Lindsay Bayer E-Portfolio Project

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Lindsay Bayer E-Portfolio Project

  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 ortransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior writtenpermission 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 (Stories and Personal Reflections) ........................ 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………………………………………………………………………………………25 Author’s Note…………………………………………………………………………………26 About the Author…………………………………………………………………………..27 Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………28 4
  5. 5. Part One: Option B(Stories and Personal Reflections) 5
  6. 6. Yoga Makes Me Feel…Yoga makes me feel excited. When I wake up in the morning, hearingthe birds sing and seeing the first rays of sunlight, I stand tall inMountain Pose. With my back straight and my shoulders down, I reachmy arms over my head and look up. I imagine reaching for the sun inthe sky. As I hear Mom yell, “Time for breakfast,” I feel strong andready for the day ahead.Yoga makes me feel balanced. Before I climb the jungle gym on theplayground, I stand up straight and bring one ankle to the top of myother leg in Tree Pose. I raise my arms over my head and balance for afew seconds. My friends become trees too. The breeze blows, shakingour branches. “Woah, woah!” we say as we giggle and try to remainstill. We switch legs and start over on the other side. Yoga makes mefeel sturdy and ready to play.Yoga makes me feel calm. When my teacher announces, “Attentionclass, please clear your desks. It’s time for a pop quiz in math,” I beginto feel nervous. But then I remember to take slow, deep breaths in andout of my nose. This is called Pranayama. I close my eyes for amoment and listen to the air flowing in and out of my body. My nervesare clamed and my mind is focused. “Just stop and take a deepbreath,” I tell my desk partner as she bites her bottom lip. Yoga makesme feel prepared and confident to take my quiz.Yoga makes me feel peaceful. I look out my bedroom window and seethe stars glimmering in the dark sky. In my warn pajamas, I kneel on 6
  7. 7. the floor and sit on my heels. I slowly lay my body on my legs and relaxinto Child’s Pose. As I think back on my day, I feel grateful for all that’shappened. I slowly breathe in and out… in and out. “Goodnight, mylove,” I hear Mom say as she peeks into my room. Yoga makes me feelthankful and ready for a good night’s sleep.Personal Reflection:I started freewriting about yoga one day this semester because I’venoticed how much better I feel after consistent practice. I also noticedthat yoga helped me in the writing process. It helped me eliminatedistractions and settle in on the method of creating. With consistentyoga practice I’m more aware, calm and focused. This made me thinkabout how children could benefit from yoga too as they move throughthe day; from waking up in the morning, to going to school, to fallingasleep. That’s where this picturebook idea comes from. I visualize theillustrations showing the poses in the context of the story, then perhapsstep-by-step illustrations at the end of the book. I also feel like thiscould be the beginning of a series of books, considering the numerousposes 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. Theyseemed like such boring topics at the time, but I’m so glad I was able tocombine them into this really fun and funky story about a crazy cat. I’vebeen a complete advocate of the freewriting process; even when Ithought I had very little to write about I was able to conjure up variousideas like this one. This poem is based more on reality than any of youwill ever realize. Much of it is about my own cat, Arrow. In fact, Arrowis constantly jumping into open drawers to attack our laundry. Sheignores the myriad of expensive cat toys we’ve purchased to insteadchase wine corks. And, worst of all, she is hands-down the pickiesteater I know (animal OR human). I hope you enjoy this semi-pseudoode to my cat, Arrow. PS – I think a lot could be done with theillustrations. I imagine my own home when going through the lines, butI 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. ButI couldn’t find 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. 10
  11. 11. Archie raced down the hall towards the kitchen.As he ran past the cabinets…WOOSH! Archie slipped on Mom’s apron.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 andall four shoes sticking right to him.I chased Archie around the coat tree, trying to corner himwhen…BOOM!The coat tree toppled over. A parka landed on Archie’s back with itshood covering his eyes.Archie, now wearing my pajamas, mom’s apron, four shoes and aparka, made his way back down the hall towards the bathroom.I chased him inside and…SPLASH! Archie jumped right into the bathtub,still full of water and bubbles from my bath. 11
  12. 12. Archie was soaking, but he didn’t stop. He ran back into my bedroom,dripping wet.I cornered him near my closet. Archie had nowhere to go. Tiny bubbleson his nose 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.Archie shook his paws and the shoes came right off, flying into thecorners of my bedroom.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 mybedroom with his yellow tail wagging.As I found some dry pajamas in my drawer, I thought I saw somethingfrom the corner of my eye.When I turned around to crawl into bed, something was missing.Where did my teddy bear go? I wondered. 12
  13. 13. That’s when I saw Archie at my bedroom door, grinning, with my teddybear in his slobbery mouth.Personal Reflection:For some reason, stories featuring pets seemed to come to me thissemester. Time spent in freewriting also led me to this idea about alittle boy whose dog has stolen his pajamas. I was remembering a timewhen my cat used to run around the house with one of my slippers inher mouth making me chase her down. I wanted to create a storyabout this frustration, but do so in layers. In this case, the dog gets intomore and more trouble as he’s chased through the house. I think thedog is mischievous, but still cute and comical for young children. I alsowanted the story to feel like it could continue in a child’s mind, so Iended it with the dog (after returning the pajamas) taking the teddybear off the little boy’s bed to begin another 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 smalldetails of childhood summer and friendship. I also think that this poemwould be child-centric because it communicates ideas about commonelements of childhood and how powerful early friendships are. Youalso touch on the heartbreak of losing a friend, something that so manychildren have to deal with. I do think you need to decide if you want your poem to rhyme or not.Some lines rhymed while others did not, so it was hard for me to readwith a rhythm in mind which was a little distracting. But the content isgreat and I think you could do a lot with these memoires of yours.Have you thought about transforming these memories into more of anarrative? I think the joy of having friendship and the sadness of losingit would be a good picturebook story for young children. You couldexpress what you learned from this friendship, even though it wastaken away from you. 15
  16. 16. Reflection:I think my critique was helpful to Michelle because I focused on thestructure of her poem. As a reader, I found it difficult to “flow” throughher poem because there was no clear format. I also found myselfwanting more of a personal take on this situation, so I suggested thatshe incorporate a narrative format to allow the reader to engage morewith the delicate and human elements within the piece. I think thedetails of her poem are very important for children to learn, especiallythe potential of losing a friend, so I encouraged her use of these finedetails. Looking back I think her piece taught me a lot aboutincorporating more child-centric elements into my own work. She tooksuch care to bring up memories of childhood (like mud pies, truth ordare and fighting to keep clean) and I realized that many of thesedetails 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 weretalking about dialogue this week, Ill comment on those sections of yourpiece. First, I think there are many instances where you did a good jobshowing action and emotion within your dialogue sequences. But thereare some sections where I think this could be stronger and/or clearer.For example:“Did you draw these?” Devlin had Ellie’s notebook clenched in his fist,and he stomped towards her, bending nearly in half as he thrust his facein hers, hot air washing over her skin.I think you need to either explain how Devlin asked this question (as itseemed to stir up a lot of emotion within him). For me, this would offera clearer picture of Ellies reactions. Maybe like this:“Did you draw these?” Devlin asked angrily as he clenched Ellie’snotebook in his fist. He stomped towards Ellie, bending nearly in half ashe thrust his face in hers.I think there are other instances of dialogue that could be clarifiedthrough explaining the action with simpler sentences:“Come with me.” Quinn stood, unfolding his body and stretching, givingEllie space but watching to make sure she followed him up the narrowto the attic.to 17
  18. 18. “Come with me,” Quinn said as he stood. As he unfolded his body, hekept his eyes on Ellie, making sure she followed him to the attic.I think just paying attention to the areas where you can clarify theaction within the dialogue will help you communicate Ellies feelingsbetter to the readers.Overall, I think your story is progressing well and Im excited to readmore!Reflection:I believe that my critique helped Laura clarify the dialogue within herscene. I feel that Laura was trying to pack too much into sections wherethe characters were speaking to one another. Sometimes the actionfollowing a sentence of dialogue would run on with various descriptions.It felt like a lot for the reader to take in at once. I think that clarifyingthese sections and separating some of the accompanying action intoseparate sentences will be beneficial to a reader, which is why I madethe suggestions above. I also think I helped her understand theimportance of communicating how a character delivers their dialogue.If the reader doesn’t know how the words are being delivered then a lotof the impact the author originally intended can get lost. I think I wasable to offer these suggestions because I worked very hard on practicingmy own writing of dialogue. I wanted to make sure I wove action andimpact into sections where my characters were speaking, so I hope thisemphasis transferred to Laura within my critique. 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 Mollysimagination ... "Ill show Mom to tell me use your imagination" ...obstinate, yet there was the challenge of Molly having to deal with herown fears once she was using her imagination. It made me like her as acharacter right away. You also seemed to have fun with turning theoriginal Goldilocks tale on its ear a bit, which was great. Reworkings offairy tales to make them more "modern" or "accessible" is entertaining.Thank you addressing the fact that cooking porridge/oatmeal just plainstinks. Nobody ever seems to acknowledge that oatmeal should onlyexist in cookie form.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 tangible than "suddenly she looked up" ... I have noidea what, but it seemed too abrupt a transition. Likewise, the bearsfiguring out so quickly how she got there when she didnt know herself... I felt as though I wanted something more. I think I wanted it to bemore 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 realizethat I was being too easy on my main character. I wasn’t pushing Molly(my main character) to transition into much action that was harsh ordifficult. She mentioned my abrupt transitions and that really made methink about how I could stretch, expand and make the main character’scircumstances more difficult. I think I was being too easy on myselfwhich translated into an easy story begging for more conflict. Realizingthis helped me in my revisions and I think my second try allowed me toput Molly into more danger, which ultimately made the resolution moresuccessful and satisfying. I am still working on this story, but theseinitial comments were very helpful in getting me to let my charactersexperience more danger. I now trust myself to create more difficultaction and solve problems creatively 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" islighthearted and fun. I think it would be a great piece for children toconnect with, as they are often more technologically savvy than theirgrandparents! I like your inclusion of TVs, Video games, andcomputers. I think it might be fun, too, to consider eReaders, mp3players, Cell phones, and maybe even exercise equipment.I think this could be a cool picture book....especially if you were toconsider a lot of other sources of technology. I do have a fewquestions, to be sure. In the first paragraph, you mention thatGrandma didnt have a TV in her house for a long time. In those firsttwo sentences, you use the word "TV" multiple times and I got a littleconfused. 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 rephrasethat opening? Also, I LOVE the "switch" at the end of your firstexample....where Grandma only smells electricity and you smell thepepperoni pizza. It was a SHOCK to me! :) I wonder if you couldconnect those "shocks". Maybe the next example after the TV could beMicrowaves. And maybe the microwave could lead to the mp3player...and then to the computer....or something like that. :)I think this is an excellent starting point! It is very fun and creative - Ihope you continue to work on it! 21
  22. 22. Reflection:Katie’s critique helped me (once again) understand how little details canstick out in a reader’s mind if they’re not completely clear. Katie,throughout the semester, was very good about pointing outinconsistencies or confusing elements within a storyline. I thought Iwould have a scene nailed, but Katie would find something that seemedout of place. Admittedly, I found this a bit annoying at first. But I’vecome to really cherish and appreciate Katie’s inconsistency-huntingbecause it helped me further examine and self-edit my work. In thiscase, Katie also allowed me to think about an alternative perspective forthis story. Perhaps it would be better suited as a picturebook withbuilding tension (similar to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie). Herperspective made me excited about this little piece again when I initiallythought I would walk away from it. 22
  23. 23. My Personal Philosophy RenewedAs I’ve learned throughout this course, stories for children holdimportant truths. Children and adults are able to reflect on their ownlives by using well-written stories as mirrors to see lessons andapplications for real situations. Because of the power stories hold,authors of literature for children have an important mission: to not onlycommunicate with readers in an authentic way, but to communicatematters of human experience. Children can easily relate to theuniversal themes of love, anger, fear, curiosity, frustration andcontentment just as adults can.At the start of this course, I did not possess the intimate knowledge ofhow to communicate these human experiences within stories. I feelthat my original philosophy emphasized an exterior perception onchildren’s literature. I was very concerned about authors representingvarious types of diverse childhoods because that is what I saw asimportant as a consumer, not as an author. While I still believediversity is an essential component in the field of children’s literature,my focus has shifted throughout this course as I have actually become awriter for children. While no two children are identical, the emotionsthey experience in different situations can often be similar. Therefore,a book written about one child can still communicate important truthsto a child that is not exactly like the one portrayed in the story. I nowfeel that writing about these universal similarities is essential inconnecting people to stories.I feel as though children’s literature holds a lot of power: it is able toconnect children to other children, unite young people and adults andclarify new experiences and feelings to human beings, young and old. 23
  24. 24. Writing with authenticity and a personal voice is essential for an author.But I have also learned that when authors utilize their voice to writeliterature for children that reveals information about how they canoperate within a complex world, children develop an inner authenticitywithin themselves. 24
  25. 25. Part Three 25
  26. 26. Author’s NoteThis course has allowed me to experience a variety of emotions,sometimes within the same day or even hour. I have been excited,frustrated and unnerved by the various assignments that have come myway, but I’ve never been completely satisfied.And I’m glad.I’m glad because through all of the emotional ups and downs, I’ve beenwriting through 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 atmerely a thought or an idea. I’ve made attempts, great and unpleasant.I’ve made outlines and drafts. I’ve created stories.I would like to thank Professor Susan Campbell Bartoletti and thefabulous girls in Writer’s Workshop #2 who pushed and encouraged methroughout the semester. It seems as though they were always therewith a hopeful word when I was in the midst of a particularly frustratingmoment.I’m glad that I leave this course with friends, stories, tools and(especially) dissatisfaction. I feel the latter will be the source to pushme in continuing my journey of becoming a writer upon the conclusionof this class and upon the conclusion of my graduate studies at PennState. 26
  27. 27. About the AuthorLindsay Bayer is a children’s author concentrating on literature forpreschool and kindergarten aged students. She is pursuing herMaster’s Degree in Children’s Literature from Penn State University.Lindsay has worked exclusively in the field of early childhood educationas a teacher, consultant and quality standards coordinator. She is alsoactive in community organizations that raise awareness of issues facingchildren and families. Lindsay and her husband Christopher reside inWestern Illinois. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys reading, practicingyoga and volunteering. 27
  28. 28. RecommendationsLindsay’s whimsical tales take Lindsay has worked withchildren right into her stories children for years and has paidwhere they can see, feel, and attention to the small detailsexperience what they are that capture a child’s attentionreading. She has produced great while they’re reading. She istales to spark the imagination determined to help childrenand have some fun! There are develop a lifelong love ofvery few good stories like learning and her books will helpLindsay’s out there today. young people do just that.Carri Jones Vera HinrichsenChildren’s Ministry Worker Preschool DirectorOrion, IL Rock Island, ILI’m incredibly excited to read The humor and creativityLindsay’s stories to my own son. Lindsay has woven into her talesHer words capture the fun, is fresh but lasting. Her booksimagination and warmth of will delight children forbeing a child. I can’t wait to read generations to come.more of her work. Kristina Kay BernalMiranda Vinar Mother and ArtistMother Victoria, British Columbia,Moline, IL CanadaLindsay’s writing is great forchildren and also adults lookingfor a cute pick-me-up. Look forLindsay as an up-and-comingchildren’s author.Denise AlgrenTraining ExecutiveSherrard, IL 28

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