Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

IWSG, Books-Books and MORE Books, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:   Ronel Janse van Vuuren , J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner Sandra Cox, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

This month's question is: Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

What prevents me from finishing a book is bad writing, poor editing, over-used tropes/archetypes, and maybe predictability and pretentiousness. If the simplest or most complicated story is well written and can take me away (like a Calgon bath) then I'm all in. 

HAPPY 2021!
Happy Three Kings Day!
(AKA The Twelfth Day of Christmas)
7222 Adoración de los Reyes Magos
The Adoration of the Magi by El Greco

May we be the instruments of peace.
It is the 17th day of the Age of Aquarius. 
It never occurred to me when I saw Hair in San Francisco in 1970 and the cast sang, "It is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius" that I was actually going to be around to witness it.
What a long strange trip it's been.
I didn't post last month because I got locked out of my Google account and couldn't sign-in to my blog. FOUR times I tried and kept getting redirected to the Account Recovery page. Four times I had to wait five days to get recovery verifications. Four times I was redirected to the same page and had to start all over again. It was like being on a mobius strip trip, an endless loop that never went to a new place where I could change my password. But FINALLY, on December 30th, on the fifth try, I ran across one suggestion I hadn't seen before which said to try signing in on a different device. Well, I only recently got my first smart phone. I took a deep breath and by God it worked!

I got pretty stagnate this past year. Didn't do a lick of writing except for my blog. Did a little yard work, but it's been so very dry here (barely 4 inches of rain since June) that there hasn't been much of point. We had a horrible hail storm in May that took out two trees one of which landed on our roof. It's the worst storm I've seen in my 40 years of living here and we're still waiting for repairs to happen. I could go on, but I won't, because I'm absolutely sure of two thing, EVERYone has tales of woe and going on about it won't do a thing to help or change it, but instead will more than likely only make it worse. SO, instead, here's a list of books I read during the confusing, anxious, trying times that were 2020. 

A Singular Hostage - Thalassa Ali
News of the Spirit - Lee Smith
The Last Kind Words Saloon - Larry McMurtry
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Companions of Paradise - Thalassa Ali
American Dirt - Jeanie Cumming
The Time Keeper - Mitch Albom
Dance Hall of the Dead - Tony Hillerman
Borderlands - James Carlos Blake
Finding Emilie - Laurel Corona
Vintage St. John - Valerie Sims 
Dragon Song - Anne McCaffrey
Dragon Singer - Anne McCaffrey
Bitter Trail - Elmer Kelton
Sacred Clowns - Tony Hillerman
Voyagers: The Third Ghost - IWSG
The Book of the Dun Cow - Walter Wangerin (a reread)
Black Elk Speaks - Black Elk
The Book of Merlin - T. H. White (a reread)
The Moon Stone - Wilke Collins
Start Where You Are - Pema Chodron
All the Way to Memphis - Suzanne Hudson
The Eye of Zeitoon - Talbot Mundy
The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson - Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez (Wow!)
Crome Yellow - Aldous Huxley
Olaf the Glorious - Robert Heighton
The Way to Timbuktu - Pat Ryan
The First Eagle - Tony Hillerman
Luck Star and the Pirates of the Asteroids - Isaac Asimov
Kenny and the Dragon - Tony DiTerlizzi
A Thousand Questions - Saadia Feruqui
The Girl Who Sailed the Stars - Matilda Woods
Squirm - Carl Hiaasen
Wishtree - Katherine Applegate
Forever Free - Joe Halderman
City of Islands - Kali Wallace
A Step Away from Paradise - Thomas Shor
The Emperor's Tomb - Steve Berry
The Jumbies - Tracey Baptiste
Driving Blind - Ray Bradbury

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful that 2020 is now hindsight. 
I know 2021 won't be easy, but at least I'm hopeful.

What are you thankful for? Did you do much reading in 2020? Did you start a book and not finish it? What are your hopes for 2021?

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

IWSG, Being Thankful.

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts: Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

This month's question is: Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write.

I have no idea why I write what I write. I know that I started out writing high fantasy, which went nowhere, because I wanted it to be like Tolkien. Then I tried to write like John Steinbeck, which also went nowhere. Then I kind of wanted to be deep and meaningful in the way that Kahlil Gibran is. That, obviously, didn't work either. Finally I took the writing courses through The Institute of Children's Literature and, at least, found my own voice. 

I guess I write what I write because you can take the girl out of the island but you can't take the island out of the girl. It goes back to writing what you know. And what I know is what it was like to be raised on an island in the Caribbean. 

But wait! That doesn't explain this other crazy novel of mine that takes place in Tibet in the 1950s. Go figure.

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for not having much to say.
I am reminded of the KISS principal:
Keep It Simple Stupid.

What are you thankful for? To you know why you write what you write? Are you surviving these turbulent times? 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

IWSG, The Real America, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner! 

This month's question is: When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

I'm not a serious working writer. I'm lazy, a procrastinator, and not very consistent. So, I guess that puts me in the hobby camp. Does that bother me, or make me feel inferior, or make me doubt my writing ability? No.

Okay, that's out of the way, on to other things. 

At the beginning of the year I was excited at the prospect of going home this month to the Virgin Islands to visit my sister, attend my 50th class reunion, and generally hang out of family and friends. I was going to be gone a month. Of course all of that has changed 
So, today, I'm going to repost something from three years ago, the last time I got to go home. It's long, so skip it, if you want. It's also kind of a prophetic.

The Real America

I don't use this blog to be political. But in the wake of Charlottesville, I have a story to tell. And this is without a doubt, the longest post I've ever written

I grew up in a white minority in the Virgin Islands. In 1955, my sister and I were the first (and only) white kids at the public school on St. John. I was one of six white kids in my high school graduating class. While I was in the islands last month eight of us were able to get together for dinner.
We are a beautiful rainbow.

The older I get the more grateful I am that I was raised in the Virgin Islands and that my family has been in the area over 100 years. My sister still lives on St. Thomas and I have cousins who live on St. JohnSt. Thomas, and Puerto Rico. We are a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural family.

Act I 
Scene I
On August 15th I got to the airport in St. Thomas and learned the plane coming from Atlanta had been delayed, which meant it would arrive late to St. Thomas, which meant it would be late returning to Atlanta, which meant I would miss my connecting flight to San Antonio. The lady who to took care of me at check-in assured me I'd get a flight out of Atlanta the morning of the 16th and that the airline would put me up for the night.

Scene II
There was a most gorgeous sunset as we flew across the ocean and traveled up the Florida coast. The massive clouds were painted golden-yellow with streaks of orange and red while rays of sunlight shot upwards from behind the clouds, a giant fan of light.

Scene III
Coming into Atlanta, off to the southwest, a huge thunder storm was in progress. The clouds were lit up by massive flashes of lighting. It was better than fireworks at Disneyland.

Act II
Scene I
Once on the ground in Atlanta I asked a lady at the gate what I had to do next and was politely told where I had to go and to whom I had to speak. I followed her directions and secured my next day's boarding pass and a voucher for a hotel room and was told how to find the shuttle that would take me to the hotel. "Don't be afraid to ask anyone for help," the lady told me. On the way there, just to make sure, I did ask help from a young woman who walked me to where I needed to go.

Scene II
The shuttle driver took my bag and I, along with others, were loaded into a small bus and taken to the hotel. A handsome young man with a beautiful smile whizzed back and forth behind the counter in a wheel chair, checked us in and give us our room keys. I asked when I needed to get myself to the airport to catch my morning flight. He suggested 6 AM "To be on the safe side. The shuttle leaves every 15 minutes so if you're downstairs by 5:30/quarter to 6 you'll be fine." I was given a large comfortable room and though I had only 5 hours of sleep, it was a good sleep.

Scene III
I left a tip on the bed for the maid and went to drop off the key. The same young man who’d checked me in whizzed out from a side room to greet me with his beautiful smile. “You’re still here?” I asked. He laughed. “I think live here sometimes!” By 5:30 I was waiting for the shuttle to take me to the airport. A few others were waiting as well. A cheery older gentleman soon showed up, greeted us all and loaded our bags. Inside the shuttle soft, smooth jazz was playing.

Scene I
I had a precheck boarding pass so I got to avoid the long lines through security. Even so, my carry-on was pulled aside after being x-rayed. An older man was training a young man. They had spotted my baggy of sand. Even though they knew it was sand, the older man question the young man on what the procedure was when encountering something like that. The young man politely asked me to refrain from putting my hands anywhere near my bag. He removed the baggy, opened it, tested it and, finding it to be benign, returned it to where he gotten it. He apologized for the inconvenience. I told him I was happy to help with his training. I was then told how to get to my gate.

Scene II
It was, by this time, barely 6 AM. Walking to my gate I stopped at a restaurant, thinking to have breakfast and was told they wouldn't be open until 6:30. I continued on to my gate and outside through the large plate glass windows a brilliant, golden sunrise blazed in the sky. I felt calm and peaceful about everything. Life was good, my journey uneventful despite the delay, and people had been friendly and helpful.

Scene III
There was no one else at the gate when I sat down to wait for the restaurant to open. I didn't think about where I sat, I simply picked a seat. And there, hanging from the ceiling in front of me was a TV screen. Blaring from the screen were horrible images of hate with people screaming horrible words of hate and bigotry. I'd seen some images on facebook, but I hadn't seen any "news" as I'd pretty much been without TV for a month. Something inside me broke. In a flash, tears welled up in my eyes and I began to sob. I couldn't control it. I happen to have a napkin and pressed it to my eyes trying to staunch the flow. But they wouldn't stop coming. How could there be such people? How could they believe as they believed? How could they say such things? Where was the compassion for our fellow humans? How could this be happening in America? My heart was breaking and my soul being torn. In Bob Dylan's words, "Insanity is smashin' up against my soul."

Act IV
Scene I
So there I was, quietly sobbing into a napkin, trying not to cry out loud and make a scene when, from across the other side of the terminal, a woman approached. She stopped about 10 or 15 feel away from me and asked, "Ma'am, are you okay?" I looked up at her and without hesitation said, "No." Pointing at the TV I said through tears, "I don't understand it. It's breaking my heart, my soul is aching. I can't believe this is happening." And so the conversation began. We talked for a good half-hour, about life and how "those people" on the TV were a small minority making a lot a noise. That most of us, and she indicated me, the people working at the airport and the travelers, were just trying to live their lives in peace. She told me she not only worked full time for the airline, but was a nurse and owned a business, that her own family was multi-racial and that "those people" weren't worthy of the ground they walked on. 
Scene II
Did I mention she was a black lady? I told her I'd grown up in the Virgin Islands, in a white minority. That it was a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment that, for the most part, was and is, extraordinarily tolerant and accepting of diversity and that I couldn't wrap my head around the news. She told me a story of how, on the day Trump was elected, a white man felt emboldened to be rude and called her a black fat-assed bitch. This, to an attractive slender woman in her late 30s, early 40s, with long braids pulled together that hung down to her waist. In response to him she looked around and asked the man who he was speaking to? And he said he was talking to her. She then asked what gave him the right to speak to her in that manner. And he said, "Now that Trump's been elected, it's called free speech." After he left she was so shaken she had to move to another department for a few days to calm down. I asked her how she handled it, how she dealt with the hatred. She told me every morning she gets up and thinks rainbows and puts rainbows around people. We talked about so much. Like how she thought we'd already been through this and it was like going backwards in time. How I'd lived through the 60s and the Civil Rights Movement and the riots and it was like going back in time. But finally the moment came when she had to get back to work. I thanked her for talking with me. “I would do the same for anyone I saw in distress.” We hugged, and held each other for several long seconds. I wished her a most blessed day and year and watched her walk away, my life forever changed. As I told my sister, I will not be tolerant of intolerance. (An oxymoron for sure.) I know in my heart, if I see or hear intolerance within my sphere of existence that I will not be able to keep my mouth shut that I will have to speak up and defend what is right. Nazi salutes and intolerance towards human beings different from ourselves is WRONG, PERIOD.

Did I tell you that EVERY SINGLE PERSON I dealt with, from the lady in the St. Thomas airport to the lovely man at the hotel to the flight attendant who greeted me as I boarded the plane to San Antonio, was black? And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, was kind, courteous, helpful, and friendly.

That is the Real America.

Pictures of diversity from other class reunions. 
The smiles on our faces are genuine. We always have a blast when we get together, picking up where we left off, as if we'd been separated only a few days rather than years.

Not long after this post, Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Three years later (just last month) my sister FINALLY got a FEMA tarp for her damaged roof. She is still without electricity and continues to wait patiently for the day when materials and contractors will be available so she can get her home repaired.

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for diversity.
And for rainbows. 
Let's put rainbows around each other, even those with whom we have a problem.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

IWSG, My Dream Beta Partner, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

This month's question is:  If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

Before I answer the question... Oh Lord, Blogger has changed the format. I don't like it. Things aren't nearly as easy to find, nor do I seem to be able to manipulate pictures as easily. First it was Facebook, now it's Blogger. What next? Is someone going to secretly come into my home and change the format on TV channel flipper? Hasn't 2020 been hard enough without these added mind bending changes? GAAAAKKKK. *she screams in dispair*  Okay, I got that off my chest. Now, on to nicer things.

