Archive for November, 2016

Heads Up: CreativeBug Special

November 22, 2016 @ 9:29 am | Filed under: Fun Learning Stuff, Links

You’ve heard me rave about Creativebug plenty of times in the past. Regular price is $4.95/month for access to dozens hundreds of art and craft classes. Rilla and I have taken many, many of these classes during our Saturday Night Art Dates. Highly recommended! (Especially the Lisa Congdon and Jennifer Orkin Lewis classes.)

They’re running a special right now: three months of access for $1. Can’t beat that deal!

3 Months of Creativity for Just $1

(Affiliate links)

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poetry friday: “America, why are your libraries full of tears?”

November 11, 2016 @ 8:51 am | Filed under: Poetry

America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

—from “America” by Allen Ginsberg

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

—from “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen

Why Poetry Is Viral in the Aftermath

And poetry keeps the intensity and the passion of a point of view, but in a forum where people aren’t hurting each other. It says, “Here’s what it’s like from my point of view.” All you have to do is listen to the poet.

And, in that, you don’t have to be anything other than what you are. The poem is a catalyst where you’re bringing two different kinds of people together. And at its best, when it works, there’s a kind of spark, and everyone comes away illuminated by what the spark has ignited.

Poems to visit today:

Differences of Opinion” by Wendy Cope

Tenacious” by Tanita Davis.

And here’s one from me.

Fall
by Melissa Wiley

I have quit romanticizing
small towns. Don’t tell me

somewhere Miss Daisy and the Colonel
sip sweet tea from green glasses.

Don’t say Dog Monday pats its patient
tail on the swept platform.

You know Doc Gibbs is no longer
in network. Behind trim doors fixed eyes

watch what all of us are watching.
Some of the mothers smoke still.

Their strong son the quarterback
snaps his frame: splayed limbs,

fanned hair, the blue dolphin vaulting
off the tanned swell. His swell friends

retweet. Here the wagons are circling.
There is plenty of posterboard.

Six fine pumpkins up the porch steps,
and artful corn husks: pin this. Touchdown

at Grover Cleveland High. Hear the roar
shivering the bruised leaves of the Bradford pears

on Elm Street above the patter of talk
radio. The limp girl among the red cups

under the butternut tree cannot
hear what they are saying in the cities.

leafmotif

This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

Big Brave Writer News!

November 7, 2016 @ 6:24 am | Filed under: Books

I’ve been a fan of Julie Bogart’s Brave Writer writing program and classes since the first launch of The Writer’s Jungle. In fact, that fabulous resource was one of the very first things I reviewed on this blog, way back in February 2005. I’ve used Writer’s Jungle and other Brave Writer materials such as The Arrow with my own kids, and I’ve pointed many friends toward the excellent online classes offered each term.

And now I’ll be joining the roster of Brave Writer teachers myself! After that incredible experience at the BW Retreat in July, Julie talked me into joining her team as an instructor. I’ll be taking on some of my favorite topics: comics and historical fiction. The new course line-up was announced this morning, abundant as always with enticing classes I know my own kids would enjoy.

bravewriterlogoWhat I’ll be teaching:

Comic Strip Capers — March 6-29, ages 9 and up

Penning the Past — May 8-June 2, ages 11-14

Please click the links to read more about my classes! Registration begins December 5.

I’ll plan to hop on Periscope on Wednesday afternoon (2:30 Pacific time) for some Q&A.

Planning ahead

November 2, 2016 @ 1:27 pm | Filed under: Family, These People Crack Me Up

Scott: I got you a present.
(demonstrates opening a soda can with magical doohickey)
 
Me: That’s genius. You’re a genius.
 
Scott: See, that’s what you’ll think every time you use it. ‘He was a damn genius.’
 
Me: …why am I thinking of you in past tense?
 
Scott: Because I’ll be dead.
 
Me: WHY WILL YOU BE DEAD?
 
Scott: Because you won’t need to use it until after I’m gone. Until then you’ve got me to open your sodas.
 
Me: Are all geniuses this morbid?