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In Remembrance of Mr. Penguin

When I was little, I had a fantastic friend. The story about why I called him Mr. Penguin is a long one, but suffice to say, he was tall, dapper, and a true gentleman. He was also about 50 years older than I was. I used to run up to him and hug him, knowing I would be loved and accepted. He made everyone feel that way.

Three days ago, my friend died. I hadn’t seen him for years, as life has a way of moving on, and old friends become older still. He moved to a different state, and I did too. But there’s that sore spot that aches when I think of him. I’m full of love and gratitude, but sadness too. With the end of his life comes the end of an era. Childhood is long gone, but it slips yet further away, and with it, the people in the older generation, that slowly pass the baton to the ones still fighting the good fight. It takes bravery to stay here. To know that the words they spoke are the last ones they will ever say. I wrote this poem to music a few lines at a time, over a few months, but I feel it’s only right to dedicate it to him, my cherished friend. I’m thankful he had the hope of eternity.

When I Go Away

I will go where no man knows
No man but the Son of God
And He’ll await me and embrace me
When I go away

Leaves that line the trees with gold
On the path to paradise
Changing Autumn into Summer
When I go away

Wings alight me through the clouds
Into starlight I arise
Heaven takes me and awakes me
When I go away

October 22, 2019

sky

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Summer Writing Activities Are Here!

Summer Writing Activities

Looking for fun writing activities for kids, adults, and everyone in between?  You’ve come to the right place! I’ve spent hours of inside, outside, on-the-bed, under-the-covers, at-the-kitchen-counter time crafting a set of daily writing activities for the Summer, starting June 18 and ending September 3, 2018. I’m not sure what’s more exciting, the fact that they’re all free, or the enjoyment of working on them together! (Note: Have little ones? Read about how to include them in writing activities here.)

What do I have in store? An activity for every weekday for twelve weeks starting today. Pick and choose or do them all!

Fun List Monday

Fun List Mondays- Write a list with me! Every Monday I will post a fun list. For example: Five Foods I Like and One I Don’t. Fill out your list and enjoy it by yourself, share it in the comments, on my Facebook page, or on Twitter (with the hashtag #FunListMondays). Not convinced? Read about how lists encourage better writing here.

Poetry Tuesday

Poetry Tuesdays- Dip (or dive) into the lovely world of poetry! Each Tuesday, I’ll share a fun poetry activity plus a poem study for all ages, as well as an advanced poetry lesson for ages 14 and up. Enjoy one, two, or all three of guided resources.

 

Freewrite Wednesdays

Freewrite Wednesdays- Grab a pencil, a piece of paper, and a timer and see if you can put the stuff in your head down on the page! Each week I’ll have a freewrite topic to get you started, as well as prompt questions in case you get stuck.

 

Furry Thursday chipmunk

Furry Thursdays- Smash up science and English parts of speech together with this guessing game! Each week I’ll share a group of nouns, adjectives, and verbs plus a biome or two. Players will guess the animal based on the words. When you’re finished guessing, draw the animal and the words for drawing and copy-work practice.

Friday Story Share

Friday Story Share- Ready to share your stories? Write a story, send it in by Thursday at midnight and I will draw one out of the pot to share on the Story Share section of the website the following Friday!

Join in the fun! Fill your summer with the joy of writing.

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Writing Cookies

Becoming a children’s author is sort of like opening a bakery… except it’s nothing like it at all. In this strange new world of 21st century publishing, before authors share any of their treasured writings, they need to establish a following online. In other words, before I even bake the cookies (which are a special, secret kind of cookie), I have to start parading around the street with my baker’s hat so people know I make cookies. Even though no one’s allowed to eat any of them yet. Or taste them. Or look at them.

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And then when curious people ask me what kind of cookies I make, I have to smile mysteriously and say, “Just you wait. They’ll be amazing! They will taste delicious (I hope)! And the secret recipe has flour, sugar, butter, and some other kind of magic chocolate bean grown in equatorial fairy tales.” 

Because if no one knows I bake, then no one will buy the cookies.

So this is me, telling you that I’m a baker—errr, writer. I love to write. I love to grab my laptop and sit on my couch, on my counter, on my bed, in the sun with a blanket on my favorite patio chair. I love to write (for a few minutes) in a field of grasshoppers that sing woody songs to me while the mosquitos nibble at my legs. In the evening, I love to hug and kiss the little people living in my house, grab my notebooks and hide in the schoolroom with the light turned low, trying to find the most whimsical word that rhymes with “hoot” (because owls) and occasionally yelling up the stairs, “Go back to bed!”

As a musician, my inner song informs the rhythm of the words I write. As an artist, the pictures in my head transform into words and fill the paper, lest they disappear forever into the place where all lost thoughts go, the junction between Wonderland and Never-Never Land.

Writing is the trap door for all the imaginative ideas in my head, the meaningful sentiments of my heart, the pieces that would otherwise stay hidden, unused. And with a finished product, I have a chance to contribute something good and lovely to the world that would otherwise be short one fantastically delicious cookie— I mean, book.