Mom’s Quilted Tree Skirt, a Poetryaction to Pick a Pine Tree

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Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
I’ve been busy with lots of family dramas lately, and I’ve felt overwhelmed with life and business/promotion stuff, and I haven’t been writing too much. This week, I finally forced myself to spend 30 minutes per day working on a new trade picture book project. First I went through my picture book ideas document and chose something to try. Then I did a bunch of brainstorming. I have a premise but no actual plot, which is always where I run into trouble :>D But I did some more brainstorming of silly possibilities related to the premise, and I have a few glimmers of hope. (ETA at 3am: I’m sick and will be under the covers for the foreseeable future. ???? Ugh. COVID.)
I was relieved to find this poetryaction to share this week, since I haven’t written any poems recently :>(

A couple of months ago, I read Patricia Toht’s lovely Pick a Pine Tree, which is a delightful rhyming picture book about getting and decorating a Christmas tree. It made me think of a few cherished decorations we have, one of which is the tree skirt my mom quilted. I tried (because I didn’t have this photo at hand) to remember some of the patterns that go around the skirt. When I thought of reindeer, the thought struck me that the little tiny stitches of hand quilting could be like the reindeers’ hoofprints in snow. I loved that and went with it. I also wanted that emphasis on tradition (maybe because we don’t have THAT many holiday traditions), so I used the repetition of “year over year over year.”
So I wrote this poetryaction. And now I need to find the other books in this series to read!


Speaking of picture books with wonderful rhyme, head over to Buffy Silverman’s blog for the Poetry Friday Roundup this week!Save

14 Responses

  1. Laura, wishing you well! And you will find the just-right words for your pb…you always do. Thanks for your reindeer hooves too! xo

  2. Hope you are on the mend and that the family drama becomes less intense. But good for you for carving out some writing time anyway. Love the hoofprints stitching your memories.

  3. Laura, I’m so sorry you are sick! 🙁

    I’m encouraged that I’m not the only one who can do a premise without a plot. The story of my fiction picture book writing. I have to really puzzle it all out.

  4. Sending get well wishes and hoping that your down time will give your brain a chance to miraculously come up with plots. Or, you’ll just get some rest, watch some TV, and read a trashy novel. (although I doubt it!!! except maybe for the part about getting rest!!!)

  5. “triangled fields” and the repetition of over create the quilt of this poem. I hope you are not feeling too sick. Covid did a number on me a year ago. The fog lasts a while, so give yourself grace. Your body needs you to pay attention.
    So what is your advice on plotting? I am writing a picture book and one of the many critiques I have is about the plot, no real rise and fall. I want to argue for the quiet and sweet meaningful books…

  6. Those reindeer hooves are delightful. I love the combined brevity and energy of your poem. You capture so much here! I’m so sorry you’ve been in the midst of family drama and illness. Take care of yourself!! I hope you feel better soon!

  7. I saw that you have tested positive, wishing you feeling healthier every day, Laura. Despite what you’ve written that you haven’t written poems lately, this is a loving one, bringing in something you treasure. I love the thought of those tiny hoof prints. Take care of yourself!

  8. What a joy to “stitch together” an heirloom and your words, Laura. Awfully creative for one down with covid! Get well soon!

  9. Laura, creating a poem based on a treasured heirloom is a wonderful idea. Tiny stitched hoofprints opened your thoughts wide enough to create a small poem with memories. Get better soon. It is sad to hear that COVID is still attacking others.

  10. This quilted skirt is a treasure. I know how much work it probably took for your mother to finish this project. Such things make good poetry because, of course, the memories and emotion and memories personal gifts bring year after year.

  11. I like your “year over year over year,” and what a lovely, and inspiring quilted skirt. Sending more healing thoughts your way Laura!

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