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John Muir’s Divine Yosemite Conviction


Oh, the wonders of it all…  ~Bette A. Stevens https://www.4writersandreaders.com

smilecalm

yosemite (5 of 1) Dusk approaching Washburn Point ~d nelson

With thanks to one man’s
total conviction to conserve & protect,
we can find our faith
in being a small, but mindful part
of earth, sky & beyond’s grandeur .

The italicized words of John Muir
elegantly illustrate my photos, below.

Mirror Lake reflects as sun rises over Half Dome ~d nelson

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!

Stoneman meadow sun up ~d nelson

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

I did not climb El Capitan ~d nelson

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

Tenaya Creek taking off ~d nelson

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.

Another glorious Sierra day in which…

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MY MAINE Coming Soon…Poetry for All Seasons!


My Maine is coming soon…

My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons (A poetry and photography collection) by Bette A. Stevens is scheduled for release June 2019.

MY MAINE Wandering through woods 2 COMING SOON

Happy Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter!

Fields and forest greens have awakened and fruit trees are finally in bloom at the Farmstead in central Maine. This photograph was taken at Moose Point park in Searsport, Maine. The haiku in the photo is from “Spring Awakenings”—MY MAINE—my poetry and photography collection scheduled for release June 2019. The collection includes 49 of my photographs along with 150 haiku poems that take readers on a seasonal journey through the Maine I know and love. The book includes a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People,” plus interesting facts and symbols from The Pine Tree State.

Wherever you are, whatever the season, I invite you to get outdoors and get inspired. Join the fun and write a seasonal haiku about what’s inspiring you. It’s as easy as 1-2-3… You’ll find the definition and descriptive details of writing haiku below. If the kids are around, make it a family affair—they’ll love it!

Pine Cone _ Tassels CROP for Digital Books BAS MAY 2019

My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons

(Excerpt from “Spring Awakenings”)

Sunbeams composing
Springtime melodies, humming
Tapping to the tunes

Beguiling blossoms
Address the invitations
Springtime Reception

Wandering through woods
Soft leaf carpet, rippling brook
No schedule to keep

© 2019 Bette A. Stevens (from MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons)

HAIKU

noun hai·ku ˈhī-(ˌ)kü
  1. :  an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively; also :  a poem in this form usually having a seasonal reference — compare tanka

Discover more about how to write poetry and prose:

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AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch Butterfly Tale by Bette A. Stevens (Children’s Picture Book)



“If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!” ~Jacqui Murray

 

AMAZING MATILDA—Read the Reviews

  • Bette Stevens’s Amazing Matilda: The Tale of a Monarch Butterfly is the story of tiny Matilda, a round white creature born from an egg in Nature’s garden with a burning desire to fly.  Without wings, though, she knows that can’t happen. Matilda has no idea that in her life, she will morph from the crawly leaf-bound creature to a gorgeous monarch butterfly. She tells her animal friends about her passion to fly and they offer their stories of growing up as well as sage advice any parent would be envious of. For example, her friend Sparrow suggests:“Just have patience and follow your instincts, my dear…”Another friend suggests:”I could do anything that I wanted to if I only tried long enough and hard enough.”She is frustrated by this good-natured advice because she has no idea how to do what they suggest:“Sparrow said that I must have patience and that I must follow my instincts. Now, you say I must have wings. Where can I find all of those things?”As Matilda grows, she changes from a larva to pupa to a gorgeous winged adult. Each stage in Matilda’s amazing journey is accompanied with wonderful drawings that show her progress, who she meets, and how she changes.As a result, readers are not just entertained by the story but happily learn about the development of a butterfly. There are lots of cute lines, such as:”Matilda crunched and munched and lunched, leaf after leaf, day after day.”If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!This is a short book. In fact. This review is almost longer than the story!
  • The story is really exciting, appealing, adventurous, lovable, and yet, sufficiently wise and deep for both kids and adults.In case you do not trust my word, I urge you to find out for yourselves. Otherwise, I might be reviewing this wonderful book for hours. It is my pleasure indeed!
  • A beautiful message of love, patience, perseverance, and belief. The story is told with a frog, bird, rabbit, and the butterfly as the main characters. A perfect book for children mainly to teach them about the cycles of life and the importance of patience, perseverance, and keeping faith in a dream.

