A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘My Articles’ Category

Write a Spring Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Celebrating International Haiku Poetry Day!

As I wandered out into the garden with my trusty camera early this morning, much to my surprise, an icy blanket at the edge of the rock garden had melted and a family of opening jonquils greeted me with their smiles. Being the first blooms of the season, they simply made my day and inspired me to write “A Spring Concerto,”  a haiku (Japanese-inspired, non-rhyming three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poem).

A Spring Concerto
HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens

Jonquils awaken

Shaking their heads in wonder

A spring concerto

Personally, I love designing  posters to go with my poems and often use photos I have taken. As a former teacher (now retired) in grades four through eight, I know that kids of all ages love writing poetry and they enjoy illustrating their poems too. It’s simple and it’s so much fun to tell a story in the three short lines of Haiku. Of course, you can write as many stanzas as you wish. Today’s a perfect day for you to give it a try.

Get out your pen, get outdoors in nature, get inspired…and get the kids writing haiku too!

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

(Haiku: m)

haiku

noun hai·ku \ˈhī-(ˌ)kü\

plural

haiku

  1. :  an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively; also :  a poem in this form usually having a seasonal reference — compare tanka

 

Discover more about how to write haiku and other poetry:

Find out more about International Haiku Poetry Day

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Link

POVERTY & PREJUDICE: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


Author BAS White Text

POVERTY & PREJUDICE: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

You’re invited to read my blog post on Is History The Agreed Upon Lie?

As a baby boomer that grew up in an average middle-class family in America during the 1950s and 1960s, poverty was not something I had to dwell on or even think about as a child or as a teen. For me, poverty was an unknown concept.

Poverty in America during the 1950s and 1960s was simply ignored in our wealth-burgeoning society. I was not alone in my ignorance. “[In fact, it’s been more than 50 years] since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, ‘discovered’ poverty, thanks to Michael Harringtton’s engaging book The Other America.” (Twisting the Phrase “Culture of Poverty” Barbara Ehrenreich March 16, 2012).  Read it all at… POVERTY & PREJUDICE: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I look forward to hearing from you.

Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Let’s Paint the World with Peace!


September 21, 2013 marks the United Nations’ 33rd International Day of Peace

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=706&picture=paintings&large=1

“WORLD PEACE? We really do have the power to make it happen, one brush stroke at a time. “ ~ Bette A. Stevens

World Peace?

Knowledge of the past holds one of the keys to world peace. Knowledge of the people in the world around us today holds another essential key.  However, knowledge in and of itself is useless, a collection of unused paint brushes resting on the world’s shelf. It is our job to pick up those brushes and start painting. The perfect portrait of peace begins within each one of us. It’s painted one brush stroke at a time. Here are some simple steps that we can all take to contribute to that portrait:

Take the time to learn about those who are different from us in some way. We may want start with someone in our own family. Even there, we often find differences in opinions, race, religion, beliefs, customs, cultures, political affiliations. The list of personal differences and the diversity of relationships goes on….

Working in the classroom as a teacher of students from diverse backgrounds, I learned first-hand that those who hold different beliefs from my own are all unique individuals with whom I have many things in common. We all share the same needs and desires, the same frustrations and fears, the same hopes and dreams.  Whether students, parents, staff, volunteers, administrators or colleagues, I have gained respect for and have been deeply enriched by each encounter. Life-long relationships are nurtured and continue to blossom and grow.

Sure, that all sounds great; but what can we actually do as individuals to promote peace?

  • Listen to others
  • Get to know them (That means spending time with them) Let them get to know us (talk)
  • Respect differences
  • Look for commonalities
  • Nurture relationships
  • Offer and extend a helping hand
  • Encourage others
  • Enlist the help of others
  • Give input and feedback
  • Keep the conversation going 
International Peace Day Logo. jpg

International Peace Day Logo. jpg

The brush strokes to peace lie within each of one us. How do we paint the canvas? One brush stroke at a time. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS—listen, share ourselves and our ideas, respect those of others, look for commonalities. Our individual and collective lives will continue to be enriched as we work together to paint a portrait of world peace. We really do have the power to make it happen, one brush stroke at a time.

On September 21st, I’ll be interviewing M.C.V. Egan, author of The Bridge of Deaths. She’ll be sharing how she uses her novel to promote world peace. You’re invited to stop back and visit us here at http://www.4writersandreaders.com for MEET THE AUTHOR: M.C.V. Egan and join her PEACE IN TIME Book Blitz and Blog Hop.

Peace be with you.

JOIN THE PEACE BLITZ!


Painting the World with the Brush Strokes of  Peace

by Bette A. Stevens

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15th commemorates the 73rd anniversary of the crash of the G-AESY, an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd that crashed in Danish waters just two weeks before Hitler invaded Poland and the world was at the brink of war. M. C. V. Egan’s latest novel, The Bridge of Deathshttp://thebridgeofdeaths.com/ takes the reader to well-know and little known events leading up to the Second World War, both in Europe and America. As Bill, a young executive, travels today’s information highway, his journey through knowledge and time help him discover the real story of this 1939 plane crash. Both a mystery and a love story, Egan’s novel takes readers on a journey to uncover doubts left by the 1939 investigation into the incident. The Bridge of Deaths’ message that knowledge is the key to peace as a way to prevent war may give today’s readers insight into unlocking the secrets to peace for our own generation.

I wholeheartedly believe that knowledge of the past holds one of the keys to peace. Knowledge of the people in the world around us today holds the other essential key.  However, knowledge in and of itself is useless, a collection of unused paint brushes resting on the world’s shelf. We must pick up those brushes and start painting. The perfect portrait of peace begins within each one of us. It’s painted one brush stroke at a time. Here are some simple steps that we can all take to contribute to that portrait:

 Take the time to learn about those who are different than us. Perhaps we could start with someone in our own family (opinions, race, religion, beliefs, customs, cultures, political affiliations, the list goes on…):

  • Listen to others
  • Get to know them
  • Let them get to know us
  • Respect differences
  • Look for commonalities
  • Nurture relationships
  • Offer and extend a helping hand
  • Encourage others
  • Enlist the help of others
  • Give input and feedback
  • Keep the conversation going

Working in the classroom as a teacher of students from diverse backgrounds, I learned first-hand that those who hold different beliefs from my own are all unique individuals with whom I have many things in common. We all share the same needs and desires, the same frustrations and fears, the same hopes and dreams.  Whether students, parents, staff, volunteers, administrators or colleagues, I have gained respect for and have been deeply enriched by each encounter. Life-long relationships have been nourished and continue to blossom. The brush strokes to peace lie within each of us. How do we paint the canvas? One brush stroke at a time. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS: Listen, share ourselves and our ideas, respect those of others, look for commonalities. Our individual and collective lives will continue to be enriched as we work together to paint that perfect portrait of peace!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: