A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category



The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! was written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens (1st Edition published by Windswept House, Mt. Desert, ME in 1997) as an educational  resource to use in her classroom. Kids, teachers and families are still raving about this book.

“Awesome and Creative!” ~ S.B.

“These were fun, so I wish there had been more pages.”
~ Ocean Breeze

“The animal shapes are fun and the riddles are great too.
Don’t worry the answers are in the book so you will
not get stuck trying to figure them out.”

~ David M. Howard, author

“A great tutoring resource. I would highly recommend
it as a teaching aid for parents or tutors.

~ Charles Bray, educator and author

For hours of creative learning at home
and in the classroom, visit

Kids will learn how to make their own tangrams

  • Solve tangram puzzles
  • Solve rhyming riddles
  • Create their own creatures & riddles
    to add to THE ZOO…

TZ Flamingo Pages

TZ Cover BW



  • Get the kids out of that boredom slump with THE TANGRAM ZOO by Bette A. Stevens—a great resource for home or school. Puzzles, poetry, reading, research, writing & projects too! (ages 5–adult)
  • Looking for some Classroom or Family Fun with the kids or grandkids? Need some quality together time on a rainy or snowy day?
  • Solve 18 puzzles and riddles, make your own tangram puzzle pieces; then write your own riddles and add your creatures to THE ZOO!
    Solutions and project ideas included.

Visit THE TANGRAM ZOO AND WORD PUZZLES TOO! written and illustrated by Maine author/illustrator. Paperback only $6.99 for hours of creative learning and hands-on fun. Get your copy at YOUR AMAZON today!

4Books BW Border BAS

[Explore Bette’s Blog]


Author Sherri Rabinowitz: Finding My Path to Memoir

Author Sherri Rabinowitz has just released her first non-fiction book entitled Entering My Second Half. Today, you’ll get to meet my multi-talented friend, find out how she stepped out of her fiction-writing-comfort-zone to write a memoir, and then you’ll read a humorous excerpt from her latest book. I couldn’t keep from smiling at Sherri’s charming retelling of an unexpected meeting with Mr. Garner (that’s right—Hollywood celebrity James Garner) at Universal Studios, where employees got around the lot via golf carts, when Sherri was 16 years old. I clicked over to Amazon and downloaded a copy of Sherri’s new book to my kindle. I know you’ll enjoy today’s excerpt. ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Finding My Path to Memoir

Guest post by Sherri Rabinowitz

10409783_803245753049352_3893712058043773424_nWhen I was about to hit 50 years old it seemed like I was heading straight for a brick wall. I could feel so many things changing in my life. It felt like the end of the world. So I did what I usually do when I have issues, I wrote in my journal and tried to figure out what was going on in my pointed little head.

The first thing I did was write two columns on a piece of paper, the good things I have done in my life and the bad. The first piece of good news was that my good column was far longer than my bad. Whew! But then as I read all I had done, the places I have been, the people I have met, what I had accomplished I thought, this might make a good book.

At first I was thinking of fictional and I did use some bits of it in one or two of my books; but as I continued writing in my diary, I thought it would be good therapy to write a memoir. I had never written non-fiction and I was (I still am, really) scared out of my wits to tackle non-fiction. I am a fiction writer after all, what on Earth did I know about non-fiction?

But it is my life and who is an expert on my life? Just me. I also thought about the fact that I have tackled other things that I was scared of—acting, writing, hosting a radio show…. none of these things came easily to me. I am, believe it or not, a shy person who continues to do what I do because of a weird drive that is within me. So I thought this would be another challenge, another adventure.

Well this little adventure took four years to write and it was not easy. Whole chunks were put in and taken out. I had to worry about things I never really worried about when writing fiction so it was not an easy transition but it was ultimately satisfying, I am proud of my life and my story. My biggest hope is that some of the lessons I learned will help others, and inspired them to try new and scary things too.

Read an excerpt


from ENTERING MY SECOND HALF by Sherri Rabinowitz

Over the hill came my hero in a golf cart. To my astonishment it was none other than James Garner. “What are you doing here all alone?”

I quietly explained it to him. He told me to get in the golf cart. I was 16 years old, but I looked like I was 13. I was often asked on the tour if I was old enough to be working there and where are my parents?  I think Mr. Garner thought I was younger than I actually was, but he insisted that I get into the golf cart so he could take me back to civilization. To me, he was Rockford and Maverick, so I did what I was told.

We chatted amicably about school, my ambitions, the little theater and how excited I was to meet him. He was sweet, friendly and to be frank—quite fatherly. I think he had children my age and probably felt protective of anyone my age.  He really reminded me of my Dad so I trusted him. We got to the toll booth, which was my base, and he said I should stay in the cart.

Then he went into the tollbooth and really gave it to my boss: How dare he leave a child out in the middle of nowhere? How could you leave her there without a car or walkie-talkie? Anything could have happened to her. It was quite loud because I could clearly hear him in his cart.

My boss said they didn’t have walkie-talkies and that I was just sixteen and didn’t have a car yet. But Mr. Garner was not accepting that. He said that it was dangerous; he said he didn’t want anyone up there without a car or a means of communication.

Then he came out to me and said I wasn’t in trouble. That I would only be assigned to jobs in the parking lot or in the studio. I thanked him and then I meekly came into the toll booth.

Ross, my boss, smiled and told me, “It’s not your fault.”  And from that day on I was assigned crowd control inside the tour. Thank you Mr. Garner.

Years later, James Garner was at the Universal Sheraton. I worked and lived near there so I went to the gym at the Sheraton. He was promoting the new Rockford Files. (A young Renee O’Connor co- starred in one of them) I went up to him and asked for an autograph. And I asked if he remembered me. He said that I looked familiar. I told him about the story and he smiled replying, “That sounds like me. Well you grew up to be a lovely young woman.” I blushed, and said thank you. Then I was on cloud nine for about a week.

full cover of my bookTake a “Look Inside” ENTERING MY SECOND HALF at http://www.amazon.com/Entering-Second-Half-Sherri-Rabinowitz-ebook/dp/B015T985JO/

Other books by Sherri Rabinowitz

  • Murder Inc. —Alex Bennett led a double life. She was known the world over as the highly successful founder of a toy software company. But she was also the head of the infamous Murder, Inc. A situation she didn’t want but felt an obligation to fulfill.
  • Fantasy Time Inc.—Readers follow Anne on a trip to the pre-Civil War South with her client, Heather, who wants to be Scarlett O’Hara, the belle of the ball. But Anne warns her, she cannot alter the past, or it will alter the time line, and that is against the rules. But when Anne meets Morgan, will she break those rules herself? Or is the dashing man, her destiny?
  • Different Is Beautiful—Sherri Rabinowitz and Anja Gruber have found a unique way to encourage self-esteem in little ones while helping them develop a sense of appreciation and respect for everyone and everything in the world around them. A portion of the profits from this book will go to Anti-Bullying Charities.

Find Sherri Rabinowitz

Dear Readers,

Thank you for stopping by for a visit today. Sherri and I look forward to reading your comments on today’s post.

Happy reading and writing,

Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

[Explore Bette’s Blog]


861. The pen is the tongue of the mind.~Miguel de Cervantes

Originally posted on Sacred Touches:

Keep a diary and
one day it’ll keep you.
~Mae West

Screen shot 2015-09-04 at 9.01.44 PM

It is necessary to write, if the days are not
to slip emptily by. How else, indeed,
to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?
For the moment passes, it is forgotten;
the mood is gone; life itself is gone.
That is where the writer scores over his fellows:
he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.
~Vita Sackville-West

However we go about the process, I believe those of us who write do find it necessary to do so. Perhaps, it’s because “clapping the net over the butterfly of the moment” helps define who we are for ourselves before “life itself is gone” and perhaps to help us know how who and what we are matters in the world. Whatever the reason, as tired as I am, I felt the need to put my fingers…

View original 251 more words

Writing Advice From Stephen King

Bette A. Stevens:

If you haven’t read ON WRITING by Stephen King, you’re not only missing out on a great story, you’re missing some great advice as well. Happy Reading & Writing! :) Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Originally posted on Jens Thoughts:

I found this and absolutely had to share!


