Lindsay Bayer e-Portfolio

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Lindsay Bayer e-Portfolio

  1. 1. Lindsay Bayere-Portfolio of Original Work LLED 597G: Writing for Children Instructor: Susan Campbell Bartoletti 1
  2. 2. © 2011 Lindsay Bayer All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmittedin any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, orotherwise, without prior written permission of Lindsay Bayer. 2
  3. 3. To Chris: for recognizing the nerd within me, and loving me regardless. 3
  4. 4. Table of ContentsPart One: Option B .............................................................................................. 5 Yoga Makes Me Feel ............................................................................................6 I Think My Cat Needs Glasses...............................................................................8 My Dog Stole My Pajamas……………………………………………………………………………….10Part Two ........................................................................................................... 14 Critique for Michelle ..........................................................................................15 Critique for Laura ..............................................................................................17 Critique from Laura…………………………………………………………………………………………19 Critique from Katie………………………………………………………………………………………….21 My Personal Philosophy Renewed………………………………………………………………….23 Part Three………………………………………………………………………………………………………24 Author’s Note…………………………………………………………………………………………………25 About the Author…………………………………………………………………………………………..26 Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………………27 4
  5. 5. Part One: Option B 5
  6. 6. Yoga Makes Me Feel…Yoga makes me feel excited. When I wake up in the morning, hearing the birdssing and seeing the first rays of sunlight, I stand tall in Mountain Pose. With myback straight and my shoulders down, I reach my arms over my head and look up.I imagine reaching for the sun in the sky. As I hear Mom yell, “Time forbreakfast,” I feel strong and ready for the day ahead.Yoga makes me feel balanced. Before I climb the jungle gym on the playground, Istand up straight and bring one ankle to the top of my other leg in Tree Pose. Iraise my arms over my head and balance for a few seconds. My friends becometrees too. The breeze blows, shaking our branches. “Woah, woah!” we say as wegiggle and try to remain still. We switch legs and start over on the other side.Yoga makes me feel sturdy and ready to play.Yoga makes me feel calm. When my teacher announces, “Attention class, pleaseclear your desks. It’s time for a pop quiz in math,” I begin to feel nervous. Butthen I remember to take slow, deep breaths in and out of my nose. This is calledPranayama. I close my eyes for a moment and listen to the air flowing in and outof my body. My nerves are clamed and my mind is focused. “Just stop and take adeep breath,” I tell my desk partner as she bites her bottom lip. Yoga makes mefeel prepared and confident to take my quiz.Yoga makes me feel peaceful. I look out my bedroom window and see the starsglimmering in the dark sky. In my warn pajamas, I kneel on the floor and sit onmy heels. I slowly lay my body on my legs and relax into Child’s Pose. As I thinkback on my day, I feel grateful for all that’s happened. I slowly breathe in andout… in and out. “Goodnight, my love,” I hear Mom say as she peeks into myroom. Yoga makes me feel thankful and ready for a good night’s sleep. 6
  7. 7. Personal Reflection:I started freewriting about yoga one day this semester because I’ve noticed howmuch better I feel after consistent practice. I also noticed that yoga helped me inthe writing process. It helped me eliminate distractions and settle in on themethod of creating. With consistent yoga practice I’m more aware, calm andfocused. This made me think about how children could benefit from yoga too asthey move through the day; from waking up in the morning, to going to school, tofalling asleep. That’s where this picturebook idea comes from. I visualize theillustrations showing the poses in the context of the story, then perhaps step-by-step illustrations at the end of the book. I also feel like this could be the beginningof a series of books, considering the numerous poses and benefits of yoga. 7
  8. 8. I Think My Cat Needs GlassesI think my cat needs glasses. I’m sure she cannot see.She’s made friends with a mouse and gives my bird the third degree.She runs away from squeaky toys and snubs the goldfish bowl.Instead she likes to bat around my purple fishing pole.She runs away when I prepare her bowl of kitty food.Just the thought of Kitty Chow gives her an attitude.Even as the smell of fish and chicken fill the air,She’d rather jump into my drawer to hunt my underwear.She doesn’t chase her tail and she won’t ever climb a tree.Instead she stays inside to watch reality TV.She jumps off of my bed and flaps her paws just like a bat.I think my cat needs glasses to remember she’s a cat! 8
  9. 9. Personal Reflection:This poem/picturebook idea was the hybrid of two separate freewritingexperiences: one about my cat and one about my own glasses. They seemed likesuch boring topics at the time, but I’m so glad I was able to combine them into thisreally fun and funky story about a crazy cat. I’ve been a complete advocate of thefreewriting process; even when I thought I had very little to write about I was ableto conjure up various ideas like this one. This poem is based more on reality thanany of you will ever realize. Much of it is about my own cat, Arrow. In fact, Arrowis constantly jumping into open drawers to attack our laundry. She ignores themyriad of expensive cat toys we’ve purchased to instead chase wine corks. And,worst of all, she is hands-down the pickiest eater I know (animal OR human). Ihope you enjoy this semi-pseudo ode to my cat, Arrow. PS – I think a lot could bedone with the illustrations. I imagine my own home when going through the lines,but I think an illustrator could really have fun designing the household. 9
  10. 10. My Dog Stole My PajamasIt was nearly bedtime.I was cold from my bath and ready to crawl into my warm pajamas. But I couldn’tfind them anywhere.They weren’t in the drawer.They weren’t in the laundry basket.They weren’t in the bathroom, in the closet or under the bed.How did I lose my pajamas? They couldn’t have just walked away.I looked to my left. I looked to my right.I looked up to the ceiling. I looked down to the floor.That’s when I saw him, standing in the hall.It was Archie, my big, yellow dog. And HE was wearing my pajamas!His tail was wagging and his tongue was hanging from his mouth.He rolled on his back with his paws in the air. He grinned at me.I reached to grab Archie, but it was too late.Archie raced down the hall towards the kitchen.As he ran past the cabinets…WOOSH! Archie slipped on Mom’s apron. 10
  11. 11. The apron flew into the air and landed right around Archie’s head.I chased him towards the mudroom, but I still couldn’t catch him.Archie ran through a row of shoes piled on the floor…CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMP!Two sneakers, a boot and a high heel became fixed to Archie’s paws.He clomped towards the front door with my pajamas, Mom’s apron and all fourshoes sticking right to him.I chased Archie around the coat tree, trying to corner him when…BOOM!The coat tree toppled over. A parka landed on Archie’s back with its hoodcovering his eyes.Archie, now wearing my pajamas, mom’s apron, four shoes and a parka, made hisway back down the hall towards the bathroom.I chased him inside and…SPLASH! Archie jumped right into the bathtub, still fullof water and bubbles from my bath.Archie was soaking, but he didn’t stop. He ran back into my bedroom, drippingwet.I cornered him near my closet. Archie had nowhere to go. Tiny bubbles on hisnose started to pop, when…AAAA, AAAA, AAAA-CHOOOOOO!Archie sneezed a great sneeze, blowing the parka from his back.Without the parka, Archie was cold. He began to shiver and shake. 11
  12. 12. Archie shook his paws and the shoes came right off, flying into the corners of mybedroom.Archie then shook his head so hard that the apron came loose.With one last great shake, Archie freed my pajamas from his back.As my pajamas, cold and wet, landed in my hands, Archie ran out of my bedroomwith his yellow tail wagging.As I found some dry pajamas in my drawer, I thought I saw something from thecorner of my eye.When I turned around to crawl into bed, something was missing.Where did my teddy bear go? I wondered.That’s when I saw Archie at my bedroom door, grinning, with my teddy bear in hisslobbery mouth. 12
  13. 13. Personal Reflection:For some reason, stories featuring pets seemed to come to me this semester.Time spent in freewriting also led me to this idea about a little boy whose dog hasstolen his pajamas. I was remembering a time when my cat used to run aroundthe house with one of my slippers in her mouth making me chase her down. Iwanted to create a story about this frustration, but do so in layers. In this case,the dog gets into more and more trouble as he’s chased through the house. I thinkthe dog is mischievous, but still cute and comical for young children. I also wantedthe story to feel like it could continue in a child’s mind, so I ended it with the dog(after returning the pajamas) taking the teddy bear off the little boy’s bed to beginanother chase through the house. 13
  14. 14. Part Two 14
  15. 15. “My Best Friend Wendy” by Michelle Liposky (Post 5.7)My original critique:Thanks for sharing this poem. I think you’ve captured a lot of the small details ofchildhood summer and friendship. I also think that this poem would be child-centric because it communicates ideas about common elements of childhood andhow powerful early friendships are. You also touch on the heartbreak of losing afriend, something that so many children have to deal with. I do think you need to decide if you want your poem to rhyme or not. Some linesrhymed while others did not, so it was hard for me to read with a rhythm in mindwhich was a little distracting. But the content is great and I think you could do alot with these memoires of yours. Have you thought about transforming thesememories into more of a narrative? I think the joy of having friendship and thesadness of losing it would be a good picturebook story for young children. Youcould express what you learned from this friendship, even though it was takenaway from you. 15
  16. 16. Reflection:I think my critique was helpful to Michelle because I focused on the structure ofher poem. As a reader, I found it difficult to “flow” through her poem becausethere was no clear format. I also found myself wanting more of a personal takeon this situation, so I suggested that she incorporate a narrative format to allowthe reader to engage more with the delicate and human elements within thepiece. I think the details of her poem are very important for children to learn,especially the potential of losing a friend, so I encouraged her use of these finedetails. Looking back I think her piece taught me a lot about incorporating morechild-centric elements into my own work. She took such care to bring upmemories of childhood (like mud pies, truth or dare and fighting to keep clean)and I realized that many of these details still ring true in the ears of children. 16
  17. 17. “Ellie Story Continued – Practice with Dialogue” by Laura D’Aveta (Post 8.9)My Original Critique:Hi Laura - Im enjoying learning even more about Ellie. Since were talking aboutdialogue this week, Ill comment on those sections of your piece. First, I thinkthere are many instances where you did a good job showing action and emotionwithin your dialogue sequences. But there are some sections where I think thiscould be stronger and/or clearer. For example:“Did you draw these?” Devlin had Ellie’s notebook clenched in his fist, and hestomped towards her, bending nearly in half as he thrust his face in hers, hot airwashing over her skin.I think you need to either explain how Devlin asked this question (as it seemed tostir up a lot of emotion within him). For me, this would offer a clearer picture ofEllies reactions. Maybe like this:“Did you draw these?” Devlin asked angrily as he clenched Ellie’s notebook in hisfist. He stomped towards Ellie, bending nearly in half as he thrust his face in hers.I think there are other instances of dialogue that could be clarified throughexplaining the action with simpler sentences:“Come with me.” Quinn stood, unfolding his body and stretching, giving Ellie spacebut watching to make sure she followed him up the narrow to the attic.to“Come with me,” Quinn said as he stood. As he unfolded his body, he kept his eyeson Ellie, making sure she followed him to the attic.I think just paying attention to the areas where you can clarify the action withinthe dialogue will help you communicate Ellies feelings better to the readers.Overall, I think your story is progressing well and Im excited to read more! 17
  18. 18. Reflection:I believe that my critique helped Laura clarify the dialogue within her scene. I feelthat Laura was trying to pack too much into sections where the characters werespeaking to one another. Sometimes the action following a sentence of dialoguewould run on with various descriptions. It felt like a lot for the reader to take in atonce. I think that clarifying these sections and separating some of theaccompanying action into separate sentences will be beneficial to a reader, whichis why I made the suggestions above. I also think I helped her understand theimportance of communicating how a character delivers their dialogue. If thereader doesn’t know how the words are being delivered then a lot of the impactthe author originally intended can get lost. I think I was able to offer thesesuggestions because I worked very hard on practicing my own writing of dialogue.I wanted to make sure I wove action and impact into sections where mycharacters were speaking, so I hope this emphasis transferred to Laura within mycritique. 18
  19. 19. “Molly and the Three Bears” by Lindsay BayerCritique by Laura D’Aveta (Post 2.5)Laura’s Critique:Lindsay, First off, I love the sort of "Ill show you" tone to Mollys imagination ..."Ill show Mom to tell me use your imagination" ... obstinate, yet there was thechallenge of Molly having to deal with her own fears once she was using herimagination. It made me like her as a character right away. You also seemed tohave fun with turning the original Goldilocks tale on its ear a bit, which was great.Reworkings of fairy tales to make them more "modern" or "accessible" isentertaining.Thank you addressing the fact that cooking porridge/oatmeal just plain stinks.Nobody ever seems to acknowledge that oatmeal should only exist in cookieform.I enjoyed the way you moved Molly between reality and the "inner" story of "her"Three Bears, but I found myself wanting more detail; something more tangiblethan "suddenly she looked up" ... I have no idea what, but it seemed too abrupt atransition. Likewise, the bears figuring out so quickly how she got there when shedidnt know herself ... I felt as though I wanted something more. I think I wantedit to be more work for Molly to get back. Im not sure why. (Ill keep thinkingabout it and let you know if I figure it out!) 19
  20. 20. Reflection:Laura’s critique was very helpful for me because she made me realize that I wasbeing too easy on my main character. I wasn’t pushing Molly (my main character)to transition into much action that was harsh or difficult. She mentioned myabrupt transitions and that really made me think about how I could stretch,expand and make the main character’s circumstances more difficult. I think I wasbeing too easy on myself which translated into an easy story begging for moreconflict. Realizing this helped me in my revisions and I think my second tryallowed me to put Molly into more danger, which ultimately made the resolutionmore successful and satisfying. I am still working on this story, but these initialcomments were very helpful in getting me to let my characters experience moredanger. I now trust myself to create more difficult action and solve problemscreatively within my writing. 20
  21. 21. “Re-Write of Journal 4.3” by Lindsay BayerCritique by Katie Hoeg (Post 4.3)Katie’s Critique:Hiya Lindsay, Nice work! Your journal entry about "Grandma" is lighthearted andfun. I think it would be a great piece for children to connect with, as they areoften more technologically savvy than their grandparents! I like your inclusion ofTVs, Video games, and computers. I think it might be fun, too, to considereReaders, mp3 players, Cell phones, and maybe even exercise equipment.I think this could be a cool picture book....especially if you were to consider a lotof other sources of technology. I do have a few questions, to be sure. In the firstparagraph, you mention that Grandma didnt have a TV in her house for a longtime. In those first two sentences, you use the word "TV" multiple times and I gota little confused. At first I thought she didnt have a TV at all, but then she did,blah blah blah. Its a minor little thing, but maybe you could rephrase thatopening? Also, I LOVE the "switch" at the end of your first example....whereGrandma only smells electricity and you smell the pepperoni pizza. It was aSHOCK to me! :) I wonder if you could connect those "shocks". Maybe the nextexample after the TV could be Microwaves. And maybe the microwave could leadto the mp3 player...and then to the computer....or something like that. :)I think this is an excellent starting point! It is very fun and creative - I hope youcontinue to work on it! 21
  22. 22. Reflection:Katie’s critique helped me (once again) understand how little details can stick outin a reader’s mind if they’re not completely clear. Katie, throughout the semester,was very good about pointing out inconsistencies or confusing elements within astoryline. I thought I would have a scene nailed, but Katie would find somethingthat seemed out of place. Admittedly, I found this a bit annoying at first. But I’vecome to really cherish and appreciate Katie’s inconsistency-hunting because ithelped me further examine and self-edit my work. In this case, Katie also allowedme to think about an alternative perspective for this story. Perhaps it would bebetter suited as a picturebook with building tension (similar to If You Give a Mousea Cookie). Her perspective made me excited about this little piece again when Iinitially thought I would walk away from it. 22
