Winterfrost’s First Craft for Kids! A Tisket a Tasket, Please Add it to YOUR Basket — or Box

IMG_0031Who knows what a story “box” is? Well, in case you’ve never heard of one, it’s the “box” most writers use to produce a story. It’s not always a box — many writers keep notebooks that they journal in for years and years. Then one day, they happen on a “blip,” a “blurb,” a “blog,” anything — picture, article, news story, something — that inspires them to write a story — fiction or non-fiction — but something that they are very interested in!

But, how do they start? Well, some of us start as young children; keeping notebooks filled with drawings and scribbles of stories that we now write. But, there’s more to it. Writers are very “visual”. They see things! They can look at a picture, a statue, a photograph, a scene — or something larger, like a piece of history, and want to know more! One thing leads to another, and a story is born! So, today, you are going to find your inner storyteller — your inner author and hopefully, this will take you into this wonderful realm, throughout your life!

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Step 1:   Find your “box.” Your very own box that you can keep all the things that you collect for your story telling. This does not have to be a “box” — it can be a basket, a cereal box, a shoe box, a bowl, plastic container or even a jar! Something that you can decorate with things you love, so that anyone who looks at it, knows it’s yours! Be sure whatever it is, it is large enough to hold:

  • a notebook, IMG_0039IMG_0033
  • pen or pencil,
  • some colored pencils,
  • a small scissor,
  • glue stick,
  • a straight edge
  • your favorite book andIMG_0038
  • maybe your favorite gnome!

    Phillip Tuber

    Phillip Tuber

P. S. “Boots and britches, do not leave this laying around in everyone’s way. Keep it in your room, on your desk or in your closet.”

Step 2: Decorate your “box” with whatever you want. There is not right or wrong way. Ask your mom or dad to help you get some:

  • magazines, for pictures that you can cut out,
  • old photos that you can glue,
  • drawing paper, to create your own art,
  • wrapping paper,
  • scrapbook paper.

Ask them if they’ll get pictures off the web for you! Or, you can:

  • write your name in big letters and decorate the letters — draw a picture around each letter,
  •  use a favorite coloring page– color it and2015-06-17 00.05.53 glue it on the box,
  • yarn and ribbon,
  • paint it with watercolor paints,
  • old plastic buttons,
  • old fake flowers — take them apart and use just the petals — or use them whole,
  • old pieces of costume jewelry that your mom has laying around — maybe for a pirate’s treasure box! Argh!
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After all, this is YOUR BOX, your treasure — the sky’s the limit. Take your time, because as you’re doing this, I’ll bet you think of a lot of great stories.

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P. S. Clean up your STUFF after you have decorated it. Do not leave a mess!

Step 3: Start your collection! You might want to use old envelopes that have been opened, to collect certain things. For instance:

  • an envelope (or ten) for pictures of your family, or cats, or airplanes, or dogs, or dolls, or flowers — you get the picture. Whatever you love — get a picture of it, put it in an envelope and label the envelope! Soon, it will be bulging at the seams, and time for another one. But, if you keep pictures in an envelope — they won’t get smushed and wrinkled.

Write a word or two on the back of each picture you collect, number them, and start your “blurbs.”

For example: picture #1 is my cat Skye. In my notebook, I might write: “Skye was a feral cat and is now very friendly, tame and spoiled. (All true!) She is two years old and very fast!

  • Skye

    PICTURE #1 Skye was rescued in September 2014. She is  very small, very friendly and very fast.

And that’s how you begin! As you collect and write, or draw, you will find a common thread — something you are “passionate” about — very interested.

The more you collect, the more you will want to tell your story. Remember, it’s YOUR STORY. Don’t worry about misspells, punctuation, erasures — just write, and write, and write and write. The rest comes later, that’s called revisions and editing. We’ll get to that  — RIGHT NOW, JUST WRITE! Oh, and read!

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  • Step 4: READ all you can about things you want to write about. Keep a list in your notebook! Title and author. Be a critic!  Like it? Yes or no? Why? Favorite part of the story? Jot it down. The more you read, the easier it becomes to write. You’ll notice parts of the book, how the author uses words. Even if all you do is look at the  “illustrations”– the pictures, look at them closely, they are very cool. And, if you want to be an illustrator, they will give you something to work towards.

Enjoy this craft and keep your Story Box handy. You could be finding all kinds of stuff that you’ll want to add to it!

As always, leave me a reply! Can’t wait to hear from you!

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Describe YOUR Favorite Gnome!

 I must admit that ever since I was a little girl, I have believed that gnomes and fairies were real — and still do! I must admit, that my favorite one is Phillip! No surprise there! He lives in the village of Twistedoak, has a squirrel friend named Edward and wellllllll, a bunch of other friends.

Phillip, as you know, if you’ve read Winterfrost, has gone on a very to save his brother, Phallow, but before he left, he had time to spend in his garden with Edward. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of Winterfrost.

Describe your favorite gnome and his or her garden, and where they live! Twistedoak? Brokenfell? Or a place of their own! As always, don’t forget to leave me a Comment!

If you haven’t read WINTERFROST, you can click on any of the pictures and buy it through Amazon.com.

CHAPTER I: Phillip’s Garden

A blue, summer sky smiled upon Phillip’s garden. Colorful butterflies danced from flower to flower as crickets chirped and bees buzzed along herb-filled windowsills. Rows of neatly tended plants lined the soft soil and stretched their hungry leaves towards the warm, mid-morning sun. Lush plants cradled shiny, red tomatoes and yellow squash grinned from beneath curly vines. Phillip puffed from his carved pipe as he stood between rows of taters and onions.

“A beautiful morning,” smiled Phillip.

Phillip was a little gnome who lived in an old oak tree on the side of a grassy hill. He stood about two feet tall and wore purple pants with an orange patch on the right knee. His favorite red suspenders  fell neatly on top of a bright blue shirt. A pointed, green-rimmed hat sat atop his bald head and a long flowing brown beard hung down to his belt and ended in a curly point. Streams of purple smoke rose from his pipe as he surveyed the progress of his garden. A brown squirrel named Edward hopped along the fence that bordered his yard.

“Good Morning, Edward.”

“Mornin’, Phillip,” replied the squirrel as he picked a juicy tomato from one of the large, green tomato plants. “Your garden has really come along this summer. It looks great!

“Yes indeed it has! Thank you!” exclaimed the gnome. “I’m very pleased with it’s progress. We had a bit of trouble with the squash and cucumbers early on in the season. Some nasty little critters were eating them to pieces, but thankfully Mr. Curlyvine showed me how to get them under control with a special type of vegetable oil. I still see an occasional bug from time to time.”

Edward hopped down from the fence and disappeared under a few of the broad, green leaves of the squash plants.

“Found a few!” he proclaimed when he finally popped back up. As he flicked the bugs over the fence, he noticed that Phillip was deep in thought and staring out into the distant hills.

“Thinking about _________________ ?

YOU, Complete the Story

For the next weeks, until the beginning of the first craft, Phillip and Roscoe suggested that I give you an excerpt from one of the four books: The Ragwort Chronicles; The Beginning, Along the Way or Phillip’s Quest; Winterfrost or Above the Stars and YOU complete the story!

Remember, these are actual paragraphs from one of the books, but you can complete the rest — and maybe, draw a picture! So, here it goes!

Excerpt from “The Ragwort Chronicles, The Beginning: The Ragworts of Brokenfell:”
Chapter I: The Master Carpenter of Brokenfell Village

A blue autumn sky grinned upon the gnome village of Brokenfell. Cheerful voices danced amidst the mid-morning breeze. Busy towns-folk hustled and bustled along cobblestone streets and by crowded storefronts. Thomas Toadstool, the town’s blacksmith, clanked away with his iron hammer while wisps of steam hissed up from his bucket. Across the street, under the colorful blue and orange tents of the town’s market, argued two farmer gnomes, ______________ and ________________.(fill in names) Arguing about nothing was a normal activity for these two. They just enjoyed the art of arguing. 

