Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Whimsical Word of the Week

Logolepsy (n.)

an obsession or fascination with words.
Example: Many authors have lived with the condition of logolepsy all of their lives.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Bibliophile's Corner

Change Sings
by Amanda Gorman 
illustrated by Loren Long

Flap Copy Description:
In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes - big and small - in the world, in their communities, and, most importantly, in themselves.

My Thoughts:
Like many, if not most, Americans, I recall the inauguration of President Joe Biden, not because of his speech, but because of Amanda Gorman's poem! So when I learned she'd written a book for children, I purchased it immediately. As you'd expect, it's wonderful on so many levels. Her poem is uplifting, inspirational, and seems to challenge everyone to do more in the world. The illustrations of Loren Long perfectly illuminate Ms. Gorman's text - and bring to mind images of the decade of change: the sixties. I highly recommend Change Sings to readers of all ages. Bravo, Amanda Gorman!

Click here to learn more about the poet, Amanda Gorman.
Click here to learn more about the illustrator, Loren Long

Friday, October 22, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

My Love of Libraries

On many occasions I've blogged about libraries; they're sacred chambers of creativity, and have been for me since I was a young child. However, it's only been in the last couple of months, that I find myself once again looking to my local library for support. 

Support, not of the emotional kind, but of the technical sort. I won't belabor the issue of me lacking internet service at our home. I've come to accept the situation. In large part due to the local library that I visit once a week. The librarians are ( as you'd expect) kind and efficient; they leave me alone unless I've needed assistance. What's sort of ironic, is the fact that for a short period of time I actually volunteered to work with children in this very branch of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library in Battle Ground, Washington. It was a heartwarming experience, as it always is when I work with children. I also recall attending an author presentation (in the very room where I am now sitting) featuring the hilarious Newbery Medalist, author Jack Gantos. 

It feels healthy, for some reason, that I'm now back at the place that has so many times offered me opportunities, information, and even inspiration. It's also a lesson in humility. I have a need, and the library is reaching out to me with a helping hand. In this age of internet, it behooves us all to remember that not all U.S. citizens have internet service - for a variety of reasons. 

Remember to thank your local librarians!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Whimsical Word of the Week

Abditory (n.)
a place into which you can disappear; a hiding place.
Example: When Anne Frank and her family first moved into the Secret Annex, they had no idea it would be their abditory for twenty-five months.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Bibliophile's Corner

The Edge of Strange Hollow
by Gabrielle K. Byrne

Flap Copy Description:

Poppy Sunshine isn't like everyone else in Strange Hollow. She's not afraid of the Grimwood, home to magical creatures like shape-shifters, faeries, witches, and even a three-headed dog.
Banned from the wood by her parents, Poppy longs to learn everything about it and imagines joining her mother and father as they hunt the forest's cursed magical objects. So when her only family disappears on a routine expedition, she and her friends must break every rule to save them. But Poppy soon discovers that things in the Grimwood are rarely what they seem...
And the monsters who took her parents may not be monsters at all.

My Thoughts:
If your child loves stories featuring magical creatures, then The Edge of Strange Hollow is one not to miss! This enchanting adventure seems to jump off the page, and no wonder with the master storytelling skills of Gabrielle K. Byrne. Like most great middle grade books, this one includes themes of family and friendship, while leading the reader into a world of fantasy. I highly recommend The Edge of Strange Hollow to readers aged eight and up.

Click here to learn about the author, Gabrielle K. Byrne.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

Artwork: Public Domain
October Obstacles

Last week I discussed the unexpected joys I've experienced since moving to a rural area. As I sit here in my small community library (which I'm so grateful for!) I find myself feeling frustrated. After living in our new home for seven weeks now, we are still unable to obtain internet, TV, or even a landline telephone. Add to that, that I just finished up a week of being on call for jury duty; somehow it was my first time being summoned as a juror. I won't describe the experience since we're sworn to secrecy. Let's just say I won't be in the witness (or juror) protection program anytime soon.

These obstacles have reminded me of just how much of a creature of routine and ritual I really am. It feels like I'm the little engine that could...that has fallen off the tracks! Now, I'm the little engine that can't. In any event, I've been aware for a very long time how repelled I am by change. Even though there are personal blessings at our new home, as a writer, it's been tough. Had not life aligned the stars in a miraculous formation, I'd probably still be attached to the woodwork of our old home.

So how can I regroup and get my writing momentum back?

By placing one foot (or finger) in front of the other. My new normal may just well include the library as my office for a while. 

Another thought is that the journey is always more important than the destination. (Or daily wordcount.) That's why, years ago, I began calling my Friday posts, Storyteller's Journey. This, too, is part of that journey.

Living life, with all of it's unusual experiences is essential for a writer's relevance. If everything was always easy, what would we have to say? 

These obstacles have also reminded me of the importance of appreciating the little things in life: The autumn breeze through the trees around our property, the ever-present black-tailed deer that share our land, and on and on. However, this will be a laborious process of transformation: from being a city girl to becoming country gal.

What are your thoughts on regaining momentum when it's lost?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Whimsical Word of the Week

Polypody (noun)
a genus of chiefly epiphytic ferns.
Example: The tiny woodland elf skipped and skittered from mushroom to  polypody.