Friday, December 16, 2011

Confessions of a Rhymer

     I am a rhymer. No, not a member of the Reimer family from fifth grade with whose daughter I shared a short lived obsession for playing softball and collecting baseball cards. I mean rhymes just pour out of my little brain as I go about the day, changing diapers, shoving the kids in the car, etc. Maybe I have read one too many Dr. Seuss books or watched too many Elmo segments with that one cartoon lady who raps. Or maybe there are some things you just can't help. Like being a belly-sleeper or a snort-laugher. It just happens.  You are who you are.

     I was so excited to finally be able to put my rhymes to use. My husband writes music and whenever he would ask me to help him work on his lyrics, he would become so frustrated because I would always want to rhyme. (Husband: Love hurts....Me: juice squirts?)Well, now I found my' books! Only it isn't that easy. Rhyming, I am beginning to notice isn't always welcomed in the industry. It's kind of like listening to the song "Jingle Bells" on repeat or eating scrambled eggs with ketchup for breakfast on a daily basis. It seems like a good idea at first, but then after a while, you just have to change it up or you'll find those around you going insane.

The question is, how can I leave the comfort of rhyming's arms? It's so warm and sweet here. I feel naked adventuring off into anything else. Then I might need to deal with things like... voice! YIKES! Insight? Advice? Anything would be welcome for this rhymeaholic.


  1. It is so cool that rhyming comes so naturally to you -- but yes, editors seem to shy away from rhymed texts, at least so we're told. (Which to me begs the question how all those rhyming picture books got published.)

    Have you tried writing in prose with just a little bit of rhyming? For instance, write the body of a picture book in prose, but have one of the characters speak in rhyming couplets? That might work, and might be fun to try.

  2. My advice to you is if you truly LOVE rhyme, you keep at it until you learn the rules, the ropes and everything in between. There are great books out there on writing poetry, including rhyme, that provide all you need to know about meter. Tiffany Strelitz Haber ( has great resources.

    The reason I say you have to TRULY love it is because it is HARD. Super fun, but very difficult to do well. It takes commitment to learn how to do it well but it can be done - just look at all the rhyming books on the shelves.

    If it makes you sad to think about writing a story in prose, you're probably going to be an excellent student of rhyme. Most of my PBs are rhyming, but I have a couple in prose and a one with a combination! I'm still learning too, but the great thing is, the more you write, the better you get. :-)

    Probably a longer answer than you wanted huh? :-)

  3. Hi, Elizabeth. I dropped by during the Comment Challenge and as I scrolled down, lo and behold, I found a post that speaks to me. For I, too, am a rhymer. My website ( is my own personal rhyme nest with some other stuff thrown in. Feel free to drop in or to visit my blog at .