Friday, January 13, 2017

Poetry Friday

Small Things Help Too

Today I fed the birds.
Sometimes the world can feel
like one horrible ball of pain.
If you're like me, you ask yourself,
what can I do?
What can I possibly do?
Some days we find big things to do.
Serve the needy.
Feed the hungry.
Give to a good cause.
As I watched the birds scamper
around the yard, eating the seeds,
my heart rate slowed,
my brain calmed
and for a moment, 
the world 
felt peaceful.
It wasn't a big thing.
Not even close.
But the change 
in my world
There's always
something we can do,
isn't there?
Today I fed the birds.
And today the birds fed me.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Is writing hard?

I'm sitting here by the fire watching the snow fall while reading a book I received for Christmas called IF YOU WANT TO WRITE: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Euland.

The description for the book online starts out like this: "For most, the hardest part of writing is overcoming the mountain self-denial that weighs upon the spirit, always threatening to extinguish those first small embers of ambition."

On Thursday, I actually had someone ask me, "Is it hard?"
"What?" I replied, wanting to make sure I understood exactly what she was asking.
"Writing a book. Is it hard?"

It's a complicated one, that question.

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.
Sometimes the words flow, sometimes they don't.
Sometimes characters talk and talk and talk, sometimes they don't.
Sometimes your inner critic stays nice and quiet and sometimes she YELLS IN YOUR EAR.
Sometimes it doesn't matter that there is laundry to do and floors to mop while other times it is impossible to write a single word unless the house is spotless.
Sometimes social media isn't a distraction while most days it is impossible to stay off of it for longer than ten minutes.
Sometimes it is as joyful as walking through a field of tulips and sometimes it is as painful as going to the dentist to have a cavity filled.

So why do we do it if sometimes it is hard, or even painful? If sometimes the business side of publishing hurts so, so badly?

In IF YOU WANT TO WRITE, she speaks about a letter van Gogh wrote about the creative impulse.

"But the moment I read van Gogh's letter I knew what the creative impulse was. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way you try to show this beauty to others..."

Whenever I talk to kids in Skype visits or in-person school visits, I often get the question - why do you write? The desire to write comes from a place of love and enthusiasm, just as this author says. A love of stories. A love of books. A love of words. And a desire to share that love with the world.

Yes, sometimes writing is hard. But as the coach says in that wonderful film "A League of Their Own," that's what makes it great.

Friday, December 30, 2016

My new year's wish for you

Let us read voraciously.
Let us read widely.
Let us read because it allows us to visit new places.
Let us read to better understand the world and the people in it.
Let us read to grow empathy in our hearts and minds. 
Let us read for comfort.
Let us read for pleasure.
Let us read for the beauty of the written word.
Let us read for any reason at all.
Please...let us read.
Happy new year!

From Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel

Monday, December 12, 2016

Signed Bookplate Offer

I'd like to offer up personalized/signed bookplates along with a couple of bookmarks to people who are giving one of my books as a gift this year.

To get yours mailed to you, please send an email to lisaschroederbooks (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject: HOLIDAY OFFER. In the body of the email, please tell me the first name of the person getting the gift so I can personalize the bookplate, along with a mailing address of where I should send the goodies. This offer is good until Monday, December 19th!!

Happy Holidays!!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Holiday Entertainment

My friend and writer-extraordinaire Sonia Gensler has compiled an awesome list of holiday-themed fiction. You can check it out HERE

I'm hoping to read the YA novel THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH AND LILY by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn sometime this month, as I really loved DASH AND LILY'S BOOK OF DARES.

LET IT SNOW, also YA, by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle is probably my favorite of the ones she listed that I've read.

I've been thinking about favorite Christmas movies and my favorites are pretty unconventional. In other words, weird. But you know, we like what we like and we should never apologize for that. So in case you don't want to watch It's a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time, here are a couple I love to watch every year.

The first is a class. A classic romantic comedy that I just adore so, so much in all of its black-and-white charm. "The Shop Around the Corner" takes place during the depression and stars Margarat Sullivan and Jimmy Stewart.

Favorite Quote: "The boss hands you the envelope. You wonder how much is in it, and you don't want to open it. As long as the envelope's closed, you're a millionaire."

Next this funny and heart-warming film that probably shouldn't work but really does so perfectly, thanks to spot-on writing and Michael Caine's brilliant acting.

Favorite Quote: "Light the lamp, not the rat!"

We have lots of snow and ice here and more coming next week, so I'll be doing a lot of reading and movie watching I suspect. Hope you can take the time to do the same!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Meditating with Poetry

I find poetry soothing. Especially poetry that has been around a long, long time. There is something about reading words written long ago that have stood the test of time that I find comforting. I was sharing these thoughts with a writing friend the other day, telling her how sometimes I'll take a little break and pull a poetry book off my bookshelf and fill myself with the beautiful words for a few minutes. She said, "It's like meditating with poetry."

Yes. That's exactly what it is.

If you'd like to add some poetry meditation into your day, I highly recommend it. Here is one, from one of my favorite poets, Sarah Teasdale, to get you started. Her work is in the public domain.

by Sarah Teasdale

Day, you have bruised and beaten me,
As rain beats down the bright, proud sea,
Beaten my body, bruised my soul,
Left me nothing lovely or whole --
Yes I have wrested a gift from you,
Day that dies in dusky blue:

For suddenly over the factories
I saw a moon in the cloudy seas --
a wisp of beauty all alone
In a world as hard and gray as stone --
Oh who could be bitter and want to die
When a maiden moon wakes up in the sky?