Winter’s stars fall in silence
Forests cloaked in peace
Wishing you a holiday brimming with the season’s sweetness
and a happy, healthy, bountiful, and peaceful new year ❤
Hannah Blatter is beginning her journey as an author of children’s books. I was enamored with her personal story and hope it warms your heart too. Over to Hannah:
In early 2019, I was diagnosed with panic disorder. It took me 10 years to make that step to seek help and receive an official diagnosis. When this happened, I felt like I was inferior, as a mother, as a wife, as a human being. I had these moments, hours, weeks, when I didn’t think I would ever reach my goals. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Like other people can handle this, but I can’t.
My son was 6 years old at the time, and I did not want to feel like I failed him. I didn’t want him to have high hopes and dreams and not go after them if he ever had a mental or physical illness. I never wanted him to feel like he was not good enough no matter what diagnoses he carried.
I have always had a background in art, working with design and illustrations. I wanted to give my son something, to show him that if there is something he wants to do, it’s possible. I had this idea stirring in my head from working with young children in my job.
When you ask them what they want to do when they grow up, they always say “a firefighter, doctor, mermaid!” and so on. Well, it’s wonderful that they have headway on their careers, however, what about what they want to see? Where do they want to go? There is so much in this world, why not open up their little minds to how much more there is.
I want my son to get the message that if you want to write a book or direct a movie, you can find resources to help you do that. If you want to drive on the longest bridge on earth, there are things you can do to make it happen. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be scared to do these things. It’s okay to say you’re scared to do these things. And most importantly, it’s okay to ask for help.
We all have our limitations, mentally, emotionally, physically. We have limitations in our knowledge, in our relationships, and in our environments. If we all gave in to our limitations, nobody would ever get anything done. It’s okay to accept these things and ask for help to work with them and around them.
So I am asking, graciously, for help to gain access to tools that will give me the ability to show my son that these things I say to him are true. I want to walk into a bookstore with him and see our book. I can say “Look, I get scared, I get upset. I am different. But, I can still do this, and so can you.”
What was the most difficult roadblock you overcame in publishing your first children’s book?
I’d love to hear your tips or advice.
Connect with Hannah on Instagram: @blatterhannah
My dog, Honey Bear, wrote a poem for Ani’s Advent 2019. Ani is Sue Vincent’s adorable and talented pup. The spelling is atrocious, but there is a translation for those who don’t read “dog.” I hope you get a smile. Happy Holidays from Honey Bear.
I’m having an interesting time with the resident cat here… I have to say, it isn’t as difficult to get on with as I thought it would be.
They are weird… but then, so are two-legses and I like them.
I mean, I’ve had a few problems with them before, invading my garden and such…
But maybe it is like she says about two-legses… you just have to get to know them, one at once, and then they seem different.
Mind you, Honey Bear seems to have got to know a bunch of them and the poem she sent me tells me that maybe I should still be a bit wary…
A translation by Diana Wallace peach of Honey Bear’s Poem:
Christmas with Cats
by Honey Bear
I don’t like cats
In the Christmas tree
They make a big mess
And blame it…
View original post 2,125 more words
It’s time to share a few more reviews. Another eclectic bunch: short stories, a middle-grade gem, and of course, speculative fiction. I have a stack of reading for the holidays. I hope I can add a book or two to yours.
I’ve read several of Cronin’s books of short stories, and this collection of eleven tales is as enjoyable as the others. I inhaled it in a single afternoon, completely immersed. As usual, the author includes a wonderful variety of tales from touching stories of eternal love in The Other Side of Heaven and Curtains, to adorable cuteness in Henry’s Story, and humor in Psychic Parrot. Highly recommended for anyone who loves short stories and well-told tales.
I had no idea how much I would enjoy this book. It seems appropriate for middle-grade readers with short chapters and a charming story, but will appeal to younger kids as a chapter book, as well as adults.
Matica is the ten-year-old daughter of missionaries in Peru. She has a disability that leaves her tiny for her age and socially isolated from the indigenous community. She befriends a pair of condors and her adventures begin, changing her life in marvelous ways. Matica is delightful, caring, and undaunted by these giant birds.
The setting adds to the book’s interest as well as the details on the condors. Matica interprets the bird’s “language” which adds a bit of magic to the tale. The pace is just right and the plot wraps up nicely with more to come. A wonderful first book in the series. Highly recommended.
An alien invasion is imminent, and Landon Thorne goes from being a recently fired college professor to a much sought-after expert. His unconventional theories on ancient alien astronauts have caught the attention of top-secret government operatives and a group of mysterious bad guys.
This is classic first-contact sci-fi, and Cross appears to have done her research. Combine fact with a dose of imagination and a bunch of ruthless characters, and this is a story that moves at a fast clip.
And those “ruthless characters” include just about everyone. The main characters are well-rounded, ambitious, competitive, and argumentative. And Cross has no problem letting characters cross the line and/or killing them off.
The Gate, the first book in the Astral Conspiracy series, leaves off with a cliff-hanger, so be prepared to read the next books to reach the conclusion of the tale. Highly recommended for readers of sci-fi thrillers.
More to come. Have a lovely holiday season and Happy Reading!
Oh, my. What amazing stories this month. Somehow, magically, when I thought up the Challenge, I knew I’d be diving into some wonderful creativity. I loved the mystery of the characters, the slow reveals, and how the “show” hooked me. I enjoyed every single one and was sad to see them end. Thank you to all who participated and to all those who stopped by to read. I hope you were as mesmerized as I was.
Here are the stories from November’s Challenge. I hope you enjoy them.