Welcome to THE WRITER'S WHIMSY - My online journal!



Not long ago, my husband and I went to dinner at one of our favorite local seafood restaurants. It’s a comfy, rustic place with all kinds of nautical mementos displayed on the walls and suspended from the rafters, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw a dusty captain’s hat hanging over our table. I was surprised, though, when I noticed that there was writing on the hat. At first, I thought it was a recipe, but I was further surprised, even delighted, when I realized that the writing was a poem. A POEM. And not just any poem, a fishing poem! Hanging from the rafters was a fishing poetry hat. Here it is:



Isn’t that grand? It made me so happy that I wanted to put on my own fishing poetry hat, even though it’s the heart of winter and it's blistering cold in many places. Here is my inspiration poem in the form of a diamante called “Fish Poem.”


slippery shiny

swimming darting wiggling

catch it quick – before it gets away

squirming turning dashing

fresh sparkly


© 2013 Tamera Will Wissinger


The inspiration for poetry truly is everywhere. Even dusty and hanging from the rafters.

What kind of poetry hat are you wearing these days?


Poetry Friday is at Matt Forrest Esenwine's Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme






It’s here! 2013 has arrived – finally. It seemed to take its time, but only because I’ve been so eagerly anticipating it. It is 01/01/2013 and for the first time I can say that my book releases this year. Whew! That sounds so nice.

Never having published a book before, I have tried to soak up each step of the publishing process as it happens. One of the biggest lessons: bringing a book into the world takes time. Way back in 2011 when I began sharing my good news with friends and family, after “congratulations,” the most common response I heard: “When will it be out?” At the time I didn’t know for sure, but I guessed 2013. The response was silence…and then; “Why does it take so long?”

At the time I didn’t know the answer, but now I understand that there were so many reasons why. To name a few: editing, illustrations, copyediting, layout and design, printing, sales and marketing. There are so many people and steps involved in one project – all devoted to making quality books and getting them into the hands of children.

Had the process gone any more quickly, I’m not sure I would have felt completely ready. This long lead time has allowed me to come up to speed on what it means to market a book, how to network, develop presentations, approach booksellers, and the dreaded, but ultimately benign, social networking, all while continuing to write. I am extremely fortunate to belong to two smart, savvy debut children’s author groups – The Lucky 13s and    The Class of 2k13. I needed this time to absorb even a part of what these talented, kind, and generous fellow debut authors have to offer. Most important to me is the kinship I feel through our common experience – we are all in this debut year together and I am so grateful that I haven’t had to muddle through this process alone.

Yes, I have thought it would be nice to melt away time and arrive at this date sooner. Thank goodness time held its ground! And now that 2013 is here, I am done wishing time away. I intend to savor every new, fun, scary, shocking, thrilling moment of this debut year. After all, it’s only once in an author’s life that she can say, “my first book arrives this year.”

Happy New Year everyone, and Happy Debut Year, all of you wonderfully talented fellow 2013 debut children’s authors!  





While considering how to write about the ending year, I received the gift of a poem that arrived in my inbox from The Academy of American Poets. The poem: THE PASSING OF THE YEAR by Robert William Service, “The People’s Poet.” It seems appropriate to share a portion of this poem as I think of my gratitude toward 2012. It is a contemplative poem, well constructed, not too difficult, and one that I’ve reread and pondered. For those who are interested, it’s an iambic tetrameter with an A B A B rhyme scheme. At times, Service speaks directly to the old year, a technique called apostrophe. What I find most appealing is that Service has reached through the decades and captured the universal mixed emotions that sometimes happen this time of year – something akin to the joy and/or sorrow of what was, mixed with the melancholy of what might have been, infused with gratitude, wit, and ultimately a call to carry on. It captures the essence of what I had hoped to say. Here are the last two stanzas of THE PASSING OF THE YEAR by Robert W. Service as we say goodbye to 2012:


And so from face to face I flit,

The countless eyes that stare and stare;

Some are with approbation lit,

And some are shadowed with despair.

Some show a smile and some a frown;

Some joy and hope, some pain and woe:

Enough! Oh, ring the curtain down!

Old weary year! it's time to go.


My pipe is out, my glass is dry;

My fire is almost ashes too;

But once again, before you go,

And I prepare to meet the New:

Old Year! a parting word that's true,

For we've been comrades, you and I --

I thank God for each day of you;

There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!


This poem is in the public domain. If you would like to read the entire poem, click to visit The Academy of American Poets.





Season’s greetings! And welcome. Year-end may seem like an odd time to begin an online journal, but it makes sense to me as I contemplate the closing of 2012 and the opening of 2013. Let me explain:

A few years ago I had the good fortune to work with Phyllis Root as I was completing my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University. The year was drawing to a close. As part of my final assignment, Phyllis asked me to send something new, a work-in-progress that she and I would not work on together. It sounded a little scary. In her wisdom, though, Phyllis wanted to launch me into the post-MFA world with more than a shiny diploma and a body of polished work. She wanted me to have something undone that I had started while a student, but that I would need to continue working on as a graduate. I sent a collection of poems. About fishing. The draft was rough. Phyllis made suggestions about ways that I might keep working on my manuscript on my own. I did work on it. Over time I received good feedback through critique groups, fine-tuned, began to submit, and eventually sold that fishing poetry. It will release in March as a novel in verse called GONE FISHING.

While I am thrilled about the arrival of 2013, I have to admit to the comfort in the familiarity of 2012. This has been a year of planning and organizing, anticipation and exploration, trial and error, marketing and social media, meeting and connecting or reconnecting with wonderful people, and writing, of course. In this year leading up to becoming a published author, I feel much as I did just before graduation: I have my bearings. I have learned so much and tried so many new things that I would have never anticipated doing as 2012 began. Biggest learning: The business side of publishing. Most surprising new thing: I’m on Twitter, for goodness sake! (And I like it.) And so, while I’m still surrounded by the comfort and familiarity of 2012, I am placing one more virtual stake in the ground and beginning an online journal. It’s a work-in-progress amidst my other manuscripts that are in various stages of completion. I’m calling my journal “The Writer’s Whimsy.” I hope to cover a range of topics including my experiences with bringing a book into the world, my creative process, thoughts on poetry and story craft, and anything else that suits my fancy. From time to time I hope to bring something new to the creativity conversation, or add to the conversations that are already brewing. It’s a little scary – beginning almost always is; but it’s a little less scary starting something new with the reassurance of something familiar to help bridge the way. And for that lesson, I have Phyllis to thank.


And now I would like to direct you to Poetry Friday 

This week it's being hosted at Carol's Corner. Enjoy!



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