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.





59 comments:

  1. Welcome back, my friend! Thanks for your vision and dedication to the cause of poetry. And I must say, it was a fun undertaking to be an assistant in the first TLD anthology.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I'm glad you enjoyed the process!

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  2. Hooray for your wonderful news! And welcome back!

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  3. Welcome back! The anthology sounds wonderful and so do the changes to the blog. You have been busy!! I can't wait to see August's challenge!

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  4. Wonderful to have your cheery presence amongst the link-up again, Michelle. And wow - you have been busy!

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  5. Welcome back, Michelle, and what a lot of work you've been doing, and with the committee too! The changes sound good; a padlet each month will be a wonderful place to see everyone's poems. They're immediate fun, and less time-consuming for you! Keri's poem is just right!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Those were my thoughts about the padlet, too, but next month will be the real test, won't it! Hopefully there won't be too many bugs to work out.

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  6. I'm glad your first (and only!) swap experience was positive, because you deserve it with all this work you've been doing! Nice job organizing the blog, and I look forward to trying the Padlet! You are a trailblazer!

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    1. Thanks so much, Keri! You sure are a peach. :)

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  7. Happy to have your blog return! I'm very excited about the Ditty anthology, thanks for all you're pouring into it! The blog looks great too!

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  8. Love these photos! Thanks for the info. about Padlet.

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    1. Thanks, Kiesha. For me, choosing photos is one of the best parts of putting together a blog post.

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  9. Congratulations Sweetie! It will be fantastic!

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  10. Looking forward to the anthology. Congrats and welcome back.

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  11. PS I love the swaps. Hope you participate again.

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  12. I like the changes, Michelle. Good work! I'm excited about your anthology. Welcome back to PF.

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    1. Thanks, Brenda. Little by little, gettin' er done!

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  13. Michelle, it is good to have you back. Keri's surprise is wonderful. You have been very busy these past couple of months. BTW, I love using Padlet.

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    1. Thanks, Carol. Good to know I have someone to turn to if I have questions about Padlet!

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  14. Glad you're back! I've never heard of Padlet, but it does sound like a cool little app. And bet wishes with the anthology...if you need any additional help, you know where we are!

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  15. Welcome back. I hope you are not the one responsible for mowing the field the chair is sitting in! Since the chair is empty, does that mean you are out standing in your field?
    I like you new look and look forward to the August challenge.

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    1. Nope. Not my field. I have Flickr Creative Commons to thank for most of the photos I use on the blog. Thanks for stopping by, Joy. August challenge coming right up!

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  16. Welcome back, Michelle! The blog looks terrific, and I'm sure the Padlet will be much easier for you. Looking forward the August challenge!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine! I think you're going to like August's challenge. :)

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  17. I love that you are always thinking about how to make this space better and more user friendly as well as a place to highlight great poets. Looking forward to the new challenges.

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  18. Wow. You have been a very busy woman! Welcome back. I've missed your posts. Thanks for all your hard work.

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    1. Thanks, Rosi. I've gotten such a nice welcome today– feeling very lucky, indeed!

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  19. Congratulations on your anthology! Sounds like you had an excellent "ditty committee!"

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  20. What exciting news! Your "ditty committee" is an inspiring group. I love the idea of posting on a Padlet and it seems like a great way for classroom work.

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    1. From what I understand, Padlet has been used in classrooms very successfully. In fact, I think they have a specific version of the software just for schools.

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  21. Fantastic news, which I knew, and thanks for the reminder to get you my agreement! You were so wise to recruit a committee. That's the part I always forget!

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    1. A committee you can trust makes a HUGE difference!

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  22. Thanks for all you do, Michelle! I think you're going to love padlet. Looking forward to the August challenge and the anthology!

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    1. Hope so! Good to know Padlet has your seal of approval.

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  23. Welcome Back Michelle I am looking forward to your anthology!!! and a new year of writing with your group Hope you had a wonderful summer

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  24. Welcome back! Lots of fun updates...you've been BUSY on vacation!!

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    1. That's true, Mary Lee. It hasn't felt much like a vacation, but it HAS been fun. :)

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  25. Sounds like you have been busy indeed - and congratulations on the forthcoming anthology. So exciting!

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  26. I hope you had some time to relax... doesn't look like it! Great changes and looking forward to more challenges!

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    1. In all honesty, I didn't do much relaxing, Donna. Dut I DID enjoy doing something different!

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  27. We missed you, Michelle! So excited about your anthology and I love what you've done with your blog - I think the addition of Padlet is genius. Looking forward to your spotlights and challenges. Keep cool... =)

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    1. I hope Padlet works out. I'm not sure it's the perfect solution, but it's as close as I could find!

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  28. I like the changes you describe, Michelle. And I am glad you are here. I have been away for quite a while and hope to be more involved in many things Poetry Friday and Kidlit related starting now. I love how you have structured your archives etc. It makes it easy to use and for busy teacher friends with whom I will share this, a very good thing. Haven't tried Padlet, but it sounds great. So looking forward to your anthology. Janet F. PS Stay cool!

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    1. Thanks for sharing the TLD archives with your teacher friends, Janet. I agree that they have great potential and would love for them to be used in classrooms! Glad to hear you'll be around more, too. :)

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  29. Welcome back! I'm glad you had a relaxing time to refresh. I don't know about the others, but I've missed you and I'm looking forward to lots of poetry! Yay! Ange

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    1. Thanks, Ange! It's humbling to receive such a warm welcome back.

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  30. Glad you're back, Michelle! Yay for padlet!! VERY excited for this anthology that will surely include work by some of my most favorite poets. THANK YOU! xo

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    1. Thanks, Irene. The anthology would never have gotten off the ground without you and the other spotlight authors! xo

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