Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day Baby -- a Leap Day poem/a birthday poem

Gregory K.

My father never acts his age.
My mother says that's great.
See, Dad's a leap day baby and today he's turning eight!

Now go leap on over to the Poetry Friday roundup hosted by the uber-wonderful Kelly Fineman and get a bonus helping of poetry in February. You'll be glad you did... and it's probably the only time I'll ask you to leap. So c'mon already. LEAP!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008


I was gonna just skip today on the blog, but somehow it seems so wrong not to just note that tomorrow is leap day. I mean it's my first leap day blogging but my third February 28th. I was figuring that that had to be good for something. And then I realize... huh, the only thing it might be good for is a blog post.

And even there, I'm just not sure!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Talking Math

As in Scholastic's MATH magazine.

As in here's this month's contents. Or to quote from it, "You want more math in literature? You've got it! We look at the Internet phenomenon known as “Fibs”--poems based on the Fibonacci sequence."

I haven't seen the magazine yet, but maybe some of you middle school teachers (or students) out there have. Regardless, "phenomenon" alone makes me a happy fellow!

More later, but now I gotta book.....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Putting a focus on Fibs

At some point, I'll have my own big ol' website, not just my blog. In the interim, I'd been trying to come up with a way to keep a focus on Fibs and Fibonacci poetry while not changing the mix around here (which, if you've been here other than today, you'll know includes way more). But how? Enter Squidoo.

And more specifically... my Squidoo lens on Fibonacci poetry.

For those saying "huh" about now, Squidoo is a site that lets you create your own page on a subject, sharing your passion or knowledge or anything else, I suppose. From my point of view, it looks like a place to collect some Fib information without it getting lost here even while Fibs will continue to be part and parcel of what I do here (including those handy links along the right hand side).

So, feel free to go check it out and tell me what's missing (or not), what's clear (or not), and, as always, any winning lottery numbers you have (in advance, natch). Thanks!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday fun....

OK, it's not really children's literature related, but it's Lego and that's always good, right? Right.

So check out Block Death -- A Museum of Horrors if you want to see creativity in full bloom. I'm a big fan of the Torture Classics and the Troubles Abroad. And remember... it's Lego so it's not as gruesome as it sounds!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mom's Meatloaf -- a food poem/a meatloaf poem

Mom’s Meatloaf
Gregory K.

What “meat” this is, I cannot say,
Upon my plate, a slab of gray.
The texture doesn’t give a clue,
But makes it not much fun to chew.
I wonder, did it cluck or moo?
Or oink or baa? Or bark or mew?
What meat this is, I’ll never know.
It sure is mighty tasty, though!

Hungry for more? Kelly is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup today, so be sure to go on and check it out.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

GottaBook 2.0!

Well, not exactly -- but today is the 2nd anniversary of life here at GottaBook. True, I kinda sputtered into it on a weak week of posting, but in general, there's been more life than not, and it remains a lot of fun.

Thanks to all who stop by and make it worth blogging. And... hold on... yup! It's confirmed. The official gift for a 2nd blogoversary is chocolate! Feel free to be official (and note that you have a couple month window. Longer if it's really good stuff. I'm just saying....).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lonnnnng weekend

I think every writer should get a long weekend once a month just to write.

Anyone know any senators or congresspeople who might pass that law?


Oh well... guess I'll just make use of the short week instead....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Just a giggle...

... but I've gotten hundreds of visits here at Gottabook this week because of the opening of the movie of The Spiderwick Chronicles. And why, you ask, are folks coming here? Because of this post... and the fact that so many people think that that is actually the name of the book/movie and search the web for info. Go figure... but it's definitely good to see children's literature with that many fans, even if it takes 'em two tries to find what they're really looking for.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Keep the poetry coming....

