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Joan Leotta, author, writer, performer, libraries, schools, food cooking, Italian, folklore, teaching
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Category Archives: Children
On Saturday, Aug 19, I read my book, Rosa and the Red Apron to a group of Girl Scouts at the Lowe’s Food in Monkey Junction in Wilmington, NC (Lowe’s obtained permission to use photo on FB) . Thank you, Alexandra , for inviting me!
It was a fun way to spend a morning.
We had such a good time! The girls enjoyed acting out the book with me as I read it. We did not have time to talk much about writing–Lowe’s had arranged a wonderful cookie decorating session for them–yummy!
I am available to speak to scout groups on writing, on cooking, on story performance and speaking! I have some dates left before the end of the year. More open in January and February!
Did you catch my ad on WOW? Or someplace else? If you purchase a copy of any one of my picture books this month, please tell me where you found out about the book, send me a copy of your receipt and I will enter you into a drawing to win one of the other four (my choice of book) in paper or eform (kindle, bn, other) according to the format you purchased.
email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your receipt!
I always hated, and never believed, that old chestnut that teachers are people who cannot actually do what they teach–nonsense! Teachers are those who share with us the technology (so to speak) of the art or craft they have fallen in love with. They want to share with us what they love, share the how-to and the mystery of it.
They become educators when they draw out of us our desires to pursue a field to the limit of our ability, usually thanks to their support, inspiration, and ministrations of technique and method.
As a working journalist, story performer and more I want to share with others what I have learned and to inspire others to follow their dreams in whatever field they desire–esp in
writing and story performance. Yep, I talk and write for audiences. It’s that simple!
This month I have had the opportunity to be a teacher and to share my love of these two modes of communication on Donna Washington’s Blog, in Ruby for Women Magazine (writing only in that one. March starts a three-part series for those who want to get started in writing) and here, on this blog by reminding you that I have two new publications out this month–My children’s book, Rosa’s Shell and my book of poems, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon.
PS Today the literative.com site has one of my writings up as the prose winner of their winter contest!
Do check it out!
I’m happy to come and and talk to your school or group about writing (for adults, for children, poetry) story performance (or to give a story performance!)
Please do contact me and let me know if you would like me to come! Those who do, if they are fortunate enough also share what they know by teaching!
Take a look at this tiny tale!
I’ll be working on it to make it better and larger in the coming months–or do you like it as is? I’d love to have your input!
Gregor the Ghost woke up late afternoon on Halloween, his very favorite day. He would walk along the streets and no one would be afraid! They would think he was just another child in a ghost costume! When the moon was high, he joined the crowds going from house to house for candy.
He noticed a girl dressed as a green and yellow spider all by herself.
“What’s wrong ?”
“No one wants to go with me. They say I’m too scary ”
Gregor laughed.”Spiders don’t scare me.”
Ghost and spider gathered candy together. Neither one scared the other!
It’s not even ten am yet and already I have been hard at work on the computer, but am not yet dressed!
First thing–saw that Silver Birch has posted my poem What we took with us when we moved, as a part of their moving day series–warning, this one is sad.
Here’s a link to the post. Thank you!
Then, I opened my gmail account and there were the page proofs for Summer in a Bowl!!!!
Amazing work by the artist Rebecca Zeissler.
Countdown to publication day of September 30!!!!!!
You can order the book now , pre-order on THEAQLLC, Amazon and BN
Those who pre-order before the launch date of September 30 can email me a copy of the receipt and be in a drawing to win a copy (signed) of the first book in the series, WHOOSH!
There is a recipe in the back of this one and gardening tips
Right now I am in a hold pattern. I am waiting for the illustrator to do her magic, conjuring up the images that will bring my words to life for young readers.
I thought while we were waiting I would answer a question that many people ask of authors–how real is this story?
Like WHOOSH!, this story was inspired by a real afternoon in my life. Yes, there really was an Aunt Mary. Yes, I did watch her make soup from the ingredients in her garden! Yes, I did help her gather those ingredients.
Aunt Mary passed on many years ago. She was the mother of three of my wonderful cousins, John, Diane, and Ernie.
Diane sent me these photos of her Mom to share with you.
Here is the real, wonderful, lovely woman who inspired Summer in a Bowl:
The next step in the process of getting Summer in a Bowl into the hands of readers is preparing a summary. Now, if I had done a more traditional query and had been working with a publisher I did not know, the summary would have been in my query letter. As you recall, in this case I was approaching the publisher who had done WHOOSH! so, after a phone conversation, I just sent him the entire manuscript.
For me, the summary is the hardest part of the process. I love to talk about my book. I get very enthusiastic and well, restricting myself to just a few words–rough!
This summary will be what potential future readers will see on Amazon. Would you be interested in buying the book after reading this? If you have changes to suggest, please let me know. My publisher and I both believe in this book and want to see it in the hands of as many children as possible.
Please look this over and let me know if any changes are needed!
Summary for Summer in a Bowl By Joan Leotta
Rosa and her Aunt Mary spend every Thursday together in the summer, tending Aunt Mary’s garden.
On this last Thursday of the season, they harvest the vegetables and Aunt Mary cooks them. Rosa is not sure she wants to try them until her father proclaims the dish, “Delicious!” and Rosa discovers that the soup is a way to preserve all of her summer fun. Summer in a Bowl is a wonderful introduction to the joys of gardening with children and the fun of cooking with children.
More one word prompts on the theme of gardens! Have you thought about setting an extra challenge to yourself? Perhaps writing in couplets?
The book is coning along. As I write the prompt words I picture little Rosa with her Aunt in the Garden behind her Aunt’s house. In the early 1950s many Italian Americans devoted their entire back yards to garden space. No wide expanse of lawn for them. Every inch was taken up with
Looking for writing prompts? In addition to my one word poetry prompts for April on my own blog, Suzanne Lurience hosts me once a month with story prompts–of a more substantial nature (poetry too if you wish)Be sure to check out the new writing prompts for the week, here:
So, this post is doing dual duty. I hope it will keep you in mind for gardening. Yesterday I turned in the first deliverable on my book, Summer in a Bowl. Picture books are a sort of long form narrative poetry. Thus the connection.
Also, gardening and story or poem prompts–obvious connection there. Prompts are like seeds for a story or poem. Plant one on a page and they can give your mind a jump start. Apply the hard work of writing around this (akin to weeding and watering) to harvest a finished poem or story! Voila!
My usual monthly post on Suzanne Lurience’s working writer blog will go up in a few days.
Here is the bonus prompt for Poetry Month–seven one word prompts for poems–of course if you can squeeze an entire story out of one of these–huzzah to you!
Seven April Poem Prompts