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.) 😀

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!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Ameliorate - (v.)
make something (bad or unsatisfactory) better.
Example: The author spent the summer attempting to ameliorate her manuscript.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Moment of Tenderness
by Madeleine L'Engle

Flap Copy Description:
This powerful collection of short stories traces an emotional arc inspired by Madeleine L'Engle's early life and career, from her lonely childhood in New York to her life as a mother in a small-town Connecticut. In a selection of eighteen stories curated by one of L'Engle's granddaughters, we see how L'Engle's personal experiences and stormy faith informed the creation of her many cherished works.
A child learns, for the first time, that there are more important things in life than the immediate fulfillment of her desires; a young woman grapples with societal expectations regarding motherhood and self-determination; a young man returns to his childhood home, aggrieved to find his parents' health deteriorating before his eyes; a mother and daughter confront their changing relationship when a suitor comes calling; a cryptologist searches for habitable planets after nuclear devastation on Earth. In L'Engle's beautifully distilled world, characters young and old navigate the highs and lows of life, experiencing the agonizing beauty of everyday.
Some of these stories have never been published; others were refashioned into scenes for her novels and memoirs. Almost all were written in the 1940's & '50's, from L'Engle's college years to just before the publication of A Wrinkle in Time. From realism to science fiction to fantasy, there's something for everyone in this magical collection.

My Thoughts:
This amazing anthology of short stories by Madeleine L'Engle is a beautiful addition to the iconic author's repertoire. While most readers are familiar with Ms. L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, reading this eclectic collection will give you a deeper appreciation of the legendary author's literary prowess. I highly recommend The Moment of Tenderness to readers of all ages!

Click here to learn about the extraordinary author, Madeleine L'Engle.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

A Rafflecopter Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of my new book - THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH - you're all invited to participate in this Rafflecopter Giveaway! I'll not only be giving away 3 signed copies of this new children's book - with bookmarks, the Grand Prize Winner will receive a complete signed collection of my Lindstrom Wintertime Tales - each with a matching bookmark. (Amazon gift cards are also featured in this giveaway!) The winners will be announced on Friday, December 11th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway