Thursday, November 17, 2016

Five for Friday: Best Things + BIG NEWS!


"Joy of First Rain"                  Photo: Yogendra Joshi

When my kids were younger, we had a dinnertime ritual called "best things." We went around the table and each named positive things that happened to us over the course of the day. Sometimes it was a struggle to name just one; other times there were several. "This lovely dinner" was uttered a few times, though that may have been for brownie points. I'm not sure. Often the children ended with "and basically the whole day!" Can you remember the last time you had a day that was "best" from start to finish? Me neither.

Unfortunately, our dinnertime tradition has all but disappeared, but given recent unrest, perhaps it's time to bring it back. I'm probably not the only one craving positivity, so what do you say we give it a go right here?

Would you help me?
All you need to do is describe, in five words, the best thing that happened to you this week. Don't think too hard about it. It can be anything—from the smile of a stranger to something as momentous as this best thing... (drumroll please)



It's a book!  An honest to goodness book.

There are so many people to thank for helping me with this enormous undertaking. First, I had an incredible ditty committee who pored over more than 400 poems! We ended up with 75 poems in response to 13 challenges. Because I felt strongly that no one, including myself, should have their work appear in more than three challenges, a few excellent poems were necessarily left out, but I think you'll be pleased with the results nonetheless. Here are the 55 poets whose work appears in this collection.


I am profoundly grateful to Carrie Clickard whose first suggested the idea of a "best of" series, and who came to my technological rescue more than once at crunch time; to Renée LaTulippe who was with me every step of the way with her encouragement and editorial expertise; and to Michelle Kogan for a cover that surpassed all expectations! I'd also like to give a shout out to J. Patrick Lewis, Margaret Simon, and Sylvia Vardell for their wonderful blurbs on the back cover. But most of all, I owe a debt of gratitude to the 2014-2015 Spotlight authors/editors who inspired us with such terrific challenges, and to ALL OF YOU for filling my life, my blog, and this book with poetry. Thank you. I'm so proud of what we've accomplished together!

The Best of Today's Little Ditty, 2014-2015 is available 
in paperback for $9.95 or as a Kindle ebook for $5.95. 

(As of the writing of this blog post, the two avenues for purchasing are not yet linked to the same page on Amazon, but don't let that stop you from grabbing the version of your choice!)


Photo: Garry Knight

For those who would like to contribute to my Five for Friday party, please come up with a five-word ditty (plus title, if you wish) about the best thing that happened to you this week. Leave it in the comments or email it to me at TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll move it to the main body of the post.  Here's mine to start us off:


COUNTING MY BLESSINGS

Sitting pretty with 75 ditties!

– Michelle Heidenrich Barnes


NO SURPRISE

smiles shared with the granddaughters

– Linda Baie


A VERY SPECIAL WEEK

(Family Friends laughter ditties love)

– Jessica Bigi


FORMERLY FERAL FELINE:

Almost allowed
a belly rub

– Tabatha Yeatts


BLISS

in the wee hours,
inspiration

– Matt Forrest Esenwine


CHECKUP

Got weighed—and no change!

And to make it yin yang

WHAT?

Got weighed—and no change?

– Diane Mayr


BEAMING WITH GRATITUDE

Book bliss with the best!

– Michelle Kogan 


finding community with fellow poets

– Liz Steinglass


Son's soccer team- still undefeated!

– Corey Rosen Schwartz


SERENITY

In the company
Of poets

– Kathleen Mazurowski


At NCTE! ( that counts as five words, right? )

– Irene Latham


HE'S STILL HERE

My dad turned 102 yesterday.

– Jama Rattigan


Giving and receiving unexpected gifts. 

– Rebecca Colby


SUPER-WHOO

Moonlit fall
night owl's call

– Donna JT Smith


Found solidarity
with kidlit community

– B.J. Lee


STILL SURREAL

My poem found a family 

– Maria Marshall


MIGRATION TIME

Watching geese fly in formation.

– Jone Rush MacCulloch 


fall weather is finally here

– Kristi Dee Veitenheimer


FAN GIRL TIME

Naomi Shahib Nye—
in person!

– Buffy Silverman


Teaching my students every day.

– Ruth
(There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town)


FINGERS CROSSED

Pushed send on grant application.

– David McMullin


NOVEMBER NIGHT

biggest, brightest, beaming — heavenly supermoon

– Penny Parker Klostermann


Our tree gave us lemons!

– J.G. Annino


Sweet letter from sweet granddaughter.

– Karen Eastlund


FOUND JOY

Surprising sparks of student poetry 

– Robyn Hood Black


UNEXPECTED

Hugs from a first grader.

– Catherine Flynn


alarmless saturday
slow warm waking

– Rebekah Hoeft


Hubby's colonoscopy results are good.
LOL! TMI? How about: 

Honored to be included here!

