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Get away from it all without leaving home—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons by Bette A. Stevens


MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection) by Bette A. Stevens. 150 haiku poems, 49 of the author’s original photographs + interesting facts and symbols from The Pine Tree State. 

My Maine…

Staycation in “Vacationland” (One of The Pine Tree State’s nicknames). No need to leave your comfy lounge chair. No matter the season, MY MAINE is a collection of poems and photographs to soothe the soul. Put up your feet, sit back and relax. Let MY MAINE take you away…

Did you know?

In the early 20th century, lumber, textiles and other industries began to leave the state, and the government doubled down on stimulating tourism. In the 1960s, the state adopted a new nickname on its license plates and highway signs: “Vacationland.”

Every year, thousands of visitors from all over the world flock to the Pine Tree State to enjoy scenic vistas, outdoor activities and the unhurried pace of life. But a visit to Maine is more than just lobsters and lighthouses. USA Today

MY MAINE

“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul—to me, Maine is poetry!”

~ Bette A. Stevens

 

Summer Songs

Excerpts from MY MAINE Haiku through the Seasons (Summer Songs) by Bette A. Stevens

Pristine forest lands
Rockbound footpaths appealing
Seek your solace here

Lady slippers chant
Madrigalian ballads
Timeless tales reborn

Moose shielding twin calves
Wades tranquil mountain waters
Head raised, ears twitching

Swallows consuming
Millions of swarming creatures
Ouch, ouch—they missed some

Loons at lakeshore wail
Campers bewitched by the sound
Sacred summer songs

Waves play taps on shore
Tall pines salute by moonlight
Waking stars stand guard

Lighthouses stand tall
Regaling stories of ghosts
From a bygone age

Books by Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Hubby and I are enjoying a great “Staycation” right here at the farmstead. Confined by the 2020 pandemic restrictions, we’re playing it close to home and enjoying the magic of Maine moment by moment. Wishing everyone a blessed and beautiful end of summer and hope you’ve enjoyed a bit of a virtual Maine summer respite with us. ~Bette A. Stevens

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PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens—“A single day—a lifetime of lessons!” ONLY 99¢/£ thru July 4th, 2020


PURE TRASH (Literary Fiction/ages 11-adult) by Bette A. Stevens—ONLY 99¢/£ for a limited time at Amazon.com & Amazon.uk   http://amzn.to/1T5tMAZ — is a short story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied. It may redefine your concept of bullying. If you grew up as a child who was thought of as different in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its descriptors. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social standing of the dysfunctional family, the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

This short story set in the 1950s offers readers and book clubs insight into poverty and prejudice in rural New England during a time in history when many families were living the American Dream.

Take a peek inside and Grab a copy of PURE TRASH today! http://amzn.to/1T5tMAZ 

 

 

Hop on your bike and tag along with Shawn and Willie Daniels for the ride…

EXCERPT

Pedaling up the half-mile hill was a lot of work, but it was worth it, and not for just the empties. Flying down the other side gave me the best feeling in the whole wide world. I guess that’s how that old chicken hawk feels when he soars above the pines at the edge of the field out back of the house.

Once we reached the peak, we plopped our bikes on the ground and threw ourselves onto the soft, damp bed of leaves at the edge of the woods. It was so peaceful. My mind wandered into the sky and I dreamed about the ride down the other side and the 10 cent Orange Crush I’d buy at Stark’s General Store.

“Hey, Willie,” I finally asked, “did ya bring the slingshot?”

“Sure did, Shawn. Whatcha wanna shoot today?”

Willie’s brown eyes looked as big as Mum’s pan fried donuts and his smile pretty nearly filled his round face as he jumped right up from his leafy bed and hovered over me like a bear.

I helped Willie make that slingshot out of rubber bands I’d sliced from one of the old inner tubes piled out by Dad’s rusty Ford Roadster. That Ford had headlights on top of the fenders and the “old jalopy,” as Mum called it, was just rottin’ away out back of the two-holer. We broke a crotched limb out of the choke cherry bush to use for the handle. I tied the rubber band and the handle together with string from one of the flowered chicken feed sacks that Mum used to make her house dresses. That string was real strong and I was good at tying knots. Willie was proud as a peacock when it came to showing off that slingshot.

