Here I am, tempted to start blogging again, but there has been so much change, I don’t even know where to begin. And the change isn’t just technical — I have changed, too. I don’t devour books like I used to. Now, much of my free time is taken up with sewing. I don’t even know what I have to offer for content. I am searching ….
I love taking a flat piece of fabric and giving it form. To me this bag represents the lava flow, island sunsets, the abundance of flowers, graceful hula dancers, and the vivacity that is so very much the islands. Despite all that glory, this bag is still totally laid back and 100% wash and wear — just like Hawaii.
This Lanai Style of Kona Bucket Bag — “Lava Luau” is molten fun. Fully lined, this bag is sturdy enough to be free-standing and measures 24″ in diameter and stands 10″ tall. It has one large inside zippered pocket, a draw-string closure, and sturdy, crossbody carry straps.
Once again, it’s been awhile since I last posted. Let’s see if we can remedy that. First, let me catch you up on my life.
I live in Hawai’i. I’m a substitute teacher. I love to sew.
Since it is summer and I am not teaching, I have been sewing. Here is one of my creations:
This Lanai Style of Kona Music Bag — “The Jazzy” really knows how to sing the blues. The bag measures 19″ x 19″ x 4″ and has one outside slip pocket, and one 12″ wide, 8″ deep inner zip pocket.
These totes are huge. A couple of our local music teachers carry these. Gloria has had hers for over 2 years and it is still going strong. She regularly carries 20 pounds of music and student files in it, and takes the bag everywhere she goes.
Once again I have been given licence (and a license) to educate children. I love to make kids think. Sometimes my methods are a little unorthodox, but they are usually fun.
Today I was in a special needs classroom with 3 hearing impaired kids and their aid, Ms. Ash. Cognitively there is nothing wrong with these kids, they’re just a little behind because they are having to relearn life with cochlear implants. It takes them a little longer to process verbal input because their brain isn’t accustomed to hearing, but they are plenty bright.
So, Jay was out of the room for a while for speech. When he returned, I was sitting in his desk beside two other students and we were working on a science project. Jay walked up to me. “Uhm — uh –” he pointed at his desk.
“Yes?” I answered. He needs to verbalize his thoughts, not just make sounds.
“Uhm.” he said, and pointed again.
“Oh!” I smiled brightly and said, “Hi! My name is Jay. This is my desk and here is my name tag.” I ran my hands over the desk top and pointed at the name tag.
Jay glanced over at Ms. Ash. She shrugged. He turned back to me and said, “What?”
I repeated, “My name is Jay. This is my desk and here is my name tag.” I tapped on the name tag then asked, “Who are you?”
Jay looked over at Ms. Ash again. Again she just shrugged. Jay turned back to me, put his hands on his hips, and said, “Your name is not Jay.”
“Really?!” I tried to sound very surprised. I leaned forward and studied the name tag. Feigning confusion, I looked at him. “Are you sure that’s not my name?”
Jay frowned again, and then answered, “Noooo.” He looked uncertain for a moment, then took a deep breath and said. “But I am sure that my name is Jay; this is my desk; and that is my name tag.”
“Really?” I exclaimed.
Jay nodded emphatically. I grinned at him, we all shared a laugh, and I got up and moved.
Fast forward to the end of the day (about six hours later):
As we were cleaning up to leave Ms. Ash announced, “Ms. Teacher will be out sick tomorrow, too, so Ms. A. will be coming back.”
Jay looked up from putting the blocks away, “Who is Ms. A.?”
Ms. Ash pointed at me.
Jay looked at me, raised his eyebrows and smirked, “Oh, you mean Ms. Jay?”
* * *
Yep. I am going back tomorrow. They pay me for this.
~names changed to protect the sassy.
Anybody out there? This is a vast wasteland of “I’m not even sure how this thing works anymore.” I was just futzing around on the backside and I am clueless. There are bells and whistles I’ve never seen before, and I can’t remember how to use some of my formerly favorite features. Is it worth relearning? Can anybody hear me?
Honeyflower And Pansy is the debut novel of Esmé James. The story is billed as a teenage romance, but it is really so very much more. Despite the fact that the story’s author is only 18 years old, Honeyflower And Pansy is an emotional and satisfying read. Perhaps some of the story problems come to a much more satisfying and tidy end then similar problems would in real life, but that is the nature of young adult fiction.
Amanda Daryl is an engaging and proactive character. She is concerned with the welfare of her family, her friends, and her autistic little sister Sage. As such, Amanda takes steps to help each of them with their various predicaments. She helps her friends plan a dance; she helps a drunk reclaim his life and his business; she helps her father raise her little sister Sage; she helps the community get a new school; and she helps the mysterious Tristan with a difficult good-bye.
Sage Daryl is presented very realistically in the story, the triumphs and challenges of being autistic shine with authenticity because Esmé James has an autistic sibling. Clearly writing from her heart, James details the complex communication, fixation, and aversion/avoidance issues that face autistic children and their families, but she does so with a very deft touch, enlightening the reader without detracting from the main story.
Honeyflower And Pansy is a love story, but the primary focus of the story isn’t on Amanda and Tristan’s budding relationship, or on Amanda’s drive to secure a school for autistic children like Sage. This is a love story about love, and how it can change a life, save a soul, and rebuild a community.
I rate this book a 4 on my 1 to 5 scale. It looses one point only because from time to time Ms. James gets so caught up in “writing” that she forgets she is also storytelling. Some of her lovely, lovely prose is actually too artistic, and interferes with comprehension. I suspect several of her words were swept from a Thesaurus and used based on their formal definition rather than their colloquial meaning — or perhaps the occasional stiltedness is merely differing shades of connotation between Australian and American word usages.
Honeyflower And Pansy, by Esmé James is well worth the $2.99 Amazon purchase price. I look forward to more offerings from this talented, young storyteller.
I was given a free copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.
Today I read Queen (Regency Refuge Book 3). It was the perfect way to spend a quiet Sunday — with murder’s, thieves, cut-throats, and traitors. The twists and turns of this story — of the entire series, in fact — has kept me on the edge of my seat, and flipping pages as fast as I could read.
Each book in the series can stand alone, but together they form a rich, suspenseful tale of spies, counter spies, traitors, friendship, loyalty, and faith. Heather Gray paints vivid word pictures that bring her characters and story to life as they struggle with faith, loyalty, trust, forgiveness, and honor.
Gray does an excellent job of making each character’s faith walk an integral part of his or her character. The stories never come off as preachy and their faith is never forced. There are currently three books in the series, book one: His Saving Grace; book two: Jackal; and book three: Queen. With each book the story grows more and more complicated, and more and more compelling. I don’t know what the title of book four will be, but I am sure it is coming — and I am wishing it were already here. I’d love to spend another day reading a Heather Gray story.
Kristin Wallace is an exceptional writer. I read “Imagine That (Covington Falls Chronicles) Book 3” in one afternoon — cover-to-cover — without stopping. I carried my eReader into the bathroom with me, and I propped it up on the drier as I folded laundry. I loved the story. I was ready to give it a 5 star review right up until the last page. I suppose I will probably give it a five star review anyway since Amazon won’t allow me to give it a half star less, but the ending left me feeling decidedly uneasy. Things were brushed aside that should have been more closely examined.
You have probably read hundreds of stories, but even so, I bet you’ve yet to read the exact same story that an author wrote. No, I am not talking about the demands of editors and copywriters who insist on changes for this, that, or any other reason. Every reader — and writer — brings his or her own personal experiences and/or biases to a story. Every single person on this planet acts and reacts to everyone and everything else through their own personal set of filters. In every review I have read about Imagine That, the reviewer has said the book moved them to both tears and laughter. My experience was the same. The emotions portrayed in this book are wrenchingly real, both the good and the bad.
