Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Twisted True Tales...and a book giveaway!

I have to say I am a fan girl...Stephanie Bearce is not only a friend, but the queen of research. Her series Twisted True Tales From Science can attribute to her amazing researching skills and her great voice. She doesn't dumb down her science she makes is just right for her readers. I would recommend her books for third through fifth grade and second grade if they are exceptional readers. 

Twisted True Tales From Science: Disaster Discoveries
As a former third and fourth grade teacher I would expect this book to be highly sought after off my book shelf. There is nothing more exciting than a natural or man made disaster and this book is full of them! One of my favorite parts is the hands on activities. Who doesn't want to make their own volcano erupt or figure out what liquids are heavier than others (density)?

Twisted True Tales From Science: Explosive Experiements
This has to be my favorite book in Stephanie Bearce's series! I could not put it down. Literally, I read it while I was getting a pedicure and was sharing what I was learning with everyone around me.

I knew the Chinese developed gunpowder, but I had no idea what they were trying to invent and all the invention that occurred because of their potion. This book is filled with great experiments that any second through fifth grader would love to do. Paint bombs, bath bombs and even soapy explosions.

While this book is full of history, it's full of great hands on activities. If I was still teaching this book would be a must have on my bookshelf!

Twisted True Tales From Science: Insane Inventors

Don't Try This At Home...might be another good title for this book.

Third through fifth graders will love reading about these crazy and successful inventors who tried far to many experiments at home or on themselves. It's amazing how many scientist experimented on themselves to provide us with modern medicine and technology. Many of these scientists injured themselves or even died for the good of others. 

Another great read by Stephanie Bearce!

Twisted True Tales From Science: Medical Mayhew
If you have a fever perhaps you should eat some spider webs...or for something more serious a jar of leeches might do the trick, but if your situation is peril you might want to eat some mouse paste. Yes, I said that! What a great book telling the horrors of medical history. It even has some experiments you can do. This is gross/fun/informative read.

And now for the giveaway....Please leave a comment and you will be entered in a drawing to win one of Stephanie's books...Please Tweet or share my post. It won't get your name in the drawing more, but it will help promote a talented author. (I'll use to choose the winner on July 19th.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Books I Wish I Had Written...

I'm reading Cheryl Klein's The Magic Words and doing most of the writing activities she assigns.

One of them is to write down a list of the books you wish you had written, so I started making a list. First it's a hard list to make. Second I learned something about my reading voice that correlates with my writing voice.

I would love you to chyme in and tell me a few of the books you wish you had written and if you can tell something about your writing voice based on the books you love? I had to write the list to recognize the correlation.

Here goes my list:

Picture Books
Home Place by Crescent Dragonwagon
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
The Relatives by Cynthia Rylant
Sophie's Squash by Pat Z. Miller
Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer

Middle Grade
Out Of The Dust by Karen Hess
With A Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo
Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Young Adult
Caged Grave by Dianne Salerni
Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer
The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Bread and Roses Too by Katherine Patterson
Beautiful by Amy Reed
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Almost all these books have a very gentle voice or tone. Someone I admire very much, Stephanie Bearce, recently told me I have a gentle writing voice. It meant so much to me that she recognized what I had hoped for since I began writing. Now I need to do what all these published authors did...submit my work until I get an acceptance.

My goals for July and August are to submit my four polished picture book manuscripts, my middle grade novel and my chapter book to at least ten publishing houses. I also want to continue working through Cheryl Klein's book and work on my YA WIP.

What are your goals for the summer?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Furry Friends

 Macy loved Christmas....
 Macy loved Halloween...
Macy loved feeling fancy....

The heart on Macy's fur showed she loved everyone. She never met a stranger. She was a good puppy and at eleven, she was still a puppy.

Sadly, on February 2, 2017 we had to make the hard decision to put her to sleep. Her seizures were out of control. You could see she was in physical pain. Her eyes were red where they should be white, She laid on the cold tile more than she laid with us. She went from being able to walk a couple miles a year ago to barely being able to walk a fourth of a mile on the rare occasion she felt up to it. We miss her so much.

I sat on the sofa at the doctor's office with Macy snuggled up to me on a fuzzy blue blanket. She laid her head on my arm and I told her how much I loved her and the vet told her she was loved and Macy went to sleep in my arms. She didn't hesitate or flinch she just went to sleep. It was so peaceful.

We miss her so much.Our house feels empty...

Sorry for such a sad post, but I needed to share.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Time & Circumstance...a MUST read...more than once!

This beautiful writer has been my blog friend since some time in 2009. I have to admit, I stole her from another writing friend. I knew she had to be mine the second I saw the title of her blog. She was a substitute teacher and I had just "retired" from teaching. Me, being me, I wanted to help her reach her goal of having her own classroom. I'm sure I filled her head with so much information it might have exploded, but it was the beginning of a great friendship and critique partner relationship.

Theresa did get her classroom, furthered her education and wrote and edited and wrote and edited and excelled.  My (pre-ordered) copy of Time & Circumstance arrived on Friday, March 17th. I read it and sent Theresa notes about what I loved about it as I was reading.  My favorites: First Apartment, Collision, Substitute Teacher, and my MVP (most valuable Poem) Card Game. (If you've ever bought a card out of obligation you will totally get this one.)

I asked Theresa to tell us a little about her writing process for Time & Circumstance....

Poetry inspiration has come from many different places. Because my imagination is activated from challenges, visual and written prompts work well for me. A few of my vignettes in the collection came from prompts. But real life has served as ample inspiration as well.

A now inactive blog, “Magpie Tales” used to post picture prompts on a regular basis, which I sometimes posted on my blog and sometimes wrote for myself. I’m a visual person, and the photos and paintings paired nicely with poetry. My first Magpie attempt, “Brolly Folly,” was inspired by a black and white photo of what looked to be a man with holding a red umbrella and a purse. It’s still one of my favorites. Of the maybe 20 in the collection that were inspired by Magpie Tales, I must admit that about half I’d written in advance and waited for a picture that fit with the poem, and the other half the picture actually inspired me. I miss that blog. I’ve tried to find another on that solely uses images, but so far, no luck.

Written prompts mostly informed the prose rather than the poetry, and I’d love to do more of them. There was a Neil Gaiman challenge in The Guardian to begin a piece with the lines: “It wasn’t just the murder, he decided. Everything else seemed to have conspired to ruin his day. Even the cat.” I was too late to add my piece to The Guardian’s online comment section, but “Injustices” made its way into my collection. Another favorite, “The Door” also came from a challenge to begin with “The door swung open” and to end with “The door slammed shut.” I would love to be part of an anthology that all came from the same challenge—what fun it would be to see where our styles and imaginations took us.

Real life, in its wonderful and ugly carnations, has also enriched my writing. One of the last poems in my collection, “Summer Song” came from a vacation on Cape Cod when my family rode on a boat from Woods Hole. The weather was gorgeous—not too hot, not too cold. The views were postcard perfect—everything blue and bright. We passed by all the grand Kennedy family homes. We eventually stopped at a couple of beaches and walked through the clear waters. On the way back, these lovely lines kept popping into my mind. I typed them into the notes section of my phone, so I wouldn’t lose them. Later, I sorted through the notes and wrote the poem. On a darker day, the poem “Boundaries,” was inspired after hearing a hate-filled speech and comparing it with the realities of the poor children I taught at school. I used the dichotomy to channel my feeling onto the page.

Often I find there’s something I want to write about. The idea is in the back, percolating. It takes just one inspiration to take it from my brain to my fingers. My advice is to look for these inspirations and see where they take you.

Theresa Milstein writes middle grade and YA, but poetry is her secret passion. Her vignette collection, TIME & CIRCUMSTANCE, will be published by Vine Leaves Press in March 21, 2017. She lives near Boston Massachusetts with her husband, two children, a dog-like cat, and a cat-like dog. For her day job, she works as a special education teacher in a public school, which gives her ample opportunity to observe teens and tweens in their natural habitat. 

TIME & CIRCUMSTANCE is available for preorder.

$3.99 AUD (eBook)
Kindle AUS
Kindle US
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iBooks | Kobo | Nook

$12.99 AUD (paperback)
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Chapters Indigo

Leave a comment  and you’re eligible to win a prize during my blog tour!

1 $25 Amazon gift card
1 signed paperback copy
1 ebook

Answer the question:
“If you could relive any moment in time, what would it be?”

Extra entries if you share on Facebook or Twitter and link it to me.
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Winners will be announced on April 5, 2017