Aside

Blog Post Happy National Limerick Day! May 12, 2014

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Happy National Limerick Day!

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Book of Nonsense

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Today we honor the birthday of Edward Lear, the author and illustrator of Book of Nonsense, a nonsensical book of limericks and merriment!

It is free to download the Kindle version from Amazon!

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I share one of my favorite with you…

 

 Edward Lear

 

 

The Rules for Writing a Limerick:

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□ A traditional limerick often starts out with, “There once was a …”
□ The ending of the first line is usually the name of a place, town, or country.
□ A Limerick is a 5 lined poem.
□ Lines 1,2 & 5 rhyme with each other.
□ Lines 3 & 4 rhyme with each other.
□ The first, second and fifth lines should have eight or nine syllables.
□ The third and fourth lines should have five or six.
□ Lines 1, 2 & 5 have 3 feet.
□ Lines 3 & 4 have 2 feet.

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So, download The Book of Nonsense,

read some limericks,

write some limericks

and share a limerick with a friend!

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Haiku poem

Happy National Limerick Day!

Aside

RhyPiBoMo Daily Winners and

The Golden Quill Poetry Contest Winners!!!

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Last Week’s Daily Prize Winners

Sunday – Melanie Ellsworth

Choice of Rhyming PB from Sneak Peek donated by Margot Finke

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Monday – Cindy Johnson

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul donated byAngie Karcher

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Tuesday – Deborah Holt Williams

The Making of a Poem:A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland – donated by Angie Karcher

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Wednesday – Aimee Haburjak

Take Me to Your BBQ by Kathy Duval and Adam McCauley donated by Angie Karcher

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Thursday – Mary Warth

Storytellin CD donated by Mary Jo Huff

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Friday – Lynn Alpert

Storytellin CD donated by Mary Jo Huff

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Saturday – Sydney O’Neill

Critique donated by Debbie Diesen (due to busy schedule – available this summer)

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Congrats to all the winners!

Please email me at Angie.karcher@yahoo.com ASAP with your address!

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RhyPiBoMo Golden Quill

Poetry Contest Prize Winners

I want to first say how amazed I am by all of you who entered this contest! Some of you have never even attempted poetry and yet, you dove in feet first and swam with the sharks who may have been writing poetry for years. I thank you! I am so proud of each and every one of you and am VERY proud of your brilliant poems!

I do want to add that we didn’t have any ties. The 1-3 place winners were very close but very clear. I did read and judge all the poems  and my numbers were waiting in case there was a tie breaker…but there was not . If there had been, my vote would have decided the winner.

I have also awarded 10 Honorable Mention poems. There are no prizes but these poems and authors deserve to be recognized for their awesome work!

 

So, without further ado,

Congratulations to…

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First Place – Feast or Flu? by Dawn Young
Wins a Scholarship for From Storyteller to Exquisite Writer: The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Techniques!
Donated by Mira Reisberg and Sudipta Bardhan Quallan

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Second Place – THE KALEIDOSCOPASAURUS by Randi Sonenshine
Wins a Scholarship for The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching up Prose with Poetry
Donated by Renee La Tulippe

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Third Place – My Summer Vacation by Rebecca Colby
Wins a Scholarship for a spot in Picture Book Magic Course
Donated by Susanna Leonard Hill

 

*My greatest appreciation and congratulations go to you for a job well done!

You are the top 3 out of over 40 poems!

Well Done! I will be in touch!

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Honorable Mentions: (in no particular order)

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The Queen Bee and the Hungry Bear by Stephanie Salkin

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Double Drip Cone by Kathleen Doherty

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Runaway Rodeo by Linda Hoffman Kimball

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A Duel at Bedtime: Parents versus Kids by Katie Gast

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Lunch On the Bus by Ashley Potts

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Dog Versus Morning Dove by Melanie Ellsworth

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A Sticky Situation by Jill Proctor

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Morning News by Buffy Silverman

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Recipe For Humor by Janie Reinart

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Please Don’t Make Me Eat Those Peas by Lynn Alpert

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Well Done Everyone! I am proud to call you RhyPiBoMoers!

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Thank you to our esteemed judges who worked their hineys off

to get these back to me by Saturday!

You guys are the absolute best!

Renee La Tulippe
Jill Esbaum
Tiffany Strelitz Haber

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And now for our Brilliant, Singing Poems…

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First Place Poem

Feast or Flu?
By Dawn Young

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It’s springtime; fields of flowers fully blossomed stand in bloom.

Their sprightly sight awakes the weary winter-withered room.

As poppies placed inside a vase, set stage for nature’s scene,

the window waves a welcome, whereby scents seep through the screen.

Lavender and peony, lilies and red roses,

a fragrant feast to say the least, pure pleasure to our noses.

I breathe them in, those splendid scents, a nose just loves to savor

like a tongue when tempted by a tantalizing flavor.

A breeze blows by, a bigger whiff, my sniffer starts to twitch.

The trickle flows, drip goes the hose, my eyes, like bug bites, itch.

The tickle creeps deep down my throat and sweeps from ear to ear.

Through sweat and tears, my make-up smears, a molten mutineer.

The nasal-nested nagging scent now nettles me. Achoo!

I’m snorting snot, no doubt I’ve got that fragrant flower flu.

Another breeze, another whiff, the symptoms get much worse.

I pitch the poppies, scorn the screen, and curb the urge to curse!

I peer; the paneful portrait paints me pink and puffy-eyed,

but worst of all is knowing that I’ve yet to step outside!

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Second Place Poem

THE KALEIDOSCOPASAURUS
by Randi Sonenshine

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In the Tuscadoran Forest lives a singing Brontosaurus
Who performs for Turkish tourists each December twenty-third.

