For the first several years of my career I worried about finding perfect ideas. I read where Ted Geisel claimed to go to a certain store and buy them David 2013by the sack full but suspected that he was pulling our legs. Eventually I realized that the idea isn’t the only thing that matters. What a writer brings to the game matters. How could I make my writing strong enough to grab my reader by the collar and lift him into my story before he could shrug it off or reach for a magazine? That’s when I began to sell my work. My most recent storybook was inspired by the problem of getting rid of raccoons in our attic. One before that came from fretting over my spreading bald spot.

Now I believe that successful writers exercise their skills just as swimmers swim for practice or singers vocalize up and down the scales. My blog offers a monthly prompt called Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. I provide one word. That’s it. Poets think about the word until ideas begin to grow. Just about any word will do: dirt, awning, book, stone, song, and word are only a few of dozens that have been posted. The goal is to practice teasing out the stories tucked away in the current month’s word. There is no idea until the poet provides his/her own. This is an exercise but over the years there have been many excellent poems shared by poets in the U.S. and in other countries. Maybe practice makes perfect after all.

Prompt #9:  Use the word FIRST to get you started.  Think about the word until your ideas begin to grow then write a poem or 1-2 paragraphs about what comes to you.


blogger bio iconA Bit About David

David first book in children’s literature, THE BOY WITH A DRUM, debuted in 1969 and sold over 2 million copies.  By 1972, David was receiving national recognition.  He received the Christopher Award for THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES.  Since then David has published 77 books including but certainly not limited to THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS: POEMS; OCEANS: THE VAST, MYSTERIOUS DEEP; VACATION: WE’RE GOING TO THE OCEAN; BUGS: POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS; RFARMERS DOG GOES INTO THE FOREST: RHYMES FOR TWO VOICES; PIRATES AND COWBOYS just to name a few.

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