Aside

 Just a reminder, the deadline for submissions to

the Golden Quill Poetry Contest for RhyPiBoMo Registrants

ends one week from today, April 26th midnight, Central time.

You can find the details by clicking the tab above!

RhyPiBoMo Poetry Contest Scroll

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Back in November, when I was dreaming of my Golden wish-list of guest bloggers for RhyPiBoMo, I quickly added Lee Bennett Hopkins to my list. At the time, I contacted a few writer friends, asking them for suggestions of authors, agents, editors and really anyone who might be interested in talking about rhyming picture books and poetry.

Thrilled beyond belief, a friend,Ruth McNally Barshaw, agreed to guest blog as she had just submitted a rhyming manuscript to her agent, who, by the way…loved it! Ruth and Tara Lazar were so kind to refer rhyming friends to me and even to email them on my behalf. Thanks so much for your help ladies!

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I sent out lots of invitations to participate as a guest blogger but had few responses until…

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I decided go big or go home! I went straight to the top of my list and found Mr. Hopkins on Facebook. I messaged him my schpeel about the event. He messaged me right back. “Sure,” he said. “What do I need to do?”

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From that moment on, Mr. Hopkins, who asked me to call him “Lee”, was my hero! Once I had Lee, the yes’s flowed in like sweet, sweet honey.

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I’m sure most of my gracious bloggers are still asking, “Who is this Angie Karcher chick? Do you know her? No! Do you know her?” LOL

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It is because of Lee, that RhyPiBoMo found its wings! I’m not at all saying that my other bloggers wouldn’t have joined in. I think they certainly would have, but his name gave my event the credibility that it needed. So thank you Lee and thank you to all my wonderful bloggers who knew that if Mr. Hopkins was involved, it must be a good thing!

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In our last email, he wrote:
“My best-est. And thank you for all you are doing for the world of poetry. Looking forward to April to read your work. In addition, April l3th is my birthday!”

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Oh, melt my heart! How very kind of him to say, but I’m still on the

teeny-weeny, baby steps

and his gigantic, poetic shoes

have left deep, deep footprints in the world of poetry.

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Lee Bennett Hopkins!

                 Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Lee B Hopkins 1

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We decided to do a Question and Answer blog post as he is understandably blogged out!

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As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

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“I wanted to be a teacher due to my being influenced by my 8th-grade teacher, Ethel Kite MacLaughlin — and I did.”

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Please share a little about your early journey…

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“I was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and lived with my mother and siblings in a Newark, New Jersey, after my parents divorced. I attended Newark State Teacher’s College (now Kean University) and earned an MS from Bank Street College of Education. My interest in poetry as an educational tool in the classroom led to my work as a classroom resource coordinator; I also worked as an editor at Scholastic before becoming a full-time writer and editor of anthologies.”
Mr. Hopkins has almost 200 published collections and is the compiler of over 100 Anthologies.

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What is your magic ingredient for a successful anthology?

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“Balance is important in an anthology. I want many voices within a book, so I rarely use more than one or two works by the same poet. I want my collections to read like a short story or novel—not a hodgepodge of works thrown together aimlessly.”

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Why did you decide to be a writer?

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“I truly never decided to be a writer. A writing bug stung, the wound never healed. And I never ever want it to.”

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How do you feel about rhyming books in today’s market?

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“When they are good they are very good, and when they are bad … !”

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Why do you enjoy writing poetry?

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“Writing and my being are intertwined. I feel good when I’m writing … having written.
I don’t know what else I would do if it weren’t for the mighty pen.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reading poetry or working on a poem of my own.”

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What should authors always do when writing rhyme and poetry?

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“Rhyme is by far the hardest thing to create. Both poetry and rhyme must tell truths.”

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What should authors never do when writing rhyme and poetry?

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“Never be careless. Don’t think the first or second or tenth draft is fine. Read your work over and over and over again.”

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Describe the joy you feel when you read brilliant poetry.

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“When I get goose bumps, sigh, or utter aloud “OOO-hhh” I know I have read a beautiful piece of work. Poets like Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman unleash emotions I never would have thought about before.”

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Can you recommend any rhyme/poetry resources or courses that would be helpful?

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“One of the best rhyming dictionaries I couldn’t be without is THE SCHOLASTIC RHYMING DICTIONARY with over l5,000 words by Sue Young. I guard this volume.
I won’t even take it out of the house.
As for resources? Read past poet’s work. You might begin with the NCTE Poetry Award Winners – incredibly diverse voices who have given us the best of the best for decades.”

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What do you predict the future is for rhyme and poetry?

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“One cannot predict the future for anything in publishing these days. I believe if you feel your work is good keep sending it out. Sadly, poetry is still the step child of the language arts. Fewer anthologies are appearing; in 2013 there were only two. I hope this trend doesn’t continue. We need voices — old and new voices side-by-side. We must also promote poetry every chance we get.  We spend too much time teaching children to read and not enough time teaching them to love to read.”

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          Lee B Hopkins 5    Lee B Hopkins 3

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http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Bennett-Hopkins-Childrens-Stories/dp/0531123154

 

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Lee B Hopkins 4

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Please visit his gorgeous website to learn more!

http://www.leebennetthopkins.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=103&Itemid=53

Lee B Hopkins 2

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Bio:
Teacher, Writer, Public Speaker, Editor, Anthologist, Children’s Program Television Host, and Noted poet Lee Bennett Hopkins has edited or authored numerous books for children, including the I Can Read Books Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees; A Pet for Me: Poems; and the ALA Notable Children’s Book Surprises. The recipient of a Christopher Award and the University of Southern Mississippi’s Medallion for “lasting contributions to children’s literature,” Mr. Hopkins lives in Florida.

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Thank you Lee Bennett Hopkins!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Saturday, April 19th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 21

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I will start out today’s lesson with the definitions of the
20 Most Common Figures of Speech

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We have covered some of these but you may want to

become acquainted with the rest.

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Figures of speech – are literary devices that can be used in our writing to enhance the quality of written or oral language. Anyone can put words together to form a sentence but the expert writer knows how to use figures of speech to transform the story from good to great. We use these devices to spice up the words without having to say everything so literally. It gives the reader more interesting language and a visual to help them enjoy the language. (write this down) This list is here for you to refer to.

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Alliteration
The repetition of an initial consonant sound.

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Anaphora
The repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or verses. (Contrast with epiphora and epistrophe.)

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Antithesis
The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced phrases.

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Apostrophe
Breaking off discourse to address some absent person or thing, some abstract quality, an inanimate object, or a nonexistent character.

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Assonance
Identity or similarity in sound between internal vowels in neighboring words.

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Chiasmus
A verbal pattern in which the second half of an expression is balanced against the first but with the parts reversed.

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Euphemism
The substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively explicit.

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Hyperbole
An extravagant statement; the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect.

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Irony
The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. A statement or situation where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea.

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Litotes
A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite.

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Metaphor
An implied comparison between two unlike things that actually have something important in common.

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Metonymy
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it’s closely associated; also, the rhetorical strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to things around it.

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Onomatopoeia
The use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.

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Oxymoron
A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side.

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Paradox
A statement that appears to contradict itself.

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Personification
A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities.

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Pun
A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words.

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Simile
A stated comparison (usually formed with “like” or “as”) between two fundamentally dissimilar things that have certain qualities in common.

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Synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole (for example, ABCs for alphabet) or the whole for a part (“England won the World Cup in 1966″).

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Understatement
A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is.

Richard Nordquist – http://grammar.about.com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/20figures.htm

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Here is another good resource on the figures of speech with examples:

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/figures-of-speech-examples.html

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Today we are going to look more into Simile and Metaphor…

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Simile – a comparison (usually introduced by like or as) between two things that are generally not alike. A good simile must exemplify and illustrate the subject. A simile is a direct comparison between two different things.(write this down)

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Writers use similes to explain things, to express emotion, and to make their writing more interesting, vivid and entertaining. Discovering fresh similes to use in your own writing also means discovering new ways to look at your subjects.

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A common mnemonic device for remembering a simile is that a simile is similar or alike.

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For Example:
Using Like…

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She is like a candy so sweet.
Her eyes twinkled like stars.
He fights like a lion.
He runs like a cheetah.
She is fragrant like a rose.

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Using As…

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She walks as gracefully as a cat.
He was as hungry as a lion.
He was as mean as a bull.
Cute as a kitten.
As busy as a bee.
As snug as a bug in a rug.
Function of Simile

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Using similes is appealing to reader’s senses, encouraging them to use their imagination to comprehend what is being communicated. In addition, it inspires life-like qualities in our characters. Simile allows a writer to share their personal experiences with his/her audience. Therefore, the use of similes makes it easier to understand the subject of a literary text, which may have been too difficult or demanding to be comprehended.

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Similes are often used in Songs:
For example

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Speak Now – Taylor Swift about a woman stopping a wedding in its tracks includes three similes:
And she is yelling at a bridesmaid
Somewhere back inside a room
Wearing a gown shaped like a pastry.

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And the organ starts to play
A song that sounds like a death march.

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She floats down the aisle
Like a pageant queen.

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Candle in the Wind – Elton John’s ode to Marilyn Monroe’s title
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in

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Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel’s hit is not speaking about an actual bridge…
I’m on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

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Metaphor – is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something important in common. Metaphors also offer figurative comparisons, but these are implied rather than introduced by like or as. In other words, we think metaphorically–whether we’re aware of it or not.(write this down)

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The word metaphor itself is a metaphor, coming from a Greek word meaning to “transfer” or “carry across.” Metaphors “carry” meaning from one word, image, or idea to another.

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A simile is an expressed analogy; a metaphor is an implied one.

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For Example:
Night owl
Early bird
Life is a journey
There are plenty of fish in the sea
Hold your horses
Break the ice
No pain, no gain
Step on it
You’re no spring chicken
Golden years
Over the hill

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Now let’s look at another type of poetic metaphor

Visual Metaphors

For example:  A leaf Falls on lonelinessby e.e.Cummings

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l(a

le

 

af

 

fa

 

ll

 

s)

 

one

 

l

iness

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“Form is at the heart of this poem. If you read everything between the parenthesis, you read “a leaf falls.” The rest spells “oneliness.” If you add the beginning “l” to the “oneliness–that is, everything not in parenthesis–you get “loneliness.”

VERY COOL!

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http://livingpoetry.blogspot.com/2004/12/eecummings.html

 

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This is actually a double metaphor. He associates loneliness with the falling of a leaf, and also visualizes the experience by isolating letters as they fall down the page.

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I love this quote by Kenneth Burke!
“Metaphor is a device for seeing something in terms of something else. It brings out the thisness of a that, or the thatness of a this.”

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Modern advertising relies heavily on visual metaphors. For example, in an ad for the banking firm Morgan Stanley (circa 1995), a man is pictured bungee jumping off a cliff. Two words serve to explain this visual metaphor: a dotted line from the jumper’s head points to the word “You”; another line from the end of the bungee cord points to “Us.” The metaphorical message–of safety and security provided in times of risk–is conveyed through a single dramatic image.

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Creative Metaphors
“Creative metaphors contrast with conventional metaphors. These are metaphorical usages which are found again and again to refer to a particular thing. Cases in point are the metaphors of cells fighting off infection and of micro-organisms invading; and the metaphorical meaning of divorced to mean ‘completely separated’ and field to refer to a specialized subject or activity. These kinds of metaphors are institutionalized as part of the language. Most of the time we hardly notice them at all, and do not think of them as metaphorical when we use or encounter them.”
(M. Knowles and R. Moon, Introducing Metaphor. Routledge, 2006)

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Conventional Metaphors
“Conventional metaphors are embedded in our culture to the point that we literally interpret their meaning. The example, “time is money,” is a conventional metaphor that has become embedded in American culture. We understand ‘time’ in terms of money and conceptualize ‘time’ as being ‘spent,’ ‘saved,’ or ‘wasted.’ Such basic conventional metaphors help structure our everyday thinking. We interpret these metaphors literally as a conventional part of speech, and this common language further influences how we conceptualize and behave. For example, ‘argument is war’ formulates how we think about arguing. We ‘defend,’ ‘strategize,’ ‘attack,’ and ‘defeat’ arguments.”
(Donna Cox, “Metaphoric Mappings: The Art of Visualization.” Aesthetic Computing, ed. by Paul A. Fishwick. The MIT Press, 2006)

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Dead metaphor – A figure of speech that has lost its force and imaginative effectiveness through frequent use.
For example:
the arm of the chair
the legs of the table
the foot of the bed
the hands of the clock
the neck of the river
the eye of the needle
the shoulder of the road

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“The ‘dead metaphor’ account misses an important point: namely, that what is deeply entrenched, hardly noticed, and thus effortlessly used is most active in our thought. The metaphors . . . may be highly conventional and effortlessly used, but this does not mean that they have lost their vigor in thought and that they are dead. On the contrary, they are ‘alive’ in the most important sense–they govern our thought–they are ‘metaphors we live by.’”
(Zoltán Kövecses, Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford Univ. Press, 2002)

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13 Different Types of Metaphors

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1) Absolute Metaphor
A metaphor in which one of the terms (the tenor) can’t be readily distinguished from the other (the vehicle).

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2) Complex Metaphor
A metaphor in which the literal meaning is expressed through more than one figurative term (a combination of primary metaphors).

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3) Conceptual Metaphor
A metaphor in which one idea (or conceptual domain) is understood in terms of another.

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4) Conventional Metaphor
A familiar comparison that doesn’t call attention to itself as a figure of speech.

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5) Creative Metaphor
An original comparison that does call attention to itself as a figure of speech.

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6) Dead Metaphor
A figure of speech that has lost its force and imaginative effectiveness through frequent use.

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7) Extended Metaphor
A comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem.

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8) Mixed Metaphor
A succession of incongruous or ludicrous comparisons.

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9) Primary Metaphor
A basic, intuitively understood metaphor–such as KNOWING IS SEEING or TIME IS MOTION–that may be combined with other primary metaphors to produce complex metaphors.

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10) Root Metaphor
An image, narrative, or fact that shapes an individual’s perception of the world and interpretation of reality.

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11) Submerged Metaphor
A type of metaphor in which one of the terms (either the vehicle or tenor) is implied rather than stated explicitly.

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12) Therapeutic Metaphor
A metaphor used by a therapist to assist a client in the process of personal transformation.

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13) Visual Metaphor
The representation of a person, place, thing, or idea by way of a visual image that suggests a particular association or point of similarity.

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“Regardless of the types of metaphors you favor, keep in mind Aristotle’s observation 2,500 years ago in Rhetoric: “Those words are most pleasant which give us new knowledge. Strange words have no meaning for us; common terms we know already. It is metaphor which gives us most of this pleasure.”

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Richard Nordquist – http://grammar.about.com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/13metaphors.htm

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Writing Prompt: Write a poem with simile and metaphor included.

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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.

Metaphor and Simile Saturday

Aside

The Webinar is one week from today…Don’t miss it!

Interesting Image

 

Join us for our special “3 Things You Must Know About Writing Rhyming Kids’ Books” webinar, on Friday, April 25th, at 6:00 PM! Pacific Time

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Link for the live webinar

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

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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 can improve your own writing whether you write in rhyme or not.

• Meet the amazing Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, author of Chicks
Run Wild, Hampire and 34 other books.

• Hear from Dr. Mira Reisberg, Agent/Children’s Book Academy founder as she shares some of the pleasures of poetry.

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Mira and Sudipta have invited RhyPiBoMoers as their

special guests so reserve your spot now by clicking the link above!

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Today’s guest blogger is an amazing writer who has published over 34 books…that’s a lot of writing wisdom and talent, all wrapped up in one person! I am so pleased to have her here to share a bit of her writing knowledge with us!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen!

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        Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge      Sudipta B Quallan 1

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Sing A Different Tune and Make Your Rhyme Sing

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I struggled with the title of this post. I wanted to create something catchy, something idiomatic, something that tied into the theme of my post, about songwriting vs. writing in rhyme and what one can teach us about the other. I’m not sure that really worked, but at least now you have an introduction to what I’ll be talking about.

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If you’re interested in writing picture books in rhyme, you’ve probably already heard someone tell you to make your rhyme sing!” That advice, though well-intended, often gets across the wrong point. People start to think that rhyming picture books should sound like songs. And why not? Song lyrics rhyme. They flow to the beat of the music. So if your picture book text sounds like song lyrics, you’re on the right track, no?

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The answer is NO.

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Songwriting is a beautiful art. But if you follow the same rules that song writers do, you won’t end up with a very good picture book – and not just because picture book writers use fewer repetitions of “baby,” “ooh,” and “tonight.” The thing is, picture book writers have to be much more strict about the rules of rhyme and meter – we don’t get away with the things that songwriters get away with.

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Here are some lyrics from Collide, written by Kevin Griffin and Howie Day (I like using this refrain as an example because it actually references when “the wrong words seem to rhyme”!):

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[The first refrain]
Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow find
You and I collide

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[the second refrain]
Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the stars refuse to shine
Out of the back you fall in time
I somehow find
You and I collide

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The rhyme scheme in the first iteration of the refrain is AABBC (I’m giving the songwriters a pass on the near rhyme of “sometimes” and “rhyme”), but then the second time around, it becomes ABACD. Very, very inconsistent (and, if I can say, lots of wrong words that only seem to rhyme!). Now, there is assonance in all these end words (sometimes/rhyme/mind/find/collide and sometimes/shine/time/find/collide), and in the context of the song, the assonance works. But assonance isn’t rhyme, and when you just try to read the lyrics, they don’t sound as good without the music.

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When you look at the meter, the songwriters become even more inconsistent. When the lyrics are sung, the stressed fall on the bolded syllables:

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Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow find
You and I collide

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The singer speeds though the extra syllables of “even the” and “out of the” and then uses a long pause and filler music to create an extra beat between the end of the 4th line and the beginning of the 5th.

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When we write a rhyming picture book, we don’t get to fill in gaps with extra music, or speed through extra syllables to make the rhythm consistent.

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When we write a rhyming picture book, we don’t get to use assonance or consonance in the place of true rhymes.

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If you want your rhyming picture book to sing, you have to avoid writing it like a song.

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After telling you everything about songwriting you shouldn’t repeat in your picture book, let me just tell you one thing that songwriters get really right: the refrain.

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Most songs are arranged roughly like this:

First verse
Refrain
Second verse
Refrain
Bridge
Refrain

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Structurally, the refrain helps to delineate different sections/verses of the song – it signals the listener that the previous verse has ended and he is about to hear a new verse. Sometimes the refrain is identical in every iteration. But more often, the refrain alters slightly every time we hear it – and the alteration supports the narrative of the song.

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Here’s the first refrain of Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me:

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If you could see that I’m the one who understands you.
Been here all along. So, why can’t you see—
You belong with me, you belong with me?

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The last time, however, the refrain changes slightly:

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Can’t you see that I’m the one who understands you?
Been here all along. So, why can’t you see—
You belong with me?

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Even if you don’t know the song, you could probably tell that at the beginning, she is trying to convince him to see she’s the one for him – and by the end, she’s frustrated that he still doesn’t see it. Just the subtle change in the wording of the refrain really drives that home.

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If you’re looking for examples of the refrain done well in picture books, study Karma Wilson’s BEAR SNORES ON, Bill Martin, Jr’s CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM, and maybe even my CHICKS RUN WILD.

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In Conclusion

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You’re getting lots of great tips this month on writing great rhyming picture books. It truly is an art form, and a distinct art form from anything else. If nothing else, I hope this post helps you see our art as being as unique as it truly is!

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PS
For a really interesting read, check out this article in Slate called What is the most common rhyme in the history of pop music? (by Ben Blatt).

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http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/02/justin_bieber_and_the_beatles_they_both_liked_to_rhyme_the_same_words.html

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Here are some of the rhyming pairs Mr Blatt references:
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Do/You
Be/Me
Me/See
True/You
Baby/Me
Go/Know
Through/You
Around/Down *
Night/Right
Mind/Time *
To/You
Mine/Time *
Day/Way
Free/Me
Away/Day
Say/Way
Away/Say
Too/You
Be/See
Gone/On
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Don’t tell Mr Blatt, but none of the pairs marked with an asterisk actually rhymes.

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Bio:
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is an award-winning children’s book author whose books include Duck Duck Moose, Orangutangled, Snoring Beauty, and Tyrannosaurus Wrecks. She visits schools around the country to talk about the craft of writing to children of all ages. “Every book is an autobiography” is a favorite saying of hers, and a big part of her message is that everyone, grownup or child, has a story that is interesting and compelling — if you can find the right words to tell it. Sudipta lives outside Philadelphia with her children and an imaginary pony named Penny. You can learn more about her and her books on her website http://www.sudipta.com or at her blog http://www.NerdyChicksRule.com.

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Here are just a few of Sudipta’s Books…

Sudipta B Quallan 2     Orangutangled

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Snoring Beauty           Tyrannosaurus

 

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Thank you Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Friday, April 18th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 20

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More Feet?

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Yes, 2 more…

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The reason that there are so many types of feet is that there is a need in poetry to express a variety of emotions and actions. These rhythms enable poets to examine rhythmic patterns and express these in commonly understood terms.

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Dacty – is a metrical foot consisting of one long and two short syllables or of one stressed and two unstressed syllables. Dactylic rhythm is the direct opposite of trochaic in that it has one hard beat followed by two soft beats as can be heard in the word HAP-pen-ing. The first syllable “hap” is hard and the last two, “pen” and “ing” are soft. (write this down)

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Pronunciation: Dak-tull
The stressed syllables are in all caps

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For example:
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Evangeline, which is in dactylic hexameter:

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THIS is the / FOR-est prim- / E-val. The / MUR-mur-ing / PINES and the / HEM-locks/

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Dactyl/Dactyl/Dactyl/Dactyl/Dactyl/Trochee

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LONG-short-short/ LONG-short-short/ LONG-short-short/ LONG-short-short/LONG-

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short-short/LONG-short-short/

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DUM-da-da/DUM-da-da/DUM-da-da/DUM-da-da/DUM-da-da/DUM-da-da/

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For example:
Robert Browning’s The Lost Leader – 1st line

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JUST for a/HAND-ful of/SIL-ver he/left us

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*LONG-short-short/ LONG-short-short/ LONG-short-short/LONG-short/

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Dactyl/Dactyl/Dactyl/Trochee

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DUM-da-da/DUM-da-da/DUM-da-da/DUM-da

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Foot Type                      Style Stress pattern                                        Syllable Count

Dactyl/Dactylic          Stressed + Unstressed + Unstressed     Three

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Anapest – is a metrical foot composed of two unaccented syllables followed by one accented syllable or two short syllables followed by one long one, as in the word se-ven-TEEN.(write this down)

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Pronunciation: Ann-uh-pest
The stressed syllables are in all caps

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For example:
Clement Clarke Moore’s Twas the Night Before Christmas

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twas the NIGHT/ be-fore CHRIST/mas, when ALL/ through the HOUSE/
short-short-LONG/short-short-LONG/short-short-LONG/short-short-LONG
da-da-DUM/da-da-DUM/da-da-DUM/da-da-DUM/

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not a CREA/ture was Stir/ring not E/ven a MOUSE/
short-short-LONG/short-short-LONG/short-short-LONG/short-short-LONG
da-da-DUM/da-da-DUM/da-da-DUM/da-da-DUM/

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Foot Type                            Style Stress pattern                                             Syllable Count
Anapest/Anapestic      Unstressed + Unstressed + Stressed          Three

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Writing Prompt:If you want some real practice, divide this familiar poem into feet as above. This may be easier for you to hear the stressed and unstressed syllables as it is a familiar poem that is normally recited out loud.

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Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap-
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
“To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys – and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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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.

Anapests and Dactyls All Around! Friday

Aside

          Registration for RhyPiBoMo 2014 is Closed!

We have 204 participants registered

for this, our first year!

Woo Hoo!

More confetti throwing!

;;::‘””:“”:“;:’:;”::”;”‘:”””::”;;;;””:’;:

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This really is amazing to me that over 200 of you are coming here every day or as often as you can, to read and learn more about writing. I didn’t know if I’d have 4 people following my blog starting on March 3oth…Thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me to take us through this meandering journey through rhyme and poetry to get to our final destination of writing rhyming picture books.

Hugs and rhyme for everyone!

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Today’s guest blogger is a busy lady who has her toes dipped in lots of different writing rivers…Her latest endeavor  is a wonderful new poetry course called

The Lyrical Language Lab, Punching Up Prose with Poetry.

http://www.nowaterriver.com/the-lyrical-language-lab/

Check it out! It seems that April and May are already full but you should consider signing up for a summer class! Renee has generously donated a scholarship for this course as one of our Golden Quill Poetry Contest Prizes…Thanks Renee!

Renee la Tulippe 2

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Renee La Tulippe!

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    Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Renee LaTulippe

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FREE VERSE FOR RHYMERS: Lessons from the Other Side
by Renée M. LaTulippe

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We all know that writing – any kind of writing – must be tight and engaging. No extra words. No tangents. Every syllable must push push push that poem or story forward toward its inevitable end. And those syllables have to sing.

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A good way to become familiar with the economy and choice of words necessary for such writing is to read and write free verse. As rhymers, we can learn so much by stripping away our rhyme schemes and meter and letting our stories or poems stand there as naked as jaybirds. Without all the fancy plumes, do they still hold up?

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The three free verse poems below illustrate how much can be done with character development, rhythm, and story structure in just a few well-chosen words. Read them and try the quick exercises to see how you can apply the techniques to hone your rhyming poems and stories.

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Character Development

Sisters

Points to ponder:
• In two tercets and a total of twenty-five words, poet Janet Wong creates an entire relationship with an emotional backstory.

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• The poem feels both effortless and sincere because the poet has reproduced the natural rhythms of spoken language – something that is often lost in rhyming texts. There is nothing forced about the language.

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• Careful word choice supports the image of the narrator as a girl who is “soft” – just like all those F sounds in tofu, soft, falling, tough, full of fire.

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• Although this is free verse, the poet makes use of slant rhyme and other sound devices, as in tofu/soft/tough and ginger/her.

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• The first two lines and the use of tofu and soft at first give a sense that perhaps the narrator is merely plump, while the clever third line, easily falling apart, adds another meaning to the word soft, as in emotionally fragile (or at least more fragile than the tougher sister).

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• The second tercet succinctly reveals both the narrator’s desire and her view of her sister.

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Try it!
Write a short free verse poem that encapsulates your main character and includes clues to his/her personality, problem, emotional state, and/or relationship to another character. Then rewrite it as a rhyming stanza.

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Rhythm and Sound

Beavers

Points to ponder:
• Although it is free verse, Marilyn Singer’s poem contains rhyme, alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia, and repetition.

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• Form and sound work really well together in This stick here / That stick there. The repeated stick is a short, staccato word that recalls the precision of a beaver’s work, while the space in the line forces the reader to pause and emphasizes the deliberate actions of the beaver in placing the sticks just so.

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• The same can be said for the repetition of mud, more mud, add mud, good mud, which creates a single-minded, assembly-line image of very focused beavers and mimics their staccato movements.

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• The heavy D, G, and short U sounds in that repeated line put us right in the mud with the beavers, while the alliterated M sound creates a subtle, monotonous hum that underscores the assembly line focus.

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• The lack of punctuation throughout further enhances the idea that these beavers don’t take a break and will continue working in their dam factory long after we’ve finished the poem.

