Friday, December 1, 2023

Storyteller's Journey

My Writer's Update!

Since learning of my cancer diagnosis, my writing has nearly disappeared, but thankfully, not completely. I have two completed unpublished manuscripts that need to be edited - both by me, and my editor. So, I'm just beginning to revise/edit my middle grade novel entitled: THE RABBIT OF ROUEN. 

It's set first in Normandy, France, and then proceeds to Paris during World War II, specifically in 1944. Since the story includes the Liberation of Paris, and 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of that event, I'm hoping to release it next year. But that will be a tall order!

Wish me luck with my goal; I just began chemotherapy.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Storyteller's Journey

Why I'm Grateful

At this time of year most people reflect on what they're grateful for; family, friends and faith are common topics. 

And while I, too, am grateful for those things, since receiving a diagnosis of cancer last summer, I now view gratitude a bit differently.

Like many cancer patients, when I first heard my diagnosis, I was stunned, afraid, and even angry. However, it didn't take me long to learn the importance of a positive attitude. That wasn't always easy. The way I improved my ability to maintain positivity was to focus on those things I could still be grateful for. Some days it wasn't easy. But I began to thank God when I woke up alive. And when I was strong enough to walk outside. Then, too, my family, friends, and faith were always things I remembered to mention.

It was a choice. We've all heard the old adage, "to be happy is to make the choice to be happy." I believe the same can be said for being grateful. After working on this new habit for several weeks, I realized it wasn't just an exercise anymore; I could actually feel the gratitude in my heart. I began to find it easier to deal with my diagnosis, and to accept the treatment plan recommended for me by my oncologist of two surgeries and four cycles of chemotherapy. Even more surprising is that I'm even grateful for it; it just might save my life.

Now I'm grateful for many things that on the surface might look like a negative. So many of these challenges are really beautiful lessons about life in disguise. 

Am I grateful for having cancer? I'm still working on it.

Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving Weekend!

After two surgeries; prior to chemotherapy

Monday, September 18, 2023

Bibliophile's Corner

by Matthew Cordell

Flap Copy Description:
Evergreen the squirrel is afraid of many things: thunder, hawks, and the dark paths of Buckthorn Forest. But when her mother tasks Evergreen with delivering soup to her sick Granny Oak, the little squirrel must face her fears and make the journey.
Along the way, Evergreen meets other forest dwellers - some want to help her, but some want her mother's delicious soup! 

My Thoughts:
Evergreen is Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell's most recent picture book - I love it! The whimsical illustrations perfectly bring the heartwarming story to life, and the little protagonist is entertaining as she overcomes her fears! I highly recommend Evergreen for children aged three to seven.

Click here to learn about the author-illustrator Matthew Cordell.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Storyteller's Journey

Autumn's Arrival

As much as I enjoy the sunny days of summer, autumn is my favorite season. One of the things I love about fall is that I almost always begin a new project each September.

This year I plan to continue working on Book 2 in The Time Travel Tales of Livvi Biddle. It's too early to share a synopsis but stay tuned!

Click here to read my recently released newsletter.

Wishing each of you an outstanding autumn!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Whimsical Word of the Week

Coterie - (n.)
a small group of people with shared interests or tastes.
Example: The coterie of writers and artists met weekly at a local cafe.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Bibliophile's Corner

by C.C.Harrington

Flap Copy Description:
A Snow Leopard.
A Child.
An Ancient Forest
When fates collide, the unimaginable can happen...
Maggie Stephens's stutter makes school especially hard. She will do almost anything to avoid speaking in class or calling attention to herself. So when her unsympathetic father threatens to send her away for so-called "treatment," she reluctantly agrees to her mother's intervention plan: a few weeks in the fresh air of Wildoak Forest, visiting a grandfather she hardly knows. It is there, in an extraordinary twist of fate, that she encounters a abandoned snow leopard cub, an exotic gift to a wealthy Londoner that proved too wild to domesticate. But once the cub's presence is discovered by others, danger follows, and Maggie soon realizes that time is running out, not only for the leopard, but for herself and the forest as well.

My Thoughts:
Wildoak is a wonderful new middle grade novel with a protagonist you'll want to embrace. While Maggie's stutter has made it difficult to make friends, she has a gift for befriending animals. As her adventure unfolds, she not only learns to speak up for herself, but she also has an impact on the whole community around her. I highly recommend Wildoak to readers aged eight to twelve!

Click here to learn about the author C.C. Harrington.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Storyteller's Journey

The Summer of '23

When you live in the Pacific Northwest with his long dark winters, making summer plans is something you look forward to. I know I certainly do!

My main goal for the summer of 2023 was to complete and publish my middle grade novel, The Sibylline Scroll - book one in The Time Travel Tales of Livvi Biddle. That being said, spending time in the sunshine was a close second! My husband Michael and I planned to continue landscaping our property (which we purchased in 2021), visit some of our favorite local sites, and spend time with family. All of our plans were met, including my new novel being released next Tuesday!

However, something that wasn't on my summer list was an unexpected health challenge that began in late July and is still ongoing. I won't go into the details, but I have been diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, this has been a significant challenge to the way I had hoped my summer would unfold. I have a difficult road ahead. Due to the cancer diagnosis, and my severe weakness, the book launch events I had scheduled have been postponed or cancelled. Wish me luck!

I learned years ago that writing and reading keep me on a positive path; I'm reminded of that in a big way right now. I'm so excited for the release of my new novel - The Sibylline Scroll - next Tuesday, 9/12!