Thursday, November 19, 2020


 Last spring, I did an hour-long virtual poetry lesson with a group of elementary students. Keeping them engaged was both challenging and exhausting.  I can't imagine how hard it must be for teachers, parents, and students who are doing this all day long. 

Mini-breaks are essential, but finding quick little activities that are fresh, fun, and informative can be so time-consuming.  That's why I'm excited to tell you about the fabulous new anthology, HOP TO IT: Poems to Get You Moving by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. 

The anthology features 100 short poems to get our bodies and minds moving.  Each poem comes with suggestions for additional activities, a note to inspire a closer look at the poet's craft, and a recommendation of a picture book related to the poem with a connection to Social Studies and STEM.

I love how this anthology is a combination of poems to get us moving physically and  poems to inspire us to do our part to make a difference. 

I am grateful to be among the 90 poets included in the anthology.  I apologize for the image being so dark. The actual book pages are bright and easy to read.

HOP TO IT: Poems to Get You Moving would make the perfect gift for the teachers and parents on your list.  It will be a treasured resource for years to come.

 A big thank you to Suzy for hosting this week at The Poetry Garden.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Message for Geese

This week, on my morning walks, I've been seeing (and hearing) geese flying overhead. It's  been very warm here so we drove to the lake today.  We saw a lot of geese just kind of hanging out.  I wondered if it was a rest stop, or if they are taking their good old time because it feels more like summer than fall.  Cooler temps are coming next week, and with snow already in the Midwest, winter is on its way. It's time for them to get going!


Fly South


Fly south geese go—

soon the earth will be covered

in ice and snow—  it’s time

to  leave for warmer winds,

go now before winter begins.

A big thank you to Jama for hosting this week's Poetry Friday at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Writing a NIV: Progress Report III

Writing is a process.  Thinking about my own process helps me grow as a writer.  What works for me might not work for you, but maybe you'll find a few useful bits along the way.  I hope you will share your tips with me as well. 

After a lot of planning, (you can read about here) I jumped in and started writing.  Here's what I did.



I usually brainstorm first drafts of poems in a notebook, but I knew that wouldn't work for a project as big as a novel. I tried that method  before and found myself revising the same 20-30 poems over and over without moving forward.  An author of a verse novel once told me that she got the story down first then went back and worked on refining the poems. I decided to try her process, and it seemed to work for me.

Focusing only on content, I wrote quick drafts of each poem.  I made a spreadsheet with columns for: title of the poem, its purpose, and when it takes place. After every writing session, I recorded each poem I worked on that day.  Tracking the poems helped me see where holes are in the story.  It also helped me stay focused on moving the story forward. I got the idea to do this after reading this interview with Marilyn Hilton.         

So here's where I am now.  I have a VERY messy first draft of my NIV, and a strange thing happened along the way. Even with all the planning I did, the story I thought I was writing isn't the story I actually wrote.  I realized that the problem the character is struggling with is really the result of something much larger.

I've always heard the advice to put a story away for a bit and then come back to it with fresh eyes. So I'm taking a little time to sit with the story and think it through. I'm enrolled in a verse novel class that begins later this month. By then, I hope to be ready to jump back into the story.  In the meantime, I want to work on some stand alone poems and revise a picture book.

If you are writing a novel (or have written one), I would love any tips you are willing to share. This is new territory for me, and I can use all the advice I can get.  😊

 Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

A Beautiful New Anthology

This week, A WORLD FULL OF POEMS edited by Sylvia Vardell made its debut.  You can read Irene's interview with Sylvia about her new book here .  I haven't seen a copy yet, but the "Look Inside" preview on Amazon is gorgeous, and below is part Amazon's written description.

 This thoughtfully crafted anthology is perfect for children new to verse and for young poetry fans seeking out new favorites. Explore poetry from a diverse selection of contemporary and historical poets, covering a broad range of topics--from personal subjects like emotions and family, to the wonders of the natural environment. Carefully selected works encourage children to see the poetry in everything and to embrace the beauty of their everyday lives.

Doesn't that sound wonderful? My copy (and a few extras to gift family members) will arrive on Saturday.  My grandchildren will be here, and I can't wait to share it with them.

I am very grateful to have a poem included in this beautiful anthology. 


Too Shy 



I watched

a harvest moon


across the sky.


It hid behind

a wisp of clouds,

looking very



I said,

Don’t worry

Harvest Moon,

for I’m a lot

like you.


When I’m  feeling 

shaky, shy—

I try

to hide it


  ©Linda Kulp Trout


 As some of you know, I've been blogging about my progress writing a verse novel. If you are interested, you can read my latest post here.

Finally, a  big thank you to Bridget for hosting this week's Poetry Friday.


Have a great week!