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Try it!
Choose a short section of your manuscript or poem and rewrite it as a free verse poem that captures the desired rhythm of your story/character. Is it fast-paced and bouncy or slow and lyrical? Consider the properties of the sounds you choose.

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Story Structure

 Sign me up

Points to ponder:
• This poem by David L. Harrison is a succinct illustration of story structure and story elements. With sparse but evocative language, the poem:

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• establishes the main character and his emotional state (further helped by cowboy dialect)

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• introduces the problem (conflicted about signing up for the cattle drive)

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• illustrates reasons that gave rise to problem (those durn flies!)

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• ups the stakes (busted leg, stampedes, etc.)

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• includes falling action moving toward resolution (don’t know what else I’d do)

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• shows transformation of character’s emotional state (lookin’ at stars ain’t so bad)

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• resolution (sign me up)

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Try it!
Write your whole rhyming story or poem in free verse. What did you leave out that was in the rhyming version? Do you really need it?

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Remember that when trying these exercises, the idea is not to merely write your whole rhyming story or poem down the page instead of across it – that’s not what free verse is. Rather, the idea is to distill your work into one or a series of short free verse poems with the goal of seeing
• where you can tighten your writing
• how you can use sound, rhythm, and word choice to enhance your story
• how you can bring more of the natural rhythms of spoken language into your verse
• how your structure holds up without all the bells and whistles of rhyme

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Getting to the essence of your story through free verse can help you approach your work with a more critical eye and refine it into a tight, engaging, and musical piece of writing.

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© 2014 Renée M. LaTulippe. This article is partially excerpted from a lesson in the online course The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry. All rights reserved.

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Bio
Renée M. LaTulippe has co-authored nine early readers and a collection of poetry titled Lizard Lou: a collection of rhymes old and new for All About Learning Press, where she is also the editor, and has poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School and The PFA for Science. She developed and teaches the online course The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry and blogs on children’s poetry at NoWaterRiver.com. Renée earned her BFA in acting/directing from Marymount Manhattan College and her MA in English Education from NYU, and taught English, theater, and public speaking in NYC. She lives in Italy with her husband and twin boys.
http://www.NoWaterRiver.com
Twitter: @ReneeMLaTulippe

No water river

http://www.nowaterriver.com/

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- Renée’s book of poetry: Lizard Lou: a collection of poems old and new
- See my poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (ed. Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong)
- How to use NWR in the classroom

Here are a few of Renee’s books:

Renee La Tulippe 1

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       Renee La Tulippe 3

Thank you Renee La Tulippe!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Thursday, April 17th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 19

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Today’s lessons will be more review of Iamb, Trochee and Spondee. This will give you time to catch up with other lessons as well.

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Talk about Breaking it down…
One LAST time!

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You should be feeling pretty comfortable with Iamb by now!

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Iamb – is a metrical foot consisting of two syllables, a short one followed by a long one
Pronunciation: EYE-am

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The stressed syllables are in all caps

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For example:
Come LIVE / with ME / and BE / my LOVE.
Short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG
Da-DUM/Da-DUM/ Da-DUM/Da-DUM

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Another example:
from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18:

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So LONG / as MEN / can BREATHE / or EYES / can SEE,
Short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/short LONG
Da-DUM/Da-DUM/ Da-DUM/Da-DUM/Da-DUM

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So LONG / lives THIS / and THIS / gives LIFE / to THEE.
Short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/short LONG
Da-DUM/Da-DUM/ Da-DUM/Da-DUM/Da-DUM

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Foot Type                  Style Stress pattern                       Syllable Count
Iamb/Iambic          Unstressed + Stressed                   Two

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Trochee – a metrical foot consisting of one long syllable followed by one short syllable or of one stressed syllable followed by one unstressed syllable (as in apple)
Pronunciation: TROH-kee

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Trochaic is the direct opposite of iambic in that its two feet are hard and soft.
The stressed syllables are in all caps

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For example:

TI-ger/TI-ger/BURN-ing/BRIGHT
LONG short/LONG short/LONG short/LONG
DUM-da/DUM-da/DUM-da/DUM

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IN the/FOR-est/OF the/NIGHT
LONG short/LONG short/LONG short/LONG
DUM-da/DUM-da/DUM-da/DUM

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Foot Type                            Style Stress pattern                        Syllable Count
Trochee/Trochaic          Stressed + Unstressed                  Two

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Spondee – is a metrical foot consisting of two long or stressed syllables as in the word “heartache.” Spondee is a relatively rare meter that slows down the tempo of a line when it is used. It is unusual to find whole poems written in spondee, but it is usually combined with other metrical feet for effect.
Pronunciation:SPON-dee

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The stressed syllables are in all caps

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For example:
Longfellow’s classic, ‘On the Shores of Hiawatha.’
This poem is rare because every line has three feet of spondee and one of trochee. This poem is about Native Americans, and we can almost hear a drum beat because of the use of spondee.

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BY THE/SHORE OF / GIT-CHE/GUM-ee.
LONG LONG/LONG LONG/LONG LONG/ short
DUM DUM/DUM DUM/DUM DUM/ da

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BY THE/ SHIN-ING/ BIG SEA /WAT-er
LONG LONG/LONG LONG/LONG LONG/ short
DUM DUM/DUM DUM/DUM DUM/ da

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AT THE/ DOOR-WAY/OF HIS/WIG-wam,
LONG LONG/LONG LONG/LONG LONG/ short
DUM DUM/DUM DUM/DUM DUM/ da

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IN THE /PLEA-SANT/SUM-MER/MORN-ing,
LONG LONG/LONG LONG/LONG LONG/ short
DUM DUM/DUM DUM/DUM DUM/ da

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Writing Prompt: Finish finding the Spondee in the rest of this poem. Separate by writing the stressed syllables in all caps and divide the feet with a slash mark, as above.

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HI-A/WA-THA/STOOD AND/WAIT-ed.

All the air was full of freshness,

All the earth was bright and joyous,

And before him, through the sunshine,

Westward toward the neighboring forest

Passed in golden swarms the Ahmo

Passed the bees, the honey-makers,

Burning, singing in the sunshine.’

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Foot Type                             Style Stress pattern                    Syllable Count
Spondee/Spondaic        Stressed + Stressed                     Two

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The exact opposite of Spondee is Pyrrhic. Pyrrhic has 2 unstressed syllables. See if you can find some poems with Pyrrhic feet.

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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.

Break-it-down Dancing with Poetic Feet Thursday

Aside

Today is day 18 of RhyPiBoMo!

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We are midway between learning how to apply poetic devices to our picture book writing and how to write a rhyming picture book. There is one more week of poetry info and then we delve into picture book writing the last week and a half.

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I thank you all for hanging in here with me! It has been quite a journey so far but hang on…there is plenty more to learn!

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Today’s guest blogger has quite a repertoire of distinguished credits to go with her name…not to mention the twelve books she has written! She was honored with the E.B. White Read Aloud Award for A VISITOR FOR BEAR. I think I would just die and go to picture book heaven if I won that award! I can’t think of a better honor to bestow a picture book author than to honor the lyrical, flowing language that makes that particular book a joy to read aloud…that my friends, is what we should all aspire to write! Needless to say, I am thrilled to have her here!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Bonny Becker!

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      Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Bonny Becker 1

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Tell It Slant

“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant–
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

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As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind–”

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Emily Dickinson

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Our first experience with rhyme was probably with nursery rhymes—simple perfect word matches—cat and hat, hog and jog, Horner and corner. But you can work with rhyme in subtler ways. One of my favorite approaches is to “tell it slant,” as Emily Dickinson was so fond of doing.

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Slant rhymes, also called near rhymes are rhymes created using words with similar but not identical sounds. Words like ground/down, play/stayed and even more tenuous matches like Dickinson’s delight/surprise and eased/gradually. In some near rhymes the vowels are similar; in some the consonants match.

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Why do I like to tell it slant? I love it for its rhythmic surprises. It can help you break away from the singsong, drumbeat that’s easy to fall into with perfect rhyme. But best of all, from a writer’s standpoint, it makes this whole business of writing in rhyme easier.

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It’s hard to tell a nuanced story in perfect rhyme—with near rhyme your word choices open up dramatically. It makes it a bit easier to do as Dickinson advices—to tell the truth but tell it slant. It can “ease” the telling–and the receiving—both literally and figuratively.

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Like Dickinson, I like to mix both near and perfect rhyme. Here are the first few stanzas of my very first book, “The Quiet Way Home.”

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“Let’s go the quiet way home.
Not by the dog who growls at the gate
But the way where the kittens play

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Hush. Can you hear it.

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Skittle. Skattle. Bat and claw
Kitten paw.

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Let’s go the quiet way home
Not by the lawn and the roar as John mows
But the way where Mr. Kay’s garden grows

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Hush. Can you hear it?

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Chip, chop, dig-a-row.
Garden hoe.

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There are a couple bits of advice embedded in these lines. For one thing, if you’re going to use slant rhyme establish early that this is what you’re going to do. With my first stanza, I’ve signaled immediately that I’m not going with perfect rhyme (gate/play). But as you can see from my second verse, I am promising a similar rhythm and pattern to each stanza. And perfect rhyme at times (mows/grows).

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Notice also that I use internal rhyme—that is rhyme within the line itself not just at the end, such as “growls” and “gate,” “roar” and “mows,” “way” and “Kay.” Internal rhyme like that is often slant rhyme and poets use it all the time.
(By the way “hush” is a magic word. I’ve never had a class– from kindergarteners to 6th graders–not hush at that moment and listen. I suspect it’s half the magic of “Good Night Moon.”)

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Also, with the important moment—when I identify the object making the noise—I consistently use perfect rhyme (claw/paw, row/hoe). It creates a punchy contrast to the near rhyme. Just as Dickinson uses her one moment of perfect rhyme, kind/blind, to such powerful effect in her poem.

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One challenge of slant rhyme is it can get away from you. You don’t have the control of perfect rhythm and rhyme. In my book, “Just a Minute” I go so slant at times that I think I come perilously close to going completely off the track.
It’s a tall tale about a boy whose minute of waiting for his mother gradually seems to balloon into eternity.

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Here’s how it starts:

“Now, don’t you move,”
said Johnny MacGuffin’s mother.
“Stay right here while I shop.
Auntie Mabel will watch.
I’ll be just a minute.”

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And she sailed away,
Past the purses and plates,
Up the up escalator
In Bindle’s Department Store.
“But you’ll take forever!” Johnny cried.
“When you get back I’ll be fossilized!”
But it was too late.
He was stuck in the basement of Bindle’s again.

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While Johnny’s mom is away he imagines that Christmas comes and goes, a year passes, then more. He grows up and grows old and Bindle’s crumbles to dust. Finally:
The sun shifted its course
And the seas rose and fell
And rose again…

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…[then] the tides came in
and the sun burned to a cinder of vermilion…

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All this by the time his mother returns. But this rather careening path of rhythm and rhyme works for a tall tale of time spinning out of control.

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Slant rhyme isn’t “cheating” and it can be a powerful tool for you for telling stories in rhyme. But when to use it depends, as it always does, on what’s right for your story. Don’t use it just to be lazy.

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As in the Dickinson poem, with or without perfect rhyme, your goal as an author is to “tell all the truth.” To tell a story as honestly as you can. One that is honest about its message and honest about its techniques, and sometimes the perfect choice will be to “tell it slant.”

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Bio:
Bonny Becker is author of the best-selling Mouse and Bear books, including A Visitor for Bear, New York Times bestseller, winner of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award and Amazon’s Picture Book of the Year. Her latest in the series is A Library Book for Bear coming in September 2014. Her middle-grade novel, The Magical Ms. Plum won the 2010 Washington State Children’s Book Award. In all, she’s published 12 books for children. She is also an instructor for the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, an accredited program for a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing.

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bonnybecker.com

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bjb@site7000.com

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Bonny Becker 2

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Bonny Becker 3

Thank you Bonny Becker!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Wednesday, April 16th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 18

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Metrical Feet…Don’t Trip!

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feet

Okay…so what the H-E Double Hockey Stick are we talking about all this meter, foot, feet nonsense for again anyway? Haven’t we talked about this already? Right?

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Fair questions!

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This is all review.

Now that more of this poetry stuff is making sense, I hope that you can take it a step at a time and grasp the understanding of it all. You should feel more confident with the language so the concepts should be easier to grasp.

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Here’s the deal…
We should have a basic understanding of this meter stuff but honestly, we don’t have to remember everything. You should know enough that you could carry on a conversation with someone who asks you, the writer, “So, what is meter anyway?”
Now that you have all these resources at your fingertips, you can refer back to anything that you are foggy about.

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What we are really studying is called Prosody!

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Prosody – is the study of meters and forms of versification. (write this down)
Prosody includes not only poetic meter but also the rhythmic aspects of prose.

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I don’t plan on ever walking around telling anyone what type of feet my picture book has and you shouldn’t either. I think that’s where we’ve gotten some flack from some who say that rhyming picture book writers aren’t poets and that we don’t need to know this stuff. I firmly disagree. We must understand enough about poetry to write it purposefully in our work. We must be able to edit and revise it when an editor says to “fix the meter in the third stanza.” I want to be able to have that conversation and be respected as a professional…and then actually know how to do it!

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That is why we are studying poetry.

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Meter – is what brings the poem to life and is the internal beat or rhythm with which it is read. Meter in poetry is a rhythm of accented and unaccented syllables arranged into feet. The meter of a verse can be described as a sequence of feet. (write this down)

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Should you know what a poetic foot is?

Yes.

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Feet – a specific sequence of syllable types – such as relatively unstressed/stressed or long/short sounds. (write this down)

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Poetry is meant to be recited! That’s why we talk so much about the rhythm of the poem because it should sound like music with words when being said out loud.

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The number of beats per line of spoken poetry determines the name of the rhythm.
Here is a little chart you can print and leave close to your desk for quick reference.

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Feet Chart

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These are the different types of feet:

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Foot Type                          Style Stress pattern                 Syllable Count

Iamb/Iambic                                             Unstressed + Stressed                                                         Two
Trochee/Trochaic                                   Stressed + Unstressed                                                         Two
Spondee/Spondaic                                  Stressed + Stressed                                                               Two
Anapest/Anapestic                                Unstressed + Unstressed + Stressed                            Three
Dactyl/Dactylic                                       Stressed + Unstressed + Unstressed                             Three
Amphibrach/Amphibrachic            Unstressed + Stressed + Unstressed                             Three
Pyrrhic/Pyrrhic                                      Unstressed + Unstressed                                                    Two

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For example:
Suppose a line contains ten syllables (set length) in which the first syllable is unstressed, the second is stressed, the third is unstressed, the fourth is stressed, and so on until the line reaches the tenth syllable. The line would look like the following one

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The opening line of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 contains a pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables.

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/Shall I /com PARE/ thee TO/ a SUM/mers DAY/
1                   2                      3               4              5                        = 5 feet

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Each pair of unstressed and stressed syllables makes up a unit called a foot. This line contains five feet in all.

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A foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (as above) is called an iamb. Because there are five feet in the line, all iambic, the meter of the line is iambic pentameter. The prefix pent in pentameter means five
Thus, poetry lines with five feet are in pentameter. Iambic Pentameter

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So, that’s it for today as we will break down the foot types even further tomorrow and Friday. Let this digest…read it over a few times, look at this example below that I found and then read this all again.

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Another Good Link:
This goes into much more detail than I have but it is explained very well.

http://www.winthrop.edu/uploadedFiles/cas/english/SnappyScansion.pdf

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A few good poetry resource books…

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The Ode less Traveled

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Rhyme’s Reason

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I don’t have these books but I keep seeing them recommended as poetry resources!

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Writing Prompt: Write a poem in Iambic Pentameter

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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.

Don’t Trip on Your Metrical Feet! Wednesday

Aside

Look at all the amazing guest bloggers

still to come this month!

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RhyPiBoMo Calendar updated

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Tomorrow, April 16th, at Midnight, Central Time

is the last day to register for RhyPiBoMo!

If you are not registered…go to the registration tab above and

join the official group now!

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RhyPiBoMo Poetry Contest Scroll

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Someone contacted me yesterday with a great question concerning the Golden Quill Poetry Contest. The question was, “Will I be posting the 3 winning poems here on my blog?” The answer, YES! So…if you have a poem that you want to submit but are considering submitting it to an editor, you may choose to send me a different poem. An editor might not look at your poem as favorably if he/she knows that your poem has already been seen by the public. Please consider this when submitting a poem for any contest!

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I was fortunate enough to not only meet today’s guest blogger at a SCBWI conference, but had her critique a manuscript for me. She liked it! I say that proudly, because if you’ve had many paid critiques done before, it can be very tough!  She is such a talented author and her books are full of lyrical, lovely language! I was very proud to contact her for this event and even more thrilled when she accepted the invitation to be a guest blogger!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Rhonda Gowler Greene!

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       Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge    Rhonda G Green 1

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Over the years, I’ve critiqued many rhyming picture book manuscripts for unpublished writers. The main problem I see? Too many beats in a line. Rhymed stories should be pleasing to the ear, but inconsistency of the rhythm in lines is jarring. This, along with forced rhymes (2nd most common problem I see), is why many editors won’t consider rhyming manuscripts anymore. After wading through so many poorly written rhyming manuscripts, they’ve finally said, “Enough.”

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…2 lines from my NO PIRATES ALLOWED! SAID LIBRARY LOU (stressed beats in caps)…

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MAYbe, just MAYbe, the CODE be in RHYME.

He LOVED Mother GOOSE. Dr. SEUSS—how subLIME!
(btw, this is anapest meter- 2 unstressed beats, 1 stressed)

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Example of too many beats—

He LOVED Mother GOOSE books. Dr. SEUSS books—how subLIME!

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Adding “books” makes the reader have to rush to get all the words in. There are too many unstressed beats. Lines in rhyming picture books should “ssssing,” not make a reader stumble or have to rush.

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Even though some editors refuse to look at rhyme, rhyming picture book manuscripts still sell to editors who are willing to look for well-written gems. How can you develop an ear for hearing “off” meter, recognize weak rhymes, and turn your story into a “gem”?

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I’m a HUGE believer that in order to write rhyme well, you need to study the best rhyming picture books. My house is FULL of them (also of children’s poetry books). Read them like a writer. Pick apart, and think on, the texts. If it helps, count stressed and unstressed beats in lines. Study— Bats at the Beach, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, Tadpole Rex, Mrs. Biddlebox, Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg to name a few.
I read read read rhyming picture books because that’s a genre I want to excel in. I analyze them, type out the texts, compare my writing to what’s in them. I think—Would I have used that particular rhyme or written a certain line in that same amazing way? I read my writing out loud. I have someone else read it aloud to me. Sometimes I spend weeks on one phrase! Or word! Writing in rhyme, to me, is like putting a very difficult puzzle together. Two tools I couldn’t live without— 1) my rhyming dictionary 2) my big, fat The Synonym Finder.

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I actually think it’s as important to spend time studying successful books as it is to write. If you do your “homework” and learn from the best, you’ll actually save time since instead of churning out limp lines day after day, you’ll begin to be your own critic—which brings your writing to the next level! You’ll recognize weak lines and rhymes. You’ll come up with original word choices. It doesn’t mean you won’t have to revise, but you’ll be better at it.

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When I’m writing in rhyme, I don’t really think—“iambic,” “anapest,” “trochee,” “dactyl.” I just kind of “hear” the beat. Knowing about these meters, though, is helpful. To learn about them, read chapter 13 (Rhyme Time) of Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books (a great resource!).

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I’m honored to be a guest blogger among so many distinguished rhymers! Besides the works of the 35 guest authors here on RhyPiBoMo, I recommend books by— Linda Ashman, Karen Beaumont, Sandra Boynton, Julia Donaldson, Douglas Florian, Mary Ann Hoberman, Verla Kay, J. Patrick Lewis, Alice Schertle, Judy Sierra, and Chris Van Dusen.
What are editors looking for? A clever story idea. Fresh writing. Often, humor. Tight writing. And, too, that gem—a perfectly rhymed picture book manuscript. Maybe it’s yours!
Happy Reading! Happy Rhyming! And—Good Luck!!

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Bio:

Rhonda Gowler Greene is the author of over twenty rhyming picture books (with four forthcoming). Her books have received honors such as School Library Journal Best Book, American Booksellers “Pick of the List,” Children’s Book Council Showcase Book, Bank Street College Best Book, IRA Children’s Choice Book, Sydney Taylor Notable Book, Junior Library Guild selection, Michigan Reads One State One Children’s Book Award, and starred reviews.
A former elementary school teacher, Rhonda earned her B.A. in Elementary and Special Education and her Master’s in Educational Media. She minored in music/piano in college. Rhonda lives with her husband, Gary, in West Bloomfield, Michigan. They have four grown children. Visit her on the web at

http://www.rhondagowlergreene.com.

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Here are a few of Rhonda’s Books…

 

 Rhonda G Green 2

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Rhonda G Green 3          Rhonda G Green 4

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Rhonda G Green 5                  Rhonda G Green 6

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Rhonda G Green 7                Rhonda G Green 8

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Thank you Rhonda Gowler Greene!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Tuesday, April 15th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 17

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Do you have an ear for poetry?

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The way we assist young children to develop an ear for poetry is the same way you, as a writer can develop your poetic ear. Yes, we will start with nursery rhymes!

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Nursery Rhymes

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Nursery rhymes are essential because they help develop an ear for the sounds and syllables in words. Both rhythm and rhyme also aid with this learning process.

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Listen to these Nursery Rhymes over and over until you can recite them by memory.

http://www.mothergooseclub.com/

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Here are a few more activities to develop your poetic ear:

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Word Families

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Create word families.
In a notebook, start a list of basic one syllable words and list as many words in that word family as you can think of. Then, when your list is complete, look in a rhyming dictionary and add to your list. You will be amazed at how you begin to listen more closely to word patterns and analyze their patterns of sound.

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For example:
List of Word Families
-ab words (Cab, Dab, Fab, etc.)
-ad words (Bad, Dad, Fad, etc.)
-at words (Cat, Hat, Pat, etc)
-an
-ap
-all
-ash
-en
-et
-ed
-in
-it
-ip
-ill
-op
-ot
-og
-ug
-ut
-up
-ub

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This will give you a great beginning at listening to basic sounds of words that rhyme. Read these aloud. Have someone else read them aloud to you. If you are really challenged in this area, continue to create more lists with different beginning and ending sounds.

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Fill in the Blank

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Have someone else read children’s poems aloud and leave off the final rhyming word. I know this sounds very basic but it will help if this is an area you need help with. Remember, we are talking about creating perfect rhyme.

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Fill in the blank:
Little Boy Blue

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Little Boy Blue,
Come blow your horn,
The sheep’s in the meadow,
The cow’s in the ____;
Where is that boy
Who looks after the sheep?
Under the haystack
Fast ______.
Will you wake him?
Oh no, not I,
For if I do
He will surely ___.

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Swap Poem

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Write a swap poem. You write one line of a poem, and someone else writes the next line, matching the rhythm, and rhyming the last word. (Hint: Use words that are easy to rhyme!)

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I hope the rain will go away.

And stay away so I can play.

The sun must come and save the day.

“I want to go outside,” I say!

This was actually harder than it sounds!

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Resource from:
Nursery Rhymes: Not Just for Babies! By: Reading Rockets

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/14017

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Listen and Recite Poetry Out Loud
Very simply…Listening to poetry and rhyming songs is the best way to improve your ear for poetry!

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I am in no way suggesting that you should BUY any of these resources…I just list the Amazon link so you can see what it looks like and read more information. I’m sure most, if not all of them can be found at the library.

Here are a few suggested titles:

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Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes cds

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Dr. Seuss’s Beginning Book Set – (Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks)

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Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost

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Resources from: Phonics’ Failures and Fun with Phonology

http://www.gate.net/~labooks/phonemes-pre-reading-books.html

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A Child’s Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry
(CDs Included)

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Sound and Sense

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Resource from:The Pioneer Woman Blog

http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/2013/02/community-question-looking-for-poetry-curriculum/

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Poetry Out Loud Website

http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poems-and-performance/listen-to-poetry

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After the Introduction, you will see The Power of Poetry (2:28) By Dana Gioia
Click and listen to his reasons why poetry is important!
I found his detailed reasons very interesting!

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4 Reasons why poetry is one of the most practical and important things to learn.

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1)Poetry is a powerful way of mastering language.
2)Poetry is a way of training and developing our emotional intelligence.
3)Poetry helps us realize that language is holistic.
4)Poetry helps to enlarge our humanity and to give us the power to express it!

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There are also lots of wonderful poems offered and read aloud by various authors and poets. Enjoy!

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More poems read “Aloud” from Kristine O’Connell George’s website

http://www.kristinegeorge.com/poetry_aloud.html

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Classic Poetry Aloud, a podcast series for some of the greatest poetry in English.

http://classicpoetryaloud.wordpress.com/

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This certainly isn’t rocket science but by practicing over and over, you will improve and develop your poetic ear. It basically comes down to taking the time to recite out loud and listen to lots and lots of poetry…pretty simple.

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The Listening Challenge: Listen to a few of the poems from the resources above.

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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.

Can You Hear It? Tuesday

Aside

Can you believe that Wednesday is the halfway point?

Where did those 2 weeks go?

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Remember…

This Wednesday, April 16th, is the last day to register for RhyPiBoMo!

Don’t forget… if you have been following along and reading the blogs, this will make you eligible to win a daily prize donated by one of our guest bloggers. Comment each day you participate and your name will go into the drawing.

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I should also mention that you need to clear your schedule on

Friday, April 25th at 6:00 pm PST

for

Mira Reisberg and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallan’s live Webinar

3 Things You Must Know About Writing Rhyming Kids’ Books!

You won’t want to miss this!

And they have a marvelous Poetry class coming up too! How do I know it’s marvelous? Because I’ve taken Mira’s Courses before…enough said! This dynamic duo will knock our rhyming socks off!

http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/

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Poetry course

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I’ve known today’s guest blogger for many years. We probably met at the very first writing conference I ever attended, back in 2002. She was a Regional Adviser for Indiana SCBWI, before moving to Missouri, where she continues do school visits and author events. I was proud to ask my friend to join this group of wonderful bloggers as she definitely deserves to be included!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Peggy Archer!

     Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Peggy Archer

Are You Naturally Musical?

I love music. Which is not to say that I’m ‘naturally’ musical. My husband and I line dance. He’s a much better dancer than I am. But if you can count to 4, you can line dance. Listening to the music helps, because you can ‘feel’ the rhythm.

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As with dancing, I’m sometimes challenged when it comes to rhythm in a poem. Like counting the steps in a line dance, I count syllables. I look at where the stress falls in the lines. But sometimes this backfires. It becomes too structured. It takes the music out of the poem.

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Try clapping to the ‘music’ of your poem. Let’s try it with ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm.’

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Old MacDonald had a farm

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E-i-e-i-o!

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And on his farm he had a cow… Uh oh! There’s an extra syllable at the beginning of this line!

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But like in music, sometimes you can slip in an extra syllable, sort of like a musical grace note.

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I think songs must be difficult to write. But because you hear it performed, everyone ‘gets’ the rhythm just the way the writer meant it! Not so with a poem. Because a poem is left to the voice of the reader.

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So how do you know if your reader will ‘get’ the rhythm that you intend? Read your poem out loud. Listen to how it sounds. Do you trip up on any of the words?

