Friday, December 14, 2012

The Snow-Flake


No snowflakes here in the deep South, but we can always hope! It did at least get cold this week, a nice cool change from our 70/80 degree winter. So I am enjoying the images of snow in verse.

Enjoy more Poetry Friday at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

The Snow-Flake
Walter De La Mare

Before I melt,
Come, look at me!
This lovely icy filigree!
Of a great forest
In one night
I make a wilderness
Of white:
By skyey cold
Of crystals made,
All softly, on
Your finger laid,
I pause, that you
My beauty see:
Breathe, and I vanish

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taking Stock

December is always a month of looking back for me. Did I accomplish what I set out to do? Did I achieve the goals I set for myself? Did I stay true to the word I felt was mine for the year?

So I started looking back and realized I didn't really set any goals this year.

That may sound terrible, but it was just the reality of my place in time back last January. My desire for the year had nothing to do with accomplishing pages of writing, but rather with reconnecting with my love for writing. I seem to have lost something of that in the push of trying to get books written.

Somewhere about midway through the year, I felt the word for me was "Don't strive." That's not the same as don't try, don't create, don't write, but don't strive so that the joy in the writing gets lost in the producing a product.

So have I been true to those "un-goals" I set for myself this year?

In some ways, yes. I have relaxed a bit. I have had some wonderful reconnections with my writing. Sometimes though, I still miss the joy I once had in playing with words. I am still wanting that essence to return to my writing life.

Health challenges with my parents have been a very real part of this year's journey. As I watch them in this last stage of life, my heart fills will a myriad of emotions. Sometimes it's hard to get past them to write. Sometimes they are the impetus to write. I find that I need to give myself a bit of room, not expect so much of myself on these days. Life is happening right before me and I need to be part of it. And hopefully the writing will flow from it with a little more grace.

How about you? Are you looking back? If so, what have you found?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Don't Feed the Boy

I absolutely loved this book! Okay, yes, I've had it since October, but life is strange and the to be read pile is never ending, but finally I managed to get to it, and it's wonderful.

From Roaring Book Press. Available on Amazon.

Of course, I'm slightly prejudiced because I love the author,

Irene Latham

 but that doesn't change the fact that this is a good book. 

You may think you'd like to live in the zoo, but Whit, who really does live in the zoo, would change places with you in a minute. Whit's mother is the zoo director and his father the elephant keeper. The business of the zoo keeps his parents so involved with the animals that it's easy for Whit to be overlooked. He even wonders if he should have been born another species. 

Whit hasn't had many friends besides the animals. He is homeschooled by a tutor and seldom goes anywhere outside the zoo. When he discovers Stella, the Bird Girl, Whit is determined to become her friend. He takes her on tours and into places only the zoo people are allowed to go. When he breaks the rule never to leave the zoo and goes to Stella's house, he is confronted by a problem that is way too big for him to solve. But that doesn't mean he won't try. 

Whit has "normal" problems with his parents. Problems most eleven-year-olds experience. Stella's problems are much more threatening. Yet Irene handles both situations with respect and sensitivity. 

I love the scene when Stella realizes that Whit understands her situation. He doesn't feel safe in her house, but he doesn't want to leave her. 

She grabbed his arm. "So now you know. And that's why you can't complain about your parents. Because what you have is so much better than this."
Whit stared at her.
What she said was true.
And it wasn't.
Yes, it was an awful situation. Clearly Stella's family needed help. But that didn't make Whit's problems any less important. Stella telling him that he couldn't complain was like saying you can't complain when you have a sore throat because there are people in the world who have cancer.
Oh, he could complain all right. Stella didn't have the corner of the market on unhappiness. It was just different, that's all. Their situations were completely different.

Nice, huh? No spoilers here, but you'll breathe a sigh of relief for both characters as the book comes to a satisfying end. 

If you have a young reader on your Christmas list, it's perfect stocking stuffer.