All November he rehearses scores of notes, refrains, and verses –
With his music, he converses, seeking perfect pitch and word.

But one year a frightful blizzard brought a cold deep in the gizzard
Of each frog and bear and lizard, every owl and every bird.

Soon his throat began to prickle, sting and tingle, itch and tickle
Making all his notes turn fickle – could it be that he misheard?

He must surely have bronchitis or infectious laryngitis,
So he summoned Madame Titus who remarkably inferred:

“Your poor tonsils are distended, but I’ll quickly have them mended
And your singing will be splendid by December twenty-third.”

Then she fluttered into motion without fanfare or commotion
Whipping up a potent potion, which she measured, mixed and stirred.

Though it tasted like zucchini with a side of squid linguini,
Soon he belted out Puccini, perfect pitch with every word!

Then he noticed his reflection – a kaleidoscope complexion!
“Just a tiny imperfection. Not to worry,” said the bird.

Though distressed by this mutation, his new look was a sensation!
Now they come from EVERY nation on December twenty-third!

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Third Place Poem

My Summer Vacation
by Rebecca Colby

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Last summer on vacation, I went to Borneo
to ride some pygmy elephants and water buffalo.

I trekked across the jungle under snake-infested trees,
got bitten by tarantulas and stung by killer bees.

I chased a hairy rhino while fat leeches sucked my blood;
a white-crowned hornbill nipped my hand, and chased me in the mud.

I spied a clouded leopard, then I tracked his trail for miles,
but lost him at the river bank by basking crocodiles.

For food, I ate rambutans, giant ferns and sprouted beans,
until I smelled some durians and creamy mangosteens.

I sank into some quicksand thinking I was surely dead;
a Dayak tribesman rescued me, then tried to shrink my head.

At night I slept in tree top huts with thick mosquito nets,
yet still I got malaria and shook with chills and sweats.

I brought home an orangutan but gave him to a zoo–
I’ll have to find another pet next August in Peru.

It’s true! It is! It happened on that wonderful vacation,
I took inside the deepest realms of my imagination!

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Honorable Mention

The Queen Bee and the Hungry Bear
by Stephanie Salkin

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(A Parallel Poem based on “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, by Lewis Carroll)

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The time has come, the Queen Bee said,
to talk of many stings:
of hives, bears, honey combs,
of soldier bees on wings
and how a bear could maul our home—
such horrid, awful things!

Did you hear that? The Queen then cried.
We have to end our chat!
A hungry bear paws at our door—
he’s meaning to grow fat.

Go quickly, said the worried Queen.
Please save our habitat!

Her soldiers buzzed, they flew outside,
the bear commenced to chew,
completely mindless of the bees
that swarmed out into view.
My hide is thick, the brown bear said.
Your stings cannot stab through!

I weep for you, he told those bees,
I really feel so pained.
With sobs and grunts he tore their hive,
his face all honey-stained.
And drank, he did, those sweet, sweet combs
till they were fully drained.

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Honorable Mention

DOUBLE DRIP CONE
by Kathleen Doherty

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My tongue is working extra fast.
This ice cream cone will never last.

Lickety, lick.
The drips come quick!

A soggy mess, a sticky hand . . .
Another drop—PLOP!—hits the sand.

Lickety, lick.
The drips come quick!

’Round and ’round the rim I bite.
A cone this mushy isn’t right.

Just one last bit for me to munch!
I’m done. I’m stuffed. So, when is lunch?

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Honorable Mention

Runaway Rodeo
by Linda Hoffman Kimball

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(illustrator’s note: the boy Peter is missing his top front teeth)

It’s rodeo time. The crowd’s comin’ in.
Peter’s excited. It shows in his grin.

He loves every bit – every bridle & rein,
each rope & each saddle, each tail & each mane,
each wrangler & rider, each pearl-buttoned shirt,
each whinny & moo & the smell of the dirt.

But here’s the main reason Pete came out to cheer:
his favorite bronc’ buster Sly Cottonwood’s here!

It’s Sly’s turn to try stayin’ on long enough.
“You’ll do it!” Pete yells. “Hold on & hang tough!”

The seconds are tickin’! What’s Cowboy Sly’s fate?
He stays on for 6 & then 7 & 8!

“Yahoo!” Peter adds to the chorus of cheerin’,
but the bronc’ with his rider keeps buckin’ and rearin’!

Sly hollers a prayer on the back of the horse,
But prayin’s not changin’ that crazy brute’s course.

(illustrators note: images here of the horse and rider careening around the arena)

Then comes such a “THWEEET!”
so piercin’ & shrill
that everything stops!

The horse fin’ly stands still!

Sly looks up at Peter whose lips are still puckered.
“Thanks for your whistlin’! I was sure gettin’ tuckered!”

Pete shouts, “That bronco jutht needed more noith!
Thly, you’re the betht of the betht of cowboyth!”

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Honorable Mention

A Duel at Bedtime: Parents versus Kids
by Katie Gast

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‘Click’ the TV off. Signal, that’s a wrap.

Put away the toys. They deserve a nap.

Laughing, screaming shrieks. “We are wide awake!”

Race around the house. Wiggle, hop and shake.

Pop the hamper lid. Stinky clothes are chucked.

Set the furnace low. Cool it, heating duct.

Splash into the tub. Leave no counter dry.

Minty fresh brushed teeth. Grab the towel and fly.

Push the armchair in. Legs and back do ache.

Flip the light switch off. Circuits need a break.

Hide behind the door. Climb up on the chair.

Jump out when they pass. Roar and wave and scare!

Read to wound up kids. Sing to keep them shushed.

Put the house to bed, gently, it is bushed.

Wriggle, squirm and kick! Bed sheets on the floor!

Giggle, hiccup, burp. “Water! We need more!”

Tuck tots back in bed. Kiss soft cheeks night-night.

Dream they fall asleep. Pray some night they might.

Creep around the house, want a playful chum.

Rooms are dim and grey, silent…boring… glum.

Still walls, dark halls, waylay wakeful heads.

Pick all snoozers up. Lay them in their beds.

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Honorable Mention

LUNCH ON THE BUS
by Ashley Potts

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Lunch on the bus. Lunch on the bus.
I left,
I left,
my lunch on the bus.
It’s not in my backpack. Not spilled on the floor.
The last place I saw it was Bus 24.
I shouldn’t have taken it out when I did,
to show off my lunchbox to Raymond and Sid.
Left on the bus. Left on the bus?!?
The driver must EAT lunches
left on the bus!
Who can resist ham salad on rye?
Pickles and cheese sticks and leftover pie?
I’m sure that he’s crunching my cookies right now,
and slurping my Super Slug juice box.
Oh, wow.
Lunch on the bus. Lunch on the bus.
I left,
I left,
my lunch on the bus.
I can’t buy my lunch. I don’t have a dime.
That sneaky bus driver, he knew it was mine.
I’m going to STARVE. I’m going to croak!
I’m going to pass out. This isn’t a joke.
My poor stomach feels like it just took a punch.
Hey, Driver, I’m dying ‘cause YOU ate –
MY LUNCH?!?
Who doubled back?
Who brought it to school?
Oh.
My bus driver’s actually pretty darn cool.

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Honorable Mention

Sonnet: DOG VERSUS MOURNING DOVE
by Melanie Ellsworth

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To catch a dove that’s feasting at the feeder,
requires a nose that’s keen, and careful legs.
The dog for this should be the sure pack leader.
(He must ignore that sizzling ham and eggs.)

A tough dog keeps his focus on his prey.
Now, I’m a mangy mutt and old to boot – yet,
I want this dove. I HOWL, and GROWL, and BAY!
The dove keeps snacking – doesn’t even sweat.

Across my field I spot a Pointer coming.
There’s hope at last! A bird dog cannot miss.
He leaps. I lunge. Our hearts are pounding, drumming.
We mark this moment with a well-earned piss.

For two together do what one may not.
There’s no one mourning for the dove we caught.

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Honorable Mention

A STICKY SITUATION
by Jill Proctor

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A hairy fly
with sticky toes
alighted on
my nobby nose.

I brushed it off
with one big “whack!”
But soon the fly
came buzzing back.

Swoosh! I swiped
both left and right.
The hairy fly
would not take flight.

I poked the fly.
I gave a nudge.
The hairy fly
refused to budge.
I wondered next,
what shall I do?
The fly is stuck!
The fly won’t shoo!

If hairy fly
declines to split,
I’ll swat and squish
and swallow it!

At last, the pesky
fly took wing.
And from its sticky
feet I swing.

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Honorable Mention

Morning News
by Buffy Silverman

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A chickadee chirps from a high leafy perch,

deep in the shade of a bountiful birch.

He sounds an alarm: Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-deeee! 

Cat’s on patrol!  She skulks in the hedge!

Freeze where you are!  Be alert! Stay on edge!

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!  Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-deeee!

 

Chipmunk’s alert to the chirps of alarm.

She chips out a warning, then sprints from the harm:

down through a burrow, her chips disappear

away from the danger, far from the fear.

She stays in her chamber, awaiting all clear.

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!  Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!

 

A chickadee spies from his high leafy perch,

deep in the shade of a bountiful birch.

He calls an all-clear: chick-a-dee-dee.

Danger has passed.  You don’t need to freeze.

Fly to the feeder. Flit through the trees.

Chick-a-dee-dee!  Chick-a-dee-dee!

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Honorable Mention

RECIPE FOR HUMOR
by Janie Reinart

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Crack a joke.
Steep the laughter.
Baste a smile.
Taste it after.
Grill the gag.
Hear it giggle.
Shake it quick,
just a jiggle.
Squeeze the jest.
Make it titter.
Jazz it up.
Sprinkle glitter.
Pinch the pun.
Knead the clowning.
Just like that,
no more frowning.

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Honorable Mention

Please Don’t Make Me Eat Those Peas
by Lynn Alpert

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Please don’t make me eat those peas –
they stink and make me gag and wheeze.
I have a strong aversion to
those squishy globes of greenish goo!

I try to feed them to our puppy,
the hamster, and the family guppy.
They try a pea and spit it out –
they hate them, too, without a doubt!

I wish you would respect my wishes–
I promise I will do the dishes
if you don’t force me to consume
that evil, little green legume!

I’ll clean my room and make my bed
and make sure that the pets are fed.
If you love me, I’m beggin’ please,
Please don’t make me eat those peas!

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 A Heartfelt Congratulations To You All!

Your poems are fabulous and you should be very proud of a job well done!

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I welcome everyone who entered the contest to post your poems in the Pearls of Poetry tab above!

Please share them with us…Mention that your poem was entered in the contest!

All the poems were wonderful and I appreciate your participation! Keep rhyming!

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See You Next Year!

 

RhyPiBoMo Daily Winners and…….The Golden Quill Poetry Contest Winners!!!

Aside

RhyPiBoMo 2014 ends with Confetti, Fireworks and

Champagne for Everyone!     Day 35

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This is it…the end of RhyPiBoMo 2014!

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Here are a few interesting facts:

35 Daily Lessons

35 Guest Bloggers

204 RhyPiBoMo Participants

243 Facebook Group members and growing daily

40 Golden Quill Poetry Contest Entries

210 working hours in April

9 Organized Critique Groups

72 Critique Group members

89 Planning days prior to the event

45 Prizes awarded

4 Rhyming Parties

28 Different country members represented here

equals…

1 Happy Angie with Many Amazing New Friends! My Heart is Full! Thank you!

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I was fortunate enough to meet today’s guest blogger virtually through Mira Reisberg’s Hero’s Art Journey Course. She is so kind and eloquent with her words and her many award-winning picture books are equally as divine! She is a very talented author who I hope to meet in person some day! I thank you so much Marsha for ending RhyPiBoMo with your grace and genuine care for other writers!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Marsha Diane Arnold!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Marsha Diane Arnold 1

THE GREATEST JOY

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Some years ago my Aunt Ruby shared a children’s rhyme from her childhood. She wrote: “These little rhymes, we took with the greatest joy. Grandpa Kaufman crossed his legs and placed us on his foot, tossing us up and down, galloping with this little rhyme. At the words ‘fall in the creek,’ he’d tumble us off his foot, to our joy and laughter, only to get on again and again.” Her son-in-law shared the same rhyme with his sons who today share it with their children.

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I love her phrase, “the greatest joy.” Movement, rhythm, sound, and rhyme naturally bring us joy. They are part of our earliest memories and an integral part of our nature.

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Sometimes I wonder from where the first rhymes came. Perhaps from the magpie lark. Magpie larks sing a duet where one bird calls “tee-hee” and another replies “pee-o-wee, pee-o-wit.” Ornithologists have discovered some young birds must be taught their songs. At first, they are far from perfect songsters. They listen to their expert parents or uncles or aunts and learn from the masters.

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This is a good way for all of us to become more skillful. Check out The Making of a Poem, A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. Keep it near your bed stand to read each night, for the best examples of poetry and explanations of forms. Mary Oliver is one of my favorite contemporary poets. Read her poems as well as her A Poetry Handbook, gentle and wondrous guides. Sometimes children’s books are the easiest way for me to learn. Judy Young’s R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet is a collection of poems that illustrates poetic terms and techniques. My current favorite “lesson” book on poetry is also the funniest I’ve ever read, The Ode Less Travelled, Unlocking The Poet Within by Stephen Fry. Brilliantly entertaining as well as extremely useful.

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Learning from the masters may sound serious, but rhyming for children is mostly great fun. So, be playful. Make odd observations; notice things that others might not. Practice thinking in a different way than usual. Think of writing poetry and stories like a visit to an amusement park. The beginning should draw the reader into the park. The middle should take her on a rollercoaster ride. The end should bring her to a safe landing, emotionally satisfying and also logical within the story’s or poem’s world.

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Support is also essential. I’m honored to be able to hang out with truly talented poets at Poets’ Garage, http://poetsgarage.wordpress.com.

 Poets Garage

I started rhyming my stories after a serious illness. Subconsciously, I must have needed to express and feel “the greatest joy” my Aunt Ruby talked about. So I began to include rhyme in my writing projects. I ended up with one poem, beautifully illustrated in High Five by Highlights and two picture books. Before Prancing Dancing Lily and Roar of a Snore, my work had been lyrical, filled with alliteration and lovely lines, but no rhyme. It’s been a delight to share these stories with children at school visits. I know from their laughter and smiling faces that they’re enjoying themselves.

 Marsha Diane Arnold 2

Angie has given us brilliant lessons to guide us through the rhyming world. RhyPiBoMo bloggers before me have added to the wisdom. So, go forth, dear rhymers. Learn from the masters, be playful, write excellent rhyme, and bring to yourself and others “the greatest joy.”

Marsha Diane Arnold 3
BIO:
Called a “born storyteller” by the media, Marsha Diane Arnold is an award-winning picture book author with eleven traditional books, two digital apps, and an e-book to her credit. Her books’ awards range from the Ridgway for Best First Book by a New Author to Smithsonian Notable to IRA Distinguished Book. Represented by Red Fox Literary, in 2013 she contracted with Neal Porter Books for two new picture books, Kate O’Sullivan of Houghton Mifflin for another, and Tamarind for a fourth. Marsha is the creator of the popular Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books e-course (http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/writing-character-driven-stories.html) at Children’s Book Academy, where she also writes a monthly blog (http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/blogettes.html). She grew up on a Kansas farm, but today creates imaginative rhyming worlds and wacky characters in northern California. You may read about her books, school visits, life, and check out her blog at http://www.marshadianearnold.com.

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http://www.marshadianearnold.com
Character-Driven PB Course:
http://www.picturebookacademy.com/writing-character-driven-stories.html
Prancing Dancing Lily app:
http://fatredcouch.com/Prancing_Dancing_Lillypr

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Thank you Marsha Diane Arnold!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Saturday, May 3
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 35

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Submit it & Celebrate a Job Well Done!

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This is the one thing I am the worst at! I write but I rarely submit anything. It makes no sense! I am giving myself May to write and revise and then lookout… June is the month I am going to start submitting my work again!

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I do much better if I make a plan ahead of time. So I am looking at June’s calendar…

Writing Schedule for June

I often work 7 days a week but you can certainly tweak this schedule to fit into your life…I am committing to submitting every week on Sundays. Sunday afternoons are fairly quiet around my house and the television shows I love to watch are on Sunday evenings so I will be motivated to work on Sunday afternoons so my reward will be television: Downton Abbey, MadMen and TurN and Masterpiece Classic. Yes, I am like a child that way…I need motivation sometimes and I love these shows!

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Create your own schedule! Add in what you need to focus on! If you don’t succeed the first week in doing everything, don’t fret…move on to the next week and start over. Maybe the schedule will need to be tweaked from week to week until you find what works for you.
Here is your June Calendar…fill it in!

June Calendar

The main thing is add time to submit, be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly…get it on the calendar and make it happen!

