, safe and works well, with some interesting additional options. It is called Natural Reader and it allows you to alter the reader’s language, voice, speed of reading and more. You are also able to share your work on social media if you choose and you can send it via email and save it as an audio file. One other interesting feature is that it offers an mp3 version so you could listen to it on your phone or other electronic devices while driving or traveling, etc. There is a fee for this option and I didn’t see how much. It’s really pretty cool.

Natural Reader is another option

*
http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.php

*
This is a poem that I downloaded just for you to hear the difference between the Word reader and this one.

*

It’s a poem called Word Outgoing that I wrote years ago. Interestingly enough, when the Natural Reader read it to me directly from their site, he read it much smoother and without the odd pronunciation moments. Once I downloaded it to share here, my reader guy seemed to have twitches in his reading, pronounced don’t as “daaahn-tee” and p.j.s as “P J S” Too funny! There are some oddities as with any digital format but for practicality, this works.

*
http://www.naturalreaders.com/onlinetts.php?bookid=092b6288-cc4c-11e3-861e-12313d27c687&bookname=NaturalReaders&page=1&addr=http://api.naturalreaders.com/v2/storage/text/092b6288-cc4c-11e3-861e-12313d27c687.txt

(I had trouble hearing this with my iPad but it worked on my laptop…??)

 *

*

I found a digital app for making dummies! And it reads it back to you!

*
Yesterday we were talking about picture book dummies and someone commented that they wondered if there is an app to create a book dummy. I found an app called the Little Story Creator that will work.

*
It is really for kids to create and share digital stories but it would totally work for the purpose of creating a picture book dummy. It is simple to create a cover, decorative end pages, apply text to each page etc. You can easily go back and delete or edit if needed.

*
It also has a read aloud feature. After you are all done, it will read it back to you page by page. The digital book dummy can then be shared through email or social media if you need to send it to someone else for an opinion.
I’m still searching, but this is the first one I found that was simple and free…

*
Little Story Creator
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id721782955

*
Here is a silly little story that I started while testing the process…I’m ashamed to say it doesn’t rhyme but I started playing and then decided to use it as an example…

I call this Fred and Laurenneʹ Make Onionneʹ Souppeʹ

*

Fred and Laurenne

http://www.littlestorycreator.com/view/s-55BDEB37-D458-4958-86DC-9EB91AE4DC96

*
You click the arrows to move front to back and you can either click the arrow for the read aloud feature or you can click the actual page.

*

My hope is that they will make delicious French onion soup together some day!
It’s a work in progress…LOL

*
There are lots more options that I haven’t explored but basically I created a digital picture book dummy in less than 15 minutes, that is recorded in my voice, and I can now listen to over and over until all the editing is done. Simple and effective!

*

*

Reading Prompt: Use one or more of the read aloud prompts above for your picture book manuscript that you have been working on this month.

*

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

 

Do you have a Poem in your Pocket today? I do!

Do you have a Poem in your Pocket today? I do!    Day 26

*

*

Happy Poem in your Pocket Day!

http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/406

Poem in your pocket

Today is Poem in your Pocket Day so select your favorite poem, stick it in your pocket and share it with people throughout the day…what a great idea!

This video explains the reasoning and the details but basically…let’s share poetry!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt8tzj0ieb4

*

*

There are only 2 days left to submit your poem for the Golden Quill Poetry Contest!

so…

Send

It

NOW!

 *

*

Today’s guest blogger has her second picture book, Cock-a-Doodle Oops! coming out next month! What a perfect plan…all rhyming picture books should be released near the month of  April, National Poetry Month!

Here is a link to Cock-a-Doodle Oops! Pre order it now! 

http://www.amazon.com/Cock-Doodle-Oops-Lori-Degman/dp/1939547075

I am so pleased to have her here and I am genuinely in love with both of her books! They are clever, funny and full of wonderful lyrical verse!

*

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Lori Degman!

                   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge      Lori Degman 1

 

 

Use Book Dummies to create pacing and page turns

*

When writing a rhyming picture book, you typically follow the same formatting throughout the manuscript – either couplets, quatrains, limerick . . . But, if you break up the formatting, you can improve your story’s pacing and create effective page turns. A great way to do that is to make a book dummy and play around with the lines of your verse.

Lori Degman 3

Here are some examples:

In my first book, 1 Zany Zoo, Colin Jack decided to move the last line of the following stanza to create an awesome page turn!

*

10 rowdy bears led a big zoo parade.
The animals modeled the costumes they’d made.
They waved to the crowd from their traveling stages.
The zookeeper shouted,

*

*

GET BACK TO YOUR CAGES!

Cockadoodle Oops

In my new book, Cock-a-Doodle Oops!, I separated the last line of the book from the rest of the stanza to make the punch line work. Let me set up the joke: Rooster leaves for a week’s vacation to the beach and, while he’s gone, the other animals can’t wake up the farmer. Rooster returns with a cold and can’t crow. When they finally wake the farmer, here’s what happens:

He joined them outside and pulled rooster aside.
“Your crow had a bit of a screech!
I see that you’re sick and I’ve got just the trick,
What you need is . . .

a week at the beach!

*

Corey R Schwartz 2

*
Here’s an example from Corey Rosen Schwartz’s new book, Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears. In the book, the three bears are looking for a soprano for their rock band and, following the tradition of Goldilocks, they find Goldi asleep in their house and learn she can sing a perfect high C. Here’s the last stanza:

Their albums now top all the rock charts.
A countrywide tour has been planned.
The fans scream and shout.
They’re crazy about . . .

Goldi Rocks and the Great Three Bear Band!

*

Tiffany haber 2

*
In Tiffany Strelitz Haber’s sweet book about true friendship, Ollie and Claire, dividing the last stanza over three pages sets up the pacing:

Well, let me just say, and I hope it’s okay,
for whatever you think this is worth –“

*
“I’m SO glad it’s you!”
“I’m so glad it’s you, too!”

*
And they set off to travel the earth!

 

One dark night
Another way to create good page turns is by adding transition words that are not part of the verse. Lisa Wheeler does this in her book, One Dark Night. The story goes back and forth between mouse and mole, and giant bear. Lisa moves between scenes by using phrases like:

Then, one dark night . . .
and Meanwhile . . .

*

image

Or, you can insert a repeating line that is not part of the verse, as in Karma Wilson’s The Cow Loves Cookies. Periodically, between the stanzas, comes the line: But the cow loves cookies. Then, when you think you’ve reached the end, you turn the page:

*
(But the duck loves quackers.)

*
So, when you make your book dummy, try breaking up the stanzas to improve the pacing or create great page turns!

