Color Story sponsored a contest last year to pair artists with poems by selected poets. Artist Marlo Saucedo completed a wonderful painting inspired by “Dawn Snow”, one of my Yosemite poems. I’m most pleased to share her accomplishment with you! An event, much delayed by the pandemic, to share all the poems and paintings will be held in Houston, Texas at the Spring Street Studios.
The centuries long struggle for racial justice and equality continues. I am honored to have two stories about this struggle included in the Saturday Writers’ new anthology, “Duck Plucking Time” and “Sockdologizer”.
Some decades ago, I recall sharing a campfire with an old friend. Campfire talk led us to recalling childhood experiences, his in a Jim Crow borderland state, mine in deep South Alabama. This conversation eventually sparked a fictional exploration of our shared history – “Duck Plucking Time”.
Historian Jim Bishop did a stellar job of detailing the traumatic events surrounding Lincoln’s assassination in his book The Day Lincoln was Shot.
I saw a chance to employ his work in a fictional treatment of those events. By creating characters, adding dialog and basing my story on Mr. Bishop’s sequence of events I hoped to pull young readers into the history by putting them next to the characters, both historical and fictional. “Sockdologizer” is the result. It won first place in the Saturday Writers contest for youth fiction.
Please view the teaching materials I’ve prepared for Sockdologizer on TPT. I’ve made both scripts for the story and classroom activities:
Here are the classroom activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assassination-teaching-activities-for-part-1-of-the-RT-script-4923109
When I write historical fiction, I always have middle school students in mind. “You Have One”, a recent short piece, seemed a good candidate for them. President Lincoln met with many ordinary Americans during his time in the White House and especially spent time seeking to ease the grief of those who had lost loved ones to the war. I’ve retold a Lincoln anecdote here in hopes of making it more accessible to students. I’ve included pre-reading vocabulary activities, reciprocal teaching comprehension questions and post-reading activities for You Have One. It’s free on TPT. Please do let me know what you think of it.
Another bank of covid fog just cleared away! I discovered that Red Wolf Journal published a couple of my poems – Hummingbird and Boxing at Mar a Lago – back in October of last year. I missed the memo – no excuses! It’s a fine journal and I thank the editors most humbly!
Mothers cope, though I’m worried about us all. We’re headed for a vast collapse if we can’t learn to live on our planet without destroying it. Friday Flash Fiction published a new story of mine, one that may amuse and, hopefully, alarm.
“Deliciously Creepy!” – Jane Allen
Haiku is the most contemplative writing discipline. I turn to it when ending – or trying to begin – large projects. The respect for words haiku requires affords both healing and new focus. Now and then, I write a good one. The Haiku Journal just published one such in issue 66. Scroll way down!
The Tiny Seed Literary Journal published an amazing collection of poems responding to last summer’s unprecedented wildfires. They included a poem of mine in “Facing the Fire”. Here’s the link: