What Tara Doesn’t Know…
by Karma Wilson

KarmaWilsonShhh…don’t tell Tara, but she’s become one of my biggest inspirations. More specifically, her alphabetical list of 365+ Things Kids Like has become one of my biggest inspirations. In fact, I never would have guessed that a blog entry could become so central to my writing process.

Whenever I sit down to write children’s poetry I have two websites up at all times. One is a rhyming dictionary and the other is Tara’s list.

I scroll down the list and I try to come up with one poem for each item.

For me, when writing poetry, it is often the basic idea that eludes me. Sometimes all I need is a word or a thought and WALA, presto-chango, alakazam—a poem finally makes its way into my befuddled brain matter! I used to ask my kids, “What should I write a poem about?” But now, instead of harassing my “couldn’t care less” tweens and teens I just click open Tara’s list.

Here’s an example of a poem inspired by the first entry…acrobat.

He flies through the air
With greatest of ease
He flies and he doesn’t
need a trapeze!
He dips and darts
through the darkest of night
he doesn’t needs nets
and he doesn’t need lights.
He hangs upside down
for hours, no less.
Who is this gymnast?
Who? Can you guess?
He sees with his sonar
imagine that!
The amazing, stupendous,
Acro Bat!

So, if you’re just desperately thirsty for an idea I’ve found Tara’s list a wellspring of inspiration.

Karma Wilson is the author of more than 20 popular picture books, including Bear Snores On, Baby Cakes, A Frog in the Bog and a new volume of poetry called What’s the Weather Inside?

Karma is generously giving away one of her books as part of PiBoIdMo! (Your choice: Don’t Be Afraid, Little Pip or Mama Always Comes Home.) Please leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. A winner will be randomly picked at the conclusion of our month-long idea extravaganza. Good luck!

So how’s it going today?