Monday, August 13, 2018

Book Review: Mixter Twizzle's Breakfast


TITLE: MIXTER TWIZZLE’S BREAKFAST
AUTHOR: Regan W.H. Macaulay
ILLUSTRATOR: Wei Lu
PUBLISHER: Mirror World Publishing
PUBLISHED: September 1, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-987976-49-6

Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast, written by Regan W.H. Macaulay and illustrated by Wei Lu, is the story of Mixter Twizzle, a mischievous creature living below the chicken coop at Riverdale Farm. His devilish escapades render him an outcast on the farm. But is this lonely life enough for Mixter? Kids and parents alike will enjoy following Mixter’s antics around the farm as he stirs up trouble.

Ms. Macaulay’s creative use of language and alliteration in her story telling make this a fun read. MIXTER TWIZZLE’S BREAKFAST allows kids to learn the benefits of treating others well without preaching the lesson and is highly recommended for readers ages 4-7.

Ms. Lu’s beautifully bright and animate illustrations really bring Mixter Twizzle and his story to life.

Learn more about Ms. Macaulay at  https://reganwhmacaulay.weebly.com/.

**Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. This review consists only of my truthful opinions, not influenced in any way by the author or publisher.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Step By Step


While traveling for vacation, I finally had some time to start reading SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD by Vinita Hampton Wright which I've posted about previously. The premise of this book is all about taking steps in the right direction. As Wright says, "One simple act is a step in the right direction."

I know for myself I often get overwhelmed with the totality of all and, therefore, lose sight of the single, small steps I could take in the right direction. Once overwhelmed, it is easy to let it build until such time as it becomes more tolerable to do the distasteful--clean a toilet, pull weeds, etc.--than starting to dig out of the rut. And here enters the "stuck" mind which impacts the creative process as a whole. BIG PROBLEM!

Per Madeleine L'Engle, "Creativity opens us to revelation, and when our high creativity is lowered...so is our capacity to see angels, to walk on water, to talk to unicorns." And, as we all know, this is a must as writers when creating worlds where readers can and want to live.

In the intro of her book, Wright says, "The only way to get unstuck is to take a step. It can be a big or little step, and you usually have a choice of directions. But it's an action with purpose behind it, and no one else can do it for you."

So, step by step, one step at a time, I will work on this mission to unstick myself--my mind--and re-claim my creativity. When I stumble and backtrack, I will press on rather than letting my stumble become a fall. More to come...

If you have words of wisdom on the most productive steps that work for you, please do feel free to share!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Vacation


Wishing you all a wonderful and productive week. I will be enjoying some family time on the shores of a beautiful Minnesota lake listening to the loons and watching the sunsets. Until next week...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Stuck

Have you ever felt like the social media part of your writing life is similar to your household when one thing goes wrong and spirals into numerous issues? Broken door knob, crooked cupboard door, leaky faucet, broken pool cover, a toilet running whenever it so chooses, etc.

Similarly, in the writing side of life, email trouble, social media icons showing up as ? symbols, updates needed on blogs and websites, outdated copyright year dates, computer issues, etc.

Sometimes the overwhelming feeling of both leaves me feeling stuck. Stuck doing household duties when I'd rather spend time with family or reading. Stuck doing marketing updates and items when I'd rather be writing something new or editing a current WIP.

Hence, I just ordered a book I recently saw suggested--SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD: 60 SUGGESTIONS FOR GETTING UNSTUCK by Vinita Hampton Wright.


You can find it here https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Acts-Moving-Forward

It just arrived, and I can't wait to start reading and learning.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Let Freedom Ring


Happy 4th of July! As we celebrate this Independence Day, let us remember those who make our freedom and independence possible.  God Bless!


Monday, June 25, 2018

No Regrets


I saw a quote on Twitter a week or so ago and jotted it down as it was quite profound.

"Don't be on your deathbed someday, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams."  --Derek Sivers

We have such big dreams as children...being a princess, flying to the moon, being an accomplished heart surgeon or pianist or any number of things. It never dawns on us to think we can't at that point. We just simply declare it and that is what we will be, "realistic" or not. So, what makes it unrealistic later in life and moves us down an alternative path?

Clearly, the cost can be a factor for some in terms of schooling. Reality can be a factor...we just can't be a dinosaur or Harry Potter. But why, oh why, do we sometimes allow others to dictate our reality?

If your dream is to be a doctor, you will incur debt with loans and spend a lot of blood, sweat and tears in time and hard effort, but if that is your dream, go do it and be the best darn doctor out there.

If your dream is to be a professional athlete, you work your tail off and bust your butt to be the best you can be and live your dream.

And if you want to be a writer, then you study and learn and work hard to be the best writer YOU can be, whether you publish or not.

We have to listen only to ourselves to determine our dreams and how best to fulfill them. I don't know about you, but I never want to look back and regret what I didn't try to do.  If I try and fail, at least I am doing what I can to pursue my dream.

And that is my wish for all of you, whatever that dream may be.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Live Your Dream


Do you ever feel like you wake each day with the intention of accomplishing a certain task or set of tasks, write a given number of words/pages or read a certain book only to go to bed with all or most yet undone? Lately, it seems my days are cycles of me setting goals and then moving them to the next day yet unfinished. Granted, we are in the throes of summer life and basketball chaos, and I have managed to do what I can when out and about. I'm just not grabbing the bigger blocks of time necessary to really dig into the edits and bigger tasks in my pile which has been frustrating (frustrated mama makes for crabby mama according to my kids!).

Today I came across the above, and it really spoke to me. It's like the old adage...if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. My parents used to say this all the time when I was younger, and it certainly applies to writing as well as anything in life.

So, my new goal is going to be to recognize the frustration when fewer tasks are completed but take a deep breath and use it to try again the next day. Rather than getting caught up in the "not done" things in my day, I'm going to focus on the reasons I didn't accomplish them (all good fun, kid-related and family things) and take from those experiences what I can to generate new stories. That is the one positive...I'm finding a ton of new story ideas in my day-to-day activities, so perhaps that is just my stage right now. And I'm too darn tired to get up any earlier or stay up any later, so my idea notebook will be bulging and I will tackle the rest...another day. Because, after all, there is no expiration date on writing.