"Can I have a turn? Pleeeeeeze?!!!" My inner child is crazy excited about having this fuzzy little guy on my lap. (I wonder if his whiskers tickle?) With much thanks to Margaret Simon, who extended Mortimer's paw of friendship in my direction!
Here's how the Children's Poetry Blog Hop goes:
Oops... wrong bunny hop!
Apparently, this is one cheeky ball of fluff! Back to business, Mortimer...
- Answer 3 questions. Pick one question from the previous Hopper. Add two of your own. Keep it short, please. This is a Blog Hop, not a Blog Long Jump; the Mortimer Minute, not the Mortimer Millennium.
- Invite friends. Invite 1-3 bloggers who love children’s poetry to follow you. They can be writers, teachers, librarians, or just plain old poetry lovers.
- Say thank you. In your own post, link to the previous Hopper. Then keep the Mortimer Minute going if you can— let us know who your Hoppers are and when they plan to post their own Mortimer Minute.
MORTIMER: Do you remember the first poem you wrote?
Errr... not really. (Great start, huh!) I do remember my wonderful first grade teacher put together a classroom book of poetry for us to take home. Each student wrote a 3-5 line poem that was self-illustrated. I dearly loved reading that magical book of little ditties, and hope to rediscover it one day. I believe my own poem started out "Come with me under the sea...." After that, I'm not so sure. Probably something about singing and dancing with fishes, maybe mermaids, and then the poem likely ended with something about being happy. That was my childhood... singing and dancing and being happy. I was a lucky little girl.
MORTIMER: Did you always know you would become a writer?
Definitely not, though I knew from an early age that my career would have something to do with sharing stories. I thought my life would be in the theater.
After my introduction to poetry in first grade, writing didn't have much of an impact until I took a creative writing class in high school. It was offered by the new teacher at our school-- a slightly eccentric, offbeat in a cool way, folksinger-by-night and teacher-by-day kind of guy. Unfortunately, my experience in that class was not the best. As I recall, most of my classwork rated "meh" or worse... or so I thought until I recently uncovered some of that work (while looking for my first grade poetry book). My grades weren't as bad as I thought, and with comments like "I want a more rigorous intellectual effort to accompany your creative extravagances" and "You have some talent. Bring your full energies to bear and you'll be surprised at what you could accomplish" and "Be brave and take a stand," I see now that he was trying to be encouraging.
Quite possibly he was as frustrated as I was with my confusion and lack of progress; but back then, all I heard was that he qualified "talent" with "some," and that the best I could do would never be good enough to warrant the lavish praise and attention he fawned on my best friend. With his autographed LP in hand, I walked. It took me 20 years to return to writing, and even then, it was through the back door as a freelance writer of greeting card copy. Confidence is fragile in a 16 year old who knows nothing but a happy childhood.
MORTIMER: Somebunny told me that yesterday was the six month birthday of your blog. If your "inner child" sent you a greeting card, what would it say?
I’ll be nice on your birthday and really good too
I’ll clean up the sand that I left in your shoe
I’ll make you my specialty—breakfast in bed
(Hope you like ice cream with sprinkles on bread!)
I’ll help you with chores and I’ll sweep with the broom
But please don’t expect me to clean up my room
I’ll try not to whine and I’ll try not to pout
But sometimes a kid’s got to give a big shout…
HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY, TODAY'S LITTLE DITTY!!!
(c) 2005 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.
I am deeeelighted to be handing Mortimer off to, not one, but two awesome children's authors/poets next Friday, October 18th.
Carrie Clickard spends every free moment with a book in her hand or one in her head waiting to be written. Her debut picture book, VICTRICIA MALICIA: BOOK-LOVING BUCCANEER, was published last year by Flashlight Press. Her next book, MAGIC FOR SALE, will be published by Holiday House in 2014. Carrie credits her career success to a firm belief that dragons exist and that competitive baton twirling should be an Olympic sport. I'm delighted that Carrie's Mortimer Minute will appear right here, on Today's Little Ditty.
Tamera Will Wissinger has been reading and writing stories and poetry since she was young. Her debut book, GONE FISHING: A NOVEL IN VERSE, released from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children earlier this year. Her second book, THIS OLD BAND, is scheduled to release in June 2014 with Sky Pony Press. When she's not working she might be fishing or boating, watching the interesting wildlife around her neighborhood, or noticing how each day is so beautiful and unique. You can find Tamera's Mortimer Minute at her online journal, The Writer's Whimsy.
Thanks Mortimer, it's been fun! And to everyone else, thank you for hanging around and allowing me to waffle on about myself.
Laura Purdie Salas has today's Poetry Friday roundup on her new and improved blog, Writing The World For Kids. Mortimer's excited, how about you?