Saturday, 3 October 2015

Counting Rhythm And Meter In Poetry

How to Count Rhythm and Meter in Poetry
by Deborah Owen, CEO
Creative Writing Institute

Image result for poetry clipart free
Two things every poet needs to know are the rise and fall of meter and the rhythm that carries from one line to the next.

Meter is timing the words in the same order on each line. Rhythm is making the timing fall on the right beat at the right time. That can be a big trick. Example:

I saw a man who came from Mars and wore a pretty suit
Green was it, and something strange, he wore just one pink boot

Here is how you can check the syllables in poetry. Place the back of your hand under your chin and read your poem aloud, clearly, distinctly and slowly. You will notice that your chin naturally falls with each syllable.

In the first sentence, the first accent falls on the word "saw" – not on the word “I.” In the second line, the rhythm is wrong because the accent falls on the first syllable, which is "Green." Can you see that? Look at it again. You could force the rhythm to work, but the following would be better:

I saw a man who came from Mars and wore a pretty suit
The green did shine, but something strange, he wore just one pink boot

Do you see how the accent now falls on the second word in both sentences? That’s rhythm! Many poets think they have metered their poetry when they have actually thrown it off, (but poets have literary license to arrange the language to suit their needs).

If you wanted to change the rhythm from one verse to the next, you could do that. In the first verse, every accent could fall on the first word. In the second verse, it could fall on every second word. Just group them and you will be fine.

Now reread those two lines of poetry and count the rise and fall of the accents. You should count seven on each line. Got it? Yeah!  

Deborah Owen is the CEO of Creative Writing Institute  where I am also a writing tutor for the Writing For Children Course

CWI, a Nonprofit Charitythat Offers Free Courses to Cancer Patients

Creative Writing Institute provides professionally written creative writing courses to the general public at great prices. At CWI, you will receive a private tutor at no extra cost. He/she will provide personal feedback as often as you want it. At CWI, we go the extra mile that others only talk about!
If you are a cancer survivor and wish to apply for a scholarship, see

Friday, 18 September 2015

From her Forest, Author Diane Mae Robinson Brings her Irrrational Dragon to Visit

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Multi-Award Winning Children's Book Author Receives Children's Literary Classics Seal Of Approval

Button Images

Award winning author Diane Mae Robinson has announced that 'Sir Princess Petra's Talent' has received the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Button Images


Award-Winning Children's Book Author Diane Mae Robinson's 'Sir Princess Petra's Talent' Receives Children's Literary Classics Seal Of Approval

Robinson’s multi-award winning books, ‘Sir Princess Petra', and the second book in 
the series, 'Sir Princess Petra's Talent', teach children valuable life lessons 
through engaging fiction.   April 18, 2015.
Award winning children's book author Diane Mae Robinson 
has announced that 'Sir Princess Petra's Talent' has been selected to receive the Children's 
Literary Classics Seal of Approval.  The CLC Seal of Approval is a designation reserved for
 those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children's Literary 
Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in 
publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design. CLC is an organization 
dedicated to promoting excellence in literature with the goal to help readers 
select the finest books available.

"Receiving a Seal of Approval from Children’s Literary Classics is an incredible honor," 
Robinson stated.

This is the 6th award for the multi-award winning children’s chapter book series, 
'The Pen Pieyu Adventures'. 'Sir Princess Petra', the first book in the series, took the
 First Place Award for children's books in the 2013 Sharp Writ Book Awards.
 'Sir Princess Petra's Talent', the second book in the series, took the Bronze 
Medal in the 2014 Reader's Favorite International Book Awards in the grades 
4 to 6 category.

Robinson 's highly praised, multi-award winning children’s book, ‘Sir Princess Petra’, 
the first in The Pen Pieyu Adventures series, has been labeled by reviewers as ‘a fantasy 
adventure that is sure to become a timeless classic.’ The Pen Pieyu Adventure series 
is written in the tradition of C. S. Lewis and is reminiscent of ‘Shrek’.

'Sir Princess Petra' took an Honorable Mention award in the 2013 Readers' Favorite 
International Awards for Children Grade K - 3rd. Robinson was also honored with 
two major awards for the book. She was awarded the Lieutenant Governor of 
Alberta Emerging Artists Award for Children’s Book Author and took 2nd 
place in the Purple Dragonfly Book awards for Children’s Chapter Book.

'Sir Princess Petra' has garnered multiple 5 star reviews and high praise from reviewers:

“A maverick fantasy, packed with plot twists and turns, brilliant flashes of humor, 
and originality.” James A. Cox, Editor-in-chief, Midwest Book Review

“Sometimes a kids book comes along that turns convention on its ear. This is one
 such book.” John L. Hoh Jr., Book Ideas. com

“Distinctly quirky and uniquely interesting--I really feel this book is a gem.” 
Renee Cormier, Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“A delightfully imaginative read, a tale that invites readers on a fearless journey 
towards friendship and self-discovery.” The University of Manitoba Book Review

“A fantasy tale with substance--this is a bright and breezy book, buoyed up b
y its humor.” Stephanie Dagg, Readers’ Favorite

“Imaginative, creative, every child deserves to read this book.”  Olivia Dsouza, 
Readers’ Favorite

‘Sir Princess Petra’s Talent’ has also received multiple 5 stars and high praise from reviewers:

“A book we want to define as a graceful masterpiece in children’s literature.”
 Advices Books

“Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is written with brilliant imagination intertwined 
with wonderful humor!”  Sharee, Sharee’s Sentiments

“Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is quite simply, wonderful.” Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite

“This is a wonderful, fast-paced story full of humor and profound messages.” 
Alinka Rutkowska, Award Winning Children’s Author

“Diane Mae Robinson has done it again—captivating, light-hearted, a 
whimsical fantasy.” Mark Simon Smith, Children’s Book Author

Robinson uses the dragon books concept as the background to teaching young
 people traditional values. Ms. Robinson's highly praised work demonstrates 
that dragon books can be something much more than fantasy tales.

The third book in
the series, 'Sir Princess Petra’s Mission – The Pen Pieyu Adventures', 
is scheduled for release in the fall of 2015.

The announcement from Children's Literary Classics can be 
viewed at

About Diane Mae Robinson

Diane Mae Robinson has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal, and an advanced 
diploma from the Institute of Children's Literature in Connecticut. She is 
a writing instructor/tutor for the Children’s Writing Course at the Creative Writing 
Institute. She is also an artist and teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children. 
Diane lives  in a small hilltop castle surrounded by a magical
 forest near St. Paul, Alberta. This magical forest is inhabited by gnomes, fairies, 
a princess, and a dragon and is where Diane creates her characters and gets the
inspiration for her stories. 
- See more at:

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Sir Princess Petra's Talent Receives 5 Stars From Amazon Top 100 Reviewer

Review by Grady Harp, Amazon Top 100 Reviewer, 5 Stars

Canadian author Diane Mae Robinson freely states `My mission in life is to inspire children to believe in the magic within themselves, to become heroes, and to accomplish great things' and to that end she is proceeding with her series of richly detailed imaginative fantasies focusing on a young princess who feels the need to be a knight - thus the perhaps confusing title of Sir Princess Petra. Diane earned her journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children's Literature in Connecticut. She also teaches art and writing in addition to her own primary interest of writing her own novels. Though young and new to the field of publishing she has already been awarded honors and medals. SIR PRINCESS PETRA'S TALENT is the second installment in this series of young adult fantasies.

For those of us who have yet to read the first book, Diane generously opens this second book with a very fine synopsis of Book 1 - always a sign that an author cares about her readers. Briefly, `At Longstride Castle, in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu, it is Princess Petra's ninth and royal birthday. Her father, King Longstride, has promised her anything her heart desires. Petra chooses to become a royal knight and protect her kingdom. (Thus far, Longstride castle has no knights as all of the silly soldiers are still trying to become knights.) After much commotion in the royal throne room, King Longstride has no choice but to grant her request. The royal rulebook says nothing about a girl becoming a knight but only that the proposed knight must perform a deed from a list of three. The choices are: to capture a crocodile and make his skin into a royal leather chair; to hush the howling, nasty dragon, Snarls, in the Forest of Doom; or to eat a roomful of raw onions.'
Petra takes option two and faces Snarls the dragon, but as in all fine fairy tales, the two become friends.Equally fine is the introduction to Book 2, so well written it bears quoting:' Over the last several months, Longstride Castle had become quite accustomed to having the only Princess Knight, well, the only knight actually, in the lands of Pen Pieyu. The king and queen held many parties in Petra's honor, and royals and peasants alike acknowledged the Princess Knight's kindness and bravery and brought what gifts they could to the castle, although the gift bearing seemed to have slowed of late. Petra was not concerned with the parties or gifts as much as she was eager to practice all her knight skills : jousting, fencing, javelin throwing, steed grooming and maintenance, running, armour polishing, and, of course, onion-throwing to hit the mark. She also kept up with her Highland dance lessons, just because she liked it. Longstride Castle had also become quite accustomed to having a dragon in the kitchen since Snarls had become master barbecue connoisseur. The royal rule book said nothing about a dragon in the kitchen, only that the master barbecue connoisseur must provide a very hot fire available for barbecues at a moment's notice. The castle parties flourished as Snarls roasted to perfection his specialties: skewed onion-turnip pom-poms, onion-broccoli no-where-to-be-seen, and, of course, onion omelette ta-da.'

However, the king and queen tire of Petra's obsession with knighthood and the king creates a new rule book that requires Petra to achieve another status level - she must attend a Talent School to reorient her thinking to that of a Princess rather than a knight Or (of course in good fantasy) endure the spell of the royal magician. And Petra's new talent must read to discover. (Just remember the author's gift and you'll guess it).

Diane peppers her book with fanciful drawings by Samantha Kickingbird (and a terrific cover by Errol Villamante) of maps, scrolls, figures of the cast as well as the story at the end. She keeps the book short (a true plus for young readers) and makes her dialogue full of contemporary humor with just the right touch of lightness. In other words, Diane has mastered this genre. Or as other have said, her books are `amazingly fresh, charmingly funny, and embrace timeless values kindness, understanding, and respect'. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, May 15

For more information and reviews on my dragon books for children: 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Kitty Claus--Book Review

Kitty Claus


About the Book: Can Kitty Claus, the meanest cat around, learn what Christmas is all about? On a snowy Christmas Eve a fierce cat named Kitty Claus rules over a family of starving mice. Until a frightful crisis for the ferocious Kitty Claus is resolved when the father mouse rescues him from danger and transforms their adversity into a new bond of mutual friendship. This is a little story-poem of transformation, courage, and righteous behavior that generates the most positive outcome. Originally published in the award-winning book -PESKY POEMS- a collection by T. L. Needham.

What I Thought: Kitty Claus is a wonderful poetic story. I love books that give me warm heart tingles, books that are written in a whimsical way where magic flows from page to page. I especially enjoyed the heartwarming theme of helping those in need, no matter what color their fur is. The illustrations are exceptionally well done and fit the text of the book perfectly. Kitty Claus and his mice friends are charming and their tale is one everyone will love.

About the Author: T. L. Needham, is an award winning author and a native of Kansas City. He grew up with
tales of survival of his mother's family, who endured life during the 1920s and 1930s in western Kansas. This inspired him to write the historic memoir--When I Was A Child, which was honored with an HONORABLE MENTION in WRITER'S DIGEST INDIE BOOK AWARDS, plus a FINALISTS by USA BOOK NEWS--BEST BOOKS AWARD in the category of History-USA. In addition, this book has been awarded the BRONZE MEDAL by READERS FAVORITE, a national book review/literary critic/author services firm. Recently this book was awarded a GOLD MEDAL by Global Ebook Awards, and the cover was awarded an HONORABLE MENTION MEDAL.
Read More:

Other Books by the Author:

When I Was a Child
The She Wolf
Pesky Poems

Visit my author's website:

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Maya & Filippo Show Aloha--Book Review

  • Maya & Filippo Show Aloha

  •                                                                                                 Author: Alinka Rutkowska                                                 
  • Illustrator: Konrad Checinsk
  • Print Length: 37 pages
  • Publisher: Capraro Press (March 7, 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.Language: English
  • ASIN: B00U2JD7RM

About the book:
Have you ever been to Hawaii? Let Maya & Filippo show you around! Learn important facts about the islands’ geography and history. Discover the culture of Hawaii with its lei, ukeleles and hula dance. But there’s more. Learn how to live the spirit of Aloha with Maya & Filippo. 

If you enjoy free kids' books for kindle ages 4-8, this will be a wonderful introduction to Maya & Filippo's world of cruise travel.

What I thought: 
This is a great book to introduce kids to the history and geography of Hawaii through interesting facts about culture, beliefs, and the use of the island's local words. Maya & Filippo have an Aloha adventure that is fun  and easy to read. The author does a fine job with capturing the Aloha spirit in this book. Kids are sure to love this book as well as all the  Maya & Filippo's adventures books.

I like that the  book also has a short quiz at the end, to test reading/listening skills, along with some facts about Hawaii. The book also has colorful illustrations that enhance the text.

About the author                                                                                    
Alinka Rutkowska is a multi-award-winning and #1 international best-selling author and coach.

She's been featured on Fox Business Network, Examiner, She Knows, She Writes, Blog Talk Radio, The Writer's Life and many more.

Author's website:



Barnes and Noble:

Visit my author website:

Friday, 12 June 2015

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to INTREPID--Book Review

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to INTREPID Sea, Air & Space Museum (Volume 5)

  • Series: Little Miss HISTORY Travels to
  • by Barbara Ann Mojica  (Author), Victor Ramon Mojica (Illustrator)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: eugenus® STUDIOS; 1 edition (March 28, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988503034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988503038

About the Book: Where can you explore life on a submarine, an aircraft carrier, and outer space all in one place? At the INTREPID Sea, Air & Space Museum, visitors can watch war movies, view actual WW II planes, and explore the Growler nuclear submarine. The USS Intrepid served: in WW II, the Vietnam War, during the height of the Cold, and as FBI headquarters for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Read more about this one ship’s amazing history, and the sacrifices of those who served on her, to keep the USA safe and free!

What I Thought:
Barbara Ann Mojica has done it again! "Intrepid" is a wonderful, well written addition to this great history series. The author has a great gift for writing history that is interesting and so much fun to read. In, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to INTREPID Sea, Air & Space Museum, the author introduces the reader to the history of the USS INTREPID, the famous attack carrier used in America’s military conflicts. USS INTREPID is now a sea, air, and space museum in New York City, and this is where Little Miss History takes us in the book by way of important facts of the carrier's history. The use of photographs and colorful illustrations by the illustrator enhances the book with visual appeal. Highly recommended.

My review of Little Miss History Travels to Mount Rushmore:

About the Author, Biography:
Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. She writes historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner "Passages." Using the whimsical Little Miss History character, Barbara hopes to inspire
children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History's antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages.

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE is her first stop. In her second journey she sails to The STATUE of LIBERTY. Little Miss HISTORY'S third adventure to SEQUOIA National Park finds her skydiving into the park to explore its history. This book recently received honorable mention in the Children's Literature Independently Published Principal's Awards (CLIPPA), and runner up in the nature/wildlife category of the 2015 Great Northwest Book Festival. In her fourth adventure, Little Miss HISTORY arrives at FORD'S THEATER in her horse and buggy just in time for the 150th Anniversary to witness an event that changed history.


Little Miss HISTORY'S most recent excursion transports readers to the INTREPID, Sea, Air & Space Museum. Where can you explore life on a submarine, an aircraft carrier, and outer space all in one place? At the INTREPID Sea, Air & Space Museum, visitors can watch war movies, view actual WW II planes, and explore the Growler nuclear submarine. The USS Intrepid served: in WW II, the Vietnam War, during the height of the Cold, and as FBI headquarters for the September 11, 2001 
terrorist attacks. Read more about this one ship's amazing history, and the sacrifices of those who served on her, to keep the USA safe and free!

Author's website: