Monday, February 28, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

Rabbit Hill
by Robert Lawson

On a peaceful country hill in Connecticut stands an old house, in which a family of good Folks lived for many years. They respected the Small Animals that shared their hill, but when they moved away hard times arrived. With no garden at the old house, little food was to be had, and the Small Animals were forced to "market" at the garden of Fat-Man-at-the-Crossroads! Now, at last, New Folks are coming, and the animals wonder; what kind of Folks will they be?

My thoughts:
Being partial to animal fantasy and one who appreciates good style in writing this book was a win-win for me. Evidently that was the consensus in 1945 as well, when Rabbit Hill won the Newbery Medal Award. The characters of Georgie, the rabbit; Porkey, the woodchuck; and Phewie, the skunk are just a few of the personalities that delight and entertain. I had the sense I was truly in the Connecticut countryside six decades ago - this charming book is a classic.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Incredible Inspiration

Out of the bosom of the air, out of the clouds - folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, over the harvest - fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow descends the snow.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, February 25, 2011

Storyteller's Journey

Reading has always been an important component of my life. Early on I realized that the characters in the books that I read were my friends - at least in my own imagination! (Who wouldn't want Nancy Drew as their best friend?) Being a natural introvert, I continued to read, rather than make many friends. Later, in my teens, I made several friends, but even then they were more like social acquaintances. My identity as a bookworm had become a permanent part of my personality, and still is to this day. Now, as an aspiring author, I have made some of the best friends I've ever had, and it's no surprise - they're writers! It seems we're a quirky bunch. At the core of our being we long for a magical kingdom, an alternate dimension, or a portal to the underworld! (Thanks, Kriston ^_^.) In any event, I have come full circle with my taste in books. I now spend time reading Newbery Medal/Honor Award winning books. (You have probably noticed that, if you've read any of my book reviews in Bibliophile's Corner.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

The Trumpet of the Swan
by E. B. White

Flap copy description:
Louis is a trumpeter swan who comes into the world lacking a voice. His father explains to him that he is different from other cygnets and promises to help. Sam Beaver, a boy who respects all wild things, helps as well. He takes Louis to school, where Louis learns to read and write. But when Louis falls in love with a beautiful swan, Serena, and she spurns him because he is "defective," his father steals a trumpet so his son will be able to woo her. Determined to become a trumpeter and pay off his father's debt, Louis travels far from the wilderness and finds the voice that has always been in his heart.

My thoughts:
E. B. White is best remembered for authoring Charlotte's Web, and Stuart Little. The Trumpet of the Swan, although lesser known, is my favorite. The lyrical, somewhat poetic style which paints this story drew me into that magical place I always experience while in nature. In addition, the message; 'that being different doesn't have to be a handicap, merely a hurdle' is subtly woven into the text. Although this story is definitely for young readers; anyone who appreciates beautiful writing would enjoy this little gem.
(Mr. White contributed essays to the New Yorker Magazine for nearly six decades and co-authored the widely used writing guide, The Elements of Style -  popularly known as Strunk & White.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Incredible Inspiration

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
                                        Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sentimental Serendipity

 Amazing Young Men

Our three sons are on their own now and I miss them ever so much. (L-R) Brian, Kevin, David. David & Kevin are college graduates & work in their respective fields: theology & accounting. Brian is studying for his degree in music composition. (Can you tell I'm a proud Mom?)



                 there's more . . .


             Celebrating Love

My husband, Michael, is my best friend and the love of my life. I received these flowers from him on Valentine's Day - even though we agreed not to exchange gifts!

            and finally . . .

   In Memoriam

I would be remiss if I didn't show you our sweet dog, Robin, otherwise known as Fluffy. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her. She would have been sixteen years old next week. (She passed on June 19, 2009.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Storyteller's Journey

To write in the morning or to write in the afternoon - that is the question! I like to write from one to four in the afternoon. Before you get too impressed that includes: research, brainstorming, rewriting, etc.- so much of that time is not pure writing. I do try to write at least 500 words a day, on a good day 1000 words. Right now I'm attempting to finish an animal fantasy MG novel. The plan is to attend a writers' conference in late summer or early fall. (I'm still researching both of them.) Hopefully I will meet with an agent to present my manuscript. Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Writer in the Woods

This photo shows me in a setting very near and dear to me - The Olympic National Forest. Finding one's passion, and writing from that place, is what the literature experts say an aspiring author must do to be successful. Hopefully, my love of nature will inspire my writing, and interest those who read it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson

Flap copy description:
All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year's first school-yard race was run, he was going to win. But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn't even know enough to stay on the girls' side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the world of imagination - a world of magic and cermony called Terabithia. Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are changed forever.

My thoughts:
The author, Katherine Paterson, unfolds her text slowly, richly developing the characters and their voice along the way. In the middle of this story I became aware that the courage and power within the pages of Bridge to Terabithia were worthy of an adult novel. This book won the Newbery Medal Award of 1978.
If you enjoy children's literature this is a must read!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Incredible Inspiration

Mt. Hood - Oregon

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obtacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.

                                       Booker T. Washington

Friday, February 11, 2011

Storyteller's Journey

I prefer to write longhand and then transfer my second draft to the computer. Also, due to a wrist injury that plagues me, I find it more comfortable to use my pen vs. my computer. (Maybe someday I'll purchase voice recognition software!) The scene pictured here is my most common place to write. I share this studio in our basement with my husband, Michael, who is a part time artist. Check out his blog.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Whimsical Word of the Week

Idyll - 
A simple work of writing or poetry that describes country life or suggests a peaceful setting.

Idyllic -
A fit subject for an idyll.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
by Grace Lin

Flap copy description:
In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields and her nights listening to her father spin fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Minli's mother, tired of their poor life, chides him for filling her head with nonsense. But, Minli believed these enchanting stories and embarks on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how her family can change their fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest.

My thoughts:
This beautifully illustrated middle grade novel is a 2010 Newbery Honor winner. In 278 pages, I was taken on a journey, so extraordinary, that it caused me to finish this book in one sitting! Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is truly a gem and is destined to be a children's classic. The author/illustrator, Grace Lin, is asked often whether it will be seen as a movie. For her response, check out her blog.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Incredible Inspiration

Photo by Doreen Lindstrom

            We were born to succeed, not to fail.
                                 Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sentimental Serendipity

The Magic Pen Critique Group welcomed its first guest speaker, Dr. Tracy Prince (center front). She is a professor of literature and a published author. Thanks, Tracy!

Visit Tracy's Amazon author page.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Storyteller's Journey

Welcome to the first posting of my blog! The saying goes: "Every journey begins with a single step" - so this is mine in blogging. However, I have been writing imaginatively since childhood. Read more in About Me.

Writer in the Woods

Creativity comes to me most often while I'm enjoying nature, maybe that's why animal fantasy is one of my favorite genres. In addition to that, I have loved whimsical words my entire life. Hence, the title of my blog, "Writ of Whimsy".

My last thought for today answers the question: "Why do I feel the need to begin my own blog?" I have discovered that befriending fellow writers, readers and all lovers of the written word, has given me courage, strength, growth and a lot of fun. May this blog pass some of that on to you. Enjoy!