A Kaleidoscope Poem by Emily Romrell

MC910227046Emily followed me on Twitter and when I went to her website I found the beautiful poem below. I asked Emily if I could post the poem on my blog because—well the name of the blog is “Kaliedoscope” and she said yes. Once you read the poem, maybe hop over to Emily’s to browse. She has lots of interesting posts about all sorts of things—she is after all, Eclectic Emily.

KALEIDOSCOPE by Emily Romrell

I am broken.
Sharp pieces cut inside;
leftovers of what I thought I was.
But the world spins fast;
Rearranging my jumbled life into new perspectives.
And the Sun will rise in a few hours.
All I have to do is wait for the Light,
And the next pattern will shine through.
Repeating what once was,
But is now made new.

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Thank you Emily for allowing me to share your poem on this blog. You can follow Emily on Twitter @emilyromrell or at her blog Eclectic Emily

ADA in the Classroom: Guest Post from Laurie Wallmark

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I am so excited to have Laurie Wallmark here today to discuss her debut picture book and WOW is all I can say. Laurie’s narrative of Ada Byron’s life is full of imagery as well as information about a truly extraordinary woman. Ada had such focus and passion, two attributes anyone would surely benefit from. Thank you Laurie for sharing Ada’s life with us. There is much we can learn from her and you have so vividly brought her story to life. Oh and did I mention the illustrations? Just spectacular. April Chu has recreated the time Ada lived with intricate details and a softness that compliments and enhances the text. So without further gushing—after a brief description of the book, Laurie will discuss possibilities for using Ada in the classroom. Be sure to check out the Teacher’s Guide for even more ideas.

Ada cover 72dpiADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE (Creston Books, October 2015) is a picture-book biography of the world’s first computer programmer. Ada was born two hundred years ago, long before the invention of the modern electronic computer. At a time when girls and women had few options outside the home, Ada followed her dreams and studied mathematics. This book, by Laurie Wallmark and April Chu, tells the story of a remarkable woman and her work. Kirkus Reviews describes the book as a “splendidly inspiring introduction to an unjustly overlooked woman.” [starred review]

Picture books are an ideal medium to engage children’s interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Whether fiction or nonfiction, picture books can be the inspiration for a wealth of activities and classroom discussions. Here’s just one example of how my picture book biography, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine can be used in the classroom.

Ada loved math and wanted, more than anything else, to be a professional mathematician. She became the world’s first computer programmer when she coded a complex mathematical algorithm. Reading about Ada’s life provides the perfect excuse for a teacher to show how fun STEM can be.

A math game that was popular during Ada’s time was “buzz.” In this game, the students count aloud from one to a hundred. For younger students, instead of saying the word “seven” when it appears in a number, have them shout “buzz” instead. This is a fun way for them to practice counting, not to mention listening.

“Buzz” is easily adapted for older students. For them, in addition to “buzzing” on the number “seven,” they also have to “buzz” on multiples of seven. Once the students master their sevens times tables, the teacher can switch to a different number. This game provides an enjoyable way for children to memorize their multiplication tables.

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine has an associated curriculum guide created by Marcie Colleen. All activities were created in conjunction with relevant content standards in English language arts (ELA), math, science, social studies, art, and drama. The guide is Common Core aligned in both ELA and math for grades one to four. You can download a free copy here.

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Laurie Wallmark writes exclusively for children. She can’t imagine having to restrict herself to only one type of book, so she writes picture books, middle-grade novels, poetry, and nonfiction. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. When not writing or studying, Laurie teaches computer science at a local community college, both on campus and in prison. The picture book biography, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books, October 2015), is Laurie’s first book.

Website:             http://www.lauriewallmark.com

Facebook:             https://www.facebook.com/lauriewallmarkauthor

Twitter:            https://twitter.com/lauriewallmark

Join Laurie as she travels from blog to blog to introduce her debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. All stops are listed at: http://lauriewallmark.com/blogtour.php

GOODNIGHT MANGER! Book Birthday Bash

Introducing……. drum roll…. please……

GOODNIGHT MANGER‘s BIRTHDAY BASH!!!!

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Goodnight, Manger, written by Laura Sassi and illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist Jane Chapman, tells the story of Mary and Joseph as they try to lull Jesus to sleep in the noisy stable after his birth. It’s bedtime for Baby Jesus, but who knew a manger could be so loud? Mama, Papa, and all of the animals try to lull the baby to sleep, but between itchy hay, angels’ joyful hosanas, and three kings bearing noisy gifts, it’s just too loud. Until Mama finds a way for everyone to work together to shepherd Baby into peaceful dreams under the twinkling stars. With sweet, rhyming text in the style of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction SiteGoodnight, Manger offers a unique twist on the classic manger tale, deftly weaving together the comforting and familiar routines of bedtime with the special magic and wonder of the manger story.

I was thrilled when Laura asked me to document GOODNIGHT MANGER‘s birthday bash. That’s right, Sunday, October 11th was GOODNIGHT MANGER‘s coming out party. Many people and Rooster, that’s right—a rooster, gathered at our local Barnes & Noble to celebrate.

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There was a reading,

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and crafts,

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and signings.

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I couldn’t capture all of the magic, but I was able to get a snippet of the Rooster. Watch till the end (1:21) to hear a special Cock-a-doodle-do.

 

THANK YOU LAURA FOR A WONDERFUL AFTERNOON AND FOR CONTINUING TO WRITE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE BOOKS.

 

Laura SaLaura Sassissi, author of GOODNIGHT, ARK  (Zonderkidz, 2014) and GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz,2015), has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She writes daily from her century-old home in New Jersey where she lives with her husband, two children, and a
black Cockapoo named Sophie.  In addition to picture books, Laura writes poetry, stories, articles and crafts for kids. Her work has appeared in Highlights for ChildrenCricket, Ladybug, Spider, and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.

Goodreads Book Giveaway WINNNER

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I’m excited to announce the winner of the  AND I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU Goodreads book giveaway.

642 people entered to win the autographed copy.

299 people added it to their Goodreads shelf.

BUT

only 1 person won.

That person is…

Ann from Arizona.

Congratulations.

Thanks to everyone who entered.

If you get a chance to read AND I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU

please consider posting a review.

Thanks again to everyone who entered and for spreading the word.

Happy reading.

GOODNIGHT ARK Birthday Bash

Introducing……. drum roll…. please……

GOODNIGHT ARK‘s BIRTHDAY BASH!!!!

Goodnight Ark

I was thrilled when Laura asked me to document GOODNIGHT ARK’s birthday bash. That’s right, Saturday, September 6th was GOODNIGHT ARK’s coming out party. Many people gathered at our local Barnes & Noble to celebrate.

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There was a reading,

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and crafts,

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and signings.

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I couldn’t capture all of the magic, but hopefully you get the idea.

During the fun, I took a little “What’s Your Favorite Animal?” survey.  Elephant was the winner, followed by Tiger in close second. Here’s a clip of one boy’s response.

 

After the reading, and crafts, and signing, and surveys, we gobbled up the treats below to continue the celebration!!!

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I’m certain everyone slept well (not like the animals in GOODNIGHT ARK) after such a wonderful day. Thanks Laura, for letting me share in the celebration.

 

Laura SassiLaura’s poems, stories, articles and crafts have appeared in many publications including Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, Spider, Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr., FamilyFun, and Pack-O-Fun. She has a passion for playing with words and rhyming and is delighted that her first picture book, GOODNIGHT, ARK, published by Zonderkidz, a HarperCollins Company, and illustrated by Jane Chapman is out. She is represented by Lara Perkins of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Laura writes from her century-old home in New Jersey where she lives with her awesome husband, two adorable kids, and a black cockapoo named Sophie. You can also find her on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Writing Process Blog Hop

This week I am excited to participate in an Author’s Writing Process Blog Hop. While the questions are similar to the KidLit Author Blog Hop I participated in a few months ago, since this Blog Hop wasn’t specific to KidLit Author’s I thought I’d participate.

