Teachers Pay Teachers is a great classroom resource. The site is holding a sale tomorrow and Tuesday. I’m sharing the news and offering a $10 gift certificate to the first person who views and comments on one of my units. I’ve got 33 posted – most are free – and something must appeal. Just send me a message through this blog or on the TPT site and I’ll send you the confirmation code. You might start with Lincoln:
My poem “Brew of Bolts” was recently published in Verse Virtual. It’s a tribute to both of my grandfathers and to America on Veterans Day. I have to give a nod to Carl Sandberg. I didn’t set out to emulate him, but great poets often pull lesser ones along with them. Here’s the poem and the link:
A brew of bolts
And nuts and nails
Stewed in the musty bottom drawer
Of my grandfather’s tool chest.
I stirred them with a finger,
Awakened clinking voices
Of Ford pickups, IH tractors and
Bursting through Atlantic waves
Bound for England
Or a U-boat’s torpedo.
America – with a sweaty collar and
Calloused hands –
America, the beautiful.
Abraham Lincoln was a great president and an even more amazing human being. I folded many of his words and many great anecdotes about him into my novel. Spending time with him, as I did when writing Dawn Drums, is the best way I know of to reaffirm your love for America. I hope and trust that, because of Lincoln, reading my book will uplift and inspire you.
Moonlight Mesa Associates is graciously offering Dawn Drums for sale in November. The 35% discount for individual sales is barely above their costs. The unadvertised discount for school orders is 50%. Teacher friends, if you get your school to order some copies, you’ll get them at cost. This sale is only available through the publisher. Forget about Amazon! Requests for signed copies will be forwarded to me and I’ll expedite the delivery as fast as I can. Here’s the URL:
Election Day is just prior to Veterans Day. I’d like everyone to think of the latter as they participate in the former. I’d like to remind folks that the wars of the past sixty-six years – aside from the tens of thousands of dead and hundreds of thousands of wounded, if anything can be aside from them – have sorely wounded our Constitution. Our founders well knew that war can be used to manipulate ordinary citizens. That’s why they vested the power to declare war in ordinary citizens – through our elected representatives. Our representatives have run from their responsibilities for many decades to the harm of us all. My poem recalls the price we’ve paid. Responsibility for changing our course lies with us all. Here’s the link:
We’re going to make space our own and live out there, perhaps sooner than we think. Most of our problems will move with us and acquire new wrinkles. I offer a few speculations on what a doctor might encounter while serving on a space station in my new SF story Protocol C. The Flash Fiction Press has just published it and you may take a peek at the address below:
The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1st, 1863. Other than our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, there is no more important primary document in our nation’s history. It effectively ended slavery in the U.S. The Thirteenth Amendment to our Constitution made the abolishment of slavery official, but President Lincoln’s Proclamation made the Constitutional change possible. I’ve prepared common core activities that will open this document for young people and posted them for free on TPT. Teacher friends and colleagues, you’ll find the full text of the Proclamation, vocabulary building, directed reading, reciprocal teaching questions and a poster assignment to help involve students with this crucial primary document. Please let me know how all this works with your students!
I like to speculate on what might be just around the corner. I did so in my story “Make My Day” and the Saturday Writers fiction contest judges found my speculations (an app for your smart phone that offers classic movie lines?) interesting enough to award it first place in this year’s competition. You’ll have to wait until November or so for the story to be published, but my interview in the Saturday Writers newsletter is here: http://www.saturdaywriters.org/newsletter.html