Friday, December 18, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

 Season's Greetings!

Winter Stream - 8X10 - Oil on Canvas - Michael Lindstrom

Christmas will be different this year for people all around the world. While my husband and I will be spending the holidays home alone, we have much to be thankful for, and to celebrate, in spite of Covid-19.

We hope to have a ZOOM chat with our three sons, who are in NYC, Tucson, & the Pacific Northwest - at least I'll see their handsome faces!

Click here to read my recent quarterly newsletter.

As usual, I'll be taking a break from blogging until January.

Wishing you and yours the peace, joy, and love of the season.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Twelvetide - (n.)
the twelve days of Christmas.
Example: The young child enjoyed twelvetide, leading up to the Day of Epiphany.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

12 Days of Christmas
illustrated by Lara Hawthorne

Goodreads Description:

Celebrate the magic of Christmas with this well-loved traditional poem, The Twelve Days of Christmas, beautifully illustrated by Lara Hawthorne. Take a walk through each beautiful scene brimming with details that will remind you of the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas. Perfect to read with your true love.

My Thoughts:

While The Twelve Days of Christmas was written in the 1700s in France, and was set to music by the English composer Frederic Austin, Lara Hawthorne has brought this classic Christmas carol to life in the most enchanting way - through her exquisite illustrations! I recommend 12 Days of Christmas, most enthusiastically, to readers of all ages!

Click here to learn about the illustrator, Lara Hawthorne.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

Rafflecopter Giveaway Winners!
Many thanks to everyone who participated in my Rafflecopter Giveaway over the last few months! It always helps to create a buzz when you release a new book. After over 6,300 entries, here are the winners:

Carol Graves - a signed collection of my Lindstrom Wintertime Tales.
Angela Kern - a signed copy of THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH.
Ashley Sawyers - a signed copy of THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH.
Marie Cantelli - a signed copy of THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH.
(Each book will also include a matching bookmark.)
Robyn Low - a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Liz Kilcher - a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Misty Handa - a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

Wishing all the participants a safe and happy holiday season!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Tintinnabulum - (n.)
a small tinkling bell.
Example: The small child and the tintinnabulum, at the end of It's a Wonderful Life, is one of the movie's most iconic scenes.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

A Christmas Story
by Tad Hills

Flap Copy Description:
Mistletoe loves everything about Christmas - baking cookies for Santa, listening to the falling snow, and of course, finding the perfect gift for her best friend, Norwell. This year she has an idea to make the most perfect gift ever, but it's not going to be easy.

Brimming with holiday cheer and filled with the true meaning of Christmas, this story from master picture book creator, Tad Hills introduces young readers to two warm, funny, and resourceful characters to love.

My Thoughts:
Mistletoe - A Christmas Story is the perfect picture book for this holiday season! While the mouse and the elephant are best of friends, they do have their differences. So, Mistletoe sets out to find a way that she and her friend Norwell can enjoy the winter snow. It's a wonderful story of how generosity can make a friend feel loved. I highly recommend this picture book for children aged three to seven this holiday season!

Click here to learn about the author/illustrator, Tad Hills.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

Reflections on NaNoWriMo

After participating in the National Novel Writing Month three times, I've learned a few things that have helped me be successful. Thankfully, I was successful again; my final wordcount total was 50,074! I thoroughly enjoyed penning the first draft of my new middle grade historical fiction novel.

I first began researching the concept for my story, set in WW II France, when I saw this vintage photograph. That was years ago, and yet the idea for the story has always stuck with me. I finally spent a week last summer compiling a detailed outline for NaNoWriMo. That outline is what allowed me to keep writing; I had the ability to keep moving forward last month because I already had a three act story structure to work from.

However, now I'm ready to: take a brief break before I begin rewriting and revising; catch up on my reading; and celebrate the winter holidays at home.
Next Friday I'll announce the winners of my Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Congratulations to everyone who completed NaNoWriMo 2020!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Piebald - (adj.)
when an animal has patches of black and white fur or plumage.
Example: The magpie may well be the original example of a piebald creature.


