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
Kindle UK
Kindle CA
iBooks | Kobo | Nook

$12.99 AUD (paperback)
Amazon US
Amazon UK
​Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
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.
@TheresaMilstein on Twitter.
@Theresa Milstein on Facebook
#ReliveMoment or #TimeandCircumstance

Winners will be announced on April 5, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Year New Goals BLAH BLAH BLAH

In 2017, I wish you good health, lots of love, good fortune 
Costa Rican Rice!

This year put on an agent's hat and think like an agent!
  • know your genre
  • characters must have character or they are just a holding place
  • humor is hard
  • not everything needs to rhyme
  • try to not be all things to all people
  • let your fiction be fiction
  • let the pictures show half the story
  • study your craft
  • study what is selling
  • network
  • polish your work until is shines then SUBMIT!
Welcome to 2017! This is going to be your year....if you work really hard and don't let anything get in your way!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

I'm Late! I'm Late for a Very Important Date....(Age is getting to me.)

I'm so sorry about the lateness of my post. My birthday (12/6) zoomed by and then BAM we are in the Christmas season. I (hangs head in shame) forgot to pick a winner. So as a bonus the winner will get a book mark.

And the winner is: Munir!!!!! (Please email me your address.)

If you would like to find more of Tess Hilmo's amazing books check them out here!

I'm totally distracted, so I'm going to log off until the 2017!  I wish you the most joyous holiday and that you and your family will be safe, healthy, and happy!

Love and hugs from Sharon

Monday, November 21, 2016

Tess Hilmo, Amy Allgeyer, Terry Lynn Johnson and me...Plus Holiday Safety and Skies Like These Book Giveaway!

Tess Hilmo

Tess Hilmo

Amy Allgeyer Cook

Amy Allgeyer

Terry Lynn Johnson 

Terry Lynn Johnson

What do these three writers have in common? Me! I know they have more than that in common....They are all amazing writers and each one worthy of you buying and reading their books. All of them write books that make you stay awake wanting to finish reading them...even if it takes you all night. So as you get ready to do some holiday shopping remember books are a wonderful gift!

Tess Hilmo just released her third MG book! 

Cinnamon Moon

Newly Released!

Skies Like These

Skies Like These was short listed for the Spur Award and made a few state lists as well

With a Name like Love


With a Name Like Love was on the School Library Journal Best Books of 2011 List, and Booklists' 'Top 10 Historical Reads for Teens' list and a few state lists (Maine, No. Carolina, Utah and a few others) and also won the Rodda Award (which is the National Church and Synagogue Assoc Literature Award) and two Whitney Awards.

All are available on Amazon. You can click over and follow her on Amazon! I did!

Dig Too Deep

Won the Gold Medal for YA Fiction in the Moonbeams Children's Book Awards.
Won First Place YA in the Idaho Author Awards.

The Iron Bodkin: Lux St. Clare ~ Book One

Ice Dogs

  • 2015 Children's Choice Book Award Finalist
  • 2014 Cybils Award Finalist
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • American Booksellers Association Best Children's Books of 2014
  • A Scholastic Book Fairs Selection 2014
  • Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids 2014
  • Int'l Literacy Association—CBC Children's Choices 2015
  • International Reading Association—Terrific Read Alouds
  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award—Maryland 2015-2016
  • Maine Student Book Award—Maine 2015-2016
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award—Vermont 2015-2016

Dogsled Dreams

Did you know your reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel and even Goodreads make a difference to authors? At a recent critique group session one very published writer said you hope to have at least fifty reviews on each of your books.


If you like someone's work, let the world know!

The Lovely Tess Hilmo gave me a copy of SKIES LIKE THESE  to give away to one lucky reader. I will announce the winner (chosen by on December 6th. To enter leave a comment on this post. (Please tweet if you have time...These are wonderful writers!)
Holiday safety:
(Tis the season to get scammed!)
Keep an eye on your doorstep! Don't let packages you are expecting walk off with strangers!
Know your charities! Only give to known charities. That person on the corner with an apron on may be scamming you.
Watch out for malware e-cards! Be careful what you open in could get something you don't want downloaded. Use your virus protection!
Use caution on giveaways and raffles! Don't give away personal information or your mobile phone number! Only sign up for things that are through reputable organizations.
(See you back on December 6th to find out if you are the winner.)