Sunday, April 30, 2006

A month of Fibbery

It's hard for me to fully digest all that's happened since my April 1 post, The Fib. I can safely say it's been at times remarkable, amusing, bemusing, fascinating, satisfying, and always tremendously fun. I've cyber-met tons of wonderful new people, started peeking in on way too many blogs, heard from long-silent friends and relatives, and fulfilled a lifelong ambition by being mentioned on the Wall Street Italia web site. What? You don't have that same ambition? Well, maybe NOW you will.

This post doesn't mark the end of Fibbery by any stretch, though I probably won't post about it EVERY day anymore. It'll be nice to have more time to get back to the great stuff so many of my fellow bloggers have been doing in terms of sharing anecdotes and book lists and lots and lots of wonderful and helpful reviews.

To my surprise (and joy), I continue to find new threads of Fibs popping up all around the Web. I've seen Fibs in over a dozen different languages, and I'd also note that today a cat left a post in the comments of The Fib, joining a priorly poetic dog, so I think it's safe to say that Fibs travel well. Again, I admit that I simply didn't know if anyone other than me and a very few others would find these little guys interesting or fun. But looking at posts here on my blog, it's certainly safe to say lots of folks found it fun at least once. And to me, while you can say anything you want to about the Fib form or some of the Fib examples you might read, the fact is that thousands of folks have been writing and creating... and it keeps on spreading. And that, if you ask me, is poetry.

So, I'll see y'all in May for Fibs and other fun, but now I gotta book.

Poem of the Day: Word Nerd

"Word nerd!"
"Your mother
Sequences your dad."
Fibonacci Poetry Slam!

This is the last of the April Poems of the Day what with it being the last day of April and all that. It seemed appropriate to end with a Fib after all that's happened this month. I hope you've enjoyed the poems (and National Poetry Month, of course). Just like before April, poems will pop up here on a semi-regular basis anyway, so if you're only here cuz of them, don't despair :-).

For those seeking more on Fibbery, there's links over on the right of the blog that will take you to the hottest Fib spots on the blog, or you can simply scroll lower and see what you can see. Lots of good stuff lurks hereabouts, so enjoy!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

One of those rare, more serious posts....

A good time was had by all at the L.A. Times Festival of Books today, and despite my planning otherwise, new books were bought. Sigh. But instead of talking about the Festival, I'm going to turn my attention to a column I read in today's LA Times Calendar section. Written by Tim Rutten under a "Regarding Media" supertitle, the column was called Literary scandal speaks volumes and jumps off from the recent plagiarism scandal in the Young Adult literature world. Unfortunately, the link I've posted requires (free) registration. I apologize for that, but some of you might find the article worth reading. Why? Well, there are a few paragraphs in it that simply struck me as headscratchingly odd and wrong. To wit:

What this unfortunately driven young woman's rather sad little story suggests is that one of the major reasons other young people don't read books is that most of the stuff published for children and adolescents is abysmal, self-regarding trash.

While he follows this up with a dig at packagers and a point I do agree with (kids don't only want to read about people just like themselves), that comment was the type that forced me to keep re-reading to see if I missed some sort of set-up. But I don't think so. Perhaps Mr. Rutten has read "most" of the books being published today. I've read some. Others who read this blog have read more. I'm curious if they agree with him. I don't.

Mr. Rutten notes how corporations have taken over in many fields, and makes some comparisons and observations I found interesting. But then, his conclusion:

Whether you're talking about books, films or newspapers — as it turns out — much flows from that decisive moment when "the business" passes from the hands of people who have found a way to make a living doing something they love and into the hands of folks who only love making a living. Some of what results is truly noxious, some is distasteful, most is merely dreary. The majority of books aimed at today's young people fall into this last category.

It's hard to blame readers of any age for voting with their feet when they see what's seeping toward them and realize they're about to be ankle deep in bilge.

So is "most" differnt from "a majority" and is "self-regarding trash" different from "merely dreary"? But forget such parsing...

I ask again, particularly to my fellow kid-lit bloggers... any opinions here? I hope you read the full article to make sure I'm not missing something... and then feel free to share this with the myriad blogging authors who defy both of Mr. Rutten's categorizations. I wonder if anyone will have anything to say to or do such broad brush statements not even deserve e-mail responses?

(For those here for Fibbery, there are links on the right hand side of the blog under "The Fibs." Also, if you scroll around on the blog main page, you'll find lots of Fibbish fun, including hundreds of Fibs in the comments of various posts. Enjoy!)

Poem of the Day: Belly Button Blues

Gregory K.

My belly center’s really bare:
My belly button isn’t there!
I got no innie, got no outie.
Every day it makes me pouty.

I wouldn’t mind a belly snap,
A zipper, hook, or belly flap.
Still, most of all, I’d like a button,
But sad to say, friend, I got nuttin’.

(For the month of April, I had decided to post a Poem of the Day, and I'm continuing that right alongside Fibbery. For those feeling Fibbish, please look to the right of the blog for some links handily collected under the headline "The Fibs." Also, you can look to the post right below this one for some of the latest news and thoughts of Fibbishness or scroll down the blog to find mounds of Fibbish joy lurking in posts and comments. Enjoy!)

If you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

FoB not Fib

Assuming it doesn't rain today, we GottaBookers will be heading off to the 11th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this afternoon. Every year we've been, we've run into someone we knew there... so if we run into you, I hope you'll say hi.

On the Fib front, there continue to be Fibs'a'plenty on this and other blogs. Links for this blog are handily collected on the right (under The Fibs) or you can just scroll lower and peak in the comments of the Fib related posts to see a huge selection of Fibbish work. Enjoy... and Fib on.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Poem of the Day: A Strange, Strange Mirror

Gregory K.

I looked into my mirror just to see what I would see.
Would you believe I saw your face there staring back at me?
Every other detail was exactly in its place.
The reflection would be perfect if it didn’t have your face.
Now how you got there I don’t care, and I don’t have to know,
But I really would appreciate it if you’d simply GO.

The Judge shoulda Fibbed...

I am amused by the story about Judge Peter Smith inserting a code in his decision in the DaVinci Code case. And yes, the code was based on the Fibonacci sequence. Obviously, I think the Judge missed a great opportunity to tell a Fib. If any of you GottaBook readers know him, could you suggest that he insert this at the top of his decision:

Dan Brown,
Not Guilty!
Now read my decision...
And solve my Fibonacci code.

But sadly, another great opportunity for Fibbery has been passed by. Luckily, for those seeking Fib fun, there are a set of links off to the right of the blog that will lead you to many things Fibbish, or you can simply scroll below to get your Fib on. The comments in so many posts are full of find Fibbing, and as always, I encourage you to write and leave your own Fibs here... or anywhere. Fib on!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Poem of the Day: I Threw a Baseball

Gregory K.

I threw a baseball into the air.
If fell to Earth I know not where.
And so you see, I can't explain
What happened to your window pane.

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Fibs and the mail.

In looking through all the Fibs here on the blog and thinking about the ones I've read elsewhere, I can't seem to recall any references to The DaVinci Code in any of them. But oddly, the question I've been asked most in e-mail is if I was inspired by the book or the movie. Well, no. I mean, sure, the Fibonacci sequence is in there, but the fact of the matter is that I finally opened a copy of the book for the first time this week. But I think it's clear from reading around that folks knew of the sequence for scores of other reasons, not just DaVinci related.

Meanwhile, tension was thick in the air today as The Knitting Curmudgeon was due to announce the results of her Fib contest. She's extended the contest date, but I will now reveal my secret: I entered. I am not sure if I hope to win or hope to lose, thus showing that Fibs have reached a level where folks are better at 'em than I am. That in turn would prove... well... nothing, really, other than there's just tons of incredibly clever folks out there who can do amazing things with words.

For those here seeking Fibs, you might want to scroll down and look around or look to the right in the blog for the useful links under the headline "The Fibs." As always, feel free to add your own Fib to the comments anywhere.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Poem of the Day: The Bird's Word

Gregory K.

“Have you heard?” asked the bird
“I invented a word.
It’s truly absurd,
But it’s easily slurred.

I shall speak from my beak
This new word so unique.
Derived from the Greek,
And the new word is... EEEEEEEK!”

That poor bird’s now interred.
“I had truly preferred
To hear that new word.
But that’s life,” the cat purred.

I Fib. Y'all have Fibbed.

Somewhere there's a spambot with a great sense of humor. This blog has attracted an amazing amount of junk mail, but none makes me smile more than the offer to start a business "selling golf tees n China." There is no hint of irony to that oft-received mail, but seeing "tee" and "China" together like that certainly gives me the giggles. I should note for those who remember that I believed I was going to become a transfer agent millionaire that, sadly, instant riches haven't materialized. Shocking.

While I continue to draw attention to the Fibbish links over on the right hand side of the blog (under "The Fibs"), this morning I'm gonna link back to the original post, The Fib, where there are nearly 300 comments now, and over 300 Fibs to be read. Elsewhere on the blog are more Fibs (pop culture, sports, and more), but for those who want to be deep in Fib city (and really now, who doesn't?), that's a good place to start. But just a start, of course. And personally, I'd love to see this post become the home of another great Fib collection. But I'm biased that way. Fib on!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Poem of the Day: The Crayola Caper

Gregory K.

There’s crayon on the tabletop.
There’s crayon on the floor.
The baby got my crayon box
And drew and drew some more.
The house is full of colors now,
Each wall and every door.
Let me look more closely. Yep...
He used all 64.

The Morning Fib

Wouldn't that be a great name for a daily newspaper? Hmmm. Maybe not.

Now, you might not believe me, but this morning for the first time in weeks, I did a Google search on "the fib poem." Wow. I was really surprised by how much I'd missed. My rudimentary link-tracking skills haven't even been sufficient, but I also found wonderful threads full of Fibs that never even mention this blog or the original post or the Times or Slashdot or anything.

I also ran into a Fib entry at the Double-Tongued Word Wrester Dictionary. This was from before the Times article, no less. There are some great words and phrases they've found there, I must say. It's possible I procrastinated a bit at their site this morning. I'm not saying for sure. Of course yesterday I ostensibly worked outside but probably spent more time watching the clouds.

For those looking for all things Fib, there's some links collected over on the right hand side of the blog under the headline "The Fibs." You can also scroll down below this post and read along. Poke into the comments on all the Fib related posts and see... Fibs! Also, feel free to leave your own in the comments of this or any post. A few posts down you'll see a small collection of sports Fibbery... or maybe a new topic will sprout up today. Fib on!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Poem of the Day: Are You Twine?

Gregory K.

A tired, shredded, tangled string
Was taking a rest in its cot.
A passing swine asked “are you twine?”
It answered “No, I’m a frayed knot.”

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Fib your way to victory!

I've been surprised at many of the places Fibs and articles have popped up recently, but here's one that's no surprise: a Fibbing contest at Well, I should note I was surpised when asked, but as you can see by my smiling face at the link, today's announcement of the contest was not out of the blue.

Amazingly, to me, this joins the (gratuitously relinked!!!!) Style Invitational, the send your fibs box at the Toronto Star, and The Knitting Curmudgeon's contest (the first I know of, but sadly... you've missed the deadline). Great fun.

I'm pleased to see some the sports Fibs in the comments of the post directly below this. Do check 'em out, and feel free to leave your own Fibs there, here, or elsewhere on the blog. As before, on the right side of the blog, you'll see links under "The Fibs" that will bring you to much of the Fibbery in these parts, or you can just scroll down and poke around. For now work calls, so I gotta book. Fib on!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Fib a day...

Today, the New York Times Fib article appeared on the CNET site. You don't have to click in, as it's just another version of the same article... but I love how this article began in the Arts section of the Times and is now on the CNET News section. Really. I do love that. I hope that shows how Fibs can cut across all sorts of lines and prove fun for all. I admit I'm surprised I haven't seen more sports related Fibs, but maybe as baseball season picks up?

I'm totally wiped out after a weekend full of stuff, so I'm gonna leave you tonight with a reminder that good Fibbish links are over to the right on the blog under "The Fibs," or you can simply scroll down, as I plan to keep all of April's posts on the main blog page throughout National Poetry Month/Math Awareness Month. There are Fibs in the comments all over the blog, and they're well worth checking out. I'll be updating in the morning, I hope, but until (and after!) then, I hope folks will feel free to add Fibs in the comments here or elsewhere.

Poem of the Day: Greet the Day

Gregory K.

Good morning.
How do you do?

High five.
What’s up? What’s new?

Buenos dias.

Hail! Hello.

I’m up before the worms and birds
To greet each day with all those words.
And if I don’t say each word right,
The day would flee... and we’d have night.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

"Tell Us a Fib"

There are different levels by which one can judge the spread of Fibbery, but I gotta say that tonight/tomorrow brings one of flabbergasting (Fibbergasting?) proportions... to me, at least. Yes, the Washington Post's Style Invitational for Week 659 is a Fib contest (with some added Fib-spirited rules: entries must be about a person or topic in the news AND with two successive lines that rhyme). I am speechless... though I won't remain that way until results are posted May 21.

For those not familiar with The Style Invitational by name, I still bet you've seen results of many of their competitions. So what say you, readers of GottaBook and original Fibbers? Can one of you win the Inker?

As for other Fib-related things... as always, there are handy links over to the right under the headline "The Fibs" that will take you to the posts of Fibbery. Also, all Fib posts are still viewable here on the blog main page just by scrolling down. Hundreds and hundreds of Fibs lurk in the comments of posts here... and the comments section of this very post is a fine place to leave new Fibs, if the fancy strikes.

Poem of the Day: Earth Day Birthday Party -- an earth day poem/a birthday poem

Gregory K.

Today's a good friend's birthday.
This year it's also Earth Day.
So... I hope my friend won't be too miffed
But I've brought a recycled gift.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Fibbishly, he linked.

I was gonna link in tomorrow's Toronto Star aritcle, but it's really just the Motoko Rich article from the New York Times again. Mind you, I don't get tired of reading it... but I'm afraid some of you might. Oh, but wait -- look at the box off to the right of the article text. Send us your Fibs! Wooo hooo! It's a call to Poetic Arms. Now I say post your Fibs here and also send 'em to the Star! (Yesss. I found an excuse to link AGAIN!).

Like my first thought above, while it's great fun for me, I'm not sure anyone else wants to see links to this blog from various course syllabi. But one thing I can safely note is that there is still a lot of great Fibbing going on out there, for example at the Bookaholic's blog. Good stuff in so many places, I must say.

Tomorrow, I'm heading off to the SCBWI-LA Writer's Day. For those who've read the original Fib post (waaaay down at the bottom of the blog's main page or findable via the link on the right), it was at LAST year's event that I heard the talk that would ultimately start me Fibbing. A year later, and look where things are!

Also on the children's literature front (and really, that was a constant theme before Fibbery jumped up and became so much fun), the new issue of The Edge of the Forest is up. Chock full of kid-lit reviews, thoughts, an interview, links, and more... it's great reading.

For those looking for Fibbery, there are handy links to the right in the blog (underneath the headline "The Fibs") or you can just scroll down. Pop into the comments of all the Fib related posts and see some great Fibbery. Again, I hope you'll leave new Fibs here in the comments of this post or others (then send 'em off to the Star, too). Now it's late, and I'll be up early, so I gotta book. Fib on!

Oddaptation: Love You Forever

For those unfamiliar with my Oddaptations, I think they can best be described as abridged versions of classic or wildly best-selling picture books... with attitude. I explain the concept more in the earlier posted Oddaptations, handily linked on the right. I have a slew of these, including some where I take on my own absolutely all-time favorite books, so please note that I mean no disrespect when I Oddapt. So why Love You Forever? Well, I can tell you from the e-mail I've received and comments on other blogs that one title everyone seemed to want to see Oddapted was this particular one. So enjoy... and if you have suggestions for other titles I should Oddapt, let me know.

by Robert Munsch
Oddaptation by Gregory K.

No matter the trouble her baby boy makes
That momma will love him forever.
As toddler and teen he could be quite a pain.
Would momma stop loving? No, never.
She’d creep in his room and then rock him in bed.
She’d leave not a faint trace behind.
She still did it after he’d had his own kids.
You’d think that the boy’s wife might mind.
That mom sets no boundaries. She’s way too obsessed.
Her actions are surely regrettable.
Her son, it appears, he still loves her to tears...
But one day you know he’ll go Oedipal.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fibs and Facts

Hope you all had a Fibulous day. No, I have no idea what that means, but I've been wanting to write "Fibulous" for some time. As for me, today I learned various places where Fibonacci poems would fall in the Dewey Decimal system. More on this below.

Rather than just a run down on Fib stuff tonight, I thought I'd deal with the fact that I was "memed" by MotherReader. In general I'm not a fan of meming or tagging, so I won't pass it on (though, hey, feel free to take it and run with it), but since she was an early Fibber and she's funny as all get out, well... what the heck. So Six Strange Things/Facts/Habits About Me.

1) I didn't get my driver's license until I was 21... and I learned to drive at the Sears Driving School. Yes, that Sears.

2) I actually knew most of the Dewey codes in the above link because of my months as a volunteer librarian. Maybe that isn't odd to you librarians out there, but it's odd as can be to me.

3) I have used spondylolisthesis, Moises Alou, and Schenectady in verse... and rhymed with two of them.

4) I worked retail with Drew Barrymore.

5) When I was 13 and a disk jockey/all-around-helper-outer at a radio station, I took a call one winter day from our school district's superintendent cancelling school. (And oh yeah... I got to announce the news)

6) Spunky Rice Grog is an anagram of my name.

And now that that's done... if you're here for the Fibs, you'll note a collection of links to the right (under "The Fibs") that'll take you to places where Fibbing is flying here on the blog. Or you can just scroll down and look around, as I keep leaving more pages available so all Fibbing is accounted for. As always, I hope you'll leave a Fib in the comments here or elsewhere. Fib on!

Poem of the Day: Pets -- a dinosaur poem/a poem about pets

Gregory K.

If we had a brontosaurus,
It could do our gardening for us.
If we had tyrannosaurus,
It could make our dinner for us.
If we had ankylosaurus,
It could do our homework for us.
And if we had a pterodactyl...
Oh really, now, that’s just not pract’cal.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Telling More Fibs

I got to zip out into the blogosphere more today and read some great Fibs, plus I saw a headline in German that I quite liked. Computerfreaks!!!!! Yowza.

There was a nice link this morning from Melissa McNamara's blogophile column on, as well as some references in far more literary sources than this Fibber is used to.

But to me, the most interesting thing today was this piece in the Hindustan Times. Why's it interesting? Well, it doesn't reference back to this blog, and I hope that's because Fibs have reached a critical mass. It could just be laziness/disinterest on their part, I suppose, but anyplace talking about Fibs in the same sentence as Sudoko and the Rubik's cube can't be all bad.

I'd also note that I found out that this blog is Number One! OK, sure, it's apparently the most undervalued blog on on a p/e basis. Ummm. Right. But hey, NUMBER ONE!

If you're here for some Fibbing, you might want to scroll down and poke through the blog. Hundreds and hundreds of Fibs are here, lurking in the comments of most Fib related posts. There are also links over on the right hand side of the blog under the heading "The Fibs" that will take you to the "posts with the mosts" or something like that. As always, I hope you'll leave a Fib or two in the comments right here. Fib on!

Poem of the Day: Hold My Breath

Gregory K.

On Monday at the swimming pool,
I acted like a total fool.
“Hold my breath? No way!” I cried.
Then little Joe came to my side.
“I’ll hold it for you,” Joe did say.
So I gave him my breath... and he ran away!
Now I can’t speak or sneeze or cough.
I can’t blow the fluff of a dandelion off.
I can’t call Mom or Dad or you.
There’s really nothing I can do.
So if you see Joe somewhere, somehow
Tell him I want my breath back NOW.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Busily Fibbing

Busy times here for your GottaBook correspondent, so I will be a little brief tonight.

Fibs continue working their way through the Web... and off the web, too! Down in the post The Fib you'll find comments from Roachie and Chippy -- two students who wrote Fibs in an English class assignment. And then in yesterday's Fib post, a 6th grader put in her Fib (with words instead of syllables) done in English class. A few homeschoolers have told me they're using Fibbery, and I've gotten comments from MATH teachers, too. I love hearing these examples, I must say.

AND from the in-the-works-prior-to-Fibbery category:

mom ready has my book talk recommendations up for the month of April -- my first column. It's a great site for parents, not just moms, and my column is meant just to highlight some of the books I've had fun reading on my own or to/with kids, many of them encountered during my ongoing stint as a volunteer librarian. Check it all out.

Still too much to do tonight, so I gotta book. If you're looking for Fibbery, scroll lower in the blog or look to the right and click on the links under the heading The Fibs. And as always, feel free to Fib in the comments here or anywhere on the blog.

Fib on!

Poem of the Day: My Brother is Totally Edible

Gregory K.

Can I tell you something incredible?
My brother is totally edible!
My mom and my dad
Are a tiny bit sad,
And they both find the problem regrettable.

My brother, he isn’t a dummy,
And he loves being inside a tummy.
Since he doesn’t care,
He’s now part of our fare,
‘Cause the strangest part is he’s quite yummy.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fibbin' around the clock....

Never did I think my life would be so Fibonacci based, but I suppose some would argue that the Fib rhythms were here all along. Today, I was on the radio... in England on a segment of Up All Night about pods and blogs. And I see that I failed to mention that last Friday, I was on the radio in Hartford, CT on the Bruce and Colin Show on WTIC-AM. (Podcast, sadly, no longer available though honestly, I didn't sound as awkward as I felt at the time.)

I must note the International Herald Tribune article in Tuesday's paper. Yes, it's the New York Times article under a different headline (same paper owners, I believe), but come on now... I don't get into the IHT every day! Then again, I didn't think my blog would attract the attention of Wall Street Italia either.

For those new to the blog, you can find an assortment of Fibbing links over to the right under the headline "The Fibs." Or you can scroll down and pop in the comments all over. The original post, The Fib, is teeming with comments, including some truly poetic Fibs, funny Fibs, and pretty much a Fib for all seasons. Feel free to add comments there or leave them right here, as well.

Poem of the Day: Fib Time

Gregory K.

What time?
Every day
Two seconds before
Clocks hit 11:24.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

A bit o' Fibbing

How can it be a bad day when Leonardo Fibonacci of The Fibonaccis stops by the blog?

Or when Fibs get added to the main Wikipedia Fibonacci number entry (way down near the bottom in the Pop Culture section)?

Or, for that matter, when I had an excuse to go look at my favorite (and utterly un-Fib related) Peeps link? In other words, it was a fine day.

I'm pleased to see that more great Fibs were left here and written on blogs and threads all around the Web. Those seeking apartment therapy were sent this way, and I hope there are now apartment walls in NYC covered with Fibs. Again, I hope folks visiting will feel free to write Fibs in the comments here or in the other posts you can find by scrolling down OR by looking to the right in the blog where I've collected key Fib posts under the headline "The Fibs." Click around and read some fun Fibbery... and join the party.

Poem of the Day: Air Guitar -- a music poem/a guitar poem

Gregory K.

I bought myself an air guitar.
You think I overpaid?
Well, the guy who sold it to me said that it’s the best he’s played.

It really is a beauty:
Just one scratch and two small dings.
I can’t wait for you to hear it... but I gotta buy some strings.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fabulous Fibbery.

It's "around the world with Fibs" time here at GottaBook.

A video in Spanish (from someone who speaks even faster than I do).

A great thread in Greek on Alexis Stamatis' blog.

A shout out from the Dutch Cowboys.

And I've run into Fibs in French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and a handful of other languages as well. I only wish I could read them all.

Again, for those interested in Fibbing here, please feel free to put your Fibs right in the comments. If you look to the right on the blog, you'll see links to various Fib related posts (look under the headline The Fibs). There are amazing Fibs in the comments of various posts here, so I encourage you to click around. You can also find all relevant Fibbery simply by scrolling down in the blog.

Finally, in NON-Fib news, I'm thrilled to see that early GottaBook supporter David LaRochelle has been awarded the SCBWI 2005 Sid Fleischman Humor Award for his first novel Absolutely, Postively Not. Wonderful news for a great book.

And as if David wasn't talented enough as a writer and illustrator, just look what he can do to Pumpkins!

Poem of the Day: Garage Sale

Gregory K.

Mrs. O'Leary from down the street
Owned a Chevy and also a Dodge.
She must've sold them both, I guess.
Why else would she sell her garage?

Friday, April 14, 2006

A smattering of Fibbery.

I'd be lying if I said today wasn't fun. It was. Fun in the type of way I don't often get to experience, so I made a point to step back and enjoy it. And talk to relatives, of course, which was a great time for me.

Other than the Times article (gratuitiously relinked here), I particularly enjoyed this link from an Italian website.

Two places to submit Fibs sprang up, quite different places at that: at the Knitting Curmudgeon and at Perigree blog.

While this particular thread didn't catch fire, it is on the website of the Academy of American Poets, also known as them that throws National Poetry Month. Good company to keep, Fibs!

Already folks have emailed me articles from the Independent and the Irish Independent that appear to be from papers that are out tomorrow (or today over there). To quote from the Independent:

Fibbing, if we can call it that, may be just the thing for a lazy bank holiday weekend. Alternatively, it might just drive you round the bend. And there is the danger, of course, that once you start, devising fibs will become as addictive as crossword-filling or Sudoku-solving.

Finally, once again, I'm truly grateful to all who have posted Fibs here (to find them, scroll down two posts below and/or look to the links over on the right of my blog under the heading The Fibs) and on their own blogs. I've tried to read as many as I can, and I'm truly impressed with the breadth of Fibs... and how some folks truly can say so much with so little.

I look forward to Fibbing this weekend, but it's late now, so I gotta book.

Poem of the Day: Today is Not Tomorrow

Gregory K.

Today is not tomorrow but it was so yesterday,
And yesterday I know that I could not wait for today.
But yesterday was then “today.”
Today’s tomorrow’s yesterday.
And now I’m so confused that I have nothing else to say.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fibs are fab!

Fibs are fab!
Open the paper:
Your son is in the New York Times!

The Times is quite an exciting thing for Fibbery, I must say. For those of you visiting for the first time, there's all sorts of links off to the right that will lead you to Fib fun and more. Or you can just scroll down below and poke around. Also, there are tons of fantastic Fibs in these two posts: The Fib and More Fibbery.

Most of all, I hope you'll join the fun and put some Fibs in the comments here and/or anywhere and everywhere.

(A later edit: head on up to here for news of a Fib-related book!)

Poem of the Day: The Late Bird

Gregory K.

The early bird gets the worm
All slime and muck and dirt,
But here's what they don't tell you, friend...
The Late Bird gets dessert.

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You don't say!

Today an article appeared (in German!) linking back to the Fib posts, and I simply LOVE the headline it ran under.

Haiku war gestern, Fib ist heute

which translates as...

Haiku was yesterday, Fib is today

Fib on, I say!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Poem of the Day: Nighttime Questions

Gregory K.

Why are there outs in innings?
Do all ends have beginnings?
This is what I think about when I can’t sleep at night.

Can you lose all your winnings?
Can there be overpinnings?
Sometimes I think that I don’t have the questions asked quite right.

Where is the fun in fungus?
Is it “bring” or “brought” or “brung us”?
I may not answer all these things, but then again I might.

Can you be alone among us?
Can shrimp be called humongous?
I lie in bed and ruminate until the morning light.

Right back at ya, Fib style

A lot of new folks have joined the world of Fibbery today, and again I love watching links to poetry sprout up in unexpected places (like MSNBC's Clicked column).

I also remain fascinated by the variations folks come up with: words instead of syllables, letters instead of syllables (posted in comments below on this post), double syllables, reverse Fibs, longer variants and two combinations of haiku with Fibs including this embedded version.

So many folks have contributed remarkable Fibs and thoughts. What a blast!

The Rules of Poetry

Douglas Florian has been nice enough to give me permission to reprint his poem The Rules of Poetry. The poem is on the Children's Book Council's 2006 Young People's Poetry Week bookmark (for sale here!). This happens to be Young People's Poetry Week, but to me this poem is accurate alllllll year round. I cannot do the layout of the poem justice nor am I reprinting the art that goes with it, so please look at the bookmark even if you don't buy it.

Douglas Florian

Keep it short.
Leave it long.
Use bad grammar.
Spell words wrong.
Let the letters
All f
Print a few lines
Upside down.
Change the rhythm.
Never rhyme.
Force the meter
All the time.
Find your keys.
Lose your tools.
By the way --

©2006 Douglas Florian

(And yes, the line "upside down" is, of course, upside down. My skills aren't up to dealing with concrete poetry.)

Browse Mr. Florian's wonderful books here and here.

And embrace those rules. WRITE ON!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Poem of the Day: Hat Head

Gregory K.

I've got hat head really bad.
You say I shouldn't care?
Well, maybe hat head's fine for you,
But me? I have no hair!

Fibs, and that's the truth.

I continue to be thrilled with the way Fibs have spread and keep popping up (like here in French or via some quirky folks) But I'd be remiss if I didn't thank the first batch of folks who clicked in (beyond friends, family, and devoted GottaBookians, of course). Who was that? Folks with an interest in the world of children's literature.

From the Third Carnival of Children's Literature (hosted by Sherry at Semicolon) came a slew of folks who took Fibbery with them or left some here. So just a few "thank you" notes to...

Chris Barton at Bartography who, though he hasn't Fibbed on his site wrote a ver early fib here on mine.

Jen Robinson who fibbed here on the first Fib post.

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti who did a variation on the classic Fib for Poetry Friday.

Kelly at Big A little a has kindly linked me and can be found in comments on my blog.

Over at Farm School you'll find Fibs written by -- gasp -- kids!

And A Fuse #8 Production who hasn't Fibbed, but coincidentally linked me during Fib time and set many off on true Fibbery.

Finally, I appreciate the very nice note I got from Sonya Sones, a wonderful poet... though I'm hoping she'll drop by and tell us a Fib.

There are many others to thank (a list that grows daily (like Don Tate who Fibbed 4/12!)) and there are other bloggers over in my list to the right who have linked/mailed/what-have you, and it is appreciated. Since I started blogging largely to connect with others with the same passion for children's literature I have, it's very gratifying to me to have found others as interested in sharing that passion. And, of course, sharing Fibs!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Poem of the Day: The Yolk's On Me

Gregory K.

They say that if you take an egg
And hold it in your hand just right,
Then you can squeeze and squeeze and squeeze
And squeeze that egg with all your might,
And it won't break, or so they say,
No matter how you try and try.
Well, I am here to tell you, friend...
They lie.

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Busy weekend, and that's no Fib.

What a great time I had this weekend checking out Fibs around the Web. What a hoot! And folks are still writing them today. What I continue to love most about this is that Fibs have crossed language barriers and appeal to people from all walks of life. It's a blast.

Rather than link all the threads (though I did link a smattering of them here, I only wanted to point out two newer links today.

First off, Clive Thompson at his blog Collision Detection did a fascinating analysis of the Fib and variants. He points out that the first number in the Fibonacci sequence is zero, and how that means that the first true line of every Fib is silence. Truly a poetic idea. Read it all here.

Then on a much more personal note, I was tickled to be linked to this morning by a Hungarian site devoted to technology/science/math and the like. Please note that if you click that link, you'll see only Hungarian. What pleases me is that my maternal grandparents were both Hungarian, and my grandfather was a mathematician/engineer. Were either of them still alive, they'd be thrilled beyond words... but as it stands, I'll just have to be thrilled on their behalf.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Poem of the Day: The Biggest Mess

Gregory K.

“That’s the biggest mess the world has seen!!!”
Mom yelled at me quite loud.
But it’s a new world’s record so you’d think that she’d be proud.

What the wiki?

I love Wikis, but I must admit I have now found my favorite entry in the Wikipedia.

What is it?

Fib (poetry).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Poem of the Day: Poem a Day

Gregory K.

A poem a day
Keeps the doctor away?
Well, no... but it still doesn’t hurt.

A poem a day
Is quite good anyway,
But it’s still not as good as dessert.

Speaking Fibberish

I've been reading Fibs around the web following links from my own post here and clicking on a few folks who left fibs in the comments on my own blog, and I must say it's unbelievably gratifying to see hundreds and hundreds of folks WRITING POETRY. Okay, sure, it's a somewhat odd form of poetry, but it's truly a blast to see.

Tell Fibs.
Let them live.
Let poetry thrive.
Though feel free to have coffee first.

A particular tip o' the Gottacap to folks on blogger and livejournal who have linked here and helped Fibbery spread. I hope everyone continues Fibbing long after Poetry Month is over.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Poem of the Day: Mixed Up

Gregory K.

My fingers sit where you have toes.
My elbow’s where you have your nose.
Your hair grows out, but mine grows in,
And I’ve got rainbow colored skin.
My arms have knees. My calves are thighs.
I’ve got one lip and thirteen eyes.
I look quite old, but I’m still young.
Come shake my hand -- whoops, that’s my tongue!

Fibbing the day away...

Well, now, Fibs DO have a life of their own at this point. They're in the comments on my blog -- mostly here and here -- but also at these (and other) locations around the Web:

Here at Slashdot.

The early adoptor thread at Word Freaks.

Fibbers at Informed Consent.

On the World of Warcraft.

Of course the nerds at would like it.

Fibs and Electronic music are a great fit.

Can the actuaries tell us how long this Fib trend will last?

I'd also like to tip my hat to my fellow bloggers who have linked here (this is the closest I can come to a full list, but thanks to all!).

And heck, even the Poetry Foundation has connected to me.

UPDATED to add Fib (poetry) from Wikipedia.

Quite a fine and Fibbish day. More to come!

Unexpected benefits...

I'm sure I'll be talking all day about the fantastic outpouring of fibs here and all around the net (more links later, for now just scroll down to the posts More Fibbery and The Fib and see the comments). There are brilliant folks all around. But there was a surprising upside in the e-mail box today. Apparently I've attracted some attention and I've got not one but TWO offers to store millions of dollars in my bank account for people who, for reasons that vary, just aren't able to get their money out of their countries on their own. Wow. What an opportunity. I could be RICH, I tell ya!

Anyone up for a Transfer Agent Fib?

PS. By the end of the day, I had FOUR such offers. I am going to cash in on all of them and buy a small publishing house that only puts out books of Fibs.


I've just barely had a chance to skim through the Slashdot comments and the comments on my two Fib posts below, but I gotta say there are some remarkably talented Fibbers out in the world. I'd also note that some 15,000 people from alllllll around the world have visited since midnight my time, and that's a rather staggering crowd for this blog. So, welcome... and thanks for the Fibs! I look forward to reading them all much more closely after the Gottakids are off to wherever it is they're off to.


Tres cool.
Thanks, Slashdot.
Now it's official:
Fibs really are "Stuff that matters."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Poem of the Day: The Biking Blues

Gregory K.

I wanted to go riding.
It was all my heart desired.
Instead, I’m stuck at home because my bike said, “I’m two tired.”


Perhaps the real word is variousosity? Regardless....

Fibs continue to fly on the Word Freaks thread! I don't consider them freakish at all, personally.

Recent library read-alouds....

So, What's it Like to Be a Cat -- Karla Kuskin (illus. by Betsy Lewin)
Mudball -- Matt Tavares
The Sneetches -- Dr. Seuss
Miss Nelson is Missing -- Harry Allard/James Marshall

And finally, a Fib taken from a video my sons and I were discussing. Yes, I added "and" and it's got a less than ideal line break, but older Gottason and I decided no other changes should be made:

In French,
Chat chapeau.
And in Spanish I'm
El Gato in a sombrero.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Poem of the Day: Rhyme and Reason

Gregory K.

Rhyme said to Reason,
“I really need a break.
I much too tired of ‘orange’, and ‘silver’ makes me quake.”

Reason said to Rhyme,
“I share in your frustration.
The way some folks mis-use me makes me want a long vacation.”

Oooh. An idea...

A FoG noted today that between my Fibs and my Looneyness I had posted a poem every day in April.

Now, they meant it as an observation, but I took it as a challenge. So, we'll see if I can Poem-a-Day it through National Poetry Month. I must go scribe!

A post wasted with Gregory K.

Taking a small break from pure Fibbery, I wanted to tip my cyber cap to Tom Lehrer. If you aren't familiar with any of his fantastic albums (the last of which was in 1965!), you might still know him: he wrote songs for The Electric Company (newly out on DVD, by the way). Anyway, growing up, my parents played his records... and then I started playing 'em myself... and I suspect this will help you all understand that my sensibilities were formed at an early age.

Now, I kinda pride myself on being able to find humor in most things, and this is probably one reason I sooooo love Mr. Lehrer. For instance, he turns subtraction (and math teaching) into comedy in New Math. AND he does it to music! Heck, I've written funny math poems... but it ends there. That he could have the same fun with so many topics (politics, smut, math, nuclear war, the elements, and on and on), well, suffice to say he raises the bar high for all us creative types.

To bring this post sorta back on topic, a few FoGs have mentioned their suspicion that Mr. Lehrer probably has a great Fibonacci song in his repetoire. I would not be surprised if that were so, though I've never heard one, nor can I find one as I scour the web (a dollar to anyone who finds one, by the way). That's okay, though. This post doesn't have to be so on topic. In time, I'll probably tip the cap to other childhood heroes (Pete Seeger, anyone?), but here in poetic-math month, my hat's doffed to Tom Lehrer.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Top Five Reasons to Fib

Not ten?
But of course:
Five’s a fib number.
(Besides, ten is a lot of work!)

A few FOGs (Friends of GottaBook) e-mailed saying a Top Ten list was a good way to popularize Fibbery. Hmmm. I can find no statistical evidence that their claim is true, but it sounded like a fun idea, anyway. But 10 was too many for me alone, so I encourage folks to send me more reasons and, if needed, I'll update. With no further ado....


5. It’s National Poetry Month AND Math Awareness Month. Fibs = one stop shopping.

4. You’re not procrastinating when you’re writing poetry.

3. Writing Fibs qualifies you for geek status!

2. Stop the outsourcing of short poetic glory to Japan and that Haiku thing of theirs.

1. You can tell people “I’ve been Fibbing all day” and feel good about it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

More Fibbery

As your tools,
Twenty syllables;
How you use them is up to you.

In my first post on Fibs, I mentioned rules and guidelines. I'm gonna talk about some of them here, but the most important thing I can say is that other than the syllable count of 1/1/2/3/5/8, all rules can be broken. The goal is to WRITE. That said...

Since I started Fibbing to focus on word choice, the one rule I've held myself to is "no articles in the one syllable lines." I also try not to use conjunctions, though part of that is that when I use them, I start singing School House Rock and annoy the neighbors.

After those rules, it really gets more subjective. There's definitely a difference between my best Fibs and my ones that read far more like I found a 20 syllable sentence and broke it into Fib form. Often, that difference is in focusing on those two one-syllable lines. "Worms./Gross." is, to me, a stronger start than "I/was." If there's a natural break between the lines, in general it reads better to me. If a thought can finish at a line end, that's great. And I, personally, love using the eight-syllable line in counterpoint or as a thought of its own.

I also have found that my Fibs tend to fall into subsets: Pop Culture Fibs, Rhyming Fibs (traditionally, by the way, Fibonacci poetry is not a rhyming form. But it CAN rhyme, as some who have posted have shown), and Fibs that fib are three examples. I'm gonna post one (or more) of each in the comments below. We've also seen political Fibs and math Fibs... plus my very own Spam Fib. That should be a big category, based on the 19,000 Spam haiku collected here.

Thanks to the Third Carnival of Children's Literature, I now know that April is also Mathematics Awareness Month. This makes Fibbery doubly divine in April.

Also, a special tip o' the hat to the Word Freaks for their excellent Fibbing.

If you spot any other Fibs online, please drop word to yours truly. But this is long enough, so I gotta book.

(For those entering in via this post, there is much more Fibbery to be found all around the blog these days. Besides the post The Fibs mentioned at the top and this post, both of which have comments filled with fun Fibbery, you might want to journey up to the top of the blog or look over on the right hand side for some links collected under the headline The Fibs. As always, feel free to leave a Fib here or elsewhere. Fib on!)

(And a further edit: please click here for news of a Fib-related book deal!)

After one too many viewings of the Golden Collection.... (a Looney Tunes Poem)

The Looney Looney Tunes News
Gregory K.

The news is in. It’s worse than feared.
Poor Tweety Bird has disappeared!
Sylvester’s wearing quite a grin with yellow feathers on his chin.

Wait, there’s more, and it’s a stunner:
From here on out, there’s no Road Runner.
Wile E. caught that poor old bird, and now it’s gone without a word.

Daffy’s news is not as bleak,
But once again he’s lost his beak.
This time, though, it’s really gone and nevermore can be drawn on.

Here’s the worst news, far from funny:
Elmer Fudd has shot Bugs Bunny!
At long, long last a bullet hit. Bugs’ carrot fell, and that was it.

In Toonville, they're all feeling blue.
They hope the news is false not true.
But sadly, this is not a hoax…
So this, alas, means “that’s all, folks.”

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Carnival's back in town...

Join the
(It's links to blogging
About children's literature)

Hmm... I've violated a few of my (still upcoming) Fib guidelines there, but what the heck. Lots of great links in the Carnival, and I've vowed to read 'em all in order (without skipping ahead to the April 20th entry for moiself). There's a big poetry focus in this Carnival, so it's definitely up my alley.

Spreading Fibs

Write 'em.
E-mail 'em.
Post them on the Web.
Every life needs more poetry.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Fib

Spiraling mixture:
Math plus poetry yields the Fib.

What’s that, you ask? That’s the very first Fib I wrote. What’s a Fib? Well, first a little backstory….

At the 2005 SCBWI-LA Writer’s Day, poet-novelist Ron Koertge mentioned the idea of “warming up” each day by writing haiku. To paraphrase what he said, writing haiku keeps you in tune with the importance of word choice and how you can say so much with so little… with the goal being that subconsciously you will continue to be aware of both points whenever and whatever you write.

I was intrigued, but my geeky mind immediately began to churn. Why just haiku? I wanted something that required more precision. That led me to a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – the classic Fibonacci sequence. In short, start with 0 and 1, add them together to get your next number, then keep adding the last two numbers together for your next one. It’s a wonderful sequence, and it’s one that is repeated in nature (most famously in nautilus shells). Heck, some folks use it in knitting and music,… and, as much as I’d like to say I invented a new form of poetry, these sequences have been part of various poetic structures since before Fibonacci’s time. However, "the Fib" is my take on the idea, complete with a wicked cool name, if I say so myself.

I’ve found writing Fibs helpful, as they really do make me conscious of word choice in everything I write (which is particularly critical in my poetry, picture book manuscripts, and e-mails to Mom). Also, I’ve found kids respond well to the form, especially when they hear that “Ewww. Worms.” can be 1/3 of their poem. So, I think it’s time for the Fib to gain more exposure.

In another post, I’ll talk more about various Fib rules and guidelines and subsets (like Fibs that tell fibs!), but for now, I’m curious to hear what you think or see if any of you want to try your hand at writing Fibs … and hoping you all want to join me in spreading Fibbery around the web/in classrooms/wherever.

Is now
So, I gotta book.
See you all on the comments page.

(There are wonderful Fibs in the comments here, and if you look to the right you'll find links to other posts with even more Fibbery (such as the post cleverly named More Fibbery.) If you head on up to the top of the blog you'll find new Fibbish links, too. In short, feel free to poke around... and don't be shy about telling a Fib or two.)

(And now another update: a book deal (and that's no fib!))

(The BIG update: The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. - the novel that came to life because of this post - is now available wherever books are sold!)