Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Two New Picture Books I Love!

It's been a super busy week, and I've been doing my very best to keep up with my goal to write a poetry "snippet" every day during February. So, this will be a short post, but I wanted to share two beautiful new picture books that arrived on my doorstep this week.  As a grandma, I'm always looking for fun activities to share with my grandchildren. Both of these books are perfect for that!

After reading Irene's playful descriptions, I'll never look at fruits or vegetables quite the same way. I'll see cucumber submarines, a bouquet of minty green butterfly wings, a bee-kissed lake, a mountain of mouse-sized swords, and strawberries carrying green parasols. I love the way Irene finds just the right words to create all this deliciousness!

The illustrations of the animals are adorable, and I can't wait to try out some of the recipes with my grandchildren. For a real treat, check out  Jama's tasty review of FRESH DELICIOUS. 

EVERY DAY BIRDS is written as a single poem that begins:

Every day we watch for birds
weaving through our sky.
We listen to their calls and songs.
We like to see them fly. 

Isn't that beautiful?  The poem continues with a few words about the characteristics or behaviors of twenty different birds.  The bright and colorful illustrations help with the identification of each bird. I enjoyed learning more about the birds (Did you know that some hawks can dive for prey at over 100 miles per hour?) in the descriptions Amy included in the back of the book.  You'll want to also take a look at the cute videos about EVERY DAY BIRDS on Amy's blog  The Poem Farm.

Last summer, my granddaughter was delighted when she saw a hummingbird in our backyard. Imagine how much fun we're going to have using Amy's book to identify even more birds!

Teachers always appreciate books for their classroom libraries. Both FRESH DELICIOUS and EVERY DAY BIRDS would make wonderful gifts for a preschool, kindergarten, or first grade class.

I hope you'll head on over to see Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass for today's Poetry Friday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Putting "DELIGHT" On My Calendar

This week for Spiritual Journey Thursday, we are writing about Irene Latham's one little word: DELIGHT.

Just thinking about the word “delight” lifts my spirit.  I find delight in many things:
spending time with my family
watching a sunrise/sunset
taking a long walk on a beautiful day
watching snow fall, leaves change, clouds dance
listening to music
watching old movies with my husband
sending greeting cards to people I love
reading an inspiring book, poem, essay, blog
writing a poem, journal entry or blog post.

I could name dozens more, but what I discovered from my list is that my delight comes from simple, everyday experiences.   The mystery is why don't I allow myself more time to engage in these delightful activities? 
I'm slowly working to change that.  For example, this month I am writing a very rough draft of a poem  every day and sending it to my writing buddy. At first it was hard to allow myself the 30 minutes of writing time, but now just thinking about what I'm going to write brings me delight all day long. 

The best thing about this delightful activity is that the more I write, the more I learn about myself and the things that make me truly happy.  I think that's a pretty good reason to keep doing it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Turning Intent Into Action

This week for Spiritual Journey Thursday, we are writing about Leigh Ann Eck's OLW: INTENT.

Intent is something I struggle with, especially when it comes to making time to write.  Take today for example. My intent was to get all of my grading done before I left school today so I would have more time to work on this blog post. It didn't happen. Instead, I spent my planning time writing a letter of recommendation for a colleague. Although I was happy to write the letter, it took considerable more time than I planned, and I had to bring the grading home.

The workload of a teacher goes beyond the school day. Every night, I pack my tote bag full of more work than I can possibly do. Yet, even though I know it's an impossible task, I lug it home anyway, with the intention of getting it done.

I get paid to be a teacher and I care about my students so I feel guilty when I take time away from school work to do something I enjoy-- like writing.

For several years, I've intended to write a collection of poems about a topic I'm passionate about.  I set writing goals and intend to keep them. But, somehow I always push writing to the bottom of my "to do" list, and it never gets done: an endless cycle of intention and failure.

So, I've been thinking about why this keeps happening. The answer just might be in that overflowing tote bag.  It feels like a metaphor for my life because I always put more in my "tote bag"  than I can possibly do.  My writing intentions are good, but I haven't taken the action necessary to achieve them.

A few months ago, I watched a program about the power of changing one thing in your life. I intended to try it back then, but...

Finally, the time has come. I'm replacing my large tote bag with a much smaller one. Instead of working on "school" for an hour each night, I'll work on it for thirty minutes and use the other thirty to write. My intention is set, now it's time to take action.  I'm ready to do this!