Thursday, December 5, 2019

Sweet wishes (and plans) for the new year!


"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"         Arol Lightfoot

These last few weeks (months, really) have been a whirlwind for me.
And miles to go before I sleep. 
And miles to go before I sleep.
                     – Robert Frost, read the entire poem HERE

It's been a struggle at times, but here I am! I've arrived at the end of year! And it's all the more special because I have so many friends who have been surrounding me with love and gratitude, helping me celebrate the release of The Best of Today's Little Ditty 2017-2018. Thank you for sharing Volume 3 in blog posts and on websites, spreading the word on social media, and purchasing copies for yourself or for poetry-loving friends and family for the holidays!

Thanks to Jan Godown Annino for this great photo to brighten my holiday season!

Christmas is coming!
The stockings are hung—
a ditty collection
tucked into each one.


If you already have a copy and can take a minute or two to leave a review on Amazon, it would help to get the book seen by more poetry fans like yourselves. (For that matter, did you know you can use the same, or similar, review for the other two TLD anthology volumes?)

If you have poems in any of the volumes and an Amazon author page, don't forget to add yourself as an author as well!

I recently received a beautiful gift from Donna JT Smith in the mail. She's given me permission to share it here. I love the way she so thoughtfully expresses her appreciation for these books and for the poets whose work is contained. She pretty much took the words right out of my mouth.


SWEET

Sweet the poems
        Bound with string
Sweet the spirit
        Fresh as spring
Sweet the poets'
        Voices ring
Sweet the songs
        Given to sing
                Sweet the birds
                        Sweet the air
                Sweet the flowers
                        fresh and fair
Sweet the sentiment and thought
Sweet the peace these words have brought.
Sweet the sounds
Sweet the pen
Sweet the visiting again
Thanks to writer
Thanks to all
Thanks to those
        who hear the call.

© 2019 Donna JT Smith. All rights reserved.

Thanks right backatcha, Donna! Thanks to ALL of you who hear the call to take part in Ditty of the Month Club challenges.

This time of year is when I start thinking about what shape Today's Little Ditty is going to take for the coming year. I'd love to interview a few more of you for 2020 Reader Spotlights. If you ask Linda Mitchell, Jesse Anna Bornemann, Jane Whittingham, Rebecca Herzog, or Kate O'Neil, I think they'll tell you the process is easy, fun, and rewarding to read all the poems in response to your very own ditty challenge. Don't be shy! Complete this brief form to start the ball rolling.



I also plan to share more author/editor Spotlight ON interviews next year, more classroom connections posts, and... who knows what else!

An exciting bit of news for me is that I've been shortlisted for the position of Alachua County Poet Laureate here in North Central Florida. I interviewed with our local arts council earlier this week. The competition is stiff, but just to have been given the opportunity to speak about why poetry is important to me feels like a win all by itself. I'm proud of my local government for initiating this new position and, regardless of the outcome, I hope that it might lead to new poetry-related events and opportunities.

So I guess that's it from me for a while. I look forward to returning in late January. If you get a hankering to write some ditties in the meantime, don't forget that you can access links to all of the TLD spotlight interviews HERE and links to all of the final wrap-up celebrations HERE.

Jocelyn Erskine-Kellie

May your holiday season be festive and bright—
and filled with love, laughter, and poetry!


Tanita has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at [fiction, instead of lies].


 

42 comments:

  1. Michelle! CONGRATULATIONS on being considered for such a wonderful post! (If they have any sense, they'll pick you, of course.) Thank you for ALL you do, here, there and everywhere, for poetry. Enjoy your little break, and we'll wave going in and out of Florida over the holidays. (Down 75; across the whole length of I-4 at some point, and back up 95. ;0) ) Wishes of love, laughter, and poetry to YOU as well. XO

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    1. Thank you, Robyn <3, and safe travels through the wilds of the Florida interstates. I'll be watching for your wave! xo

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  2. What a wonderful honor that you are sure to enjoy--I know--you said competition is stiff. But, if not this year, at some point you will be poet laureate and you will get to spread poetry to a wider audience. It IS your mission. I so admire how you enjoy a busy life WITH poetry in it. It's such a treat and blessing to "know" you and be part of TLD #3. I will certainly review. Keep up the good work after a much needed and deserved rest.

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    1. Thanks so much, Linda. You DO know me well, probably better than you realize even. :) xo

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  3. Jesse Anna BornemannDecember 6, 2019 at 9:45 AM

    Congratulations on the finalist honor, Michelle! I can't imagine that anyone else is more deserving. Please keep us posted! It was such a thrill to be featured in a Reader Spotlight this year. To borrow from The Beatles, I'm grateful for TLD eight days a week. Happy holidays!

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    1. Aw, the Beatles reference, coming from you, is like icing on the cake. Thanks, Jesse!

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  4. Wow, Michelle, I'm so proud of you being shortlisted for the Poet Laureate position. That is an honor for those very special, as you are! It's always a joy to read your posts, the challenges and the sharing what others have written. Your support means a lot! Thank you for all the dedication and work you do! Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday! Here they come! FYI, I'm celebrating the new TLD book today, will be sure to review on Amazon, too!

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    1. Right backatcha about that specialness and appreciation, Linda. Enjoy your holiday too, and thanks so much for celebrating TLD3 today!

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  5. Fingers crossed for the Laureate position - what a wonderful thing to be even on the list! Go, you! Your tree is adorable, and thank you for sharing a poem today.

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  6. Wow. What an honor, even to be considered. Well done and best of luck. xoxo

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  7. Not unknown, me, Judi... problem with gmail. :-(

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  8. Congrats again on your book, Michelle -and best wishes for a nice holiday season. Love Donna's poem!

