Created in the Path of Irene…An Invitation

Hey, writers & illustrators!

Yes…I mean you…whether you are ten years old or thirty-seven or eighty. Whether you are published and award-winning and best-selling or whether you just like writing poems or drawing sketches in your notebook sometimes…

Many of us are about to have a shared experience, in the form of a big storm that’s barreling up the East Coast.

First of all,  stay safe. FEMA has a page with lots of tips and safety information.

Second…would you like to be part of a collaborative writing experience? This storm is poised to affect millions of us, all up and down the East Coast.  So here’s the invitation part…

Write or draw something as the storm passes through.  Maybe by flashlight or candlelight while the power is out…maybe in between trips downstairs to bail out the basement. And then, let’s gather all that writing and art together to see what people created  as Hurricane Irene passed through.

A little background… I’m a bit of a weather geek. I’m married to a meteorologist, so it’s not uncommon for cold fronts and funnel clouds to be dinner conversation at our house.  And I wrote a book about storms;

So I’ll be writing this weekend.  On my laptop, as long as the battery lasts, and then if the power goes out, I’ll be scribbling in my notebook.

Want to join me?  Here’s what I’m thinking…

  1. Create something – a poem, a description, a short story, a dialogue, a song, a comic, a sculpture, a drawing, a scarf, a piece of jewelry, a quick scene for a movie, a dance,  a collage…whatever you want. Create it while you’re waiting for the storm or in the middle of the storm, or after the storm has passed.  (If you’re not in the path of Irene, that’s okay…you can write about what you see on the news or hear from relatives & friends.)
  2. Please keep your creations appropriate for audiences of all ages. (Obviously, you’re free to create whatever you want – but I want to make sure the posts that I share here are appropriate for teachers K-12 to share in classrooms. Thanks!)
  3. Share what you created  on your blog or your Facebook page or Google+ or wherever you share things online.  If it’s art, you can share a photo. If you’re a kid, you can ask your teacher or librarian or a parent to share it for you. If you don’t have a blog or another place online to share writing, just come back here and paste what you wrote into a comment, and I’ll share it for you.
  4. Include your city & state, plus the date and time you created the work.
  5. Come back to this post and leave a comment with a link to what you shared. Also, let me know who you are (i.e. author of XYZ series, 5th grader in Quincy, Massachusetts, Librarian in the Outer Banks) Names are optional.
  6. Next week, after the storm has passed, I’ll create a big post with links to all of our work that was “Created in the Path of Irene.”  It’ll be kind of like a Hurricane Irene Online Museum.

Author/illustrator friends…when you post your storm writing & art, you may want to include a quick bio and information about your books; some folks who come to see your storm creations may not be familiar with your other work.

And everyone… please feel free to share this invitation far and wide – and teachers, I’d love it if you’d extend the invitation to your students, too!  It would be great to see what younger writers come up with, and I think it would be really cool for kids to see their hurricane reflections shared alongside those of published authors.

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18 Comments

  1. Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I live in South Jersey, directly east of Philadelphia, Pa. I’m planning on keeping a photo-journal of my house and environs, before, during and after Irene passes. Would love to share images. Thanks for the invitation!

    • Posted August 27, 2011 at 1:25 am | Permalink

      That’s a great idea – thanks! And do stay safe – I know you’re pretty well in the direct path of the storm & will be thinking warm, dry thoughts for you all.

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Would love it if you’d share the link when it’s up – thanks!

  2. Posted August 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this great idea! I have been following Hurricane Irene very closely for the last week, because my family was supposed to travel to Sunset Beach, NC this week for vacation before the school year begins.

    Due to the fact that there was a state of emergency in each of the states that we needed to travel through and that Sunset Beach Island, our destination, was evacuated, we had to cancel our trip. It would not have been safe to travel with four children, ages eight and under, to a destination that may be in shambles when we arrive.

    After making the decision on Friday morning, I walked around the house in a daze (Friday and Saturday) not writing, reading, exercising, or even playing with the kids (my favorite activity), until I checked your blog and saw your idea. Well, it worked, I wrote a short story to forget my sadness about missing the trip, so thank you.

    The only problem is that my short story is 2600 words long. Can I just paste it into this comment box? Or is that too much of a pain? I don’t have a blog. I have a classroom page, but I can only post the Word document as a link on the page and it would be difficult for people to access.

    Thank you again for this cool writing opportunity. My family and I have continued to watch the hurricane coverage, and we are praying for a quick recovery for all of the states damaged by Hurricane Irene.

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      If pasting it into the comment box doesn’t work, just mail it to me, okay? (kmessner at kate messner dot com) Then I can put it up on a separate blog page & link from the roundup page – sound good?

  3. Steve Vernon
    Posted August 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Hello from Halifax, Nova Scotia. We’re only going to catch Irene by the hem of her widest skirt – but I wrote a poem just the same. Any excuse for a scribble…

    It’s posted in my blog.

    http://stevevernonstoryteller.wordpress.com/tag/poetry/

    yours in storytelling,

    Steve Vernon

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Linking to your beautiful poem – thank you!

  4. Posted August 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Irene

    Late August leaves in mid-
    life ripped by winds, their
    purpose unfulfilled. Trees
    face autumn malnourished,
    undressed, totally assailable,
    yet with a thirst fully quenched.

    Created by Diane Mayr, 8/28/11, early afternoon in Salem, NH.

    I’m the author of several books for children including: Run, Turkey, Run!, illus. by Laura Rader (Walker, 2007). Kids of the Homefront Army: Poems of World War II America is being published serially online.

  5. Posted August 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Katie Davis, author/ Illustrator  Most recent book: Little Chicken’s Big Day
    My poems were created on vacation in Madison, CT – on the CT Shoreline
    Created on August 28 & 29, 2011 
    I’ve got during and after Twitter poems and during and after videos you can see here: 
    http://katiedavis.com/blog/uncategorized/2011/08/irene-poems/

    My site is katiedavis.com

  6. Posted August 30, 2011 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Hello from Allentown, Pennsylvania! Here’s a snapshot from our night in the hurricane:

    http://paulacampora.com/blog/2011/08/29/created-in-the-path-of-irene/

    I’m Paul Acampora, writer of fiction for young readers. My new novel, a middle grade romantic comedy called “Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face,” will appear in stores on August 30 (tomorrow!!) Hope everybody is safe and well.
    – Paul

    • Posted August 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Great, Paul – glad to hear you’re safe and sound. I’m linking to this now.

  7. Posted August 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kate –

    I blogged my three quickie poems from the storm. Here’s the link:
    http://heyjimhill.com/2011/08/three-for-irene/

    Cheers –

    Jim.

    • Posted August 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Awesome – thanks, Jim! Linking to this now.

  8. Posted August 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Good Morning, Kate!

    Sent along the Hurricane Irene document after trying with zero success to paste it in the comment box. Sorry about the delay and being a pain.

    Thanks again!
    Andy

  9. Posted August 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    http://ruralfantasy.blogspot.com/2011/08/itsy-bitsy-spider.html
    Hartland, Vermont. Written in the aftermath of Irene, on the afternoon of August 30th.

    • Posted August 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      This is a beautiful piece – I love it. Thanks for sharing! Linking to it now…

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