Friday, July 29, 2016

What I did on my summer vacation...


Photo: Wes Peck


Hello, friends!

It's been a long, hot summer— even by Florida standards. 

Time off is always welcome, of course, but now that I'm refreshed, I'm stepping away from the lawn chair a few days early to fill you in on some exciting news. 

Here's a hint...




I have Keri Collins Lewis to thank for this shining spark of a ditty (and her husband for the gorgeous photograph), which she sent along with a fun polka dot journal. This was my first time participating in Tabatha Yeatts' Summer Poem Swap.  I only dipped in a toe (just one swap), but feel like I made out big time!


So...?  Did you guess my big news?

THE BEST OF TODAY'S LITTLE DITTY, 2014-2015 is under way!

Yes, it's really happening. Admittedly, this is the first time I've published an anthology so I'm figuring things out as I go, but my goal is a November 2016 release. I have been blessed with an amazing ditty committee who approached the responsibility of deciding which poems to feature in a serious and thoughtful manner. The only thing they agreed upon was that it wasn't easy! And while all the decisions have not been confirmed (I've still got a bit of tweaking to do), I would be remiss not to mention the committee members individually and thank them publicly for their efforts!

LeeAnn Blankenship
Matt Forrest Esenwine
Stephanie Farrow
Michelle Kogan
Renée LaTulippe

Diane Mayr
 Margaret Simon
Donna Smith
and Tabatha Yeatts

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I've also made a few changes to the blog—not so many that the place is unrecognizable, but enough to make things more streamlined, user-friendly, and manageable.

The first thing you may have noticed is the link at the top of the page for submitting your poem to the current DMC challenge. If you click on the link now it won't lead you anywhere, but come next week when we have our new August challenge, it will take you to a padlet.



What's a padlet?

A padlet is basically a blank, online page that anyone can contribute to. Well, not anyone anyone. You have to get there via my link and when you leave something on the padlet, it will need my approval before it shows up (merely a safety precaution to prevent spam).


Using a padlet has a number of benefits, but perhaps the most exciting is that you can participate in real time. Instead of emailing me your poem and waiting for me to post it, sometimes not until the end of the month, you can visit the padlet any time during the month to post your work and see what others are contributing. Another benefit is that you maintain control of your own work. Post your poem by typing directly on the padlet, cutting and pasting your poem onto the padlet, or dragging and dropping files (including pictures and videos). If you post your poem and decide later on that you want to make changes, you can come back and edit. No biggie.

I will still be selecting several poems to post on TLD as daily ditties, but maybe not every weekday as I have been. I also may not give you advanced notice, so if you haven't already, you might want to subscribe to the blog in order to keep tabs. You can do that in the sidebar to the right where it says "Follow TLD by Email."

And speaking of the sidebar, I've made a couple other blog changes that should make a meaningful difference—past spotlight interviews and past challenges are now more accessible. While the DMC star logo in the sidebar used to take you to the current month's challenge, it now takes you to an alphabetical listing of all DMC challenges to date (the wrap-up celebrations). Likewise, clicking on "Spotlight ON Interviews" (below the DMC logo) takes you to an alphabetical listing of all interviews to date.

You may notice some other changes to the blog, but these are the big ones. I hope folks won't be turned off by using Padlet. You'll discover it's really easy when you give it a try. There are some terrific interviews lined up for this fall and I would hate for you not to participate!


End of Summer, by Julie Falk

Did I mention it's good to be back?  I've missed you.



Today's Poetry Friday roundup is graciously brought to us by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche.





Monday, July 11, 2016

DMC Challenges




This comprehensive list is in alphabetical order.
Click on a challenge for the month's wrap-up celebration.


Abecedarian Poems
          - Carole Boston Weatherford, September 2017

Cinquains (water-inspired)
          - Laura Purdie Salas, May 2014

Clerihews
          - Kwame Alexander, April 2015

Comparison Poems (how writing, or a book, is like something else)
          - Melissa Manlove, May 2017

Couplets (a dragon's feast)
          - Penny Parker Klostermann, August 2015

Deeper Wisdom Poems
          - Joyce Sidman, January 2015

"Ditty" Poems
          - David L. Harrison, February 2016

Ditty Potluck
          - TLD birthday celebration, April 2017

Echo Poems
          - Marilyn Singer, April 2016

Free Verse (wordplay)
          - Nikki Grimes, May 2015

Haiku (monster-inspired)
          - Bob Raczka, November 2014

Kindness Poems
          - Rebecca M. Davis, November 2015

Letter Poems
          - David Elliott, February 2015

Me Poems
          - Lee Bennett Hopkins, September 2015

Ode Poems
          - Helen Frost, March 2017

Parody/Tribute Poems
          -Tamera Will Wissinger, July 2014

Persona Poems
          - Laura Shovan, May 2016

Personified Feeling Poems
          - Jeannine Atkins, February 2017

Places of Refuge and Solace
          - Ann Rider, November 2016

Poems about Nothing
          - Douglas Florian, January 2016

Poems for Mother
          - Kenn Nesbitt, October 2016

Poems of Address
          - Irene Latham, September 2014

Poems that Find Beauty
          - Carol Hinz, November 2017

Poem Videos
          - Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, June 2014

Small as a Chickadee
          - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, March 2016

Septercets (that feature reading or writing)
          - Jane Yolen, September 2016

Spooky Poems (about a childhood memory)
          - Carrie Clickard, October 2017

Tanka
          - Margarita Engle, March 2015

Treehouse Poems (using multisyllabic rhyme)
          - Corey Rosen Schwartz, June 2015

Unlikely Hero Poems
          - Diana Murray, August 2016

(Un)requited Love Poems
          - Marcus Ewert, October 2015

Wake Farmer McPeeper
          - Lori Degman, August 2014

Zenos
          - J. Patrick Lewis, October 2014


Spotlight ON Interviews




This comprehensive list is in alphabetical order. 
Click on an individual's name to read their interview.


Alexander, Kwame (April 2015)
          featuring The Crossover (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

Atkins, Jeannine (February 2017)
          featuring Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis (Atheneum, 2017)

Clickard, Carrie (October 2017)
          featuring Magic for Sale (Holiday House, 2017)

Davis, Rebecca M. (November 2015)
          Senior Editor, Boyds Mills Press/WordSong

Degman, Lori (August 2014)
          featuring Cock-a-Doodle Oops! (Creston Books, 2014)

Elliott, David (February 2015)
          featuring On the Wing (Candlewick, 2014)

Engle, Margarita (March 2015)
          featuring Orangutanka: A Story in Poems (Henry Holt & Co., 2015)

Ewert, Marcus (October 2015)
          featuring Mummy Cat (Clarion Books, 2015)

Florian, Douglas (January 2016)
          featuring The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits (Little Bee Books, 2016)

Frost, Helen (March 2017)
          featuring When My Sister Started Kissing (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2017)

Grimes, Nikki (May 2015)
          featuring Poems from the Attic (Lee & Low Books, 2015)

Harrison, David L. (February 2016)
          featuring Now You See Them, Now You Don't: Poems About Creatures That Hide
          (Charlesbridge, 2016)

Hinz, Carol (November 2017)
          Editorial Director, Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books (Lerner Publishing Group)

Hopkins, Lee Bennett (September 2015)
          featuring Jumping Off Library Shelves: A Book of Poems (WordSong, 2015)

Klostermann, Penny Parker (August 2015)
          featuring There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
          (Random House  Books for Young Readers, 2015)

Latham, Irene (September 2014)
          featuring Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole
          (Millbrook Press, 2014)

Lewis, J. Patrick (October 2014)
          featuring Everything is a Poem: The Best of J. Patrick Lewis (Creative Editions, 2014)

Manlove, Melissa (May 2017)
          Senior Editor, Chronicle Books

Murray, Diana (August 2016)
          featuring Ned the Knitting Pirate (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan, 2016)

Nesbitt, Kenn (October 2016)
          featuring One Minute till Bedtime (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016)

Raczka, Bob (November 2014)
          featuring Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole (Carolrhoda Books, 2014)

Rider, Ann (November 2016)
          Executive Editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Salas, Laura Purdie (May 2014)
          featuring Water Can Be... (Millbrook Press, 2014)

Schwartz, Corey Rosen (June 2015)
          featuring What About Moose? (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015)

Shovan, Laura (May 2016)
          featuring The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary (Wendy Lamb Books, 2016)

Sidman, Joyce (January 2015)
          featuring Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

Singer, Marilyn (April 2016)
          featuring Echo Echo: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths (Dial Books, 2016)

VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig (March 2016)
          featuring Every Day Birds (Orchard Books, 2016)

Vardell, Sylvia and Janet Wong (June 2014)
          featuring The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Pomelo Books, 2014)

Weatherford, Carole Boston (September 2017)
          featuring Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library (Candlewick Press, 2017)

Wissinger, Tamera Will (July 2014)
          featuring This Old Band (Sky Pony Press, 2014)

Wong, Janet and Sylvia Vardell (June 2014)
          featuring The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Pomelo Books, 2014)

Yolen, Jane (September 2016)
          featuring The Alligator's Smile and Other Poems (Millbrook Press, 2016)