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Let’s celebrate the submission…because there will be lots and lots of rejections before the acceptance letter and the book contract comes!

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I am creating a Tab on my blog called Submissions and Success. I am going to talk more about submissions there and give links to publishers that are accepting unsolicited manuscripts for rhyming picture books. I am going to announce every time that I submit a manuscript! I want you to share when you submit as well!

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The SUCCESS won’t come without the SUBMISSION!

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I also want to hear when you have a rhyming picture book accepted! So share your success too! We will celebrate the submissions and the success!

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So, look for the Submissions and Success tab on my blog in June.

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Now for celebrating this wonderful month of rhyme!

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It has been one of the best months of my writing life! I am so motivated to write, revise, and submit for the first time in a long time.

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I want to thank you for being here because without all 204 of you, I would not be headed on this rhyming picture book path in June!

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I had no idea when I started this writing challenge if anyone would show up. You fellow rhymers showed up in full force and I think we made a statement that rhyme is here to stay but we have also committed to writing brilliant rhyme and not submitting anything less!

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I have not been able to reply to the many comments that you have all made this month. But, I have read every single one of them and I thank you for every kind word and all your wonderful appreciation! You have inspired me too!

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Please continue to follow my blog and stay tuned because there is more to come in this wacky world of rhyme!

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I am tossing confetti!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix9_Jvt-UYU

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and there are fireworks in the sky!

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http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play?p=fireworks&vid=9f71d2d1b3217d417a5e9fcd69b488c9&l=1%3A28&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts4.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DVN.608029419181769035%26pid%3D15.1&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D9jzLL3PiJTE&tit=Fireworks&c=14&sigr=11a4gus88&sigt=109kp8moi&ct=p&pstcat=news&age=0&hsimp=yhs-
fullyhosted_003&hspart=ironsource&tt=b

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and champagne is flowing!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGTdElWC-Ko

Cheers!

for

this

day

has

arrived

and

we

all

survived…and steadily learned how brilliant rhyme is earned! (1more rhyme for the road) LOL

RhyPiBoMo ends with our favorite rhymer…

 

RhyPiBoMo Willy Image

In the words of Willy S.
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“The rhyme’s the thing wherein I speak
the words and let them sing”
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now…
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Let us end where we began with
Kevan Atteberry’s brilliant cartoon…

Kevan Atteberry 2

Enough Said!

RhyPiBoMo 2014 ends with Confetti, Fireworks and Champagne for Everyone!

Aside

Go Forth, Write Singing Poetry and Change Lives! Friday     Day 34

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Where did April Go?

I can’t believe we are here, at the end of this lovely month of learning and sharing…it has been a joy to meet all of you!  I do plan to continue blogging once a week so please come back and visit. I will share this certificate again in case you missed it yesterday…please post this on your website and blogs as a token of your hard work and dedication to writing rhyming picture books! I would appreciate if you would link it back to my blog at Angiekarcher.wordpress.com   Congrats for a well-deserved diploma!

RhyPiBoMo Graduate Badge

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There was a survey posted earlier and I want to thank each of you that took the time to fill it out!

There is one more question that I need a more specific answer to…Please name specific authors, editors and agents that you want to see as guest bloggers for next year…

Thank you for all your support and friendship throughout this month!

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Today’s guest blogger is a friend who has been telling stories to kids forever! She is energetic, full of gumption and sass!  Hold on to your hats because you never know what you are going to hear when Mary Jo is around! LOL

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Mary Jo Huff!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Mary Jo Huff 1

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My name is Mary Jo Huff and I come from a different world then many of the bloggers and maybe even the readers. My life has been dedicated to, “lighting a fire in children’s imaginations.” Rhyming comes natural to me because I have worked with hundreds of children making up rhymes, moving from one spot to another with a fun rhyme and I have written many rhymes.

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My rhymes are not published in picture books but in resource books for librarians, teachers and the world of Early Childhood. Rhymes never get old as they are repeated over and over by children and adults. Experiences with rhymes provide a solid foundation for early literacy.

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“During the first years and months of life, a child’s experiences with language and literacy begin to form a basis for their later reading success. Research consistently demonstrates that the more children know about language and literacy before they arrive at school, the better equipped they are to succeed in reading.” (Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Reading Success, National Research Council, 1999).

Mary Jo Huff 5
Rhymes are throughout my new book “STORY PLAY: Building Language and Literacy One Story at a Time. I am grateful for being invited by Dianne De Las Casas to be involved with the original Picture Book Month blogs. This experience has led me on a new path. I plan to be published in the picture book market and of course there would be a rhyming picture book.

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Mary Jo Huff 6

SOME OF MY FAVORITE NEW RHYMING BOOKS:

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GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT – Mem Fox, Judy Horacek
HERE’S A LITTLE POEM – Jane Yolen & Andrew Fusek Peters, Polly dunbar
MARC BROWN’S PLAYTIME RHYMES = Marc Brown
MICE – Rose Fyleman, Lois Ehlert
MY MOTHER GOOSE – David McPhail
ON THE FARM – David Elliott, Holly Meade
THIS LITTLE PIGGY – Jane Yolen, Will Hillenbrand
THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY – Pam Adams
THE HOUSE THAT SANTA BUILT – Dianne De Las Casas
THE HOUSE THAT WITCHITY BUILT – Dianne De las Casas

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Bio:
Mary Jo is an author, storyteller and puppeteer who creates books, CDs and DVDs filled with original stories, songs, and finger plays. She has visited 46 states and presented to thousands of children and adults. Mary Jo is an Early Childhood teaching artist, past director of a center with 115 children, and is an onsite consultant for Early Childhood centers, schools, 4C, Head Start and Family Childcare. Mary Jo has written for the Frog Street’s Pre-K Curriculum and Gryphon House, Monday Morning Publishing, SECA and many publications for Early Childhood educators. She works with children in school settings via SKYPE and in person. Her information and experiences are presented in a humorous, enthusiastic style with practical ideas that create new early literacy activities that can be implemented immediately. Mary Jo shares passionately, in an interactive, hands-on, participatory atmosphere. Plan to snap, clap, wiggle and giggle as you learn new ways to connect with children and parents.

http://storytellin.com/

Mary Jo Huff 4

Storytelling for Kids! – Creative Child Magazine CD of the Year 2009
NAPPA – Gold 2008
Dove – 2009

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Thank you Mary Jo Huff!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Friday, May 2
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 34

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Does Your Poetry Sing?

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As we have studied poetry techniques, poetic forms and how poetry enhances our writing, we have become word musicians. We compose short musicals of words matched with pictures and the result is a rhyming picture book. The written words in a picture book are meant to be read aloud to express the musicality of the language, so carefully composed by the author. We all know that the meter, the rhythm and the rhyme create that magical flow that urges the reader to continue and keeps the listener asking for more.

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As a writer, we want our work to move people, to make them think, to give a new experience. We write because we are story tellers. We write for children because our words can take them on journeys they might not otherwise experience.

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Teachers use songs in the classroom to help kids remember and reinforce the important skills being taught. Try singing your poems out loud! Find or make up a tune that fits the poem and sing it!

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Yes, I am talking about actual singing! You know the reference to poetic singing, and how it should flow musically, with rhythm and lyrically in the language…well songs are just poems that have been set to music…

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I can’t think of a better complement for a writer than to have their work set to music.

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Many, many folk tales were set to music to help people remember the words but more importantly the story being told. This song, She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain is actually about a religious belief of the returning of Christ to the world. I had no idea that’s where this originated. This is a timeless song that has made its way from the early 1800’s to today with very few changes. The way it is expressed musically varies but the message remains the same. That is the kind of poetry/picture books we must write…universal themes and timeless messages.

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Here are the lyrics to this American folk tale:
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain
When she comes,
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain
When she comes,
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain,
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain,
She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain,
When she comes

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Other verses:
She’ll be drivin’ six white horses
Oh, we’ll all go out to greet her
We will kill the old red rooster,
Oh, we’ll all have chicken and dumplings,
She will wear her red pajamas,
She will have to sleep with Grandma

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Here are a few different versions of this wonderful poem put to music!

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She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Radio Broadcast Version
Played by Ramblin’ Tommy Scott
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ghd-xL5gAjc

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She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Hollywood Dance Orchestra
Played on a Victrola from the 1930’s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SEiXgHCzYA

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She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Sesame Street Version
By Big Bird and Elmo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7VL2P9dryM

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She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Choral Version
by The Dale Warland Singers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW9ahqmcBLc

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She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain – Funk Version
by Funkadelic 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mwWYeOF6Ww

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Today, we think of this as a kid’s song but actually, it was a common song sung by adults for hundreds of years. The point is, it is still being sung today in many different forms by many different people…it is timeless.

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Poetry set to music can even become part of motion pictures. This version of The Colors of the Wind gives me actual goose bumps! It is beautiful to listen to musically but the words are so powerful. This is what we need to be writing!

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The Colors of the Wind by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz
From the Disney movie Pocahontas

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http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play?p=She%27ll+be+coming+around+the+mountain%2C+sung+in+french&vid=e66be562815cd7d8a7252d4537d73dc1&l=3%3A14&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts3.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DVN.608027490749841530%26pid%3D15.1&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DHvvZ1TEQRB8&tit=Pocahontas+-+Colors+of+the+Wind+%28Disney+Song%29&c=15&sigr=11akj5pb0&sigt=11dnkrfbu&ct=p&age=0&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003&hspart=ironsource&tt=b

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“We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains and we need to paint with all the colors of the wind”

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Inspiring…

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I’m not at all saying that our writing should be preachy or teach lessons specifically but it should be inspiring in some way. It should inspire a child to laugh, to share the story with a friend, to grow and learn more about the world around him…singing poetry can do that!

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Our poetry should touch children in the whole world…here is The Colors of the Wind in Spanish. Write your poetry and picture books for all children in the world!

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The Colors of the Wind – Spanish Version
By Vanessa Williams
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeII17phew8

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I leave you this poem to music. It saved thousands of lives when a group of musicians and the world came together to help starving African children. We are the World is one of my favorite songs. I can barely listen to it without crying because it is so powerful, yet so, so simple…

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We are the world, we are the children,
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving.
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives,
It’s true we make a better day, just you and me!

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Think of this in terms of your writing.

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Now go forth, write singing poetry and change lives!

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We Are the World

USA for Africa – We Are The World ( Original Music Video 1985 )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoDY8ce_3zk

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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.

Go Forth, Write Singing Poetry and Change Lives! Friday

Aside

We Write Brilliant Rhyme that is Sublime All the Time! Thursday        Day 33

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The Poetry Contest

I hope to be able to announce the winners of the poetry contest on Sunday but I can’t guarantee that, as it is taking some time to go through each poem and give it due diligence in judging. I am so impressed with the quality of the poems submitted. I have had to disqualify a few poems because the author didn’t include 3/5 senses in their poem. I have had a few people ask why this was one of the requirements…First of all, it helped to eliminate poems that weren’t written specifically for this contest. It also isn’t an easy task and I wanted to challenge you. It is rewarding to see how cleverly you added 3 senses into your poems.

Please don’t contact me asking if your poem was disqualified. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to address your specific poem and will not be able to answer those emails.

