Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Katherine The Great White & Other Randomness

It's Almost the Fourth of July!
 Kick it up with some lip-smacking faire...
Impress others with 4th of July facts...
I'll will be dropping a line into the Gulf of Mexico this Fourth of July. Yes, I want to catch fish, but really I'm hoping to get a glimpse of Katherine. Who's Katherine?  Only a magnificent 2,300 lb. Great White shark making her way to Texas. Surprisingly, she's not getting the publicity she deserves.  I'm admittedly a Shark Week nut.  It's 37 days 3 hours 3 minutes and 55 seconds away. One of the perks of having the ocean in our backyard is yes the dolphins, but what about our big toothed friends out there.  Hopefully we will find some shark books to sink our teeth into next week. (^^^)

And in honor of the Fourth and Katherine's expected arrival I will attempt this.  I found it on Pinterest and hope it's doesn't turn out to be a Pintrosity.  

On a Writing Note: I was going to introduce you to Pixie, but not yet.  I'll only say she's an eight year girl that finds her way into one whooper of an adventure. And would you believe it happens at the library? Books are coming to life.  And it's a good thing Pixie is the best second grade reader at Strawbridge Elementary. Why? Because there's a Book Guardian who's trying to capture characters in a glowing magic book.  And how would Alice and Wonderland and Cinderella read without it's characters?  It wouldn't.
See, I've said too much.  On my next post you will get a glimpse of Pixie.  Yes, I'm enjoying my daily writing journey.  But I never knew how long and tedious the editing process could take... My apologies, this is why my posts are far and few in between.
Chilling With These Totally Random Romps
The Year Of The Fortune Cookie
Cheng, Andrea

This is the third book in its series.  An adventure where Anna goes with her teacher to China who is adopting a baby girl.  At first, she's a little homesick but soon Anna begins discovering her past. And of course makes a new friend along the way. We are still not done reading this one, but Little Reader says it's the best chapter book she's read this summer. It goes best with Egg Drop soup according to her.  We've are now waiting for Amazon to deliver Year of the Baby and a fortune cookie jar.
Flight School
By Judge, Lita

We all know penguins can't fly. But don't tell this little penguin. He shows up to flight school in the hopes of souring high above the ground. And with the help of his friends his dream is fulfilled, just not in the way you think.  An infectious heartwarming story about not giving up on your dreams.
Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep
By Saltzberg, Barney

Chengdu the panda can't sleep. While the other pandas slumber soundly Chengdu does everything he can to fall asleep.  After tossing and turning, trying different positions like hanging upside down, he finds a surprisingly perfect spot.  But oh no, now another panda is awake...  
Peggy: A Brave Chicken on A Big Adventure
By Walker, Anna
The cover is what got this off the shelf. And we loved this charming adventure about a chicken enjoying the quiet suburb life. But that changes when Peggy the chicken gets caught in a gust of wind.  The bustling city is no place for a chicken. Or is it? All in all, the humorous individual vignettes will tickle your funny bone.
Continue Reading...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Reads, But First Let Me Take A Selfie

So we are into the first week of summer and it's almost too late to be starting my backyard garden.  But at least my front beds are up and running.  Why am I'm telling you this?  I had an interesting revelation while outside with my little one.  I have red cardinal flowers that have taken sprout and they are taking off.  So I decided to transport them from their pots to the front flower bed.  My Little Reader asks,  "Why do we need to plant them in the front if they are doing fine where they are?"  Mom response, Yes they can survive where they are, but in order for them to thrive we have to move them where they will have more room to grow.   We want them to produce beautiful flowers.   As I'm beginning to let go of the fact that my graduated son is soon going off to college, I see this a perfect metaphor. 
And can someone please tell me what the deal is with the selfies?  This act of self esteem is something I refuse to gaze upon and admittedly will say that my phone would probably reject this even if I tried.  Besides having a camera one foot away from my face feels more like a direct threat than a happy moment.  With all this to say during my sons graduation the valedictorian took a selfie during her speech and pulled it off nicely.  Apparently this is the thing to do during graduations, so I've been told...

I'll finish this speech, but first... Thanks for the memories, GP Class of 2014
let's go change the world

Summer Reads
Snoring Beauty 
 Bardhan Quallen, Sudipta 

A funny and rhyming take on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty.   It's a good thing Prince Max arrives to break the spell of the loud snoring slumbering princess. 
 Base, Graeme  
A beautiful illustrated alphabet book that I admittedly have checked out numerous times.  And of course we love the L is for Lazy Lions Lounging in the Library.  This one's filled with animals mythological creatures and your reader will enjoy finding additional things that begin with the corresponding letter. 
Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale
By Lloyd-Jones, Sally

A hysterical fish tale.  Just like our overly optimistic Dory from Finding Nemo, Miss Doreen Randolph-Potts is a half full always  looking on the bright side kinda fish.  On her way to pay a visit to her second cousin twice removed who just had 157 babies, she gets hooked on a delectable dragonfly.  Yes hooked!  No need to mourn for what looks like doomed fate, as she isn't fazed by any of her precarious situations.  Illustrations are beautiful and Little Reader compared this to Ponyo.  Don't miss this Miyazaki  film, get to your library and reserve it today...
In case you asked, what's Ponyo? 

By Lubar, David

A quick witty tale about a boy named Logan that is cursed or "punished" and can only speak in puns.  After running wild in the library Professor Wordsworth  gives him a face of magical dust.  In order to lift the curse Logan must complete three figures of speech quests.  Fun, witty, great afternoon read.
This Is A Moose
By Morris, Richard
Once a movie director tried capturing the essence of a true moose.   But his idea of what a moose should be was not in line with the moose.  This moose actually wants to be an astronaut and will do whatever it takes to make his dream come true.  An  imaginative humorous tale of following your dreams.   Roll on!
The Dancing Pancake
By Spinelli, Eileen
This book is NOT about a dancing pancake like we hoped.  But instead the Dancing Pancake is just the name of a restaurant.  This was a bit of a letdown, and we didn't finish reading it.   In summary it's about a girl dealing with her parents separation and dealing with issues surrounding this type of event.   Not recommended for young readers, and why would children want to enter into such a depressing story? 
Bake Sale
By Varon, Sara
One fascinating, comic style, strange read.  Gotta love a story about a Cupcake that runs a bakery with an eggplant for a best friend.  Eggplant is planning a trip to Turkey and will see the infamous chef, Turkish Delight.  And Cupcake just has to meet her as well, so he starts selling baked goods to raise the money for the trip.  We have checked this out numerous times and its quirkiness keeps drawing us back into the story each time.    

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why do I Write?

Woohoo!  Summer's almost here.  This means enjoying the library reading program, beaching it, camp for the kids, and packing my senior for college :_(  I'm excited to announce he made the Blinn basketball team, so will continue doing what he loves most. Basketball.  So with a middle school basketball player and now a college ball player it looks like where gonna be busy next year.  The college is 3 1/2 hrs away so that won't be too long of a drive...

What's your library doing this summer? 
                                                          Fizz Boom Read!

I'm still moving along slowly with my first book, but planning it to be done this summer.  My Pixie is on her first library adventure, the books are coming to life like never before.  Pixie, a second grader is a lot like my little girl.   This is where my inspiration came from.  What inspires you when you write?  
People often ask me, what's the best thing about being a writer?  And I tell them because all the children look up to me literally.  No just kidding, here's what I got!  Feel free to send me your thoughts, via one of the social networks. 
I make something out of nothing.
Working for the other man, or women entails executing a task according to their instructions. I'm in no way putting this down, but my mind isn't one that would do this well.  (And thank goodness for those people out there that do.)
Just picture yourself at your laptop with nothing but your imagination.  And then you start producing something real from nothing.   Then the ideas and words just keep flowing, and the next thing you know you have become part of the story.  
And then your little one reads what you wrote over your shoulder and wants to know more.   That's when I know I'm doing something right.  This is what I love most. 
No, I don't write in my pajamas.
Being one's own boss it's your prerogative to dress as you please. I admit though, I'm not one of those that rolls out of bed, puts on the slippers, turns on the Keurig, and off to the computer I go.  I do what most moms do. Get self ready, make  lunches, wake up four sleeping kids, cook breakfast, try waking up kids again, feed dog, get the littlest one ready, threaten teens to get out of bed, and eventually run the morning taxi service to three different schools.  And now that it's only 8:00 it's time to get to the computer and start writing.  Occasionally, I'll sneak in a thirty minute to an hour rest.  But that's not in my pajamas, or in bed for that matter.  
No one tells me what to write.
You do things that interest you right?  It's the same with writing.  I get to write about whatever I want and take it wherever I want.  Going through college writing courses I wrote mostly teacher directed stories with few following my own course.  But now I can visit an underwater world, climb the highest mountain, and jump off using my jet pack all in a day.  Where else can I do all this?  In my world it's wonderful to have complete control over what and when I work.  Yes, I'm truly Blessed and couldn't stress enough the importance of having a career  that you are passionate about. 
Little Reader Romps
Naamah And The Ark At Night
By Bartoletti, Susan Campbell
I especially like how the author made Noah's wife, Naamah the star here.  This poetic picture book retells the Biblical tale of Noah's Ark beautifully showing Naamah fulfilling her role as a helpful wife and loving mother.  It's unique and soothing illustrations makes this a top "sleepy time read."
Clarice Bean Spells Trouble
By Child, Lauren
We're not done with this one yet , but so far find it to be an adorable conglomeration of the Ramona books and Charlie and Lola.  (Our favorite British characters.)  You'll quickly fall for Clarice Bean.  No she cannot spell, but she has a determined spirit and will do anything for her friends.  The writing does not feel pushed, but rather fun and carefree.  A great transition chapter book. 
The Emperor's New Clothes
By Davidson, Susanna
A comical tale depicting an Emperor needing a new splendid outfit for the royal procession.  He will do anything it takes to have something specially made, and  he finds the best clothes maker in town to do so.   Little does he know that he's being swindled down to his bare nakedness.  Adorably creative quirky old-aged tale. 
The English Roses
By Madonna

