Friday, April 26, 2013

National Poetry Month

I can't believe the month of April is almost over and I haven't blogged about National Poetry Month!

I like poetry, but . . . 

I love kid's poetry!

I love rhyming poetry, but it is very hard to write correctly. I am still trying and hopefully getting better. Poems, just like stories, need to be ruminated and perfected. What does ruminate mean?
It means to think deeply about something - to go over in the mind repeatedly.

We need to put the same respect and time into our poems as we do our stories.
As with our stories, let them sit for a while and then come back to them.

I have found this great site that for people wanting to write rhyming poetry. 
It is called RhyMeWeaver.

Below is my fun, far from perfect,  poem I wrote a few years ago about toes.

Janet F. Smart

Little toes,
Big toes,
Five toes,
Ten toes.

Soft toes,
Rough toes,
Wriggly little
Baby toes.

My toes,
Your toes,
Sister’s tip
Tapping toes.

Hot toes,
Cold toes,
Little brother’s
Dirty toes.

Here come
More toes,

Write a poem in honor of National Poetry Month.

Posted by Janet Smart  on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Writing Non Fiction

I always think I don't have any more books in me.
But, it never fails, when the one I am  working on is finished and has been sent out, another idea comes to me.

I have had two inspirations since finishing my last MG. One is an idea for another MG story, the other is writing a non-fiction children's book.

I have been doing a little research on how to make non-fiction interesting, fun and publishable.

Here are a few things I have discovered:

Make it as exciting as fiction. How?
Find subjects that grab a reader's attention.
Ask yourself - Is it a good story? Will it interest your readers?
Find a hook! Choose a theme and develop it.
Narrow your topic. Focus on your subject.
Unearth new information about a topic.
Find unusual details and quirky facts.

Ask questions that haven't been asked before.
Give specific details.

Every word should be true.  Find trusted sources, such as a diary, a letter, oral history, interviews, old newspapers, photographs and catalogs.
If you don't know exactly what they did or said, let your readers know that by using words such as perhaps, maybe or I think.

Do extensive  research.

Bring your readers into the story.


What can you add to my list?

If we brainstorm, we could help each other come up with some great ideas!

Posted byJanet Smart   on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Monday, April 1, 2013

MMGM-A Season of Gifts

I loved A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago, so when I saw A Season of Gifts, which was also written by Richard Peck, I had to read it.

This is a companion book to the above books that he has written featuring Mrs. Dowdel!  I love Mrs. Dowdel. She is hilarious!

A Season of Gifts
by Richard Peck
Dial Books for Young Readers

On the inside flap it states  -  This story takes place in 1958, and a new family has moved in next door to Mrs. Dowdel - a family in desperate need of her help (whether they realize it or not). There's twelve-year-old Bob, shy on courage in a town full of bullies; his Elvis-obsessed older sister,  Phyllis,  who just might be on the verge of spinning out of control; Bob's little sister, Ruth Ann,  ready and waiting for a  larger-than-life role model; and even Bob's two parents,  the young minister and his wife,  who are amazed to discover that the last house in town might also be the most vital.

I love Ruth Ann. She is a little girl who takes to Mrs. Dowdel and helps her with just about everything and even starts talking like her. "Hoo-boy" being one of their favorite sayings.
They have a green car, they call the Pickle, and Mrs. Dowdel has twelve-year-old Bob driving it in the last section of the book which takes  place at Christmas  time.

The book is divided up into three sections titled, The Last House in Town, The Fall of the Year and E'er the Winter Storms Begin.  But I must admit, I was not as impressed with this book, as I was with the others, until I got to E'er the Winter Storms Begin. When I got to that section, I didn't want to put it down.

It wasn't quite as funny as I thought it would be, but it was a good read, especially the last part. If you like Mrs. Dowdel, you'll like this book.

For more Middle Grade Reads, check out Shannon Messinger's Blog!