*

*

Bio:
Lori Degman is a teacher of Deaf/Hard of Hearing students by day and a writer of picture books by night, weekend and school holiday. Her debut picture book, 1 Zany Zoo, illustrated by Colin Jack, was the winner of the Cheerios New Author Contest and was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010. Her second picture book, Cock-a-Doodle Oops!, illustrated by Deborah Zemke, will be released by Creston Books in May, 2014.

*
Website http://loridegman.com/loridegman.com/Home.html
Blog http://www.loridegman.blogspot.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LoriDegmanAuthor

*

*

Thank you Lori Degman!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Thursday, April 24th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 25

 

What is a Picture Book Dummy?

*
It is an illustrator’s tool that author’s also use to divide their story up into page breaks so they can make sure it fits into the traditional picture book format of 32 pages. It is an actual, physical book that is created only for the author’s benefit and is not to be submitted to an editor. It also helps authors determine if their page breaks are in the right places, help with pacing and will show weaknesses in the text, based on the page turns. It will ensure that there are illustration possibilities on all pages.

*
It is actually quite a bit more complicated than that but that is the gist of it.

*

Here are some terms you should know:
Picture Book Format – the way a traditional picture book is divided up to have 32 pages

*
Page Break – determines where the text is placed on the pages

*
Front Matter – anything that goes in the beginning of the book that is not the story text. For example, the title page, the table of contents, the acknowledgements, etc.

*
Opening Scene – the first setting at the beginning of the story

*
Full Spread – an illustration that covers both pages when the book is open flat

*
End Papers – decorative pages at the beginning and end of the book, opposite the front and back cover

*

*

Other important info:
You will only have 24 pages of text for you story.
Some pages can be single (text/illustration) and some can cover both pages as a double page. (text/illustration)
There are certainly other sizes of picture books but this is the typical example

*

This is a visual example of how the pages are divided:

Dummy Layout

There are so many great resources on making a picture book dummies, I thought I would give you the basics to get you started as I can’t explain it better than these resources below.

*

Resources:
How to Make a Picture Book Dummy 9 Easy Steps
by illustrator Wendy Martin
http://wendymartinillustration.com/wordpress/how-to-make-a-picture-book-dummy-in-9-easy-steps-e-book/

*

Basic Picture Book Construction
http://editorialanonymous.blogspot.com/2008/10/basic-book-construction.html

*

Picture Book Dummy, Picture Book Construction: Know Your Layout
By Tara Lazar
http://taralazar.com/2009/02/22/picture-book-construction-know-your-layout/

*

How to Create a Book Dummy for Your Children’s Picture Book
http://www.ehow.com/how_4504619_dummy-childrens-picture-book-story.html

*

How to Make a Picture Book Dummy…and Why
http://www.ochiltreebooks.com/Assets/Pdf/FWApictureBookDummy.pdf

*

*

Here are a few examples of the actual dummies that I made and use…

*

*
1)
Folded printer paper held together with yarn…This was very quick to make and text could easily be added on sticky notes or taped on the pages for easy adjusting and rearranging.

image

Very Simple…Yarn, paper and a hole punch!

image

 

2)
We are big recyclers at my house, so I have been looking back through my hundreds of book club, paper back, picture books from when I was teaching Kindergarten and selected some that aren’t “loved” or NEED to be recycled.
I cover each page with two sheets of printer paper folded over each the end. I used the little sticky dots for scrap booking to make this example. It does make it a bit thicker but it’s faster than tape. Basically, I cover all the pages with paper, and I cover the front cover with tag board and “voila” I have a new book.
This is much sturdier than the folded paper version but takes at least 30 – 45 minutes to make. I decided, rather than to pass on or donate a few of these “less than wonderful” paperback books to kids, I would attempt to use it in writing a SPECTACULAR picture book of my own! It really is nice if you decide to add some sketches in for good measure to ensure the illustration possibilities of the book.

image    You scrap bookers will know that the blue gadget in the picture is a glue dot applicator…You just push it down and the dot comes out where you want it…very cool and life has never been the same since I found it! LOL

image

This is the book page covered with printer paper

 

image

Here is the recycled paper back book covered with printer paper, ready to become an all new picture book.

And…Gracie is all worn out from helping me make these dummies!

image

3)
My last example is nice because it can be re-used over and over again.
I used a plastic 3 prong folder, added 16 clear page protectors and 5 page dividers with tabs.
All you do is slip each page of your text into the protector.
Then, add the different elements of a picture book on the tabs so you can make sure your text fits into the criteria.
When you are completely finished with this dummy, pull the pages out, in the order you have added then, staple it together and file.
Now, your dummy folder is ready to use again.

image

Three prong plastic folder with clear page protectors


image

 

*

 

image

 

*

imageIn this photo, it looks like the order of the tabs is backwards, but it’s not.The first tab is the green one on the right, then the yellow, the blue, the purple and the orange in order from front to back.

*

*

Okay, this was the crash course on picture book dummies but I wanted to explain what it is and how important it can be for your writing process before we get going next week on more detailed information on writing picture books. You need to think in terms of these page breaks when you are writing and revising. I wish I had known years earlier about picture book dummies!

*

*

Writing Prompt: Create a simple Picture Book Dummy for one of your manuscripts…see how it fits!

*

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

The Tap Dancing Elephant Falls Down! Wednesday

The Tap Dancing Elephant Falls Down! Wednesday   Lesson 25

*

*

I have more good news for RhyPiBoMoers!

We will be having a Q and A with The Meter Maids

Corey Rosen Schwartz and Tiffany Strelitz Haber!

Meter Maids

Type The Meter Maids in Google Search

 

Save your questions concerning rhyme, poetry and picture books for these 2 awesome writers who will answer your questions live in our Facebook Group on May 7th from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. Central Time.

I will be the moderator and we will take as many questions as we can in the Hour of Rhyme. Put it on your calendar now and make your list.

You must go to their blog The Meter Maids: Learn to rhyme. Or do the time. that is currently on hold as these two are too busy to blog…imagine how wonderful that must be! Their site is loaded with tons and tons of great information about rhyme and poetry in their archived posts. Isn’t that just the best name for a blog!

You must check it out!

*

*

Today’s guest blogger is a friend who I met at a conference last fall. She is a powerhouse of energy and so kind and supportive…and busy! She is a very talented artist along with being a successful author of the Ellie McDoodle series.

She is actually the first author I contacted to ask for help finding guest bloggers. Not only did she volunteer on the spot but she gathered names and email addresses of some very impressive friends of hers. She sent them an email with my request and her blessing for the event. I can’t thank her enough for helping me get all this started! I was friends with her on Facebook before we met in person and she is exactly as I pictured her, warm, funny and clever. I am so happy she is here today and I can’t wait to read her rhyming picture book when it is published, which I know it will be!

*

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Ruth McNally Barshaw!

 

 

*

        Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge    Ruth M Barshaw 1

*

Some poetry do’s and lots of do not’s

by Ruth McNally Barshaw

*

I’m not new to writing rhyme, but I am new to writing rhyme for picture books.
In 1999 as a newly minted AOL Professions chat host (no age/sex/location in our chats), I wandered into a behind-the-curtain forum and posted a little poem. It was answered by another chat host– in rhyme! Magical!! For months we alternated writing rhymes for everyone’s amusement. I fancied myself a decent Shel Silverstein-ish poet.

*
Boy, was I wrong.

*

Three years later I got into children’s books.
I absorbed the rules:
1. Don’t write rhyme; editors dislike it
2. If you must write rhyme, avoid near rhyme, bad meter, and convoluted wording.
3. Don’t use Dr. Seuss as your style guide. The work won’t sell.

*

Afraid, I now avoided rhyme.
As brilliant friends sold stunning rhyme, I thought, “I’m not one of them. Real poets are gifted.” (I’ve always believed greatness in art and music can be taught. Why wouldn’t that also be true of poetry?)

Ruth M Barshaw 2

I wrote and illustrated the Ellie McDoodle Diaries and kept busy with a few anything-but-rhyme picture books. If editors didn’t want to read my rhyme, that was just fine; I was busy developing an appreciation for craft and revisions.
But eventually I grew annoyed at the closed, locked, bolted shut doors of the rhymers club.
I decided to learn poetry and rhyme so that if a good rhyming book idea ever came, I could manage it.

*

I studied anapest and trochee and iambic pentameter. Bought books on poetry and sometimes actually read them. I tried writing a zoo story in rhyme. Failed. But I did not give up.
I analyzed the structure of rhyming books and listened carefully to my poet friends’ advice.

*

I discovered a few things:

The story needs to have everything a non-rhyme story needs:
– the universal in the specific
– relatable, three-dimensional characters readers care about
– situations the reader can connect with
– interesting writing
– a twist ending
– 12-16 illustratable scenes
– rhythm, patterns, spark

It needs to have a reason to rhyme.
Maybe great rhythm is what it needs, not necessarily rhyme.

*

It needs sophistication in the rhyme.
Ned held his head in his bed <– boring.
Throw in something about misled, chocolate spread, overhead, riverbed and/or dragon head, and the rhyme perks up a little.

*

One day a story idea about music fluttered down from the ether. Surely it needed to be in rhyme.

*

I was determined to create rhyme that wouldn’t embarrass me.
I heard Liz Garton Scanlon ( http://www.lizgartonscanlon.com/ ) say on stage at the SCBWI Wild Wild MidWest Conference in May 2013 that it took her 80 tries to get one stanza in All The World to where she wanted it to be.
If a great writer like Liz needed 80 tries to get one stanza right, then it’s okay for me to take 80 tries to get one line right.
(Actually, it ended up taking 107 tries.)

*

My manuscript went through vigorous critique group rounds and several brilliant poet friends. Finally I felt it was ready to send to my agent. She likes it and thinks it will sell. Now I’m working on the art, which I hold to the same high standards. We’ll see what happens.

*

One thing I probably will not do: reread that poetry I wrote in 1999. Considering what I’ve learned over the years, it’s very likely dreck.

*

*

Bio:
Ruth McNally Barshaw is author/illustrator of the 6 Ellie McDoodle Diaries, and is now trying her hand at picture books for younger kids. See her work at http://ruthexpress.com

Thank you Ruth McNally Barshaw!

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Wednesday, April 23nd
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 25

*

Rhyming Do’s and Don’ts

*

Do’s

*
Do write rhyming picture books
Do write poetry
Do read, read, read lots of different types of poetry
Do learn how to use poetic techniques in your writing
Do use alliteration
Do use assonance
Do use consonance
Do use hyperbole
Do use imagery
Do use internal rhyme
Do use reverse rhyme
Do use rhyme effectively
Do use punctuation as you would when writing prose
Do set the precedent for the patterns in your poetry in the first stanza
Do find the rhythm of your poem and follow it throughout
Do learn how to use scansion in your revising
Do learn the common rules and names for poetic feet
Do choose an amazingly awesome title
Do write using strong characters
Do write it, put it away for a month, then revisit it for revisions
Do know your target age
Do find your lyrical voice
Do choose delicious words
Do read your poem out loud
Do let others read it out loud
Do mark spots where others get stuck
Do choose multi-syllabic rhyming words
Do write a clever, humorous or poignant ending
Do listen to lots of poetry read out loud
Do write lots and lots and lots of different forms of poetry
Do continue to write every day

*

*

Don’ts

*

Don’t write the typical ABAB rhyme scheme all the time
Don’t use predictable rhyming words
Don’t write sing-songy verse
Don’t try to be Shel or Dr. Seuss…
Don’t ONLY count syllables in your poetry
Don’t submit anything without lots of revision
Don’t mix and mingle many different rhyme schemes within one poem
Don’t mix and mingle many different metric feet within one poem
Don’t be predictable with your story
Don’t forget to write the hook
Don’t forget your story arc
Don’t forget to cut as many words as you possibly can
Don’t forget to write brilliant rhyme
Don’t forget to add conflict to your story
Don’t get stressed over word stress
Don’t think your poetry always has to rhyme
Don’t forget to watch your word count
Don’t give up

 

*

*

There are a few people who have commented jokingly about whether we will have a test on all this material. LOL

Yes, here’s your test…If you know what all this Do’s and Don’t stuff means, you get an A.

I personally have learned what all of this means and then some. If you want to learn something, teach it!

If you don’t understand what everything here means then you are assigned to self-study and to quiz yourself again when you’re done.

*

*

Resources:

Writingworld.com – Eight Things Picture Book Editors Don’t Want
by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz
http://www.writing-world.com/children/picture.shtml

*

Writing.com
POETRY WRITING- DO, DON’Ts by Dr. MC Gupta
http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1345990-POETRY-WRITING–DO-DONTs-winner

*

Writers Digest:The Do’s and Don’ts of Electronic Poetry Submission
http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-genre/poetry/electronic_poetry_submissions_some_dos_and_donts

*

Absolute Rhyme
Writing in Rhyme by Laura Backes, Publisher, Children’s Book Insider, the newsletter for Children’s Writers
http://www.absolutewrite.com/specialty_writing/writing_in_rhyme.htm

*

*

 

If you are a rhymer, you may have experienced something similar to this…

*
Once upon a time there was a children’s author who attended a writing conference where she didn’t know any other writers…
Yes, okay, this story is about me!