“How about we find some old tin cans and pile them up like a tower?” I asked Willie. “Better yet, let’s both make towers and see whose gets knocked down first.”

“Yes, siree!” Willie hooted as he made a mad dash to grab as many of the rusty cans as his chubby arms could hug together at one time.

 

  • Join Shawn and Willie for a 1950s Saturday adventure—Download PURE TRASH for ONLY 99¢/£ through JULY 4th!

This short story is a prequel to Stevens’s novel DOG BONE SOUP.

 

Reviews

“A great book for young adults, parents, guardians, mentors, and educators to read. Strongly recommended!” Yoong

“A nostalgic gem – I was swept away from the first paragraph and thoroughly enjoyed this skillfully written short story. This author knows how to paint mind-pictures and flavor them with taste, smell, and sound.”  WJ Scott, Children’s Author, Fairy Dust.

“Pure Trash is unlike any story I’ve read. At first, it reads like a memoir from Reminisce Magazine, but as the story unfolds, I connected with the characters at a deep level. The author explores prejudice, class division, alcoholism, poverty, injustice, and bullying. It’s a story all audiences over the age of ten can enjoy. While reading this story, the reader will experience the joy of a carefree Saturday and the blistering pain of feeling not quite good enough.” Tricia Drammeh, AuthorsToWatch

Take a Look Inside at your Amazon to read more of the 77 reviews.
  • Download PURE TRASH for ONLY 99¢/£ today!
  • Also available on MATCHBOOK: Purchase the paperback from Amazon for only $5.49 any time and download the eBook version for #FREE any time.

About the Author

Inspired by nature and human nature, award-winning Maine author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher. Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book about the lessons learned by a monarch butterfly as she metamorphoses ; 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 debut novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a baby boomer’s coming of age story. MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons—Stevens’s first poetry and photography collection—takes readers on an unforgettable journey through The Pine Tree State’s four glorious seasons.

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The Splendor of Diversity—discover it in the garden (poem by Bette A. Stevens)


Much of my poetry is inspired by the gardens, fields and woods here at the farmstead in central Maine as well as by the natural beauty and by the people of The Pine Tree State.

A peek inside Bette’s first poetry & photography collection:  MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons available in paperback and eBook. 

The Pine Tree State

Maine pines and people
Survivors, resilient souls
Standing tall and proud

Pragmatic figures
Independence their calling
Rugged yet limber

Growing where they choose
While rising ever higher
Strong limbs branching out

Tempering spirits
Amidst the boundless medley
Solid, steady, proud

Diversity (A preview into one of Stevens’s poems to be included in her second—”Heaven and Nature Sing”—collection) was inspired by the early June blooms (photograph), a soothing balm after those long, cold Maine winters. One that never fails to enthrall us each spring. The natural world has much to teach us about life and living…

Diversity

by Bette A. Stevens

Splendor of countless pigments
In gardens they combine
Echoing grandiose harmony
Serenity you’ll find

And so it is with people
Of every thought and hue
Diversity’s resplendency
Reflecting me and you

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

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Celebrate EARTH DAY with a Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook—ONLY 99¢/p Limited Time (April 21-24)


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ HAPPY EARTH DAY

Please share this post…

Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat. Yet these butterflies, once a familiar sight, are plummeting toward extinction due to landscape-scale threats from pesticides, development and global climate change. That’s why the Center is working hard to win them protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

AMAZING MATILDA written and illustrated by Maine author Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢/p thru April 24:

“Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!”

 

About the book

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 5-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. 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 as amazed as Toad and Rabbit, as you follow Matilda from egg to imago.

Review Excerpt Blurb:

“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! ~Jacqui Murray, WordDreams 

DOWNLOAD a copy of AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢/p April 21–April 24award-winning monarch butterfly picture book— at YOUR AMAZON

Free Reading Resources for Amazing Matilda

Meet the characters and download Bette’s  #FREE Character Puppets HERE.

Beyond the book

  • Find monarch butterfly resources at your finger tips:

Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ our amazing monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE PDF Click here: FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books

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Compassion is a Beautiful Thing… (poem) by Bette A. Stevens


Compassion is a Beautiful Thing…

 

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

© Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

 

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 is a Beautiful Thing…, I searched Google for a definition to share. The synonyms fit perfectly into my preconceived notion for the poem because they not only include love and mercy, each synonym requires action—stirring—on our part to metamorphose the idea of compassion into the reality of compassion.

 

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.’

 

May compassion reign in our hearts and hands each day. ~ Bette A. Stevens

Enjoy more of Bette’s poetry in her new collection—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons.

Stevens has released a poetry and photography collection inspired by Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people. The author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons takes readers on a poetic journey through the state’s four distinct seasons. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

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🎄 Christmas 🎄 ∞ A Music Video & Poem by Bette A. Stevens, Maine author


Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Holy Bible: KJV)

He came as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Lived among us on earth…

God’s gifts to bestow.

∞ Christmas 

Poem by Bette A. Stevens

 

The last cookie 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 gifts to bestow.

Loving God, loving others—Christ bought with his life

He epitomized love…

Not anger or strife.

God’s love—it’s a most precious gift we’re to share

With all those we know…

And with folks everywhere.

Wishing you the love, joy and peace found in Jesus—the Christ Child. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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Celebrating The Pine Tree State—Christmas Poem & Artwork by Local Mainers


In honor of the State of Maine’s Bicentennial (official birthday March 15, 2020), I’ll be posting articles about Maine history, events, people, and places that include poetry and photographs.

Maine

Did you know?

NOTE CARD COVER: Artwork Created By 7-year-old Bentley Lang (2017)

Last week I received a phone call that made my day! A local resident had checked out my latest book—My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons, from our local library and called to tell me how much she enjoyed reading it. Now that’s a great way for an author to begin her day…but, the wonder didn’t end on that lovely note. In fact, it blossomed into an extended conversation with the caller, Irene White, a fellow nature lover and gardener. Irene lives on Great Moose Pond, just a few miles from our farmstead in Hartland, Maine.

“I loved your book so much that I wrote a poem, not a haiku, but a poem nevertheless. My Christmas poem was inspired by a sweet card created by a seven-year-old boy named Bentley Lane in 2017.  I enjoyed Bentley’s artwork so much that I purchased several cards from his mother’s craft table at the local Christmas fair in town.” ~Irene White

Silently we all say “thanks”

Poem by Irene White (2019)

It’s a frosty morning
and Christmas is in the air.
So put on your tall boots
and your warm wooly coat.
Hat and mittens too,
and grab the trusty saw.
Warm up the truck 
and head for the woods.
Up there be a stand,
it’s thick and green.
The tracks abound,
this way and that.
The rabbit hopped this way,
and the deer circled round.
But look over there,
the perfect tree.
Push forward, pull back,
again and again.
Until the final cut,
and she’s yours!
Now load it up
and head for home.
Shake off the snow
and bring her in.
All the kids shout, “Yeh”
and the dog gives a leap!
We get ready to string the lights,
and silently we all say, “Thanks.”

Discover how reading and writing poetry benefits everyone from kids to corporate executives at this link on Bette’s blog. Whether you’re a resident Mainer or from away, I invite you to come celebrate Maine. I would love to hear from you if you have a favorite tidbit (i.e. poem/photograph/very short story) to share with us about your love for the The Pine Tree State.

About Bette A. Stevens

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 eight. 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 (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture. Stevens’s books include The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!; Amazing Matilda, Children’s Picture Book (Ages 4-11) 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award and Gittle List; Pure Trash (MG/YA/Adult) Short Story; Dog Bone Soup (MG/YA/Adult) Coming of age Novel (2017 KCT International Literary Award Top Finalist 2017); and My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry and Photography Collection) 2019.

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Beautiful Borestone—A Maine Haiku & a View from the Mountain too!


“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul—to me, Maine is poetry.”
Bette A. Stevens

Seven-year-old Sophie loves to read and listen to poetry! I discovered that about her when I met Sophie and her mom Janet the evening of my book signing, “Celebrating  Maine through Poetry” presentation in October.  Now Sophie loves to write poetry too! 

In fact, Sophie enjoys poetry so much that Janet told me how grateful she was that they had come that night to learn about  the benefits that poetry provides for readers and writers of all ages. The audience even had a chance to practice finding some of the poetic devices I used when writing My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons that evening.

When we talked about the beauty and bounty that Maine has to offer, Janet shared that she had recently taken her children on a day trip to Borestone Mountain. Borestone is a popular hiking spot near the center of the state, with a trailhead located on Mountain Road near Willimantic. Sophie and Janet have captured Borestone beautifully in their haiku! 

Beautiful Borestone

Climbing made it fun
Brilliant trees and pretty lakes
Beautiful Borestone

Haiku by Sophie & Janet

Janet and I have kept in touch by email since the event and I was delighted when she sent me photos she’d taken at Borestone and a haiku that she and Sophie had written together.  Sophie wants to write more poetry! That makes my author/teacher heart sing…

 

Educators, librarians, community groups and organizations:

Maine author and retired teacher Bette A. Stevens shares her love of Maine, of poetry, of nature and of reading and writing with children and adults of all ages. Stevens is currently booking presentations for Spring 2020 in the central Maine area as “The Pine Tree State” launches its Bicentennial celebrations. Stevens’s presentations are tailored to your classroom/group needs. Poetry is powerful and its benefits are invaluable. For more information contact the author at bettestevens@tds.net SUBJECT: POETRY—Group Presentation.

Find out more about Maine author Bette A. Stevens

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2019 🎄 PRE-HOLIDAY SALE 🎄 Three eBooks by Bette A. Stevens 🎄 ONLY 99¢ each November 14-21


Gifts that keep giving!

 

You’ll find three great  5✰ reads by Maine author Bette A. Stevens at great prices (eBooks only 99¢ each) November 14th through November 21st at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens 

“Something special for everyone on your list…”

Amazing Matilda (Ages 4-11)

“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.” Award-winning monarch butterfly adventure

Pure Trash (Historical Fiction/Ages 10-Adult)

“A nostalgic trip into the recent past, with 9 year old Shawn and 6 year old Willie Daniels enjoying ‘The Perfect Day’ until…”

Dog Bone Soup (Historical Fiction 1950s & 60s Novel/Ages 11-Adult)

“Compelling story of struggle, survival and the human spriit rising above it all!”

Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

 

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Have Fun Writing Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Write a Halloween Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!

Black Cat HALLOWEEN Haiku BAS 2019

Midnight—our fabulous, furry feline—inspired me to write BLACK CAT, a Halloween haiku (Haiku: a Japanese-inspired three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poetry form) and design a poster to go with the poem. Kids love illustrating their poetry. This Halloween post is shared in loving memory of our amazing Miss Midnight. 

What’s inspiring you this Halloween?
Brainstorm your list and get writing.
Have fun—don’t forget to get the kids writing too!

Here are some Writer’s Tricks (literary devices found in every writer’s toolbox) I used to create BLACK CAT. These tools can set a mood— they make writing and reading memorable and fun.  Check them out and see if you can discover where I used them in my poem.

Read on to find out more about these literary devices.

BLACK CAT

Black cat waits, watches…
Stalking tricksters in their webs.
Spiders are her treats!

© Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Three Writer’s Tricks (Literary devices) used in writing poetry and prose

Assonance
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words.

Consonance
Another literary device used by writers and poets is consonance—repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase. This repetition often takes place in quick succession.

Alliteration
You put your alliteration tool to work when words that start with the same sound are used close together in a phrase or sentence. The sound is usually a consonant and the words don’t have to always be right next to one another.

Finding “just the right words”
Abundant writing resources are available in print as well as online. Listed below are the two resources I had readily available in the classroom for my students (Grades 4-8). Paperbacks are inexpensive enough to have multiple copies on hand, and in my opinion they are indispensable.

  • The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary by Sue Young
  • Webster’s Thesaurus for Students by Merriam-Webster

                        Happy Writing and Reading Haiku

                                    & Happy Halloween!

                     ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

 

  • Find out more about how to write haiku and other poetry at Reference.Com

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