Thursday, February 16, 2017

Change and Giveaway Winners!


Change


The summer
still hangs
heavy and sweet
with sunlight
as it did last year.

The autumn
still comes
showering gold and crimson
as it did last year.

The winter
still stings
clean and cold and white
as it did last year.


The spring
still comes
like a whisper in the dark night.

It is only I
who have changed.

-Charlotte Zolotow


My one little word for 2017 is CHANGE.  Let me tell you why I chose this word.

Most of my adult life has been centered on the seasons of the school year. Every Autumn is a new beginning getting to know my students, developing relationships and discovering their strengths and needs. Winter, a time of digging deeper into the curriculum: assessing, extending, and anticipation. Spring, a season heavy with testing, planning for the next year, graduations, and good-byes. Summer is a blend of enrichment classes, reflection, and rewinding.

Predictable, yes, but for me  there is also a sense of comfort in this cycle I’ve come to know so well. Then, last fall, a series of events forced me to take a closer look at my life. Something inside me said it was time to make a change.


With the support and encouragement of my amazing husband,  I decided to retire from full-time teaching. It wasn't an easy decision. I spent many sleepless nights second-guessing myself. I had a ton of guilt over leaving mid-year, however, for reasons I won’t go into, I felt it was necessary. Change is terribly hard for me,  and this was a big one. 



Now, eighteen days later,  I know I made the right decision.  I’m living the life I always dreamed of—  the life of a full-time writer.  I can honestly say that I am happier now than I’ve been in years. I don’t know where this new journey will take me, but I’m grateful to finally be on the path.



On Sunday, my wonderful siblings threw me a surprise retirement party with this beautiful cake!

"Your best stories remain to be written!” I sure hope so.   This year, I'm trying to be more open and embrace change. After all,  sometimes change is a good thing! 








Congratulations to the five winners of YOU JUST WAIT! Please send me your snail mail address.


Sally Murphy
Leigh Ann Eck
Alice Nine
Molly Hogan
Jane  of raincitylibrarian


Have a great Poetry Friday!

A special thank you to Jone at  Check It Out for hosting today.







52 comments:

  1. Linda ~ I love Charlotte Zolotow's poem...and what a perfect word Change is for you...for all of us! My word this year is Fearless.

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    1. Fearless is a great word and something I need to work on too! I'm pretty much a one-lane kind of person so fear definitely comes with change. I'm old enough to retire, so I guess it's time to challenge my comfort zone a bit. : )

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  2. I wish you more "best" days to come, Linda. The party and cake are very special, and the poem just right for NEW!

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    1. I wish the same for you, Linda. You retired a couple of years ago, how is it going for you?

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  3. Charlotte Zolotow is a favorite of mine, thanks for sharing her poem!
    your cake is beautiful in spirit and style, all the best with the road ahead!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. My brothers and sisters are the best!

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  4. Wow. What a big step. Congratulations! I'm sure you've made the right decision. I am delighted to be a winner, but since I'm in Australia, and postage is expensive, I am happy for you to donate my copy to a nearby school where I'm sure it will be put to good use

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    1. Sally, I'm happy to send your copy to you, but if you prefer, I'm also happy to donate it. I'll contact you through your blog. : )

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    2. Dear Sally: Can you check and see if HERE WE GO is available on Amazon (Australia)? I know that it is available on Amazon in Germany and Italy. If it is, please buy a copy from Amazon (Australia) and email me (janetATjanetwongDOTcom) and I will reimburse you. If it's not on Amazon there...let's figure out how to get an Australian bookstore to carry it!

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  5. Congratulations and good luck with your year of change. That's always been a tricky one for me. Happy writing!

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    1. Thank you, Molly. I hope to make the best of my writing time. I've waited for this a long time. : )

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    2. Molly, please send me your address so I can get your copy of JUST YOU WAIT to you. : )

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  6. WOW! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. And, what a lovely way to walk into and embrace CHANGE this Poetry Friday. You have entered a new season. Enjoy every moment. And, hey! You get to write now. Woot!
    Thanks for the poem and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Linda, I was so nervous about the whole retirement thing. I've had a paying job of one kind or another for the past 50 yrs. Having TIME is a gift!

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  7. Congratulations on your retirement but more than that congratulations for embracing the change and looking forward. Here's to you!

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    1. Thank you, Margaret. So far, I'm loving it!

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  8. Congrats! Wow on the cake, they sure fit a lot on there.

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    1. Yes, the cake was so gorgeous, I didn't want to cut it! : )

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  9. Terrific poem. Your siblings gave you a lovely cake. Good luck with your writing!

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    1. Thanks,Tabatha. The cake was not only beautiful, it also very delicious!

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  10. Linda, I am so excited for you to start a new chapter in your life. "Your best stories remain to be written!” This is a perfect statement to wish you well on your journey. Go grab the bull by the horn and bring the world of words to your everyday life.

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  11. I wholly approve of your OLW, Linda (it's mine, too!) and I wholly approve of your commitment to this new path you're taking. YAY YOU!!! Wishing you all the best. :)

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    1. Michelle, we'll have be "change" buddies and keep in touch about our progress. : )

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  12. The quote on your cake, your best stories remain to be written, captures the excitement of this new chapter. Congrats!

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  13. Congratulations and Happy Retirement, Linda! Zolotow captures how change can happen without us even realizing. Looking forward to hearing about your "next chapter"... =)

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    1. Bridget, I agree. Sometimes it just seems to happen. : )

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  14. A perfect poem to go with your OLW for the year. I'll bet the next chapter will be better than the last!

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    1. Doraine, I just want time to slow down now so I can enjoy it. These past two weeks have flown by!

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  15. May the best be yet to come, Linda! Change is such a great and powerful word.

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  16. I love the comment on your cake, "Your best stories remain to be written." Congrats on a new chapter!

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    1. Thanks, Ramona. I'm looking forward to it!

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  17. Oh, I feel the same way - change can just be agonizing, and I've lost many night's sleep worrying about decisions. But in the end, you sometimes just have to go with your gut and follow your instincts. This is your time to shine!

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    1. I think you're right, Jane. Sometimes that's the best thing to do.

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  18. Oh, and I just realised I won a copy of the book! Is there an email address I can send my postal address to?

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    1. Jane, you can email me your address here:
      ldkulp@gmail.com I know you'll love this book!

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  19. I love this poem, and it reminds me that I haven't read much Charlotte Zolotow recently, which is sad.

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    1. Tara, I know what you mean. I love Charlotte Zolotow, but I haven't read her books in years. I need to change that. : )

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  20. Love this poem. I am saving it. Congrats on your retirement and off to full time writing.

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    1. Jone, when I taught elementary, I had a poster with this poem hanging in my room. I've always loved it.

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  21. So excited that I won a book!! Thank you. I love Zolotow's poem. The steadfastness of seasons, and how we change year after year... goes along with my thoughts today about Robert Browning's words: "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made."

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    1. Yes, I love Robert Browning's poem. I do think as we get older, we start to appreciate time more. I just emailed you about your book. I know you will enjoy it.

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  22. I was just reading poem I wrote about how we measure time. Life events was one of those ways! Congrats on your retirement. I know I am getting closer to that stage in life, and I hope I just "know" when it is time. How exciting for you to be able to spend time just writing. Thank you to for the give-away. I am excited about reading and writing with this book!

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    1. Leigh Anne, I just emailed you about the book. It will be on its way to you soon! Congratulations!

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  23. Congratulations on starting your next chapter! I have said 4 more years, just so numbers align correctly, but I'll keep you in mind and be ready in the event that the right moment surprises me sooner. Enjoy the realignment of the seasons and the TIME to pursue your passions.

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    1. Thank you, Mary Lee. I think we know when the time comes to make a change. Sometimes, circumstances make that decision for us. You'll know when the time is right. Good luck!

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  24. I'm so happy that you have love and support from your family. It makes a big difference! The best of luck in your new endeavor.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I'm grateful to have so many wonderful, supportive family members. You're right, it makes a difference. : )

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  25. From what you have told me about your childhood, your military service, and your teaching experiences, it seems that you have MANY books in you--looking forward to reading them!!

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    1. Janet, thank you for the encouragement. I'm so grateful to have this opportunity. I am going to give it all I've got!

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