A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Posts tagged ‘writing’

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Write a Summer Limerick & Get the Kids Writing Too!

HAVE FUN WRITING LIMERICKS

Monarch Butterfly LIMERICK 2 bas 2017

Summertime is fun time! And with ‘back to school’ just around the corner, it’s a great time to write limericks and get the kids writing too…

Whether you’re a writer, a reader, a teacher, a parent or simply want to share the love of reading and writing, get the kids together and give “Limericks” a try. You’ll be glad you did!

Some of my favorite things about summer are butterflies, long lazy summer days, gardens and sunshine. I love to sit on the porch with my camera at the ready just in case I spot an amazing monarch or any of our sensational butterfly friends dropping by to enjoy the view. So far this year I’ve spotted twelve monarchs and dozens of other butterflies too—and managed to capture several of these exquisite creatures with my Canon “PowerShot.”

Butterflies are very sensitive to the environment and with their natural habitat areas being increasingly eroded and with significantly greater use of chemicals, our butterfly population is in decline. Planting and cultivating milkweed (Monarch caterpillars need milkweed) and other blooms that our pollinators need for survival is one way that I can help.

Limerick (poetic definition)

[lim-er-ik]
noun
1. a kind of humorous verse of five lines, in which the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines, which are shorter, form a rhymed couplet.

 

My limerick is about one of the monarch butterflies (captured by my camera) that fluttered through my garden so far this summer. I had fun writing two verses to tell my monarch’s story. Check out the link at the end of the post to find out more about poetic limericks.

A Monarch Butterfly Limerick

by Bette A. Stevens

There once was a monarch so fair

She fluttered and flit through the air

’Twas milkweed she needed

And so she proceeded

To search through the garden with care

 

Monarch  knew she had nothing to fear

Her flutters would soon disappear

When milkweed she spotted

Her heart was besotted

Depositing monarch eggs there

 

WRITING POETRY WITH CHILDREN

Tips & Tools

When teaching (grades 4-8), I found that writing poems and sharing them was an exciting way get children of all ages hooked on writing. I must admit it—limericks are so much fun to write and to share! In the classroom we learn about using some of the tools in our writer’s tool box—literary devices like assonance (repeating vowel sounds) and consonance (repeating consonant sounds) to create a musical message. And of course, we had Scholastic rhyming dictionaries and thesauruses close at hand. It’s always exciting to discover alternative words (synonyms) that have just the right sounds and syllables to perfect our poems.

Whether you’re a writer, a reader, a teacher, a parent or simply want to share the love of reading and writing, get the kids together and give it a try. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Click the link to find out all about it How to Write a Limerick http://www.poetry4kids.com/blog/lessons/how-to-write-a-limerick/

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BLOG TOUR: Beyond the Book—Tips for Writers with Traci Sanders

Writers—Here You Go!

Today I am sharing space at 4writersandreaders with indie author and publisher Traci Sanders. Sanders has written a fantastic new series that will help even the seasoned pro write it better. Here, in her own words, is Traci…

TIP 165: Watch your tone

This tip, and many others on grammar and writing, can be found in Before You Publish: Tips on grammar, writing, and editing.

Before You Publish: Tips on grammar, writing, and editing (Write It Right Book 1)

You can think of this as a reference guide, rather than a book you need to read from cover to cover. It will become your new go-to-guide for all things writing, grammar, and editing. The tips are easy to follow and explained in simple terms that anyone can understand and put to use right away.

Growing up, do you remember your parents telling you, “It wasn’t what you said, it was how you said it”? I do.

I hated hearing that, but I must admit now that it’s true … especially in writing, because tone cannot be automatically detected in text.

I’ll bet most of you haven’t put much thought into this with your writing. In all honesty, I didn’t either—until I learned a better way.

I won’t get into all the mechanics of writing dialogue just yet. This tip is going to help you establish tone in writing dialogue.

Have you ever read a line such as this in a story?: “Not a word of this to anyone,” she whispered.

Well, until we got to “she whispered,” we had no inclination of the tone of voice this character used. As readers, we had to create the tone in our heads, and then we realized at the end of the sentence, we were wrong.

We know the character didn’t shout the words because there is no exclamation point. So maybe we thought he/she simply declared this statement in a regular voice, or perhaps he/she was angry and said it through gritted teeth. We had no way of knowing for sure until we saw the word whispered.

Therefore, to convey true tone without making the reader guess how the words are meant to sound, the author needs to indicate a change in voice before the character speaks.

Here are a few examples of ways to establish intonation before dialogue:

Okay: “Don’t touch my phone,” the boy’s mom warned through gritted teeth.

Better: The boy’s mom gritted her teeth and said, “Don’t touch my phone.”

Okay: “Don’t leave me,” she begged.

Better: Her voice trembled as she begged, “Don’t leave me.”

Okay: “Stacey, look at the abs on that guy. His girlfriend is one lucky woman,” Laura whispered to her best friend as they sat at the table in the library.

Well, darn. We had to wait until three-fourths of the way through this sentence to find out that Laura didn’t say the words loud enough for anyone but Stacey to hear, and learn that the two girls were in a library.

Better: As they sat at the library table, Laura leaned into Stacey and whispered, “Girl, look at the abs on that guy. His girlfriend is one lucky woman.”

Okay: “You never let me do anything. I hate you,” he mumbled to his mom under his breath.

Better: In a voice only he could hear, Jamie mumbled, “You never let me do anything. I hate you.” You would have set the scene with the mom before this sentence. It doesn’t always have to be part of the dialogue.

So, now you know another trick to help you write dialogue that keeps your story moving along without readers having to go back and reread the sentence once they realize they used the wrong tone.

For more tips on writing compelling dialogue, I highly recommend you all check out this book. It’s a fun, quick guide that provides a wealth of information.

Traci Sanders

Award-winning author of parenting, children’s, and romance titles

http://amzn.to/2cYUdKM

~Reviews keep authors writing~

Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance and nonfiction guides.

Sanders’s ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

Traci Sanders is giving away two prizes during this tour:

  • ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish– Volume I 
  • ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book –Volume II 

To enter, all you have to do is email Traci a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.

She will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.

Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to tsanderspublishing@yahoo.com

GOOD LUCK!

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Are you Book Club ready?

AUTHORS: Don’t miss this! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.4writersandreaders.com

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And what, you…

Grateful… ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Love Month is Knocking!

May your February be filled with love... ~ Bette A. Stevens

May your February be filled with love… ~ Bette A. Stevens www.4writersandreaders.com

February is knocking and it’s time to get up and answer the door. That means lots of edits and rewrites for my debut novel, featuring Shawn Daniels, protagonist from PURE TRASH—the short story prequel to the upcoming novel. Since I plan to release the novel this spring, February is the perfect month for me to get out those colored pens (editing) and get that first draft tuned up and ready to share with my first outside-of-the-house editors. Our darling kitty—Midnight—is on high alert to help at every turn. She loves pens, eye glasses, paper clips and everything that glimmers or moves. And, of course, she has to make sure that there’s nothing for her in my tea mug. Midnight was busy playing with her catnip mouse (photos) earlier today— giving a glorious partridge time to munch on some of our delectable crab apples—before she went out for her morning stroll.

I’ll have a Valentine’s Books Giveaway to share with you soon. Meanwhile, stay warm and enjoy the wonderful Month of Love.  ~ Bette A. Stevens

Don’t Forget to Backup your Novel!!

November 2013 is my first NaNoWriMo and I’m working to complete the draft of my first novel. ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Do you have a story to tell? Come join us.

How to Keep Your Reader Turning Those Pages

Writing Kitty

Writing Tips: Another great post from Lorrie Porter! ~ Bette A. Stevens

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School Vacations and the kids get bored?

English: tangram

English: tangram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Help them out of that slump!

For hours of creative learning & fun, visit
‘THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!’

A children’s activity book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens.

Math, Science, Riddles, Project Ideas and more…

Kids learn how to make their own tangrams:

  • Solve tangram puzzles
  • Solve rhyming riddles
  • Create their own animals and riddles to add to The Tangram Zoo!

Find out more at The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! | Book Club Reading List.

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Meet the Authors on Tour!

Five of my favorite authors are On Tour  this week!

BE SURE TO MARK YOUR CALENDAR. THEN, GO CLICK ON THE LINKS. You are cordially invited to visit— Thursday, December 19,2012:

SNEAK PEEK:

Find out what these five awesome authors are working on right now!

In case you missed the Sneak Preview of the latest book I’m working on, here’s the link:

On the Bookshelf

BOOKS: The gifts that keep right on giving!

Still looking for some last minute gifts for the kids? You can find my childen’s books at

http://www.Amazon.com/author/betteastevens

Storytelling At Its Best!

Meet the Author:

Susan Speranza

Susan Speranza, author of The Tale of Lucia Grandi, The Early Years.

Amazon reviewers acclaim Speranza’s debut novel as
“great storytelling…[prose] flows with such beauty you are holding your breath to eagerly read each word!”

Hello, Susan. It’s great to have you with me today. Tell me a little about yourself and about your life in Vermont.

I was born in New York City and grew up on suburban Long Island. This became the setting of my novel, The Tale of Lucia Grandi, the Early Years.

Because Long Island is surrounded by water, all the things associated with water such as the ocean, the beaches, boating, fishing and swimming are an important part of the culture there. But that seemed to have so little influence on me; from the time I was a child, I always longed for mountains. The setting of many of the books I read was always rural — full of pastures, highlands, valleys, farms. It took many years – and a divorce – to help me achieve my dream. Eleven years ago I left Long Island, moved to Vermont and never looked back. Now, every day when I look out at my meadow and the mountain beyond, I know this is where I belong. I don’t miss the water or the ocean at all. And if on occasion I want to experience it again, I just travel three hours east to the coast of Maine and I’m good!

 Well, Susan, when you’re hankering for a taste of the coast, give me a call; it would be great to share a cup of lobster stew with a fellow author.

I never refuse invitations, so be careful…that’s how I wound up in Vermont. My friend kept inviting me up, so after several years of visiting Vermont, I moved there permanently – and I bought the house next door to her!

The invitation’s an open one, Susan… Tell us a little about your family life.

Well, after a very unfriendly divorce, I took an eight-year hiatus, at which point I met a wonderful man (a fellow New Yorker transplanted to Vermont) and we are now engaged. There is definitely life after divorce.

I have many children but they are of the four-legged variety… years ago I took up the hobby of dog showing and breeding and have produced many Pekingese champions. The dogs I have now are the great-great-grandchildren of my original (or foundation) dogs. They sometimes seem to cost as much as human children — I think I have singlehandedly put all of my Vet’s offspring through college. Unfortunately, I can’t claim them as dependents at tax time…

How long have you been writing? What type of writing do you normally do?

I’ve been writing all my life. Even as a child I found communicating through writing easier than speaking. If I needed to say something important or explain something, I found I could do it better through writing, where I could measure my words and tame my thoughts. As a child I would write books and stories — imitating the books I loved. Some of them I’m sure involved copyright infringement as they were imitation to the point of plagiarism, but it was good practice and eventually, I learned to be original. When I was an adolescent, full of drama and raw emotion as most adolescents are, I found writing poetry was more fulfilling. I never really wrote for anyone but myself. The first work I wrote for public viewing was The City of Light — a fantasy or allegory — about the end of the world. That book has recently been reissued as an eBook. The Tale of Lucia Grandi is my first novel.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your new book?

In this novel, a dying old woman is asked to tell the story of her life and so she tells about growing up in a troubled, warring suburban family in the 1950s and ’60s. It’s written as a memoir, where Lucia is the silent observer recording incidents in her family and illustrating the conflicts between them. Her conflict with her family grows as she grows, leading to the final crisis.

What prompted you to write Lucia Grandi?

I had so many stories I wanted to tell, but I’m not really a short story writer. A few years ago, while I was waiting to have my car repaired, an 83-year-old woman came into the waiting room where I sat by myself. She began talking to me — and before I knew it, she was telling me the story of her life. I thought of that afternoon when I searched for a framework in which to set the stories I wanted to tell. It seemed very compelling – an old woman looking back on a life she claims was not very interesting; yet, as the novel progresses, the stories she is telling are very interesting indeed.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

There is actually a line Lucia (the narrator) says several times throughout the book in slightly different ways: “It was simple, really, all I needed was a kind word, a human touch – which never came…”

Who is your favorite character and why?

This is a difficult question in the same way that I find it difficult to answer people who ask me if I have a favorite dog. I always say no — I love them all (and I do!); but I am closer to some than to others. The same with my characters. I love them all, but some I had more fun with, and some were more challenging, harder to get right. With the mother, Ruth, it was difficult to find that balance; it’s easy to characterize someone as evil or selfish, but even such people as these occasionally have some redeeming qualities. Ruth was characterized as hard, cold, domineering; but there are many moments when her vulnerability slips through. I had to make sure that I didn’t make her one-dimensional. I had a lot of fun with Lucia’s sister, Lynn – the eternal drama queen. Again, I had to work hard at preventing her from becoming a one-dimensional character.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The hardest part about writing this book was finding the time to write it in the midst of an overwhelming, demanding life. I tried to get up at 4 a.m. to write, but I’m not a morning person. I can’t think straight that early. So I had to settle for writing on weekends, holidays and summer vacations. That’s why it took me six years to write my first novel.

Do you do anything besides write?

Most writers have day jobs — and mine is a high school librarian. The advantage is that I get a summer vacation when I can write every day. Writing a book seemed a natural extension of being a librarian; after all those years of being the keeper-of-the-books, I finally wrote one.

How can my readers get a copy of LUCIA GRANDI, The Early Years?

It’s available in print and as an eBook from Amazon and Barnes&Noble. It’s also available from the publisher, Brook House Press: www.brookhousepress.org. It can also be special-ordered through local bookstores.

What’s next for you, Susan?

The ending of the book requires a sequel. I’m not overly fond of sequels, but it was either that or writing an 800 page book, which I really didn’t think the public would go for. Hopefully, it won’t take me another six years to write that one!

Thank you, Susan Speranza, for sharing your  story with me today. It was great to find out more about you and about your superb novel. I highly recommend Susan’s book to fiction lovers everywhere. Susan Speranza’s tale will hold your attention from the first word to the last:. This story of the human yearning to be loved, to be safe, cared for and understood, is told in words that will tug at your heart. My copy of THE TALE OF LUCIA GRANDI, The Early Years arrived at my doorstep last Tuesday. Don’t miss out… Order yours today!

Some links:

www.susansperanza.com

www.facebook.com/susansperanzaauthor

www.twitter.com/susansperanza

Author Interview by Bette A. Stevens
www.4writersandreaders.wordpress.com

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