BookFor this Blog Hop participating authors answer four identical questions and then invite additional authors to join in the “Hop.” I was honored to be asked by my friend and fellow writer Vanessa Coggshall. With two toddlers and a newborn, Vanessa seeks to balance the mom/writer lifestyle on a daily basis. She is currently working on a memoir which focuses on life with her three year old, Emmy, who was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome as a baby. Vanessa also just helped edit and publish an anthology written by parents, friends, and family members of children with Williams Syndrome. She blogs about her life experiences with her children and husband at Williams Syndrome Smile.

So now onto my answers…

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a bunch of picture book manuscripts at the moment–some new and some troubled favorites. In addition, I also have begun drafting ideas for an early chapter book series. I’m also actively working on getting an agent.

How does your work differ from other works in the genre?

That depends on the piece. In some cases I’m writing about a familiar topic but from a different point of view. Or I’m writing about a universal topic but focusing in on a single moment in time that greatly impacts the character. For my early chapter book series I think I’ve identified a relationship that has not been addressed very much in the genre so I’m excited to see where that goes.

Why do you write what you do?

I have a passion for picture books. Always have. When I was teaching upper-elementary grades I used picture books to predominantly help students develop their writing–but what was most powerful was how sharing picture books with older students touched their lives. Picture books provide access to places, people, and emotions in real, imaginary, and wonderful ways.

How does your writing process work?

Depends on the piece. Sometimes stories just come but that seems to happen less frequently than it had in the past. Most of the time I come up with a title, or phrase or just a relationship I want to explore. Then I start drafting by writing down anything that comes to mind about the topic. Sometimes it’s all in note form and other times I just write it out. I share my drafts and ideas with writing friends and they help keep me on track. After I have a draft, I revise and revise and revise. Oh, and then I revise. When I revise I work a lot on word choice and how the words sound when read aloud. I also work a lot on the structure. Writing a great piece has so many elements that each one, at least for me, has its own challenges and therefore the piece often times dictates the process.

I’m excited to invite Ann Ormsby to continue.

AnnOrmsby RecoveryRoom Poster 16x24Ann Ormsby has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Writing from Drew University. Ormsby is a freelance writer and the Fiction Editor of the ezine The Greenwich Village Literary Review. Her work has been seen in The Newark Star-Ledger, The Huffington Post, njspotlight.com, The Alternative Press, hackwriters.com and patch.com, among other venues. She writes on reproductive freedom and other public policy issues. Her debut novel, The Recovery Room, which explores the topic of choice, won an Honorable Mention at the Paris Book Festival this year.
Let the Blog Hopping continue! Happy writing and reading!

More events added … Spring registration now open!

Great events for Winter and Spring from NJSCBWI. Don’t miss out. Register now. Hope to see you at some of the events.

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Here are three MORE exciting ways for you to move forward on your path to publication. Please see below and simply click on the links provided to find out more …

SPRING 2014
Registration is now open!

  • NEW! March 30, 2014: Meditation/Yoga for writers/illustrators with Laurie Calkhoven & Mimi Cross. Back by popular demand! Limited space. Only 20 spots available. Click HERE for more details.
  • NEW! Sat/Sun, April 12&13: MG/YA Retreat with special guest editor Heather Alexander (Dial BFYR) and MG author Lizzie K. Foley. Submit up to 75 pages for a 45-minute one-on-one critique with Heather, plus hands-on workshop, peer groups, and more! Important Note: EARLY DEADLINE: Feb. 25 & only 8 spots available. Have your manuscript ready when you register for this event. Click HERE for more details.
  • NEW! Sun, April 27: Picture Book Brunch with Executive Editor Meredith Mundy (Sterling), featuring bonus manuscript critique opportunity. Limited space. 20 spots available for attendees and only 12 spots available for critiques (first-come, first-serve). Click 

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