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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rolling Toward Publication Date!

In the course of one week I have filled out four different interviews and I am now being interviewed on two different blogs. As the time gets shorter until my book comes out it seems that I am doing more and more online. It feels like it's building to a giant crescendo which will turn into a marathon in September when we have our MG/YA Blog Fest.  Here are the places where you can find my interviews and posts:

Linda Barnett-Johnson Editing and Virtual Assistance


On Linda's blog you can find out even more about me that you didn't know. On Downtown YA done by Sandra Cox, I have a post about the inspiration for my novel.

In the middle of all of this I also prepared for an interview in October and I am keeping track of the voting on the prompts for PA Friends, a group I am a member of on Facebook. PA Friends are poets and that is my second writing love. We are in the middle of putting together an anthology of all the awesome poems all of us have written for the website Poetic Asides and we have voted on ten prompts to place in the anthology. I am honored to be in the company of these poets and I hope to be able to bring some more about this anthology to your attention. We are very new at doing all of this, but that is what is making it so exciting. We call ourselves The Anthologists.  The PA community has primarily been one of sharing and artistic endeavor.  We have placed our poems side by side for years and the group we formed is one that has bonded together over shared love of each other's poems. it's a group formed from love of poetry and I'm hoping that soon I will be able to bring you the completed anthology. Meanwhile I will try to introduce you to some of the poems of this group with their permission. :) Actually, I have added some of their websites to the Blogs I Follow on the sidebar. So you might want to browse those.

Here are the poems I wrote for last week's Wednesday prompt:

Write a poem about the beginning of school:

Teaching Revisited

School for me was the scent of blackboard chalk dust
which settled on my clothes like drops of rain might
after a long day of cramming information and values
into the heads of vacant eyed students who would
rather be doing anything else but sitting in a hard
wooden chair listening to me talk about long division
or verbs

Their locked heads faced me with derision
Dared me to unlock the TV soaked part that
only responded to the slight bump of the familiar
when they slit open like a clam and you could
squeeze in a few nuggets until they snapped closed

School loomed each summer like a monster
waiting to devour me with its useless trivia
The hordes of students awaiting me caused
terror as if I were facing an angry crowd and
not the untried brains of the very young

School was my dragon
and each year I arrived with plan book and
decorated classroom to slay the disinterest
and lack of concentration and finally be victorious
Finally be the one to open these empty minds
to the joy I had found at their age
to the yearning for more – the insatiable unending
desire to learn.
copyright 2011 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Perfect Teacher

Her stern look quieted the children
As they sat in tight rows hands clasped
tight – so tight the knuckles were red
They sat awaiting her commands
Quiet enough to hear the random sounds
in the classroom
The on and off of the heat and the hum of the
not quite broken fluorescent light above one of
their heads.

She ordered they listened
I watched mesmerized by the obedience
I longed to see from my own class
For I was not like this perfect teacher
and allowed the expression of their childish
wonder and excitement
Allowed the chatter during writing when they shared

Instead of seeing the neat rows of children their
hands clasped tight
my students whispered and moved their eyes around
the room
roving to the window and beyond riding on their imagination
and I rode behind them hoping to guide their paths
Not the perfect teacher.
copyright 2011 by Barbara Ehrentreu

For anyone who didn't get a chance to attend the Live Book Reading webinar last Sunday we are making it available in archives. You can hear and see me on this webinar. I am the first to read after the Introduction. Many thanks to Talitha K. McEeachin  who put this all together and to Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor for all his support. We will be reading again next Sunday and I will be choosing another excerpt to read.  I hope you can join us then. Meanwhile, here is the link to the recording:

Until the next time, thank you to all of my followers and also, hello to any new friends on Facebook who might have wandered over here. I have been so busy that I can't say Hi to everyone, but I am very happy to know all of you!! My guests must be on vacation, but I am planning to bring you more authors during the next week.


  1. I love the two poems you shared here. They really capture the teaching mindset where you want to help your students but they resist you every step of way.

  2. Thank you, Marlena and thanks for visiting.:) Glad you liked the poems. I'm glad to be retired.:)

  3. Dear Barbara... First of all great use of language ... the 'dragon' image was paragon. You absolutely captured the sense of you that we could not otherwise know in the classroom... Beautifully done!

    Secondly THANK YOU so very much for the sweet, supportive comment about our evolving anthology over at The Anthologists ... our band of poets who met at the original Poetic Asides site...and decided to first become "friends" on FB and then to become members of a small FB group. Some of this group from the much larger Poetic Asides community (which incidentally, I do agree has been a wonderful site with a familial feel)... Some of this group, as you well know (!) have been writing, reading commenting on each others work (sometimes) daily for years.... It is a joy to be working with everyone.. and moreover... it simply fills my heart to see that a cooperative, collective endeavor is not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable and easily accomplished (at least up until this point!!!) .... We have someone who volunteered to create from a wonderful on-line survey tool a customized method of voting (Paula Wanken)... we have others who jumped in to assist Paula in researching the precise wording of prompts (Amy Barlow Liberatore, Michelle Hed, Linda Hoeke)... the list just goes on and on... In fact, the one problem that I have noticed time and again is that some of the group are concerned that they are "not participating." If we could somehow spread this sense of focus and cooperation to the larger community we would all be in terrific shape. Thanks again Barbara for the mention of the evolving anthology and of course your participation and poetic friendship throughout the years!

  4. Thank you for visiting, Pearl and for your explanation of the anthology. I appreciate your letting my readers know the history of it:)

    Also, as always, thank you for your wonderful comment on my poetry:) I am very happy you enjoyed reading them.

  5. I loved the poem, Barbara. Very descriptive. I could picture those little darlings sitting their with their hands clasped tightly. It was an image I remember from my school years.

  6. Thank you for visiting, Roseanne! I always felt that way myself that I had to sit with my hands clasped for certain teachers. It erases all creativity!!! Glad you loved it.


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