WRITER’S BLOCK

I face the terror

of a blank page:

this monster whose

mad eyes mock,

whose slack lips

scoff and jeer…

silent shrieks,

and endless laughter.

I hyperventilate,

as sweat soaks 

my writer’s garb,

and screams escape

my tightened jaw.

I grab the demon’s

brittle neck.  One sweet

twist is instant death.

Now I’m ready.

S IS FOR SPRING

                                                                             

ANTS march.

BEES buzz.

CATERPILLARS creep.

DUCKLINGS fuzz.

EAGLETS hatch.

FROGS croak.

GRASSES green.

HUMMINGBIRDS poke.

INCHWORMS inch.

JAYS peep.

KIDS kite.

LIZARDS leap.

MICE hide.

NUTHATCHES nest.

OWLS hoot.

PIGEONS rest.

QUAILS trail.

RABBITS hop.

SQUIRRELS skitter.

TULIPS pop.

UMBRELLAS twirl.

VIOLETS show.

WINDS whirl.

X’D seedlings grow.

YIKES!!  Lightening, thunder…

ZIP!  ZAP!  BOOM!

Rain soaks the earth and…

SPRING’S IN BLOOM!

END

LATE BLOOMER…ME!

     I’m a late bloomer. Growing up, I aspired to be a teacher. I liked little kids, enjoyed spending time with them, and had a cosmic connection with their joyful spirit and honesty. You could say teaching was my calling.

     When I was hired to teach first grade, in inner city Los Angeles, I couldn’t have been happier. Teaching, writing lessons, planning hands on projects, taking school trips, the three r’s, plus art, music, and PE, was all I’d hoped it would be. As text books were minimal in the early seventies, I began to write my own units of study: science, ecology, social studies, and more. I immersed myself in modern children’s literature. I marveled at the poetic genius of picture books. Books like: FREDERICK by Leo Leoni; WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak; ELMER, THE PATCHWORK ELEPHANT by David McKee… were favorites. I loved these little jewels of sparkling prose and began toying with the idea, that, perhaps, I could write for kids. So I penned poems to augment lessons, made up riddles and rhymes, told stories, and began inspiring my student to write, too.

     At recess one day, a teaching buddy pulled me aside on the playground. “Dianne, you are so creative,” she said. “You should be doing something more than teaching in a classroom. Have you ever thought of publishing your work?”

     Publish? Could I actually publish my writings? I was astonished, then intrigued. So I continued to scribble words, words, and more words.  My students giggled and laughed at my work, prompting more and more experiments with rhythm, rhyme, and word play. Soon I was convinced I could succeed. I would work to become an artist, with words as my medium.

     In the summer of 1984, I visited my sister in Southampton, NY, two miles from the most beautiful beaches in the world. I quit teaching and relocated to pursue my passion full-time.

     I wrote, wrote, and wrote some more, then submitted pieces to publishers. I had a smattering of small successes: sold some essays to the New York Times, and other newspapers, sold a few poems and craft ideas to kids’ magazines, and created a Country Kids’ Crafts column for a local kiddie newspaper.  I loved every minute…until… 

      My savings ran out. I needed an income, so started a cleaning service, tidying up after wealthy New York City weekenders. I liked cleaning, it was profitable, and offered plenty of spare time for writing.

      In March, 2010, I spotted a call for picture book manuscripts in the Children’s Writer newsletter. I thumbed through my files, took out a promising story, spiffed it up one last time, and mailed it off. I had a contact, from Kane Miller, two weeks later.  My first book deal! With a book publisher! After thirty years of writing, my first children’s book, HUSH, LITTLE BEACHCOMBER, was sold.  Beyond ecstatic, I quickly sent them another book and got a second contract immediately.

    Yes, I’m a late bloomer. Still, I kept writing for thirty years, getting knocked down and rejected hundreds of times, but learning it’s never too late. Call me a late bloomer, I don’t mind. I’m in full flower now!

Dianne Moritz sold paperback reprint rights for HUSH to Big Belly Books. It is scheduled to come out in a brand new edition, HEY LITTLE BEACHCOMBER, in May, 2019.

THANK YOU, GOD

THANK YOU, GOD                                                                                                                                                            Dianne Moritz

 

Thank you for my father, mother,

Gramma, sisters, baby brother.

 

Thank you for my cozy house.

Thank you for my small pet mouse.

 

Thank you, God, for puppy dogs,

Cats and kittens, bunnies, frogs,

 

Ladybugs and butterflies,

Puffy clouds and sunny skies.

 

Thank you for the deep blue seas,

Mountains, rivers, lakes and trees,

 

Birds and bees, those quick rain showers,

Rainbows after, grass and flowers.

 

Thank you for the moon’s bright glow,

For spring and summer, winter, snow.

 

Thank you for fall’s fresh, cool breeze,

Pumpkin patches, autumn leaves.

 

Thank you, God, for music, art,

A kind word, a gentle heart.

 

Thank you for laughter, fun and play…

For every moment… every day.

 

Thank you for night skies and stars,

Friends and family, near and far.

 

Thank you for the world, the sun…

For everything… for everyone.

 

Our earth is such a lovely place,

Touched by love, blessings, and grace.

 

Thank you, God.

 

More Haiku

I have recently started submitting my haiku to THE HAIKU FOUNDATION blog, run by Katherine Munroe.  She picks a weekly topic, then selects several haiku for publication the following week.  This week’s topic was: window cleaners.  Here is mine….

sunbeams stream

through spring cleaned window

cat catnaps

This is a challenge, as I have never written haiku before, but I really enjoy it.

Look for my haiku next week, as well.  Topic: hospital window.  This brought up a painful memory of spending a week in Stony Brook Hospital’s ICU in late August of 2016 after suffering a stroke.  Thankfully I recovered, but have some physical limitations now.  I am unable to hold a job and suffer from depression because of those limitations.  Still, I am blessed to be fully functioning, no brain damage, with memory, intellect, and creativity intact.  I thank my higher power for sparing me, every single day.