All posts by 2readmom

About 2readmom

Mom of 2 crazy kids, lover of books, children's author and poet, editor, publisher, and so much more . . . and now blogger!

Hi, Winter. It’s not you, it’s me.

It’s the second week in April, and the weather outside is looking bleak. I have a message for winter:

“Hi, Winter. We’ve been together for a while now, but we need to talk. It’s not you, it’s me. We just want two different things. I’m moving forward, on to something different. It’s not that we didn’t have some fun times. Sledding was a blast! And there is no one better at building a snowman than you. It’s just time for a change.

Okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve met someone new. It was a week ago, when suddenly the sun was shining and it was warm outside. I even put on a tank top. It was just so new. I felt something that I hadn’t in a while. I just don’t think I can feel that way with you anymore.

It’s just time for us to go our separate ways. You’ll be okay, I promise. And who knows! In eight months things might be different, and we may find a way to make this work again. Thanks for the good times. I’ll never forget you.

Now get out!”

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Happy Poetry Month

April is national poetry month!

Most of you are probably aware of my career as a mother of two, and might even be aware that I’m the CEO of Handersen Publishing. But I also write children’s poetry.WhenIWasAGrown-up

My first collection of poetry was released in 2015. “When I was a Grown-up and Other Poems” was inspired by my two kids, and what it’s like to grow up. It includes poems about everything from parents who are too busy to play, leftovers that sing karaoke in the fridge at night, and dust bunnies that might carry you away.

To celebrate poetry month, I want to give you a sneak peek – every week – into my new book, and also share some of my favorite poetry books from my childhood.

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My biggest inspiration growing up was (and still is) Shel Silverstein. “Where the Sidewalk Ends” is the first book that I remember getting as a gift. Although we had lots of books in our house, this book was SO magical that I wrote my name in it…with a multi-colored pen. (You know the pen I’m talking about!)

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Lazy Jane was a stand out, and I remember thinking, “This can be poetry? I want to write poetry like this! I want my poetry to be fun!”

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I still feel this way, and hope that I can bring even a quarter of the whimsy and creativity that Shel Silverstein brought to his work. I want kids (and adults, too) to want to write poetry and know that it doesn’t have to be complicated or pretentious. Poetry can be approachable. It can be relatable. It can meet you where you are.

That is what inspired “Bumble Bee Sneeze,” my upcoming collection of children’s poetry. Once again my very talented husband, Tevin Hansen has done the illustrations. This book will be a little different than the last. Each poem is still about growing up, and many of them still have silly elements, but sometimes growing up isn’t always funny. Some things are a little bit tricky to navigate, and this book has a few of those poems, too.

But today’s poem is all about smiles. This is the title poem, “Bumble Bee Sneeze”. Everything from the short length of the poem, to the cute little guy in the illustration, hints at the fun of the book.

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Thanks for checking in, all! I will be back next week with more great poems from my past, and another sneak peek at the upcoming book!

I also have an awkward high school poem reveal planned, but you’ll have to keep following along to see when that gem makes its appearance!

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Happy April!!!

 

Stranded in an airport . . .

Sometimes you have the best plans, an exact schedule, and you are absolutely certain that things will be perfect. But perfection isn’t easy to come by. Especially when you’re taking your first international flight to London, UK.

The whirlwind of life has swept through our family and our business over the last few months, leaving me exhausted. I had a summer full of broken arms, trips to the zoo, a tonsillectomy, author events, farmer’s markets,  promotion, and learning about running an independent children’s publishing house.

Our fall has started, and nothing has slowed down. School started, more author events, book events, story times, plus four new book releases (so far), a new issue of our magazine, Stinkwaves, and more promotion, more learning, more chaos.

Now, finally, a break. A trip to London! The first for both my husband and me. Ah, I can smell the tea, taste the scones, hear the beautiful accents. Yet, here I am . . . for the second day, in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. No Big Ben. No tea. Only a soggy sandwich and luke-warm tea for dinner.

This is our third attempt at catching a flight, and if we don’t make this one, or it is delayed, I may have a bit of a tantrum. There’s been mechanical problems, weather issues, runway construction, along with other small things that have lead to the delay. But I know that once we get there, even though there will still be any number of hiccups, it will be worth the wait.

Just like running our publishing house, with each new release comes a thousand and one bumps in the road. There are quarrels about editing and design, misprinted books, and beta feedback that isn’t what you thought it would be, which bring about rewrites, recoloring, and complete redo’s. Nothing ever goes as expected.

Just like running a family. You can plan all you want, but sometimes you’re going to have a 30-minute meltdown about socks. There will be broken bones and hurt feelings. You may never be “on time,” but you will also have silly dances, amazing new books, and unexpected smiles. The highs outweigh the lows, and we keep moving forward. We keep making plans, only to find that they will change. And eventually we realize that those changes were actually better.

So my husband and I will wait five more hours (on top of the five we’ve already waited) to hopefully catch a flight to London. We will get there and I will be a part of my friend’s wedding. We will see things that we’ve only read about or seen in pictures. We will eat scones and drink tea, and it will be AMAZING. Our time in London will be special because it is an adventure, everything that neither of us planned it to be.

Coming to You from Spain: Guadix Troglodytes

Tangled Magic

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In the mountain above the city of Guadix, people live in house-caves.  The white pillars that you see sticking up are either air vents or chimneys.  We arrived before the museum opened, but a woman who was cranking out the awning of her store directed us to her “cueva”, to have a look inside for free.

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Her husband was waiting to welcome us in.  He’s there in the photo, behind the gatepost.

IMG_4980   IMG_4981 Kitchen, dining area, IMG_4983bedroom   IMG_4984 and bath.

The man’s family has lived there for four generations.

We explored the church, also a cave dug into the mountain.

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The Museum of Traditional Culture was a gem, situated in a cueva that was furnished as it had been in 1928 when the family bought it for less than $2.00.  We saw a film about the history of caves, from practical to religious.   The rooms were full of artifacts.

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What I’m Reading

Tangled Magic

Life in Yam Hill (Part I), by Tevin Hansen

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to live inside a giant potato?   Tevin Hansen wondered, and he wrote a whole book about it. Polly (Want a Cracker) and her good friend Bic (Lighter) know very little about the Old Earth that existed before the Great Unexpected Tragedy. But Polly’s adult friend, Jack of Hearts, has information about Yam Hill that could endanger all three of their lives.

Author Hansen has created a strange, orange world inside the yam, down to details of how people eat, dress, and dispose of waste. I was drawn in by the weirdness of the concept from the beginning. After the Elders showed up, things got really exciting. I can’t wait to read Part II!

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Because sometimes . . .

Because sometimes you wake up with a sore throat, an AWFUL attitude, and something growing on your face that looks like a second chin.

Because sometimes you just want to crawl into a hole for the next 3-5 business days, but there are still lunches to make, boo-boos to kiss, hair to brush…the list never ends.

Because sometimes the Wild Kratts’ Monkey Mayhem game is the hardest thing in the entire world, and Chris and Martin should crawl into a hole.

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Disclaimer: I’m really quite fond of the Wild Kratts. Their TV show and most of their games are wonderful. It’s just that my almost four-year-old isn’t quite ready for this game, and it is the ONLY one that he wants to play.

My little piece of imprefection

Fighting streaming from upstairs.

Piles of laundry everywhere

Dirty dishes in the sink

I want to scream, then stop and think.

 

Of all the places that I’ve been,

Of all the people met therein,

The three that are a part of me

Are in the chaos, a perfect dream.

 

Each new challenge met today

Makes me smile in a certain way,

As delightful as a sweet confection

My little piece of imperfection.

Yo Mama . . .

I was picking my daughter up from school today, she was doing her daily round-up of the goings-on in Kindergarten: how many blue tickets she earned (good), who was sent to the “buddy room” (a.k.a. what we DON’T call time-out anymore)…the the usual.

We were dodging bikes, excited kids, and trying not to get smacked in the face by swinging backpacks. Then I overheard something that made me shake my head and laugh out loud.

A group of third graders were having a battle of “Yo Mama” jokes. Things were gettin’ real at the elementary school, people! This yo mama battle was intense. Someone’s mama was so fat, another so stupid, and someone else’s mama was something so bad that it could only be shared in a hushed whisper.

All I could think was: “Seriously? Yo mama jokes? Haven’t we come up with something better than that yet?”

According to gizmodo.com the oldest “yo mama” joke is 3500 years old:

Around 1,500 BCE, a student in ancient Babylon inscribed six riddles on a tablet. 3,500 years later, these proto-jokes lose a lot in the translation, but one thing’s for sure: the Babylonians are saying something about your mother.

I like to think that we, as a species, have evolved over time. We’ve had civil rights and women’s rights, we’ve eradicated deadly diseases, we’ve overthrown corrupt governments, but one thing remains . . . the “yo mama” joke.

Why is it always about the mothers?

Respect the Mamas, people!

Mothers lovingly raise you, they wipe your butt, cook your meals, drive you to football practice, dance class, boy scouts, 4-H! And yet, we take this constant playground punishment! Here’s one for you:

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I am going to skip the book review for this blog because we are currently on a rotation of 15 early reader Rescue Bots books. And I’m pretty sure, if you have a preschool aged boy or girl (my six-year-old daughter is also obsessed), you can guess what they are all about.

Instead, you can watch this video of the amazingly awesome 80’s inspired theme song!