Monday, January 31, 2022

Bibliophile's Corner

The Plentiful Darkness
by Heather Kassner

Flap Copy Description:
In order to survive on her own, twelve-year-old Rooney de Barra collects precious moonlight, which she draws from the evening sky with her (very rare and most magical) lunar mirror. All the while she tries to avoid the rival roughhouse boys and another more terrifying danger, the dark-hearted magician who's been disappearing children in the night.
When Trick Aidan, the worst of the roughhouse boys, steals her mirror, Rooney will do whatever it takes to get it back. Even if that means leaping into a pool of darkness after it swallows Trick and the mirror. Or braving the Plentiful Darkness, a bewitching world devoid of sky and stars. Or begrudgingly teaming up with Trick to confront the magician and unravel the magic that has trapped Warybone's children.

My Thoughts:
After enjoying Kassner's The Forest of Stars, I knew I had to read he most recent book: The Plentiful Darkness; I'm so glad I did! Haunting magic, powerful characters, and a plot to die for, make this fantasy middle grade novel one not to miss. I highly recommend The Plentiful Darkness to readers and eight to twelve!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Storyteller's Journey

A Word about Words

Every Wednesday, for nearly eleven years, I've posted a "Whimsical Word of the Week." In the beginning, I thought it might be fun for followers of my blog - as well as young readers - to expand their vocabularies. 

Little did I know that mine would be expanded as well!

I've long felt that many authors of middle grade novels (thankfully, not all) limit their choice of words to meet some perceived reading level of those between the ages of eight and twelve. What I have always known is that young readers love to be challenged. The last thing they want is to be spoken "down to" in any way. Children love to learn, and that means they will look up a definition of a word that is unfamiliar to them if necessary. That being said, the writer must strive to use an appropriate word for the rhythm and context of her story. To simply place a complex word in a sentence when the entire text is more basic, is just as bad (in my view) as a poet who forces a line to rhyme.

So, the next time you pick up an ancient tome and discover its arcane tale leaves you discombobulated, hide away in an abditory and check out Writ of Whimsy on Wednesdays. You may just come down with a serious case of logolepsy! (At least you'll expand your vocabulary!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Whimsical Word of the Week

Abbozzo - (noun)
a preliminary sketch.
Example: The plein air painter also began his process with an abbozzo.


Monday, January 24, 2022

Bibliophile's Corner

A Thing Called Snow
by Yuval Zommer

Flap Copy Description:

"What is snow like?"
Autumn is turning to winter, and Fox and Hare head deep into the forest in search of snow for the first time. Each of their animal friends describes it differently: white, cold, fluffy, sparkly...Fox and Hare wonder if they'll ever know what snow is. But then, overnight, flakes start to fall. White, cold, fluffy, sparkly... SNOW!

My Thoughts:
This beautifully illustrated picture book is the perfect wintertime read for young readers, or for a parent or teacher to share with children. Yuval Zommer has not only illustrated the book, but he is also the author of the lovely text. I highly recommend A Thing Called Snow for children aged four to seven.

Click here to learn about the author/illustrator, Yuval Zommer.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Storyteller's Journey

Winter Inspiration

As I've mentioned numerous times before, snow, and the entire season of winter, really inspire my writing. So much so, that my husband and I first created our Lindstrom Wintertime Tales because we love the snow so much. Well, since we've moved to a higher elevation in Washington State, we're ecstatic about the amount of snow we've already received. Here are a few photos I took over the Christmas holiday.

Since I took this image through our kitchen window, it needed some work to remove a bit of light glare. Many thanks to my son Kevin (who was home for the holidays) who helped me achieve that feat!

This is one of many selfies my husband has taken of us since we've moved to Venersborg. Can you tell how happy we are? While I enjoy hiking in the beautiful natural settings near our home, Michael loves painting!

This image was taken on New Year's Eve. Is that not just magical? I can't claim the visit from the doe, but she sure made for a celebratory image to begin a new year.
I have plenty of inspiration to write in 2022!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Whimsical Word of the Week

Balatron - (noun)
a clown; a joker.
Example: The adolescent behaved more like a balatron, than a student, at school.


Monday, January 17, 2022

Bibliophile's Corner

The Memory of Babel
by Christelle Dabos

Flap Copy Description:
In this gripping third volume of the Christelle Dabos's best-selling Mirror Visitor saga, Ophelia, the mirror-traveling heroine, finds herself on the ark of Babel, where she guards secret that may provide a key to both the past and the future.
After two years and seven months biding her time on Anima, her home ark, it is finally time to act, to put what she has discovered in the Book of Farouk to use. Under an assumed identity she travels to Babel, a cosmopolitan and thoroughly modern ark that is the jewel of the universe. Will her talent as a reader suffice to avoid being lured into a deadly trap by her ever more fearful adversaries? Will she ever see Thorn, her betrothed, again?

My Thoughts:
Like so many readers around the world, I am a huge fan of the Mirror Visitor books by Christelle Dabos. So, it's no surprise that I also love the third book in the series. As not only a reader but a writer, I know how difficult it is to create a story - and characters - that remain interesting throughout the series. Ms. Dabos has done it brilliantly! My interest in the plot and cast of characters was not only heightened, now I'm hungry for more. I highly recommend all the books in this four-volume series to readers who love fantasy novels!

Click here to learn about the author, Christelle Dabos.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Storyteller's Journey

A Wide Range of Reading

Like most bibliophiles, one of my favorite gifts to receive is a book. Well, I made a haul over the holidays! What occurred to me is that while I read mostly children's books (for a variety of reasons), I really enjoy a wide range of genres. The photo on the left is evidence to that fact. I believe that having a wide range of genres from which to read is sort of like cross-training my mind as a writer. Styles, word choices, etc. can be found in all sorts of well-written books.

So, while the wheels of mind slowly get moving again after my holiday break, I'll be diving into these books, as well as others. 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Whimsical Word of the Week

Forelsket - (noun)
the indescribable euphoria you feel when you start to fall in love.
Example: The college freshman was overcome with forelsket upon meeting the guy seated next to her in her Fine Art class.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Bibliophile’s Corner

The Snowflake
By Benji Davies

Flap Copy Description:
High, high up in the clouds, a tiny snowflake is made. Perfectly fluffy and white, she tumbles and bounces inside the cloud, but then she begins to fall...
Exquisitely written and beautifully illustrated, The Snowflake tells the tale of one snowflake and one little girl - both longing for their own special place in the world. They discover that wherever we go, and however we fall, in the end we all find a way to shine.

My Thoughts:
This beautiful picture book begins its story high in the winter sky, something I find fascinating - and I believe young children will too. The journey the snowflake is thrust into is a lovely metaphor for life. I highly recommend The Snowflake for readers aged four to eight!

Click here to learn about the author/illustrator, Benji Davies.