Friday, March 18, 2022

Storyteller's Journey

Signs of Spring

After all of the challenges of Covid-19 - and now the horror of the attack on Ukraine - it's a comfort to see the early signs of spring. I'll be on a blog break for two weeks to do some gardening.

Click here to view my recent quarterly newsletter.

Wishing each of you a lovely spring season!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Whimsical Word of the Week

Aegis - (noun)
the protection, backing, or support of a particular person or organization.
Example: Assistance to Ukraine was conducted under the aegis of NATO.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Bibliophile's Corner

Stars and Poppy Seeds
by Romano Romanyshyn 

Goodreads Description:
"Why can't I count all the stars even though I know so many numbers, formulas, and equations?" As the daughter of well-known mathematicians, Dora loves to count more than anything else. She counts all the things around her, even all the animals in the world that she can only imagine. While Dora looks at the Milky Way, she begins to wonder how to count the mesmerizing stardust with every one of its particles. Is it possible at all? Is the night sky so full of stars that all the numbers she knows would not be enough to count them?  Dora soon learns that she needs to deal with such a complicated task through the smallest steps, and who knows, maybe one day, she will achieve her dream.

My Thoughts:
This beautiful picture book was first published over a decade ago, but when I saw it online with the hashtag #UkranianKidLit I knew I had to have a copy. However, I never expected that it would be such a lovely book! Curiosity, hope, and dreams grace the pages of this Ukranian children's book. I highly recommend Stars and Poppy Seeds for children aged four to eight! (Note: In the translation I read, the protagonist was named Flora, not Dora.)

Click here to learn about the Ukranian author, Romana Romanyshyn.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Storyteller's Journey

When the Personal and Professional Cross Paths

Last month we traveled to the East Coast to surprise our son, Brian, for his birthday. (His girlfriend, Caity, had master-minded the plan!) It had been several years since we'd visited the Big Apple, so while we were there, we made sure to make the most of it. Central Park lies between the two museums we wanted to visit; it was a cold, but lovely, day in the park.

We always visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art when we're in New York City. It never fails to inform and inspire us. The Met is definitely one of our favorite places to visit while in Manhattan.

As I mentioned, the main purpose for traveling to the East Coast was to celebrate our son's birthday. Brian was definitely surprised. Many thanks to Caity who made the trip happen!

Since Caity works for one of the theaters in the city, she was able to pull some strings and get us tickets to a Broadway show. We enjoyed a bite to eat before the show began.

We were overwhelmed when we learned that we'd be seeing Hamilton! When we got to the Richard Rogers Theatre, we were stunned to see the seats Caity had been able to acquire. Thanks again, Caity!

After so many months of hunkering down during the pandemic, it was a thrill to see our son, and have a trip that was so "over the top." However, it wasn't just a trip for enjoyment and entertainment. When we returned home, I was encouraged to realize that I had indeed been newly inspired to continue writing. I wasn't surprised. Whenever I have the opportunity to immerse myself in the arts, I almost always experience a renewed sense of purpose with my own creativity. I'll post more about my work in progress very soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Whimsical Word of the Week

Warmonger - (noun)
a person who encourages or advocates aggression towards other countries or groups.
Example: The president of the communist country was nothing more than a power-hungry warmonger.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Bibliophile's Corner

Amah Faraway

by Margaret Chiu Greanias
illustrated by Tracy Subisak

Flap Copy Description:
When Kylie and Mama go to visit Amah - her grandmother who lives SO FAR AWAY - Kylie is shy with Amah. Even though they have spent time together in video chats, those aren't the same as real life.
In Taiwan, Kylie is at first uncomfortable with the less-familiar customs, culture, and food. However, after she plays and splashes in the hot springs (which aren't that different from the pools at home), Kylie begins to see this place through Amah's eyes and sees a new side of things that used to scare her. Soon, Kylie is leading Amah back through all her favorite places and having SO MUCH FUN! And when it is time to go home, the video chats will be extra special until they can visit again.

My Thoughts:
Amah Faraway is a lovely story about how love can span new customs and cultures. Young readers will learn that while new people and places might seem intimidating a first, finding a friend (in Kylie's case, her grandmother) to introduce you to new sights and sounds, is a rare adventure. I highly recommend Amah Faraway to young readers aged three to seven.

Click here to learn about the author Margaret Chiu Greanias.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Storyteller's Journey

Melting Snow - by Oleg Ulitskiy - Oil, 18 X 24
The World Right Now

When Russia invaded Ukraine last month, I immediately thought of my Ukrainian American friends, Oleg and Victoriya Ulitskiy. While they have lived in the U.S, for many years, they still have family and friends in Odessa, Ukraine, on the Black Sea.

I rarely post my political views on social media, but this aggression has shaken me to my core - like so many people around the world. The unprovoked attack on the innocent people of Ukraine brings to mind the horrific invasion of Poland in 1939 by Adolf Hitler.

I don't believe this is an exaggeration.

We all must proclaim our dismay and disgust of Vladimir Putin, lest history repeat itself. Whatever your political views, indiscriminate killing of children and adults cannot be tolerated. Glory to Ukraine!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Whimsical Word of the Week

Scree (noun)
a mass of small loose stones that form or cover a slope on a mountain.
Example: The woodland sprite skipped form stone to stone upon the scree of the mountain.