Monday, November 30, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Lost Spells
written by Robert MacFarlane
illustrated by Jackie Morris

Goodreads Description:
Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book of kindred in spirit and tone, continues to re-wild the lives of children and adults.
The Lost Spells evokes the wonder of everyday nature, conjuring up red foxes, birch trees, jackdaws, and more in poems and illustrations that flow between the pages and into readers' minds. Robert MacFarlane's spell-poems and Jackie Morris's watercolour illustrations are musical and magical: these are summoning spells, words of recollection, charms of protection. To read The Lost Spells is to see the natural world within our grasp and to be reminded of what happens when we allow it to slip away.

My Thoughts:
Since I'm a big fan of illustrations created by Jackie Morris, I was anxious to read The Lost Spells. Not only is her artwork exquisite, the poetry of Robert MacFarlane is beautiful. This book is one that I'll read again and again. If you're conservation-minded, a lover of poetry, and enjoy lovely illustrations, The Lost Spells is a book not to miss! 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

My NaNoWriMo Update!

When you get in a groove of writing between 1,500-2,500 words a day, it's both gratifying and depressing. It's depressing because you wonder why you don't attain those wordcounts everyday! As of Wednesday night my total was 48,747 words; only 1,253 more to go! With four days left in November, I'm fairly confident I'll make it. Thankfully, I "put words in the bank," so I was able to take a couple of days off this week. πŸ˜€

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Hireath (n.)
homesickness for a home to which you can't return.
Example: The citizens of the country all felt a sense of hireath, since the pandemic had wreaked havoc within the society.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club
written by Alex Bell and
illustrated by Tomislav Tomic
Flap Copy Description:
Stella Starflake Pearl knows without a doubt that she was born to be an adventurer. It's too bad girls are forbidden from becoming explorers. But Stella's father, Felix, has never been one to play by the rules.
Leaving behind her pet polar bear, Gruff, and beloved unicorn, Magic, Stells sets off with Felix on an expedition to the snowy Icelands. There, Stella plans to prove herself as a junior explorer, worthy of membership to the Polar Bear Explorers' Club. So when Stella and three other junior explorers are separated from the rest of their expedition, she has the perfect opportunity. Can they explore the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale?

My Thoughts:
I discovered this wonderful book while perusing Twitter and I'm so glad I did! It was published in 2017 by Simon and Schuster, and written by the British author Alex Bell. Since I enjoy fantasy novels (and polar bears!) I expected to enjoy the read. However, what I didn't expect was the creative characters and stunning settings created by Bell. When I did a bit more researching, I discovered it's the first book in the fantasy series; there are two more published books already available. I anxiously look forward to reading the entire series. I highly recommend The Polar Bear Explorers' Club to readers aged eight to fourteen!

Click here to learn about the author, Alex Bell.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

My NaNoWriMo Update!

While I'm thrilled with my progress (I'm at 35,801 words), it's taken a toll on my reading, my housework, and my time in the out of doors. Thankfully, I pre-posted for this blog! πŸ˜‰ It feels good to have Thanksgiving coming up next week, even though we'll be home alone this year complying with Washington State pandemic regulations. 
Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! πŸ¦ƒ

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Ombudsman (n.)
someone who researches complaints about an organization or government.
Example: The ombudsman was much less busy since the new president had taken office.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Mysterious Benedict Society
Riddle of Ages
by Trenton Lee Stewart

Flap Copy Description:

After starring in three adventures, the inimitable quartet of Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance haven't had a mission together in some time. But with the arrival of a new Society member - and a new threat - they must reunite to face dilemmas more dangerous than ever before, including the return of the villainous Mr. Curtain and his Ten Men a a formidable enemy with a mystifying ability to track their every move.

In its triumphant return, the Society encounters all-new challenges, but the series' trademark sly humor, sweet camaraderie, hairbreadth escapes, and perplexing puzzles are all as engaging as ever.

My Thoughts:

With the introduction of a new character, Tai Li, Trenton Lee Stewart recently released a new addition to his The Mysterious Benedict Society - The Riddle of Ages. I've read all the books in the series, and was anxious to read this one too. While I enjoyed it, I found it not quite as intriguing as the previous books. That being said, it reads more like a young adult novel, rather than middle grade. (Maybe that's because the cast of characters has grown up a bit!) If you're a fan of The Mysterious Benedict Society, be sure to check out The Riddle of Ages!

Click here to learn about the author, Trenton Lee Stewart.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

My NaNoWriMo Update!

This week went a bit easier than the last; my current wordcount is: 23,208. Since I'm hoping to take off a few days this month (including Thanksgiving), I must put the pedal to the metal! πŸ˜€While people familiar with this challenge understand the idea behind it, for those who aren't familiar with NaNoWriMo, the idea isn't so much to complete a finished novel, as it is to complete the first draft of a novel. Which is a good thing, since I'll have a lot of revising to do when this is all over!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Canid (n.)
a mammal of the dog family.
Example: The wolf lumbered through the winter snow searching for members of his canid family.


Monday, November 9, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

by Darcie Little Badger

Flap Copy Description:

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

My Thoughts:

Since I'm a fan of middle grade and young adult fantasy novels, I was excited to crack the spine of Elatsoe; I wasn't disappointed! Darcie Little Badger's debut book is full of unique characters, Lipan Apache folklore, and a plot with unexpected twists and turns. I especially enjoyed the strength and courage of Ellie (Elatsoe), the protagonist. In general, it's a well-written, imaginative fantasy story that is well worth the read. I highly recommend Elatsoe to readers aged ten to eighteen!

Click here to learn about the author, Darcie Little Badger.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

Ready, Set, Write!

This November marks the third time I've participated in the National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo for short. In years past, it was a mountain to climb to complete the 50,000 word writing challenge. (Thankfully, I was successful both previous times.) However, with the Covid-19 Pandemic this year, NaNoWriMo should be a bit easier. (I'm working on another middle grade novel; this one is historical fiction, set in France.)

Unfortunately, I've been a bit distracted this week with the noise from a general contractor who is remodeling one of our bathrooms. In addition to that, I'll admit that I've had one eye on the election results as well. That being said, my current total after five days is only 8105. πŸ˜€

For the next several Fridays I'll be using this blog as a way to update my NaNoWriMo progress. I'll post my word count and my thoughts about the challenge. My final update will be on Friday, 12/4/20.

Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Cabby-labby - (n.)
a noisy quarrel or disagreement in which everyone is speaking at the same time.
Example: After the presidential election, the citizens of the country were hoping the never-ending cabby-labby would cease.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Next President
by Kate Messner and illustrated by Adam Rex

Flap Copy Description:
This compelling exploration of the presidents before they were presidents - as kids, adventurers, journalists, prospectors, gun-slingers, TV hosts, and More! - brings across powerfully that the presidents of the future could be practically anyone...including you.

My Thoughts:
The Next President is a wonderful way to present to children just how unique, and yet relatable, each of our presidents has been. Raising the concept that the child reading, or listening to, this book, just might be our next commander in chief is a fantastic message for the youth of America. The vibrant illustrations bring the informative text beautifully to life. I highly recommend The Next President to children of all ages!

Click here to learn about the author, Kate Messner.
Click here to learn about the illustrator, Adam Rex.

If you've not yet voted, please do so!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

 Happy Halloween!

While my stories are usually not in the horror genre, I do enjoy writing ghosts, magic, and paranormal events into my children's books. Mysterious settings and characters have always intrigued me; this time of year seems to inspire my creativity even more. My favorite genres to write in are light fantasy and magical realism.

For some reason, I'm fascinated by pushing the realm of reality with magical realism, causing the reader to think: Could this possibly really occur? In some ways, I find that possibility even more frightening! πŸŽƒ

When you write, what are your favorite genres to work within?

By the way, tomorrow night there will be a rare Blue Moon visible from most places around the globe. Click here to learn more!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Mumpsimus - (n.)
a person who believes something because they've always believed it, even though it's wrong or makes no sense.
Example: The narrow-minded mother had always been a mumpsimus, especially when it came to politics.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

Scary Stories for Young Foxes 
by Christian McKay Heidicker 

Flap Copy Description:

The Haunted Season Has Arrived in the Antler Wood.

Seven little foxes in the twisted Antler Wood, listening to stories much later that they should.

The first flees the teacher with dark, gooey eyes.

The second from six sisters whose tongues tell lies.

The third escapes a woman who peels foxes' skins.

The fourth slinks away from the Golgathursh's grin.

The fifth wets the ground when he smells Mr. Scratch.

The sixth turns tail when the Paw finds its match...

The seventh little fox in the wood all alone, facing down a ghost beneath branches of bone.

One little fox stays the whole night through. But can she make it to the end? Better yet, can you?

My Thoughts:

Scary Stories for Young Foxes is the perfect little tome for this Halloween season! This collection of spinetingling original stories is sure to entertain middle grade readers, but beware: They're best read by the flames of a fire, on a dark & windy night - but not for the feint of heart. I highly recommend this book to fans of spooky tales of all sorts! 

Click here to learn about the author, Christian McKay Heidicker.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

Famous Kids' Books to the Silver Screen 

Since the release of J.K. Rowling's first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 2001, it seems as though Hollywood's screenwriters have looked to successful children's books as ready-made recipes for Hollywood hits. The success of The Twilight Series, by Stephenie Meyer, and The Hunger Games Series, by Suzanne Collins, only seemed to solidify that trend.

That being said, this tendency for Hollywood to go to the well of successful children's book authors is not new. The Walt Disney Company first hit gold (literally) with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (by the Grimm Brothers) in 1939 when Disney received an honorary Oscar, as well as seven "dwarf" statuettes from Shirley Temple.

Here is a list of some of my favorite children's book-to-film adaptations:

Beauty and the Beast - Author: Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve

The Wizard of Oz - Author: L. Frank Baum

Matilda - Author: Roald Dahl

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Author: C.S. Lewis

Winnie the Pooh - Author: A. A. Milne

Mary Poppins - Author: Pamela Lyndon Travers

Alice in Wonderland - Author: Lewis Carroll

The Book Thief - Author: Markus Zusak

The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Author: Victor Hugo

Today marks the seventy-ninth anniversary of the release of the movie Dumbo, written by Helen Aberson-Mayer & produced by Walt Disney.

What are some of your favorite book-to-film adaptations?

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Wabi-sabi - (n.)
the discovery of beauty within the imperfections of life and art.
Example: In a world that seemed to be spinning of its axis, only the writers, artists, and other creative types could rest in wabi-sabi.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

Little Audrey's Daydream
The life of Audrey Hepburn

Written by Sean & Karin Hepburn Ferrer
Illustrated by Dominique Corbasson & Francois Avril

Goodreads Description:

Audrey Hepburn remains a beloved figure worldwide, but before she became a world-famous actress and humanitarian, she was a little girl with big dreams. Her extraordinary story unfolds during her childhood in Holland, where her happy life of ice skating and dancing changes with the harsh realities of World War II. She daydreams about who she will become when the war ends.

My Thoughts:

Like multitudes of cinephiles around the world, I am a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn. However, when I learned of her humanitarian efforts (years ago), I grew to admire and respect her even more. In this beautiful picture book penned by her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, we see the remarkable arc of the silver screen star - from Holland to Hollywood. The delicate illustrations by legendary artists, Dominique Corbasson & Francois Avril, seem to perfectly reflect the personality of Audrey Hepburn. I highly recommend Little Audrey's Daydream to readers, and art lovers, of all ages!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

The Need to Read

As deciduous leaves brighten, and flames flicker in our fireplaces, I'm reminded why fall is my favorite time of year. Additionally, curling up in a blanket with a good book & hot cup of coffee, is one of my all-time favorite things to do each autumn - and has been, for years.

That being said, my need to read has become even more important since the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic: it's an activity that doesn't put me or others in jeopardy of contracting Coronavirus. Now, since we're all spending more time indoors, being a bookworm (like me!) makes the isolation more easy to abide by, and also more tolerable.

My taste in books includes the Nancy Drew Series, the Harry Potter Series, and any well-written children's book. I love Historical Fiction set during World War II, as well as the popular Outlander Books - by Diana Gabaldon. I'm a big fan of all sorts of biographies, and enjoy perusing poetry. As a writer, reading a wide range of books is a good thing.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Abditory (n.)
a place into which you can disappear; a hiding place.
Example: The lonely young girl used the attic in her home as an abditory.


Monday, October 12, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Forest of Stars
by Heather Kassner

Flap Copy Description:
Left all alone after her mother passes away, twelve-year-old Louisa LaRoche watches the sky for her father. Long ago, a powerful gust of wind swept through town, stealing him away on the wings of his untamed magic - the same magic that stirs within Louisa. As if she is made of hollow bones and too much air, her feet never quite touch the ground.
But for all her sky gazing, Louisa finds her fortune on the leaf-strewn street when she spots a gleaming black-and-gold invitation - a ticket to the Carnival Beneath the Stars. If her father fits in nowhere else, maybe she'll find him there, dazzling crowds alongside the other strange and wonderful feats. Only, soon after she arrives, a tightrope act ends disastrously - and suspiciously. As fate tugs Louisa closer to the stars, she must decide if she's willing to slip into the injured performer's role, despite the darkness plucking at the carnival's threads.

My Thoughts:
Author Heather Kassner's recent middle grade release, The Forest of Stars, is a mesmerizing fantasy full of mystery, magic, and shadows. The colorful cast of characters paint a story of friendship, love, and hope. I highly recommend The Forest of Stars to readers of all ages!

Click here to learn about the author, Heather Kassner.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

Book Events in the Era of Covid-19

Last Saturday I held a book signing for my recently released children's book, THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH. It will be my only in-person event. Unfortunately, the pandemic has placed severe obstacles to connecting with the fans of our children's books.

Here are some suggestions on how to connect in a safe & secure way:

1- If you do hold an in-person event, require the wearing of masks, use a plexiglass vendor shield, maintain social distancing, and have hand sanitizer available. Make sure you use a venue that isn't in a cramped area. (My event was held amidst a courtyard outside an art gallery.)

2- Hold an online event via Zoom after using social media to advertise.

3- Use Twitter, Facebook, and/or your blog to hold a contest.

(Speaking of contests, click here to access my current contest!)

There are also online, group events that you can participate in to promote your children's books. Right now, I have a page on the SCBWI BookStop event. Click here to view my BookStop page!

It will take creativity to promote your book, but it's possible. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Apparatchik (n.)
an official in a large political organization.
Example: The apparatchik in the conservative group apparently had a change of heart, since he voted in a liberal fashion.


Monday, October 5, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

Secrets of Our DNA
by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton

Flap Copy Description:
Earth is full of life! All living things - plants, animals, and human beings - grow. And the way you grow connects you with every creature on the planet. You do not have to think about growing because your body comes with instructions called DNA.
Discover the wonders of DNA in this fascinating new book from the creators of the award-winning Tiny Creatures and Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth.

My Thoughts:
This beautifully illustrated picture book is not only informative, it's inspiring. It brings to life the story of DNA in a fun and understandable way for a wide age range of young readers. I highly recommend GROW - Secrets of Our DNA to readers aged four to ten!

Click here to learn about the author, Nicola Davies.
Click here to learn about the illustrator, Emily Sutton.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

The Tonic of Trees

Maybe it's due to the fact that I've lived in the Pacific Northwest since I was a toddler, but for whatever the reason, I find comfort and inspiration from all of our trees.

As a writer, the variety of forests in our area create a sense of enchantment in my everyday life, and also inspire the magic & mystery in the children's stories that I pen. (Many local authors feel this way!)

In this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic, it's important that we all maintain a sense of normalcy, as best we can, even though this year has been anything but normal. For me, that means spending time amongst the beauty of trees (as well as writing and reading regularly).

What activities are important for you to maintain right now?

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Circumlocution - (n.)
the use of many words when fewer would suffice.
Example: The politician's admission came after years of circumlocution denying his guilt.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
by Suzanne Collins

Flap Copy Description:
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, out-wit, and outmaneuver is fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined - every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute...and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

My Thoughts:
For me, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes had a bit of a slow start; but once it got going, I couldn't put it down! The talent of master storyteller, Suzanne Collins, was on full display. As a writer myself, I particularly enjoyed the twist to her protagonist. If you're a big fan of The Hunger Games Series, you'll love this new action-packed prequel.

Click here to read a brief biography of Suzanne Collins.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

Surviving Turbulent Times

Last spring - at the beginning of the pandemic - I blogged about Coping in a Time of Crisis. But at that time, like most Americans, I believed we'd be through Coronavirus by this autumn.

Unfortunately, through a number of errors our government made, this week our country passed 200,000 deaths from Covid-19. The purpose of this post is not to add to the already turbulent time we're in, but how - as writers - we might survive it. Maintaining the discipline to wear a mask and to socially distance from others is not easy. Additionally, the challenge to maintain a positive outlook in the midst of social unrest, political turmoil, and a poor economy have made our society feel like we're all living in a dystopian novel, rather than the land of the free and the home of the brave. I've noticed feeling a bit tired and frazzled for no reason. The months of isolation are affecting everyone's mood.

For me, starting a new project enables me to keep moving forward. Like a life preserver moving forward by someone pulling its rope, a literary project does the same for me. Without it, I fear I'd float aimlessly within the isolation brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Right now, that isn't easy for me since I just had my children's book - THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH - release. But it's essential. So, writing the middle grade novel I outlined last summer is now my main focus.

What about you? What new project or hobby can you take on?
It doesn't even need to be a writing-related endeavor. I'm also considering knitting again - something I've not done since I was a teen! (My husband just may receive knitted slippers for Christmas.) πŸ˜€

This post is not to imply that beginning a new project will solve all your pandemic-related problems. If you are experiencing serious challenges - whether physical, mental, or economic - please seek out the assistance of a professional. It's also a good time to turn to your faith - in whatever form that might take. I know my faith has helped me tremendously, to cope with all the challenges presented to us this year.

Wishing you safety & strength as we navigate an uncertain future.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Clowder - (n.)
a group of cats.
Example: The clowder of feisty felines prowled through the city.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

I DISSENT Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

by Debbie Levy - illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

Amazon Description: 

Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - in the first picture book about her life - as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable!

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequity, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what's right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RPG, tells the justice's story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

My Thoughts:

While I normally review recently released books, and this one released in 2016, with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday, I felt shining a light on this book was a small way to honor her. Ms. Levy's picture book (which is beautifully illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley) is a wonderful way to introduce your child to the extraordinary life, career, & contributions of the iconic Supreme Court justice. Rest in peace, RBG.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

The Zigzag River on Mt. Hood.
What a Summer!

In addition to the recent release of THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH, I enjoyed the Willow Writers Retreat on Mt. Hood in Welches, Oregon, and the SCBWI Online Summer Spectacular!

It was a season of much needed peace & relaxation, despite Covid-19.

Click here to read my recent quarterly newsletter.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for my book launch!

Hope you have a fantastic fall season, full of writing and reading!