Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday's Riddle: Untamed Heart...

Hello, Riddlers! Can you guess our theme this week? Since I've moved to Connecticut, it's been amazing to watch the activity in my backyard. ; ) ~ F

Untamed in a real world; talons stretched, wings unfurled. 
Eyes alight behind the trees, many more than than one first sees. 
As above, so below; day and night sing songs we know— 
Crickets chirp, peepers peep, owls swoop low, hares dig deep. 
On matter in space, this paints Mother Nature's face.

What am I referring to? Stop by Wednesday for the answer.

I gave you a clue!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Margo's Musings: It's Not Jack and the Beanstalk!

When we walked into the Ashpot Library my little sister, Margo, was immediately drawn to the cover of It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk. I thought the cover looked great too. I'm a big fan of fairy tales (and not simply the Disney ones, but the real fairy tales), so I was excited to get reading.

This book is a twist on the traditional version of Jack and the Beanstalk that most people are familiar with, which is what makes it such a blast. While the reader is being told the story by the narrator, Jack comments with his thoughts on what is happening. Some of the classic elements are included, but the reader can expect a different ending. 

Margo loved this book because she thought it was funny. I totally agree! Jack’s comments made me laugh, and they put a hilarious spin on the story. Edwardian Taylor's bright illustrations really pop off the page. All of the colors and details give the reader a lot to look at, this was especially interesting when we read the book a second time.

The book even inspired us to do some planting. Although the ground is frozen, and we can’t grow anything outside right now, we did plant some bean seeds we bought at the store. They are on the windowsill in the kitchen, and Margo has made sure to use all kinds of magical phrases to help them grow. Of course, she used the spells from the book on our beans! While I don’t think we'll grow a magic beanstalk since they were regular seeds, it will be fascinating to see what happens. I'm guessing there will be more readings of this book in the future!

Has anyone else read It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk? Or have you read another book by Josh Funk? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
~ F

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Birthing A Book

By Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson

It could happen anywhere: when you’re talking on the phone, cooking pancakes, out with friends- time and place never matter. It’s what happens in that space that’s important, and it begins with your inner voice saying,
“Wait. What did I just think?”
The burst of knowing you had a brilliant idea for a story stops you in your tracks. You don’t want to forget it, so you shift your sight from out to in- that’s the moment when light sees dark, and insight snaps a picture, like the flash of a camera lighting up a room. When the image comes together, what was unknown becomes known, and voila! 

An idea is sparked.

Peering into the event horizon of infinite possibilities, you’re likely to choose that which suits you- meaning every story has an audience. If you like the idea and it makes you excited, let it flow and the creative process begins.

Words spring from the deep well of thought, lining up in rows, pouring onto blank pages. When the clicking keys stop and the writer's eyes read over them, that flash of insight is realized, and a new book is born!
Cultivating story seeds is serious business though, and not for the faint of heart. As a creator you must be fierce in your conviction to bring your story to life, for a harrowing adventure awaits those who decide to birth a book.

Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson
Co-authors of the Fairday Morrow Series

Catch our feature articles on 

Critique, Editing your MS

Working with editors, Collaborating using Google Docs

Skeleton's poetic interpretation on formatting a book

Answer to Monday's Riddle: A Twisty Beanstalk...

Excellent guessing, Riddlers. This week, we're climbing over a twist in Jack's beanstalk. Friday, Margo has a children's picture book to share that will keep your imagination in the clouds, so stay tuned! See you all around the book block. ; ) ~ F

A story sprung from a bean spills magic on the scene. Tossed away, seed took root, stalking up a giant's boot. In the clouds, riches rise; tantalizing thieving eyes. Up the stem to get the loot, luckily, it's not Groot. 

What am I referring to? Answer: Jack and the Beanstalk!

Make time to riddle and rhyme!

62 original riddles and illustrations
Available in all e-book formats

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday's Riddle: Story Beans...

Hello, Riddlers! Can you guess our theme this week? One of my favorite twisty tales. ; ) ~ F

A story sprung from a bean spills magic on the scene. Tossed away, seed took root, stalking up a giant's boot. In the clouds, riches rise; tantalizing thieving eyes. Up the stem to get the loot, luckily, it's not Groot. 

What am I referring to? Stop by Wednesday for the answer!

I gave you a clue!

Friday, January 5, 2018

One for the Murphys

"We can have whatever we want in our lives. It's only a matter of deciding. But we don't have to do it alone. We have each other."
― Lynda Mullaly Hunt, 
One for the Murphys

Twelve-year-old Carley Connor’s life turns upside-down when she's sent to live with a foster family hundreds of miles away from her Las Vegas home. Her life with her mom hasn’t always been easy, but Carley is tough and has been able to handle things. Now she’s worried about her mother, confused about what happened, and doing her best to be invisible at the Murphys. While Carley feels welcome by Mrs. Murphy, who never stops smiling, the oldest son (who is her age) makes it clear he wants her to leave. The two younger boys don’t take long to worm their way into Carley’s heart and every day it gets harder to ignore the affection Mrs. Murphy continues to show her. At school, she’s the new kid and for the first time has new clothes and a chance to start fresh. When a friendship forms with an unlikely classmate, Carley listens, but can’t tell her friend the truth about her situation. Will she settle into her new life? Will Carley’s mother ever reach out to her? Read this touching book about facing our fears, making changes and believing in hope to find out!

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a powerful story! I read it in a day because I had to know what happened to Carley. She is a girl that I can imagine being friends with because she has feelings that I can relate to, even though we have different lives. I think the book would be helpful for anyone that has been in foster care or had a foster child live with them because they would be able to relate to the experiences of Carley and the Murphys. It made me think about how hard it can be to make a change when we are scared or worried. We feel like our armor and our edge protects us, but they can also prevent us from feeling loved. I would recommend this book to anyone in 4th grade and up that is ready for an emotional story with characters that will really make them think. Be prepared to cry!

Has anyone else read One for the Murphys? Or have you read another book by Lynda Mullaly Hunt? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading!