A writer inspired by nature and human nature

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How to Characterize Love in Your Writing


GREAT TIPS & RESOURCE LINKS…
Happy Love Month & Happy Writing! ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

WordDreams...

valentineI posted this last year, but it’s worth repeating: How do we characterize love in your writing?

Because, if you’re a writer, you must. It doesn’t have to be sex but it has to take readers that direction, right to the edge of the cliff. Yes, you can leave the lurid details out, but let readers peek over the edge.

How do you do that? Start with a few decisions:

  • Is it platonic?
  • Is it unrequited?
  • Is there conflict?
  • Is it lust disguised as love?
  • Is it serial love? Or one-of-a-kind?
  • Is it kinky or traditional?
  • Does love bring joy or sadness–or misery?
  • Is the manifestation of love baby-ish or mature–goo-goo eyes and saccharin words or Paris vacations?
  • Is love verbal or silent?
  • Is this love constructive or destructive? Flowery or brutal?
  • what part does the spiritual play in the emotion–or is it uninvolved?
  • Is it a subplot or a…

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Love is What Life’s All About!


Love is What Life’s all about!
by Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

share-the-love-of-reading-bette-reading-with-sam-2017It’s February—LOVE MONTH!  That’s what I love to call it. With Valentine’s Day celebrated around the world on February 14th, it’s the ideal month to set aside some time to dwell on the meaning of love in our own lives.

Love of God and the magnificent world He’s created for us to enjoy, love of family, love of our neighbors (everyone outside of our families). Love is what we’ve been called to do—that’s right—love is a verb, an action word. Do we sometimes fall short? Sure, as humans we all miss the mark at times. But that doesn’t confine us to loving less; it inspires us to love more.

Reading with kids is one way we can demonstrate our love to the younger generation.  In fact, older kids love to be read to as well. Reading together gives us a chance to bridge the generation gap and discuss real life issues, allowing time for adults to listen to what kids have to say on crucial issues that affect us all. No kids around to share the love with? No problem. Simply contact your local school or library and let them know you’re ready to share the love of reading with the kids. They’re sure to feel the love and I promise, you’ll feel it too!

Whether writing for children or adults, the theme of love somehow always seeps its way into heart of the story.  In fact, when I really take time to reflect upon it, love is often what inspires the book, the story or the poem. Love really is what life’s all about. When we follow our passions and encourage those around us to follow theirs—that’s love. When our pages help to turn someone’s hurt or apathy into understanding—that’s love. When a verse we’ve penned discloses our Creator’s unconditional love for us—that’s love. Let’s do our best to share the love!

About the ‘Love’ in Bette’s Books

inspired-by-nature-human-nature-2-bas-books

  • In AMAZING MATIDA (Children’s Picture Book/ages 4-11), a frustrated Monarch caterpillar who is ready to give up on her dreams is inspired to keep trying to find her wings. But she’s not alone, Matilda has friends to teach her about patience and persistence by encouraging her. Now, that’s what I call love.
  • In PURE TRASH (Short Story/Historical Fiction/Ages 10-Adult), two young brothers are off on a Saturday bicycling adventure when one gets injured. The eldest boy, Shawn Daniels, seeks help for his brother from a wealthy neighbor who grudgingly does her good deed leaves a lasting impression upon the children. Brotherly love and bigotry leave readers to decide on their own about what love really is and what love is not.
  • In DOG BONE SOUP (Coming-of-age Fiction/Novel set in 1950s & 60s New England/Ages 11-Adult), Shawn Daniels tells his own storythe trials and triumphs of growing up poor in an affluent rural New England town. Though many of the town’s people, young and old, see Shawn as a poor boy they disregard or try to humiliate, there are many who encourage and support him in both words and actions. Adventure abounds in this coming of age novel readers of all ages will long remember as they discover for themselves what love really is all about.
  • Inspired by and for the love of kids and the love of learning, I’ve written, illustrated and used The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! in my own classroom with students from 4th through 8th grade. The Zoo… is a great resource for integrating research and creative writing into a math and/or science curriculum. One of the project ideas included in the book is for the kids to create their own tangram animals to add to The Zoo… Then, to research their creature creations and write their own rhyming riddles. Readers and colleagues agree: “At home or in the classroom—it’s hands-on learning that’s creative and loaded with fun for everyone”—The Tangram Zoo.

Take a “Look Inside” all of Bette’s books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

“A writer inspired by nature and human nature!”

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to share it on your media sites.

Happy love month!
Bette A. Stevens

P.S. Up for a #Loveuary Blog Challenge? Visit Ritu’s blog https://butismileanyway.com/2017/01/31/loveuary❤-a-prompt-list-of-sorts/ and have a wonderful time sharing the LOVE all month long. ~Bette

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Aside

COMPASSION a poem by Bette A. Stevens


compassion-poem-bas-2017Compassion is…

Compassion in life is a beautiful thing. But exactly what is compassion? I’ve always thought of compassion as love in action. After writing the poem COMPASSION, I searched Google to find a definition. The synonyms fit perfectly into my preconceived notion for the poem because they not only included love and mercy, each synonym requires action (stirring) on our part to metamorphose the idea of compassion into the realty of compassion.

May compassion reign in our hearts and hands.

~ Bette A. Stevens

Google Search:

noun: compassion; plural noun: compassions

sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

“the victims should be treated with compassion”

synonyms: pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity

“have you no compassion for a fellow human being?”

antonyms: indifference, cruelty

Origin Middle English: via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin compassio(n-), from compati ‘suffer with.’

Compassion in life is a beautiful thing…

Compassion by Bette A. Stevens

Compassion in life is a beautiful thing
Sharing its beauty gives others their wings
Stirring love into each little thing that we do
Is sure to help their dreams and our dreams come true

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Let There be Peace on Earth and Let it Begin with Me


We really do have the power to make it happen, one brush stroke at a time. ~ Bette A. Stevens (Image from Pinterest)

We really do have the power to make it happen. ~Bette A. Stevens (Image from Pinterest)

Knowledge of the past holds one of the keys to world peace. Knowledge of the people in the world around us today holds another essential key. However, knowledge in and of itself is useless, much like a collection of unused paint brushes resting on the world’s shelf. It is our job to pick up the brushes and start painting. The perfect portrait of peace begins within each of us.  It’s painted one brush stroke at a time. Here are some simple steps that we can all take to contribute to that portrait:

Take the time to learn about those who are different from us in some way. We may want start with someone in our own family. Even there, we often find differences in opinions, race, religion, beliefs, customs, cultures, political affiliations. The list of personal differences and the diversity of relationships goes on….

Working in the classroom as a teacher of students from diverse backgrounds, I learned first-hand that those who hold different beliefs from my own are all unique individuals with whom I have many things in common. We all share the same needs and desires, the same frustrations and fears, the same hopes and dreams.  Whether students, parents, staff, volunteers, administrators or colleagues, I have gained respect for and have been deeply enriched by each encounter. Life-long relationships are nurtured and continue to blossom and grow.

Sure, that all sounds great; but what can we actually do as individuals to promote peace?

  • Listen to others
  • Get to know them (That means spending time with them) Let them get to know us (talk)
  • Respect differences
  • Look for commonalities
  • Nurture relationships
  • Offer and extend a helping hand
  • Encourage others
  • Enlist the help of others
  • Give input and feedback
  • Keep the conversation going 


The brush strokes to peace lie within each of one us. How do we paint the canvas? One brush stroke at a time. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS—listen, share ourselves and our ideas, respect those of others, look for commonalities. Our individual and collective lives will continue to be enriched as we work together to paint a perfect portrait of world peace. We really do have the power to make it happen, one brush stroke at a time.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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Aside

May the Love, Joy and Peace of Christmas follow you through the New Year!