– Teresa Robeson


FRIDAY NIGHT

Both my girls home together.

– Bridget Magee


ANGEL SMILES

Smitten by this sleeping child

– Doraine Bennett


Meeting Poetry Friday friends — joy!

– Laura Shovan


VACATION

Cleaning,
rewarded by
Consuming
Novels-in-verse.

– Carol Wilcox




We're heading into the final stretch of Ann Rider's challenge to write a poem about a place of refuge and solace. I featured my own poem this week, as well as ones by Suzy Levinson, Linda Mitchell, and Linda Baie. Post yours on our November 2016 padlet, then come back next Friday for our end-of-month wrap-up!






Brenda Davis Harsham has a beautiful tribute to Leonard Cohen for this week's Poetry Friday roundup. It's her first time hosting—why not stop by Friendly Fairy Tales and be friendly?

92 comments:

  1. Congrats again, Michelle. This is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ed. And thank you for "As if I could knock out the Ocean"!

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  2. Congratulations, Michelle - a job well done, which could not have been done without your hard work, dedication, and inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, Matt. It's an honor for me to include three of your wonderful poems!

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  3. Echoing Ed and Matt with congratulations, and adding thanks for your hard work, to start the creative process on your blog itself, then manage to carry through Carrie's idea, gather your grand helpers, and do it! My 'five for five': title: No Surprise - smiles shared with the granddaughters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you've always been famous in your granddaughters' eyes, but now your a bit "famouser"! ;) Thanks for your beautiful poems in this collection, Linda!

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  4. Wow! So many congratulations! You have created a beautiful community here, and to publish a book of these poems is a gift. Cheers and love! xx

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, Amy. Looking forward to including you in The Best of TLD, 2015!

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  5. A Very Special Week

    (Family Friends laughter ditties love)

    Congratulations, Michelle for all the hard work and caring and to every one that made this possible A beautiful GROUPE OF CREATIVE PEOPLE !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delighted that your "Do Books Love Me?" is a part of this collection, Jessica!

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  6. Awesome to see your project come to fruition, Michelle!
    I had a lot of best small moments. Here's one titled
    FORMERLY FERAL FELINE:
    Almost allowed
    a belly rub

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That IS a best thing! Dittylove and Kittylove, what could be better? Thank you for your help on the ditty committee and your wonderful poems, Tabatha. :)

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  7. Forgot to include my ditty!

    BLISS

    in the wee hours,
    inspiration

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congratulations, MIchelle! Job well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, David! Your letter poem challenge was a blast. :)

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  9. You've done us all proud, Michelle!

    CHECKUP

    Got weighed--and no change!

    And to make it yin yang

    WHAT?

    Got weighed--and no change?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! A most welcome best thing for sure. Thanks, Diane– for your help on the ditty committee for writing such wonderful poetry!

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  10. A balthazar of a toast to you, Michelle, with my heartiest
    congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oops, I should have added
    J. Patrick Lewis

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I knew it was you, Pat. Who else would say "a balthazar of a toast to you"? Cheers! xo

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  12. Congratulations Michelle, so proud to be a part of this wonderful anthology!!!

    Beaming with Gratitude
    Book bliss with the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Beaming with gratitude" is certainly where I'm at right now, too! Thanks for everything, Michelle.

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  13. Wahoo! The thanks should go to you! For inspiring poetry and pulling it all together into a beautiful book. That's what I'm grateful for today--finding community with fellow poets. Congratulations again!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! That's something I'm thankful for every day. Thanks, Liz.

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  14. Congratulations and bravo! You have created such a creative poetry community! I am honored to be part of i.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joyce, for inspiring us well beyond Today's Little Ditty!

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  15. Wow, congrats Michelle!

    Best part of a very bad week...

    Son's soccer team- still undefeated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about your bad week, Corey. But hooray for your son's soccer team, and hooray for your winning ways with books!

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  16. Congratulations, Michelle! I love this lineup of poets and all the love and care with which you put this thing together. So honored to know you, I can't wait to get my copy! The best part of my week: At NCTE! ( that counts as five words, right? ) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet it does, Irene. It all counts! And I can always count on you for kind and thoughtful comments... thank you. :) xo

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  17. Congratulations, Michelle! Can't wait to see those 75 gems in print!
    Hmmm, best part of this week?

    HE'S STILL HERE

    My dad turned 102 yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A wonderful best thing, Jama! I'm going to head over to Alphabet Soup as soon as I can catch a breath. :)

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  18. Fabulous news, Michelle! Congrats to you and all the poets!

    And one of the best things that happened to me this week: Giving and receiving unexpected gifts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rebecca! You've got me smiling here, thinking about your unexpected gift exchange. :)

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  19. Awesome to see the cover - excited to read the innards!
    Thanks for making this a reality, Michelle!

