Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: mystery

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layers, patterns mix;

tightly furled, mystery

blankets secret core

 

mystery by Angie Quantrell

 

I spied this gorgeous tree and cones during a winter walk. With such fascinating texture, design, and beauty, I just had to climb a snow bank to get close enough and snap a few photos. So glad I did!

What mystery have you seen lately?

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Reading for Research Month 2019 is Here! #ReFoReMo

Reading for Research Month is here! March Madness of the Picture Book World, here we come!

This is my 4th or 5th year participating in ReFoReMo. Happy 5 years to #ReFoReMo! Focused blog posts guide researchers (us) to read picture books that illustrate the information found in blog posts. I look forward to this month as an opportunity to read lots of picture books and study their techniques, formats, and picture book elements. If you love picture books, this month of reading is for you.

Is it a coincidence that Reading for Research Month occurs the same month as Read Aloud Day on March 2? I think not (or maybe so, but it is a cool coincidence.)

Read, friends. Read.

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Book stacks from previous ReFoReMo! Be prepared for the time AND space commitment! LOL

Great things happen during ReFoReMo:

– picture books are read, studied, dissected

– blog posts are shared by professionals in the kidlit field

– the kidlit community gives support to one another

– interaction between fellow writers, authors, bloggers, and kidlit enthusiasts is invigorating and addicting

– learning about picture books, in oh so many ways, grows in direct correlation to the amount of time spent reading and studying PB texts

– libraries are flooded with requests for picture books (which, as we all know, trickles back to authors – yay!)

– so much fun to be had!

REGISTRATION opens today! Visit ReFoReMo to register.

And start requesting those books! Find the book list here.

I’ve printed the book list and registered for ReFoReMo. Who’s with me?

 

 


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2019 Word of the Year: Treasure

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Do you have a word of the year? This year my word is treasure. Last year my word was roots and I had an inspirational image art project I worked on throughout the year to remind me of my word.

I don’t yet have an art project in process for treasure, but the image is forming in my mind. I’m letting it percolate on the back burner. You know what happens when things perk on the back burner? If it’s my dad’s coffee pot, the old-fashioned type with grounds, metal basket, and metal coffee-greasy shellac, then perking will brew strong, formidable, grow-the-hair-on-your-chest type of coffee.

That’s what I’m going for. Treasure that grows strong, formidable, and grows the hair on my chest, in the courage and confidence sort of way. Letting my word simmer will add notes of depth, fragrance, insights, and spicy overtones. As I taste my word, treasure, I hope I will also grow deeper, gain insights, become more fragrant, and enjoy spice in my life.

A spicy life! Let’s do it!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8, NKJV)

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV)

Taste and see, smell and know.

I began a Blessings and Thankfulness journal on January 1. Nothing fancy, just a cheap composition notebook and pens. As I focus on my treasure, I want to remember the blessings and reasons for thankfulness which are all around me. You know how easy it is to complain and mope. Ugh. I’m so tired of that. But still, I sink into that attitude. I hope by considering and jotting down both blessings and thanks, I can avoid the pity party.

A quick list of some of my treasures:

Jesus-God-Holy Spirit-faith-hope-love-Kevin-RV-home-shelter-food-Taylor-Jamie-Donavyn-Autumn-Chelsie-Hayden-Khloe-Gage-Monet-coffee-church-family-friends-you-readers-nature-snow-books-gardens-beauty-Bog boots-words-Bible-chocolate-art-music-travel-camera-rubber stamping-crafts-journals-writing-bees-flowers-hiking

Can you list 5 treasures in your life?

Read more about my Word of the Year here.

What is your word of the year?


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Polysyndeton: A Literary Device I Use (and didn’t know it)

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I love writing and reading and sipping coffee and nibbling dark chocolate.

Did you see the polysyndeton technique I just used?

Notice the ands, instead of commas. Using extended conjunctions in a sentence is  polysyndeton. As soon as I read this post. I recognized this literary technique as one I love to employ. Much to the dismay of some of my former critique partners.

I love the way polysyndeton slows the reader down, creates excitement, enhances vocabulary, adds focus, and increases emotions in the text I’m writing. (No polysyndeton in this sentence.)

It’s fun to play with a technique with a fancy name! I’m not even sure how to correctly pronounce polysyndeton, but I can put it to good use.

Read the full article by Daily Writing Tips here.

How about you? Do you use the polysyndeton technique? Is there a favorite literary technique you love?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: bridge

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Let’s take a little vacation to visit summer and Monet’s Giverny. (I think we can all use some sunshine and green.) Here’s #ThrowbackThursday meets Hump Day Haiku.

 

in white winter mope,

memories feed sanity

bridge to restful green

 

bridge by Angie Quantrell

 

Welcome to Hump Day Haiku Challenge. Join the fun and share a Haiku about bridges or winter despair. We’ll make it to spring!

 

 


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Haiku: Winter Snow Globe

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swirl wind, drift snowflakes.

secure; howl winter frenzy

living in snow globe

 

blow now, pile deep, chill;

blanket all, winter world, twirl-

alien landscape

 

frozen fingers ache

deep breath. calm. blue sky. storm rest.

living in snow globe

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winter snow globe by Angie Quantrell


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: winter

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drifting, snarled, stuck

captured, unprepared to stay-

winter lock in place

 

winter by Angie Quantrell

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge! Join us. Write a Haiku about winter or being stuck. Post the link or your Haiku in the comments so we can all read it.

Welcome!


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Storystorm Winner!

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I’m a Storystorm winner!

Storystorm is a month-long brainstorming project for writers of picture books organized and hosted by Tara Lazar. Mark your calendars for January 2020 when Storystorm will blast off the new year with daily posts, ideas, tips, and interactions with other writers. It’s that good.

Everyone who participates in Storystorm is a winner. I have a full notebook of ideas from this past month of Storystorm and previous years of Storystorm. I just began my second notebook. Those notebooks are gold mines for writers of picture books. Really!

I can’t tell you my ideas. They are SECRET. For now. Let me tell you there are some real gems lining those pages.

Whoop!

What do you do to brainstorm?

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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: layers

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not just tree, but host

verdant layers, companions;

growing harmony

 

layers by Angie Quantrell

I took this photo while visiting Claude Monet’s Giverny outside Paris. I’m happy to see layers of life and co-existence in the plant world.

Welcome to the Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge! Please join the fun by adding your Haiku to the comments. Maybe one of the following will spark an idea for you.

Things with layers: cakes, clothes, buildings, rock formations, sandwiches, paintings, the sky, the Earth, casseroles, make-up, gardens, winter beds . . .

 

 


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First Organize, Then Write

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As long as I can remember, I’ve always had to tidy the nest before beginning and completing projects.

In college, I had to clean my room, organize my desk, do the laundry, and make lists of things I needed to get done before I could tackle homework and class assignments.

In high school, I had to make my bed and I’m assuming put away belongings in the room I shared with my sister. I don’t remember those years as far as organizing, except I was on the college track and academic and social paths were solidly beneath my feet in order to ensure that I was able to attend the college of my choice. Go, Western Washington University!

Before that, I remember enjoying nesting when I played. Literally, I loved surrounding myself with a circle of toys (the nest) and playing contentedly within nest borders. I suppose that was a form of nesting.

Now, at the age of 56, something in my personality requires the same urgency to organize my surroundings and then write and/or work on deadline projects.

You can imagine the trouble this causes when living in a tiny RV. There is only so much room for organizing and tidying! I work at the RV table-aka-desk. Each time I need to work, the table HAS to be cleared in order to make space for the laptop and assorted files, books, and resources I need for references. I pull out the TV tray for my desk extension and prop work items around me. When it’s time to stop writing, reversing the nesting process gives me plenty of opportunities to think creatively about where to store (and be able to find again) my work items. Poor honey, he really puts up well with my hogging of space.

Just last weekend, I tackled the messy paper stack on the RV bench. Also known as my filing cabinet and book shelf. It was pretty bad.

Surprise! When I pulled out the stacks of things to be sorted and properly filed, I discovered that condensation was making the back of the cushion damp and a tiny bit of mold was happily growing in the corner. Lovely, that. This type of cleaning need requires immediate removal of all cushions, the wiping down of cushions and mold areas, and thorough drying of said items.

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We tend to forget, my honey and I, that this task is often necessary at least once a winter season. So I cleaned, organized, and reassembled.

While I still have a pile of little writerly notes (IDEAS, friends, those precious papers are filled with inspiration!), the rest of the RV dining area/office/guest bedroom/and family room is tidy and ready for work projects.

That is, until the pitter-patter of little grands enters the RV. Things quickly get scooted out of the way and piled in the corner of the bench. This habit is also called JOB SECURITY for the need to organize THEN write.

How about you? Do you have any quirky habits or needs that have to be fulfilled before you tackle a big project or activity? Please tell me someone else out there has to nest!