Imagine That alludes to memories of domestic violence. Thankfully the reader is not subjected to the violence, but for those of us who have lived with domestic abuse (which can be physical and/or mental), a memory is all it takes to trigger real fear. Logically, as a mentally healthy, healed adult (and a writer) I can understand that after the main characters finally confessed their love for one another, Wallace wanted to tie the story up with a neat bow and get to the “happily ever after,” but I think this story’s happily-ever-after promise came at least one necessary conversation too soon.
Nate, our hero, definitely shows the potential to become an abuser. He also voluntarily takes steps to deal with his anger issues before he ever comes close to harming anyone. Those are very great signs of hope, but if Nate and Emily were real people the way this book ended would leave me with serious concerns for the future of their relationship. Emily’s own childhood taught her to expect abuse. Would she be able to recognize the gradual onset if Nate did slowly give in to his darker nature? I have good reason to suspect she wouldn’t since when Nate does try to talk to her about his feelings, she tells him he isn’t his grandfather or his father, so they have nothing to worry about. They DO have something to worry about. Nate knew that, that’s why he sought counseling — and now he has fallen in love with an enabler. Bad, bad, bad news.
If you don’t have any of my baggage, go ahead and read the novel. As I said, it is a wonderful page turner right up until that one little, tiny hiccup on the last page.
*I was given a free copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.
The sentence was: “The nice girl with long hair had a nice dress.” I put it on the white board and told the kids it was boring. I told them that “nice” is dead. They needed to remove “nice” and replace it with some “pop.” I said, “This sentence needs color, give me something I can “see”!” Hands shot into the air.
“Black leather jacket, and don’t forget the chains!”
“No, cowboy boots!”
I wrote everything on the board as they shared it, then I said, “Okay, let’s make an interesting sentence using words that will build a picture in our minds.”
Then I took ALL of their suggestions and wrote: “The beautiful girl with the long, curly, green hair wore a sparkling pink dress, a black leather coat with dangling chains, and blue high-heeled cowboy boots.” Then I said to the kids, “Now that is a much more interesting sentence. Can you “see” her now? The kids chorused, YES!”
We contemplated the board in silence for a few seconds then one of the girls said, “Somebody better take her to the mall and help her with her fashions!” One of the boys said, “Yeah, Mr. Pointbriand needs to teach her about crashing colors!”
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)
This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT!
Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)
Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
- I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
- Feed Your Reader
- The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
- Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
- Author Inger Iversen
- Author Carol Davis Luce
- The Reporter and the Girl
- Author David Pandolfe
- Bella Street Writes
- Author Bonnie Blythe
- Author Elizabeth Seckman
- MyLadyWeb: Women’s History and Women Authors
- Just One More Chapter
- Author Donna Fasano
- Author Lia Fairchild
- Author Linda S. Prather
- Author Heather McCoubrey
- Author M.A. Comley
- Jessica Loves Books
- Fae Books
- Author Cidney Swanson
- Lori’s Reading Corner
- Author Jennifer Laurens
- Allergic to Life
- ~Owl Always Be Reading
- Author J.L. Weil
- Buku-Buku Didi
- Barb’s Wire – eBooks & More
- Author Jennifer Gilby Roberts
- Another Head Full of Fantasy
- Fairiechick’s Fantasy Book Reader
- Author Kim Cresswell
- Mother Daughter Book Reviews
- Buried Under Romance
- Jenna Does Books
- Laurie Here
- The Bunny’s Review
- Bea’s Book Nook
- Fabulously Girly Book Blog
- The Loopy Librarian
- Michael SciFan
- Chapter by Chapter
- Author Helen Smith
- Button-the-Push Books and Giveaways
- Author S.M. Blooding
- Back Off My Books
- Author Brinda Berry
- Author Christie Anderson
- Author Leslie A. Susskind
- More Than A Review
- Author Heather Gray
- Paige Ryan
- Fire and Ice
- Author Bryna Butler
Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway:
1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).
There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″.
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.