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Posted in On Writing

Writing Habits

How do we get our writing done? There’s so much advice out there:

Write every day.
Write at least 20 minutes.
Write at least 8 minutes.
Write remotely on an app.
Always carry a pen and paper.
Write behind closed doors.
Write anywhere.
Set aside a time to write.
Write anytime – even your lunch break.

I feel like I’ve tried it all. I have reasons and excuses for why so many wonderful pieces of advice don’t work for me. I don’t get a lunch break, and I don’t have a long quiet commute. Sometimes I even ride my bike, so writing is not getting done within my working hours. We all have our reasons why great advice can’t work for us. I, for one, get frustrated and sometimes hopeless.
I used to compare myself to other situations thinking, “at least I’m not trying to raise children” or “at least I have no major health issues.” I believed these thoughts would drive me to try harder.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Picture Book Reviews

A Sled For Gabo

By Emma Otheguy, Illustrated by Ana Ramirez González

SUMMARY:
Gabo wants to go out to play in the snow but doesn’t have the right hat or shoes and has no sled. He’s also too shy to ask the other children to share.

MY FAVORITE PART:
The plastic bags! Before I even knew what the story was going to be about I noticed the plastic bags on the cover. As a child, sometimes we’d use plastic bags as well. We typically put the plastic bags inside our old boots that were no longer water proof, but it was the same concept; keeping our feet dry.

MY FAVORITE PAGE:
The first spread. For a winter story about snow, you don’t expect to open up a book and be flooded with colors. All the little details inside the kitchen were so fun to explore.

SHELF, RENEW, OR GIFT?
Absolutely a great gift for any shy children in your life. Any snow lover as well. The whole process of waking up to snow, getting ready, having fun, and returning to warm up and having a special treat never gets old.

Posted in My Work, Poems and Prose

BELIEVE

Blessed are those who see the dark; they shine upon the hour.

A light shines out a light shines in, a beacon on a tower.

They do not shun the lurking shadows; they do not close the doors.

Instead, they open up themselves and ask if there is more.

A tear will fall, a cry may sound, but every breath is strong.

Each battle fought with spitting fury regardless of how long.

In careful corners of the world
plays ignorance and innocence.
By circumstance or by their choosing,
confidence is but false bliss.

Blessed are those who see the dark; they shine upon the hour.

The truth be known, and shadows shown! And welcome in the power.

Posted in Book Reviews, Picture Book Reviews

Ten Ways To Hear Snow

a Picture Book By Cathy Camper Illustrated b Kenard Pak (published 2020)

First, let me just note that it’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a picture book. I read so many, it gets tricky deciding which to review and why. So I’ve come up with a new format and will review if/when I feel like it. I stopped looking for rhyme or reason to which I select for review. My latest haul had loads of winter themed stories so there may be several of those to come. But today we’ll start with this one for no particular reason at all.

SUMMARY:
Lina takes a trip across the city to see her grandmother on a quiet snowy day.

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Posted in Book Reviews, YA Book Reviews

EAST

By Edith Pattou
Fantasy – Fairy Tales / YA
Published 2005

My Synopsis
This is a retelling of the Norwegian Fairy Tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” where a poor family gives a daughter to an enchanted polar bear in exchange for wealth. She’s held captive for almost a year before she realizes the polar bear is actually a man also being held prisoner. As she tries to learn more about the strange circumstances, she accidentally makes things worse for the polar bear man and ends up needing to save him from a giant ice troll queen.

My Score:
“Meh”

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