I was asked by the soulfully poetic Matt Forrest to follow him in The Mortimer Minute, a children’s poetry blog hop. Thank you, Matt for the invite. One of the pictures below is Matt Forrest. If you click the correct one, it will take you to Matt Forrest’s Mortimer Minute entry!
For the Mortimer Minute, I’ve been asked to answer some questions about my experiences with poetry. Now, I don’t really consider myself a ‘poet.’ I believe poets to be much more in tune with people’s emotions (and their own emotions) than I could claim to be (ask Mama Funk for examples). Some have described an occasional picture book manuscript of mine as ‘a poem’ in the past. So maybe I write poems. Maybe…
To the rabbit’s questions!
Question #1 from Mortimer: What projects are you working on now?
Answer from Papa J Funk: Well, Mortimer, as always, I’m working on multiple rhyming picture book manuscripts. Last week I was revising three different ones. One of them is awesome and ready. One of them is going to sit and stew on a shelf or in a drawer for a few weeks/months, and a third I’m still working on.
Lately I’ve been participating in several critique groups, both in person and online. And as always, I’m working on the ‘craft’ of writing. Without giving too much (er.. anything) away, that’s what I’ve been up to.
Question #2 from Mortimer: How do you come up with ideas for your poetry?
Answer from Papa J Funk: Well, as I intend all of my poems to be illustrated … for children … in about 32 pages … and in about 500 words or less … I usually start by trying to come up with something I haven’t seen in that format. Have you seen any picture books about a little girl and her doll? Probably. Well, I’m not going to write that one.
Although I do have many many children to spy on, only some of my ideas are stolen from them. Sometimes I just like to spend hours acting as childishly and child-like as possible (again, ask Mama Funk for more details). These states of mind (and body) often produce wonderful rhyming picture book fodder.
Question #3 from Mortimer: What children’s poem to you wish you had written?
Answer from Papa J Funk: I am going to reinterpret this question as ‘what poetic or rhyming children’s picture book do you wish you had written?’ To that, I have lots of options. Do I go with a recent classic like Iggy Peck, Architect? Or do I go with a classic classic like The Lorax? Or maybe I’m gonna cheat and say I’m happy with those that I have written and don’t wish to take anything away from anyone else?
No. The answer is Chicken Cheeks. Period.
Thanks for joining me for the Mortimer Minute. If I have poet friends, I’ll link to their blogs below. Until next time, Mr. Rabbit!