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Overall, I think one area of improvement could be the use of multi-syllabic rhyming words…really search the rhyming dictionary for the absolute best word choices! It is very obvious in a contest like this to see who did! Use those clever, unexpected rhyming words in your picture books to keep the reader guessing. You don’t want them to be able to predict anything! It has been so much fun reading your poems and I thank each and everyone of you who is participating! Good Luck!

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Critique Groups Open to New Members

We are opening up critique groups again in the Facebook Group! If you are interested in joining an organized RhyPiBoMo Critique Group, please contact Dawn Young on Facebook or comment on the post concerning the groups. The window for adding new members will only be open for a week so please contact us asap!

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I found today’s guest blogger when I was searching for information on rhyming! She has a wonderful resource that I suggest called Rhyme Like the Experts. Here is the link to her blog where it can be purchased:http://jackiehoskingpoetry.wordpress.com/

She is a well written and respected poet who has published poetry all over the world.  She recently announced that her debut rhyming picture book coming out this July. She also offers an editing service and is the editor of Pass It On, an e-zine for writers and illustrators. See, I told you she was busy!

 

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Jackie Hosking!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Jackie Hosking 1

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DOES METER MATTER?

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As far as I’m concerned, without meter nothing matters!!..

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So what exactly is meter?

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Meter is the pattern created by the ordering of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of verse. It is the rhythm of our language, the drum beat that rocks the poem along. It should be predictable and so established right from the start. This allows the reader to relax – it’s a bit like jogging. Once the rhythm is established you can jog for miles! Without this predictable rhythm the reader will trip up which will pull them out of the story or poem while they try to adjust to the new rhythm..

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A COMMON MISTAKE
Altering where the stress falls naturally to fit the meter
Song writers do this quite often but it doesn’t seem as jarring when there is music to go along with the words. Poetry is different, especially poetry that is designed to be read by people other than the author.
When we learn to speak a language we are taught to pronounce words according to where their stresses fall. Different accents will sometimes stress different parts of the word.

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Eg: the word ‘paprika’ in English/Australian is pronounced PAprika, with the stress falling on the first syllable. In the USA it is pronounced paPRIka, with the stress falling on the middle syllable.
If I was looking to rhyme with the word paprika, I could use either ‘Africa’ or ‘eureka’ depending on which country I was writing for. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult to translate poetry across countries even if they speak English.

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Here’s another eg:
I tipped my hat and waved goodbye
And walked away with my Bonsai

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What’s wrong with this couplet? Bonsai certainly rhymes with goodbye but why doesn’t it sound right? Below is an alternative – why does this read more smoothly?

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I tipped my hat and waved goodbye
And wiped a teardrop from my eye

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Okay – here’s the secret. In natural speech the word ‘goodbye’ is made up of two syllables, ‘good’ and ‘bye’. The stress falls on the second syllable – goodBYE.

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The word ‘bonsai’ on the other hand, while also made up of two syllables, has its stressed syllable falling naturally on the first one. BONsai.

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The pattern or meter for this couplet goes like this…
I tipped my hat and waved goodbye – an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.
And walked away with my Bonsai – now we have two stressed syllables running into each other. The author is likely to adjust how they pronounce the word ‘bonsai’ and put the stress on the second syllable. They will do this instinctively when they read it aloud and will miss the discrepancy. The new reader, however will try to pronounce the word as it is spoken normally and will trip up the first time he/she reads it. A good indication of whether you have made this mistake in your own writing is to get a friend to read it aloud and note where they stumble.

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Jackie Hosking

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Bio:
Jackie is a multi published children’s writer and poet. Her rhyming poetry has appeared all over the world and her first rhyming picture book has been contracted by Walker Books Australia to be published in July 2014. Jackie is the editor of PASS IT ON (PIO), the Children’s Book Writers’ and Illustrators’ Networking e-zine and she also runs her own Rhyming Manuscript Editing Service. Users of her editing service are able to purchase a copy of her booklet ‘Rhyme Like the Experts’ for only AU$5.00

Jackie's book

*children’s author/poet
http://jackiehoskingblog.wordpress.com/
*editor – children’s rhyming manuscripts
http://jackiehoskingblog.wordpress.com/jackies-editing-service/
*publisher of PASS IT ON
http://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/

 

 

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Thank you Jackie Hosking!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Thursday, May 1

By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 33

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Is your Rhyme Brilliant?

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When I began thinking about today’s blog I asked myself,
“What does BRILLIANT mean?”

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Here are a few synonyms:
Shining brightly
Sparkling
Glittering
Lustrous
Distinguished
Having great intelligence
Talented
Quality
Strong and clear in tone
Vivid
Bright
Illustrious
Splendid
Magnificent

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These words describe so much about this past month spent learning more about our love for writing rhyme together.

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First of all, I am overwhelmed with the gratitude I feel from everyone. It has been my pleasure to share my journey with you…it’s so much more fun to study with friends!

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Secondly, these descriptive words apply to how brilliant our writing will be if we keep at it! I hope you will keep the daily lessons saved where you can refer to them often. There was A LOT of information…go back when you have time and do the writing prompts, click on the resources and read it all again without the pressure of daily intensity.

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Thirdly, continue to submit your work to your critique group, continue to do the word chopping exercises we learned and add in all the poetic devices your manuscript can handle without feeling like a sinking poetic ship! Don’t do them all in one manuscript…choose the gems that will make it sparkle and glimmer on its way to publication!

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If you notice that your writing starts to seem a bit:
cloudy
dim
dull
gloomy
obscure
dulled
normal
typical
Then it’s time to get your sparkle back! Pull out the RhyPiBoMo Notebook!

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I have a few requests of you…

RhyPiBoMo Graduate Badge
1) Please post this RhyPiBoMo Graduate Badge on your website and blog and link it back to my blog at Angiekarcher.wordpress.com You have earned this well-deserved badge of honor for doing the work, and for sticking it out with me! Please tell other rhymers about your experience here! If I could figure out a way to make this badge sparkle, I would have done it! You should be able to grab it (copy and paste) from here and I also have it on the sidebar of my blog. Here is the image link:

http://angiekarcher.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/rhypibomo-graduate-badge-e1398926047783.jpg

 

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2) Please promise that if you have a rhyming picture book published from here on out that you will let me know!!! I want to celebrate with you and share your brilliant accomplishment with the world! I want to create a plaque listing the names of the RhyPiBoMo published authors that were published after this month.

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3) I would absolutely LOVE for you to send me an autographed copy of your rhyming picture book once it is published. I will share it in future events and brag on you…say that I knew you before you were a big time author! LOL! I will post your book on my wall of authors on my blog!

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4) I hope that you will continue to read rhyming picture books every day and I hope that you will continue to write poetry too. Poetry is the secret ingredient to our rhyming picture book cakes that will make it delicious and keep kids and parents asking for more. Anyone who says poetry isn’t important in this genre…is wrong! Of course, it’s not about knowing the terminology, it’s about understanding the concepts and how they will make your text shine! Anyone who has published a genuinely brilliant and singing rhyming picture book is writing poetry, whether they know it or not.

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The difference between brilliant rhyme and mediocre rhyme is the difference between publishing an award winning, acclaimed rhyming picture book and one that is published but collects dust on the shelf…no one reads it more than once.

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Remember, I am on this journey with you as I have not published a rhyming picture book yet…but I am working on that! My biggest challenge has always been…sending out submissions. Isn’t that stupid that I write but I don’t submit very often. I go in spurts, typically after attending a writing conference, where I submit several manuscripts at a time and then I get caught up in some other writing endeavor and don’t continue the pattern.

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I am so motivated now to revise a few of my rhyming picture book manuscripts and submit…Maybe we should announce submissions on the Facebook Group as a motivation! Let me think about what we can do to help motivate submissions on a regular basis. We will talk about submitting more on Saturday!

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Writing Prompt: Use as many of the descriptive synonyms of brilliant as you can in a poem to describe your writing!

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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.

We Write Brilliant Rhyme that is Sublime All the Time! Thursday

Aside

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

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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.

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

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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

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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!

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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

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Mira Reisberg!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Mira Reisberg

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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• 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.

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

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• 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.

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

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• 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.

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

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• 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

 

Thank You Mira Reisberg!

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

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

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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.

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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

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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!

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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!

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!
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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!
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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!

 

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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.

Write, Edit, Revise, Critique, Repeat! Wednesday

Aside

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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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!

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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

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

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(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?

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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.

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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.

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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 =)?

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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

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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.

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Are you feeling it?

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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/

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Here are a few of Susanna’s wonderful books:

Susanna Hill 3 (2)

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Susanna Hill 2

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Susanna Hill 4 (2)

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Thank you Susanna Leonard Hill!

 

________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

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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…

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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The Rule of 3’s

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Rhyming Picture Book Cake for Everyone! Tuesday

Aside

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!

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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.

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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.

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

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I have three wonderful prizes !

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

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

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

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Good Luck to Everyone!

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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!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Jill Esbaum!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Jill Esbaum 1

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GOT RHYTHM?

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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!

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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.

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*brakes squealing*

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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 . . .

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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?

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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.

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Good luck!

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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

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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!

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Jill Esbaum 2

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Jill Esbaum 3

Thank you Jill Esbaum!

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

Hook, Characters & Plot

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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.

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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. = )

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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.

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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!

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Do You Want to Read More?

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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.

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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.

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Do You Want to Read More?

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“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.

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Do You Want to Read More?

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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.

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“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.

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Do You Want to Read More?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Characters

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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.

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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.

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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

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Let’s Bake a Picture Book Cake

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

Aside

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

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Monday       Gayle C. Krause won

Dozens of Cousins donated by Shutta Crum

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Tuesday       Nicole Busenbark won      

My Father’s House donated by Kathi Appelt

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Wednesday    Robyn Campbell  won

Toddler Two-Step donated by Kathi Appelt

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Thursday  Jane Healy  won

Barnyard Song donated by Rhonda G. Greene

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Friday  Heather Reading  won

A Critique donated by Jill Esbaum

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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

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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!

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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!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Leslie Helakoski!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Leslie Helakoski 1

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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/

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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?

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From my newest book, Big Pigs:

Leslie Helakoski 3

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

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And from Big Chickens:

  Leslie Helakoski 2

The chickens pwocked, flocked and rocked.

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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.

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

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Leslie Helakoski

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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

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woolbur

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fair cow

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

Thank you Leslie Helakoski!

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

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

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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!

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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

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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

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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!

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

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

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

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Target Age

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Who are you writing your book for?

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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!

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There are a few easy ways to do this research.

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Do you know what AR is?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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You can also use Amazon.com for a quick reference

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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

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Word Count

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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.

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

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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

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

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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!

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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

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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

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

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

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

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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.

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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!

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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

Aside

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Is that enough gushing? No.

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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!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Karma Wilson!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Karma Wilson 1

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. ;)

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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.

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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.

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For example:

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

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

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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…

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…S O

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S L O W….

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

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“OOOOOO

NOOOOO!!!!”

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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:

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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!

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

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Who is Willy S.?

image

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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)

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

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http://www.usi.edu/nhww

 

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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!

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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 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

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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!

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

the words and let them sing.”

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Resources:

Bluebook Style William Shakespeare

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

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Absolute Shakespeare 

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

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Poets.org 

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

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Reading Prompt: Read one of Shakespeare’s poems.

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