Archive for December, 2017


Prompt Me, JusJoJan 2018


Hey, all! You’re used to getting prompts from me; now it’s your turn!

Just Jot It Januaary is not only a fun way to meet people, it’s a great way to inspire writers to keep writing once the holidays are finished and life is returning to normal. Prompts are an incredible device to get the imagination going. Wouldn’t you like to inspire a bunch of bloggers to write? Of course you would!

What I need is 22 single words to use in the Just Jot It January challenge. Read the rules carefully! This is how you can be included:

  • The first 22 comments on this post that include a single word will be the prompts for the 22 days in January that I won’t be writing my own prompts (aka One-Liner Wednesday and Stream of Consciousness Saturday).  If you write more than one word in your comment, for example, “My…

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It may be my love for writing or it might be my joy in sharing my passion, but I love to inspire people. Writing is one of the best ways of expressing ourselves, and certainly a wonderful method for organizing our thoughts and putting things in perspective. I find the latter to be essential to many of us here in the north in January, while we’re stuck inside and deprived of sunshine.

For these reasons plus one more, I developed Just Jot it January. Whether you write a story, a poem, an anecdote, or your plans for the future, JusJoJan will, I hope, give you an excuse to jot something down every day in the month. What’s the one more reason? Writing is fun!!

In the post following this one I will ask for you to give us all a prompt, one of which will be posted on each of…

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El Recreo Recess (Bilingual ReadersTM)El Recreo Recess by Rosa Bustillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Looking for picture books to help pad my goal of reading 100 books this year. It seems I have read a lot of more in-depth books that took longer than I planned.

Still, I choose to read something fun that I can learn something from. What better than a bilingual picture book?

I think I could have read this without translations. That made me happy. Until I realize how elementary it really is. But, hey–I could have read it and I remember a time I probably couldn’t.

The pictures were fun. I liked the bit of story as the child finds a friend to play with at recess. A fun read-aloud for the family who wants to learn.

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Shattered: Logan Book 1Shattered: Logan Book 1 by Valerie Davisson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story. I could have done without the mystery, especially the murdery bit. But I kept reading beyond when the book didn’t work for me.

As I have stated before, I have trouble reading tree-books. It has to do with my tracking abilities. But I am a life long reader that doesn’t give up that easily. So I set up my Kindle with black background and largish white font. Then I use the text-to-speech to track with what I do read. I don’t do well with just audio as I tend to ADD away with shiny things. But with both modalities working I can get into stories very deeply.

This version was difficult for me. I don’t know what happened but I couldn’t use the black background/white font. It only wanted white background black font or everything went black. The text-to-speech worked but I couldn’t follow with my eyes. I finally gave up. At about 60%! I do hope the author and or the publisher got that all fixed. Since I was asked to review this book I have to be honest, the font/formatting, was the worst for me.

I let it go for a couple months but the story kept haunting me. I wanted to know what happened. I had loved the research shown about glassblowing. Native American bits. And seeing what seemed to me a realistic look at bereavement. I loved the realism of teaching and use of music. Honestly, I didn’t need the murder bit. I did like the character that did the killing and I thought it gave her a humanity having lupus and all. But I guess some people like to have the tension a good old murder gives a book. Just not me.

Still, I can’t wait to see what happens next. For book two I have the Audible version. I’m getting better at keeping my hands busy doing sudoku, knitting, or drawing. So in the next few days I will review that one, too.

I think others will enjoy this story, too.

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The Witch's Vacuum CleanerThe Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a light, funny read, this is your book. It was like watching cartoons or Monty Python. Very bad for a bedtime book for me. I found it hard to stop reading, well, actually, listening to this one. 3:00 came too quickly. So, sorry if this sounds more disjointed than my usual reviews.

Oh, I listened to the Audible using the whispersynch. Julian Rhind-Tutt (Narrator) is facinating! His voice changes with every character. He tells the story with so much gusto that sometimes I think I missed story for enthusiastic energy. Even still, at the end of each story I had that sigh of fulfillment.

The stories themselves are sadly, mostly, male. In fact, the very first one ended with the main character marrying the witch with us hardly knowing a thing about the witch except that she was a witch. I wanted more about her and that parrot. Please forget that you just read the last two sentences if they seem spoilers. After all, the title of the book is The Witch’s Vacuum. Seems like there should be a lot more witch and vacuums than men in the form of police or gnomes. But hey, Mr. Pratchett wrote this when he was a teen and the adage says ‘write what you know’. Sadly, Mr. Pratchett knew nothing about the other half of society then. Later he did write some fun books that did have fems but mostly they are witches. Is it any wonder how the world is now if this is all anyone has read most of their lives?

Still, I have loved Terry Pratchett’s writing, so creative! Magick exists, but sadly without fems. Even colors we have never heard of exists. Don’t get me started! YET, I love his writing. Fun, fun stories!

So take it with a grain of salt that in male authors’ worlds, fems hardly exist. We will try to change that with our own writings and making sure they see us as the other humans. After all the whole language system leaves us behind. Even human. We could be called hu.

But it is for this teeny-tiny problem that I am giving the book four stars instead of five. If you can get the audio version you are in for the best story telling around–save for girls, fe=iron.

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AffinityAffinity by Sarah Waters

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t actually read the book but rather listened to the Audible version of the book. Juanita McMahon (Narrator) added her talents to the story so well-written by Sarah Waters. Both the story and the actor made this a wonderful experience.

What can I say that won’t spoil the adventure of the moment by moment read? I can’t seem to come up with anything! I went to look at the blurb and I think even that spoils it. Just know that the main character draws you in and you get curious to see what happens next. Her questions become the reader’s questions and you can only hope for the best and dread anything less.

I wish the ending would have been with the main character stronger from her experiences and then a book two for us to follow her travels. I don’t think that is a spoiler as that is me rewriting the ending. Come back to my review when you finish to tell me if you agree or not.

If you get the chance to read or listen to this book I think you will enjoy it,

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Children's book: The Good Hour: A life-changing story for children and their parents with practical tips for better parentingChildren’s book: The Good Hour: A life-changing story for children and their parents with practical tips for better parenting by Doron Erez

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars, really. Mostly because it felt rather preachy at times. But I don’t know how you would avoid it. I often want to get in people’s faces and yell at them for not enjoying their children while being tethered to their cellphones, this is nicely done.

The pictures are adorable. Most of the story, from the child’s point of view, is sweet.

I wish I had a million dollars as I would buy a million of these and give as gifts to cellphone-orphaned children of the world.

I know that we who didn’t have cellphones when our children were young have no right to judge, epecially if you have one of those phone attached jobs, but there needs to be a turn it off time. If you gave birth to a child and want to be part of the raising of said child should, spend the majority of your time with the child WITH THE CHILD. This book is kind and suggests merely an hour. Well, that’s a start.

Okay, my rant aside, this is a fun book and I think it could open communications up for parents and children and everyone will be rewarded by reading it.

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Animal Books: Hummingbirds: All About Hummingbirds, A Kids Introduction - Fun Facts & Pictures About the Smallest Birds: Children's Picture Book,Perfect for Bedtime & Young Readers, 6-12 Years OldAnimal Books: Hummingbirds: All About Hummingbirds, A Kids Introduction – Fun Facts & Pictures About the Smallest Birds: Children’s Picture Book,Perfect for Bedtime & Young Readers, 6-12 Years Old by Susan G. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun little book. I have to admit to not reading it word for word but rather a intense skimming. I think I wanted more photos of the little beauties. I had a hard time with the labels of each bird, not sure they lined up right. I think the label belonged to the previous picture. That is the problem of reading on Kindle. This might be a nice tree book for kids.

As for it being a bedtime read aloud–no. Much better for daytime when you can go out and look for your own hummers.

Once again, the pictures made it worth all those many words! I’d recommend it for middle grade readers. Homeschooled and younger readers or non-readers will still enjoy the book.

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Am I small? Bin ich klein?Am I small? Bin ich klein? by Philipp Winterberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

According to my GoodReads goal, I am 5 books behind. Since the books I am reading lately have been longer I decided now is the time to read some of my children’s books.

This one is delightful! The pictures are fun. It is bilingual. German first then English under. I was proud that I actually could read the German. There were a couple Questionables. Like, so far I’ve not seen a German contraction. But it was there.

Though this starred a little girl, I think this would be a fun read for either gender. And just becuase it’s a picture book doesn’t make this simple. Adults can have fun, like I did, practicing either English or German while enjoying the story and fun creatures presented for comparison of large or small and extremes.

***

Quick edit:  I also read the French and Esperanto versions of this same book. I didn’t do so well with the French as it isn’t one of the languages I play with as much. At least there were English subtitles. But the Esperanto had no English to help. Luckily by this point I pretty much knew what it said. Still the pictures are fun.

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I can’t remember where I learned about the Brioche or even if I am spelling it right. It was fun and I will try it again sometime. It went to charity alomg with most of the toys. (The dragon with to a friend.)

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These little hats are reversible and will be warm!

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I love this camo yarn. I need to get more of it. I love how it stripes up so pretty! By the way, sorry about the dog hair on the hat below. I don’t live in a vacuum and there are dog and cats that donate their love, too.

 

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Well, that’s most of them. Some are too dark to see so I didn’t share those. Some I’ve forgotten to take pictures. About five or more are still in progress because I can’t seem to ever just do one at a time. I got a new sock loom from a friend and I have several other new looms to try out. As most of the new projects are with the yarn from a friend, they will go to friends. But those done with the donated yarn go to charity.

I want to make sure that credit goes to those I learned from, the Santa Hat is LoomaHat, the toys are LoomaHat and Scarlett Royal. The cowl hood is mostly Tuteate. The rest are combinations of them and my own ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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