I’ve given my students and other fellow writers plenty of advice through the years on how to make a poem “scan” correctly. And I’ve always felt like a bit of a fraud when I’ve done it because I hadn’t ever sold a poem. Still, twelve years of piano lessons and a good working relationship with mathematics will do things to a person’s brain and ear. I could always tell when a syllable had been inserted. During one session, a friend told me that I was the Bounce Queen.
I knew from listening to editors speak that verse needs unforced rhymes and perfect rhythms unless you were Dr. Suess. He could get away with a few things here and there.
But last week, I did it. I sold a poem to the SCBWI BULLETIN. This newsletter for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators takes poetry about writing and the writing life as a filler. So even though my scrap of verse isn’t specifically for the children’s market, I’m counting it anyway. I’m not sure yet when WORD WRANGLING will appear, but I’m very excited.