Friday, August 30, 2013


Photo: I wasn't eating curds and whey and I know it's not a spider, but I did do a double take and make this critter go away.

After this guy sat down beside me yesterday, bug poems were on my mind today! I'm still not sure what he is, but his camouflage makes him look like a pine cone bract.

File:Pine cone.jpg
Photo: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

The Insects' World
by Ethel Jacobson

Insects are creatures with three pairs of legs,
Some swim, some fly; they lay millions of eggs.
They don't wear their skeletons in, but out.
They come in three parts. Some are bare; some have hair.
Their hearts are in back; they circulate air.
They smell with their feelers and taste with their feet,
And there's scarcely a thing that some insect won't eat:
Flowers and woodwork and books and rugs,
Overcoats, people, and other bugs.
When five billion trillion keep munching each day,
It's a wonder the world isn't nibbled away!

by Ogden Nash

Some insects feed on rosebuds
And others feed on carrion.
Between them they devour the earth.
Bugs are totalitarian.

What Do You Suppose?

What do you suppose?
A bee sat on my nose.
Then what do you think?
He gave me a wink,
And said, ‘I beg your pardon,
I thought you were a garden.’

Tara has the roundup at A Teaching Life.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Talking about WIK

I will be teaching the Nuts and Bolts workshop for beginning writers at the upcoming WIK conference in Birmingham, hosted by Southern Breeze, SCBWI. I'm delighted to be over at Jodi Wheeler-Toppen's blog today for an interview.

Find out more about WIK and the editors, agents, and other wonderful writers who will be there.
To find out more or to register, visit
You can meet other members of the conference faculty by following the WIK blog tour:
Aug. 28   Author Matt de la Peña at Stephanie Moody’s Moodyviews
Editor Lou Anders at F.T. Bradley’s YA Sleuth
Aug. 29   Author Doraine Bennett at Jodi Wheeler-Toppen’s Once Upon a Science Book
Author Robyn Hood Black at Donny Seagraves’ blog
Aug. 30    MFA program director Amanda Cockrell at Elizabeth Dulemba’s blog
Illustrator Prescott Hill at Gregory Christie’s G.A.S.
Aug. 31   Author Heather Montgomery at Claire Datnow’s Media Mint Publishing blog
Editor Michelle Poploff at Laura Golden’s Just Write
Sept. 3    Author Nancy Raines Day at Laurel Snyder’s blog
Author Jennifer Echols at Paula Puckett’s Random Thoughts from the Creative Path
Sept. 4    Editor Dianne Hamilton at Ramey Channell’s The Painted Possum
Author Janice Hardy at Tracey M. Cox’s A Writer’s Blog
Sept. 5    Author / illustrator Sarah Frances Hardy at Stephanie Moody’s Moodyviews
Agent Sally Apokedak at Cheryl Sloan Wray’s Writing with Cheryl
Sept. 6    Author / illustrator Chris Rumble at Cyrus Webb Presents

Friday, August 23, 2013

Little Dog, Lost

It's the first Poetry Friday since my blogging hiatus, and I am so excited to tell you about this lovely novel in verse, Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer. Her book, On My Honor won the Newberry Honor Award. If you haven't read that one, you really should. Marion's new book is illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell. Jennifer's soft charcoal/pencil drawings (at least I think that's what they are, not being an artist) throughout the book capture the heart of the story. You can see by the cover that this dog has character.

Click this link, right here, and buy yourself a copy. You really must read it. You won't be sorry.

It's the story of a lost dog...

Little black dog with brown paws
and a brown mask
and a sweet ruffle of brown fur on her bum
just beneath her black whip of a tail.
Satiny coat.
Ears like airplane wings
that drop
just at the tips.

a boy whose mother refuses to let him have a dog...

Mark had wanted a dog
for as long as he could remember.
He had asked for a dog.
He had begged for a dog.
He had pleaded and prayed and whined for a dog.
Once he'd even tried barking for a dog.
All to no avail.

and a scary old caretaker who lives alone in the town mansion...

Charles Larue was a small man,
no one to be afraid of,
Unless you were afraid
of the great bush of his white eyebrows
or the great beak of his nose.
But to be afraid of those,
you had to ignore
the sweet, sad eyes
between eyebrows and nose,
eyes as blue as a Caribbean sea.
And you had to forget
the way Charles Larue walked
when he emerged from the house,
hands thrust deep into his pockets,
head bowed
as though against a bitter wind
even on the sunniest summer day.
An you had to pretend you didn't ntice
the shy way he glance up
and then away again
when anyone came near.

Just tell me you're not dying to know what happens!

A beautiful book, full of surprises right up to the very end.

Betsy hosts the round up today at I Think in Poems.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer Recap

I hope you had a wonderful summer. I'm glad to be back to my quiet little blog. The last two months were full of travels. Florida rain over the Fourth of July with seven grands.

Photo: All the Bennett grands

Then some sun in San Diego (thank goodness!), publishers galore, great friends, and my first adventure with missing an airplane. Fortunately it turned out okay and I managed some sightseeing.

Photo: San Diego Sunset.

 Nearly a full month with my precious son, daughter-in-law, and two grands who live in Nigeria. And oh, let me tell you, they are grand! We fed ducks, ate ice cream, read books, watched movies, and built Lego cars for nearly a month. And then Dori was exhausted! 


August was a month for catching up, resting up, and finding a new rhythm for the coming days. I finished editing my final edition of the Bugler for the National Infantry Association. After eleven years, I'm hanging up my editor's hat.

I cleaned out my home office in preparation for the new school year, new publisher catalogs and new samples. I love giving away old samples, especially in so many school settings where nothing is free.

Photo: You know that expression, it gets worse before it gets better? I'm hoping for better soon as I can barely get in the door.

I'm waiting on one more box of books that should arrive tonight (I think I'm the UPS man's last stop) so I'll be ready to head out on an appointment tomorrow.

I'm hoping that I can manage my schedule a little better this fall than I have in the past, trying to be more realistic about the expectations I place on myself, and hoping to be a little more consistent in my writing time. We'll see how it all pans out as we go along.

Wishing you a wonderful week, too.