Many people start a new year with resolutions--usually ways to change their behavior. I start my new year with a behavior designed to hold unchanged my resolve to remain a writer. That's why when January rolls around, I'm signed on and ready to Storystorm.
Storystorm is the brain child of Tara Lazar, writer of many marvelous books for children including 7 ATE 9 and NORMAL NORMAN. The idea is simple: each day in January you try to come up with at least one story idea, thereby collecting at least 30 ideas by month's end, each of which may or may not germinate into a full picture book manuscript. There are even daily posts from other writers and illustrators meant to encourage and inspire your idea gathering. As I said, simple, right?
Not this year. I'm behind on reading those inspiring posts and if my ideas come any slower, I'm considering hiring snails to hurry them along. Has my idea mojo moved to a new neighborhood? Is my muse still hung over from the holidays? Did someone spit on the spark that fueled my imagination?
Who knows. But I'm sticking to my behavior. The ideas may be coming slowly, but they are coming. And if I don't have 30 by month's end, I have plans to enter the Writer's Protection Program. No one is going to snuff me out for not coming up with the goods.
I recently came across
an intriguing picture book written by Nikki Grimes called “The Watcher.” It is written
in a poetic form known as the golden shovel. This form was created by Terrance
Hayes who wrote his poem “The Golden Shovel” as a tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks’s
“We Real Cool.” Grimes’s poem, a 2-voice dialogue about classroom bullying, was
inspired by Psalm 121. You can learn more here:
·Each word in the lines
you’ve chosen becomes the end word in the lines of your poem.
·The end words must be
kept in order.
·Be sure to credit the original
poem and poet of your inspiration
·Your new poem and it’s
inspiration don’t have to be about the same subject
Always up for a challenge, I decided to try
creating my own golden shovel poem. And since we are fast approaching
Thanksgiving, I chose as my inspiration an old childhood prayer familiar to