Friday, June 18, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

It's Time for Summer Vacation!

As is my habit, I'll be taking a hiatus from blogging for the summer. This year there's a lot on my plate. (Click on my recent newsletter link, below, to learn more.) I'll be back on Writ of Whimsy in September!

Click here for my summer reading list for kids.

Click here to read my recent quarterly newsletter.

Wishing you all a safe and joyous summer. Happy reading!

With my husband - and illustrator - fine artist, Michael Lindstrom

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Whimsical Word of the Week

Latibule (n.)
a hiding place; a place of safety and comfort.
Example: The literary soul naturally gravitates to a latibule from which to create.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Bibliophile's Corner

Emily Dickinson's 
Gardening Life
by Marta McDowell

Flap Copy Description:
Emily Dickinson was a keen observer of the natural world, but less well known is the fact that she was also an avid gardener - sending fresh bouquets to friends, including pressed flowers in her letters, and studying botany at Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke. At her family home, she tended both a small glass conservatory and a flower garden.
In Emily Dickinson's Gardening Life, award-winning author Marta McDowell explores Dickinson's deep passion for plants and how it inspired and informed her writing. Tracing a year in the garden, the book reveals details few know about Dickinson and adds to our collective understanding of who she was as a person.

My Thoughts:
Being a fan of Emily Dickinson's poetry for most of my life, whenever a new book about her comes down the pike, I always put it on my "to-be-read list." This book was particularly enjoyable to me since I am a gardener myself - albeit a "fair-weather one." Marta McDowell not only records an incredible account of Dickinson's gardening life, she also connects it to her writing. I found Emily Dickinson's Gardening Life to be incredibly inspiring. If you are a fan of Dickinson, gardening, or both, this book is for you!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

A Great Summer Read!

While I rarely promote my books, it would be remiss of me not to mention The Tale of Willaby Creek - my fantasy novel for children featuring anthropomorphic animals!

It was inspired by the time I spent on Lake Quinault in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State. While staying in our cabin in the woods (which has since been sold) along the shore of the lake, a severe storm hit. That is the premise of my middle grade novel: what would happen to the forest creatures if such event was to occur? 

Here is the flap copy description:

When a violent windstorm strikes an enchanted rain forest many of the woodland creatures of Willaby Creek are stranded, injured, or lost forever to the frenzied force of the tempest. Basil, a black bear full of doubt and fear, becomes the unlikely leader to head the woodland creatures' rescue. He is joined by Daphne, a spunky blue dryad; Oliver, a wise horned owl; Elbert, a noble elk; and a host of other creatures that inhabit the enchanted rain forest.
Dangerous twists and turns in this animal adventure fantasy cause Basil to discover a courage, and a conviction, he never knew he had. The answers to the ancient mysteries in this magical tale emerge in an extraordinary finale under the tall timbers of the hidden hinterland.

A great summer read for an adolescent child! Click here to order!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Whimsical Word of the Week

Whelve - (v.)
to bury something deep; to hide.
Example: the prince chose to whelve his true identity beneath the clothing of a peasant.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Bibliophile's Corner

A World Gone Mad
The Wartime Diaries of 
Astrid Lindgren 1939-1945
by Astrid Lindgren

Flap Copy Description:
Before she became internationally known for her children's books, Astrid Lindgren was an aspiring author living in Stockholm with her family at the outbreak of the Second World War. These diaries, until recently stored in a wicker laundry basket in her Dalagatan home, offer a civilian, a mother, and an aspiring writer's unique account of a world devastated by conflict.
In these diaries Lindgren emerges as a morally courageous critic of violence and war, as well as a deeply sensitive and astute observer of world affairs. She provides insights into the Soviet invasion of Finland and the ambiguities of Swedish neutrality, and asks questions about the nature of evil, and our capacity, as individuals, to stand against such malevolent forces.
Alongside political events, Lindgren includes delightful vignettes of domestic life: shortages of butter, blackouts, dinner menus and children's birthdays, and moving descriptions of her marriage. And these diaries also reveal her emergence as a writer: the bedtime stories she invented for her daughter during this terrible period eventually became Pippi Longstocking - one of the most famous and beloved children's books of the twentieth century.
Posthumously published in Sweden to great acclaim, and now available for the first time in English, illustrated with family photographs, Lindgren's diaries provide an intensely personal and vivid chronicle of Europe at war.

My Thoughts:
Rarely does a book touch me deeply on multiple levels, but A World Gone Mad did exactly that. The WWII diaries of the legendary author Astrid Lindgren, who wrote one of my all-time favorite children's books, was heartbreaking, inspiring, informative, and chilling to read - all at the same time. It was lovely reading her feelings about the little story she wrote for her sickly daughter, Karin, that went on to become an extremely popular children's classic. Ms. Lindgren had no idea it would become what it did. It was simply a way to entertain her young daughter, at least in the beginning. I highly recommend A World Gone Mad to fans of WWII history, children's book history, aspiring authors, and of course, those who have always loved Pippi Longstocking!

Click here to read a brief biography of the legendary Astrid Lindgren.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

A Dream Come True!

For years my husband and I have dreamed of living in a place that is closer to nature, provides us with some acreage, and would give us more privacy than our lovely, but crowded, city neighborhood.

Well, it's happening!

We discovered a private, rural neighborhood just thirty minutes north of our current home. It boasts a covered bridge, a creek, two ponds, horse trails, walking trails, and a large picnic area, all for the exclusive use of its residents.

Here is our future home! It was built 25 years ago, and needs loads of work. We're postponing moving in until autumn, so we can fix the place up. We've already dubbed our new property "Fern Hill," due to numerous ferns everywhere.

Here are a few inhabitants of our new neighborhood! The first time we went to view the place, this doe and her two fawns welcomed us as we drove up the steep driveway to the house.
Needless to say, we're ecstatic with this upcoming new phase of our lives. Keeping up with my writing this summer, while fixing up this place, will be a challenge indeed. I'll be sure to post an update of our progress in September. (There's room for a new studio, too!) 

(Yes, I'm aware of the Dylan Thomas poem entitled, "Fern Hill." 😉)

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Whimsical Word of the Week

Querencia (n.)
a place where one feels safe, a place from which one's strength of character is drawn.
Example: The quietude of the forest was most definitely the girl's querencia.