Former student Denise Park and I climbed South Crack in Tuolumne Meadows last July. Here’s a photo of Denise on the third pitch. A number of my poems concern the stretch of rock she’s navigating. Check them out on Verse Virtual: http://www.verse-virtual.com/robert-walton-2016-february.html
I taught Robert W. Chambers’ The Pickets many times and found it a great story for 8th graders – either as an entry into other CW topics or as a stand alone unit. I’ve refined that unit and put it on TPT. I checked with Perfection Learning (who published the story in “A House Divided”, their excellent CW anthology) and determined that it’s in the public domain. I included extensive excerpts from it and included links to the complete text of the story. Please take a look when you have a chance.
Some stories fight, bite and scratch while you’re writing them. Billy Starbuck was one of these, dragging me through a dozen rewrites. It’s published at last, however! I thank Ty Drago, managing editor of Allegory E-zine, for working with me on it. Also, I tip my hat to Herman Melville, from whom I still gather inspiration. Great echoes from Moby Dick lend substance to Billy. Thanks, Herman!
Michael and I squeezed in an October trip to the Sierras this year. We pulled in to the Caples Lake campground on the heels of the season’s first storm – not much below, but wild enough up high. I wrote the poem below while a muscular wind played patty-cake with Michael’s best tent. It’s the worse for wear, believe me. We walked a section of the PCT the next day in perfect weather.
Editor Beryl Belsky just published a comment I made on my experiences in Croatia at the beginning of the refugee crisis. It follows our family activities on an ordinary morning during a time of extraordinary events.
Julia Ward Howe arose at dawn on November 18th, 1861 and hurriedly wrote the words that became one of our most revered patriotic songs. I hope that the common core activities I offer on TPT will open the poem for young people. I’ve provided directed reading, scripted reading, reciprocal teaching, research questions and a poster assignment to help involve students with Julia’s words and with the turbulent times in which she lived. Here’s the link to the activities:
P.S. Here’s a great recording of the Battle Hymn: