Category Archives: Mostly About Reading

Can you help me find a book?

When I was a little girl (many years ago) in elementary school we didn’t have a local library. The bookmobile is what I remember, and for the small, very shy young girl I was, it was scary and intimidating. The other children were excited to climb on board, pushing their way to the shelves of books, but I would hang back in awe and hesitation.

When I was successfully coaxed into the bus with the other children, the smell of those many books captivated me. How would I ever choose a book? What did I even look for on those floor to ceiling shelves? Oh my! It was amazing and overwhelming.

I wish I could recall the name of the book I was given to read and that I grew to love. Being a slow reader at that time, devouring every word and scene and visualizing everything as I went along, the book I borrowed I never got to finish. It had to go back after awhile so others could enjoy it. What a disappointment! I don’t think it ever came back around to my school, although I timidly asked several times.

Even yet, how much I wish I could find that book again. Now I wonder if I were to put out my very vague descriptions is there anyone out there who will take what I can share and know what I am talking about?

It could be that my memories are of two books combined in my mind, two books that stirred up my imagination and wonder. Here’s all I can remember of them now: 

  • a child looking at herself in the mirror discovered the child looking back at her was not really herself but someone else, and seeing her from a different world she could come to her through the mirror. It seems to me that meant trouble, mischief, but I can’t recall what happened.
  • I think – maybe  in another book – there was a peculiar little man who came to help care for children and he could fly somehow and take them on adventures. He also was dearly loved by the children because he was fun and safe and adventurous. His name may have begun with a P .. but I’m unsure about that;
  • I think the children’s parents would not always agree with what he allowed, even though it was not dangerous or anything;
  • He also only stayed a certain amount of time and then had to move on, maybe because the children had outgrown him so he was going to others to care for them.

Does any of this sound familiar? Oh, how I wish I could remember what those book titles were! I would so love to find them now, especially the one about Mister … somebody, but with only the above to go by it is probably impossible. I have more impressions than memories I can put into words about it. Know what I mean?

If you think you might be able to help me I would be delighted! and very happy. :) Please let me know.

Is there a book you wish you could find from … way back when?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

2 Book Reviews : Millions of Souls – the Philip Riteman Story; The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler

Today I received an email about Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day.  What’s curious about this is that I didn’t even know about Yom HaShoah, but yesterday I finished reading a book called The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler written by William L. Shirer.  (Book review at end of this post.)

You know, it dumbfounds me how people can be so blind and indifferent, thereby allowing such unspeakable horrors to continue without correction!

A side note: One evening Dad and I were watching a program on television where people were asked on the street if they think our soldiers saved the world – referring to World War II. One young woman said no, she didn’t think they saved the world. I was aghast! Dad was disgusted. How can she not know the truth of that time? Aren’t our schools teaching anything about that part of our history anymore? Are they just skimming over it?

As soon as I finished the little book mentioned above (which, I must add, said nothing about Canadian soldiers who played a big part, and not much about American soldiers either) I began reading a book called Millions of Souls – the Philip Riteman Story. Mr. Riteman, a Jew, survived the Holocaust but his whole family was exterminated. He now lives here in Nova Scotia. A few years ago he was encouraged to tell his story, the result being this book – although it was extremely emotionally painful for him to do so as it brought back horrible memories. He now travels around the province selflessly telling some of his story to groups who invite him.

It’s timely that I should be reading these books at this time. Although I haven’t read all of Mr. Riteman’s book yet, I am going to include it here for you today on Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Believe me, it is not for young readers who are not prepared to read about the cruelties and realities of war. What I have read makes me heartsick. It is truly unthinkable what people do to people. The evil in this world …    Having said that, at some point everyone should know.

Millions of SoulsBook: Millions of Souls – the Philip Riteman Story
Author: Philip Riteman, as told to Mireille
Baula-MacWillie

Publisher: Flanker Press
Date: October 12, 2010
Genre: Memoir
Pages: 174
Price: $16.95
My Rating: A must-read as a way to know the horrific truth about the Holocaust

 

I think the best way to tell you about this book is to write here what is on the back cover.

“Philip Riteman is a Holocaust survivor whose mission is to educate today’s youth on the atrocities committed against millions of Jews and Gentiles by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime during World War II. From the Pruzhany Ghetto, Poland, Philip and his family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There, his entire family was exterminated. As the lone survivor, Philip was used as a forced labourer in five concentration camps, where he witnessed the cruellest treatments that can be inflicted on human beings: degradation, dehumanization, starvation, hard labour, daily beatings, torture, and deliberate, cold-blooded murder.

Millions of Souls is told in three parts. First is Philip’s account of life in his hometown and as an eyewitness to the struggle for survival in the concentration camps. Second is the story of Philip’s exodus to Newfoundland after the war, where he discovered that there was still some humanity left in the world. Third is the story of Philip Riteman today, and his commitment to spreading his message: “Hate destroys people, communities, and countries. Love binds us all together and makes a better world.”

Philip Riteman’s story was recorded by Mireille Baulu-MacWillie during a series of interviews at Philip’s home in Nova Scotia, Canada.”

“I speak for millions and millions who cannot speak.” – Philip Riteman

Thank you Mr. Riteman!

You can find Millions of Souls on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler - by William L. Shirer

Book: The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler
Author: William L. Shirer
Publisher: Scholastic Book Services
Date: 1968; 7th printing January 1970
Genre: Historical
Pages: 188
Price: varies from under $1.00 up
My rating: worth reading to know the shocking truth of the madness  behind WWII

 
I read this book just to know what I may not have otherwise learned along the way. I’m glad I did. It was an easy book to read, but was difficult to read because of the horror of war, the driven insanity of Adolf Hitler, the unspeakable cruelty he promoted and insisted upon toward anyone in his way. It was revolting to me to learn more of the seeming stupidity of those around him to allow him to carry on the way he did. He was terrifying. He was insane.

My father is a WWII veteran, and I deeply respect all WWII soldiers who put their lives on the line to stop the attempted overtaking of the world, a little at a time. It was a long horrific war that could have been stopped many different times – but it wasn’t seen at first as a realistic threat. As it progressed it became very hard to stop, including several attempts on Hitler’s life which were unsuccessful. I had an uncle who was a young German soldier in WWII, one of countless who didn’t want to fight in Hitler’s armies but had no choice. How very sad and tragic it all was.

This is a small book worth reading.   Lest we forget.

You can find The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Book Review: The Shy Writer – by C. Hope Clark

The Shy WriterBook: The Shy Writer (second edition)
An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success
Author: C. Hope Clark
Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc
Date: 2nd edition 2007; 1st printing September 22, 2004
Genre: writers’ self-help
Pages: 174
Price:  $14.95$16.75
My rating: A very good help to shy writers – or any writer!

 

This is one of those purchases as a writer I am very glad I made. The title immediately appealed to me, and I discovered that – in The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success – author Hope Clark, addresses so many things that I can relate to and that describe me – I admit.

There are fourteen chapters, each divided into sections. The chapter titles are:

  1. Understanding Shyness
  2. Defining the Shyness
  3. Reaching Out Reaches In
  4. Controlling the Fear
  5. One-On-One
  6. The Big Bad Throngs
  7. Honing the Skills and Confidence
  8. Shy But Sharp
  9. Gimmick the Name of the Game
  10. The Press and Media
  11. World Wide Web Power
  12. Other People Power
  13. Controversy – When Shy Doesn’t Work
  14. Safe Havens and Natural Feelings

In all these chapters I don’t think Hope Clark missed a thing. Being a shy writer herself, Hope understands it all. She was able to cover all areas of one’s inner struggle with what comes after the writing – the marketing and publicity in any form, including how to cope with the often dreaded book signings. She addresses many scenarios and gives examples pertaining to her own life or of other writers she has met.

Author Hope Clark gives such sound advice and includes links to many sites where helpful information can be found. For the shy writer this book is comforting and reassuring, well worth having.

You can find The Shy Writer on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

Book Review: Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER! by Jeff Cohen

Lynn:

I’m sure you all know of someone having this experience … either you were personally involved in some way, or you discovered your child’s attempts. Please tell us about it!

Thanks, Erik, for this great review. :)

You can find Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER! on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Originally posted on This Kid Reviews Books:

evaEva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER!
By Jeff Cohen
Illustrated by Elanna Allen
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by HarperCollins on June 3, 2014

Eva and Sadie are sisters. Eva’s hair is long and curly. Sadie thinks that it is too long, too curly, and too much of a bother. It is practically impossible to tame! Then, Sadie had an idea – why not give Eva a haircut? Awesome idea, right? Maybe not so much…

An NPR radio reporter, Jeff Cohen has 2 little girls, Sadie, 5, and Eva, 3. He interviewed his kids after a disastrous hair cutting incident. Click HERE to go to the original interview (it’s hilarious). Apparently the interview went viral and Mr. Cohen turned the story into a very cute picture book. The story is very well-written, and has a great message. The message that Sadie learns is “It’s okay to…

View original 83 more words

Take the Jane Austen character quiz

There have been various things, distracting things, going on lately in my life – some of which I’ll share soon – and my blogging hasn’t been getting as much attention. I appreciate all who come by anyway, and I hope you have been finding things of help to you on the pages you can connect to from the top of this page.

Today I would like to share something fun for you to try. If you are familiar with Jane Austen’s work – and even if you’re not – you may find it interesting to discover which of her famous characters you twin.  Here is the link to follow. Once there you’ll find a quiz of eleven questions to answer to determine which character you are.

Jane_Austen

 

 

 

 

 

<–  Jane Austen

 

After you take the quiz, please come back and share what you learned about yourself.  :)

By the way, I am Anne Elliot of Persuasion!

Which Jane Austen character are you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

Sue Harrison’s “Writing the Third Dimension” – part 24: Way up High in the Sky

Welcome back! Over the next several more months we invite you to return here, specifically on the fourth Thursday of each month for the newest installment of Sue Harrison’s teaching: Writing The Third Dimension. You can read all the segments by clicking on the page title WRITING THE THIRD DIMENSION, found under Writers’ Helps & Workshops on the drop-down menu. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments for Sue. Now for the topic for month twenty-four:

********

“Writing the Third Dimension” – part 24: Way up High in the Sky

When my husband graduated from college, we decided to celebrate with a trip to the Rocky Mountains. As we drove west across the plains, we scanned the edge of the horizon for those fabled peaks, but mile after mile, no matter how carefully we looked, we couldn’t see any mountains. We did notice a hazy jagged band of white clouds, but we ignored them, until we finally realized that they weren’t clouds at all. They were the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies, not at the horizon as we had envisioned, but way up high in the sky. We were amazed!

800px-Mount_Massive (Photo by Rick Kimpel Jr., Common Domain)

As you know, mountain peaks and valleys are often used as a metaphor for the plot line of a story. When your readers approach the high climax of your novel, you want them to catch that same feeling of awe that Neil and I experienced when we first saw the Rocky Mountains. From chapter one, page one, you have guided your readers toward a moment of emotional intensity: joy or heartache or amazement or happiness or fulfillment. Carrying your readers to that high level requires a bit of magic beyond my ability to explain, but I hope the following tips help as you work to achieve that goal.

1. Your reader will not be lifted to a climactic level of emotion unless the character they love most or hate most is experiencing a similar emotional high or emotional release.

2. You need to ramp up the intensity of your novel through the rhythm of your words and the length of your sentences and paragraphs. (You might want to review Writing the Third Dimension #18, Tension.)

3. For the primary climax of  your novel, you should narrow your focus to the main plot line and the main characters.

4. The climax is not something tacked on or patched in, it’s the natural fulfillment of the plot line.

5.  And of course, you show, don’t tell. Nothing breaks the rise of emotion like a short, pat sentence as a substitute for action. “He released his anger.” “She would love him forever.” “The butler did it.”  ARGH! NO! Don’t tell me. Give me an action scene. Please…

I’ve had two very separate experiences when writing the climax of a novel. Usually, the words just flow, and the first draft, although not perfect, is better than I had hoped. But sometimes I have to write the climax again and again and again. How do I know when it’s right? It makes me smile, and it makes me cry. What better place for a writer to be than way up high in the sky, standing on top of the world, ready to give his or her readers the gift of tears, the gift of a smile?

