Friday, December 18, 2015

Season's Greetings!

Snow Study III by Michael Lindstrom - Oil on Panel 9 X 12


Every year I take a winter break near the Christmas holiday. This will be my last blog post of 2015; I'll be back on Writ of Whimsy in January.  

We're looking forward to spending a very special Christmas with my parents, our sons & daughter-in-law, and other family members as well.

Hope you have the happiest of holidays!
(If you'd like to view my recent quarterly newsletter, click here.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Whimsical Word of the Week

Droll - (n.)
curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement.
Example: The mischievous Christmas elf was a droll little creature.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bibliophile's Corner

An Invisible Thread
Christmas Story

by Laura Schroff & Alex Tresniowski,
illustrated by Barry Root

Flap Copy Description:
From the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of An Invisible Thread comes the true, heartfelt, and extraordinary story of how one woman’s decision to help a boy on the street changed both of their lives forever.

New York Times bestselling author Laura Schroff tells the remarkable story of her lifelong friendship with a boy named Maurice who she met on the street while he was asking for change in her book, An Invisible Thread.

Now, in this sweet picture book, Laura retells the first Christmas that she and Maurice spent together. She shares how Maurice gave her a small white bear and, as she later learns, the only thing he had that he could truly call his own—to show her how grateful he was for their friendship. This heartwarming tale captures the true meaning of the holidays and will be one you’ll want to share with your family year after year as a reminder that a gift from the heart is always the best present under the tree.

My Thoughts:
This true story about the power of kindness will not only warm your child's heart, it will warm yours - I know it did mine. What I most admire about An Invisible Thread is the section at the back of the book where the author lists suggestions on how to encourage kindness in our families. Brilliant!

I chose to feature An Invisible Thread during this holiday season, since kindness is something we can all afford to give one another - not only now, but all year long.

Click on the link below if you'd like to learn about organizations making a difference for children and their families.

Remember: the smallest act of kindness can make a big difference!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Storyteller's Journey

Yuletide Inspiration from Dylan Thomas

Since one of my current works in progress is set in Wales - Journey to Snowdonia -  I've done a fair amount of research on that country. And while this little book by Dylan Thomas is a familiar tale to children in Great Britain, it is somewhat unfamiliar to those of us in the States.
(I've discovered one of the biggest joys in being a writer is doing the research that is required to create my stories!)

A Child's Christmas in Wales not only informed and inspired me, it put me in the holiday spirit. So much so, that I'm anxious to read another Christmas story. If you, too, are looking for a yuletide tale to read this month, here's an extraordinary list of classics to choose from:

A Letter From Santa Claus, by Mark Twain

The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen

The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry

Papa Panov's Special Christmas, by Leo Tolstoy

Christmas Day in the Morning, by Pearl S. Buck

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

So, grab one of these books, a cup of hot cocoa, and a holiday cookie... Enjoy!

And one more item that may interest you....My quarterly newsletter will be sent out next week; it includes highlights of my recent author activities. To sign up to receive it, click here!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Whimsical Word of the Week

Docent - (n.)
a person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.
Example: Penelope was so passionate about animals that she was a delightful little docent at the zoo.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Bibliophile's Corner

Miracle on 133rd Street
Written by Sonia Manzano
Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Amazon Description:
An urban family’s dilemma becomes a community celebration in this delectable holiday treat from Sonia Manzano, also known as “Maria” on Sesame Street.

It’s Christmas Eve and Mami has bought a delicious roast for a Christmas feast. But, oh no! It’s too big to fit in the oven. Jose and Papa need to find an oven big enough to cook Mami’s roast. As they walk from door to door through their apartment building, no one seems to be in the Christmas spirit. So they head down the street to find someone willing to help, and only when they do, lo and behold, the scent—the itself magical smell—of dinner begins to spread, and holiday cheer manifests in ways most unexpected.

Sonia Manzano from Sesame Street and two-time Caldecott Honor-recipient Marjorie Priceman have cooked up a Christmas tale about how the simplest things—like the tantalizing smell of Christmas dinner and the sharing of it—can become a holiday miracle.

My Thoughts:
This delightful picture book by Sonia Manzano lovingly embraces life in New York City during the holidays. The different customs and cultures captured by the cast of characters in Miracle on 133rd Street are a wonderful reminder that we all have important things in common - like family, friends, and food - and if we believe that, a miracle just might happen! The whimsical illustrations in this book add to the charm of Miracle on 133rd Street; it's a wonderful holiday book for any child.

Click here to learn more about the actress/author Sonia Manzano.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Storyteller's Journey

Fan-tastic Friday (It's a Giveaway!)
        *     *     *
Since we're now officially in the holiday season, I've decided to make today "Fan-tastic Friday" here on Writ of Whimsy.
Not one, but two contests!

Contest #1
I've been planning a giveaway for some time, but along the way another great opportunity presented itself: the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has just revealed a new event for recently published books. You'll find a book launch party for The Tale of Willaby Creek here - with its great contest. Merely leave a comment in my guest book and you're eligible! (Check out all the other books here.)
Contest #2
Now, here are the details for my blog contest/giveaway: Pictured above are the two books I've had published with their matching bookmarks; they will be a big part of my blog's giveaway today. In addition to those items, one lucky winner will receive a $50.00 gift card from Amazon. (The Rafflecopter details are listed below.)
                                            Happy Holidays!

                  Click here to see the list of the lucky winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Whimsical Word of the Week

Mudlark (n.)
a person who scavenges in river mud for objects of value.
Example: The two mischievous mudlarks enjoyed exploring near the River Thames.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SCBWI Book Launch Party!

Inaugural Book Event!
Today's the debut of an SCBWI book event: A tri-annual Book Launch Party.  They've got a great marketing program, including running ads in many industry publications, contacting bloggers, librarians, & reading associations.
Photo art courtesy of SCBWI.
I'm thankful for this opportunity and elected to feature my middle grade adventure fantasy novel, The Tale of Willaby Creek, since it was released earlier this year. Click here to view my book's launch party!

Click here to view all the featured titles by so many SCBWI members!