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You’ve read your poem out loud, and it sounds great! But will another person read your poem the same way?

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Say the word “seal.” Do you say it with one or two syllables?
How about ‘shuffling’ or ‘twinkling.’ Do you pronounce them with two syllables or three?
Do you say address or address?

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One way to see if your rhythm works for the reader is to ask someone else to read your poem out loud. Do they put the stress in the same places that you do? Do they trip up anywhere? If you need to, you could try rearranging the words, adding or deleting syllables, or using a different word altogether to make it flow.

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To create ‘music’ in your poetry, listen to the ‘sound’ of your words.

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Do you want your poem to have a soft or sentimental quality? Use more of the ‘soft’ letters of the alphabet.

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Over my arm
She softly flows—
cinnamon coat
And whiskery nose… (from “Hampster Hide-and-Seek” by Avis Harley)

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Or do you want something more concrete? Use more of the ‘hard’ letters in your words.
Down in the dungeon,
dark and deep… (from “Down in the Dungeon” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich)

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Can you hear the difference? Soft sounding consonants are: R, J, M, N, S, V, W. Hard sounding consonants are K, D, Q, T, B, P. The letters C and G can be either soft or hard.

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In my picture book, TURKEY SURPRISE, the pilgrim brothers have a song that they sing. It starts out—
We’re two mighty pilgrims
Coming your way…

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But I wrote a poem, not a song. After the book was published, a friend of mine read it to her daughter’s second grade class, and she sang the pilgrim’s song! “It works perfectly to the Beverly Hillbilly’s theme song!” she said.

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Maybe I am a bit ‘naturally’ musical! Words dance in my head and I sing from my soul. It’s getting it to sound like that on paper that’s the hard part. Eventually I get it. I just have to remember to listen to the music.

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poetry selections from A PET FOR ME POEMS, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, HarperCollins 200

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BIO
Peggy Archer grew up and spent most of her life in Northwest Indiana. She currently lives in O’Fallon, Missouri with her husband. She writes fiction, poetry and non-fiction for children and her work has been published in several children’s magazines.

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Peggy enjoys speaking to children and adults about books and writing. Her speaking experience includes elementary school through high school, and guest speaker at conferences and events for children’s writers.
When she is not writing, Peggy enjoys reading, walking and spending time with her grandchildren and her family.

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Her picture books include:

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Dogs

Dial Books for Young Readers 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3322
also carried by Scholastic Book Club

• Name That Dog!, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010
Name That Dog! was nominated for the 2012 Utah Beehive Award for Poetry, was on Grandparents.com’s Best Collections of Poetry Spring 2010. Name That Dog! is on the accelerated reader list at Renaissance Learning, and is on the Scholastic Book Club list.

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Dawn to dreams

Candlewick Press 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7636-2467-5

• From Dawn to Dreams, Poems for Busy Babies, Candlewick Press 2007
From Dawn to Dreams received a letter of merit from the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Work-in-Progress Grant committee in 2002 and was nominated for the 2007 Cybil Award in the category of Children’s Poetry.

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Turkey Surprise

Dial Books for Young Readers
Illustrated by Thor Wickstrom
ISBN: 0-8037-2969-3
Puffin Books paperback edition
ISBN: 978-0-14-240852-0

• Turkey Surprise, Dial Books for Young Readers 2005
Turkey Surprise appeared on the NY Times Bestsellers list for children’s paperback books in November 2007 and was on Baker & Taylor’s Books for Growing Minds list in 2005. It is on the accelerated reader list at Renaissance Learning.

 

Thank you Peggy Archer!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Monday, April 14th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 16

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Are you Naturally Musical?

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The gal in this video talks for about 8 minutes about why you should never say that you are NOT musically talented…She’s funny and yet, really sincere and I think everything she is saying about singing can be applied to writing poetry and rhyme. I think everyone can learn to feel the rhythm in music and in your words. It just takes practice, a never-give-up attitude and the desire to learn.

 

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Weeks ago, before I started writing these lessons, I was stuck, waiting on a train one night and listening to the radio in my van. Jim Brickman’s music/talk show was on and he was talking about his creative process. I attended a concert of his once and he is amazingly talented!

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I was stunned to learn that he does not typically read or write music. That’s not to say that he hasn’t learned the basics of it but generally, as a rule, he plays from the heart. He said that he hears a tune in his head and then hums or sings the tune into his phone recording ap if he’s away from the piano. Then, when he gets home, he sits down at the piano and the notes just come out. He said he knows it’s good if he remembers it without having to retrieve his phone recording.
He said he can play it over and over without ever writing it down.

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When asked how he manages to work with musicians, singers and full orchestras in his professional life he says that he pays someone else to write it down and create the scores for the others involved. The score writer listens to him play and puts it down on paper.

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Jim Brickman is naturally, musically talented.

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Jim Brickman

Jim Brickman

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Here is just a sampling of information from his official website:

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“Jim Brickman wouldn’t play by the rules. Literally. He was 8, taking private lessons from a piano teacher down the street from his parents’ Cleveland suburb home, but little Jimmy Brickman wouldn’t conform to the rudimentary regulations of piano playing, even after his piano teacher told his mother he “didn’t have the knack for this.” By the age of 12, Brickman found his mentor in the creative tutelage of a Cleveland Institute of Music graduate. As a child, Brickman had studied music at the prestigious conservatory and was honored in 2011 when the Cleveland Institute of Music established a scholarship in his name.

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That’s all this Shaker Heights, Ohio native needed to set his career in motion, and more than two decades later, Jim Brickman would become the most commercially successful instrumental pop pianist of the last three decades. Four of his albums have been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America – 1995’s By Heart, 1997’s Picture This and The Gift, and 1999’s Destiny – for sales of more than 500,000 copies. Overall, he’s sold more than 7 million albums.
He’s amassed 27 Top 40 singles on the adult contemporary charts, including 14 Top 10 smashes. – And…and…and…”

See more at:

http://www.jimbrickman.com/Home/About.aspx#sthash.Hft2oRD7.dpuf

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I share this with you because this is what being naturally talented is…
That being said, there are hundreds of thousands of successful, talented musicians who learned to read and play music the traditional way and are very successful at their chosen professions.

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His music teacher said that he didn’t have what it takes to play the piano…woops!

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How many people have told you NOT to write rhyming picture books?

Dr. Seuss got 27 rejections for AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET before he found his publisher.

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Mulberry Street

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My challenge for you today: Prove them wrong!

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This means that if you were not born with the natural talent to hear or feel the rhythm in your writing, it is still a goal worth attempting. You can easily learn how to feel the sound and musicality in words as you can in music…

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What does it take? Practice! Practice! Practice!

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And then Practice some more!

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We have learned a lot of the technical stuff about poetry and its involvement in the words we use to write for children. Now, it’s up to you to take what is available here and apply it to your words. You must believe that you can do it!

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I think what the funny lady in the video above was trying to express is stay positive, don’t bring yourself or others down by saying things like, “I have no rhythm” or “I can’t do this because I wasn’t born with that gene’

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We all must use our strengths to our advantage and fight even harder to overcome our weaknesses when it’s something worth doing!

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I share this quote with you by Mr. Dan Romano…

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“Music is the hardest kind of art. It doesn’t hang up on a wall and wait to be stared at and enjoyed by passersby. It’s communication. It’s hours and hours being put into a work of art that may only last, in reality, for a few moments…but if done well, and truly appreciated, it lasts in our hearts forever. That’s art. Speaking with your heart to the hearts of others.”

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The very same thing can be said for writing an exceptional rhyming picture book!

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Writing rhyming picture books, in my opinion, is the hardest genre of books to write…it’s poetry, it’s picture book, it’s oral literature, it’s early reader material, it’s the introduction to language and then some! That’s a lot of responsibility.

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You have landed here, on my blog for a reason. A spark fell from the sky and touched your soul and you consciously decided to see if you have what it takes.

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I’m thrilled to have you here with me on this journey and I know that you will figure out what path is best for you.

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Today’s post was really just a giant pep talk…I was a cheerleader back in 1985 and once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader! So…Go! Go! Go! And write that magical, rhyming picture book jam-packed full of all the alliteration, onomatopoeia and poetic devices possible, until it is bursting at the seams with your heart…your heart speaking to the heart of others!

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While you are writing today, listen to this album. Pretend that each note is a carefully chosen word in a picture book. The crescendos and the diminuendos are the conflict, the refrain is what keeps the plot moving and the big climax ending of the song is the conflict resolution. Close your eyes and listen.

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Writing Prompt: Now, make your words musical and joyful, like these songs.

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Jim Brickman – By Heart (Full Album)

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Enjoy!

Musicality in Writing Monday

Aside

I must start out today by wishing

Mr. Lee Bennett Hopkins a Happy Birthday!

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Lee's Birthday Cake

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I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with

Akiko White’s marvelous antique typewriter cake!

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Lee is our guest blogger on Saturday. Check back then to learn more about this inspirational writer and what he has done for children’s literature and poetry.

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I almost forgot to announce last weeks winners…

Week Two Daily Prize Winners:

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Sunday – Peggy Archer donated Name That Dog
WINNER Laura Rackham

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Monday – Dianne De Las Casas donated The House That Santa Built
WINNER Michele Norman

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Tuesday – Marsha Diane Arnold donated Roar of a Snore
WINNER Janet Smart

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Wednesday – Lori Degman donated 1 Zany Zoo
WINNER Daryl Gottier

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Thursday – Lori Degman donated Cockadoodle-Doo Oops  – NEW -  Just out!
WINNER Vivian Kirkfield

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Friday – Lori Degman donated a Critique
WINNER Zainab Khan

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Saturday – Susanna L. Hill donated Airplane Flight
WINNER Dawn Young

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All Winners…Please email me at Angie.karcher@yahoo.com with your mailing address ASAP!

Congratulations!

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Thanks to the authors for their generous donations and to all of you for reading the blog posts and daily lessons!

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I have not met today’s guest blogger personally but I know, without a doubt, we would get along brilliantly! She is a friend on Facebook and so kind and generous with her comments and in her time to support RhyPiBoMo. She recently critiqued a manuscript of mine and it was the most thorough, most informative critique I have ever received! I have a feeling that’s how she approaches all her projects. I’m please to have her here!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Debbie Diesen!

        Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Debbie Diesen 2

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Rhyme-Writing Advice
By Deborah Diesen

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In writing, one is over and over again a beginner. Every new project introduces an idea to an empty page through an endeavor of inspiration and discipline and frustration and joy that varies not only from project to project but from moment to moment, word to word. In my own writing, I am daily humbled by the process and all that I still have to learn — and to relearn, and to relearn again. This leaves me reluctant to do anything so bold as to give advice to other writers.

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But to the extent that I’ve managed to absorb a few learnings along the way, I’m happy to share those with others who, like you, like me, love to write in rhyme. Because in the world of words, we’re all in this together.

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So, here goes: four longwinded bits of advice that might (or might not) be useful to you.

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1. Have at least two rhyming dictionaries.

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Rhyming dictionaries are a fun and practical resource for writing of any kind, but especially so for writing stories in verse. They vary in format and organization and in word inclusion, and it will take you a while to determine which dictionary best serves your purposes. A good way to get to know a rhyming dictionary is to take a few of your favorite rhyming children’s books and to look up all of their rhyming words. Depending on the format of the rhyming dictionary, this can actually be more challenging than it sounds. Regardless, it will take you longer than you think, because you’ll get distracted by the delightful words you unexpectedly encounter, and by the ideas they potentially launch. Don’t be afraid to lose yourself for a while to the pleasure of browsing. Be sure to have paper and pencil handy before you sink in.

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Ideally, try to test drive a bunch of different rhyming dictionaries at your local library before you buy any. However, not all libraries have a wide range of rhyming dictionaries; and given that they’re generally housed in the reference area, you may have limited luck requesting them through interlibrary loan. But if you know of other rhyme writers in your area, consider having a rhyming dictionary collection amongst you, so that you can each try out all of the available rhyming dictionaries, without having to purchase them all. Eventually you’ll find your favorite (mine is Sue Young’s The New Comprehensive American Rhyming Dictionary), but you’ll also have at least one also-ran. And really, you can never have too many.

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2. Read some books about poetic meter and form (but don’t freak out about the details).

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The terminology can be somewhat intimidating, but understanding the fundamentals of rhythm and rhyme will strengthen your ability to write rhyming stories. In additional to availing yourselves of all the lessons and blog posts of RhyPiBoMo, check your library for books such as Writing Metrical Poetry (Baer), The Ode Less Travelled (Fry), Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (Fussell), The Prosody Handbook (Beum and Shapiro), Rhyme’s Reason (Hollander), All The Fun’s In How You Say A Thing (Steele), and Poetic Designs (Adams). Don’t feel you have to read them all (unless you want to), but pick at least one to read in its entirety.

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Absorb the gist, but don’t panic if words like “prosody” and phrases like “iambic pentameter” leave you scanning the room for the closest exit. We’re all there with you. Hang on to your love-of-rhyme life raft, breathe deeply, and you’ll be fine.

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3. Watch for common meter and rhyme issues.

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a. Stressful situations in your first stanza

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A series of single syllable words sets up a first-among-equals situation. Each word alone by default has its only syllable as its primary stress, but within the sentence, stressed and unstressed syllables will have to be distributed. Sometimes the words in your single syllable series will easily and universally be read in a consistent stressed/unstressed pattern by all readers. But other collections of single syllable words may be open to rhythmic interpretation, leading to great variation in how different readers read these lines. This can be a disaster, especially if such a line comes early in your text, before the cadence of your story has been established. So give extra attention to these spots in your story, in case they’re meter dealbreakers.