Strength to your pen!

Sue

*Writing the Third Dimension, copyright, 2010 Sue Harrison*

Sue HarrisonBestselling author, Sue Harrison, has written two bestselling Alaska trilogies: The Ivory Carver Trilogy and The Storyteller Trilogy – all of which went digital in May 2013. She also wrote a middle readers’ book SISU. Prior to the publication of her novels, Harrison was employed at Lake Superior State University as a writer and acting director of the Public Relations Department and as an adjunct instructor in creative writing and advanced creative writing. For more information, click here. To inquire about booking Sue for workshops or speaking engagements this year, click here.

Thanks for joining us! Please feel free to leave your questions and comments. We invite you to come back February 26, 2015, for part 25.

My word is Positivity!

I seem to be getting off to a slow start with my blogging this year, but I have ideas for making a few changes here although nothing is completely sorted out yet. Tonight I’m just going to share some thoughts with you.

On Friday I learned of the sudden passing of a cousin on January 6. It was unexpected news; he was only 65. I didn’t know him very well because he was very quiet and so shy. Any time we met at some gathering – the last being after a funeral a few months ago – we didn’t have much to say to one another, likely because we both felt a little shy. He was a really nice man who usually had a little grin and a twinkle in his eyes. Ever wish you had taken more time to talk with someone?

As I was writing the rough draft for this post (something I rarely do, but I wasn’t near my computer when these thoughts were coming to me) I was sitting in my living-room and occasionally gazing out the window. At one point an eagle came into view, soaring on the breeze. How magnificent those birds are, able to rise above it all and look at everything from a higher perspective. From that distance any situation looks small and manageable, meaning nothing can overwhelm when below and far away. We all need to see things that way, from a bit of a distance so that we don’t become overwhelmed by them. I do tend to get overwhelmed when I look at the big picture and must remind myself to take it one piece at a time.

There are many things I want to do this year, or make as much progress in as I can. One thing I decided is to read the Bible through again, having done so only twice in my life. I feel it’s time again. I’ve procrastinated but on Friday (Jan. 9) I felt I had to read the book of Micah (in Old Testament), a reminder of the times we are in even now. After reading Micah I found a schedule for reading the Bible in a year. The first time I used a devotional guide to take me through and read Old Testament and New Testament scriptures each day until finishing all 66 books; the second time I read from Genesis through Revelation in the order they are found in the Bible. This time I’ll be reading it in chronological order. I’m late starting so yesterday was day one for me and I hope/determine to stay with it.

  • Day one: January 10 – Genesis 1-3
  • Day two: January 11 – Genesis 4-7
  • tomorrow is Day three for me: January 12 – Genesis 8-11

Do you want to do this reading challenge with me? If you’d like to see the plan I’m using go to Bible Study Tools and click on Read, then select Reading Plans. You can choose among several schedules to read the Bible in one year, but there are other choices as well. I hope you will let me know if you decide to try any of them.

I am also praying and hoping for a writing partner or group to help me get (and stay) on track with my writing, and someone I can encourage in kind. I’m very choosy and particular, so I’ll let you know what comes of that.

Again this year I’ve seen where people have started their new year with a word. They either select a word they want to live by or they prayerfully wait for the word the Lord places on their heart for this year. It seems the word for me this year is POSITIVITY. It seems a rather odd word, but for me it relates to thinking positive thoughts, not allowing depression and discouragement to rob me, and to stay in forward motion with my goals. I also believe there is a Scripture that goes with it for me, and interestingly it’s one I posted in my blog December 31’14. This verse leaves no room for negative thinking and pity parties!

Philippians 4: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

That’s all for this time. Tomorrow (Monday) I need to do some tidying up here on my blog.

I forgot to ask: Do you have a word for this year?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)