“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
LUKE 2:11 (KJV) Bible

Christmas Eve Pondering

stars-shell-merry-christmas-bas-2016

A Poem by Bette A. Stevens

The last cookie is baked, the final gift wrapped.

Christmas Eve is upon us…

It’s time to relax.

Christmas music is gently reminding us why

Lord Jesus, the Christ Child…

Came down from on high.

He came as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Lived among us on earth…

God’s gift to bestow.

Loving God, loving others —Christ bought with his life

He epitomized love…

Not anger or strife.

God’s love is a precious gift we’re to share

Not with just folks we know…

But with those everywhere.

Wishing you Peace, Love & Joy—Gifts of The Christ Child—at Christmas and always… ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.4writersandreaders.com

 


Christmas music in a 3 hours long playlist (tracklist below). Traditional Christmas songs & carols featuring piano, violin & orchestra – arranged and recorded by Peder B. Helland. Christmas songs in the mix: “O Holy Night”, “Silent Night”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Angels We Have Heard On High”, “In The Bleak Midwinter” & “Fairest Lord Jesus”. Merry Christmas! Download this instrumental Christmas music

 

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HOLIDAY SALE! Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens—Only 99¢—Limited Time


Looking for that perfect gift—for a special child in your life?

am-limited-time-offer-bas-2016AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens
This 5✰ award-winning children’s book (Ages 4-11) about a Monarch butterfly inspires kids to be all they can be.
ONLY 99¢ at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0 through December 26, 2016

Book Summary

When Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be just as amazed as Toad and Rabbit are when you follow Matilda’s adventure from egg to imago. Science, art and wise lessons for children—they’re all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!

  • Readers and listeners (age 4–11) simply adore Matilda. Adults are sure to fall in love with this amazing Monarch butterfly too.
  • Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring AMAZING MATILDA. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the Monarch’s life cycle as caterpillar Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true.

AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢ at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0 Limited Time Offer

PLUS there’s more…

  • AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens is also available in paperback ($9.49). If you order the paperback from Amazon, the Kindle version is always free via “Matchbook”

About the author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of Monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age story set in 1950s and 60s New England.

Find out more about the author and her books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

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HOLIDAY SALE! 5✰ Historical Fiction by Bette A. Stevens—Only 99¢ for a Limited Time


dbs-99%c2%a2-limited-time-2016

“Stevens’ skill with dialect also makes this book unique. She doesn’t overdo it, but lets it flow like spring water or rain in the forest.
~ Mary Clark, author

Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens (Historical Fiction/Ages 11-Adult) set in rural New England—only 99¢ for a Limited Time at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ.

This 1950s and 60s coming-of-age novel (ages 11-adult) has been likened to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn by more than one reviewer. You’ll find Mary Clark’s complete review below.

5gold-star3

The Finer Spirit

“This is a wonderfully engaging and thought-provoking story. Bette Stevens’ young boy growing up in poverty in 1960s America, reminds me of another child, adrift on a raft on a mighty river, and the issues illuminated by that author of social stigma, individual resilience, and integrity. Huckleberry Finn is also poor and an outsider, and yet becomes a symbol for the equality of all humanity, and the finer spirit in all of us, in Mark Twain’s hands. I felt a similar quality in Stevens’ distinctive book.

“Stevens’ skill with dialect also makes this book unique. She doesn’t overdo it, but lets it flow like spring water or rain in the forest. Her descriptions take you into the scene and the characters’ minds. I felt I was in the family’s cabin, fishing by the river, riding a bike into town, being bullied and ostracized, and ashamed of a parent’s bad behavior. This book is a rare treat. I highly recommend it.” ~ Mary Clark, author

 Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!

It’s the perfect time of year to download a copy for you—and to gift a copy or two to those readers who are special to youDOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens—for only 99¢ for a Limited Time at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ. You’ll be glad you did!

About the author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of Monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age story set in 1950s and 60s New England.

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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