A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Posts tagged ‘New England’

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Springtime Reception (Haiku) by Bette A. Stevens


National Poetry Month is coming to a close and spring has finally arrived here at The Farmstead in central Maine. After three consecutive days of sunshine with temperatures in the 50s—followed by two days of rain—blossoms are sending out official invitations. Needless to say, we’re dressed for the occasion and heading outdoors to attend the reception.

These glorious daffodils (photo) in our front garden inspired me to write “Springtime Reception” and we’re more than ready to join the party.

Happy Spring!

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Springtime Reception

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Beguiling blossoms
Address the  invitations
“Springtime Reception”

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#RRBC Book of the Month: PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens (Adventure/Ages 10-Adult)


A single day. A lifetime of lessons.

PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens has been selected one of three books chosen March Books of the Month by Rave Reviews Book Club. PURE TRASH (Available in Paperback $5.49 and eBook $2.99 versions).  A great book for adolescents, young adults, parents, guardians, mentors, and educators to read and discuss.

About the Book

In this short story prequel to the author’s novel DOG BONE SOUP, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd.

“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 by Bette A. Stevens (Excerpt) “Trash to Treasures”

Mr. Stark himself was behind the counter today. I always liked to see him. He was smiling back as if he was glad to see us, too. Empty bottles and all. Most of the clerks hated to see empties. They’d roll their eyes and shake their heads as if to say, “Not you two, again.” But not Mr. Stark. He was a different sort. His silver and black speckled hair had waves that curled around his face. His haircut sort of fit right in with his smile. Bright blue eyes sparkled and danced inside those wire-framed spectacles that looked way too small for his big round face.

“Hi, boys! Looks like you two young ’uns are in for some extra treats with all those empty bottles.” Mr. Stark smiled at Willie and me as he counted them up. “Forty-eight cents,” he said, reaching into the cash drawer for the four dimes and eight pennies that he pressed into my hand as he winked and smiled.

I was sure that Mr. Stark knew I’d divide the money between us. The other clerks would have tossed a quarter, two dimes and three pennies right down on the counter. But not Mr. Stark. He closed my fingers around the coins with his huge hand. It felt like a big friendly hug. I knew why I liked him a lot.

“Thank you, sir!” I smiled back at Mr. Stark and then down at Willie. Willie and me headed straight back out the door. We sat on the steps and began our storefront ritual. We had all the time in the world today. We were as free as the birds and the bees. We had our bikes and plenty of money to boot.

“What a day, Willie! We’ve got enough for ice cream, some soda pop and probably a bunch of penny candies, too,” I said. Then I handed Willie his share.

“Dang it, Shawn. You mean I get to hold on to my own money today?” Willie shook his head and quizzed me as I handed him his share of the cash.

“You sure do, Willie. I think you’re getting big enough now to do some figurin’ on your own. Just give a holler if you need any help.”

We grinned at each other. It was like we were sharing one of the world’s best kept secrets. Then, we marched right back up over those twelve steps and headed straight inside Stark’s to pick out our treasures.

I sure wasn’t in any kind of a hurry. Stark’s carried just about everything anybody could think of. I liked to wander around and look over the fishing gear. Today I had plenty of time to check out lots of other neat stuff, too. I knew Willie would head straight for the ice cream freezer.

I headed around the store to get a peek at all the stuff I’d never had time to take a real close look at before. Sporting goods. I loved to go fishin’. The glass case came nearly up to my shoulders and ran the length of the back wall, except for the space where a clerk could get in behind. The bottom shelves held knives of different shapes and any size you could imagine. Some of the knives were simple, others downright fancy. There were smooth leather covers and holders for those blades that likely cost more money than I’d ever see at one time. On the next shelf were handguns. One was so small it looked just liked a cap gun and there were lots of other pistols. Rifles and shotguns, too. There were even fancy leather holsters just like the ones Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger and all the cowboys wore on TV and in the movies.

On the back wall above the glass case hung bows and arrows, and gun racks filled with rifles and shotguns. There were jackets, vests, fishing gear and even bags to carry your trout back home in. Best of all were the fishing poles. How I longed for a real pole. One with a spinning reel and some store-bought hooks. Oh sure, I’d still use worms. They worked real good. Didn’t need all those fancy doo-dads made with feathers to get fish to bite. Didn’t need a store-bought pole either. But, oh, how I wanted one. “Someday, I’ll have me one just like that,” I told myself, spellbound by the shiny green pole and black reel that hung high over the glass counter. Someday.

“Yes. Someday, I think I’ll get me a store, just like Mr. Stark’s. I’ll work at the counter every Saturday when all the kids come in,” I thought dreamily, smiling up at that perfect, shiny green pole.

Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

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Sky Stories (Haiku) by Bette A. Stevens


After three glorious days of 40 degree temperatures, the snow pack in the fields and front yard is beginning to melt at the farmstead in Central Maine. In fact, this was the first day I didn’t have to don ice cleats to walk safely down the driveway to the mailbox—the sun was shining and nary a cloud in the sky. By late afternoon the sky was telling another story. What stories are the skies telling you? ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Here’s my latest haiku. See if you can write one too!

Sky Stories

Tales of winter’s end
Peek through darkening shadows
Spring’s silver linings

Discover more about how to write haiku and other poetry:

Find out more about author Bette A. Stevens and her books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

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Writing Haiku: Winter Ensemble (Haiku) by Bette A. Stevens


Enjoying another snow day at the farmstead in Central Maine. My current WIP (work in progress) is a poetry collection that I plan to publish this year. The photo shows the east side of our barn (I love that spruce tree we planted a few years back.) here at the farmstead.  Today I’ve written Winter Ensemble and invite you to join the fun and write a haiku too. If the kids are around, you can make it a family affair—get them writing haiku with you!

Nor’easterly winds
Lead frozen boughs in tempo
Winter ensemble

~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:

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Writing Haiku: “Winter Interlude” (haiku) by Bette A. Stevens


Original photo from Pixabay (Display version edited by Bette A. Stevens for this haiku poster.) Writing haiku is not only easy, it’s fun. Find out all about it in this post. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Winter Interlude

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Lakeside interlude
Sings winter’s song—ice skaters
Hail the performance

This week, I was reminiscing about my teen years in Upstate New York. Although winters there were not at long as they are here in Maine, families and friends often took advantage of frozen lakes and ponds, gathering on weekends to light a bonfire and skate to their heart’s content. The memory of those bygone days inspired my to write Winter Interlude.

What events from the past are inspiring you this winter? 

It’s a perfect time to write a haiku of your own and share your memories with the kids and grandkids. Not only is writing haiku fun, it’s easy to do…

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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Have an Amazing Mother’s Day!


Wishing everyone a beautiful and blessed Mother’s Day! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

Author Bio

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 (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens’s children’s book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO! was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012.  AMAZING MATILDA , Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books. Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England in a family whose poverty and alcoholism mark him as a target for bullying by young and old alike. This short story is a prequel to Stevens’s début novel DOG BONE SOUP—coming of age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s rural New England.

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

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HOLIDAY SALE! Two eBooks—ONLY 99¢ Each Limited Time—#kidlit & #HistoricalFiction by Bette A. Stevens


It’s a Holiday Celebration

am-dbs-99-cent-limited-time

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Only 99¢ each through December 26

5gold-star3

AMAZING MATILDA

by Bette A. Stevens

This “Gem of a Tale” featuring a Monarch butterfly and her meadow land friends teaches kids lessons in friendship, patience and persistence as AMAZING MATILDA transforms from egg to caterpillar to butterfly. (Children’s Literature/Ages 5-11).

BUY THE BOOK at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0

Only 99¢ through December 26

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DOG BONE SOUP

by Bette A. Stevens

“A compelling family drama set in 1950s and 60s rural New England.” DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction/Ages 11-Adult) is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies…. Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life. You’ll find them all in DOG BONE SOUP, a baby boomer’s coming-of-age saga.

BUY THE BOOK at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

Only 99¢ through December 26

Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!
~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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