A TRIBUTE TO MAYA ANGELOU, RIP.


untitled (169)A TRIBUTE TO MAYA ANGELOU by Jackie Wellington

Maya, you no longer have to be a caged bird,
confined in a tiny space,
looking out from behind those bars.

Now, your spirit is set free,
You can glide towards the moon,
sail upon the clouds,
and settle in your new home – Heaven.

I became a “Phenomenal Woman”
because you said that’s who I am.
And I believed you.

I shook hands with a “Freedom Fighter”
because you said that’s what I should do.
So I listened.

I stopped “Passing Time,”
stopped existing,
and started living.
(That was your advice to me.)

You told me, there were “Senses of Insecurity.”
“Don’t buy in to the stereotype,” you said when you recited this poem.
At that time, I lack “Communication I, Communication II,” and “Artful Pose.”

Now look at me, standing here in “Remembrance.”
Reminiscing on the life of an author, motivator, poet, actress, human rights activist, an abolitionist of mental slavery, and a wonderful human being.

You have left your imprint on the future of our nation.
The little boys and girls of all races, cultures, and ethnicities.
You will join your brothers – Martin, Marcus, Malcolm, and Mandela.
And your sisters – Rosa, Harriett, Sojourner and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Thanks for impacting my life.
Thanks for motivating me to be something bigger and better.
And thanks for being you.
Rest In Peace, Maya Angelou.

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F IS FOR FALLING ACTION (IN BOOKS AND STORIES)


F IS FOR FALLING ACTION.

falling action What is it? FALLING ACTION is the part in the book or story where the problem or conflict is solved.

So say for instance, you’re writing a book or a story. You start off by introducing the character, setting, and conflict. This is the “exposition” part of the book. fall It is the background information you use to set up your story. After you do that very cleverly I might add, you embark on the “rising action”. Think of this as you are climbing a hill. The exposition is the foot of the hill. That is where you start. You are telling us why you are climbing that hill. You are telling us who you are and the motivation for this climb. You painted a scene of the setting – where the hill is located.

falling aNow we are at the “rising action”. This is the route to the main problem or conflict. You are building us up for the most important point -THE CLIMAX. The rising action is important. This is where I learn what happens…the events leading to what happen…and why the character chooses this route.

So now, go find a quiet area and create an exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action. Remember, you can not get to the falling action without exposition, rising action, and climax. quote

March Madness Poetry 2014 (#MMPOETRY 2014)


MMPoetry2014_logo_full (2) I am back!!! And I am doing another challenge. This one is tied to poetry.

It is the March Madness Poetry Competition 2014. Here are the details.

“How does #MMPoetry work, exactly?

The tournament is organized into four separate brackets of 16 poets (also known as “authletes”). In the NCAA tournament, teams are seeded based on their performance over the season. In this tournament, however, seeds have nothing to do with an authlete’s credentials — instead, seeds reflect the difficulty of writing kid-appropriate poems using certain words. Seemingly impossible-to-use words like “bifurcate”, “meretricious”, and “denuded” are given poor seeds, while more intuitive words like “decent”, “awry”, and “topical” are given very good seeds.

In each round, two words of opposing difficulty face each other in a prompted poem pairing (e.g., 14-denuded vs. 3-topical). But that’s only half of the madness — the other half? Poets are only given 36 hours to compose their poems! Fans then vote for their favorites, and winners move on to write again the next day! (LITERALLY: THE NEXT DAY.)

64 authletes become 32, then 16, then eight, then four, then two, and then ultimately one is crowned the March Madness Poetry Champion. He/she is awarded one year possession of The Thinkier trophy, named after #MMPoetry2012 authlete Allan Wolf’s uncannily creative use of the 15-seed word “kinkier” in his first round poem that year.

In 2014, we’re bringing the event even closer to kids and schools. Teachers, librarians, and home school families can now serve as official voting classrooms and earn a chance to win the ultimate poetry grand prize: a bookshelf of 50 (FIFTY!) new kids’ poetry books for their class! (Shelf not included.)