    My 5-Word Goodness Ditty:

    Super-whoo

    Moonlit fall
    night owl's call


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    Replies
    1. I'll keep going as long as you all do! Love that owl's call, Donna.

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    2. Watching the full moon and hearing the owl call was such a rich moment!

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  20. Congrats, Michelle, to you and all the poets! What a beautiful book. Can't wait to get my copy!

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  21. Congratulations, Michelle! What wonderful news and what a wonderful idea! Your community and this book are, as Amy said so well, a gift indeed. Bravo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Rebecca. And thanks for stopping by to help me celebrate!

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  22. Congratulations, how exciting!! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this, it sounds just wonderful!!

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  23. Thank you Michelle for all you do and a huge congratulations! I can't wait to read this effort of love! Found solidaritywith kidlit community

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    1. I'm grateful to have your work in this collection, BJ. Good stuff!

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  24. Congrats Michelle! I can't wait to hold it. Still amazed I get to be part of this amazing group of poets. Best gift so far this year.

    Still Surreal
    My poem found a family

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    Replies
    1. I"m so happy to hear that, Maria! Your "suspended clouds of pink flowers" makes me sigh every time I read it.

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  25. Migration Time
    Watching geese fly in formation.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fan Girl Time

    Naomi Shahib Nye--
    in person!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Teaching my students every day.

    ReplyDelete
  28. (Congratulations, btw - it looks great!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ruth. Lovely to read that you're living your best thing every day!

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  29. It's people like you, who get out there and make things happen, that inspire me the most.

    FINGERS CROSSED - Pushed send on grant application.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, David. It makes a world of difference when you've got folks helping you every step of the way. Good luck with the grant! :)

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  30. NOVEMBER NIGHT
    biggest, brightest, beaming — heavenly supermoon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree completely, Penny. That moon was mesmerizing!

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  31. H O O R A Y! A Celebration indeed. Many congratulations! Can't wait to page through this book.

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  32. Appreciations! Will snatch mine up.
    So fun to recognize most of the poet names!

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  33. Oh my goodness...so many familiar names...so much talent...what a fabulous idea, Michelle! Congratulations to all!

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  34. What a rich & wonderful celebration - Congratulations, Michelle! Can't wait to see this lovely book in person and savor poems by friends old and new. XO

    FOUND JOY
    Surprising sparks of student poetry

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Robyn! I'm pleased that Medusa is playing so nicely with the other monster haiku. ;)

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  35. Congratulations, Michelle! What an accomplishment, and I am so honored to be included with so many of my poetry heroes.

    UNEXPECTED
    Hugs from a first grader.

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    Replies
    1. The best kind of best thing. :) Thanks, Catherine.

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  36. Congratulations, Michelle! I'm looking forward to purchasing a copy! Maybe to read one cozy Saturday morning. :)

    alarmless saturday
    slow warm waking

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rebekah! Sounds like you got a great start to the weekend. :)

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  37. "Hubby's colonoscopy results are good." LOL! TMI? How about: " Honored to be included here!"? :) Thank you, and I hope the book does well!

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    Replies
    1. It's all good, Teresa. :) I'm including every last bit of it!

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  38. Woo-hoo, Michelle! So excited for you and this book. Thank you for including me.
    For me this week: "Both my girls home together." With the title: Friday Night

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    1. Thanks for writing that fun zeno, Bridget! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with everyone together.

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  39. So excited for you, Michelle. And so pleased to be included. Title: Angel Smiles
    Smitten by this sleeping child

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    1. I'm honored to include your poem, Dori! Give that angel a kiss from me.

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  40. I'm late chiming in, but I'm so excited for you, Michelle and all the poets in this lovely book. Wonderful debut as an anthologist! Congratulations one and all!

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  41. Late here, but saving your post as a Sunday evening treat. My best thing was seeing both my boys participate in school plays this week, one as a demon and one as the spotlight king. :-) Love the new anthology. Can't wait to see the print version.

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    1. Why am I not surprised your boys enjoy being on stage? Thanks for being part of the anthology, Brenda.

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  42. Belated congratulations, Michelle! "Most wonderful, wonderful and yet again wonderful!"

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    1. Thank you, thank you, and yet again thank you, Monica! I'm thrilled to have your starry minnows swimming in its pages.

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  43. Congratulations, Michelle. What wonderful news! My 5 words:

    Meeting Poetry Friday friends -- joy!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Congratulations, Michelle! Thanks for all your hard work to bring this project to fruition!

    VACATION
    Novels-in-verse
    consumed endlessly!

    Or if novels-in-verse is one word (I'm not sure if hyphenated words are one word or three) how about this

    "Vacation"
    Cleaning,
    rewarded by
    Consuming
    Novels-in-verse.

    Happy Poetry Friday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carol. Sound like an ideal vacation, productive and rewarding!

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  45. Such an awesome accomplishment, Michelle! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete