Friday, April 13, 2012

Time Crunch

Hello all!
This post is in addition to my
Thursday Balance posts.
This is because,
I know him personally.

He's a great children's poet. 
Love his funny and crazy stuff.

Timely Advice

Toby’s tattered Timex
told terrible time
so why he sold his Seiko
I’ll never know.
But I won’t soon forget
his timely advice,
for he turned to me and said
“Wait a minute.”

More from Ken Slesarik

Most of us lead hectic lives in terms of work, children and other commitments and writers are no exception. When you think of it, that precious commodity of time is the one thing we all are given equally. By that, I mean, we are all only allotted 24 hours in every day and are continually faced with choices as to how we spend it.

When we are younger we speak in terms of “killin’ time” or use expressions such as “I’ve got too much time on my hands.” As we mature, hopefully we gain a realization as to the importance of time and the role it plays in our lives and as such, we learn to prioritize.

That leads me to pose the question: “Can writers find time to write and maintain a sense of balance?” Finding equilibrium can be a chore, even to those with the luxury of being able to write full time. In my own life, I’m certain I’ve not found this elusive balance.

As a teacher, single parent and aspiring children’s poet I find that often an idea or genesis for a poem will come unexpectedly and then any and all balance in my life goes “kaput” as I become obsessed with finding the precise words and cadence. I often can not eat, sleep or work until I figure it out. Can you say sick day? Lucky for me, children's poems are usually short in duration so that sense of completion comes relatively soon! If I wrote for adults, or did mid-grade novels, I suspect I would be much more tired, skinny and/or unemployed.

I certainly do not write everyday, so I lack that balance and best practice. I also work a second job on weekends teaching teens how to drive along with teaching summer school in addition to trying to be a good parent and attend my son’s basketball games. To make matters worse, my muse is often vacationing in Sweden where she remains neutral as to offering up any new ideas or inspiration. That being said, I often have to “Make hay while the sun is shining” and write extensively on vacation days and summer (more unbalance).

Theoretically, I suppose it’s possible to find balance as a writer, but in many cases it’s that hunger and need to write that keeps us unbalanced as our ideas clamor to be put to paper.

So in the end I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps a balanced life is less common for creative types such as writers.


Writing poetry for children is my passion. My poems have been used in fundraisers, cookbooks and school functions. I also facilitate a poetry club at Esperanza Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona and our e-book “Poetry Rocks 2012” is doing very well on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing or teaching poetry I occasionally perform at coffee shops or bookstores while looking for my niche in children’s poetry. Currently I am writing a humorous collection of desert wildlife poems as well as a collection about Big Foot.


  1. Thank you Jean! One thing I wanted to mention is that I teach special education and I'm proud to have included that segment of the population in our "Poetry Rocks 2012" book.

    1. I would love to see the book on secret interest!!!!

  2. Ken was kind enough to share more!

    Yeti’s Promise
    By Ken Slesarik

    Yeti made a privy promise
    between him and Sheriff Thomas.
    Pledgin’ to stay out of trouble
    in lieu of costs with fines double.
    One night, the Yeti, out from hidin,’
    tryin’ to be law abidin,’
    had the urge to “kick it.”

    Root beer lead to sassafrassin’
    so he was cited for harassin’
    bystanders and pedestrians.
    Then we mad equestrians,
    gathered guns and tawny ropes.
    Some read their horoscopes in hopes
    of guidance in the thicket.

    The search, it lingered on for days
    then somethin’ moved beyond the haze.
    It spooked the horses and the men.
    We heard it once and then again.
    In that darkness he approached us,
    then smiled and said “Buenos noches,
    how ‘bout a game of cricket?”

    Not lookin’ for a fight that night
    we played cricket by the moonlight.
    The game, was too complex for us
    and he was ambidextrous.
    We thought we were appeasin’ him
    and no one teased him on a whim,
    yet he began to picket.

    “Your promise, Yeti, that’s why we’re here
    just pay your fine, no need to fear.”
    “We’ve searched and you’ve eluded us.”
    “Don’t picket and be rude to us.”
    Then shots rang out, the chase was on.
    We think we hit him but he’s gone...
    and someone paid the ticket.

    Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved

  3. Thanks Jean. Got my mind ticking over. There must be a way for us to live a more balanced life as writers. If we could only find it, we must share it! Shirl


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