Category Archives: Book Reading

Mystery Reader to 4th Graders at Churchville Elementary School

See Art with Your Heart

I thoroughly enjoyed being the “Mystery Reader” for a 4th grade Class at Churchville Elementary School.  The students didn’t know who I was until I was announced, and were delighted to find out that I was the mother of their teacher!

My daughter, Kerry Gallagher, has been teaching for over 20 years and is the co-author of most of my published and performed plays for elementary school students!

I usually read for K-3rd graders, so it was fun to read for an older group.  I chose My Fingerpaint Masterpiece, with its emphasis on “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” approach…

Reading to the Class

The book deals with perspective, perception and self-esteem, as a child fingerpaints artwork in class and later discovers the painting as a part of the town’s Art Contest.  The story is told from the point of view of the child, (who can be either a boy or girl depending on the reader’s determination, since all illustrations are of what the child sees.)  After reading, I usually ask a class to vote on whether the main character was a boy or girl. It’s usually a 50/50 split.  This class voted that they thought the main character was a girl – interesting since when I wrote it, I had always thought it was a boy!

At any rate, My Fingerpaint Masterpiece has won 9 awards, including the Gold Medal in the Readers Favorite awards as well as winning their illustration award as well!  All of my book’s illustrations are by Kalpart!

It was fun answering questions from an older class, and at the end of the reading I shared my calling cards with the class.  One child asked me to sign my card, so the entire class formed a line…I now have lots of kids with “signed calling cards”!

(My husband for over 59 years travels with me to book readings and signings, and I was delighted to get a photo of the two of us together…)  The students took a vote about which additional book to read, and Peter and the Whimper-Whineys won!

(None of the students whine anymore…)

Newtown Bookshop Poetry Reading and Interview Questions

I enjoyed my first poetry reading, held with the Poetry Club at Newtown Bookshop…  (Special Thank to Lynn Fanok and Kathy Morrison…)

I appreciated all those who attended despite the weather!

Also, a fan tweeted me this message before the event, and made my heart smile!

Here are the interview questions I answered before the event…

LF: I know you have published many children’s poetry books and have been granted awards for your work. Where did you find the inspiration to begin writing and publishing?

SC: I’ve been writing poetry since I was 4 years old when my mother would write them all down in a little notebook, which has since been lost…(sigh.)  My first published children’s book, Peter and the Whimper-Whineys, was a story told to me and my brother by our mother when we were little, and then shared with the grandchildren when they were growing up. I wanted to preserve the story, so I wrote it out and put it into rhyme (since I loved writing poetry!) It is still one of my best-selling books… All of my books have subliminal messages for children about being kind, disguised as fun stories!  Most of them were written long before I retired and had the time to try to get them published, and I was so happy to find a publisher who provided me with such an awesome illustrator! 

LF: Do you remember writing your first poem? What was it about?

SC: I really can’t remember… I know one of them from grade 5 about a fire was included in the school’s yearbook!  

LF: What are some of your creative influences?

SC: My poetry is all about trying to put feelings into words, and as a high school teacher I was also able to use my poetry to help counsel many troubled teens and friends along the way.  

LF: Do you have a writing routine or creative process that you follow?

SC: No – Many times poetry comes to me at night, and I have to quickly write it down so I can work on it in the morning!  I love rhyme and meter, and also enjoy the challenge of sonnets with the required 14 lines of specifically rhyming words.  

 LF: What are your future writing plans?

 SC:I am under contract for another children’s book, David’s ADHD,to be released this fall.  Most of my children’s books have what one reviewer dubbed my “classroom of kids”, (thanks to having the same illustrator for all of them) so although the stories are different, many of the characters are the same. (Fun to go to an elementary school reading and have a child point out, “Oh…There’s Gimme-Jimmy!”)  So this book will include a child with ADHD – who is an illustration in many of the previous books – and help show how he learns to cope in the classroom and life.

 LF: Why is poetry important in the world? 

SC: I love the music of the words, and the painting in the mind… It’s been gratifying to find out that structured poetry is still appreciated, and that many readers have been able to relate!  I actually let the poem determine the structure, and sometimes craft acrostic poems for special people or occasions as well.  Poetry gives pleasure and sometimes helps ease pain with empathy. 

LF: What do you hope readers take away from your poetry?

SC: A love for words…their meanings and sounds…and the feelings evoked.

 

 

 

Poetry Reading Event at the Newtown Bookshop this evening – September 12th at 6:30!

I am honored to be reading my poetry this evening at the Newtown Bookshop (in Newtown, PA) on Thursday September 12th at 6:30 p.m.  This will be my first poetry reading, since I usually do children’s readings at the elementary schools.

I will be reading selections from both of my award-winning poetry books, A Penny for Your Thoughts and also A Dime is a Sign – and maybe sneak in a selection from one of the children’s books since they are all in rhyme!!

I’m finding it difficult to choose which to include, so I decided to see which had been chosen as favorites in all the lovely reviews I have received, and have selected the most popular.  (If anyone cares to offer a suggestion, please let me know before Thursday!)

Here is a brief Summary and List of Poetry Awards:        

Winner of 12 Awards:  A Penny for Your ThoughtsHave you ever loved, been loved, been confused about love, or suffered from loss of love? All these feelings have been captured and shared in the words of heartfelt poems, compiled over many years by a former teacher and award-winning author. The variety of lyrical poetry forms include free verse, blank verse, haiku, & sonnets. The book has won a Gold Reader Views Award, and its Specialty Poetry Prize Award, Gold Feathered Quill Award, Gold New Apple Book Award, Gold Los Angeles Book Festival Winner, Gold eLit Award, Gold New Apple eBook, TopShelf Winner, Silver FAPA President’s Award, Bronze Global eBook Award, Royal Dragonfly HM & Pinnacle Award. ISBN 978-1-946540-56-0 Soft Cover $12.50/ ISBN 978-1-946540-57-7 Hard $23.50

Winner of 8 AwardsA Dime is a Sign – This volume of poetry is a companion to A Penny for Your Thoughts, with the same feelings and the same formatting…just additional poetry!  A psychic medium once said that if you find a random dime, it is a sign that someone you have loved and lost is thinking of you… Once again, the variety of lyrical poetry forms include free verse, blank verse, haiku, & sonnets. It has received a Silver Medal Reader Views Literary Awards, Bronze Medal Award from Feathered Quill, a Book Excellence Awards Finalist, a Global eBook Awards Silver Medal, a FAPA President’s Awards Bronze Medal, a Readers Favorite Finalist Award, a New Apple Summer eBook Official Selection as well as a Pinnacle Achievement Award, and three 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite.  ISBN 978-1-949483-20-8 Soft Cover – $13.50

 

76th Award – A Dime is a Sign has won its 8th Award: an Official Selection in Poetry in the New Apple Summer eBook Awards

8 Awards for A Dime is a Sign. Kalpart will be adding them to the cover!

Another wonderful surprise this morning from the 2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards, naming A Dime is a Sign an Official Selection in Poetry...

This the 8th Award for this Poetry Book of Feelings, and my 76th overall.

(My husband asked me who’s going to put it up on the Award Wallpaper!)

This arrives just in time for my Poetry Reading tomorrow at the Newtown Bookshop (Newtown, PA) at 6:30…

 

 

 

Listen to the Melody of When I Opened My Eyes…

Winner of 5 Awards!

Now that A Dime is a Sign has received a fifth award, a Bronze Medal in the FAPA Awards, I’d like to share again the lovely YouTube trailer prepared for me by my friend and fellow author, Marta Moran Bishop… Her melodic voice helps share the poignant message of the concluding poem in the book,s…When I Opened My Eyes

Inside Scoop Interview is Live

Winner of 6 Awards

I had a lovely reaction to the Inside Scoop Interview:

“I just listened to your interview and it was great fun.  You did well!  I didn’t know that you are a Valentine. ..  Thanks for sending me this link.  It was like having you sit here with me.”

The link to the interview is Inside Scoop Live Interview

(Please note that there is a brief intermission about Inside Scoop in the middle of the interview, and then it continues with more about the poetry… )

It was lots of fun to share about my children’s books and my children’s plays, as well as A Penny for Your Thoughts… It’s always fun for me to be able to read some of my poetry, and I thank those fans who helped me select which ones to read!

Thank you also to the Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards for selecting A Penny for Your Thoughts as the Gold Medal Winner in Poetry…

(It also will be the Book feature on Readerviews.com – Week beginning July 9th, and later on available on iTunes as well as Blogtalkradio.com)