  23. 23. My Personal Philosophy RenewedAs I’ve learned throughout this course, stories for children hold important truths.Children and adults are able to reflect on their own lives by using well-writtenstories as mirrors to see lessons and applications for real situations. Because ofthe power stories hold, authors of literature for children have an importantmission: to not only communicate with readers in an authentic way, but tocommunicate matters of human experience. Children can easily relate to theuniversal themes of love, anger, fear, curiosity, frustration and contentment justas adults can.At the start of this course, I did not possess the intimate knowledge of how tocommunicate these human experiences within stories. I feel that my originalphilosophy emphasized an exterior perception on children’s literature. I was veryconcerned about authors representing various types of diverse childhoodsbecause that is what I saw as important as a consumer, not as an author. While Istill believe diversity is an essential component in the field of children’s literature,my focus has shifted throughout this course as I have actually become a writer forchildren. While no two children are identical, the emotions they experience indifferent situations can often be similar. Therefore, a book written about onechild can still communicate important truths to a child that is not exactly like theone portrayed in the story. I now feel that writing about these universalsimilarities is essential in connecting people to stories.I feel as though children’s literature holds a lot of power: it is able to connectchildren to other children, unite young people and adults and clarify newexperiences and feelings to human beings, young and old. Writing withauthenticity and a personal voice is essential for an author. But I have alsolearned that when authors utilize their voice to write literature for children thatreveals information about how they can operate within a complex world, childrendevelop an inner authenticity within themselves. 23
  24. 24. Part Three 24
  25. 25. Author’s NoteThis course has allowed me to experience a variety of emotions, sometimeswithin the same day or even hour. I have been excited, frustrated and unnervedby the various assignments that have come my way, but I’ve never beencompletely satisfied.And I’m glad.I’m glad because through all of the emotional ups and downs, I’ve been writingthrough it all. I’ve taken pen to paper (and fingers to keyboard) and I’ve created.I’ve let inspiration flow through me and not stop at merely a thought or an idea.I’ve made attempts, great and unpleasant. I’ve made outlines and drafts. I’vecreated stories.I would like to thank Professor Susan Campbell Bartoletti and the fabulous girls inWriter’s Workshop #2 who pushed and encouraged me throughout the semester.It seems as though they were always there with a hopeful word when I was in themidst of a particularly frustrating moment.I’m glad that I leave this course with friends, stories, tools and (especially)dissatisfaction. I feel the latter will be the source to push me in continuing myjourney of becoming a writer upon the conclusion of this class and upon theconclusion of my graduate studies at Penn State. 25
  26. 26. About the AuthorLindsay Bayer is a children’s author concentrating on literature for preschool andkindergarten aged students. She is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Children’sLiterature from Penn State University. Lindsay has worked exclusively in the fieldof early childhood education as a teacher, consultant and quality standardscoordinator. She is also active in community organizations that raise awarenessof issues facing children and families. Lindsay and her husband Christopher residein Western Illinois. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys reading, practicing yoga andvolunteering. 26
  27. 27. RecommendationsLindsay’s whimsical tales take children right into her stories where they can see,feel, and experience what they are reading. She has produced great tales to sparkthe imagination and have some fun! There are very few good stories likeLindsay’s out there today.Carri JonesChildren’s Ministry WorkerOrion, ILI’m incredibly excited to read Lindsay’s stories to my own son. Her words capturethe fun, imagination and warmth of being a child. I can’t wait to read more of herwork.Miranda VinarMotherMoline, ILLindsay’s writing is great for children and also adults looking for a cute pick-me-up. Look for Lindsay as an up-and-coming children’s author.Denise AlgrenTraining ExecutiveSherrard, ILThe humor and creativity Lindsay has woven into her tales is fresh but lasting.Her books will delight children for generations to come.Kristina Kay BernalMother and ArtistVictoria, British Columbia, CanadaLindsay has worked with children for years and has paid attention to the smalldetails that capture a child’s attention while they’re reading. She is determinedto help children develop a lifelong love of learning and her books will help youngpeople do just that.Vera HinrichsenPreschool DirectorRock Island, IL 27

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