Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Cards

I love receiving greeting cards. I love sending them too, especially Christmas cards. I know many people have gone to the digital variety, and those are very nice, but I still like sending the old-fashioned version.  Although it can be time-consuming, I try to write a little personalized note on each card.

I'm late sending my cards out this year. Things have been busy around here, so I'm hoping to get them out by the end of next week.

Greeting cards are healing for the sender and for the receiver so I thought I'd join Mary Lee's #haikuforhealing today with this little poem. 

A blanket of cards
hug my dining room table
   one chosen for you

A big thank you to Lisa at Steps and Staircases for hosting today's roundup.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Publishing News!

I am tickled to have a poem in the fall issue of BUMPLES BUDS, a brand-new online magazine for children.  BUMPLES BUDS is a high-quality interactive magazine filled with stories, poems, games, and activities. It's bright, colorful, and very inviting.  I just love the illustrations for my poem.  Did you notice the book the boy is reading?  It is my very own TREASURE IN THE ATTIC!

I wrote "First Book" many years ago after watching the excitement my sons and my students experienced when they independently read their first book.   This past summer, I got to relive that experience when my granddaughter and I read together. She is quickly becoming an independent reader!

"First Book" originally appeared in  Lee Bennett Hopkins' WORLD OF POETRY series in 1998.  A year later, it appeared in Scholastic's MONTH-BY-MONTH POETRY professional book.  For the past 18 yrs., it was tucked away in my files. When I saw that BUMPLES BUDS was accepting poems, I took a chance and sent it off! It makes me happy to think a new generation of children will read and (hopefully) enjoy it.

Writers, BUMPLES (for children 6-10) and BUMPLES BUDS (for children 3-5) is accepting submissions!  You can check out a sample issue here.

A big thank you to Brenda for hosting this week. I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying a gorgeous autumn season.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

National Day on Writing

Today is National Day on Writing, a day to celebrate the joy and importance of writing.  Click on the link to find resources for teachers, tips for writers, and information about how to join the conversation on WhyIWrite. You can also listen to podcasts of authors talking about their process and reasons for becoming a writer.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my own writing process. I  have always loved to write, but it doesn't always come easy. Here is a #poemsketch I wrote about my sometimes struggle with words.  It is still a work-in-progress, but it's late and this what I have so far.


Sometimes writing feels like
a Chinese Finger Trap—

The harder I try 
to pull  words   
onto the page,
the more they stick
inside my brain—

But finally  
when I stop,

to take a breath—

Words somehow 
seem to know

and suddenly
they begin         to let go.

©Linda Kulp Trout

A big thank you to Leigh Anne over at A Day in the Life for hosting this week's Poetry Friday.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Talking With Animals and PET CRAZY

The doe’s eyes meet mine—
a silent conversation

When we lock eyes with an animal, for even just a second, we can sense what they are feeling.  I believe they can sense what we are feeling too. Without a single word, we can communicate and begin to understand each other.

My cat is very good at communicating what she wants.  When I'm in her favorite chair, she sits on the floor glaring up at me until I move. As soon as I do, she claims it as her own.

When I was teaching, I always enjoyed reading the poems my students wrote about their pets. Children love to write about animals.  I just wish I would have had the fabulous PET CRAZY by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong to share with them.  The poems are so relatable.  What child hasn't wished for a special pet or worried about a sick pet?  There is even a poem about communicating with a pet!  The activities in  PET CRAZY are fantastic because they invite young writers to create their own poems. What a timesaver to have the text and activities in one place!

If you are a parent and grandparent, winter break is not that far away.  PET CRAZY would be a wonderful way to encourage creativity and support your child's reading and writing skills over the break.  It's on my list of holiday gifts for seven year old granddaughter.  I know she'll love it.

A big thank you to Irene at Live Your Poem for gathering a bounty of poetry goodness this week.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Poem for International Dot Day!

First Picture

When Mama showed
your picture to me—
a little dot
was all I could see.

So then I wondered,
Who would you be?

A brother, a sister—
it didn’t matter to me.

Because that little dot, 
I could see— 
was already part
of our family.

©2017 Linda Kulp Trout

Have you read THE DOT by Peter H. Reynolds?  If not, I hope you will, especially if you have young children.  The story will inspire you to make your mark and follow your own creativity.

I wanted to write a poem to celebrate International Dot Day,  but I couldn't decide on what I wanted my "dot" poem to be about. Then, last night I read a new book by the very talented Cynthia Rylant titled LIFE.  The very first line in the book is "Life begins small." I stopped and read it again. "Life begins small." Such a beautiful truth.

It occurred to me that no matter if we are rich or poor, our race, religion, or where we live, we ALL begin the same way-- small.   

Then I started thinking about the excitement of seeing that very first sonogram.  That little human dot that sends the whole family dreaming about this new life.  It's amazing that even before we are born, we begin to "make our mark" on the world.  I wanted to celebrate that! 

 A big thank you to Michelle for hosting this week at Today's Little Ditty where you'll find more "dot" poems and other poetry wonders.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Children are Teachers

After so much sadness in the news this week, these precious little faces give me hope.

                                                            Pia and Victor

Young children don’t build walls.  They don't see language, race, religion, or disability as a barrier.  Their hearts are open to love and acceptance.  They find a way to learn and grow, and play together. Children are teachers. We can learn much from them.

Although they've been friends for a while, the two cuties above inspired this little poem.

I met a girl today.
She doesn't understand
the words I say.

we can laugh and
we can play.


I made a new friend

-©Linda Kulp Trout

Peace and love be with you.

 A special thank you to Kay for hosting today at A Journey Through the Pages

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Mystery

Yesterday, I watched two tiny fledglings in our yard.  I don't know much about birds and can only identify a few of them.  I couldn't get a clear picture, but later when I checked the internet, I believe they were Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. The picture and description seemed to fit.

Anyway, as I watched these two babies trying to learn how to fly, I noticed that Mama was giving all of her attention to just one of them.  She stayed very close to it and raised a ruckus when other birds came near.  The other fledgling was way on the other side of the yard and just kind of hopped about and fluttered on its own.  Mama pretty much ignored the little guy.

I went out to get a closer look, and all three flew under a nearby shrub.  Soon after that, it started to rain, and I didn't see them again. But, I've been wondering about those babies ever since.  Did Mama really have a favorite?    If so, why did she choose that one over the other? They both looked exactly the same in size, coloring, and ability.  Well, all that wondering led to this poem.

Baby Bird

Today I watched you
on our lawn
walk, hop, flutter—
learning how
to fly.

On the other side,
your brother
was learning too—
Your mama
close by
protecting him.

But, you—
she left you
all alone
to survive
on your own.

I wonder…


©Linda Kulp Trout

A special thank you to Donna for hosting today's Poetry Friday at Mainely Write.