One of the great bonuses of judging the Cybils is that it made me (or gave me an excuse) to think seriously about poetry -- what I like, what works, what kids respond to, and even what's possible in a collection. As I noted, I found Joyce Sidman's Cybil winning This is Just to Say absolutely fantastic... and I learned a ton as I tried to express exactly why... and why I put it ahead of the other impressive finalists. Good times and a great exercise.

For more things poetic, go on and check out this week's Poetry Friday roundup hosted over at Hip Writer Mama's place. And keep the poetry coming!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I "heart" the Cybils

Break out the box of candy and the red hearts -- it's Cybils Day! Yes, the winners have been announced this morning and the list is right here. Unsurprisingly, it looks like a great list of books.

In the Poetry category, in which I was a judge, we chose Joyce Sidman's remarkable This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. A fuller blurb is over on the Cybils site, but I'd just say that it was a fantastic, funny, inspiring, and emotionally powerful collection of poetry for children (and their adults!). You'd do well, I'm sure, checking out all the winners, but if you're a poetry fan, you really must go find This Is Just to Say.

It was a real privilege (and challenge) judging for the Cybils this year. And now that it's done, it's time to start reading this year's books so I can think of nominees for next year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A little followup

So yesterday I linked to me yakking, including the best advice I'd heard about writing in rhyme. And it turns out that yesterday, fellow Californian/blogger/joke lover Terry Pierce posted a nice little interview with editor Kristin Daly that also talks about writing in rhyme. Goooood stuff!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hey... I know that guy!

Over on The Write Marbles site, they've got an interview with some guy talking about rhyme, Fibs, and a school library. Hey, wait a second... that's me! By all means go check it out, and here's hoping I made sense!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ticking and Tocking

There are now two countdowns on my horizon. The first is the ticking of the clock until the announcements of the Cybil awards on the 14th. The second is the new countdown to the possible lifting of the Writers Guild of America strike. That should be decided by Tuesday evening (Pacific time). The buzz makes it look likely, and many friends of mine are gearing up to head back to work soon.

Lots to look forward to this week, that's for certain. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday, Friday, Friday!

Wouldn't it be great if there were commercials for Poetry Friday that were like those classic TV commercials for big old auto events. And hey... what about Poetry Demolition Derby!

But in lieu of that, why not head over to where Gina's blogging and check out this week's Poetry Friday roundup? Good. And I'll see ya later....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Then again...

... now having had the Net back, I'm starting to wonder if things weren't better when I was disconnected! Sitting with a yellow pad and a pen (you remember those, I hope) knowing that there was no escape to the web probably made me less distracted than I'd been in... I dunno... 15 years? Well, maybe not, but I can definitely see spending a week or two without access when I'm in the midst of a project.

Ya, I know. That's crazy talk! But try it for a day and let me know what you think....

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Technical difficulties

Whew. A full day without online access has come and gone, and I've lived to tell about it. It is remarkable (and perhaps a tad scary) how attached to the Net I've become. To wit: I wasn't around this weekend to post here, but when I was able to Monday, my online connection was gone. Yes, I coulda gone elsewhere, no doubt, but I had much to do at home. And I kept checking, but noooo. And I felt frustrated that I couldn't post. Then I felt bad. Then I felt sad. Then I had chocolate and it was all fine. But I will admit that I was quite happy to wake up this morning and know that I could once again answer email, blog, and follow the news of Super Tuesday all without ever having to get dressed!

Hey, it's the simple things in life, ya know?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Mulling on Poetry Friday

Yes, I'm in a thinking mode today. See, it's two months to the day until National Poetry Month begins. The past two years, I've posted a poem a day during April (all of which are still on the blog, by the way, with links collected over on the right hand side). And now I'm mulling... this year, too? Yes, I enjoy it, but it's 30 poems, and I don't want them to stink, ya know? So... to post or not, that is the question. Thoughts and ideas always welcome.

And while you mull, too, why not head over to Karen Edmisten's blog and check out today's Poetry Friday roundup. It's like National Poetry Month in one post... or something like that.