Back to the question. I'm going to go with John Steinbeck. Wait! Maybe I should go with Ray Bradbury, or J.R.R. Tolkien, or A.A. Milne, or...WAIT! Jack London! Yes, maybe it should be Jack London. (Why are there no women on this list?)

Steinbeck it is. Currently he appeals to my sense of ignorance and inability. 

"I am assailed with my own ignorance and inability…Sometimes, I seem to do a good little piece of work, but when it is done it slides into mediocrity…"

"My work is no good, I think — I’m desperately upset about it…I’m slipping. I’ve been slipping all my life."

"Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it."

John Steinbeck's 6 Rules on Writing

1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for air conditioning.
It's been hot, hot, hot. 97, 98 with too many days at 100 or better. 
So, air conditioning is something to be really thankful for. 
I think about the pioneers, particularly the women in all those long skirts and petticoats and corsets, working, travelling, caring for children, and COOKING over a fire place or wood stove in this heat. 
We are all so soft.

What are you thankful for? Who would you want as a beta partner? Do you like the new Blogger format?

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG, Thoughts, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

This month's question is: Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."

Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

I don't know. I've written in many different forms and genres and for many different age groups. So I guess the answer is that I've simply written "my truth."
I blew past June and July. They slipped away without my noticing. Sometimes I think I'm just being lazy. Other times I think I don't care anymore. Then there are times when I'm just not inspired, my mind is a blank and I wonder how others can find so much to say, and have so many things to write about, or so many wonderful newsy things to announce. Me? I'm feeling somewhat drained.

I have questions that can't be answered.

How did we (and I mean all of humanity around the world) let things go so wrong/bad? Why are some people so very angry and hostile? When and how did some of us appear to have lost our ability to be civil and kind and compassionate to each other despite our particular beliefs or philosophies of life? How did we become so polarized? When did we loose the ability to compromise? When did we loose the ability to debate our differences calmly, logically, and with civility and without resorting to name-calling, blaming, and threatening? Is it that we have always been this way but that we were hiding our deep-seated "true" beliefs/feelings behind a thin veneer of  denial and lies? When did we loose trust in science, which seems illogical to me as it permeates our lives from the electricity in our homes to the hand-held computers we carry around, from medical advancements to space exploration, from the study of sub-atomic particles to the cars we drive? On and on and on. I went to a private parochial school, my sister to a Catholic school. Both of us were taught religion and science, side by side. Studying science did not teach me to loose faith in God. Studying the Bible did not teach me that science is false. What it taught me is that they are not incompatible, that it isn't one or the other and can't be both. To say that they are incompatible is almost like saying that because I speak and write only English that all other languages are wrong/false. I am confused and disheartened.

For my own sanity, I search for up-lifting, inspiration, positive quotes and memes to post on Facebook. I post them for me, to remind myself of the kind of person, the kind of human, I want to be. I leave you with a few. My heart is sore, but I will ever strive to be kind and to be compassionate. 

Being Thankful
Today I am thankful I got to see comet Neowise. 
Comet Neowise over Joshua Tree National Park

(Not my photo) Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) captured over Joshua Tree National Park, California on July 21st, 2020 at 05:03 UTC
Despite my moaning and feeling sorry for myself I am continually awed by the beauty of nature and the universe which lets me know there is something much bigger than myself out there. Our little island planet home is all we have and in the grand scheme of things, is an insignificant dust mote. Let us remember that as we go forth into our daily lives. How we treat this planet, which gives us life, is a direct reflection on how we treat each other. Let us remember that no matter how "different" we may think we are from each other, we all cry and laugh in the same language.
Namaste. Go With Peace. 

What are you thankful for? Are you questioning yourself? Your belief system? Others? And what about this month's question, have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Monday, July 20, 2020

New Resource & Giveaway Alert: The Occupation Thesaurus Writing Guide Is Here!

Hi everyone! Today I have something fun to share...a special chance to win some help with your writing bills. Awesome, right?

Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I'm part of their street team. I'm handing the blog over to them today so they can tell you a bit about their Writer's Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!

Certain details can reveal a lot about a character, such as their goals, desires, and backstory wounds. But did you know there's another detail that can tie your character's arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the "get to know the character" curve for readers?

It's true. Your character's occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.

Think about it: how much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles, or helping you live your truth?

Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.

Maybe you haven't thought much about jobs in the past and how they act as a window into your character's personality, interests, and skills. It's okay, you aren't alone. The good news is that The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. (Here's one of the job profiles we cover in this book: FIREFIGHTER.)


To celebrate the release of a new book, Writers Helping Writers has a giveaway happening July 20th & July 23rd. You can win some great prizes, including gift certificates that can be spent on writing services within our Writer's Showcase. Stop by to enter!

Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters

Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past.

What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right?

To access this list, GO HERE. 

Happy writing to all!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

IWSG, Bad Fairy by Elaine Kaye, Book Tour, Giveaway

I APOLOGIZE to Chrys Fey and her mother, Elaine Kaye. This was supposed to have been posted today but for some reason it was still on draft. My excuse is, it's been a hard week for me from last Wednesday to today. Suffice it to say, we had a bad storm and lost two trees. Then there's the political and social unrest. Then there's going back to work when I don't really want to, but have to. I haven't even check my emails.

Anyway... Here she is, Elaine Kaye! 
This sounds like a charming story.

I'm pleased to introduce Chrys Fey's mother, Elaine Kaye, who is debuting her first middle grade novel...

Series: A Bad Fairy Adventure (Book One)
Author: Elaine Kaye
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Fantasy Middle Grade
Length: 66 pages
Age Range: 8-12

Thistle Greenbud is not a bad fairy. She simply doesn't like rules, and it's just her luck that her homework is to create a new rule for the fairy handbook. But first, she has more important things to do. Like figure out how to get back at Dusty and Moss for playing tricks on her.

Before she can carry out her plan, though, disaster strikes and she finds herself working alongside the very fairies she wanted revenge on. Can they work together and trust each other, or will things go from bad to worse?


What do fairy houses look like?
Fairy houses are usually made out of sticks, pinecone scales, or tree bark. For chairs, they use uncapped acorns, mushrooms, and stones. They can also make furniture, such as sofas, out of sticks. Their beds are hammocks made out of silky spiderwebs. They have a lot of the same furniture we have. Even kitchen tables and desks.

For light, when it gets dark, fairies put fireflies in cages. But don’t worry, when the fairies go to bed, they set the fireflies free. In fact, fairies and fireflies are good friends.

They use walnut shells for bowls and smaller shells for cups. Sycamore seeds (aka helicopter seeds) are often turned into spoons by fairies. Leaves are, of course, used for a lot, including clothes and napkins. Grass and straw can be made into rugs, too.
Fairies pretty much utilize anything in nature. Nothing is ever wasted.

In Bad Fairy, Nutter Mills is the factory where fairy clothes and furniture are made with spiderwebs and thistledown, the fluffy-like material that protects the tops of thistles.

(This is me, Bish. I've spotted these fairy houses made of stones. Some people may misidentify them as cairns, but those of us who believe in fairies know better.)

Here is an excerpt that describes Thistle Greenbud’s bedroom.

My room is the color of deep pink with a red hammock-bed covered with a maroon, fluffy blanket. Dried pink, red, and purple flowers hang upside down, decorating the walls. Next to my bed is a nightstand, and my desk is by the window. I gaze out that window more than I do my homework. Ssh, don’t tell.

I open my closet and stare at the options. Raspberry red, cherry red, pomegranate red? Or maybe something pink. Strawberry pink, watermelon pink, peach pink? Next to my shirts and dresses hang black skirts, shorts, and pants. I choose a currant-red shirt and a black skirt.

Soon, I am out the door, cruising up to the tree tops. A gentle breeze makes it easier to do loop-de-loops, crazy eights, and somersaults. Not to brag but I am the best at flying tricks. I’m doing a somersault when something whizzes past my ear.

What in Fairy Land was that?

I don’t remember seeing bees. It couldn’t have been a fly because they live closer to the ground. Flies and bees are good friends with fairies. Gnats and fleas are another story, but I’m too high for those bugs to bother me.

I start flying again.


Something pelts me in my ear.

I freeze midair, with my hands on my hips, and glare at my surroundings. I strain my pointy ears. Laughter. Someone is laughing at me!


3 Signed Paperback Picture Books –
Pea Soup Disaster, Doctor Mom, The Missing Alphabet

Eligibility: International

Number of Winners: One

Giveaway Ends: July 1, 2020 12:00am Eastern Standard Time


Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She first created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup, thus inspiring the story Pea Soup DisasterBad Fairy is her middle grade debut and the first of A Bad Fairy Adventure series.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher’s assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.

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