Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Storystorm 2018 DAY 29: JANE YOLEN CULTIVATES THE WILD IDEA

Collecting those ideas is just like gathering eggs. You have to watch where you’re walking, keep your eyes peeled, and collect those golden orbs of inspiration and place them in a sturdy basket to incubate for hatching up a great story.

Thanks, Jane and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 29: Jane Yolen Cultivates the Wild Idea

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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 21: Tara Luebbe Has a Sixth Sense

This post has an excellent list of ways to make sure your manuscript is marketable! Love this as a resource. Thank you, Tara and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 21: Tara Luebbe Has a Sixth Sense


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 9: Miranda & Baptiste Paul Use Real Life as Inspiration (with a few caveats)

Miranda and Baptiste Paul share not only inspiration tips, but stories from their lives. Patience and looking back are key points to mining the perfect ideas for picture books. Thanks, Miranda and Baptiste! Great interview of each other!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 9: Miranda & Baptiste Paul Use Real Life as Inspiration (with a few caveats)


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 8: Annie Silvestro Mindlessly Multi-Tasks

Mindlessly multi-tasking is my choice-du-jour for allowing my creative side to enjoy some free play time (and hopefully toss out a few story idea sparks).

One of our hobbies (hubby and I) is taking motorcycle trips. I ride behind him, so my hands are empty and we don’t have a way to talk to each other, so I have all that talk-to-myself time. I’m working on one story right now that came directly from daydreaming and wondering on the back of the Honda Shadow.

I’ve also learned that wherever I go I need paper and pen. This goes for motorcycle trips as well. Other motorists often see me hunched over behind his back, jotting down ideas on my paper, fighting for control as the wind gleefully tries to steal my notes. Alas, it’s January, foggy, cold, and in Washington state, not a good time for motorcycle rides. Otherwise I’d say, “Pony up, honey, we need to take a ride!”

Guess I’ll do the dishes. Or sweep. Or bake something. And let those ideas flow.

Thanks, Annie! Thanks, Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 8: Annie Silvestro Mindlessly Multi-Tasks


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 7: Tim McCanna’s Technique Conquers All

Technique does conquer all! It’s not speed, size, or strength that helps us discover ideas or write well. It’s the technique, or craft, that helps us reach our goals of dreaming up and listing ideas – and then turning those golden ideas into projects.

In this blog post, Tim lists some techniques writers might use to brainstorm. He has some new ideas I want to try. But what popped into my mind was how I stare into space. It seems that helps me come up with new ideas. I also get ideas when I am outside in the mountains or going for a walk in my neighborhood. Now I just need to make sure to write down those thoughts.

Thanks, Tim! Thanks, Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 7: Tim McCanna’s Technique Conquers All


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This Is My Dollhouse ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

This is what a homemade doll house looks like.

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

This Is My Dollhouse

By Giselle Potter

(Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016)

I’ve always loved doll houses, so I was instantly attracted to This Is My Dollhouse.

A young girl uses an old box, craft materials, and toys to create and decorate her own doll house. Her imagination is in full swing as she makes food, clothes, and props for the little family that lives in her dollhouse.

Her friend, Sophie, also has a doll house. It’s a fancy store-bought dollhouse with pretty furniture and a family. When the girl goes to visit Sophie and play with the dollhouse, their imagination is stilted and comes to a stand still.

After seeing Sophie’s doll house, the girl is afraid of showing her own dollhouse to her friend. But one day, when Sophie came to play, Sophie discovered the hidden house and was delighted. Many hours of creative play followed and the girl was once again pleased with her own dollhouse.

I don’t think this book is against store-bought doll houses at all, but rather This Is My Dollhouse celebrates creativity and ingenuity of those who build from scratch.

It was so much fun to see the creativity of the young girl and the way she used her imagination to create scenarios and adventures for her little family. This book will inspire little ones to create from miscellaneous materials found around the house.

This is a little sewing room I made in a wooden box. Can you find the tiny mouse?

KID KANDY:

Make A Doll House

Materials: box (any size will work), cardboard, paper scraps, fabric scraps, ribbon, markers, scissors, tape, glue, toy figures, wood scraps or blocks

1. Make a doll house. You can use ANY type of container to make a little house. I once made one from a teapot! Cut cardboard and paper to make walls and floors. Ask for help in cutting a door and windows.

2. Use craft scraps and other materials to decorate your house. Add curtains, rugs, furniture, and whatever else you want. Use markers to add color.

3. Make your little family comfortable. Cut blankets, clothes, and other household necessities from your supplies.

4. Give your family (and their pets) names. You are now ready to imagine adventures for them!

P.S. This would be a fun activity to do with a sister, brother, or friend!


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 4 Debbi Michiko Florence Explores Culture and Family Tradition

I love this post! Family traditions and culture are so interesting – and unique to each family. What a perfect place to mine ideas for stories!

Thank you, Debbi! Thank you, Tara! (Get well soon!).

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 4: Debbi Michiko Florence Explores Culture and Family Tradition


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Christmas Funnies

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via Smorgasbord Christmas Laughter Academy – Time to get the party started.

Here are some Christmas funnies from the blog of Sally Cronin. Some people are just so creative and humorous! Thanks for sharing with us, Sally.

Maybe laughing will burn off some of those extra Christmas calories?


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Peace & Joy, From Us to YOU

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Mary and Joseph were pleased that Jesus had been born but nervous about the waiting crowds.

An angel, wearing pink socks and blue wings, was happy to eat fruit snacks before donning one snow boot to wear while dancing up the aisle.

One of two shepherds sported adorable glasses while keeping watch over his tiny flock of one.

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The other one of two shepherds was having none of this mess.

From our Christmas story to yours, Merry Christmas!

Peace and joy to you this day and on into 2018.

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Hobbies? Rubber Stamping Cards is One of My Top Favorites

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My stamping buddy (aka college roommate and friend of many many years) and I were recently trying to figure out how long we’ve been stamping. We sort of came down to the correct decade and several-year span, but we couldn’t quite pin it down. Suffice to say stamping has been a part of my life for most of my life.

This hobby has become a habit. A tradition. A much anticipated gathering.

Actually, another college roommate joins us or we join her to feed our habit. Maybe being a college roommate is a prerequisite? LOL. No. We have other college buddies and friends that join crafting days or at least tolerate our obsession by bringing their own crafts or visiting with us while we crazily create.

I think it’s the creation part that is addicting. Playing with stamps, papers, inks, glitter (always glitter!), and stuff is exhilarating!

And just look! The benefits involve large stashes of beautiful cards, fit for any occasion.

Let’s hear it for the college buddies, friends, stampers, and crafters!

P.S. A recent stamping trip netted an addition of 45 lovely cards. Coming your way . . .