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b. Unnatural stresses, and rhythms that only you hear

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Without realizing it, you may be pushing words into roles they’re not comfortable with. Your enthusiasm for the rhythm of your story may blind you to the fact that you’re asking, say, a word with a second syllable stress to stress its first syllable, or requiring a sentence to have a stress pattern that isn’t natural. One way to check for these errors is to go through your manuscript and mark every stressed syllable that you hear in your mind as you read. Then, scissor your pages into strips of one text line each. Mix those lines up and scrutinize them one by one in isolation. Have you marked a stress that doesn’t or shouldn’t exist? Another method is to have a writing partner or friend read your story out loud to you cold. He or she will slow down or even stumble in spots that don’t scan correctly. These spots undermine the integrity of your story. Be a good steward of your story and fix them.

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c. Rhymes that don’t meet a high enough standard.

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Rhyme isn’t just an end-syllable matter: a rhyme needs to include the word’s primary stress and everything after. This can be trickier than it sounds. Your rhyming dictionaries, and some study time with your favorite prosody handbook, can illuminate spots where your rhymes aren’t fully functional.

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In addition, give special attention to any rhymes you’re using that have been used a million times before by other writers. If you want to keep those rhymes in your story, you must bring something fresh to their usage.

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And, above all, pick rhymes that dance well together. It’s OK for one to be the lead, but you don’t want a diva to be dragging a wallflower across the floor. Or vice versa. It just causes the other words to stare and makes everyone uncomfortable.

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4. Finally, critique your story not just with your mind, but with your full self.

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When you think your story is done, set aside a chunk of time, get up out of your chair, stand tall, and read your story out loud, in full storytelling manner, at least fifty times in a row. Without a break in between. Don’t think as you do this: just experience your story fully, over and over and over again. Let your words and phrases and sounds play out kinetically. Feel the gallops, the jingles, the trills, the thumps, the vibrations, the warps, the chimes, the resonations.

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And then, on the last read, tap into the thinking part of your mind, and let it notice and observe. Pay attention to spots where you hesitate — where there might be a word that’s hard to say, or a phrase that’s dull. Even more importantly, notice those places you linger. Where a sentence is so playful you actually smile. Where an alliterative buzz makes your lips tingle. Where the rhythm compels not just your toe but your whole body to tap out the beat. Notice the moments where your breathing quickens. Where it slows. Allow your experience and observations to guide you to a deeper knowledge of your story’s strengths and flaws. If you do this, by the end of the final read, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to make your story the best it can be.

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And when you are finished with your story, then all the work that you’ve done, and the things that you’ve learned, and the skills that you have gained, will lead you back full circle.

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To a new idea. And a blank page.

To begin again.

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Bio:
Deborah Diesen’s first book, The Pout-Pout Fish, illustrated by Dan Hanna, was published in 2008 and spent two weeks on the New York Times bestseller list for children’s picture books. The Pout-Pout Fish was followed by a sequel in 2010, The Pout-Pout Fish In The Big-Big Dark. A third adventure for Mr. Fish and his friends, The Pout-Pout Fish Goes To School, will be published summer 2014. Debbie is also the author of a new series of mini-adventures for The Pout-Pout Fish, board books created especially for babies and very young toddlers. The first of these, Smile, Pout-Pout Fish, was released in January, and will be followed by Sweet Dreams, Pout-Pout Fish next year. Her other books are a rhyming story called The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade (illustrated by Tracy Dockray) and a non-rhyming story called Picture Day Perfection (illustrated by Dan Santat). Previously a bookseller and a reference librarian, she works at a small nonprofit organization as bookkeeper and business manager. She and her family live in Michigan.

http://debbiediesen.com/

http://jumpingthecandlestick.blogspot.com/

Debbie Diesen 3

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Debbie Diesen 4

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Debbie Diesen 5

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Debbie Diesen 6

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Thank you Debbie Diesen!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Sunday, April 13th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 15

Understanding word stress is the key to improving your scansion, meter, rhyme and rhythm!

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Word Stress – the distribution of stresses within a polysyllabic word; the manner in which stresses are distributed on the syllables of a word —called also word accent. (Write this down)

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All words of more than one syllable have what is called word stress. This means that at least one of the syllables is l o n g e r and louder than the other syllables.

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Take this quick quiz to see if you understand word stress…

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Word Stress Quiz

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Choose the part of the highlighted word that is stressed and write it on the line at the end of the sentence.

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1 Can you pass me a plas-tic knife? _____
2 I want to take a pho-to-gra-phy class. _____
3 Chi-na is the place where I was born. _____
4 Please turn off the tel-e-vi-sion before you go out. _____
5 I can’t de-cide which book to borrow. _____
6 Do you un-der-stand this lesson? _____
7 Sparky is a very hap-py puppy. _____
8 It is crit-i-cal that you finish your essay. _____
9 My Grandfather wears an old-fash-ioned coat. _____
10 There is a lot of traf-fic on the highway today. _____

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http://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/word-stress-quiz.htm

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Answers to Word Stress Quiz
1)plas
2)to
3)Chi
4)tel
5)cide
6)stand
7)hap
8)cri
9)fash
10)traf

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How did you do?

Stressed image'
Don’t get stressed…eat chocolate cake!

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In many cases, word stress must simply be learned as new vocabulary is acquired. However, there are several rules for word stress which can make it easier to deal with.

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Here are a few specifics to help:
Compound Nouns: (write this down)

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Listen to the following compound nouns. Can you hear the word stress?
Audio – http://www.soundsofenglish.org/pronunciation/suprasegmentals/ex2.rm

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bluebird
blackboard
notebook
bookstore
toothbrush
keyboard

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In each of these examples, the first part of the compound gets the stress.

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Noun+Noun Compounds (2-word compound nouns) (write this down)

Listen to the following noun+noun compounds. Can you hear which part of the compound gets more stress?
Audio – http://www.soundsofenglish.org/pronunciation/suprasegmentals/ex3.rm

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air conditioner
computer programmer
nail polish
french fry
Geiger counter
doctor’s office

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Similar to the rule for compound nouns, the first part of the compound–here, the first word–gets the stress. (Note: If the “unstressed” part of the noun+noun compound is more than one syllable, it will have some word stress. However, the first part of the compound will get even more stress.)

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Phrasal Verbs versus Compound Nouns derived from phrasals(write this down)

Phrasal verbs (a.k.a. two-word or two-part verbs) are generally made up of a verb and preposition. For many of these, correct word stress is especially important as they have compound noun counterparts. In the following examples, the words on the left are phrasal verbs. The words on the right are nouns.

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Listen to these examples.
Audio – http://www.soundsofenglish.org/pronunciation/suprasegmentals/ex4.rm

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let down letdown
shut out shutout
print out printout
turn off turnoff
take over takeover

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In phrasal verbs, the preposition gets the word stress. If they have a noun counterpart, however, it gets the stress on the first part.

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Homographs (write this down)
Homographs are words which are written the same way but which have different pronunciation. In English, there are many words which have the same spelling, but whose part of speech changes with the word stress. If you listen carefully, you will hear that the vowel sounds change depending on whether they are stressed or unstressed.

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Audio – http://www.soundsofenglish.org/pronunciation/suprasegmentals/ex5.rm

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VERB NOUN
record record
progress progress
present present
permit permit

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This great lesson is from Soundsofenglish.org

http://www.soundsofenglish.org/pronunciation/suprasegmentals/index.html

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This is a really good video that thoroughly explains stressed and unstressed words and how they interact with each other when we speak. It is about 8 minutes long but worth listening to!

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http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A2KLqIIVyEhTWGAACGD7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBzOGgyNGpnBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDBGdwb3MDMTU-?p=word+stress&vid=a3b0a1d7d8083f05138f9118bb4e21a2&l=8%3A13&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts4.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DVN.608049098703439595%26pid%3D15.1&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DtpPCBWsVUp0&tit=Word+Stress+in+Sentences&c=14&sigr=11aefojon&sigt=10o2ekhs5&pstcat=healthcare+and+medicine&age=0&fr=chrf-yff23&tt=b

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Writing Exercise: Write out a number of sentences. Read each of them stressing a different word each time you read them. Notice how the meaning changes depending on which word you stress. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate the stress.

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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.

Don’t Stress Over Word Stress Sunday!

Aside

I must alert you…there is a Poetry Notebook

Thief on the loose!

One of our RhyPiBoMo Notebooks has been stolen!

RhyPiBoMo Notebook

Last week I mailed one of our coveted RhyPiBoMo Notebooks to Kristen Spina Foote, a Rhyming Party winner. She sadly informed me today that she received an empty package from the USPS! Empty! Apparently, a Rhyming-Poetry Thief stole the notebook! I knew I should have insured that notebook for more money! So, be warned, if you display anything with the words RhyPiBoMo on it, there is a chance it may be stolen, so…guard it with your life! LOL

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Kristen, watch for another one coming to you soon! I’ll put it in a box this time!

Package

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RhyPiBoMo Rhyming Party

Our Next Rhyming Party will be this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Central Time!

(That’s Chicago Time)

What is a Rhyming party? It’s a one hour rhyming fun challenge in our Facebook Group! First, you must be a registered RhyPiBoMoer, next you must only comment in rhyme during the entire hour and finally, bring your fast fingers because I ask lots of quiz-type questions about the previous week’s blog posts and the fastest one to answer gets their name thrown into a hat for a prize.  As I hadn’t figured out how to fund the prizes for this year, they are very  limited. I will give away another RhyPiBoMo notebook and a manuscript critique by me, this Sunday…

So be there or be square!

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I was fortunate enough to meet today’s guest blogger at a Regional SCBWI Conference last spring in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I listened her keynote address to hundreds of eager writers, in a beautiful ball room, surrounded by other well-known, yet equally as enthralled authors. The room stood still as Jane took the podium, sharing stories of her past, demanding the absolute best from each and every one of us sitting there and uttering her famous “Butt in Chair” phrase” as the crowd smiled and clapped. She’s a rock star! Yes, I asked her to autograph several of her books for me that day. I was impressed at how genuine and down to earth she was…and how smart! I was honored to meet her!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Jane Yolen!

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       Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge    Jane Yolen 1

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Poems are coded messages of fact and emotion. Did you know that poems were actually used in World War II as the base for the SOE, Special Ops Executive codes that the Underground used in France and elsewhere. Agents’ ciphers hinged on poems, and one of the most famous was written by Leo Marks for his fiancée who died in a plane crash. When Marks was in SOE, he gave this poem to the beautiful French agent Violette Szabo to use as her cipher before she was dropped into occupied France in 1944

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The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.

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The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

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A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.

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For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and your and yours.

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Poets are code masters, and especially when we write poems for children. Our poems—whether funny or serious, short or long, nonsense or full of sense—change the course of a child’s growing as thoroughly as the Leonard Markses of World War II changed the course of history.

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But just as Marks’ poem is rhymed on the slant (yours and pause and years are not perfect rhymes but remind the reader that I have resonance, kissing cousins as it were.

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I sometimes worry that we children’s book poets forget that the family of poetry is very wide. Not just the immediate mother/father/sister/brother, those perfectly rhymed and scanned lines. Sometimes we need to break away from the jingle and go into the jungle of terrifying poetry.
Do you know J. Patrick Lewis’ poem that begins:

From Pat Lewis
The Rules of History
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The fatter the king, the thinner the serf.
The longer the reign, the duller the pain.
The stronger the crown, the weaker the law.
The fainter the dream, the slimmer the hope.
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And after two more wonderful, heart-pounding, forced-march verses ends this way:

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The weaker the foe, the shriller the cry.
The louder the lie, the further the truth.
The madder the war, the sadder the foes.
The wiser the peace, the wider the peace.

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Now there are no end rhymes in it, but some internal rhyming both true rhymes, like madder/sadder and slant rhyme reminders wiser/wider of what he is writing about.

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But if he’d written this in jingle form—and he’s very good at rhymed poems as well—he might have come up with something like this:

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The weaker the foe, the shriller the cry.
The further the truth, the louder the lie
The madder the war, the sadder the foes.
For that is the way the world often goes.

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But look what we have lost in this poem: the pounding footsteps of the advancing army, the last line bashing in your head with a homily. This way, the verse could be put on Burma Shave signs, those placards of one line after another of a jingle that was the invention of a shaving cream ad campaign. But the way Lewis writes it, it will be put in the child reader’s heart.

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I’m not saying do away with rhyme. I am saying make the rhyme fit what the poem is about. Be clever, be deep, be sensual with your word choices. Don’t let the rhyme dictate the poem but the poem dictate the word and line choices.

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Be coded message, not an ad campaign.

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–Jane Yolen, author of Emily Sonnets

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Emily Sonnets

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Word for PB Writers

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Jane Yolen 5

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Bio:
Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America,” admits to actually being the Hans Jewish Andersen of America. She is the author of 350 books, ranging from picture books and baby board books, through middle grade fiction, poetry collections, nonfiction, novels, graphic novels, and story collections . Her books and stories have won many awards, including two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, a Caldecott, the Golden Kite, three Mythopoeic awards, two Christopher Medals, nomination for the National Book Award, and Jewish Book Award. She has two collections of adult poetry and a gadzillion books of children’s poetry. She also won the Kerlan Award and the Catholic Library’s Regina Medal. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates.

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 Jane Yolen 2

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Thank you Jane Yolen!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Saturday, April 12th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 14

Consider this a bit of Saturday review…

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Perhaps we should start by asking how many syllables are in the word poem?
I pronounce it “Po-em” with 2 syllables but some people pronounce it “Poem” with one syllable. The official word based on 3 syllable dictionaries is that poem has 2 syllables. This brings us to such an important lesson about how critical it is to know your words. Choose them wisely and maybe even leave out words that could be controversial in the pronunciation.

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A Syllable – is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds and is an uninterrupted segment of speech. A syllable is the smallest conceivable expression of sound.(write this down)

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For example:
Dog has 1 syllable
Kit-ten has 2 syllables
Syl-la-ble has 3 syllables
A-vi-a-tion has 4 syllables
Dis-a-gree-a-ble has 5 syllables

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A syllable is a unit of pronunciation uttered without interruption, loosely, a single sound. All words are made from at least one syllable. (write this down)

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Vowels – A-E-I-O-U and sometimes Y
Consonants – B-C-D-F- G- H- J- K- L- M- N- P- Q- R- S- T- V- X- Z -W-Y:
Note that the combination of consonants can create a singular sound as well
For example:
TH – SH- CH – GR – DR

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Monosyllables have only one vowel sound (write this down)

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Polysyllables have more than one. (write this down)

If a syllable ends with a consonant, it is called a closed syllable.
If a syllable ends with a vowel, it is called an open syllable.

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Thanks to Mandy Yates, a Reading Specialist, for a better explanation of the different types of syllables!

Here are the 6 different types of syllables:(write this down)

1) Closed- CVC or just VC (cat or if) a consonant closes the vowel sound making it a short vowel)

2) Open- CV or just V (there is no consonant closing it off so it’s a long vowel sound and there is just one vowel= to, go, no or just I or a.)

3) Vce- words with the silent e= like, bake, cake, note

4) R-Controlled or Vowel R- words with ar/ur/or/er/ir- these appear to be closed, but in order to be closed the vowel would be short. These make a whole new sound.

5) Vowel Teams or Vowel Pairs- two vowels side by side. Can create a long sound = ai/ea/ay sometimes a short sound like /ea/ in bread or a whole new sound= ou/ow/oi

6)  Final Stable Syllables- these are non-phonetic patterns (meaning you can’t sound them out) that go on the end of a word: tion/tian/cian/ etc…or all of the consonant le patterns (ble/tle/ple.)

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There is a tendency in English when a word with a
stressed final syllable is followed by another word without a pause,
the stress moves forward: “kangaROO”, but “KANGaroo court”;
“afterNOON”, but “AFTernoon nap”; “above BOARD”, but “an aBOVEboard
deal”.

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An interesting link to several maps showing regional difference in specific words:

http://www.thejournal.ie/maps-americans-pronounce-different-words-938575-Jun2013/

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Why must we have a concrete understanding of syllables?

The best way to improve your rhythm and meter is to get used to counting syllables. This is obviously not the only factor nor should it be your main focus, just the place to begin. This should become second nature to you.

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I was a dedicated syllable counter before researching the daily lessons here but now I have a whole bag of tricks to use when writing poetry…not just counting syllables! That said, it is still important that your lines stay consistent in syllable count. I think there is a tiny bit of wiggle room in rhyming picture books but not much…just an extra syllable here or there…This should be the very limited exception to the rule!

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Review:
The best poems to practice this with would be with Haiku, Tanka and Cinquain. We discussed Haiku and Cinquain the first week so this will be good practice.

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Haiku – 3 line poem
line one has five syllables
line two has seven syllables
line three has five syllables

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For example:
Sparrows circle high (5 syllables)
Sunny rays stream through gray skies (7 syllables)
Water drips from leaves (5 syllables)

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Tanka – 5 line poem
line one has five syllables
line two has seven syllables
line three has five syllables
line four has seven syllables
line five has seven syllables

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For example:
Snow drifts by my glass (5 syllables)
Spiders of ice form a branch (7 syllables)
Dancing on a breeze (5 syllables)
Small white dots move back and forth (7 syllables)
Sway to Mother Nature’s call (7 syllables)

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Cinquain – 5 line poem
line one has two syllables
line two has four syllables
line three has six syllables
line four has eight syllables
line five has two syllables

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For example:
Puppies (2 syllables)
Ornery fun (4 syllables)
Playing, barking, sleeping (6 syllables)
Favorite little loving friends (8 syllables)
Playful (2 syllables)

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Look what I found…a few syllable dictionaries! These could certainly help with those words that are pronounced differently in different regions.

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Syllable Dictionary

http://howmanysyllables.com/words/calculator

Syllable and Word Count Calculator

http://www.wordcalc.com/

Syllable Counter

http://www.poetrysoup.com/poetry_resources/syllable_counter.aspx

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Resource: REALLY GOOD INFORMATION!
Poetry Terms and Forms

http://www.famousliteraryworks.com/poetry-terms.htm

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As Jane Yolen is our guest blogger, I had to share something

I found on her website that will be very helpful.

Five Tips On Writing A Poem
By Jane Yolen

1. Look at the world through metaphor,
seeing one tree in terms of another.

2. Let two words bump up against another
Or seesaw on a single line.

3. Tell the truth inside out
Or on the slant.

4. Remember that grammar can be a good friend
And a mean neighbor.

5. Let the poem rhyme in the heart,
Though not always on the page.
http://janeyolen.com/poetry/

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Writing Prompt: Write a Tanka today, as this is not one we have tried yet.

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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.

Un-der-stand-ing Syl-la-bles Sat-ur-day

Aside

I registered the 200th person for RhyPiBoMo today!

Whoo Hoo and Confetti throwing!

**””*’”;;;;”;;;’””;;;::;;;’”’”:::;;;”‘”:::’”’**”**

 

Thank you to everyone who is participating!

Thanks for helping to make this an April to remember! = )

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Today Someone asked a great question in our Facebook Group…

“If I’m getting started late, where do I find all the previous lessons?”

First, it will be helpful to have this daily guest blogger

calendar and lesson schedule…

RhyPiBoMo Calendar updated

This will help you know what you’ve missed and what’s to come!

Each daily lesson is under the guest blogger post for that day.

If you scroll to the bottom of any post, you will find the archives link. You can also find a specific blog post by typing the date of the blog  – comma- guest blogger’s name in the search field, in the upper right corner.

This should bring up any blog post you might be looking for.

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Another good question was concerning the Golden Quill Poetry Contest…

Only RhyPiBoMo participants are able to enter this contest.

I mentioned several dates in yesterdays blog post which may have been confusing…

First, you MUST be registered, which means you must register for RhyPiBoMo by April 16th to qualify as a registered participant.

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The deadline for poetry contest entries is April 26th at Midnight Central Time. You enter the contest by clicking the tab above and following all the directions. Please add your poem in the body of the email as this saves me so much time when gathering the poems for judging.

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midwest logo

I was fortunate to attend a conference session taught by today’s guest blogger, last spring at the Wild, Wild Mid-West Conference. This was a combination of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois SCBWI groups coming together…It was a Wild, Wonderful Weekend! Ironically, Liz was teaching a session called “The Watering Trough: Writing Rhyme Editors Thirst For…I listened intently as she spoke about many of the things we are talking about here!

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Liz Garton Scanlon

 

            Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge      Liz Garton Scanlon 1

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Writing picture books is like being a grown up. At first, when we get started, we think we know everything. And then, as we carry on for a bit, we realize we know pretty much nothing at all. Which I guess means that I have very little to offer you, now that I have a few books under my belt and have been grown up for quite some time. But, here’s what I do have: Lessons learned, from back when I knew everything.

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Lesson #1. Leave The Jazz to the Horn Players:
So I’d written and sold my first picture book – A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes – and I was feeling good! I tore open the envelope from my editor because, really, what could it possibly contain besides praise, congratulations and some chocolate? Well. Quite a lot, it turns out. Corrections and opinions and strongly worded suggestions, for example. And no chocolate.

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Liz book 1

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First and foremost, I was asked to even out the meter and syllabics of the piece. I was appalled. “The variety,” I told her when we spoke, “is supposed to read like jazz.” (You guys. I seriously said that. Ego much?)
“No, no, no,” said my editor. “No jazz.”

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No jazz

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And here’s why. When we are teaching children about music – how to listen to it and appreciate it and eventually play it, we don’t start with jazz. We start with rhythm sticks. And repetition. Clapping. And choruses. That’s how we open up those neural pathways and turn on those synapses and create a brain capable of loving jazz. Wow, right? Since then I’ve left the jazz to the horn players, because opening up neural pathways and turning on synapses is plenty big work enough for me.

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Lesson #2. Practice Detachment:
Y’know that “Kill Your Darlings” lesson you get in writing workshops and craft books? The one about deleting writing that you love if it doesn’t work for the piece as a whole? Well, take a double dose of that today. Because here’s what happens when you’re writing in rhyme: Your brain casts about for words that sound right, without caring if they make sense, or move the story forward, or feel organic, meaningful or true. Your brain just doesn’t care. But I’m here to tell you that your editor will feel differently.

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I’ll admit that I’ve argued for a few beautifully written but woefully inadequate stanzas in my day, and thank goodness I didn’t win those fights. Because what we really want is not just perfect rhyme, but perfect rhyme doing the job it’s meant to do. Perfect rhyme painting the perfect picture or plucking the perfect heartstring or telling the perfect story. These days I care more about loving the final product – the book – than loving each and every couplet or quatrain I write – and may cut — along the way.

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Heartstrings

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Lesson #3: Play the Fool
When you read your rhyme out loud, it gets better. Who cares what your cats, dogs or human housemates think? Read it aloud again and again and listen for places where it stumbles and sinks, and for places where it sings.
And when other people read your rhyme out loud – to you – it gets better. Who cares if it’s not your best work, if it’s not finished, if it’s not perfect? Have someone unfamiliar with the piece read it to you, and listen with honest ears, willing ears and humility.

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Honesty, willingness and humility aren’t exactly watchwords when you already know everything, but now that I know not much of all, well…. lesson learned.
Good luck, poets. Write on.

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Bio:

Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of the highly-acclaimed, Caldecott-honored picture book All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, as well as The Good-Pie Party, illustrated by Kady McDonald Denton; Happy Birthday, Bunny, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin; and several others, most of which are in rhyme. Upcoming books include In the Canyon, a picture book celebrating the wonder of the Grand Canyon, and her first novel for young readers, The Great Good Summer, due in 2015. Ms. Scanlon is also a poet, a teacher and a frequent & popular presenter at schools, libraries and conferences. To learn more, visit her web site at http://www.LizGartonScanlon.com

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A Sock is a Pocket for your Toes is a “spur to imaginative thinking.” — School Library Journal

All the World
All the World is “an invigorating love song to nature, families and interconnectedness.” — Kirkus, starred review

Noodle and Lou
Noodle & Lou offers “unfaltering rhyme and a gentle humor.” — Publisher’s Weekly

Think Big
Think Big is “turbocharged because of flawless scansion and exuberance.” — Kirkus

Happy Birthday Bunny
Happy Birthday, Bunny is “as memorable and heartfelt as a birthday book gets!” — Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

The Good Pie Party
The Good-Pie Party is “a must for every child who has to move away.” — Kirkus

Thank you Liz Garton Scanlon!

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Friday, April 11th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 13

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I must preface this by saying that this was by far the most fun lesson to write! I hope you enjoy and are dancing in the street when you finish!

Rhythm

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Rhythm in poetry is made up of the continual tonal rise and fall of speech, by intentionally writing the words in such a way that the inflections will fall at certain points to make a pattern.(write this down)

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“Rhythm (or “measure”) in writing is like the beat in music. In poetry, rhythm implies that certain words are produced more force- fully than others, and may be held for longer duration. The repetition of a pattern of such emphasis is what produces a “rhythmic effect.” The word rhythm comes from the Greek, meaning “measured motion.”(write this down)

http://www.angelfire.com/ct2/evenski/poetry/rhythm.html

Inflection – is when one syllable in a word is given emphasis when read out loud. Inflection is the key to finding your rhythm when reading orally.(write this down)

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Is this you?

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As I start off today’s lesson, I am drawn back to a quote I found and saved weeks ago by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallan. It was from a post on the Writer’s Rhumpus Blog from September 13, 2012.

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“One thing I will say about writing in rhyme is that you either hear the rhyme and the rhythm, or you don’t. When I do workshops on writing picture books in rhyme that is the very first thing I tell people. I can teach someone all the basics of rhyme, I can teach them how to read meter, I can teach them what iambic pentameter is, and so on. I can teach them all of those fundamentals but what I cannot teach is that innate ability to feel the rhythm and rhyme when it works. But just because you don’t hear the rhythm of the words doesn’t mean you can’t write picture books — so many wonderful picture books are written in prose. No one should feel like rhyme is essential for telling a picture book story — it’s just one way to do it. Each author needs to find his/her own story and his/her her own path.”

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http://writersrumpus.com/2013/09/13/interview-with-sudipta-bardhan-quallen-picture-book-author-and-presenter/

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Rhythm is one of those things you are either born with or you aren’t.

Do you feel the rhythm in this song even if you don’t speak the language?

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I can’t sit still when I listen to that song! Honestly! I want to grab a Solo Cup and join in!

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I have a musical background which I know helps me find the beat, the locomotion of the sound, as it break dances across the page. I can’t sit still when I hear music with a deep base sound reverberating from the speakers. Here is a test…If you listen to this song and can’t sit still, then you have it too.  Rhythm, I mean!

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Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel

 

 

 

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How did it make you feel? If you are dancing in your seat, snapping your fingers, and reliving the 80’s right now…then you may have it! Rhythm, I mean!

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Now for an Island sound…

Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville has a constant beat…1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4

 

 

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Snap your fingers on beats 2 and 4 and you will find the rhythm.

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Rhythm is internal, it’s in your genes as is your ability to sing, dance, paint, draw and write.

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So what if you weren’t moved by Michael Jackson’s or Jimmy Buffet’s songs?

Is there still hope?

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I think so but it’s going to take a lot of work. You must find your inner beat box, the part of your brain where your ears take over your entire body and you can’t, NOT move with the sound or rhythm. I don’t use a double negative lightly so this is the thing…it really is something that is involuntary! You have to snap, clap, move, sway, tap your foot, or stomp your feet!

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Do you need to have rhythm to write poetry/rhyming picture books?

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Yes.

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Which image best describes your sense of rhythm?

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Rhythm image 1          OR       Rhythm image 2

Do you hear a pattern or repeating sound? Or, are you all over the place?

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Hopefully, you chose the image on the left!

Luckily, on the internet there is a site to help us improve our sense of rhythm…LOL

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How to Improve a Sense of Rhythm (too funny)

http://www.ehow.com/how_2191324_improve-sense-rhythm.html

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If it helps, writers are not the only ones worried about lack of rhythm! In my research I found that many others are desperately worried and trying to find the cure for this problem.

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Those looking for Rhythm include:
Dancers

Musicians

Marching Band Leaders

Music Therapists helping special needs children find rhythm to calm them

Couples ready to wed worried about their first dance

Elementary Music Teachers

Couples in the bedroom (I kid you not)

Parents worried that their kids don’t have it

Writers/Poets

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It seems the number one suggestion in finding your rhythm…listen to lots and lots and lots of music!

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Listen to lots of different types of music with various beats…orchestral, big band, pop, country, classical, island, rap, salsa and hip hop. Listen for the most prominent beat and find the pattern of the sound. Listen mostly to the percussion and deep bass sounds. Listen over and over until haring the rhythm becomes second nature to you.

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Now…Do you have the rhythm Blues? Well let’s find your rhythm with Johnny Cash’s song Get Rhythm!

 

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If scansion was extremely challenging to you on Tuesday, you may need a few lessons in rhythm. Here are some poetry readings that you can listen to as well…

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Poetry Outloud

http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poems-and-performance/listen-to-poetry

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Classic Poetry Aloud

http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/

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Poets.org Poetry Readings National Calendar

http://www.poets.org/calendar.php

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Poetry Slam – Nate Marshall’s winning piece from Louder Than a Bomb 2008 in Chicago titled LOOK (Nate is one of my favorite Poetry Slam artists! So talented!)

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The only way you will improve your rhythm is to train your ears and your listening skills!
Practice! Practice! Practice!

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This might need to be the first step of writing poetry
IF you are rhythmically challenged!

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Listening Prompt: Listen to a variety of music and see if you can clap, snap and dance with the rhythm. Decide for yourself if you have rhythm.

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There has been a dance party in my office tonight as I write this lesson.

I hope this is as much fun to read as it was to write!

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It’s 2:00 a.m. and my husband just came and shut my office door!

But, the rhythm must go on!

http://www.shaidsnews.com/images/icons/animated_dancing_girl.gif

Click the link to see her dance with rhythm!

Dancing girl in purple

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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.

“Can You Feel the Rhythm in your Feet?” Friday

Aside

RhyPiBoMo Poetry Contest Scroll

The RhyPiBoMo Golden Quill Poetry Contest is accepting entries! The guidelines are under the tab above. The deadline for submissions is April 26th at Midnight. As all of you are busy writing poems every day, you should have a hard time deciding which poem to submit! = ) There are three awesome prizes for this contest…

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First Place
Scholarship for The Craft and Pleasures of Writing Poetry for Kids
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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You may only submit one poem for this contest. Please paste your poem in the body of your email and submit it by using the comment form for the contest entry. You must follow all the requirements for the contest or it will be disqualified. I must have your first and last name.  I have received several poems already and am looking forward to reading more.  Thanks to our esteemed judges Renee La Tulippe, Jill Esbaum, Tiffany Strelitz Haber!

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Fuse 8http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/

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I was fortunate enough to meet today’s guest blogger at a SCBWI luncheon for Indiana authors last fall. I had just begun my search for RhyPiBoMo guest bloggers and she graciously agreed to join the list. She has access to the latest and greatest of children’s books and I’m honored that she is sharing an interview she did with Deborah Underwood, another RhyPiBoMo guest blogger, about her new book BAD BYE, GOOD BYE. It was completely coincidental that Deborah and Betsy were scheduled to blog the same week so we will get to hear more about this wonderful book and about Deborah’s creative process.

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

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Betsy Bird!

     Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Betsy Bird 1

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What is the best possible time to rhyme in a picture book? Anytime at all? Only for specific reasons and specific moments? In my search to come up with the best possible interview for RhyPiBoMo I scanned through every possible picture book I knew of coming out in 2014. As a Youth Materials Specialist with NYPL, I get to see a lot of books early. After much head scratching and wonder, I finally hit on my favorite rhyming picture book of the year. Bad Bye, Good Bye, by Deobrah Underwood, illustrated by Jonathan Bean is the touching story of a boy coming to terms with a big move, almost in spite of himself. Told with spare words and gorgeous imagery, Underwood (best known for cranking out such contemporary classics as The Quiet Book) manages to tell a complete story with a gentle, simple rhyme. With a release date of April 1st, Ms. Underwood was kind enough to answer some of my questions about her proces

          Deborah Underwood 2        Deborah Underwood 1

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Betsy Bird: First off, I absolutely adore Bad Bye, Good Bye. One of my favorite books of the year thus far. My question to you is what the impetus was to write it in the first place?

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Deborah Underwood: Oh, thank you so much! I don’t remember the precise moment the story idea formed. I think I was just playing around with words, as I often do, and I liked the sound of “bad bye.” The idea of a moving story evolved organically from that. I scribbled down eight words and a few other snippets, including the ending. Then I stuck it in my idea folder, where it languished for a long time. Often I sift through the folder in desperation when I have a critique group meeting coming up and nothing to bring, and I’m pretty sure that’s what happened here.

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Bad Bye NotesDeborah’s notes

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BB: Were you familiar with the work of illustrator Jonathan Bean before he was paired with this project or was it just an entirely lovely surprise?

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DU: He was new to me back then, but given that my genius editor Kate O’Sullivan chose him, I knew he’d be amazing. Of course I immediately looked him up and fell in love with his work, especially One Starry Night. And seeing his initial sketches for Bad Bye was another lovely surprise, because the style he used for this book was so different. He perfectly captures what it feels like to move: all those moments in time frozen and sometimes overlapping. The illustrations are just stunning. And I was profoundly impressed by his decision to go in this direction. Breaking away from what people might expect requires courage, and I love it when I see other creative people forging new territory; it really inspires me.

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BB: Rhyming picture books that aren’t awful are hard, to say the least. At their worst that sound like poor Dr. Seuss imitations. At their best they’re sublime. Your book falls into the latter category. Why did you want to make it rhyme at all?

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DU: It just started coming to me in rhyme. And truly, whenever a book starts coming to me in rhyme, there is a part of me that shrieks, “No no no no no no no!” and mentally reaches for an icepack and some Tylenol and a whole lot of chocolate and possibly whiskey. Because writing rhyme is so hard, and I know I’m in for weeks of pacing around my apartment muttering to myself and lunging for my Oxford Rhyming Dictionary.

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There is nothing like the misery of seeing a page with a few decent lines of rhyme at the top and the bottom and a whole lot of empty space in the middle where the rest of the story somehow has to materialize. But there’s also nothing like the satisfaction of having completed a rhyming manuscript that works. It’s like a combination of writing and doing a really difficult crossword puzzle.

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BB: Was there ever a temptation to make this a long and wordy book or was it always as incredibly simple as it stands right now?

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DU: Nope; the staccato rhythm and spare text was a fundamental part of the story to me. And I liked the challenge of telling a satisfying story in 80 words. When I started writing picture books in 2001, the conventional wisdom was that you needed to keep them under 1,000 words; times have changed!
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Bad Bye Notes 2

Deborah’s notes

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BB: Are you new to rhyming picture books or is this old hat for you?

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DU: I’ve written a number over the years, but this was the first one to sell. I’m happy to say that two others are under contract: Interstellar Cinderella (Chronicle, 2015) and Goodnight, Baddies (Beach Lane, 2016).

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BB: What was the editorial process like? Did you sit down with your editor and scrupulously consider and reconsider every sparse word, or is this pretty much what you handed in at the start?

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DU: Astonishingly, I think what was published is what I initially turned in! I did plenty of revising beforehand, of course. And there were several things that Kate and I revisited in the editing process. But after playing with alternatives and bouncing ideas back and forth, we went back to the original.

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I remember struggling because I liked the idea of “pancakes” as one of the lines. I loved the possibility of having a scene in a diner, because when I was a kid, eating breakfast out was so novel and great–I mean, pitchers of syrup! different flavors!! But having a two-syllable word would have broken the pattern of two one-syllable words per line, so we ultimately left it alone.

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BB: So, what are you working on next?

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DU: I’m working on the third Cat book–Here Comes Santa Cat! publishes this fall and is all wrapped up, but book three will be out next year. I’m flirting with the idea of getting back to my middle-grade novel. I’m doing work for a few educational publishers. And I need to dig through my idea folder and start something new!

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Bio:
Betsy Bird is currently New York Public Library’s Youth Materials Collections Specialist. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she’d love to tell you about but that she’s sure you’d find more interesting to hear of in person. Betsy is the creator of the School Library Journal blog A Fuse #8 Production. She is also the author of the (not rhyming) picture book Giant Dance Party and co-author with fellow bloggers Jules Danielson and Peter Sieruta of the upcoming Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, coming out with Candlewick in August 2014. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

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Youth Materials Specialist
New York Public Library
Branch Collection Department
31-11 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/afuse8production

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Check out Betsy’s debut picture book Giant Dance Party!

Giant dance party
Giant Dance Party by Betsy Bird (Spring 2013)

 

Thank you Betsy Bird!

 

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RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Thursday, April 10th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 12

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Consonance

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Consonance is often confused with assonance and alliteration. These three poetic devices are the building blocks of verse. The differences are slight but the effects are similar in their powerful ability to grab a reader.

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Consonance – is a poetic device where the repetition of a consonant sound; more specifically, the repetition of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words. (write this down)

For Example:
First and Last
Odds and Ends
Short and Sweet
Stroke of Luck

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Consonance is one of the most common techniques used by writers. It adds a cadence to most sentences and can also be used to emphasize the importance of certain words in a poem.

For Example:
Pitter-patter,pitter-patter
In this line, the repetitive use of ‘p’, ‘tt’ and ‘r’ gives a unique rhythm to it, thereby enhancing its rhythmic appeal.

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One genre of contemporary poetry that has many examples of consonance is hip-hop music. In this example, there is a repetition of the sound ile, and ays.

For Example:
Zealots by Fugees
Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile
Whether Jew or Gentile, I rank top percentile,
Many styles, More powerful than gamma rays
My grammar pays, like Carlos Santana plays
(This is also internal rhyme)

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Sometimes the initial and final consonant sounds are repeated.
For example:
Blade and Blood
Flash and Flesh
Wide and World
Lash and Leash

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This is an adorable poem by Kenn Nesbitt titled That Explains It! and it’s an awesome example of how consonance can really embellish a poem!

That Explains It!
I went to the doctor. He x-rayed my head.
He stared for a moment and here’s what he said.
“It looks like you’ve got a banana in there,
an apple, an orange, a peach, and a pear.
I also see something that looks like a shoe,
a plate of spaghetti, some fake doggy doo,
an airplane, an arrow, a barrel, a chair,
a salmon, a camera, some old underwear,
a penny, a pickle, a pencil, a pen,
a hairy canary, a hammer, a hen,
a whistle, a thistle, a missile, a duck,
an icicle, bicycle, tricycle, truck.
With all of the junk that you have in your head
it’s kind of amazing you got out of bed.
The good news, at least, is you shouldn’t feel pain.
From what I can see here you don’t have a brain.”

http://www.consonanceexamples.com/

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Assonance

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Assonance – (also called vowel rhyme) is the repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyme within a phrase or sentence. It is used to reinforce the meanings of words or to set the mood. (write this down)

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For Example:
Penitent and Reticence.
“on a proud round cloud in white high night”
The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
The early bird catches the worm.
“Hear the mellow wedding bells” by Edgar Allen Poe
“I lie down by the side of my bride”/”Fleet feet sweep by sleeping geese”/”Hear the lark and harden to the barking of the dark fox gone to ground” by Pink Floyd
“It’s hot and it’s monotonous.” by Sondheim

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Onomatopoeia 2

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Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia – is the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named. It is the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical, dramatic, or poetic effect. Onomatopoeic words produce strong images that can both delight and amuse kids when listening to their parents read poetry. (write this down)

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For example:
Hiccup
Zoom
Bang
Beep
Moo
Splashbang
beep
burp
chirp
clash
crunch
drip
grunt
hiccup
hoot
knock
plop
quack
rattle
sizzle
stomp
thud
toot
varoom
whack
whir
zap
zoom

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Onomatopoeia used in poetry:

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“The burning wood hissed and crackled.”

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I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles. (from “The Brook” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

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“How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
in the icy air of night!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour. ” (from The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe)

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Onomatopoeia is also used in jokes:
Knock-knock ,Who’s there?
Boo
Boo who?
Don’t cry, I was only joking!

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Onomatopoeia used in Nursery Rhymes:
Baa Baa Black Sheep

Old McDonald had a Farm

http://ri.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A2KLqICRCUVTYnYA18b8w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBzcTlnazAzBHNlYwNjZC1hdHRyBHNsawNzb3VyY2UEdnRpZAM-/RV=2/RE=1397062162/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.youtube.com%2fwatch%3fv%3d5oYKonYBujg/RK=0/RS=kmpATyEu6KpDVfewX1.00JHJYII-

 

 

 

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Onomatopoeia used in music for a dramatic effect:
Poetry by Langston Hughes – The Weary Blues

Mississippi John Hurt Richland Woman Blues

Resources:

http://examples-of-onomatopoeia.com/

http://examples.yourdictionary.com/5-examples-of-onomatopoeia.html

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Writing Prompt: Write a poem using all three poetic devices; Consonance, Assonance and Onomatopoeia.

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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.

Zip, Ziggety, Whirl, Pop, Screech, Sizzle Thursday!