If I would have realized this was  written by Madonna, it would have stayed on the shelf. But not until after deeming it a good book did I see this. I far more enjoy her as a writer than a pop star.  And It's not even about flowers.  Here four best friends are jealous of a beautiful girl named Binah.  But with the help of a fairy godmother they learn to appreciate their lives a little more and become less judgmental of others.  It's not just about being beautiful on the outside, but being beautiful on the inside.  Surprisingly charming. 
Lana Ladybug's Garden Party
By Tollefson, Carolyn Cirullo
Lana Ladybug is getting ready to host a garden party.  She begins tiny preparations like setting up mushroom tables and pea chairs, and making colorful flower arrangements.  Oh, and she doesn't leave out her mouse friend, and provides him with a wedge of cheese.  And it's a good thing the mouse shows up.  Praying mantises don't make good party guests.  I found it read a bit choppy and compare it to a first grade take home reader.  The idea was cute but writing didn't deliver for me.  Although, my Little Reader loved the story and read through it twice. 
Remember on a previous post I told you we ordered praying mantises.  I did not realize what we were getting into. I thought we should order numerous egg casings so we could have more than one baby mantis  That was not the case.  Apparently these little eggs hatch up to hundreds of baby mantises.  We had three!  We were not expecting to become parents of a thousand mantises, and they were not the cutest bugs either.  These squirmy little things looked like worms hatching from an extra-terrestrial pod.  And then tuned into what you would want an exterminator to take care of.  All this to say, we let them go.  We have now done every mail order animal there is, except for jellyfish.  I bet you didn't even know you could order that right!  
Here's the first one starting to hatch!
The Cheshire Cat
By Deedy, Carmen Agra
He was the best of Toms, he was the worst of Toms.  Let me share with you a big cat secret.  (He doesn't eat mice and loves cheese.)  But can he fool Mr. Dickens by  pretending to catch the same mouse over and over again? Not telling...  You'll enjoy  reading about the mice society and the worlds' best cheese.  It's smooth writing and pencil drawings came together wonderfully bringing the characters to life.   
Continue Reading...

About Me

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I'm a reading, writing, publishing, blogging, children's book mama.  Our library journey has opened up a door of wonder, excitement, and imagination for not only my children but myself.  Brining inspiration, motivation, and just overall joy for the written word.  
What started as a mission to find out what makes a true writer, has unfolded the realization that we all have a story.  Not to sound cliché here but, Just Do It!  It's the motivation to get out there, connect, share your story, and not wait for the approval or disapproval of others.  For myself it's publishing, and writing about self motivation, getting to your dreams, and facing what's holding you back. 
Who knows what the future holds for any of us?  Give your children the passion for written words while creating thinkers and doers. 
The library is what did this for us.  Who else gives out unlimited free books, movies, and other book media, and doesn't even mind when we eliminate the need for bookends? 
In a nut shell emphasizing the nut, it's all about the Library Romps & Writing Prompts.
Enjoy & God Bless
- CG

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