Monthly Archives: January 2018

Plugging along, and quotes for readers and writers

I should have been twins. 

If I were twins I could divide between myself all the things I want less to do so that it takes half the time to do them. Then all I want to do and have the most interest and desire for can be enjoyed … giving me a better chance to feel accomplished in completing things – or getting better at them.

Or maybe not.

If I were twins I would most likely take on twice as much, get hopelessly overwhelmed with no recovery possible, and continue to not have enough of me to go around.

So, I am plugging along. Not getting nearly as much accomplished as I want to. Being way too tired too much of the time. And behind as usual. Almost hopelessly behind with little chance of catching up. That’s me, plugging along.

The good news is, I found some quotes to share with you today.

For the writers:

I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later i can build castles. – shannon hale

I like that quote. 🙂 

Now this one for readers:

ordinary people have big tvs. extraordinary people have big libraries. – Robin Sharma

I think I would have a fairly decent-sized library if I could shelve all of my books in one room. I’m aiming for a big library. One day I hope to be that organized. 🙂

And a final one for today:

Dinosaurs didn’t read. Now they’re extinct.

Keep reading, folks! 🙂

Anything you want to say about anything today?  What book(s) are you reading – or writing – now?  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Quote – Albert Einstein

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein


This is really a profound statement. Any thoughts regarding it?  Can you come up with examples to support it?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂  

Book Review: A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale – by Penny Parker Klostermann






Book: A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
Author: Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrator: Ben Mantle
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date: September 5, 2017
Genre: children's picture book
Pages: 40
Price: $17.99 and up
My rating: A very funny story with amusing illustrations 

Penny Parker Klostermann took on the current challenge of mixing up fairy tales and coming out with a fabulous new story. With her new book – A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale – she has succeeded with an added a twist that is both funny and surprising for the reader.

William lived in the land of fairy tales where it was magical and amazing. Even so, William had a problem. He loved to cook, but no matter where he tried to work it just wasn’t a good fit. In one place the main ingredient in the wolf soup was too dangerous, in another his gingerbread men always ran away, and in yet another the customers (in particular, a bear family) were always way too fussy.

William decided to create his own home business. One day he found an order intended for Fairy Tale Headquarters, and he knew he could improve upon the bedtime snacks delivery. What resulted was a catastrophe when he presented his altered menu. For example, the poisoned apple for Snow White was instead a sumptuous Baked Apple with Caramel Drizzle. And what would become of Cinderella whose pumpkin coach was replaced by a delectable pumpkin pie! William has to do something to fix the problem he’d created for everyone.

It’s obvious there was a lot of time and work put into the whole process of creating A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale. Ben Mantle‘s amazing illustrations add wonderful details to Penny Parker Klostermann‘s funny and ingenious story. Cinderella’s expression and posture are particularly hilarious! 

Penny is the author of There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, and this book is another wonderful demonstration of her love of humour through her words.

You can find A Cooked-Up Fairy Talewritten by Penny Parker Klostermann and illustrated by Ben Mantle – on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on,, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by featured authors and illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


100 children’s books to read in your lifetime

As you know, I love lists. I enjoy going through lists like this one and checking off the ones I’ve completed.

I found a reading challenge you’d perhaps like to take on.

Here are the top 100 Children’s Books to Read in your Lifetime as chosen by Goodreads readers and Amazon editors. These books are for age 12 or younger but are enjoyed by all ages and readers. Books listed in a series have been combined. 

Which of these have you read? In green are the ones I’ve read.

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

2. Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White

3. The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis

4. Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown

5. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

6. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

7. The Giver – Lois Lowry

8. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

9. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Barrett

10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

11. The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss

12. The House at Pooh Corner – A. A. Milne

13. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

14. Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein

15. Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmens

16. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

17. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

18. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

19. The Story of Ferdinand – Munro Leaf

20. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

21. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel – Virginia Lee Burton

22. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss

23. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell

24. Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren

25. Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales – the Brothers Grimm

26. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E. L. Konigsburg

27. Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock – Carolyn Keene

28. Press Here – Hervé Tullet

29. The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster

30. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain

31. Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell

32. Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site – Sherri Duskey Rinker

33. The Wind in the Willows -Kenneth Grahame

34. The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin

35. Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie

36. Number the Stars – Lois Lowry

37. Holes – Louis Sachar

38. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan

39. Wonder – R. J. Palacio

40. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

41. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – Dr. Seuss

42. The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein

43. Flora and the Flamingo – Molly Idle

44. Curious George – Margret & H. A. Rey

45. Amelia Bedelia – Peggy Parish

46. Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

47. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

48. Matilda – Roald Dahl

49. Heidi – Johanna Spyri

50. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

51. The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats

52. Ivy and Bean – Annie Barrows

53. The Boxcar Children – Gertrude C. Warner

54. A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett

55. Peek-A Who? – Nina Laden

56. The Paper Bag Princess Robert Munsch

57. Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

58. The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt

59. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

60. Hatchet – Gary Paulsen

61. Bread and Jam for Francis – Russell Hoban

62. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

63. The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams

64. Because of Winn Dixie – Kate DiCamillo

65. The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate

66. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George Speare

67. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

68. The BFG – Roald Dahl

69. The Call of the Wild – Jack London

70. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond

71. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – Beverly Cleary

72. The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 – Christopher Paul Curtis

73. Oh, the Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss

74. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective – Donald J. Sobol

75. Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson

76. Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

77. Fantastic Mr. Fox – Roald Dahl

78. Going Over – Beth Kephart

79. Achren (The Chronicles of Prydain) – Lloyd Alexander

80. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – Judi Barrett

81. The Twits – Roald Dahl

82. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

83. White Fang – Jack London

84. Rhyme Schemer – K. A. Holt

85. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken

86. Esperanza Rising – Pam Muñoz Ryan

87. The Dark Is Rising – Susan Cooper

88. The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick

89. Danny, the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl

90. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi

91. When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead

92. A Girl of the Limberlost – Gene Stratton-Porter

93. Bud Not Buddy – Christopher Paul Curtis

94. Daddy Long Legs – Jean Webster

95. Bambi – Felix Salten  (I’ve only read the Disney version of this one)

96. Low Riders in Space – Cathy Camper

97. The Once and Future King – T. H. White

98. Flora and Ulysses – Kate DiCamillo

99. Pictures of Hollis Woods – Patricia Reilly Giff

100. Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery

Out of 100 books read, the average score is 33. I was doing pretty well, until two-thirds of the way through the list. My score is 40, and I have 5 more that I’ve not completed.

What is your score? Are there any on the list you want to read?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂






Is it only the second week of 2018?

Is this only the second weekend of the new year? Somehow it seems it should be later in the month already, as in … nearly February, probably because I haven’t had a week like this one in a long time. Every day there was something happening to cause stresses, frustrations, mix-ups, dealings with people and misunderstandings, anger-inducing situations – yes, I still get angry over things. And more than once this week. It’s exhausting! I was already tired anyway. Today I’m looking for it to be a great day that continues into next week … and beyond. Please.

2018 has already shown itself as one in which I will find it difficult to keep up my regular blogging routine. Actually, looking back I see my routine started hiccuping once Fall 2017 arrived, and it continued to flounder as the year wound down. Life got busier in our family for awhile.

*sigh* Okay. I admit it. I’ve never been great at sticking to a routine. I try, I really do try.

This year I have to plan time for more writing. Already I’m not managing my  goals for the year very well at all. I think I need to take the major part of one day this week and do some purging of my space while I’m home for my week off so I feel less pressed in upon. Then I have to work on some writing projects I want to get done right away. I’ll continue to post here as often as I can, mainly because I don’t want to lose contact with you, and because I enjoy blogging – which is really the same thing. I have some book reviews to write and some books to read. Did I say some? Many. Many books to read. (I have to refer to my own list of goals. Maybe a daily checklist would work.)

Speaking of books …












So, that’s what I have to say about that. 😉

How are you doing two weeks into the new year? Keeping up your goals or resolutions or routines? Do tell! Oh, and do you find a daily checklist or chart to be helpful? If you’ve found something that works for you, would you please let me in on your secret?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂  


It’s my 8th WordPress Blogiversary!

Happy Anniversary with!
You registered on 8 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

That’s the message I received from WordPress this morning. Eight years I have been blogging here! 

Looking back at the post I wrote on my 7th anniversary with WordPress, I see my goals haven’t changed much from a year ago. I did make PROGRESS, which was my word for 2017, although it’s not apparent to most people yet.  


As of the time of writing this 800th post, my little blog has received 58,906 hits, up from 50,000 a year ago. Thank you for coming to read what I have to share. My official following has increased to 601 with the addition of two new people just this morning. Welcome! Do remember you can go back through my many posts, and by using the search gadget under which I have the heading FIND A WORD OR TOPIC you can be specific in your search, or you can search by CATEGORY. If you’re a writer, I hope you have taken advantage of bestselling author Sue Harrison‘s writers workshop – Writing the Third Dimension – which she generously posted here on Polilla Writes in monthly segments for three years. For free! You can find it by looking in the top bar under the heading Writers’ quotes, helps & workshops. Excellent teaching!

Over the past year I added more quotes, an author/illustrator interviews drop down menu, another contact number under Suicide Crisis Lines, and a gadget so you can read my posts in other languages for if English is a little difficult for you or maybe you are trying to learn another language. I also keep adding to Books I Read This Year, Book Reviews, Buy the Book – because .. well, I’m pretty much focused on books here. 🙂 Reading them, writing them, sharing them. 

I also have been astonished to see my most viewed post is consistently one from March of 2013, The cut worm forgives the plow.

Thank you for making my blogging life enjoyable. 

Please tell me, what has been your favourite or most helpful post here? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Writer Waiting – a poem by Shel Silverstein

I’ve been reading Shel Silverstein’s work; one of his books of poetry is Runny Babbit: a Billy Sook that I read in December – as you can see on my “Books I read in 2017” page. On my “Books I read in 2018” page I listed others of his I’ve read this month – A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and now I’m reading Where the Sidewalk Ends. I don’t know how I missed reading him before this. I even discovered that The Unicorn – a song sung by The Irish Rovers – is a poem by Shel Silverstein! There are a few other familiar verses that turn out to have been written by him, as well.

Today I want to share one of his poems that I especially like, from page 58 of Falling Up – –

Writer Waiting

Oh this shiny new computer –
There just ain’t nothin’ cuter.
It knows everything the world ever knew.
And with this great computer
I don’t need no writin’ tutor,
‘Cause there ain’t a single thing that it can’t do.
It can sort and it can spell,
It can punctuate as well.
It can find and fill and underline and type.
It can edit and select,
It can copy and correct,
So I’ll have a whole book written by tonight
(Just as soon as it can think of what to write.)

Isn’t that a good one, especially if you are trying to think of something to write? 🙂

Do you have a favourite Shel Silverstein poem? Or someone else’s poem that speaks to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