*
I enjoy attending conferences by myself sometimes because I find that I meet so many more people that way. And…I’m not shy, if you haven’t figured that out by now. Throughout the morning, I quickly met new people and I also met a few other rhymers.

*
There is an instant connection when two rhymers meet. Of course it’s fun to bond and talk about what we do but there is also an odd sort of comfort that occurs. The rhymers in the room tend to stick together.

*
Why, you ask?

*
I think it’s because of the tap dancing elephant.

*
The elephant in the room that tap dances around all the rhyming picture book authors, around all the rhyming poetry authors, and sometimes around the picture book authors in general.

*
There is definitely a stigma concerning writers who write rhyming picture books.

*
They think that we are not really writers.

*
I’m certainly not saying everyone feels this way. But, it is an issue.

*
As the conference went along, our little group of rhymers grew and we made plans to meet at the wine and cheese book signing that evening.
The wine was flowing and the cheese was aging and we sat and chatted about our craft. It really is the most fun part of going to conferences. A group of other writers asked to sit with us and we all started getting acquainted.

*

*
This is how the conversation went:

Them: “So, where are you from?”

Us: “The Land of Rhyme” (no, that’s not really what we said, at least not literally)

Them: “So, what do you write?”

Us: “Rhyming picture books”

Them: “Oh”

Us: “What do you write?”

Them: “YA, MG, Novellas, Fantasy, Dystopia…”

Us: “That’s great! What are you workin……”

Them: “Are you published?”

US: “Not yet”

Them: “Boy, that wine and cheese looks good!”

*
“Bam-Scram-Kapow-i-eeeeeeeee!”

*

They were gone…they really like cheese!

*

We sat there giggling because we knew…they were friends with the tap dancing elephant.

*

I don’t tell that story to cause friction between writers of different genres. I don’t tell it out of anger or resentment. I tell it because I am ready to dance with the tap dancing elephant, in harmony and maybe she will learn a few steps from me. Maybe she will learn how much I practice my dancing, just like she does.

*

We don’t get the respect from many people in the business because of the genre we write. I’m pretty thick skinned and maybe a bit obstinate because this didn’t stop me from continuing to write what I love. Rhyme.

*
In fact, maybe it even challenged me to work harder. My goal is to write and be published in rhyming picture books. It is my passion, my joy and my bliss.

*
I am now published in children’s non-fiction and in MG biography which I am very proud of. But what I really want to write and focus on is RPBs.

*

RhyPiBoMo grew from my desire to educate myself and to help improve the quality of rhyming picture books submitted to editors and to improve the credibility and erase the stigma associated with being a writer of rhyme.

*
It has become so much more than that.

*
I am shocked every day at the people who email and message me thanking me for hosting RhyPiBoMo. I think rhymers feel that they have found a home here. I am honored and thrilled to be a part of your journey to publication. If this event helps one rhymer become published it has all been worth it!
I have also heard from some who have decided that rhyme is not their cup of tea.

*

Believe it or not…I am equally as proud of that.

*
I wanted to help writers decide if this is really what they aspire to do…because when done well it is a spewing beast that will rip your eyeballs out and eat them for dinner! But, I can only imagine that the end result, signing a contract for your first rhyming picture book must be compared to how a prince feels once he has slayed the dragon…scorched, exhausted but exhilarated and proud. Proud to know that it can be done with heart, perseverance, a great critique group and a good rhyming dictionary…and some friends who aren’t afraid of the tap dancing elephants.

*
As for the tap dancing elephants, last I heard they were tripping over each other, wearing tutus and sobbing in unison…saying something about “I can’t…”

*

*You will have to read my elephant poem from yesterday’s post for any of this elephant stuff to make sense.

*

*

This poem was written in your honor, my rhyming friends!

*

It’s What I DO!

*

Don’ts and do’s,
do’s and don’ts.
I wish you would make up your mind!

*

One minute it’s this,
one minute it’s that.
I’m feeling a tad bit resigned.

*

I’m darned if I do.
I’m darned if I don’t.
I need all these rhyme facts aligned.

*

Perfect rhyme’s in,
but slant rhyme’s in too.
I’m starting to feel so behind.

*

My rhyme’s moving mountains.
I’m not backing down!
Ambition and brute strength combined.

*

I am a rhymer!
Among the rhyme few,
who choose to be clearly defined.

*

You write what you like.
I’ll write what you can’t.
I don’t mean to be so unkind.

*

But darn it I rhyme!
It’s just what I do!
While sitting on my rhyme behind…

*

So…don’t look down on me
I won’t look down on you
There’s room for us all intertwined.

*

Rhyme is important
and so hard to do.
When singing, it’s very refined.

*

By Angie Karcher
© 2014

 

*

*

Writing Prompt: Write a poem about whether you are a rhymer or not.

*

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

Lots and Lots and Lots of Resources Tuesday!

Lots and Lots and Lots of Resources Tuesday!      Day 24

 

 The Webinar with Mira and Sudipta has been Rescheduled!

 

Mira Reisberg called me yesterday and unfortunately needs to reschedule the webinar

on Friday,  due to reasons beyond her control.

It is rescheduled for May 12th at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time

This is the link to reserve your spot!

https://wj168.infusionsoft.com/app/page/free_poetry_webinar

*

*

Critique Group Good News!

I will continue to offer rhyming/poetry critique groups on the RhyPiBoMo Facebook Group page. The groups will open up to new members starting mid-week, next week. Then, we will close them again until July. They will reopen to new members in October, January, April and so on…every three months we will open them up for new members.

Please join the Facebook group and sign up on the related post if you are interested

in joining a critique group as soon as possible.

Once the groups are closed, we will keep a waiting list.

When a spot opens up, it will be filled first come first served from the list.

*

*

Last fall I was on some blog somewhere and happened upon the most awesome poetry for kids…it was simple, funny and so clever! Today’s guest blogger was the author of that awesome poetry! I commented  about how much I liked his work. Then I bumped into him again several other times, coming across more of his poems. And ironically, we both ended up competing in Ed DeCaria’s #March Madness Poetry Tournament this month…how funny that we kept crossing paths, but I guess it’s not that surprising as we both share a love for kids poetry!

I am so pleased he agreed to join us today!

*

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Matt Forrest Esenwine!

        Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge    Matt Forrest Esweinne 1

*

*

Sometimes, Two Heads ARE Better Than One!

*

Some folks love working by themselves. All alone, just them, their notepad or computer, and whatever inspiration happens to come along.

*

And if inspiration doesn’t come along, they sit there and think and ponder and scribble and think some more and force inspiration to show up whether it wants to or not.

