Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Digging for Gold Challenge

By Janie Reinart

Nikki Grimes has done it again. Her new book, One Last Word, finds inspiration from poets of the Harlem Renaissance.  

The form Nikki Grimes used to create her latest book is called the Golden Shovel. To start, you need a line from a story, poem, or words in a song. The words are so striking, that you have to reread, sing, or write them down.  

  • Take a "striking" line
  • This line becomes the end words in your new story idea or poem
  • Write the words in the right margin in order. These words become your ending words.
  • Give credit to the poet, author, lyricist who originally wrote the line

I read the story, My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison. The line that made me tear up was

My new idea using the golden shovel.

Crystal Butterfly

The glasswing flutters and
her stained glass beauty camouflages her.
No need for clothes
when you are
mystery to birds, so little.
One with the light, you are clearly snuggish.

Your challenge is to find a striking line. Use your golden shovel.  Please share your new creations in the commentsHappy digging.


  1. What a fun way to write a poem! I'm going to try it today. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. 😊 Go Andrea! Share with us please❤️

  3. Such a fun way to dig in this summer! Thanks, Janie!

  4. It was so interesting to me to have the words at the end. Made my brain go off in an entirely different direction ❤️

  5. Oh, I have got to give this a whirl! I love how poets play with language, transforming one image into something completely different.

    1. Jilanne, let us know what you come up with😊

  6. Not a poet, but I'm willing to give this a go. Thank you for sharing this unique technique, Janie :) You always inspire!

  7. I love finding new forms. And My Friend Maggie is a wonderful book to choose from.

  8. I tried one! Not perfect, but fun and a great writing exercise. I used YOU NEST HERE WITH ME, and I used the title (which is also words in the story).

    I love to play with YOU.
    Let's build a blankie NEST.
    Snuggle HERE,
    Read and play, WITH
    Warm cocoa, you and ME.

    1. And this lovely book is by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple!

    2. Angie, I love it❤️ I always make nests out of blankets with my grandchildren.

  9. This was fun!

    My sentence (fragment) was from THE HEART IN THE BOTTLE by Oliver Jeffers:
    "Whose head was filled with all the curiosities of the world."

    Whose are these, whose?
    Yours? You'd lose your head
    Even if it was
    Attached, it would float away filled
    With dreams, filled with
    The wonders, the curiosities
    The whos and the
    Whys of the world.

  10. Angela, another one of my favorite books. 😊 Nicely done. ❤️

  11. Golden Shovel, from Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," last line
    (and miles to go before I sleep.)

    I wonder at the swelty summer heat and
    sweaty wonder takes my mind for miles
    away, away, so many years away to
    some white frosty frozen lane where I would go
    where I had stopped so many times before
    when just a cold young poet I
    was writing in my sweet oblivious sleep.

  12. Damon, Wow❤️ "Cold young Poet" , "away, away, so many years away", - amazing.

  13. Golden Shovel -using the first line, a child on a silver bike, from Billy Collins' poem Traffic

    When I'm Gone

    what will happen to my things? a
    box of toys from when I was a child
    my grandmother's clock that sat on
    her mantle, mother's jewelry in a
    box made of silver
    and my old blue bicycle

  14. Candace, fabulous image❤️ The title grabbed me. Especially drawn to the line-mother's jewelry in a box of silver. Thank you.