Sunday, March 31, 2019

March Musings '19: Celebrating Writing

31 days of writing
31 slices of thoughts
from winter into spring
writing muscles were pumped.
I wrote when I was joyful and other
times when I was felt sheer exhaustion.
I wrote to share feelings, photos, digital art.
Each day, writing was sparked and conversations 
flowed; a community of writing friends was strengthened.
I'm celebrating writing today with my global community of writing friends. We did it!

Stay tuned for my next month of writing. Join me in celebrating poetry.

Day 31 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for the opportunity to write daily this month.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

March Musing '19: Spring Is In The Air!

"Spring's here."

I groggily rolled over from a deep sleep. I've been waiting for spring-like weather but was too out-of-it to get up. Just a few more moments of sleep.

The day was rich with sunshine. Birds were chirping with delight. I dragged myself out of the house. With a heavy with head, lots of aches, and kleenex-stuffed pockets, I made it to physical therapy. I can do this

Complaining that no doctors were available on Saturday, got me special treatment. Wow! Thanks, my sinuses are open. 

Off to yoga!

Refreshed from exercise and meditation gut still with sinus drip, off I went to Urgent Care, just in case. Flu, no!. Strep throat, no, virus, low-grade fever, yes. Home to more sleep. 

Spring is in the air. I  shall dream about it!

Day 30 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Friday, March 29, 2019

March Musings ‘19: All Things Poetic

As March draws to a close, I look to April for all things poetic to come to be. 

march on morning
softly past daybreak hours-
spring stillness surrounds
©CV, 2019

Poetry has always been close to my heart. It has been my comfort, my joy, and even a cathartic fixer-upper. With pen in hand at an early age, I crafted thoughts from a bank of noticings and wonderings. During April, National Poetry Month, I will continue to write poetic thoughts and curate the poetry of others. Join me as I celebrate all things poetic with others around the world.
"National Poetry Month each April is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry's important place in our culture and our lives." ( 
To bring digital awareness of poetry to social media, I will devote this month to unveil my global galleries of artistic expressions, Abundant Autumn and Winter's Embrace. You may even see an invitation to write about springtime splendor.
Special Announcement: On Monday, April 8th #NYEDChat and #WonderChat will combine to discuss "Creating A Positive School Culture With Poetry." Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, poets and publishers, will co-host the Twitter chat from 8:00-8:30 pm EST so please mark your calendar.
SAVE the DATE - Join Us!

I will also join Irene Latham's Progressive Poem group who will create a collaborative children's poem during National Poetry Month.  April 16th is my day to add a line.

I am looking forward to a vigorous and exciting National Poetry Month.

Now it is time for the Poetry Friday Roundup. Carol Wilcox is hosting at Carol's Corner.

Day 29 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Thursday, March 28, 2019

March Musings '19: A Wisher and Hope-er

How many times have I wished and hoped for dreams to become realities, for good health, and for peace? Am I what Shel Silverstein in his poem, Invitation, calls a wisher, a hope-er, and a pray-er? YES, I am. 

Image result for shel silverstein poems

I am a dreamer who enters a realm-
dreaming, wishing, and praying
in evening hours when
quiet time is mine.

I am a hope-er who breathes in
and exhales, letting go of woes
in morning hours when
quiet time is mine.

I am a wisher, a hope-er, a pray-er.

I come in earnest
spinning tales and
finding new ones when
springtime launches its season so
countless, new dreams can spring forth.


Day 28 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

March Musings '19: Grandma Wishes

I linger in love
as a grandma today
thinking of Sierra 
in a special way.
Sierra loves playgrounds. She is a bundle of energy. The Prisma app, introduced to me by fellow slicer, Jennifer Sniadeckiwas used to capture Sierra's constant motion.

It's hard to leave my grandbaby because she brings such joy to our lives. My husband and son feel the same way. I wrote about this in yesterday's slice. Today, I started my morning off watching a short video of one of Sierra's favorite books, Grandma Wishes by Julia Lobo. You can listen to the story in song form below. 

My thoughts return to each of the three nights that I put Sierra to bed. The first night, I dipped my hand into Sierra's nighttime book basket and pulled out Grandma WishesWe sat in the white rocking chair, got cuddly, and began to read in the quiet of a darkened room. My iPhone's flashlight app lit the pages of the book while we read. After reading, we cuddled and snuggled some more, sang a little bedtime tune, and gave thanks for a lovely day before carrying Sierra to her crib where she sleeps on top of and with her babies. Before sitting back down on the rocker, I rubbed her back, and let her settle in. I was immersed in peace. I am happy that I was able to share bedtime rituals with Sierra.

(This weekend, Sierra surprised me by saying"Hi, Gramma".  My son-in-law heard it also. We were so surprised and I was so touched.)

Day 27 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March Musings '19: Grandbaby’s Spring Surprise

Today, I realized it is getting much harder to leave my family in Virginia after one of our visits. My 21-month-old grandbaby is absolutely delightful to be around so we want to enjoy every minute of our time together. Yesterday, she surprised us when my husband, son, and I went on a nature walk outing. She started conversing in her usual baby babbling way but this time we understood what she was saying. What a treat!


"Yes, Sierra, we do hear the birds and the doggies. Grandpa heard a woodpecker."

"Birdies, tweet-tweet. Doggies, woof-woof."

Then, she stopped and pointed to the sky,  excited to exclaim, "Planes".

We were really surprised by her new set of words: animals and planes.

Sierra continued amazing us while we walked the path. She was intrigued by everything she saw. "Wa-wa", she excitedly shouted as she jiggled across the bridge. She wondered where the fish and beaver were after we told her they live there. Further down the path, she walked through muddy areas, touched some strewn pieces of twigs, and showed me her new pink gloves that got dirty. I marveled at her awareness of nature.

We returned back to the quiet house, reflecting on what we noticed, wondered, and found. A beautiful arrangement of forsythia and daffodils growing wildly in the woods were our dinner table gift. 


On the ride home today, I started recalling our walk, the following thoughts emerged and fashioned themselves into a #haikuforhope sequence.

noticing nature
reflecting on springtime sounds-
babbling brook and child

life strikes a balance
we walk in nature's shadow-
lingering in love

excitement mounts
spring shares its earthy colors-
nature's artwork shines

daffodils + forsythia = early spring slice of nature (equation poem)

Day 26 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge

Monday, March 25, 2019

March Musings '19: There's Never Enough Time

No matter how many hours there are in a day, I just can't get everything I want to be accomplished done. While at my grandbaby's house this weekend, I spent as much time as I could being the doting grandma, which means there was little time to write but I do have stories of these few days worth telling. Isn't that the purpose of enjoying life living moments? 

Tonight I store my memories of my grandbaby in my heart to reflect upon when I return home to Long Island and start to miss her.

For the next few slices, you may be hearing some grandbaby stories that are memorable to me. For now, as I nod off, I will remember the place of gratitude in my life.

Day 25 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge

Sunday, March 24, 2019

March Musings '19: Wearing of the Green

Each year, my hometown celebrates St. Patrick's Day in style. There is the wearing of the green and I don't mean just green sweaters, ties, and kilts. A few weeks before the parade, the main street on the parade root is painted with green stripes and decorated with Irish flags. Everyone knows this indicates that the parade is soon to start. 

The parade is a joyous celebration. Families line up to see the fire engines, police cars, and the bagpipe players. I especially like to watch the kilted musicians playing favorite tunes. This is a day when everyone is Irish. Obviously, I live in village that is filled with many Irish families. As our young priest noted in church several weeks ago, there are at least 500 families with common Irish names. Naturally, the wearing of the green is popular in Rockville Centre where the village townsfolk are proud to have a grand parade each year.

This year, I happened to come out of yoga in time to see the bagpipe players followed by a biker group on their motorcycles. The children in front of me were clapping with joy. There were smiles, laughing, and long lines of marchers.

The parade is an intergenerational good time. Take a look at the photos I took. 

St. Patrick's Day

by Eliza Cook

St. Patrick's Day! St. Patrick's Day!
Oh! thou tormenting Irish lay—
I've got thee buzzing in my brain,
And cannot turn thee out again.
Oh, mercy! music may be bliss
But not is such a shape as this,
When all I do, and all I say,
Begins and ends in St. Patrick's Day.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Day 24 o.f 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge

Saturday, March 23, 2019

March Musings '19: Grateful for...

Friday, I woke to another one of those gray days but that was fine. Even when the rains came while traveling to my literacy conference, it was fine. The rains continued as I walked from the car to the conference but that didn't matter. I felt gratitude for this day the committee had prepared. It was finally here. I would soon engage with colleagues for a day of learning and that is something to be grateful for.

According to an article from Psychology Today, "Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has--as opposed to, for instance, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants or thinks they need." 

So what else am I grateful for this weekend?
  • A full reading and writing life
  • A family visit to see my grandbaby in Virginia (I will be there in 15 minutes and Sierra is waiting for us! Now that is something to be truly grateful for.)
  • Beautiful sunsets as we drive through Maryland

It doesn't matter what color you choose, ranging from gray to brilliant orange, 
embrace the hue and let it make your heart sing.

Listen to a lively, feel-good song, Grateful
and let the upbeat message stir you.

Day 23 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge

Friday, March 22, 2019

March Musings '19: In the Middle of Night & Giveaway

Have you ever thought about what happens in the middle of the night after you go to sleep? Well, my poet friend, Laura Purdie Salas has. In her imaginative picture book, inanimate objects decide it's time to play when their humans go to sleep. Join me as I take you on a quick trip through Laura's fantastic flight of fantasy. Welcome to the last day of her latest book's Blog Tour

For several weeks, I have been waiting to present IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT to my reading audience. If you have not visited one of the spots on the tour (see below), then I invite you to take a seat and hold on for a fascinating flight of fantasy. If you have traveled to some of the Blog Tour spots, then you already know what an amazing book this is to read to toddlers before bedtime or to older children in school. Even adults will enjoy this madcap adventure of inanimate objects.  

Through twenty-six imaginative poems, Laura captures the after-dark adventures of household objects who want to enjoy life as much as their humans. Illustrator Angela Matteson brings inanimate objects to life in vivid illustrations with creative flair. There is movement as their stories are revealed. Some objects even spin and show emotions. 

After Hours (excerpt)
We wait
we wait
we wait  
for  you to sleep , so we can play!

Did you see the animal in the illustration above sneaking from behind the bed to play or the octopus hiding by the dresser? Angela's illustrations playfully depict toys that are simply waiting for their little boy to go to sleep so they can unwind under the light of the crescent moon.  Unwind they do as Laura spins her tale of animals on the go and Angela has the characters moving, spinning, and rocking to the beat as they prepare a late night talent show.

As the animals unwind, other objects start their own merriment. Laura uses rhyming, repetition, strong verbs, and sound words to lead us into the adventure that sends a paper airplane on a moonlight midnight flight at the same time the lidless markers sound off with their woeful tale. A comb tries to help, a kleenex in the shape of a jellyfish parachute makes a soft landing, and a  whirling baseball cap searches for a new head to fit.

Have I intrigued you with the beginning of Laura's amazing after-dark tale? Well, there is more to this poetry-packed children's book. There's an acrostic poem being told by a perfume atomizer all dressed in pink. Pencils take a plunge and land with a loud thump. A mixing bowl gets mixed up. There's even spaghetti that tries to fit in as sneaker laces. Can you imagine that? Laura even slipped in one of her newest creations, an equation poem told by a rock, "End of day=time to play."

This book may be filled with 26 individual poems but each transitions beautifully to another with a rhythmic beat to build the storyline. Inanimate objects going wild is the end result until morning when their "fun is done."  A two-voice poem concludes the book that shares merriment that goes on after dark.

To extend the reading experience into a writing one, ask children to create their own fantastic journeys after dark using Laura's poems as models. If you travel to Reflections on the Tech and Reading to the Core, you will see poems from Margaret Gibson's class in Louisiana and Catherine Flynn's class in Connecticut. These poems illustrate the creativity and imagination of elementary children. 

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT will not only spark interest in poetry but encourage children to become lifelong readers and writers.  Thank you, Laura for an imaginative tale from a wide-awake house. As I ready for bed, I am wondering what type of after-dark activities will my house engage in. The heating system enjoys making whoosh sounds when it mysteriously turns on in the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes, the alarm goes off with its blaring beep. Let's not forget to continue to nurture our children's creativity and imagination. 

Check out the tweets about IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT at #WideAwakePoems and enjoy reading other posts on the Blog Tour. 

Links to the Blog Tour sites:

3/11               Mile High Reading
3/12               Reflections on the Teche
3/13               A Year of Reading
3/14               Check It Out
3/15               Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
3/17               Great Kid Books
3/18               Simply 7 Interview
3/19               My Juicy Little Universe
3/20               Live Your Poem
3/21               Reading to the Core
3/22               KidLit Frenzy
                      Beyond LiteracyLink

Thank you, Laura and Angela, for such a wonderful, imaginative book geared to readers of all ages. I fell in love with it and am eager to see how my grandbaby will respond. Her library is growing since before birth when Laura sent a signed copy of one of her poetry books for the baby shower.  

To win a copy of In The Middle of the Night from Boyds Mills Press, comment on Laura's book below. Include why you would like to read it. A winner from the U.S. only will be chosen on Sunday, March 24, 2019. I will announce the winner on my blog site and on Twitter.

Today I am celebrating Laura Purdie Salas' book with two writing communities: Poetry Friday and Two Writing Teachers. Rebecca Herzog is hosting Poetry Friday at her blog, Sloth Readswith a nod to Happy Goof-off Day and an original poem. Two Writing Teachers is past the halfway mark for their 12th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge

Poetry Friday

Day 22 of 31 days of writing
March Slice of Life Story Challenge