Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
The answer is Leif Erickkson. Skalds, court poets of Scandinavian and Icelandic leaders, recorded Nordic history in poems and songs. The Greenlander's Saga is the account of Leif's exploration in Vinland, or present-day Canada.
The skald, or the poet, held a place of honor in Nordic culture. His job was to keep a record of all that happened and to sing the praises of his leader. Instead of naming the thing he meant to talk about, the skald put two other nouns together to describe the object, making a kenning. For example, a farmer is a guardian of the spade. A ship is a whale rider. The skald is the tale-bearer.
The skald might say something like this: You are a true falcon, frost-ruler. Every prince is much worse than you are.
Questions from Mrs. Gill's Fourth Grade Class:
Have you ever written poetry?
I have, and I love writing it. Here's a poem I wrote.
An ocean of travelers
sprawl across islands of baggage
like scurvy-ridden sailors
adrift on a windless sea.
A disembodied voice
announces another numbered flight
that will not reach home.
I close my eyes
and wish I were nine,
lying in the back seat
where I watched
the slow strobe
pressure on my side
as the car
Today's Question: What city sent a messages to an explorer in outer space?
Monday, I'll be talking about how I landed the contract for this book before writing it. Enjoy your weekend.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Yesterday’s question: Who was REALLY the first person to circumnavigate the globe?
Answer: Magellan got the credit, but the poor man died about half way around. Juan Elcano, a Spanish pilot, WAS navigating the final surviving ship that limped into port nearly three years after they started. But personally, I think credit should go to Antonio Pigafetta. You’ve got to love that name, and I did have some fun playing with it. Pigafetta wasn’t even a sailor, just an adventurer who signed on with Magellan’s crew “to see the very great and awful things of the ocean.” He kept a journal that preserved the awful tale of mutiny, betrayal, and treachery.
Magellan was Portuguese, sailing for the Spanish crown. He left port with five fully-loaded ships and crews and four Spanish captains. It was not a good situation from the start, and it only got worse. Before they were even half way around the world, Magellan had one captain executed for mutiny, one(already dead) drawn and quartered, and one left on an island of cannibals. The final captain left Magellan to fend for himself against a storm of angry islanders, but then he (the captain) died of scurvy. Elcano was the only one left who could pilot the ship, but if not for poor Pigafetta, we wouldn't know the story.
Author questions from Mrs. Gill's class:
My grandson's fourth grade class is following along on the blog tour. They have sent me questions for the author. I will feature the class on the blog tour next week, but I wanted to begin answering their questions.
Is it hard being a writer? Is it fun being a writer? It is hard work. Writing is very much like any other job. It takes time and practice to learn the craft and become good at it. Think about a carpenter building a house. Most people can swing a hammer and slap a few boards together, but for a good solid house, you want a carpenter who has learned exactly how far apart the studs go and practiced joining the roof to the walls. The more you do it, the better you become at it. Writing is like that, too. Even though it's hard work, yes, writing is a lot of fun.
Today's question: How do you spell Readers Theatre?