Keep writing!

Until Next Time…

View original


A Day Away, Plus a Poem for May by Bette A. Stevens

Moose Point & Poem 2015 basClick on the photo to enlarge

An Author’s Day Away

How does this Central Maine writer like to kickback and relax? A day trip to the coast is most welcome every now and then. And, it’s bound to be inspiring.

The forecast was perfect—60s and sunny with a coastal spring breeze. We packed the car (jackets/coffee/snacks) and headed south along The Moosehead Trail (Route 7 from Newport to Belfast), then east over Head of Tide Road to meet Route 1, where we drove north to Searsport to enjoy one of our favorite spots—Moose Point State Park. This coastal gem is the perfect spot to savor an afternoon picnic, revel in the views of Penobscot Bay, climb its rock-bound shore and trek the trails through an awe spruce forest. Ah, the magic of Maine!

Thanks for hopping on board, friends. What’s your favorite spot to enjoy on a day away?

~ Bette A. Stevens

Back to Bette’s Blog


685. Man is a knot into which relationships are tied. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Bette A. Stevens:

Why MUST we tell our stories? ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Originally posted on Sacred Touches:

Someone to tell it to
is one of the fundamental
needs of human beings.
~Miles Franklin

Screen shot 2015-03-27 at 9.51.20 PM

Have you ever pondered why we, any of us, blog? Or write books? Or pen poetry? Or compose music? Or draw? Or paint? I have and I think the quote above by Miles Franklin hits the proverbial nail squarely on the head. We, who pour out our lives or thoughts or passions or joys or hurts or whatever in some way, do in fact appear to have some compelling and fundamental need to do so. Emily Dickinson added another aspect to this idea when she described it, “as a shelter to speak” to some trusted other in her life. Like her, many of us, I believe, find not only great comfort but also a kind of self-soothing safety when we, individually or collectively, find ways to express ourselves to those we come to trust and…

View original 147 more words


Top Writing Tools of Famous Authors

For me it’s my laptop + assorted gel pens and highlighters. HOW ABOUT YOU? ~ Bette A. Stevens


Writespiration #32

Writespiration #32.

Here’s what I think.  How about you?

LOVE Inspiration Challenge

Nothing Better than Love

Love is an ice cream sundae on a summer’s day—
Vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge, walnuts, whipped cream and a cherry.
Love is grandchildren squealing with delight as they say,
“Mmmmm. I love you, Grandma!”

~ Bette A. Stevens


Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers

Bette A. Stevens:

Awesome advice from one of the greats! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Jens Thoughts:

CA: Premiere Of Paramounts' Remake Of "The Manchurian Candidate" - ArrivalsWant to know what Stephen King says about writing?

1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”

4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time…

View original 386 more words

When Shakespeare committed word crimes

Bette A. Stevens:

GUILTY as charged! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

Shakespeare coined new words when he needed — or merely wanted — them. Can you guess which words were invented by the Bard?

English heading into the sixteenth century was a makeshift, cobbled-together thing. No fewer than eight conquering peoples had added to our vocabulary and shaped our syntax. But the Brits were doing more than just borrowing, swiping and outright stealing words from other languages. Versifiers like Chaucer let newfangled words from the street amble onto the literary stage – newfangled and amble being two of them.

By the time Elizabethan dramatists sought expression for ever-more sophisticated sentiments, crowds cheered their linguistic daring.

A short list of verbs invented by the Bard:


Shakespeare also minted new metaphors, many now cliches, but fresh in his time:

it’s Greek to me
played fast and loose
slept not one wink
seen better days

View original 471 more words

Tag Cloud


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,889 other followers

%d bloggers like this: