As a thanks to our loyal writers, Bumples Family First is giving them a chance to tell everyone a bit about themselves. We start off with Kathleen Bookbinder one of our poetry writers.
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Kathleen Bookbinder and I love, love, love words! I am a mom to two children and a stepmom to two more children. My husband and I have children at both ends of the spectrum—two in their last years of college and two who are “tweens” (9 and 12). The age span provides a wealth of inspiration for my writing and the opportunity for critiques at every turn!
Did you always want to be a writer?
Words were my first love! I was an only child with a lot of time to fill so I read everything and anything I could get my hands on. I loved how writers could make me feel things, laugh at things…they even influenced what I was thinking! It didn’t take long to realize that by writing I could do all those things too!
I grew up, graduated college, married, had children and taught elementary school for quite a while. I still loved to read and write, but life with four kids, a husband and a job took up a lot of time and writing was pushed to the side. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I came back to my first love and began writing again full time. I write for Imagination Café.com weekly on “Cookie’s Corner” and I am a submissions editor for the magazine as well. I also freelance…so I get to spend hours and hours each day with my first love—words!!
When did you first start/get published/where
My first acceptance email was from Boy’s Quest Magazine and it was an article I’d written about the most amazing, unusual, outrageous and fantastic teeth in the animal kingdom. I will never forget the incredible joy I felt when I opened that email…a lot of rejections came before it!
What do you love about writing poetry?
Poetry is fun, yet powerful. You can create rhythm and rhyme that is rollicking and fun, yet throw in a lot of good, solid information as I did with the “Play Ball: A Poem for Two Voices”. Writing poetry feels like solving a puzzle to me…taking ideas and then finding the perfect words, rhythm and rhymes to bring those ideas to life.
What was your inspiration behind your baseball pieces for Bumples?
My twelve year old is an avid baseball player—his first word was “ball”, and I? Well, I am a word person not a sports person but I’ve learned to love baseball because he does. My first poem, “Not Yet” was about his first time pitching, at eight years old. I could just imagine, as I watched him (with my heart in my throat) what must be going through his head…and four years later, I wrote about it! “Play Ball” was different. I sat down one day listening to my twelve and nine year old bickering and I realized they bicker all the time, but usually they find common ground. My daughter is a word lover/sports hater just like I was ( I can’t wait until she has a daughter or son who loves sports someday!) and I could picture the two of them arguing over sports vs. reading, for example…except that my son is an avid reader, so it just wouldn’t work. Then I thought about taking their bickering and turning it into a poem that was fun…but taught reader about two different things. I glommed onto softball and baseball and the words just flowed and flowed and flowed.
What advice can you give to struggling authors?
Don’t give up! It’s not easy to write, receive rejections and start all over again, but getting that acceptance letter or email makes it all worth it. Write every single day, even when you don’t want to write or you think you have nothing to write about. Try writing non-fiction before fiction. Publishers publish much more non-fiction than fiction so non-fiction gives you a greater chance of publication. Take some classes if you can because they make a big difference. I worked with The Institute of Children’s Literature via their online/mail courses and loved the one-on-one relationships I built with my instructors. The curriculum, resources and critiques from my instructors inspired me and helped me grow exponentially as a writer.
Do you have a blog/website etc you would love for us to check out and follow?
Check out “Cookie’s Corner”, my blog for Imagination-café.com. I write two to three times weekly as “Cookie”, the twelve year old mascot for the magazine. Cookie is fun, interesting and sometimes very opinionated! http://cafecornercookie.blogspot.com/