Thursday, December 16, 2021

A Poem and A Song

 


                                     


Angels Everywhere

My mother collects angels

on shelves, tables, desktops—

in every room of our house.

 

I asked her why so many.

She said they remind us,

angels are everywhere.

 

At first I didn’t understand,

then I thought of the man

on that scorching summer day

who stopped on the highway to help

when Daddy’s car broke down.

 

I thought about that lady,

someone we never met,

who quietly set a box –

(turkey and all the trimmings)

on our snow-covered porch.

 

I thought about Grandma

living two states away—

the neighbor who checks on her,

shovels her sidewalk,

mows her lawn, brings in her mail.

 

And the poet who came to our school

telling me my words matter,

filling my heart with hope,

making me believe

I can be a poet too. 


There are people who give.

There are people who care.

My mother was right.

Angels

are everywhere


©Linda Kulp Trout 


Angels have been on my mind lately.  Maybe it's the season. I think of my mother every time I look at the angels on our Christmas tree. Mom collected angels and kept them out all year long. They brought her comfort and made her feel less alone.  Back then, I didn't realize just how lonely she was. The older I get, the more I understand how hard her last years must have been. The angels on my tree remind me to check in with my elderly neighbors even if it is just to say hello.

And, I have always loved the song, "Angels Among Us" by Alabama. Every time I hear it, I'm reminded of the angels in my life who have supported, encouraged, and helped me in so many ways.   Somehow they always show up just when I need them the most.  They have given me so much without asking for anything in return.  They fill my heart with gratitude and love. I hope each one of them knows how much they mean to me.

Speaking of gratitude, a big thank you to Jone for hosting today's Poetry Friday.

I wish you and yours a magical holiday season and a happy, healthy 2022!

Linda








Thursday, November 18, 2021

A Gift Idea: If You Want to Knit Some Mittens

In a few weeks, a sweet girl in our family will celebrate her third birthday. I like giving gifts that have a little magic in them.  When I read the adorable If You Want to Knit Some Mittens written by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Angela Matteson, I knew I found something special!


 Laura's books are filled with beautiful language that teach as well as entertain. I ordered a copy of "Mittens" to add my "Laura" collection. I enjoyed it so much, I ordered a second copy to give as a gift. 

Then I ordered a cute little stuffed sheep


and a pair of golden mittens (which I attached to the illustration with removable painter's tape). I had planned to add a few strands of yarn, but in a rush to get to the post office before closing, I forgot about it. : (

I wish I could be there when our girl opens her gift.  I hope it brings her lots of smiles!  I'm ordering more copies (along with the "extras") for holiday gift-giving. I'm grateful to Laura and Angela for creating a lovely book young readers will enjoy for years to come!

 


 

A big thank you to Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink for hosting our Poetry Friday gathering this week.

I am thankful to be part of the Poetry Friday family. I hope you get to relax, spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy the beauty all around us.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Thursday, November 11, 2021

In Honor of Veterans

I enlisted in the Air Force during the last year of the Vietnam War.  Although I never saw combat, I served with many who did. I can't imagine the fear and loneliness they must have felt.

I wrote this cinquain to honor all the brave men and women who have served our country.

A big thank you to Matt for hosting our roundup today at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.




Thursday, October 28, 2021

Hot Off the Press - THINGS WE DO

 

Last week Jone, Mary, and Janice introduced you to this beautiful new poetry anthology. If you haven't already, be sure to stop by and read their wonderful poems!  Also, check out this fun video with Janet and Sylvia reading two poems from the book. 

When I heard Janet and Sylvia were offering a workshop about creating anthologies, I couldn't wait to sign up!  I didn't have plans for an anthology of my own, but the opportunity to learn from two people I admire was too good to pass up.

Both workshops, Anthologies 101 and Anthologies 201, have been pure pleasure.Janet and Sylvia set the tone for a safe and welcoming environment. The live Zoom sessions felt like meeting up with friends. Some of the poets were Poetry Friday friends, others became new poetry friends.   Everyone was accepting, kind, and enthusiastic.

 Anthologies 201 included three webinars. I learned a lot about the many decisions that go into creating an anthology!  Even if I decide not create one of my own, I'm much more knowledgeable about what an anthologist might be looking for as they curate poems. 

I would have been happy with just the webinars and live sessions, but Janet and Sylvia always pack a little extra something into everything they do!  

All of the poets in the workshop had the good fortune to submit three poems for feedback from Janet!  Back in the 90s when I first started studying her poems and using with them my students, I never imagined getting to meet her, let alone having her mentor me. Just thinking about it blows me away!

The truth is, I am always really nervous about sharing my poems. But, I knew even if they were awful, my work would be treated with kindness and respect because that is who Janet is.  Her comments are gold, and her guidance has helped me become a better writer.  Janet is someone who makes you believe dreams can come true.

Sylvia is a kind, supportive, amazing teacher who makes learning fun! I am grateful to learn from her and hope she will teach more workshops online.  Sylvia knows poetry and she knows what kids like. She did an awesome job designing the cover of THINGS WE DO! It's a bright, beautiful, high-quality book children will love!

By the way, Janet and Sylvia are donating 100% of the profits for this book to the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund.  How cool is that!!!

THINGS TO DO was selected (along with Good Luck Gold and more which I wrote about here) as a "Hot Off the Press" book for October by the Children's Book Council.

I'm so honored to have a poem included in THINGS TO DO.  The expression on this little girl's face makes me think she is a helper, and she looks like she might be waiting for someone.

 Many of us are looking for ways to be helpers. With the holidays fast approaching, THINGS TO DO would make a great gift while also helping raise money for a very good cause.  THINGS TO DO is available on Amazon and QEP Books  .  It's a book children will want to read again and again.

If you are interested in learning more anthologies, consider taking part in Anthologies 101.  You can find out more by emailing info@pomelobooks.com

Well, I'm feeling a little sad that we're coming to the end of October. It's my favorite month.  I love the colors, the smells, the crispness in the air. I wish October could stick around a little longer.

A big thank you to the lovely Linda at Teacher Dance for treating us to the poetry roundup this week!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Good Luck Gold & MORE

Have you seen Janet Wong's brand-new book, Good Luck Gold & more ?

It's a book I wish I had when I was still teaching. Part memoir, part poetry collection,  Good Luck Gold & more is not just another version of the original collection published in 1994.  It is a whole new book, and just like the title says, it contains much MORE!  In About the Book, Janet writes,  "For some of the poems, I decided to write about the story behind the story. For other poems, I decided to write about the story after the story, things I've been wondering about recently that are connected with the poem (in my brain)."

 Sharing our stories is so important. It gives us a peek into another person's life and helps us appreciate other cultures and our own culture too. Students often think their lives are too ordinary to write about, but books like Good Luck Gold & more make great mentor texts for showing that the ordinary makes the best topics for poems and other writing (such as memoir).

Good Luck Gold & more was selected for "Hot Off the Press" by the Children's Book Council.  I'm sure we'll see this collection on many more lists and winning lots of awards!

With Janet's permission, I'm happy to share two of my favorite passages from the collection.  (Every page is so full of heart, it was so difficult to choose just two!)



Janet, who is one of the kindest, most generous people I know is donating 100% of the profits to groups that work to #StopAsianHate and promote bystander training such as ihollaback.org.  Just in time for the holidays, Good Luck Gold & more would make the perfect gift for teachers, young readers, and poetry lovers, in addition to making a positive difference in our world!  '

AND don't forget to treat yourself to a copy too!

 A big thank you to the lovely and amazing Jama for gathering our Poetry Friday folks today on her blog, Jama's Alphabet Soup.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 14, 2021

PRESENTING AUTHOR AND PUBLISHER, TIM KULP

 Today I'm thrilled to share an interview with someone very special to me who decided to take steps to make his dream come true.  It takes courage to put our writing out into the world.  Building a writing career is so difficult, and starting a publishing company is huge. 

Tim's goal is to make a difference, not only his life and the lives of his children, but also to help make the dreams of other writers come true. In order to do that, he'll need lots of support.  When it comes to supporting one another, there's no better group than the folks of Poetry Friday.   I hope you enjoy learning more about him, his new book, and publishing company.


Congrats on your debut book, Tim!  Although BLOTS is written for adults, many of the stories told in verse first appeared on your blog.  Tell us a little about who and what inspired BLOTS.

Thanks for inviting me here today.  The Poetry Friday group has been a major influence on my writing. The support from this community really encouraged me to think “maybe I can do this writing thing”. That encouragement was what I needed to go for it.

BLOTS is a collection of short stories and novellas that explores different types of ghosts & monsters. A few of the stories in BLOTS, like BREADCRUMBS and CAMP CRATER FALLS, first appeared on my blog.  These stories were rewritten for BLOTS to explore the world and characters more deeply.  Inspiration for these stories came from many places.

In BLOTS, each story has an “Author’s Notes” section where I discuss the inspiration for the story and talk about what it means to me. I love the behind the scenes work of authors.  In talking to readers, I found a lot of other people like that too. For instance, in the Author’s Notes of THE WISP, I talk about the little town outside of Dublin, Ireland that inspired the main character’s journey. The story behind the story is always fun and helps the me connect with the reader even more.

Why did you decide to become a publisher? What is your vision for the future of your company, Making Adventure. Does your plan include working to publish other authors?

Great question! I considered traditional publishing but turned to my own company because I don’t want to just publish books. I see Making Adventure as a “storytelling company”. Our company mission is: To connect the world through the power of stories. Written stories are powerful and books can transform the world. 

With the rise of other storytelling mediums such as dramatic podcasts, metaverse worlds and interactive fiction – I believe that books are part of a broad and growing palette of storytelling. Some stories are best told verbally, some stories cannot be told by one person (like Dungeons & Dragons), some cannot be told any way other than a book and some stories can be lived in virtual reality. Stories can transform us and the different mediums can create amazing new experiences as well as reach new audiences. I don’t want to be bound just to books. I want to tell the stories in the medium that best communicates the story. That’s why I’ve been exploring Artificial Intelligence voice actors/actresses and metaverse release parties. I talk about these things on my blog and the lessons I’m learning about them.

On the topic of publishing and working with other storytellers, absolutely this is part of the vision. At this time, I’m focusing on adult/YA horror, but I’m also planning a separate imprint for picture books and middle grade.  I look forward to sharing some exciting news in this area next year.

What are some ways we help support BLOTS and Making Adventure?

I’m a big believer in engaging the crowd and building a community. Right now, I’m new and still working on building a crowd for my stories. The best way to support BLOTS is to share my website timkulp.com and my Facebook page facebook.com/tkulpwriter with people who like horror (adult and YA).

The reader who would enjoy BLOTS is someone who loves Edgar Allan Poe style stories. The gore is mild, the tone is creepy, the settings are ordinary every day places. Using the verse format, these stories are spacious reads with a quick tempo. I pictured someone reading these stories to a group around a camp fire as I was writing them. If you know this person, or a group of these people, please share my website and Facebook page.

 What projects are you working on now?

I’m currently working on two novels.  I began writing one of them in 2019 and have shared a good deal about it with the Poetry Friday community. It is a YA horror novel-in-verse called [dis]CONNECTION. I’m really excited about this one because it is the first in a series with some amazing characters that I think readers will fall in love with…or be terrified of in some cases. The other novel-in-verse is a book that started as a short story in 1998 but has grown in my mind. This one is adult, but most of the themes are YA friendly. Both of these books are teased at the end of BLOTS.

Finally, I recognize that one of the things readers want is the answer to “and then…”. To that end, I’m working on a serial that will continue one of the stories in BLOTS. This is still an early project, but I am experimenting with a diary style story that will be available in parts for the readers.

What is one thing people might not know about you?

I’m a struggling reader that has a very hard time going through dense texts. I could plough through a 1000-page technical manual on how to write software code but couldn’t push through a 300-page novel. What I didn’t realize is that technical manuals, especially software coding books, have a lot of white space and monospace text. This makes it way easier to read. I love books written in the novel-in-verse format because they would have been the perfect books to build my confidence as a reader. BLOTS is mostly in verse format because I love to write in that style and haven’t found enough horror stories in verse for adults.

Thank you for your time, Tim.  I'm looking forward to BLOTS and all the amazing plans you have for your publishing company.  

BLOTS is available for pre-order on Kindle, paperback and hard cover will be available starting Oct. 22.

 


Tim is a storyteller, technophile and author of the new horror collection BLOTS. From B movies to blockbusters, Tim has a passion for horror and exploring the things that give us the shivers. Stories from authors like Poe, Lovecraft, Tolkien and King have shaped Tim’s writing style with a focus on world building and monster making. When not writing fiction, Tim is a regular contributor to technology publications on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. He’s a Dungeons & Dragons fanboy and enjoys life just outside of Baltimore, MD with his wife, kids, dog, and cat. Keep up with Tim on his blog https://www.timkulp.com


A special thank you to Bridget for hosting today!  She is celebrating the publication of her anthology. Congratulations, to Bridget and all the poets included in her 10-10 Poetry Anthology. I'm honored to be among them!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Poetry Friday: Solitude


The other day, I came across this picture of a gift my sister made for me. It feels like the perfect image for my life during 2020. A LOT of solitude!   :  )


Solitude

My friends are gone.
No one is home.
A perfect time
to spend alone.
To think.
To dream.
Beneath this tree—
To read a book
of poetry.

©Linda Kulp Trout


A big thank you to Mary Lee for hosting this week on her blog A Year of Reading.