Thursday, September 22, 2016

Finding my voice: YOU JUST WAIT (Giveaway!)


Moonlit by AReeeD

While I've always been creative, when I decided to channel that creativity into a writing career, suddenly the playing field looked different. For a long time I struggled with how to be proactive—to dial up my muse and direct the creative flow. Who am I kidding? I still struggle with that! But I've learned a valuable lesson along the way: inspiration breeds inspiration. Creativity is about making connections, following leads, trusting the journey.

You may not end up where you expected, but you'll always end up where you're meant to be.

When you lead a jam-packed life like mine—fueled by distractions and a never-ending to-do list—you can't afford to wait for inspiration to strike. You need to find it where it lives.

Buy it at Amazon.com
That's why I'm thrilled that Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong recently unveiled YOU JUST WAIT: A POETRY FRIDAY POWER BOOK (Pomelo Books, 2016).

Think of this book as your guide and companion as you set out in search of your own creative voice.

A mash-up between a poetry anthology, verse novella, and an activity book in the style of Wreck This Journal, tweens and teens are going to go ga-ga over this book. I should know, I have two of my own. At a time when they're exploring who they are and experimenting with how to make their mark, why not encourage them to mark up the pages of this book!

But why should young people have all the fun?

Although Janet and Sylvia may not have had this in mind, YOU JUST WAIT is also the perfect resource for those of us who, despite our "advanced" age, may be itching to write a novel-in-verse and don't know where to begin. 

Hello! We've got your do-it-yourself verse novel workbook right here!


Find out more about the Poetry Friday series at Pomelo Books

The Vardell-Wong team have established themselves as experts at linking poetry with teaching and learning—you can trust them to know what they're doing.

At the core of YOU JUST WAIT are twelve poems from a previous collaboration, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (an NCTE Poetry Notable), which are used as a jumping-off point. Janet Wong then wrote twenty-four new poems, weaving together a story about identity, sports, dreams, and frustrations, featuring a diverse cast of characters that young readers will be able to identify with on multiple levels. There's Paz, an Asian-Latina soccer player with dreams of athletic stardom, Lucescita, her feisty movie-loving cousin, and Joe, an older brother with dreams of his own.

While the story line, itself, will engage readers, for me, the magic comes from the way that the reader interacts with ALL the poems—outside poems, response poems, and mentor texts—on a personal level.
YOU are the one who sees the connection between them, hears the voices in your mind, and can write your own poems to weave those poems together to create a story only you can tell.
                                 – from the introduction to YOU JUST WAIT (Vardell/Wong)

YOU JUST WAIT includes twelve "PowerPack" groups to guide you through the process of reading, thinking, writing, and responding. Aided by Sylvia Vardell's fun and helpful PowerPlay activities and Power2You writing prompts, you have a winning formula for spurring creativity, making connections, and allowing your own words and ideas to flow.

Come with me on a power walk through PowerPack 6 and I'll show you what I mean.


—from You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book
by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong ©2016 Pomelo Books


POWERPLAY ACTIVITY: FRESH INK
What do you see when you look at this inkblot?

—from You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book
by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong ©2016 Pomelo Books (click to enlarge)

This is a great activity for me! I'm not much of an artist, but I can draw one heck of a splotch.


OUTSIDE POEM (FROM ANOTHER POETRY BOOK)

When my muse has gone AWOL, I can usually find her hanging out with the poetry collections on my bookshelf! She told me she loves this poem by Joseph Bruchac.

—from You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book
by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong ©2016 Pomelo Books


A RESPONSE POEM . . .

This poem and the next one were written by Janet Wong.

—from You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book
by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong ©2016 Pomelo Books


AND A MENTOR TEXT . . .

—from You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book
by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong ©2016 Pomelo Books


POWER2YOU WRITING PROMPT: CONCRETE POEM

Now it's your turn!


—from You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book
by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong ©2016 Pomelo Books


What I immediately thought of was our recent full moon. Did you see it? It was positively wondrous!

Last week, many Asian nations celebrated the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. In Vietnam, it is called Tet Trung Thu and is also known as the Children's Festival. Traditionally held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, it's sort of a mix between our Halloween and Thanksgiving. Children dress up and celebrate the full moon with masks and lanterns, parades and traditional dances, while parents enjoy family time and celebrate their love for their children.

Duc

Writing my poem about Tet Trung Thu, I envisioned a narrator who looks something like this little girl I found on Flickr Creative Commons. In my imagination, her name is Kim, which means "gold" or "golden" in Vietnamese.



And now, a golden opportunity from Janet and Sylvia...

Mooncake, anyone?

No, not a moon cake, though I would like to try one.



I have several copies of YOU JUST WAIT to give away!

You may request 1, 2, or 3 copies—for yourself, tweens or teens in your life, for family, for friends, it's up to you—but you must leave a comment on this post no later than Tuesday, September 27th, in order to be entered. I'd love to hear how you plan to use the books. (For those who have trouble leaving comments, email me at TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com and I will post your comment for you.) Winners will be chosen randomly until all the copies are gone. I'll announce the winners next Friday, September 30th. Good luck!


We're heading into the last week of our September DMC challenge, courtesy of Jane Yolen. What an amazing turnout we've had so far—keep those septercets coming! This week's daily ditties included work by David McMullin, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Karen Eastlund, and Linda Mitchell. Also enjoy septercets posted today by Doraine Bennett, Diane Mayr, Elizabeth Steinglass and another one from Jone Rush MacCulloch. See you next Friday for our wrap-up celebration (...assuming I can get them all organized!).



Thanks to Catherine at Reading to the Core for hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup.







58 comments:

  1. Hey there, Michelle - folks will have déjà vu going from your post to mine today! I'm happy to join the ongoing YOU JUST WAIT blog party, too. "JOE: Spinning" is one of my favorite poems in the whole book (what voice!), and I love your own unique "spin" on its form. And thanks for enlightening me about Tet Trung Thu - lovely!

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    1. Hey, Robyn! And the best part is all the copies of YOU JUST WAIT we get to give away. :) Spinning is one of my favorite poems in the book, too. I love Janet's use of repetition to build the momentum.

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  2. Michelle, that little girl is so cute! The yellows of your poem (moon, mango, stars, yolk) seem to fit her yellow dress. Well done.

    If I were to win a copy, I'd add it to our children's room collection! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Diane. The poem actually came before finding the little girl, but I do think I was meant to find her!

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  3. Love the sound of this book and your response to the challenge. I won't ask for a copy since postage to Australia would be prohibitive, but if you choose me, perhaps you could donate a copy on my behalf to a nearby school.

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    1. That's very generous of you, Sally. But I don't mind posting internationally, so if you win, we'll talk. :)

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  4. I love this, and plan to use one copy for myself this time, Michelle. I thought it was mostly for teaching and lamented that I am no longer in a classroom, but you've inspired me that Sylvia's and Janet's newest treasure is for everyone! I love all things moon, yes I saw this latest harvest moon, and love you telling and writing about Tet Trung Thu, unknown to me. Thanks for all the lovely poems!

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    1. It is for everyone, Linda. I bet you'll like it as much as I do!

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  5. Can't imagine anyone reading this packed article today, Michelle & not needing a distraction to wait, for JUST YOU WAIT. I plan to pay actual $ for mine (isn't NCTE approaching this all in The South?) so I'll opt out of the give, thank you. But am too happy with your preview to opt out of my comment. Lots to nosh on, here. And, hope your weekend is sprinkled with family time & you time, you bizee bee.

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    1. Thanks for not opting out of a comment, Jan. I'd miss it. :)

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  6. After I politely devour this book, I would love to ask Open Books to have a workshop on different forms of poetry. Right now, they do Slam Poetry, but maybe Concrete would work. I would donate the book to them.

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    1. Thank you for your septercet that first introduced me to Open Books, Kathy! They sound like a great organization.

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  7. Between you and Robyn, it's like having You Just Wait in stereo :). Excited to read this one (I'm already swooning and marveling at J&S's innovative talents). I'm thinking if I won an extra copy I would pass it on to my neighbor, who works at a school library. :)

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    1. Double the posts means double the fun, right? I also love how Janet and Sylvia are always thinking outside the box!

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  8. Okay Michelle... I've been toying with a verse novel idea and this book might be the catalyst for me to react. Loved the concrete shape poem by 'Kim" for the moon.

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  9. Oh my goodness, this book sounds like a treasure for teachers and students alike.

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  10. You're so right, why should kids have all the fun?? We all have words within us, but sometimes they need a bit of encouragement to come out! :)

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  11. I love this book and this post! And I'd love one copy of this book all for myself! Great job once again Sylvia and Janet!

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  12. Michelle - I realize this is not a challenge, still I have been inspired to write a poem, based on all these round concrete poems. Let me know if you'd like it. Thanks, BJ

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    1. I'd love to read it, BJ! Would you email it to me?

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  13. Hi Michelle, great post, and I liked your Vietnamese moon cake poem. It was delicious! If I won the book, after I stopped dancing around my room, I would hope to get three so that my sons and I could work through them together. My oldest is 14 and my next is 12, and they already write lovely poetry. It would be a great family bonding adventure.

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    1. That does sound like a great creative family togetherness project, Brenda! Thanks for your delicious comment.

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  14. Such a cool creative idea! I'd love to win this book to spur my own writings as well as for my summer arts camp kids! Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Summer arts camp sounds like a perfect place to share this book!

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  15. Hi Michelle your post is wonderful today I love your moon poem
    I would love to have a copy of this book to help me with my journey in writing and a copy to give to my local school library to promote and help encourage teacher and students to write and love poetry

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  16. I love the moon poem. And I would love to have a copy of this book to inspire my oldest grandgirl.

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  17. This book sounds like a marvelous way for all ages to learn how to write poetry! Better than moon cake (unless it's a triple yolker lotus paste...). ;)

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  18. I have decided to immerse myself in online writing classes and other resources to venture out of my comfort zone of nonfiction. I would only need one copy which I'd use for myself--what an excellent resource to find right in my own writing community. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to open my mind.

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  19. Loved this post, Michelle, and the very cute girl in yellow reciting your poem. So much round yellow happiness! If you should pick me in the giveaway, I would probably go through it myself and if it's not in tatters by then, share it with my grandkids.

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    1. Thanks, Violet. You can never get enough round yellow happiness!

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  20. Wonderful post, Michelle! I love your poem and the sweet little moon princess. Leave it to Janet and Sylvia to create such an inspiring book. I'd love a copy to use with our students!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. Sylvia and Janet are quite the innovators, aren't they?

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  21. From Vicki Wilke:

    Poetry inspires poetry! Love concrete poems, response poems, mentor texts - any kind of poetry that will help me to continue writing poetry to touch children or make them smile. Thank you for doing what you do!

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  22. Is it "You Just Wait" day? Love, love, love everything about this collection, verse novel, journal, whatever it is, it is great because the work of Janet and Sylvia is always great. And they are so generous with their books. This is not the first giveaway I have seen. You are glowing!

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    1. What, didn't you get the memo? ;) I agree, though, Margaret. There's always good reason to celebrate when Sylvia and Janet come out with something new!

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  23. I love your poem, Michelle! It is beautiful. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of this book. I would love to have one to share with my 11-year-old granddaughter who is a budding writer.

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    1. Thanks, Rosi! So glad you have a next generation writer to share the joy with.

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  24. Love this idea! Weaving through poems, finding the thread that becomes your own.... If I won this book, I'd share the experience with my 2 closest writing pals. We have write-offs and rate one another's work. Seeing what wildly diverse outcomes each creates from the same starting point is always a treasure.

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    1. Sounds like a really fun way to use the book, Emily!

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  25. I absolutely adore your poem, Michelle. So much characterisation, setting and voice in that short piece; making every word speak for itself.

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  26. You hit the nail on the head with this positive statement, Michelle: "Inspiration breeds inspiration. Creativity is about making connections, following leads, trusting the journey." Janet and Sylvia's new book is going to make connections and allow students to trust their writing journey. Thanks for showcasing what I know is a hit.

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    1. Trusting the journey can be a pretty scary thing to do at any age. But you're right, Carol, students will be in good hands with YOU JUST WAIT.

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  27. Oh, Michelle, Kim's poem is luminous - her spirit shines! I love your statement "You may not end up where you expected, but you'll always end up where you're meant to be." - I think this has happened to me my entire life. Janet and Sylvia's book looks fabulous - a copy for my 13 y/o daughter would be wonderful if we were lucky enough to win. Thank you for being you, which is pretty awesome. =)

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    1. Thanks so much, Bridget. I think you're pretty awesome, too!

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  28. Hi Michelle -- I just met Janet, on her way up to the Poetry Camp in Bellingham, Washington. And was led to your blog, from her Twitter post. This book sounds perfect for my daughter, soon turning 10. She had no interest in poetry until this past spring (even though I've been working on a book of kids' poetry, myself, for the last two years), when a teacher encouraged her to try it as part of a "genre challenge." She read one of Caroline Kennedy's anthologies was hooked! But though she reads a lot, she just wants to go play computer games or watch movies. So I'm hoping a book like this will get her creative juices flowing. Thanks for offering it as a giveaway!

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    1. Nice to meet you, David! Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you're a winner.

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    2. And to meet you! I appreciate your individual responses to everyone who comments. Who else does that these days?

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  29. Thanks for highlighting this book, Michelle! A must-have for teens, tweens and adults!

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    1. Agreed! And I love your poem "Cousins," Charles. I'm wondering if you might have had a cousin you ruled the world with? Wouldn't surprise me if you did!

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