Monday, February 29, 2016

Two Leap Day Poems

Since I'm flashing back on 10 years of blogging still, I figure I should run both my prior Leap Day poems since it's been eight and four years, respectively, since I last posted them...

Leap Day Baby
Greg Pincus

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!

A Modest Leap Day Proposal
Greg Pincus

Leap Day comes so rarely.
Why not make it cool?
Make each one a holiday -
Cancel work and school!

Here's to all the Leap Day babies. And for the rest of us, let's make this extra day count - live it fully, even if it isn't a holiday or a day off school!

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Poetry Re-issue: I Wrote The End

Since I'm celebrating 10 years of blogging here, I figured I'd re-post my very first blogged poem on its exact 10th anniversary.

I Wrote the End
Greg Pincus

I wrote the end of this short verse before I wrote the start.
I wrote the end because I knew the end by heart.
I wrote the ending first since that’s my favorite part.
I wrote the end of this short verse before I wrote the start.

In full disclosure, when I posted this back in February of 2006 the word "verse" was actually "post" as it was a more self-reflexive blog post poem. Both work. (Also, if you check out that original post, you'll note that a friend of mine left a comment in Fib form weeks before I blogged about Fibs. I'd forgotten that!)

It's Poetry Friday (which also didn't exist when I figure posted that poem), and you can see the roundup over at Elizabeth Steinglass' blog. Go check that link out for tons of amazing poetry fun.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blog Flashback 2 - Oddaptations

Even before Fibs, I was using the blog to play around with things I enjoyed. In the case of Oddaptations, that meant posting odd, twisted, rhyming adaptation/Cliff Notes versions of children's literature classics.

My first Oddaptation post back in March of 2006 contained two (both reposted below).  And if you go to that post and scroll down, you'll see a comment from Jane Yolen (!!!!!!!!!) who also posted one of what she calls Crushed Classics. Yo, people. Jane Yolen commented on my blog!!!! This, again, was one way I knew that blogging in the children's literature space was a good decision :-)

You can see all the Oddaptations to date by clicking here. These posts often get me some of my most interesting email responses (sometimes upset with me, sometimes thrilled) and blog comments. But... they make me happy, and that was the whole point, I tell ya!

GOODNIGHT MOON -- Margaret Wise Brown
Oddaptation by Greg Pincus

That great room is green.
That old lady’s spooky.
That half eaten bowlful of mush is quite ooky.
That Cow on the wall has leapt off of the ground,
And someone named Nobody’s walking around.
All over the room runs a squeaky, small mouse…
So I hope you sleep well in this creepy, weird house.

THE GIVING TREE -- Shel Silverstein
Oddaptation by Greg Pincus

As a young boy, he was sweet and not needy,
But as he grew up, he became super greedy.
The tree shoulda told him to shut his big yap.
But no... that poor tree gave new meaning to “sap.”

Monday, February 22, 2016

Blog Flashback 1 - Fibs!

In kicking off my look back at my 10 years of blogging here, I figure there's no point in burying the story of Fibs. I mean, seriously - a viral blog post (or two, even), me and the blog in the New York Times, and a two book deal with Arthur A. Levine (at his imprint at Scholastic)? Yeah. All that happened back in April of 2006, and that's gonna show up in my memories. So, I am just gonna lead with it.


I love those things. 20 syllable poems, following the Fibonacci sequence. Simple in concept but very hard to pull off well, I think. Back in April 2006, though, folks were writing them all around the web and showing off their brilliance (and seriously... people do amazing things with words). An online journal - the fib review - started in 2006 that's still going strong today. A Wikipedia page has sprung up since. And in 2013, my debut novel, The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., featured the poetic form (as plot and poetry). All from a blog post!

People ask me sometimes why I like social media so much. The Fib story is one reason. Not just because of the outcome for me (though hey... I admit to being thrilled by it) but because in that one month, I was able to watch an idea spread around the globe... be expanded upon and reworked and played with... bring communities together (there were Fib threads on actuary chat boards, in musician forums, at gaming sites,, and even on a board of spanking fetishists)... and slowly ebb but stay firmly placed after the fact.

From a GottaBook perspective, one of the reasons I'd started blogging was to play around with experiments just like Fibs. I got lucky six weeks into my blog's existence. I've never again had the same amount of traffic as I had on April 7, 2006 (or in that month entirely). And that's never been a problem - other events and ideas have still found their audience. And who knows? Some day, something else may spark the same reaction. I certainly hope so! It was a ton of fun and truly a pleasure to be part of. And that is no fib.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Blog is 10 Years Old Today!

It's true! My very first post here at GottaBook was on February 21, 2006. They grow up so fast, don't they? For the record... that original post is still in the archives

Over the next three weeks, I'm going to share 10 memories/things I've learned/highlights/whatever you want to call it from my decade here. I'll also re-run a few old poems, and... I dunno. We'll see!

I'd love to come up with a clever term for this, but "blogrospective" isn't working for me and nothing else is coming to mind. Still, I do hope you'll stick around. A lot has happened here (and because of here), and I can't wait to share some of it with you.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Corrections - a school poem

Greg Pincus

I wish I could correct my work -
It makes my poor brain ache.
See, I used my pink eraser...
And that was my mistake!

One of the things I love about Poetry Friday (and hey... you can see a roundup of today's posts over at Mainely Write) is that from time to time, you can throw things out there and find out if they make sense to anyone but yourself. This is one of those times for me :-)

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Cybils Day!

Congratulations to the 2015 Cybils winners!

As always, the list of winners sounds fantastic and includes books I gotta get my hands on. As a former Cybils judge, I know how much work and care goes into the process, so I also tip my hat to everyone who judged in either round.

I hope you'll check out the list.

Oh, and happy Valentine's Day. Apparently that's today, too....