Saturday, January 19, 2013

Let's Get Organized

I'm as guilty as the next person for setting lofty goals at the start of a new year, new semester, or new week for that matter. Starting fresh feels good. It feel's productive and it's full of possibility. The writerly/creative type seem to take this to another level. We like to buy new pens, notebooks, calendars, and organizing accoutrements. I mean, how intense is your happiness when you hit the office supply aisle at Target?!

Despite my not-so-cosistent track record, I'm doing it again. I'm making a plan for posting on this blog along with my critique group.We have deemed this year, our Year of Social Media. We plan to master it, or at the very least improve or online presence and platform. Part of that being our blog. So, we bring you....


How it Works:

  1. Sign up on the Linky at the bottom of this post.

    *And then create a 4-6 week editorial calendar (here’s a cool template).*

    If you post more than once a week, feel free to cut this time-frame in half. Unless, you’re up for the challenge.
  2. Publish the schedule to your blog on February 21st

    As with exercising, people tend to stick to goals when they’re held accountable.
  3. Tag three bloggers, and invite them to make their own schedule.

    How many times have you, or another blog you read said something like "i'm going to start blogging more", or "I'm sorry I've been so inconsistent". It happens to us all. Life gets busy, but with a plan, we may be able to prevent these lags that plague us. I sat this morning and made my calendar, and it was actually pretty fun. It has made me excited about blogging. I'm excited to see what you all have in store for your own blogs! :) 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


So, this weekend, I fell in love with a book. This is not that unusual an occurrence, in fact it happens often. I read A LOT, even by writer/reader standards. (I'm talking 150 books a year...yikes and shame).

But every once in a while, I read a book that I not only LOVE, but I mourn it after I'm done. I go into a little bit of a reader depression, where I think of the world and miss the characters. We all do this, right? I experienced this with GRACELING, by Kristen Cashore.

I've really surprised myself these past few months with how much I love YA fantasy. Fantasy would never be a genre I would have said was one of my favorites. Ever. But the YA fantasy I've been reading lately is sooooo good.

GRACELING is no exception. Katsa was such a badass, It was kind of refreshing to flip the common brooding boy/lovesick girl thing around. Not that Po was needy, he was actually PERFECT!! He will go down on my short list (again...this is relative, because it's kind of a long list) of best lead male's of all time.  Of course, this book included my favorite love element...the separation. I can't help it, I love the reunion.  I was also surprised with how much I liked Bitterblue. At first I was all "oh gah, we're going to add a child to this mix?" (spoken like a true mother, right?) But I loved this element, and loved Bitterblue's character. In fact, I can't wait to read her book. :)

The ending and 'sort-of'' twist. Not really even a twist, but a surprise, was perfect. It made me love the characters even more than I already did.

In my true review style, I don't give a lot of info except for the plea....YOU MUST READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T!! It's truly an amazing book. And if you're a writer, you have to check out Kristen's blog. She has the most amazing writing process. whoa! Whatever she's doing though, she  must keep it up. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Favorites: Picture Book Edition

I love picture books. Walking into the Children's section of a book store or library is one of my favorite things in the world, just as it was when I was a child. I have three children of my own now, and although two of them wouldn't admit to it, they will all circle around to listen to—and look at— a picture book.

We have definitely developed some favorites over the years. Some of them are classics—or my childhood favorites—and some we've found as the boys grew.

For several years I was the chairperson of the elementary school book fair, and it had a few perks. Book Fair week always ended with a stack of new books for us. What I'm saying is that we have a LOT!!! Here are some of my very favorites.

 All the mice books by Kevin Henkes.

 I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these books. They are cute, witty, and have the most adorable messages involving the most common childhood dilemma's. Fear of starting school, making friends, blankies, being made fun of, and worry are just a few. All told through mice families with the cutest names (Wemberly, Chrysanthemum, Owen, Lily, Chester) and the most perfect illustrations. I could pick these up and read them without my children. And I have! ;)


A classic! One day Sylvester goes on a walk and finds a magic pebble and makes a wish that has devastating consequences.

This book makes me cry, and I love everything about it. I have read that some think this book is too depressing and sad. Well, it is depressing and sad, and these are real emotions that people experience. Even children, and this book shows it in a beautifully illustrated way. The best part is sharing with your child that sometimes things seem hopeless, sometimes your alone and afraid, but there is hope and miracles happen. It almost makes me cry to think about it.

All the Harold Books by Crockett Johnson

These are a favorite from my childhood. I thought Harold adventures were the most magical thing, and I loved his little blue pajamas. I can still remember the illustration of him drawing the boat and climbing in. These are the epitome of childhood fantasy and imagination.

Berenstain Bears by Stan, Jan, and now Mike Berenstain

Who doesn't love these books??? I can't even tell you how many thousands of times I've read a Berenstain Bear book. I have many memories of my father and I lying in bed and reading these. Over and over and over. I still have most of those copies. Some of my very favorites were No Girls Allowed, The Sitter, The Truth, and Messy Room. These are perfect, there is nothing else to say.

PETE THE CAT by James Dean and Eric Litwin

My youngest introduced us to Pete via his Kindergarten teacher. We now all love Pete and his white shoes, buttons and rock and roll. These books are fun and so perfectly marketed for the modern child. Songs, videos, games and apps. I love it. We now even have a Pete doll.

STAND TALL, MOLLY LOU MELON by Patty Lovell and David Catrow

Molly Lou Melon is different, but she doesn't let that stand in her way of being extraordinary. I love the message and I love the illustrations of David Catrow. They are vibrant, unique, and engaging. My boys have always loved this one, even if it's about a girl! ;)

There are a million more great ones, I could never list them all. What are some of your favorites??

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

DUETuesday: GLEE edition (sorry)

Let it be known, I have never once watched an episode of Glee. I might like it, who knows, I'm just not a television person. In different era's of my life, I certainly have been, now (and the past four years) is not one of them.

However, I heard this edition of Endless Love somewhere, can't remember, and I loved it!! With research I found that it's sung by a teacher and student...okay.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy 2013!!

Long overdue post here, I can't believe it's a new year! :)

Today I feel like a new person due to the fact that it's the first "well" day after a full week with the flu. It's always amazing how wonderful normal feels after being sick.

I'm so excited for 2013 for a multitude of reasons, some I'm not ready to share (how's that for annoying!!), and some I haven't full wrapped my head around clearly enough to type out. (Still trying to clear my head after fever/flu nightmare) I do have some big plans for my blog, both content and design wise, so please stay tuned.

I really just wanted to check in and wish everyone a Happy 2013!! Hope all your dreams for the year come true!

Oh, one more thing...anyone planning on attending RT Review Conference here in KC this May?? I'd love to know if you are! :)
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