Y’know…I should write my post titles in rhyme more often. (ha!)
You see, I’m very excited to share with you all the fun things that have been happening around here lately, and when I get excited, I speak in rhyme – not now and then, but all the time! What to share first? A photo? Reviews? #FirstDraftFriday? It’s hard to choose!
Ok, I’d better stop before this gets out of hand.
I’m sure, as a reader, you understand.
As I was saying, there’s a whole lot of news to share today, so let’s get to it!
First off, I’d like to thank Hollie Wolverton for inviting me to chat with her for #FirstDraftFriday, a regular feature at her blog. For #FirstDraftFriday, Hollie likes to talk to authors about their books – but specifically how their manuscript’s first draft came about and their process for completing it, polishing it, and publishing it.
I’m so honored that Hollie asked me about the story behind A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human (Beaming Books, 2022)! She asked me about how the book came to be, how I went about working on revisions, and tips on getting through the first draft – which, honestly, is the hardest part sometimes. But as the saying goes, you can’t edit an empty page, so finish up that first draft and then get revising!
(And if you visit her #FirstDraftFriday blog post today, you could win a manuscript critique from little, loveable me!)
“Beginner’s Guide” at the library
My first creative nonfiction book (from the publishers of Once Upon Another Time) introduces concepts like kindness, empathy, and self-control and will officially be in bookstores everywhere Oct. 18.
But as I mentioned last week, some stores are getting their copies early and putting them out on the shelves immediately – which is wonderful! Any opportunity for readers to see the book and flip through it is an opportunity I’m happy to offer.
Another place that just received their copy of Beginner’s Guide is our local library, and it was so nice to see it standing proudly among all the other new books on display. Apparently, the librarian had just put it up a few moments before I walked in the door, so that’s what I call perfect timing.
“Flashlight Night” in Encyclopedia Brittanica??
Well, Brittanica’s website, at least! Before I get to today’s poem, I have to tell you how flabbergasted I was to discover that my debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was included on Encyclopedia Brittanica’s list of “11 Children’s Books that Inspire Imagination.”
Wow! And what a list, too, with famous, award-winning titles from folks like Dan Santat, Julie Fogliano, and Andrea Beaty. It’s quite an honor, and I’m still flying high.
A ‘forgiveness’ nonet
I was recently reading Irene Latham’s poetry collection Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems (Charlesbridge, 2020) so the nonet form was fresh in my mind when I began thinking about what to write for today’s post. (Learn more about the form at Irene’s link)
As I looked through the pages of A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human for inspiration, one spread jumped out at me; of a father apologizing to his son. When I wrote the book, I felt it was important to show an adult asking for forgiveness rather than a child, and my editors agreed…
Children are always the ones having to say “sorry,” and I thought it was about time to show that we parents mess up sometimes, too. We’re not as infallible as we like to think, and we need to fess up.
So with that in mind, I wrote this nonet:
may not seem
like a big deal,
but to the other –
the child whose eyes rain tears –
it could mean everything.
Set aside your parental pride
and ask for the forgiveness you need.
– ©2022 Matt Forrest Esenwine
I hope you like it! And I hope you’ll check out A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human, too. Sarah Grace Tuttle is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, where she is sharing her process for writing metrical verse. For those unfamilair with meter, iambs, and syllable counts, it’s a great primer!
Next week, the roundup arrives HERE – and I’ll be celebrating with more Beginner’s Guide news, our first reviews, and a whole bunch of poetry. Be sure to stop by Oct. 12!
I’m very proud to be a First Round Panelist for the Poetry Category this year!
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN
(Beaming Books, Oct. 2022)
Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of my latest picture book, I AM TODAY (POW! Kids Books),
or ANY of my books from my local independent bookstore!
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I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.
Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!
Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)
Thank you to everyone for your support!
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Books!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
- Finalist, 2019 New Hampshire Literary Awards
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness!
DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR:
- “Rollicking rhyme!” – Booklist
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