Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Answers, The Third (Writing)

Adam Heine (who happens to have a great contest going this week) asked, "What's your publishing career goal (even if "career" is in quotes :-)?"

I'd like it to be a career. I can't think of any career that would be as much fun as writing and talking to kids about writing and books. I have a lot of little goals, but they're pretty scattered. I like to write poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, mostly for children. Whether or not I'm successful in getting my fiction published, it's fun to find my poetry in my favorite magazine in the children's section at our library.

Sharon K. Mayhew asked, "What was your first publication? and when?"

My first publication was a newspaper article when I was in high school, but I couldn't tell you the title or when it was published. I was too busy to keep track of them. My first children's poem "The Letter S," was published in September of 2007. It was Highlights High Five's first year, and I've had a poem in there every year since.

Catherine Denton asked, "Could you share one of your children's poems with us? (tips would be nice too)"

I shared my most recent publication, "A Place on My Bed," in this post.

My tip would be to anchor your poetry in concrete images and let your readers supply the emotion. One of the things I like about this poem is that while the O shape is concrete, readers are going to come up with their own interpretations of what it's opening into and what kind of treasure is inside. I loved the illustration for this one in Highlights.

Sue asked, "When did you first start writing...and what form did your early efforts take?"

I remember receiving and writing notes in class as early as first grade. Some of those notes, especially in second grade, may or may not have been written to a certain boy. I also used to make up games that were ongoing stories and play them with my friends. It wasn't writing, but it stretched my mind in the same direction.

Thank you for your questions! I'll wrap up the Q & A with my answers to your blogging questions in a few days. Have a great week!

*I took down "The Letter O" and the bit about my professor. Thanks for your positive comments!


  1. It's cool that you enjoy what you've got. Hope you meet all your little, scattered goals (and some big ones too).

  2. Excellent poetry advice, Myrna. I like "The Letter O," too:)

  3. I LOVE "The Letter O!"


    PS. And thanks for answering my question...

  4. Myrna, the Letter O is just adorable!

    (Did you do one fore every letter of the alphabet? If so, that would be an awesome picture book....)

  5. Thanks, Adam! I hope we both do.

    Thank you, Krista!

    You're welcome, Sue! And it makes me happy that such a fine poet likes my wee alphabet poem.

    Thank you, Shelley! I don't have a poem for every letter yet, but that's what my first editor at Highlights said. I should finish them up. :o)

  6. Loved learning more about you. :o) And your letter O poem is one of my favs of yours too!

  7. I love your letter O poem - of course your not-so-old professor liked it!

  8. Thanks, Jackee and Susan! I should have called him my former professor. I took his poetry class five years ago.