Friday, November 29, 2013

Celebrating Small Sparkles

            Thanks to Ruth Ayres at DiscoverPlayBuild,  for beginning a Saturday tradition of sharing our celebrations.  It's a treat reading all the posts.  Tweet at #celebratelu.
Discover. Play. Build.
           I've spent the recent two posts celebrating different parts of being at NCTE last weekend, and there is more to share.  However, today I'm going to make a list of those tiny things which make my life so good, some touching NCTE as well.

v Meeting Catherine of Reading to the Core at the Slicer breakfast was terrific. We also happily connected at several other sessions, including one she wrote yesterday for Poetry Friday, about the poetry session that included Georgia Heard.  Catherine always takes good notes, and explains things so well in her posts and I appreciate that very much.  This time, the ‘little thing’ I loved is that she remembered and shared this quote by Matthew Fox and shared by Georgia Heard. I am so glad to have it, because I did not write it down!   “The Celtic peoples…insisted that only the poets could be teachers. Why? I think it is because knowledge that is not passed through the heart is dangerous.”

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Remembering Last Weekend-And Celebrating my 600th post!

                Poetry Friday is hosted today at Carol's Corner, Carol Wilcox's blog.  Go visit her blog to discover a list of many wonderful books of poetry that Carol writes she's giving as gifts this year.  Thanks for hosting and for a terrific list, Carol!

              I spent last week in Boston at the NCTE convention, with teachers and writers-those people who love words!  I know this poem is probably familiar to you all, yet they fit my time so well:

      Ink Runs from the corners of my mouth
      There is no happiness like mine.
      I have been eating poetry.
           --Mark Strand, "Eating Poetry" Reasons for Moving, 1968
The rest is here!

           What a tasty poetic meal I had meeting or reuniting with some of you whom I know through these Friday posts, and with others I met briefly whose names inspire.  I am grateful I could take the opportunity to go, and thrilled that I was able to meet, talk with, or enjoy the learning in the sessions about poetry I attended.  And, I loved rooming with Tara Smith, a great time with someone I previously knew only through blogging, and now know that she is really the lovely and thoughtful person we know from her writing.

          Thank you Laura Purdie Salas for welcoming me to a poetry Friday get-together.  I loved being with you, Laura and getting a first peek at your new book.  Also, Diane Mayr joined us, and it was wonderful to visit with you, Diane.  Then, I met and talked with Jane Yolen, Sara Holbrook, Heidi Stemple, and David Harrison and his wife.  It was a terrific evening!  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Slices of Pumpkin Pie

       Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Visit to see all the other slicers' posts.  It is always a pleasure!

          I had an estate sale earlier this year, and sold quite a few things, many of them old pamphlets, books, etc. that belonged to my husband’s and my family.  I don’t keep everything!  But I have kept one pamphlet that I’ve read often since I was young, full of wise essays and poems about Thanksgiving.  It was given to me by a teacher in high school.  In the inside cover there is a part of a piece I’d like to share, by a B.W. Eva, credited as editor.  The title is Thanksgiving Thoughts
       The words:  “Thankfulness is a state of mind.  It implies appreciation, joyousness, courage, hopefulness and moral strength.  The sum of human comfort during the year past has been greater than last year, as it is each successive year. It is a thankless heart indeed that does not recognize this.  The best part of it is that gratitude is within the grasp of everyone. No soul is entirely bereft.”          
       There are other words that inspire me, yet few talk about the need for courage.  In challenging times, doesn’t it take courage to find things to appreciate?  Finally, there is a quote from Cicero:  “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Monday...

 It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, and shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.   
         And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews. 
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR

            I only have two books to share, and you can find the review here for Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. It is one of the best books for upper middle grades (perhaps into YA) I've read in a long time.

The second book is God Got A Dog, Cynthia Rylant's new book of poetry.  Oh my, it is a wonder of thoughtfulness about God and the living things we 'see' here on earth.  Marla Frazee's illustrations pair with each poem like icing on a cake.  They are delicious!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Have To Talk About It!

     Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Visit to see all the other slicers' post.  It will make a terrific day for you!

      If you read my posts through the week, you know I've fallen into a routine.  Mondays I review books, Tuesday is the Slice of Life, then there is Poetry Friday, and more lately, Saturday Celebration.  I try to keep it simple, and enjoy the communities in which I participate.  It's a plentiful, varied, and a learning week, about people's stories, what they read, what poets they enjoy, including all the writing talents observed and the amazing books shared.
      However, sometimes it's important to break the habits for something a little different.  This time, even after the Monday Reading sharing, I need to review another book.  I've neglected reading some posts tonight, and other obligations in order to finish a book.  Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan is one of the best books for upper middle grades (perhaps into YA) I've read in a long time.  I literally have read almost 200 pages in the past day in order to finish!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's Monday!

          It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, and shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.   
         And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews. 
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR

         I finished a few books this week, all great reads, and others are waiting.  I'm going to the NCTE convention this Wednesday, and while I may not finish many books, I imagine I'll add to the TBR pile!

           I reviewed this book last Friday.  
Look here for my review last Friday.

Pieces of Georgia – written by Jen Bryant
           I won this book from Jen Bryant weeks ago.  I knew Jen’s work from her wonderful picture book biography  A Splash of Red, so was excited to receive another book by her.   Published in 2006, sorry I missed it, but I enjoyed this thoroughly.  It’s a verse novel, a ‘Just” thirteen year old girl named Georgia whose mother died years ago, and who lives with her construction worker dad in a trailer parked on a ranch.  In exchange for chores around the farm, they are allowed to live there.  This book is one of the quietest books I’ve read in a long time, a marvelous story to savor.  The story is told through Georgia’s eyes, to her deceased mother, written in a journal given by a counselor at school.  Georgia is already a gifted artist and that important gift weaves itself into the story because sometimes she has to hide it!  Her mother too was an artist and it makes Georgia’s dad sad to see her drawing too.  There are so many good relationships, Georgia’s  time with the counselor, the art teacher and the school nurse, her best friend Tiffany, with the horses and her dog on the ranch, her newfound discovery of the Wyeth art at a local museum, and of course, with her dad.  Slowly, they learn to mend their grieving in good ways “together”.   

Friday, November 15, 2013

Having cake and eating it too!

            Thanks to Ruth Ayres at DiscoverPlayBuild,  for beginning a Saturday tradition, of sharing our little celebrations, small and large.   It's a good time reading what others share.  Tweet at #celebratelu.

Discover. Play. Build.
                                          I'm writing with photos today:

Saturday I received this in the mail!

Sunday, the grand-girls played outside, mostly scuffling leaves and  playing with sticks.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Poetry Pleasure

          Jama Rattigan, at Jama's Alphabet Soup, is hosting Poetry Friday this week.  Thank you for all the "pleasure" you serve us each week Jama, always tasty, thoughtful, and beautiful to see!

Upon Reading A Book of Poetry

     please me

     tease me
     invite the pleasure
     of their company - easily

with china cups  
of sweetened tea
I settle in for
my word party

     choke me
     change me
     their lettered lines
     rearrange me

Placemats are set
the way they should be
complete with words
created freely 

Linda Baie©  All Rights Reserved

          I wrote last week that I have been finding poetry books nominated for this year’s Cybil’s award, to read ahead so I can be somewhat prepared for my work as a second round judge.  It’s going to be a challenge to choose the finalists for those first round judges this year!
          The poetry I’ve read this year is marvelous and creative.  As a literacy coach, the writing has made my work a pleasure because I can share poems and poets that both show the possibility and the joy of poetry.  I always find poems to copy and share with teachers and students from the youngest to the oldest, kindergarten through 8th grade.  If you haven’t discovered the poetry published this year for children and teens, go to the Cybil’s blog here, and look at this wonderful list!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Life's Lessons apply in many places

Visit Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life!
                       Tweet at SLICE2013!   Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Elisabeth for all the work you're doing!

The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention." ~ Thick Nhat Hanh

       See this cute little rabbit, like so many rabbits everywhere, in my garden, in a nearby park, in my car!!  He is cute, isn't he, yet now I must call him, Ravenous Rabbit!  He, at least others like him, has cost me close to two thousand dollars so far.  You see, I have a Honda, and the Honda company in these last years have made changes to 'go green'.  The covering that coats the wires in certain parts/bundles are now soy based, and bunnies, cute little bunnies, like to eat that coating, snapping the wires in two.  Where some of the wires reside there actually is a flat place that is an excellent platform for the bunnies to snuggle down and chomp away!   Last Thursday I had a third repair, I added moth ball bundles, sprayed "critter ridder", and left my car for the night.  Friday morning the wires had been eaten again!  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's Monday!

       Another book reviewed by Jacqueline Wilson and another chance for an IPad Mini!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, and shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.   
         And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews. 
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR

I finished some terrific books this week, and also am reviewing one more by Jacqueline Wilson, a British author being introduced to the US.  Hope you will enter for the chance to win an IPad Mini!

Code Name Verity – written by Elizabeth Wein
          Why did I wait so long?  I've had this book for a long time, even loaned it a couple of times!  Just couldn't get started, but when I did, WOW!  How can I write anything without giving too much away.  This is historical fiction, about, and told by, two different girls fighting in WWII for the British.  One is a pilot; one is a spy.  They become friends, they have crazy and wonderful adventures, and they have terrible, heart-wrenching experiences.  Written in two strong voices, it is an extraordinary story that one does not want to end.  This is how good the writing is for the quite subtle hints of future events:  "Incredible to think what an ordinary day it was for her, to begin with." I loved every bit!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Good Celebrating

Celebrating A Few Good Things

            Thanks to Ruth Ayres at DiscoverPlayBuild,  for beginning this Saturday tradition, to reflect upon the week previous, and to celebrate something, or some things special to you personally.  It's a good time reading what others share.  Tweet at #celebratelu.

Discover. Play. Build.

       I receive e-mails from a potter I met years ago and sometimes attend his shows if they are close. Last Saturday, after I published my post about my writing group, I went to a small showing where this potter was selling his art.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Enjoying Cybil's Nominees

     Find out what Diane Mayr at Random Noodling writes that she's finally learned when you visit her as our Poetry Friday host.  Thanks for hosting, Diane, and for telling about the 'aha' moment!  

     Special Note:  My friend and colleague at school, Suparna Kudesia, is Amy L-V's guest today on The Poem Farm.  Please welcome her and her class to Poetry Friday!  They are crazy about poetry!

       I have the honor of being a round two Cybil’s judge in poetry again this year, and have been reviewing the poetry books I already own, and ordering others that I haven’t read yet.  I don’t really have to participate yet, but am enjoying reading the nominees.  What an array of wonderful ones on the list, including those written by some of you who share on Poetry Friday!  Congratulations!

            I recently found Cat Talk at my library.  It is co-authored by Patricia MacLachlan and her daughter, Emily MacLachlan Charest, and illustrated by Barry Moser. Each page shows a lovely image of a particular cat and poetic text that describes its special personality. For those who love cats, this would make a wonderful gift, and for those who teach, I can imagine having students use this example to spark their own poems about a particular favorite pet, not necessarily a cat.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Opening Doors

   Travel over to Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life!
                       Tweet at SLICE2013!  And check out the new heading!  It's a great image for writing!  Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Elisabeth for all the work!

       This is what I would wish for all students to know, from Carl Sandburg, Poetry Considered:  "Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.  Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable.  Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Monday Recap

It's Monday...

  ... November, DST has departed - So has That Extra Hour - and it's dark when we arrive home from work.  The only thing to do is to READ!  Not such a bad time of year, after all!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, and shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.   
         And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews. 
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR
Thanks to Jen, Kellee, Ricki and Sheila for keeping us reading!

        I didn't read very many books this week, but those I did were good.  I hope you all had a terrific Halloween, and are having (or have had) good, satisfying conferences.  It's always a busy time, isn't it? 

Many Moons – written by James Thurber and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
               I was looking for a book for a teacher to use who is helping a young student study rhetoric, and re-discovered this older picture book by Thurber. A young princess is ill and it is thought she will recover if she can only have the moon. Her father asks his closest servants to help, whereupon they offer lists of all the things they have found for him through the years, but say, with various arguments, they cannot get the moon. The quest is repeated until the problem finally is solved, through wise reasoning and logic. It's a wonderful tale in itself that might start some really interesting arguments about those who give outlandish answers when it suits their own beliefs. See if you can find a copy!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Celebrating With Friends and Words

            Thanks to Ruth Ayres at DiscoverPlayBuild,  for beginning a new tradition, to reflect upon the week previous, and to celebrate something, or some things special to you personally.  It's a happy day reading what others have highlighted from their week.  Tweet at #celebratelu.

Discover. Play. Build.

an old poem-seems to fit this piece
    It was a good week, busy and exciting.  I spent Tuesday evening with my grand-girls, Wednesday evening with my writing group, and like I imagine most of you, Thursday "doing" Halloween, in all its spooky, sugary goodness. Yesterday at school was certainly quieter, everyone low-key, seemed to be resting their ears from the noisiness of the holiday before.  I hosted Poetry Friday yesterday, what I called the 'after party', time to slow down and savor the words.  Like I said, a good week!