*

I have to admit, this works quite well for me.

*

However, not everyone is like that. Some enjoy the give-and-take of collaboration: throwing ideas into the ring, tossing others out, and being inspired by one’s partner to come up with new, better ideas.

*

I now know what that’s like, too, and I can tell you from experience…when two people with complimentary talents take an interest in something, awesome things can happen!

*

Earlier this year, I completed a collaboration project with a published picture book author, and the manuscript we’ve written would have never come to fruition without the two of us hammering it out, writing and editing, and sharing back-and-forth via Google Drive.

*

I can’t tell you too many details, as the manuscript is being subbed presently, but I’ll do my best to not have you scratching your head in confusion…

*

It all started at one of our SCBWI critique group meetings. She had been kicking around an idea for a picture book about a birthday party featuring animals. She wasn’t sure if it would rhyme, or if it was a picture book or board book, or even what the narrative arc might be, but we all talked about it and gave her some suggestions.

*

Then a few months later at another meeting, she handed me a piece of paper with 4 or 5 partially-rhyming lines on it. It was still her basic premise, but she had altered it significantly.

*

“I’m not sure what to do with it,” she said. “I have this idea, but I don’t know where to go from here.” Knowing that nearly all of my writing is done in verse, she asked if I’d mind looking the lines over and seeing if I could come up with anything.

*

So I took the paper home and set it beside my computer. And left it there for a month, or two, or three. I didn’t mean to just leave it there – I placed it there specifically so I’d see it and work on it – but nothing ever really came to me.

*

Then one night, I again looked at the lines she had written and a couple of other potential lines popped into my head. I wrote them down and tried to figure out how they would fit into this manuscript. By the time I went to bed, I had ¾ of the manuscript finished, I knew the arc of the story, and had a good feeling that this might be something special.

*

Within a few days, I had completed the first draft. I emailed it to her to get her opinion, and her response made me think she might’ve fallen out of her chair when she read it! She loved it, and wanted to work on some revisions to tighten things up. So we threw the project on Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) and began collaborating.

*

She’d make changes and leave comments. I’d do the same. We’d email each other ideas, then go back and make more changes and leave more comments.

*

This continued for several months until finally, last month, we had completed our 17th – and FINAL – draft. It’s a cute, inventive, and fun book, if I say so myself (hopefully an editor or agent will agree!) but it would not have seen the light of day without the two of us working together.

*

She might have taken the story in a different direction, and I would never have written any part of it without her initial query.

*

Let this be a lesson. No, make that two lessons. The first is to always be open to new ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and avenues for creativity; just because you love working alone doesn’t mean you can come up with every cool idea yourself. Heck, even Shel Silverstein would lend a hand – or a pen – to folks who were struggling with a writing project.

*

The second lesson? To not rush your manuscript. Don’t assume that after two or three drafts, you’re done. As I said, it took us 17 drafts to finally get our manuscript where we felt it should be, and this was after I wrote the very first draft…exactly ONE YEAR AGO.

*

That’s right, it was last April that our collaboration began. Can you imagine how long that manuscript would’ve taken if we hadn’t collaborated?

*

It quite possibly might never have been written at all.

 

 *

*

Bio: A voiceover artist and commercial copy writer, Matt Forrest Esenwine has had several adult poems published in various independent collections around the country, including The Henniker Review, Metamorphosis, the Tall Grass Writers Guild’s Seasons of Change, Assisi: Journal of Arts & Letters, and the Licking River Review, among others. In 2012, his poem, “Apple-Picking,” was nominated by the Young Adult Review Network (YARN) for a Pushcart Prize. Matt lives in Warner, NH, and is currently working on several children’s book manuscripts.

*

*

matt@mattforrest.com Matt Forrest VoiceWorks http://www.MattForrest.com http://www.MattForrest.Wordpress.com (blog) http://www.Facebook.com/MattForrestVoice http://www.Twitter.com/MattForrestVW http://www.BostonCasting.com/MattForrest http://www.Voice123.com/MattForrest http://Soundcloud.com/MattForrestVoiceWorks (demos/samples)

*

Thank you Matt Forrest Esenwine!

________________________________________________________________________________________________

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Tuesday, April 22nd

By Angie Karcher

© 2014 Lesson 24

*

*

Submissions for Poetry Anthologies,

Magazines and Contests

*

*

No matter what you are writing or who you are sending it to, the focus must shift from the writing to the Submission Guidelines! This is the golden key to the door of publication…of course your writing must sparkle but it won’t matter if you don’t follow the guidelines EXACTLY!

*

The publisher’s submission guidelines will tell you whether they accept unsolicited manuscripts (unagented writers) or if they prefer manuscripts to be submitted through an agent. Some publishers have windows of time that they accept submissions so do your research well in advance.

*

The guidelines will also state if the editors want a full manuscript or a sample of the work, a query letter, a synopsis, or a book proposal.

*

Most publishers accept electronic submissions but some still require mailed submissions. As with any written correspondence sent through the mail, always include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) if you want your submission returned. Most publishers will recycle your hard copies if you don’t want them back.

*

More resources concerning the submission process: Writer’s Market http://www.writersmarket.com/

*

The Art of the Book Proposal (Tarcher, 2004) by Eric Maisel http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Proposal-Eric-Maisel/dp/1585423343

*

How to Get Happily Published (Quill, 1998) by Judith Appelbaum. http://www.amazon.com/How-Happily-Published-Judith-Appelbaum/dp/0062735098

*

Anthologies – a book or collection of selected poetry by various authors, chosen by the compiler and usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject.

*

This is a list from Poetry Foundation of Essential Children’s Poetry Anthologies. Notice who is publishing these “Must Have” books. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/children/essential/ant

*

Resources:

*

Red Hen Press http://redhen.org/

*

How to Submit a Poetry Manuscript to a Publishing House http://www.ehow.com/how_4612158_submit-poetry-manuscript-publishing-house.html

*

Literary Market Place http://www.literarymarketplace.com/lmp/us/index_us.asp

*

Reading A – Z (Anthology for kids) http://www.readinga-z.com/book.php?id=866

*

Boyds Mills Press accepts unsolicited manuscripts from unagented, published and unpublished writers http://www.boydsmillspress.com/writers-and-illustrators-guidelines

*

Meadowbrook Press http://www.meadowbrookpress.com/t/General-Submission-Guidelines

*

*

*

Beware!

*

If a poetry contest requires you to purchase the anthology that you are published in, it is typically a vanity press and not necessarily a legitimate anthology publisher. They are certainly not a publisher with high standards or morals and typically everyone who submits is declared “a winner!”

*

Please read this information concerning such situations. Apparently The International Library of Poetry is one to avoid! http://loc.gov/rr/program/bib/contestpoems/

*

http://blogs.loc.gov/catbird/2012/03/poetry-contests-the-national-library-of-poetry-and-amateur-poetry-anthologies/

*

*

I post these with a warning to proceed with caution as I don’t personally know anything about this list or any of the publishers… Dr. Clay seems to have been compiling and updating this list consistently since 2007. His site is very sweet and I feel good about its contents but there are no guarantees…

*

This is a list of more than 1000 publishers who accept electronic poetry submissions. It was compiled by Louie Clay, Ph.D. D.D., D.D., D.H.L. Emeritus Professor from Rutgers University http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/pbonline.html

*

*

Magazines

*

There are many wonderful magazines for kids and the best way to research the magazine market is to hang out at the library and see what the kids are reading, what’s lying around on the tables, ask the librarian what is popular and then, grab a stack and start reading. It is essential that you familiarize yourself not only with the magazine’s style but also their voice. What do they publish? What age group is it targeted to? What is that magazine’s niche?

*

Study the submission guidelines. And then study them again. You must submit exactly how they request or it will be refused. They get too many submissions to tweak anything that comes through incorrectly formatted or without contact information. It will most likely be viewed as unprofessional or amateur if you don’t follow the guidelines.

*

Poets and Writers.org lists hundreds of literary magazines that accept poetry submissions. http://www.pw.org/literary_magazines

*

Well respected magazines to be published in:

*

The New Yorker Magazine – adult http://www.newyorker.com/

*

Harper’s Magazine – adult http://harpers.org/

*

Small Press Publishers Database from Poets and Writers http://www.pw.org/small_presses

*

Cricket Magazine Group – children The best part about this magazine, other than its spectacular reputation is the fact that they offer theme lists for each month. They accept electronic submissions. http://www.cricketmag.com/submissions Literary magazines for kids BABYBUG for ages 6 months-3 years LADYBUG for ages 3-6 SPIDER for ages 6-9 CRICKET for ages 9-14 CICADA for ages 14+ Non Fiction Magazines CLICK for ages 3-7 ASK for ages 7-10 MUSE for ages 10 and up

*

*

Cobblestone Publishing – you will find the information for Cobblestone under the link of Cricket Magazine Group above. Nonfiction Magazines for kids Social studies and science for ages 6-14 APPLESEEDS social studies for ages 6-9 CALLIOPE world history for ages 9-14 COBBLESTONE American history for ages 9-14 DIG archaeology for ages 9-14 FACES world cultures and geography for ages 9-14 IGUANA Spanish language for ages 7-12 ODYSSEY science for ages 9-14

*

*

Highlights for Children https://www.highlights.com/contributor-guidelines

*

*

*

Contests

What a hodgepodge of contests you will find if you type in poetry contest into Google search…

*

Your initial reaction should be to assume it’s not legitimate and then do your research. – Do they ask for any money? – Do they promise to print your poem? – Do they list any contact information? – Does it sound too good to be true?

   RUN! RUN! RUN!

*

Now, here’s the tricky part… Some legitimate poetry contests require an entry fee. Some legitimate contests offer prize money Some legitimate contests require you to belong to their website or magazine Tip Toe carefully through the stepping stones of these contests…trust your instincts.

*

Your best bet is to submit to children’s magazines you are familiar with or a trusted blog or website that you are familiar with.

*

I have personally won poetry contests where the prize was recognition of my poem with credits on the home page of the blog for a month, or where the website gave me my own page to promote what I like for a month. I also won a writing course scholarship in a contest before. So, you can find legitimate contests and the prizes can be great but you need to do your homework.

*

Writers Digest is a great source of information and they host numerous contests throughout the year. http://www.writersdigest.com/

*

Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog Something for Everyone in the World of Children’s Books – she often hosts contests and sometimes it is for poetry. http://susannahill.blogspot.com/

*

More warnings about fraudulent contests from Winning Writers http://winningwriters.com/resources/category/scam-busting

*

Winning Writer’s Annual Poetry Contests http://winningwriters.com/ Scroll to the bottom of the page for details

*

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest Prizes: $2,000 Deadline: April 1, 2014 No Fee!

*

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest Prizes: $3,000 Deadline: April 30, 2014

*

Sports & Fiction Essay Contest Prizes: $3,000 Deadline: May 31, 2014

*

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest Prizes: $3,000 Deadline: September 30, 2014

*

And of course, there’s The Golden Quill Poetry Contest! Entries are due this Saturday, April 26th by midnight.

RhyPiBoMo Poetry Contest Scroll

 

https://angiekarcher.wordpress.com/rhypibomo-golden-quill-poetry-contest/ I can’t wait to read your poetry!

*

*

There’s no writing prompt today…enjoy a day of catching up!

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize! Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week. To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and comment after each days lessons.

A Cautionary Tale of Writing Rhyming Picture Books! Monday

A Cautionary Tale of Writing Rhyming Picture Books!    Monday  Lesson 23

 

Mira's Bear

Please remember to sign up for the webinar with Mira and Sudipta on Friday.

“3 Things You Must Know About Writing Rhyming Kids’ Books” April 25th, at 6:00 PM!

Here is the link to reserve your spot

https://wj168.infusionsoft.com/app/page/free_poetry_webinar

*

*

You should also consider taking this poetry course with Sudipta and Mira!

This dynamic duo will be extraordinary, I’m sure of it!

Anyone who has taken one of Mira’s classes will tell you…she is truly amazing and a very generous teacher. I have been blessed to take 2 of her classes. I highly recommend this course!

Poetry course

*

I hope you are busy writing your poems for the Golden Quill Poetry Contest!

The deadline for the contest is this Saturday at midnight, Central Time.

RhyPiBoMo Poetry Contest Scroll

Today’s guest blogger contacted me after agreeing to participate and asked what she should write about…I really appreciated her offer to discuss a topic that I felt was important! So…I told her that I needed someone very brave to write about the cold, hard facts of writing rhyming picture books…as we are quickly approaching the Picture Book part of our month, the timing was perfect for her to lay it all out there, honestly and matter-of-factly. She did not disappoint!

Now that you see how difficult it is to write good poetry/rhyme you must hear how hard it really is to write a rhyming picture book. You came here to learn and improve your craft and I feel that it is my obligation to share the truth about this genre we have chosen.

So…Put your Big Girl/Big Boy Pants on and have a seat because Tiffany is here to share the good, the bad and the ugly about RhyPiBos!  Afterwards…if you still decide to pursue this genre, hold on tight and carry on! I will be right there with you!

