A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

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Celebrate EARTH DAY with a Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook—ONLY 99¢ Limited Time (April 20-26)

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

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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.

AMAZING MATILDA written and illustrated by Maine author Bette A. Stevens:

“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.

April 19, 2019 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¢ April 20th–April 26th)—award-winning monarch butterfly picture book— at YOUR AMAZON

Free Reading Resources for Amazing Matilda

Meet the characters and download Bette’s  #FREE Character Puppets at https://4writersandreaders.com/amazing-matilda-finger-puppets-free-download/ 

Beyond the book

  • Find monarch butterfly resources at your finger tips:

Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE Click here: FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies PDF 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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Write a Spring Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!

Celebrating International Haiku Poetry Day!

As I wandered out into the garden with my trusty camera early this morning, much to my surprise, an icy blanket at the edge of the rock garden had melted and a family of opening jonquils greeted me with their smiles. Being the first blooms of the season, they simply made my day and inspired me to write “A Spring Concerto,” a haiku (Japanese-inspired, non-rhyming three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poem).

A Spring Concerto

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Jonquils awaken

Shaking their heads in wonder

A spring concerto 

I love designing posters to go with my poems and often use photos I have taken. As a former teacher (now retired) in grades four through eight, I know that kids of all ages love writing poetry and they enjoy illustrating their poems too. It’s simple and it’s so much fun to tell a story in the three short lines of Haiku. Of course, you can write as many stanzas as you wish. Today’s a perfect day for you to give it a try.

Get out your pen, get outdoors in nature, get inspired…and get the kids writing haiku too!

 

New poetry book to be released in paperback soon—My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons (A collection of 150 haiku poems and 49 photos)—celebrating Maine, “The Way Life Should Be.”

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

(Haiku: m)

haiku

noun hai·ku \ˈhī-(ˌ)kü\

plural

haiku

  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 haiku and other poetry:

Find out more about International Haiku Poetry Day

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Easter Blessings (+Music) and “Faith,” a Poem by Bette A. Stevens

Faith

Take all of your worries and all of your fears
Cast them upon Jesus who’s waiting, He cares
He came down from glory to save you and me
His brothers and sisters who yearn to be free

He proved with his life that His calling is true
We trust that He cares about all we go through
His love it surpasses, His blessings abound
His faithfulness throughout creation resounds

In Scriptures we find Him, His words and His deeds
Imploring each brother and sister, He pleads
Surrender your worries and all of your fears
I’m here to walk with you in laughter, in tears

We’ll dance through the triumphs and trials together
Good plans will prevail, no matter the weather
God’s love is as sure as the sun, stars and moon
Eternity’s waiting, there’s plenty of room

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

John 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Happy Easter!

—Bette A. Stevens

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Write a Spring Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!

Happy Spring!

We’re finally seeing a bit of bare ground here at the farmstead in central Maine. Snow is slowly melting and potholes are keeping us wide awake on the roadways. We won’t see these blossoms for another month, but the three haiku verses that follow will show you how our season is progressing. This photograph is from—MY MAINE—my poetry and photography collection scheduled for release soon (April/May 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!

My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons

(Excerpt from “Spring Awakenings”)

Rivers spill over
While ice jams—slowly melting
Weep upon their beds

Potholes irk drivers
As roadways turn to washboards
Kids giggle in back

Hills and vales exult
Rivers and streams sing arias
Mud season arrives

© 2019 Bette A. Stevens

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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#Bloghop – Survival of the Fittest (Prehistoric Fiction) by Jacqui Murray

 

 

 

Author Jacqui Murray is on a Blog Hop.  She’s here today to introduce us to her latest book—Survival of The Fittest—and I’m looking forward to an exciting prehistoric fiction read! ~Bette A. Stevens

Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion. Early man is the Hero and survival—or extinction—is the journey.

Today’s Q & A with Jacqui

Did Xhosa have any type of culture—art, music, that sort?

This time in man’s prehistory predated art, music, and most culture. There is very little if anything known about earliest man’s (850,000 years ago) interest in art and music. In Xhosa’s case, I extrapolated from what we do know about these early iterations of man. They appreciated colors but didn’t think of applying it to themselves. Their brains could imagine things unseen but that didn’t extend to painting themselves, wearing jewelry, or tattoos. Since clothing was only for warmth (or in Seeker’s case, to protect his sensitive parts), no thought was given to designing or decorating these.

Music—They did appreciate bird songs but considered it an animal voice, not something that they could replicate for their own pleasure. They could replicate it but it was to imitate the bird, not express creativity. They also appreciated rhythm but that was to set a running pace or sooth people.

Short Summary

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands but an escape path laid out years before by her father as a final desperate means to survival. She is joined by other homeless tribes–from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant—all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that this enemy doesn’t want her People’s land. He wants to destroy her.

Survival of the Fittest

Series: Book 1 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Cover by: Damonza 

About the author

     Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Summer 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

Social Media contacts:

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://worddreams.wordpress.com

https://jacquimurray.net

 

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out Jacqui Murray’s new release. I invite you to spread the word about Survival of the Fittest by sharing this post on your social media sites. Have a great week and Happy Reading!


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Looking for the Perfect Picture Book for the Kids this Spring?

AMAZING MATILDA’s

got you covered!

One concern parents have is how to inspire their children to meet challenges with patience and persistence. This is the plot of the award-winning picture book, AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarchs Tale, written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens. In this story a caterpillar wants to learn how to fly. She asks all of her friends in the meadow, but doesn’t find an easy answer. Yet, she continues the quest until, at last, she becomes what she wants to be—a butterfly. AMAZING MATILDA offers adults the opportunity to inspire the children in their lives to meet their own challenges with patience and persistence.

  • Be sure to check out the #FREE PDFs.  Amazing Matilda Finger Puppets and Fun & Learning with Monarch Butterflies— two excellent reading and life/environmental science resources to go along with the book. Find the download links below.
  • Award-winning AMAZING MATILDA is available in paperback and eBook versions and it’s an AMAZON KINDLE MATCHBOOK—that means, when you purchase the paperback for $9.49, you can download the eBook version for FREE! Click the link to Order your copies today.

#FREE Reading & Monarch Butterfly Resources from Bette

Stevens has put together two (2) FREE #PDF companion pieces to make talking to the kids about AMAZING MATILDA and learning about Monarch butterflies exciting and fun.

CLICK THE TWO LINKS ABOVE TO DOWNLOAD. These resources will not only keep the kids talking about the book with their finger puppets, they’ll learn even more about Monarch Butterflies, their endangered habitat, monarch and milkweed conservation and preservation.  Fun & Learning offers activity sites and resources for butterfly gardeners and teachers as well.  Don’t miss these two great resources for families, clubs, classrooms and homeschoolers.

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February Writing Prompt from Diana Peach

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

So Long Sweet Dreams

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Beast of a blizzard

Tromping in to surprise us

Sweet dreams disrupted

“During February and March, I’ll be getting my first poetry collection—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons—ready for publication. I invite you to take a peek at a sampling of haiku from the Winter Tales chapter. I’m looking for a few ARC reader/reviewers for pre-publication blurbs by month’s end. You can let me know in the comments section below. Thanks so much for your continued support”

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Have an Amazing New Year! (Poem + Monarch Butterfly Resources from author Bette A. Stevens)

Have an Amazing New Year!

 

May your days be blessed and beautiful

May your nights, sweet dreams supply

May your New Year be amazing

As a monarch butterfly

© Bette A. Stevens

Learn about Monarch Butterflies

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

Monarch butterflies offer an amazing view into the intricate nature of the wild. Their scientific name—Danaus Plexippus— Greek for “Sleepy Transformation,” gets part of the story right, but not the epic whole. Monarch butterflies embark on an amazing migratory phenomenon as they have the ability to hibernate and metamorphose.  International conservation efforts to protect and restore monarch habitat are ongoing. These efforts may help improve the near-endangered/endangered status of the species; but we, as ordinary citizens, can easily help the monarch butterfly recovery right in our own backyards and gardens.

Wishing all of you and our amazing monarch butterflies…
“An Amazing New Year!”

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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Write a Winter Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too! —”Snowfalls” (Haiku from MY MAINE) by Bette A. Stevens

Enjoying another snow day at the farmstead in central Maine. This haiku is from my current work in progressMY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasonsa poetry collection schedule to be released early in 2019. The photo of field and forest (taken from the back patio at the farmstead) inspired me to write today’s featured haiku. “Snowfalls” is a verse from the WINTER TALES section. 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 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!

SNOWFALLS

Silently—snowfalls

Reign over field and forest

Supremely sovereign

~Bette A. Stevens

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 haiku and other poetry:

[EXPLORE BETTE’S BLOG]

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MY MAINE “Winter Tales” (Haiku selections) from Bette A. Stevens’s WIP

This upcoming collection of haiku reflects the Maine I know and love. Here is a sampling of several stanzas from the section Winter Tales. I hope you enjoy them and would appreciate your comments. I plan to edit and format the collection during the holiday season, and hope to publish my first poetry book—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons—early in 2019. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author 

Winter Tales

(Selected samples from MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons by Bette A. Stevens)

Winter genie waves
Its icy crystal scepter
Dawn’s magic appears

Silvery branches
Read a charmed folktale
A spellbound story

Pine cones and tassels
Mirrored in moonlight upon
White weighted branches

Chickadees dozing
Nestling, captive till
Morning sets them free

Shovels and snow plows
Storm’s ravings unraveled
Till the next arrives

Soups, stews and chowders
Stories told round the table
Favored winter fare

The sundial declares
Dwindling days this season
When nightfall looms large

Neighbors helping hands
Gifts from the heart most cherished
As storm clouds gather

Families and friends
Make merry through this season
Knee deep in snow

Thanks so much for taking time to read these selected verses from MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about them as I continue work on the collection. Wishing everyone a blessed and beautiful Holiday Season. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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