Tag Archives: Friendship

NHWP’s Critique Partner Match Up

nhwp critique partner match upNew Hampshire authors ready to get some feedback from a fellow writer can sign up to be matched with a critique partner through the NH Writer’s Project Critique Partner Match through March 6th.  You must be a current member of NHWP to receive peer editing, critique, and commentary. Once matched, the NHWP encourages pairs to meet regularly (a minimum of four times over the course of the four month cycle) in order to share and give comment on your current projects. For more information and an application form, please visit the NHWP page.


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Writing Prompt Wednesday: Page 45

pick up the nearest book

“We’ll rent the rest of your equipment – that just leaves a mouthguard and a water bottle.” – Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson.  I’ve just finished reading this title that we’re considering for the new Isinglass Award list and I’ll write a review of it later.  As for the quote…I’ve been married for 21 years so…no comment!   Ok – your turn!


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Book Review: Under the Overpass

under the overpassWhen Mike Yankoski was a college student, he was met with a radical idea one Sunday while attending church –  “What if I stepped out of my comfortable life with nothing but God and put my faith to the test alongside of those who live with nothing every day?” The image that accompanied that question was one of the many homeless and hungry Americans he passed every day.

So began Yankoski’s plan to live for 5 months on the streets of a handful of U.S. cities and embrace Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:11-12, “I have learned what it means to be content in all circumstances, whether with everything or with nothing.”  Regarding the year’s worth of planning, which included convincing his parents and friends and finding a traveling partner in Sam Purvis, Yankoski writes that he and Sam “understood that we would not actually be homeless.  We’d only be travelers through the underworld of need-privileged visitors, really, because any time we wished, we could leave the streets and come home. Most people on the streets have no such option.”  Even with an escape plan, Yankoski and Purvis tough out life in the open and experience what it means to be one of the invisible homeless population – seen and not seen. And their notions of faith and the faithful are shattered.

“God probably isn’t calling you to live on the streets like He did Sam and me, but He is calling you–like He does each of His children–to take important risks of faith that are unique to you and your opportunities….” Yankoski writes of Christ’s call to his disciples as read in Matthew 16: 24-25, Then Jesus said to his disciples,’If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.’  and poses this challenge: How will you walk off the edge with Him?


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Friday Fun: Writers Are…

dating a writer

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January 22, 2016 · 6:33 am

Saturday Scramble: Altered Book Trees

I’ve been dying to try making one of these Altered Book Trees since a colleague made them two years ago to decorate the library and I finally cleared my schedule, gathered my supplies and muddled through some directions I found online.  Most of these were in video form, and sometimes I honestly don’t have the patience to sit through a video and I’d much rather get to the making, so I decided to make my own tutorial here…With simple pictures and written steps so you can get to your making too!  It’s so easy my 8 year old made one for her grandma with very little supervision from me so I could work on my tree, too.

First – Get paperback books that you do not mind ripping apart.*(if you are very offended by this, stop immediately, and skip down to the bottom for my
Note On The Guilt of Tearing Apart a Perfectly Good Book!


Second – Tear off cover.  Discard or save if you’ve got a craft to use it, but I don’t so into the recycle bin it went.

Third – Count out 200 pages and cut these apart from the rest of the book.


We tried this with 150 pages also but the 200 page tree curled nicely into itself to create a “fuller” tree.  Use a craft knife, pocket knife or do what we did and go with what’s lying around, like a dull knife to a wine bottle opener.

Fourth – Fold pages – do this in 3 steps. It’s just like folding a paper airplane, folks.  The bottom corner can be folded toward the front of the book or toward the back.  Put on a movie and off you go!

Continue folding until all 200 pages are done. The book will naturally curl into a cone.








Fifth – Affix tree to a pedestal –

I found short candlesticks ($1 each at the Goodwill) were perfect and elevated the entire craft literally and figuratively!  I used epoxy to affix a cardboard circle (hey, there’s a use for the paperback cover!) to the bottom of the tree to stabilize the folds and create a balanced, wide surface to attach the tree to the candlestick.






Sixth – Decorate! We experimented with ribbons and feathers and glitter…You may need to let go of your control so you can enjoy lots of controlled mess.  It’s amazing what you find you’ve collected in your craft stores when you dig.**

(Glitter: I watered down some basic Elmer’s school glue because that’s what I had on hand, had my daughter apply it with a sponge brush -also retrieved from my craft stash-  and then we stepped out on the back deck and liberally and generously shook glitter on it over the railing into the snow.)

WP_003095WP_003105Finish off with a topper. Another peek at my junk drawer produced an iridescent tie tack that perfectly matched the iridescent glitter I had used; after taking down the tree this year, Viv found this darling wooden snowflake in the needles which I grabbed from the dustpan. Perfect!

WP_003103Now you’ve got a lovely, inexpensive, thoughtful gift for a friend or for yourself! (I made two – one for a friend and one for myself)





*A Note On The Guilt of Tearing Apart a Perfectly Good Book: Plain and simple, I don’t feel it.  I chose books that I wouldn’t read, nor would I experience an unholy joy in defacing. It was all detached business.  I looked for a certain size, without page tears, mold or dampness.  After years of working in a library, the book novelty thing wears off – it has to – or you’d never be successful managing a collection.  Weeding happens. Books get damaged. Books go unpurchased and unread. If you don’t believe me, or agree, then that is your choice, but I caution you two things: Beware a future post upscaling a book into a wreath, and two, Next time we have a book sale, I should take pictures of the boxes of unsold books that fill a truck and are hauled off to book heaven, and then your guilt would immediately evaporate.  Repurpose an unwanted book for a new life of beauty and adoration.  Really.  There’s plenty of books that can be upscaled.

**I took my time decorating because I really wanted these trees to be special. I tested several ribbons by pinning a straight pin through the top and paper clipping the bottom of the ribbon in various ways before finally settling on something that clicked.  Then I used superglue because all of my bottles of Aleene’s craft glue had dried out…and I wanted to get to the making!

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TBTues: Blue Birds!


Tweet or post on FB about friendship with the #Bluebirdsbook for a chance to win these gorgeous notecards!

It’s nearly been a year since I started blogging in earnest, thanks to Caroline Starr Rose, an author friend who I have never met in person, but with whom I feel a great kinship nonetheless.

A year ago Caroline invited some of her readers to review her then-new middle grade verse novel, Blue Birds, and this week marks its paperback publication!  To celebrate, you can try your luck at snagging a free copy as well as these gorgeous notecards, so visit Caroline’s blog and read the details about reFacebooking/reTweeting and otherwise re-social-mediaizing on the theme of friendship using the hashtag #BlueBirdsbook from now until January 8th. You can read my review here, and if you do, I invite you to take a tour around the earlier blog posts…TL, DR…I’ll admit, since we’re talking about the topic of friendship here, that I specifically restructured the blog leading up to my Blue Birds review so that I could have a decent place to show off her book.  Yeah. The book really is that good and Caroline really is that special.  It was a wonderful excuse to revamp so I could create a space for writerly thoughts. Because that’s what friends – especially virtual friends – do.


Our Author Skype with Caroline Starr Rose

But why go through so much work for someone I’ve never *really* met? This author of May B., Over in the WetlandsBlue Birds, and two poetry anthologies holds a special place in my heart for a unique reason – Caroline provided our first-ever author Skype at the library. One of our patrons entered our book group in the “May B. Book Club Kit Giveaway”  in honor of Caroline’s first verse novel, May B., and her essay won! (Fun Fact: this patron many years later is now my Library Trustee Chair)

I was eager to bring innovative programming to our community, and with limited funding, an in-person author visit wasn’t possible. But an author visit over Skype was possible…And We Won…! Caroline was charming, gracious, truthful and just about everything a librarian wishes for in an author visit. I can speak for all of us in Libraryland, that if you’re an author and you’ve done something incredible for Libraries (or even something that seems small to you, it’s incredible to us), you’ve got a Friend For Life.

I admit that virtual friendship with this author is mostly on my side, but such is life in the Interwebby generation, and frankly, my work and work schedule is so intense that just the idea of a real-life Girl’s Night Out is kind of intimidating and exhausting and I’m all the more happy to uphold my virtual end and kick back at home and see my family.  Nevermind that she lives on the other side of the country.  I mean, we did meet via Skype. Virtual friendships are incredible because we get to meet or stay in touch with people distantly out of our geographic location. I’m thrilled with her continued success as if it were my own.

blue birdsIt’s probably my selfishness bubbling up again, but I thoroughly enjoy a cool intersection that includes books, writing, libraries, kids, and running but also manages to connect on more obscure topics of faith. Meeting (including virtually meeting) intelligent, creative moms in the church who are answering a call of creativity resonates with me because…well…that’s me too…around my work schedule and family responsibilities…and simple things like sleep. Meeting “mom authors” doesn’t happen that often so when it does I go into extreme fangirling mode….

*Gains control. Raises coffee mug*

So, my dear, Caroline, here’s to enough success to warrant Blue Birds‘ paperback release…and to much continued success in 2016!  Wishing you many blessings. I’m honored to be in the same tribe.


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Writing Prompt Wednesday: Write A Busy/Grateful List

grateful list

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December 23, 2015 · 7:57 pm