One Fish, Two Fish… Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Theodor Geisel would be 116 years old. This master of the creative word left us a treasury of stories for both young and old. From learning one’s ABC’s to recognizing that a person’s a person no matter how small to the possibility that a grinch’s heart can grow three sizes in one day.
This week is Banned Book Week. The American Library Association (ALA) keeps a record of books that have been banned, burned, or otherwise discriminated against. Most of the time, it seems these books challenge the current culture, have strong religious undertones, or are explicit sexually, violently, or in language, especially racially.
Misstep, by Deborah Dee Harper, is a great winter tale set in a small town with an eclectic group of residents. Hugh is the pastor of the church in Road’s End. He and his wife, Melanie, are newcomers to the town. Throughout the story they face a variety of mishaps that all culminate when a blizzard traps the residents in with the bad guys.
Written in the classic style of Agatha Christie, Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering is the fifth book in her Drew Farthering Mystery series. It follows Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline to Bunting’s Nest, England, a quaint country town in the 1930s. Drew’s old pal from school days asked for Drew’s help solving a series of strange happenings on the moor outside Bunting’s Nest.
Getting a teenager to read can be as monumental a task as climbing a mountain. Conversely, for those teens who enjoy reading, getting them to put down their book can be an equally challenging task.
Whether a teen enjoys reading or not, writing can be another story. Some love putting words on paper, but put so many down that it is difficult to wade through them all. Others scratch out a few grammatically incorrect sentences that more than likely resemble text-speak than prose. So, how can we encourage our teens to find the middle road of well-crafted writing?
In the Shadow of Denali by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse is an historical, inspirational novel set in Alaska during the early 1900s. It follows Allan Brennan on his quest to find the truth about what happened to his father on Denali. Believing the expert guide, John Ivanoff, to be at fault for his father’s death, Allen takes a job in Curry, Alaska where he meets Ivanoff and the man’s beautiful daughter Cassidy.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year. But even with lights, family, presents, holiday movies, and great food, one emotion often eludes us: Peace. We can have everything on our wish list, but that settled calm seems to slip through our fingers.
Joy, an emotion that lights up the eyes of a child when they open a gift to find their dreams come true. It fills the soul like a warm cup of soup on a winter’s night. It switches out wrinkles for smile lines on the eldest person’s face. No time is joy more easily come by, nor taken away, as at Christmas.
Love. What better topic to cover during this Christmas Season? As writers, we cover the topic of love from many different angles. It’s a desire that drives a character to good or evil. The reason behind a character’s action. Of course, there’s romantic love. So what makes Christmas Love even more special?
I love the Christmas season. It is a time when a child’s wonder is most allowed in adults. Lights sparkle on every street corner. Cheer is in the air. Snow is even more welcome. It is at this time of year, amid all the trials and tribulations of adulthood, that we can take a few weeks to remember the innocence and joy of childhood.