I just received the official award certificate for “Sockdologizer”. It won first place in a most competitive contest and I’m proud of the result. You teachers out there, please take a look at the activities I’ve prepared for this story on TPT. They include a scripted reading of the story – a most powerful teaching tool!
Third Flatiron’s new anthology focuses on the theme of longevity. Edtior Juliana Rew graciously included a story of mine among this collection of strong stories. “Abe in Yosemite” explores a major historical what if: how might Abe’s life have turned out had John Wilkes Booth failed to assassinate him? I got to spend time with Abraham Lincoln again, always a worthwhile thing to do, and I think I did some of my best writing. Here’s the Amazon link:
King City High School creative writing students perform “Assassination”.
Some of you might recall “You Are There”, Walter Cronkite’s great, long-running TV series. Cronkite served as host and interviewer in historical reenactments of critical events from our shared past. The show brought history to life with unprecedented immediacy. I’ve tried to capture that immediacy in a readers’ theater script about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I based my retelling on Jim Bishop’s excellent book The Day Lincoln was Shot. By adding several fictional characters and some dialog to the events Bishop detailed, I hoped to create a narrative that would open history for young readers. I decided I needed to find some young readers and hear their thoughts!
King City High School Creative Writing teacher Ashley Russ invited me to share the script with her students. I made two visits to her creative writing class. On the first visit, advanced students Axel Solis, Irie Flores, Gabriela Valencia, Martin Delgado, Emma Deleon, and Gabriel Aguilar read the script twice and made editorial suggestions. I used their suggestions to revise my writing and took it back for a final reading. It went exceedingly well. Both the students’ performance and their intelligent comments afterward convinced me to go ahead and publish “Assassination” on TPT. Here’s the link to the script:
Third Flatiron’s fall/winter anthology focuses on the theme of longevity. Edtior Juliana Rew graciously included a story of mine among a collection of strong stories. “Abe in Yosemite” explores a major historical what if: what if John Wilkes Booth had failed to assassinate the President? I got to spend time with Abraham Lincoln again, always a worthwhile thing to do, and I think I did some of my best writing. You folks be the judges. It’s coming in October. Here’s a link to the preview: https://www.thirdflatiron.com/liveSite/pages/news?fbclid=IwAR3WUjIPggXoX7S9EC7vU7Iz0ZwGo0XpLTdR4BwUjz4EoSIy-KdZ3Ux72MM
The students and teachers of Chalone Peaks Middle School created a great Civil War reenactment last May. Deep learning about our shared history, superb teamwork and great fun defined the day. It was the 18th time Bull Run, Gettysburg and the Civil War camps of both armies were brought to life by all the participants. As usual, I learned from both the students and the history. I would have shared Dave Park’s wonderful photos of our 18th annual event sooner, but I missed the link back in May. Better late than never! Enjoy!
Some of you might recall “You Are There”, Walter Cronkite’s great, long-running TV series. Cronkite served as host and interviewer in historical reenactments of critical events from our shared past. The show brought history to life with unprecedented immediacy. I’ve tried to capture that immediacy in this readers’ theater script about the Lincoln Assassination
No event in our history was more important or more traumatic than the assassination of President Lincoln and I’ve created a new story and teaching unit that explores this tragedy. The unit’s goal is to make these crucial events clear and accessible to students. I’ve based my unit’s narrative on Jim Bishop’s excellent book The Day Lincoln was Shot. By adding several fictional characters and some dialog to the events Bishop detailed, I’ve created a readers’ theater script for middle school and high school students.
I’ve also created vocabulary and reading comprehension activities to enhance and accompany Booth Shot President Lincoln. You’ll recognize both the cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching techniques incorporated in the activities.
Please take a look at the unit’s preview excerpt when you have a chance! Here’s the link:
Caspar Buberl’s frieze of marching soldiers, located at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center in Corinth, Mississippi.
Poetry is the most difficult literary discipline of all and I claim no proficiency in it. I do find, however, that making an honest effort, especially with forms unfamiliar to me, improves my writing overall. I wrote the villanelle just published in the Ekphrastic Review some years back. The poem was inspired by Civil War art and was originally published as a front-piece to Dawn Drums, my Civil War novel. Ekphrastic Review editor Lorette Luzajic paired it with a photo of sculptor Caspar Buberl’s 19th Century Civil War frieze. I appreciate her work in finding an image of Caspar’s work that she could share! Here’s the link: http://www.ekphrastic.net
WELCOME!I've dedicated my life to literacy and literature for young people. I'm sixty-three and don't intend to change my focus now. I hope that this site will contribute to both! I hope it will be of use to kids, parents and teachers who love to read.
For Kids: I want to know what you think of my story! Writing can be pretty lonely and authors like to hear from readers. Ask me questions about Chaos Gate and I'll do my best to answer them as quickly as I can.
For Parents: I want to know what you think of my story! I'd also like to know how this website can best help you, what activities here are most effective and what you would like to see me include in the future.
For Teachers: I know how hard you folks work. I'm offering you effective, interesting activities to accompany Chaos Gate, whether you're reading it aloud to your class, using it in small groups, or simply have one or two students reading it on their own. I have (or soon will!) comprehension questions, vocabulary activities and word find puzzles in pdf format for every chapter. Check them out and take what suits you best.
Robert's story "Joaquin's Gold" just won the
2010 Art Affair Western Short Story Contest. The story brings legendary bandit Joaquin Murrieta back to Central California during the 1880's in a search for hidden treasure. Robert hopes to produce a book including all of his Joaquin Murrieta stories. Stay tuned.