#MMPoetry 2014 kicks off with the unveiling of this year’s bracket on Selection Sunday — March 2, 2014.

The first words will be assigned on Monday, March 17th, and the first poems will be up for vote on Wednesday afternoon, March 19th.”

I am in the group with Jane Yolen. I am so stoke. I am going up against a poet, Chief Poet, Mother Streusel. I am looking forward to this challenge. As you know, I love a good challenge. Wish me luck.

2014 FOOD FIGHT CHALLENGE ~ Final Product


2014 FOOD FIGHT CHALLENGE

Food Fight 2014This is a compilation of many writers. I start the story. They chimed in and added words, phrases, sentences, etc. to push the plot forward.

THIS IS OUR STORY : MCDONALD’S MAYHEM

I didn’t even want to go, but Momma made me.

I strolled towards the neighborhood McDonald’s lagging behind Momma and my little sister, Precious.

“You better get up here,” said Precious, grabbing my hand and pulling me forward.

“Leave me alone,” I yelled, snatching my arm away. “I aine wanna come no way.”

Momma glanced in my direction. She didn’t have to say what she was thinking because the look on her face said it all.

I continued to lag behind when I heard, “You betta get yo’ narrow behine up here and stop sulking. I’m not leaving a nine year old at home by ‘imself.”

I walked faster, catching up to them. If you knew Momma, you would know that you didn’t want her to act “ethnic”; especially in public.

The McDonald’s was busy as usual. Thanks to the neighborhood high school kids who used it as their hang-out spot. Stepping through the door, the smell of french fries permeated the air and now I couldn’t wait to get something to eat. I noticed Ebony Gray moving from table to table taking selfies with her friends.

She is so beautiful, I thought. Her big brown eyes, high cheekbone, and dark complexion caught my attention. Because of her, I was secretly thanking Momma for making me come along.

Ebony noticed me noticing her. She smiled, waved, and gestured for me to join her. Approaching the table, my left leg crossed my right leg. I fell.

Daniel Grayson, the high school quarterback, tripped over me as he carried a tray filled with soda and French fries.

He jumped up. “Hey, you spilled my soda.”

“I’m so sorry,” I said, peeling myself off the floor. “It was an accident.”

“That mess aine gonna clean itself,” Momma bellowed, after witnessing the whole debacle. “Clean it up and get over here.”

As I began to wipe the floor, I heard, “SPLAT.” Then I heard DRIP-DRIP-DRIP.
Daniel Grayson returned with a vengeance and I was the target. He dumped extra-large cups of soda all over me. I felt like I was standing in the bathtub taking a shower as soda ran down my body. I was drenched.

I grabbed a soda from a nearby table tossing it at him. He ducked. Ebony Grayson stood. Her white sweater was brown with Coke splash marks all over the front.

“Food Fight,” she shouted.

Ebony tossed her tray in the next booth grabbing a hand full of ketchup packets. She threw ‘em down fast and STOMP! Skweeee! SPLAT! All over sweet little Precious’ face! Oh, boy! Did she look funny! But Momma did not!

The soda and the ketchup, they were sticky, but not nearly as sticky as the ice cream I squished into Ebony’s face. SPLURT!

I thought Momma was gonna let loose on me, but she just winked, grabbed Precious’ hand and they both SQEESH SQUASHED through the ketchup puddles and into the restroom.

Momma was hot. Thirty-eight hot. Hotter than Catfish CRACKLE-CRACKLE-CRACKLE in the deep fryer.

“Boy,” said Momma, “I’m so mad right now! I could just WHACK you upside yo’ head.”

“Why dinya SPLISH that ice cream on the boy that started this mess?” I looked across at him.

He was brewing with anger. I scanned the room as I tried to find Precious. I see her.

“BWAH-BWAH-BWAH,” Precious bellowed.

“NO!!! Not the syrup packets!” The employees were involved now, grabbing and flinging anything they could get hold of. SPLAT! The manager caught it in the side of her head.

It was then that Daniel jumped on the booth. As soon as his eyes found me, he raced over and SHHHLLLOOOOMP. He dumped his milkshake on my head.

My first instinct was to give him one good WHACK! And I wanted to. But Momma hates for me to cut up in public. She would say, “If you ever think about embarrassing me in front of folks, think again! You know ain’t nobody there to call Child Protective Services when you get home.” So I…

…Grabbed the soda nozzle and SPRIZZED everyone in sight.

“People, people, may I have your attention?” They all looked at the manager and…

…SCREEEEEECHED to a stop. She placed a mop, broom, dust pan, and bucket in the middle of the floor. She gestured for everyone to start cleaning. Momma mopped. Daniel dusted. Ebony swept. And Precious and I worked as a team – she filled the bucket and I carried it.

Everything was well until, I forgot to put the “wet floor” sign down. Out of nowhere, a customer came out of the bathroom and slid. But before she could hit the floor, Daniel and I were there to break her fall.

“You two are some fine young man,” she said. “You just save me another hip replacement. For that, Soda and French fries for everybody. On Me!”

Everyone cheered. Daniel apologized. Ebony asked if she could text me. And Momma and Precious, they were still mad… until they got their French Fries and soda.

New Challenge ~ FOOD FIGHT CHALLENGE 2014


Food Fight 2014
FOOD FIGHT CHALLENGE ENTRY 2014

I didn’t even want to go, but Momma made me.

I strolled towards the neighborhood McDonald’s lagging behind Momma and my little sister, Precious.

“You better get up here,” said Precious grabbing my hand and pulling me forward.

“Leave me alone,” I yelled, snatching my arm away. “I aine wanna come no way.”

Momma glanced in my direction. She didn’t have to say what she was thinking because the look on her face said it all.

I continued to lag behind when I heard, “You betta get yo’ narrow behine up here and stop sulking. I’m not leaving a nine year old at home by ‘imself.”

I walked faster, catching up to her and Precious. If you knew Momma, you would know that you didn’t want her to act “ethnic”; especially in public.

The McDonald’s was busy as usual. Thanks to the neighborhood high school kids who used it as their hang-out spot. Stepping through the door, the smell of french fries permeated the air and now I couldn’t wait to get something to eat. I noticed Ebony Gray moving from table to table taking selfies with her friends. She is so beautiful, I thought. Her big brown eyes, high cheekbone, and dark complexion caught my attention. Because of her, I was secretly thanking Momma for making me come along.

Ebony noticed me noticing her. She smiled, waved, and gestured for me to join her. Approaching the table, my left leg crossed my right leg. I fell. Daniel Grayson, the high school quarterback, tripped over me as he carried a tray filled with soda and french fries.

He jumped up. “Hey, you spilled my soda.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said, peeling myself off the floor. “It was an accident.”

“That mess aine gonna clean itself,” Momma bellowed, after witnessing the whole debacle. “Clean it up and get over here.”
As I began to wipe the floor, I heard, “SPLAT.” Then I heard drip-drip-drip. Daniel Grayson returned with a vengeance and I was the target.

He dumped extra large cups of soda all over me. I felt like I was standing in the bathtub taking a shower as soda ran down my body. I was drenched.

I grabbed a soda from a nearby table tossing it at him. He ducked. Ebony Grayson stood. Her white sweater was brown with Coke splash marks all over the front.

“Food Fight,” she shouted.

90 Picture Books in 14 Days


The 14:14 Picture Book Challenge is over and Christie Wild compiled the links, books, and elements in one big post. You may find them all at the link below.

http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2014/02/pb-1414-in-2014-list-and-few-winners.html

And here is THE LIST of the Top 10 Story Elements for Picture Books with all the books we have featured during the last 2 weeks. All books on this list have been published within the last 10 years, from 2004 to 2014. Only one book was reviewed twice and both times it was for character, so that’s why it’s listed twice (two separate links). Enjoy and visit often!

#1: CHARACTER
•The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
•Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
•Riley and the Grumpy Wombat: A journey around Melbourne by Tania McCartney
•I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black
•Maya Was Grumpy by Courtney Pippin-Mathur
•Lightship by Brian Floca
•THANK YOU BEAR by Greg Foley
•Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
•I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black
•Character by Linda White
•Insect Detective by Steve Voake
•Of Thee I Sing, A Letter to My Daughters by Barak Obama
•Joone by Emily Kate Moon
•Sophie and the Sea Monster by Don Gillmor

#2: CONFLICT
•Bears On Chairs by Shirley Parenteau
•Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
•The Taxing Case of the Cows by Rynbach by Iris Van Rynback & Pegi Deitz Shea
•Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems
•I Hate Picture Books by Timothy Young
•The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton
•Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

#3: PLOT
•Precious and the Boo Hag by Patricia C. McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss
•Love Monster by Rachel Bright
•Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet
•NOT IN ROOM 204 by Shannon Riggs (also THEME)
•The Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base

#4: DIALOGUE
•Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
•THANK YOU BEAR by Greg Foley
•Oh! What a Surprise! by Suzanne Bloom
•An Aussie Year by Tania McCartney
•The Pocket Mommy by Rachel Eugster
•Faucet Fish by Fay Robinson
•SATCHEL PAIGE, Don’t Look Back by David A. Adler
•Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
•Puffling by Margaret Wild
•ABE’S HONEST WORDS by Doreen Rappaport

#5: THEME
•Penduli by Janell Cannon
•The City by Armin Greder
•Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt
•The Way I Love You by David Bedford and Ann James
•Kangaroo and Crocodile: My Big Book of Australian Animals by Bronwyn Bancroft
•Look, A Book! by Libby Gleeson
•Fox & Squirrel by Ruth Ohi
•The Island by Armin Greder
•Cub’s Big World by Sarah Thomson
•Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheau Nelson
•The Goblin and the Empty Chair by Mem Fox

#6: PACING
•Prairie Storms by Darcy Pattison
•Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell
•Baby Penguins Everywhere! by Melissa Guion
•Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
•Big Bad Bunny by Franny Billingsley

#7: WORD PLAY
•MOSES: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
•Lucia and the Light by Phyllis Root
•Stars Beneath Your Bed by April Pulley Sayre
•Cock-A-Doodle Dance! by Christine Tricarico
•Moonlight by Helen Griffith
•Surfer Chick by Kristy Dempsey

#8: PATTERNS
•The Monstore by Tara Lazar
•Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
•My Very Own Alphabet Book by Wendy Coyle
•I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman Orloff
•The House That George Built by Suzanne Slade
•Down the Drain! by Robert Munsch
•Martina The Beautiful Cockroach by Carmen Agra Deedy
•Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis
•Wombat Went ‘A Walking by Lachlan Creagh
•The Wolves are Back by Jean C. George
•I Am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems
•The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst

#9: RHYME
•The Butt Book by Artie Bennett
•I and You and Don’t Forget Who: What Is a Pronoun? by Brian P. Cleary
•Iron Horses by Verla Kay
•Tadpole Rex by Kurt Cyrus
•Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows
•Rough, Tough Charley by Verla Kay
•All Aboard the Dinotrain by Deb Lund
•Cock-A-Doodle Dance! by Christine Tricarico
•Surfer Chick by Kristy Dempsey
•Vulture View by April Pulley Sayre
•Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit by Chris Van Dusen
•Ode to Underwear by Helaine Becker

#10: BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS
•Spinifex Mouse by Norma McDonald
•Small, Medium & Large by Jane Monroe Donovan
•ABE LINCOLN: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters
•Desert Baths by Darcy Pattison
•The Sandcastle Contest by Robert Munsch
•Good Luck Bear by Greg Foley
•Wolf Camp by Katie McKay

And that’s the monster list of mentor texts we all came up with together for studying the top 10 story elements of picture books for 2014. Enjoy! And continue to share the love. I’ll be doing a Top 10 Element each month on the 14th from here on out.

14:14 ROSA ~ Black History Month


imagesCA8YZRV0rosa 114:14 Picture Book Challenge Day 11 Christie Wright Wild

rosaTITLE: ROSA
Author: Nikki Giovanni
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc
Year:2007 (First edition 2005)
Word Count: 1599-words
Type: Non-Fiction

Summary: This picture book is an account of Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, and the subsequent bus boycott by the black community. This book could touch on many elements. But for me, it encompasses the element of plot and dialogue. I choose to focus on the latter.

I did not want to read this book. Not because I didn’t think it was great; but I am writing a picture book (WILLO WALKED THE WALK) about a little girl who walked during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The story is told from the perspective of a six-year old girl named Willo. When I am writing about a certain subject, I research for months (newspaper, nonfiction books, internet, people, etc.) and take notes. Then I stay away from anything relating to my subject for three months before sitting down to write. This is to make sure none of the writers’ “styles” are stored in my brain. This will allow me to write my “voice” and no one else’s.

But when Kathy Halsey, a Grogger and FB friend, asked me if I have read this book (after reading my manuscript) I immediately ordered the book. My book is not about Rosa Parks. It is about the Montgomery Bus Boycott. But again, we cannot talk about the Boycott and not talk about Rosa; so I get it.

I read this book twice. Once, just to analyze the structure. And another to find the conflict of the text. (I know you are all thinking, “I know what the conflict was back then.”) But I am talking about the conflict in the book.

Literary Conflict is broken down in four categories.
1. Man-versus-man (Character versus another character)
2. Man-versus-society (Character versus people, standards, law, the “masses”)
3. Man-versus-nature (Character versus natural elements – blizzards, tornado, rain, earthquake, etc.)
4. Man-versus-self (Charater versus their own thoughts and dilemma. What should the character do?)

This book touched on all four categories.
1. Man-versus-man
The first conflict was Rosa-versus-bus driver.
While Rosa was daydreaming, the bus driver instructed the “colored” folks to give up their seats.
“I said give me those seats!” the bus driver (James Blake) bellowed. “You better make it wasy on yourself. I’m going to call the police.”
“Do what you must,” Mrs. Parks quietly replied.

This conflict is classic. It is Mrs. Park and the bus driver in a boxing match. Their gloves were words. Round for round. Punch for punch. Jab for jab.

2. Man-versus-society
The societal conflict encompasses many – Jim Crow, Segregation, Treatments of blacks.
But I want to share the conflict on the bus.
When Rosa wouldn’t budge, some of the white people were saying aloud, “She ought to be arrested. Take her off this bus.”

This showed the sign of the times. Words are indeed more powerful than a gun or sword in hand. It showed how people were comfortable voicing their opinions out loud without fear of consequences.

3. Man-versus-nature
Mother nature did not want to miss the historical event that was going on in Montgomery, Alabama from 1955-1956. So she packed her bags, rolled into the city, and wore all her favorite dresses – rain, heat, cold, and occasional sunshine for the springtime.

My favorite paragraph exhibiting this is written as:

“And the people walked.
They walked in the rain.
They walked in the hot sun.
They walked early in the morning.
They walked late at night.
They walked at Christmas, and they walked at Easter.
They walked on the fourth of July; they walked on Labor Day.
They walked on Thanksgiving, and then it was almost Christmas again.
They still walked.”

This was written as a paragraph in the book. But when I read it, it read as poetry to me. So I broke it down in poetic form. But this is still the author’s words.

4. Man-versus-self
There are instances in the book where Rosa battled with her inner self. Especially, what it was doing to her husband,Mr. Parks who was a barber at the Air force base. But it was obvious why Rosa stood up on Thursday December 1, 1955. It was because she was tired. Not just tired from working all day. But tired of injustices against those who are not long-haired and blue-eyed. Those whose skin are brown like the soil that buries the seeds planted by hands. She was tired of being looked down upon, talked down to, and treated like second-class citizen.

And I will close this post with the words of the Honorable Dr. Martin Luther King, “We will walk until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

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