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  9. Congratulations on your interview. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. I enjoyed Donna's poem. How sweet of her to send this to you. BTW, my copy of The Best of Today's Little Ditty 2017-2018 is on it's way to me!

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    1. Thanks for the crossed fingers, Cheriee. And YAY! I appreciate you going to the extra effort to purchase a copy of TLD3. :D

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  10. Thanks again, Michelle, for the opportunity to be in your anthology, and a huge CONGRATULATIONS on being considered for poet laureate! What a wonderful experience and opportunity! Enjoy your break. I know you'll come back with lots of creative ideas.

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    1. It's always good to recharge the blogging battery. :) So glad to include your beautiful ode in this TLD volume, Karen. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  11. Congratulations, Michelle! How cool you are on the short list for poet laureate. I love Donna's poem! So full of sweet thoughts! I need to put on my to-do list completing your interview form and doing a review of the new volume of TLD. But, for now, it's babies and Christmas and Cybils reading.

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    1. Babies and Christmas and reading sounds like the perfect holiday to-do list, Margaret. Enjoy it all!

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  12. Congrats on the laureate honor, and thanks for all the ditty goodness in 2019. Don't know how you manage to do everything you do. Thanks for sharing Donna's poem -- it's perfect!! Happy Holidays and see you in 2020. :)

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    1. Happy holidays to my blogging role model, Jama! Thanks for all the Alphabet Soup goodness that warms my heart and belly. :D

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  13. What a amazing news to be on the short list for poet laureate! Outstanding. I love Donna's poem.

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    1. Indeed it is, Jone! Thank you. Donna's poem really hits the spot, doesn't it?

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  14. Woohoo! Congratulations. It is indeed an honour to have made the selection thus far. And how wonderful if it will be if you are the last name standing!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kat. We'll see... but I think I'll be pretty happy with the result either way. It's a huge win for the whole community!

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  15. Congratulations! You would be a wonderful representative for poetry in the community! And how fabulous that your community is celebrating and committing to poetry in this way. I love Donna's poems and echo its sentiments wholeheartedly! I am still working on the Spotlight Reader interview. If it's not too late, I'll keep working on it and sent it back. I'm finding the questions quite challenging! But I love reading about everyone else.

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    1. Thanks so much, Kay. Please do send back the interview whenever you can. Don't fret too much over the questions... email me. I'm happy to help! :)

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  16. 💕 Donna's poem!
    So happy to hear about the laureate position! It's wonderful that they are creating it. Since you are already a terrific ambassador for poetry, I feel confident in saying that you would be great at it!

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  17. Donna! What an amazing poem! And Michelle! CONGRATULATIONS! Fingers crossed for you! Thanks for all you do for this amazing community!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Lee. This amazing community wouldn't be as amazing without you. :) Case in point: your three wonderful poems in TLD3!

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  18. How exciting for you, Michelle! I know you would be a superb Poet Laureate. You are such an enthusiastic promoter of poetry. Many, many thanks to you for all your hard work on your monthly challenges and the Best of TLD anthologies. Donna's poem captures the spirit of our community perfectly. Wishing you and all your family a holiday filled with love and joy!

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    1. Love and joy to you and yours too, Catherine! Thanks for being part of my little ditty universe. I've been honored to share your work in all three of the TLD volumes.

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  19. Dear Editor & Poet & Pal!
    I would love to sign up for a workshop down the interstate with you on how to get so much creativity goodness accomplished.
    It’s been ages since we’ve sat in cosy rooms together so 2020 feels like the ideal reunion year.
    I’m eager to give the new collection social media attention when my sick MacBook returns to me from the BestBuy digital retrieval lab supersleuths in Kentucky.
    And I am melting with the original poem
    “Sweet” from the pen of Donna JT Smith-
    especially:
    “Sweet the visiting again”

    Appreciations for another nourishing collection, for every TLD post & most important, pens/pencils crossed for the Alachua County folks as they word wrestle with their Laureate choice. If not this cycle, then soon, soon. When it happens they won’t want to let you go. Which is how we all feel.
    Merrie, Merrie!
    In the symbols of dear Irene
    xo

    Jan
    likely miles & miles behind dear Robyn, waving from I-75 past Micanopy...

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    1. Oh, Jan, if you hear about such a workshop, I'm there! It seems like for as much creativity goodness I accomplish, it's never as much as I'd like. Thanks, as always, for your love and support. I hope to sit in a cozy room with you soon!

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  20. Congratulations, Michelle, on your very, very exciting news! I know you would be an amazing Poet Laureate as you are already such a vibrant force supporting and encouraging poetry. TLD provides such a warm, welcoming spot for all things poetic! I have fingers and toes crossed. Wishing you and your family a fabulous holiday season! Oh--and Donna's poem is perfection! I'm so glad she allowed you to share it today.

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    1. I appreciate all the finger and toe crossing, Molly, ALMOST as much as I appreciate being able to share your beautiful poems. :)

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  21. Drum roll please… ta dum, ta dum, ta dum da da dum… Congrats on being nominated poet laureate of Alachua County, hoping it may happen… Hooray Michelle! Thanks for sharing Donna' s lovely "Sweet" poem. Enjoy the Holidays with your family, and a wee break perhaps. I'll be looking for you in 2020, Cheers, xo :)

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    1. Ha! Love that drum roll, Michelle! Thanks for cheering me on. :D Wishing you and your family wonderful holidays, too. See you on the flip side! xo

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  22. Thank you, Michelle! Congratulations on your poet laureate nomination! What a lovely way to bid this decade farewell. An exciting and promising start to the '20s. Am praying for your win. Thank you for Donna's sweet poem. The best of the season to you and yours.

    Cory

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