*

*

 

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Tiffany Strelitz Haber!

 

        Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge    Tiffany Haber 1

*

*

The Power Of Rhyme: A Cautionary Tale

*

Warning:

This post is not sugar coated. Please proceed with caution…

*

Rhyme is a beautiful thing. It has the power to be melodic, humorous, engaging, fun and addictive. I am a huge, undeniable fan of great rhyme. But what you may not know…is that rhyme has a dark side.

*

An evil beast side that will suck character development right out of your manuscript. Yep. A side that will systematically remove plot from every story.

*
Take arc, spin it around over its flaming, horned head and fling it out the window.
Rhyme will eat your brain for breakfast and rhyme may very well ruin your chances of getting published.

*

You see, for some reason, when most people start rhyming, they stop writing.

*

They stop caring about everything that makes picture books beautiful. They forget all about subtle nuances and humor. They completely overlook arc and twist endings. They remove all evidence of fabulous yet flawed characters that readers can simultaneously empathize with and root for. What do they do instead? They focus solely on whether the last words in their sentences are BAT, MAT and CAT, and it renders the rest of the book unreadable.

*

And by the way, if rhyme is a beast, then meter is the poison venom he spews while laughing maniacally as you bang your head endlessly against the concrete wall. Because far more difficult than rhyming your words…is nailing your meter. And you MUST nail your meter. An editor can smell poor meter from a mile away, and I promise you this- they won’t even read your story. It’s just too painful.

*

I warned you this post would be harsh…but so is rejection. And therefore, so is this industry. And the ONLY reason you should attempt to write your manuscript in rhyme…. is if you simply MUST. You are obsessed with rhythm, unstressed and stressed beats, internal rhyme, rhyme scheme, rhymezone.com, scansion…all of it. Seriously. Because unless you are THAT into everything I just mentioned, instead of a beautiful picture book, you will wind up with 500 powerless words. And what’s worse than that?

*

When I first began attending SCBWI conferences, I too was told I should write my stories in prose, and forget all about rhyme. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I KNEW that rhyme was in my DNA and I simply HAD to do it. So I did. And here I am telling you not to. So what gives? Well, if you can read everything I’ve just written- all the warnings and all the rationale NOT to go down the rhyming road…but you still feel like you must…then give it a shot. Because there ARE beautiful, humorous, lovely, amazing rhyming picture books out there. And if you believe in your heart of hearts that you can write one…then go for it!

*

But be careful. And be honest with yourself about your ability to rhyme and to nail your meter. (All while simultaneously executing a creative plot, fantastic characters that your reader can love and root for, a storyline that begins, arcs and ends seamlessly in a about 500 words, and leaves the reader wanting to close the book- flip to the beginning, and read it all over again.)

*

Can you do it?

*

Your ability to be impartial and objectively answer that question will most likely mean the difference between getting published, and living in the slush.

*

Just remember: Rhyme is not a gimmick that will help you get published. It is a trick that might ensure you never do.

*

*

Bio:

Tiffany Strelitz Haber is a rhyming children’s book author, represented by Teresa Kietlinski of The Prospect Agency. To learn more about Tiffany, please visit her website: http://www.itsrhymetime.com
and her facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/tshauthor@tiffrhymes

*

 Here are two of her books:

Tiffany Haber 3

THE MONSTER WHO LOST HIS MEAN (Holt/Macmillan, 2012)

NEW! check out “Monster” in the NY Times Sunday Book Review: click here!
http://www.itsrhymetime.com

Tiffany haber 2

OLLIE AND CLAIRE (Philomel/Penguin, 2013)

*

*

Thank you Tiffany Strelitz Haber!

________________________________________________________________________________________

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Monday, April 21st
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 23

This lesson covers more crazy-fun forms of poetry!

*

Alphabet Poetry (write these down)

*
There are quite a few types of alphabet poems:
>The first letter of each word is a letter of the alphabet, in order, but you don’t need to use all of the alphabet, you can use just a few as long as they are in order. You don’t have to start with A.
Here are a few of my attempts:
Apple
Bites
Crunchy
Delicious
Enjoy
By Angie Karcher © 2014

*

*

>The first word in each line begins with a letter of the alphabet. As above, you don’t need to use more than a few lines but they must be in alphabetical order.

*
Lions roar with a
Mighty voice.
Naughty sounding
Ornery
Puss.
Quit it!

By Angie Karcher © 2014

*

>All words in each line begin with the beginning letter in the sentence.

*
Quit Quarrelling
Respect, Reach-out, Reassure
So Sweetly Someone Swoons
To The Tune That’s
Uplifting, Unanimous
By Angie Karcher © 2014

*

*

There are 2 sites with fun examples for you to check out:
Poem Hunter

*
Poetry Soup
http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems/alphabet

*

*

Acrostic Poetry – A poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word, name, or phrase. (write this down)

*

*
Okay, this one is fun and there are even sites that will do it for you…really! LOL

*
http://www.acrosticpoem.org/
At Acrostic Poem.org all you have to do is type your name in the box and you get a beautiful poem! This is the one they generated for me…

*

A is for Alluring, so attractive
N is for Noble, self-sacrificing
G is for Grateful, ever appreciative
I is for Intelligent, quickness of mind
E is for Elegant, so graceful
Oh, if only I had written this about myself…LOLOL

*

*

Here is the one I wrote:
A lady who
Needs some
Good old-fashioned anti-
Internet
Entertainment in May!
By Angie Karcher © 2014

This, from the lady who decided to run a month-long writing challenge! = )
I’m just kidding! I’m having the time of my life!

*

*

Invented Poetry – is just that, poetic forms invented by various poets and named by them…Talk about opening the poetry floodgates!

*
There are unimaginable numbers of invented poetic forms and they continue to grow daily. This link to Shadow Poetry below will take you to a huge list of traditional poetic forms, many that we have not covered, but it will also offer a really interesting list of invented poetry, with the rules of each. Shadow Poetry also allows authors to add new poetic forms of invented poetry.

*
Shadow Poetry
http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/types.html

*

So…I challenge you to create your own poetic form and submit it to Shadow Poetry!

*
Shadow Poetry
1209 Milwaukee Street
Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
USA
You can also contact the site admin by email for more information.

*

*

A Hidden Word Poem:

This is a Hidden Word poem I wrote that has the word HOME hidden in each stanza. This word is the answer to the child’s question. This is as close to a rap as I’ve ever written. I’ve read this before with a drum beating 4 counts in the background… I’ve also had a few adults chant “Where we goin?” in the background while I read… it was very powerful!
Today I’m sharing poetry I’ve written as I’ve not been able to write much this month and I’m dying to write and share! Thanks for reading…

See if you can find the rest of the HOME words in each stanza…

*

This is from an anthology of poems about the UGRR and the Civil War

*

WHERE WE GOIN’? by Angie Karcher ©2008

*

The mornin’ sun’s stretchin’ Her arms today.

Wakin’ at first light, got nO time to play.

The watchman’s a watchin’ so’s we don’t stray.

Follow Mama and Papa over orchard’s way.

“WherE we goin’?”

*
The noon sun’s givin’ me a sweaty Hug.

Wakin’ achin’ back muscles with ditches dug.

The watchman’s a drinkin’ with a mighty chug.

FOllow Mama and Papa. Give her skirt a tug.

“WherE we goin’?”

*
The evenin’ sun’s leavin’ us wavin’ bye.

Wakin’ thoughts of escapin’ makes Mama cry.

The watchman’s a sleepin’. His jug is dry.

FollOw Mama and Papa as Eagles fly.

“Where we goin’?”

*
The night moon cradles us in His light.

Wakin’ hound dOgs, barkin’, chasin’ us tonight.

The watchman’s a huntin’ dog’s are sniffin’ right.

Follow Mama and Papa, as I hug em’ tight.

“Where wE goin’?”

*
The dusk moon’s pointin’ to the drinking gourd.

Wakin’ rain, washin’ tracks, as we praise the Lord.

The watcHman’s a swearin’ as the blessin’s poured.

FollOw Mama and Papa to our great reward.

“Where wE goin’?”

*
The mornin’ sun’s stretchin’ Her arms again.

Wakin’ achin’ sOre feet from walkin’ where we been.

The conductor’s a greetin’ with a Northern grin.

Follow Mama and Papa meetin’ railroad mEn.

“Where we goin’?”

*

“HOME, child.”

*

*

Here are a few examples of invented poetry:

*
The Brevette – created by Emily Romano

*
The Rules:
This poem consists of a subject (noun)
Verb
object (noun)
in this exact order. The verb should show an ongoing action. This is done by spacing out the letters in the verb, where instead of saying the word that is the verb, the reader spells out the word. There are only three words in the poem, giving it the title Brevette. There is no limit or rules concerning syllables but it is suggested that the words have a good balance, as a whole.

*
My attempt…

Writer

w-r-i-t-i-n-g

Books

By Angie Karcher © 2014  (I had SO much more I wanted to say!)

*

*
Invented forms from a site called Poetry Magnum Opus:
http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?/topic/2192-invented-forms-from-poetry-styles/

*

The Acronet – by Patricia A Farnswort-Simpson 2008

*
This poem is a combination of an Acrostic (an acrostic, the first letter of each line when read vertically spells out a phrase) and a Nonet. (A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc… until line nine finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject and rhyming is optional.)
I didn’t get past this one before I had to try it!

*

*

The Rules:
A poem in 18 lines made up of 2 nine line stanzas.
Syllabic, 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 syllables per line.
Rhymed at the discretion of the poet.

*

*

My poem:

Eleph-anti-tastic Dancing!
By Angie Karcher © 2014

 

9 Elephants “TIP-TAP-TOE” to the beat
8 Little “TIPS,” big “TAPS,” huge toed feet
7 Elephants wear tutus too
6 Plumes of organza-blue
(I REALLY wanted to write “Organza colored plumes of blue” but It had to start with a P and have 6 syllables) darn it!
5 Herds of elephants
4 All in a row
3 Neatly now…” (Teacher)
2 “TIP-TAP”
1 “SMASH!” (You wanted it to be “TOE” didn’t you!)

*
1 “TRIP”
2 “I can’t” (Elephant)
3 Pleʹa now (Teacher)
4 “TOE-TAP-TRIPPING”
5 An elephant row
6 Pachyderms, oh so blue
7 They sob tears with tutus too
8 Once, a tip-tap-toed-up floor…
9 Elephants “TIP-TAP-TOING” no more!

*

*

My Process:
>I had to come up with a phrase that had 18 letters (ELEPHANTS TIP TAP TOE) This makes it an Acrostic Poem.
>I had to start counting syllables
>I had to begin to tell a story
>I wrote the last line so I knew where I was going
>I added in elephant and dancing terms
>I added in onomatopoeia (“Tip” “Tap” “Smash” “Trip”)
>I added alliteration (tip-tap-toe)
>I added homographs (row – in a line/row – struggle or scuffle)
>I added homophones (blue – color/ blue – sad)
>I added the teacher’s voice (underlined)
>I added an elephant talking (“I can’t”)
>I added repeating lines (tutus too)
>Last line in first stanza, (SMASHED) intentionally non-rhyming signify impending disaster
>The rhyming words are color coded
>I added Portmanteaus in the title inspired by Cinderellaphant by Dianne de Las Casas It combined Elephant – Anti – and Fantastic

*

*

Here it is now without all the distractions…

*

Elephantitastic Dancing!

*

Elephants “TIP-TAP-TOE” to the beat
Little “TIPS,” big “TAPS,” huge toed feet
Elephants wear tutus too
Plumes of organza-blue
Herds of elephants
All in a row
“Neatly now…”
“TIP-TAP”
“SMASH!”
*
“TRIP”
“I can’t”
“Pleʹa now”
“TOE-TAP-TRIPPING”
An elephant row
Pachyderms, oh so blue
They sob tears with tutus too
Once, a tip-tap-toed-up floor…
Elephants “TIP-TAP-TOEING” no more!

*

*

This was so much fun! And boy, if you think meter is tough, try it in lines that don’t leave much room for rhythm with decreasing and increasing syllables…whew! It needs work but I loved this challenge!

*
I enjoyed the word play, such as the surprise word in line 9 of the first stanza. You want it to be “Toe” but I had an S and “Smash” fit much better with the impending, elephant, dancing disaster.

*
I tried to match the rhythm of the poem with the failing tap dancing efforts of the elephants. It got worse as it went along. Don’t even talk to me about feet in this one…I was tripping with the elephants! I don’t love the ending and I want to keep working on it but I feel like time stood still like a herd of dancing pachyderms!

*
I spent about an hour on this which was way more time than I planned but I was hooked…that’s why I know I MUST write poetry! LOL

 *

*

The Sound of Poetry Review is a great contemporary poetry resource:
http://thesoundofpoetryreview.wordpress.com/invented-poetry-forms/

*

Apple Poem

It felt good to do some writing today!

*

2 Part Writing Challenge: 1) Write an Acronet! Have fun with it!
2) Then, invent your own poetry form and PLEASE share it in Pearls of Poetry!

*

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge
Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize!
Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week.
To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and
comment after each days lessons.