Read all 87 reviews on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AU9ZISA/

 

Bette in her garden with one of the monarch butterflies that emerged from its chrysalis at the farmstead in central Maine.

Order your copies of AMAZING MATILDA today:

FREE from Bette

AMAZING MATILDA (Review & Author Interview) 

 

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4 Reasons To Use Action Beats When Writing


111-4-reasons-to-use-action-beats-when-writingWRITING TIPSWant to break up boring dialogue, show and not tell, stop info-dumping your setting, and sneak in character description? Check out K.M. Allen’s blog post! ~Bette A. Stevens 4writersandreaders

K.M. Allan

If you’re wondering what an action beat is, you’re not alone. Not too long ago, I didn’t know what it was either.

I’ve since learned it’s an action your character is doing while they’re talking.

Yeah, it’s not exactly an earth-shattering revelation and is something you’ve probably been writing naturally anyway, it’s just now you know there’s an actual name for it.

Not only does this writing trick have a name, it also has four good reasons why you should be working actions beats into your dialogue.

4 Reasons To Use Action Beats When Writing

1. Action Beats Break Up The Boring

When an action beat pairs with your dialogue, it breaks up the usual he said/she said monotony of dialogue tags.

Dialogue tag:
“Hi,” Jenny said.

Action beat:
“Hi.” Jenny lifted her hand, waving her fingers in Carla’s face.

Action beats will also break up long passages of dialogue, puts…

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The Journey Begins


Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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May is National Get Caught Reading Month— “…pick up a book and read to a child!”


SHARE THE LOVE OF READING Bette Reading with Sam 2017May is NATIONAL GET CAUGHT READING MONTH—perfect time to discover and share why reading aloud with kids of all ages is so important. Happy Reading with the kids in your life (family, neighborhood, local schools, library) every day! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

“You’re never too old,

 too wacky, to wild

 to pick up a book

 and read to a child.” 

 ~Dr. Seuss

Benefits of Reading with Kids of All Ages

https://4writersandreaders.com/2018/05/24/inspiring-kids-of-all-ages-one-book-at-a-time-getcaughtreading/

“The Hidden Benefits of Reading Aloud—Even for Older Kids” 

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Michelle Eastman Books

I posted this piece a while back…

With my son’s 4th grade year coming to an end, I find this information more timely than ever.

DSC_9435

 

I love picture books, and I often write about them.  In my post, Top 10 Reasons Picture Books Rock, I touch upon the importance of continuing to read aloud to your child even AFTER he/she is able to read independently. Please note that although children may be ready for early readers and chapter books, I implore parents to continue reading picture books with/to your children. There is no better way to connect at the end of a hectic day than to get lost in a picture book together. This ritual is one you can continue well into their teen years (yes, really, I promise). A child should not be denied this sacred time with you, just because he has “grown up”. Reading…

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A Monarch Butterfly Haiku by Bette A. Stevens


I only spotted a dozen monarchs here at the farmstead in Central Maine the summer of 2015. Last summer (2018), there were nearly 100 in and around the garden. Two delightful specimens danced around the garden where I encourage milkweed to grow alongside the flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that we harvest. I grabbed my camera just in time to capture one of our regal visitors pirouette upon the peppermint and inspired me to write this haiku. ~Bette A. Stevens

  • To find out how you can help protect monarch butterflies—one of our amazing pollinators— download your free poster here:

PROTECT MONARCH BUTTERFLIES free-poster

  • Find out how to tell a male monarch from a female monarch and discover other amazing monarch butterfly facts
  • Enjoy monarch crafts, games, gardening and discover so much more

WHERE?
Download Bette’s free pdf here:

FUN & LEARNING with MONARCHS (free pdf)

Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens
“Inspired by nature and human nature.”

Find all of Bette’s books at YOUR AMAZON.

[Bette’s Blog]

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