Monday, September 30, 2019

Bibliophile's Corner

The Dictionary of Difficult Words
by Jane Solomon, illustrated by Louise Lockhart

Goodreads Description:
What is a bumbershoot? Or a moonbow? And what does it mean when someone absquatulates...? Find out all this and more in the Dictionary of Difficult Words. Test your knowledge with more than 400 words to amaze, confuse, and inspire budding wordsmiths (and adults). All of the words featured in this book are difficult to spell, hard to say, and their meanings are obscure to most children (and most adults)! Written with simple, easy-to-understand definitions by lexicographer Jane Solomon, this dictionary celebrates the beauty of the English language for family trivia time spent around the printed page. 

My Thoughts:
This week I'm reviewing another great book that features words! The Dictionary of Difficult Words is the perfect book to excite your child about the English language as the school year is just getting started. And yes, as the description above states, there are even words in this little tome to confound and astound most adults. (And, the whimsical illustrations by Louise Lockhart wonderfully illuminate the words in a most entertaining fashion.) I highly recommend The Dictionary of Difficult Words to readers of all ages.

Click here to learn about lexicographer, Jane Solomon.
Click here to learn about illustrator, Louise Lockhart.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Storyteller's Journey

Photo by Victoria Lindstrom
September and a New Start

Like many writers, I find I slip into the mode of student when September rolls around. I can almost smell the #2 pencils and vintage Pee-Chees as I pen this post. Consequently, I believe my unconscious self feels it's time to do the work of a scribe - no matter what. Recently, my writer friends and I got together for our annual write-out at my home and I was super-inspired to begin a new project - which I did. It's the second book in my proposed MG fantasy series.

(By the way, if you're a new visitor to Writ of Whimsy, you should know that I use my Friday posts primarily as an online journal. Thus, the name: Storyteller's Journey! That being said, I also enjoy posting tidbits for writers, and other important writerly subjects I want to explore.)

If you know me at all, you know I love having multiple projects in process - several irons in the fire, if you will. So far on my storyteller's journey this has been the best approach for me. While I know I need to be a consistent writer to be a professional author, I do like having the choice of what to work on. That being said, once I get lost in the setting and premise of a children's story, I tend to stay there for some time.

This current project didn't arise out of thin air. My husband and I traveled to Europe in 2014 in large part to allow me to research possible future projects set in England, France, Italy, & Scotland. Also, since this past summer I worked to polish the first book in the Livvi Biddle Series, I've got Livvi on my mind! (Below is my attempt at art.)

Livvi Biddle - by Victoria Lindstrom
The above digital art was only meant to serve as a bit of a reminder as to what I envision my protagonist to look like - since I couldn't find an online image that satisfied me. However, this doesn't satisfy me either!

In any event, I'm glad to be so inspired this September; I hope to complete the first draft of this second book by the end of the year.

Wishing each of you a great season of writing and/or creating!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Whimsical Word of the Week

Cachinnate - (v.)
laugh loudly.
Example: The quirky old man made the child cachinnate in the middle of the church service.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Bibliophile's Corner

The Lost Words
by Robert MacFarlane - illustrated by Jackie Morris

Flap Copy Description:
From Acorn to Weasel: a gorgeous, hand-illustrated, large-format spellbook celebrating the magic and wonder of the natural world.
All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children's minds.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive, British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

My Thoughts:
What could be better than a book about words that celebrates the magic and wonder of the natural world? Evidently the British literary critics agree: The Lost Words won Children's Book of the Year as well as the Kate Greenaway Medal for children's book illustration to Jackie Morris. The beautiful book not only inspires the reader to more fully embrace the natural world, it reminds us all of those precious (and rarely-used) words that so perfectly describe our world. I highly recommend The Lost Words to readers of all ages!

Click here to learn about the author, Robert MacFarlane.
Click here to learn about the illustrator, Jackie Morris.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Storyteller's Journey

The Zigzag River near the Willow Writers' cabin on Mt. Hood
Fall is my Favorite Season

My summer included the Willow Writers' Retreat, the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, and an in-house write-out, among other fun experiences.

While it's sad to see summer depart, fall is my favorite season of the year in the Northwest. Click here for my upcoming book events. (I'm also planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year - wish me luck!)

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Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway Trail - Washington State

Wishing everyone an awesome autumn!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Whimsical Word of the Week

Bildungsroman - (n.)
a novel dealing with one's formative years.
Example: The author had penned a coming-of-age story, or bildungsroman.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bibliophile's Corner

New York
Day & Night
by Aurelie Pollet & Vincent Bergier

Goodreads Description: 
Some of New York's most familiar sights look very different at night in this highly amusing introduction to the city. Sometimes your eyes can play tricks on you, especially in the dark. This enchanting picture book shows how New York City can look quite peculiar at night. Each brightly colored spread is overlaid with a sheet of translucent blue paper and when lifted, voila! A space ship and Martian become the Guggenheim, a giant serpent is actually the subway, King Kong's jungle turns into Central Park, and a superhero takes on the shape of a construction worker. Exhilarating and captivating, all the scenes are easily switched between day and night and will take the reader on a unique journey that lets imaginations run wild while revealing that some things at night aren't as scary as they seem.

My Thoughts:
This imaginative picture book is super fun and informative! While young children will be entertained with the book's ingenious format, they will also be learning about one of our country's most important big cities - and that it's not as formidable as it might seem! New York - Day & Night will also inspire curiosity as to how the book was created; a great introduction to a special form of art. I highly recommend this book to readers aged three to seven.

Click here to learn about the author, Aurelie Pollet.