You can make this into your own story or draw a picture, or both! Don’t forget to send your story or pictures to me by filling in the comment space on my page! And, be sure to subscribe, “Boots ‘n’ Britches,” happy writing and drawing!

What to do? What to do?

Twenty days from today the gang at Winterfros t– Phillip, Dreamspinner, Edward, Llamont, Oli, some of the others and I will be posting the very first craft of the summer! As Edward would say, “Nuts and acorns, that’s exciting!” Right now, the main issue amongst the contributors — all of the above and more, is who goes first. And, I have to make that decision. They all have such good ideas, but I think I am going to use Dreamspinner’s idea. It will be a project that will take you well into the summer months and beyond — hopefully, you will keep it forever!!! Got any idea of what that might be?

Sign up for this page, and you can guess anytime before June 23rd! Just send me a message and if you’re right — there will be a prize! Dreamspinner is a dinosaur, so she likes big prizes and while it may not be big in size, it’a pretty cool!

Here, is a picture of the likeness of Dreamspinner, right after she was repurposed from an old dinosaur toy. Now, she can travel with me wherever I go!

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Exciting Gnews for Crafty Kids!

Beginning June 23rd and every Tuesday throughout the summer, there will be a new, fun craft or recipe for kids! It could be anything from Seaweed Salad and Eyeballs to how to build a gnome home — you’ll just have to subscribe to the Winterfrost Craft Page to see! Hope that you join up, it’ll be fun!

At the end of each book of both series– Phillip’s Quest and The Ragwort Chronicles, there are recipes. Part of this craft section will include some of the real live recipes from the gnomes, fairies and squirrels — maybe one or two from pirates, too! Hope you’ll enjoy the tasty treats!!!

April Showers Bring May Flowers — and Ragworts!

Busy days ahead for the Ragwort family!

“The Ragworts are taking center stage for the month of May,” says Rawlink Ragwort. “My brother Roscoe’s story about his treacherous journey through the Dark Forest and Bandersnatch Swamp is about to be released in the very exciting book, The Ragwort Chronicles, Along the Way: Roscoe’s Journey.”

Such is the news from Winterfrost Publishing — hot off the press! Roscoe is still recovering from his terrifying journey and encounters with such creatures as the mold-trolls; Llora, the Witch of the Dark Forest, and her wolves. With help from his good friend, Timonius Toad, he managed to escape her clutches and survive!

See the wonderful illustrations of Annie Wilkinson and a new, exciting story about the lovable Roscoe Ragwort. Reserve your copy NOW by completing the form on this website — it won’t be available until May 19, 2015, OR come visit the author at these locations during the month of MAY …

05/02/15 – Arts Alive! at the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts, Manassas, VA

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Prospero’s Books, 9129 Center Street, Manassas, VA

05/23/15Local Author Fair, Bull Run Library, 2-4 p.m., 8051 Ashton Ave., Manassas, VA

Orders for this newest version of The Ragwort Chronicles, will be taken at the Hylton Center or on this website.A SPECIAL pre-order price of $13.50 will be honored until 05/10/15.

Hope to see you soon!

Easter is Not Just for Rabbits!

Edward the Squirrel, here! Just want to remind all of you that Easter is not just for rabbits, chicks and ducks! Squirrels like Easter, too! Oli, Piper and I have been busy since the Vernal Equinox, clearing and cleaning out the ol’ nest and getting it ready for the nice weather. Here, in Twistedoak, the buds have already burst and there are beautiful flowers everywhere. We’ve been busy digging up our buried acorns getting them dried out and ready for some of Oli’s famous biscuits, (page of Phillip’s Quest, Book 1: WInterfrost).squirrel

Now, back to the Easter thing. We’re always running around being busy and you should be, too! Especially because there’s Spring Break coming up! Instead of having those kids of yours inside, playing with those video games and driving you nutz, buy them a book! Even an e-book to read! Nutz and acorns!!! Expand their minds!!!

Did you know that our PQ books (short for Phillip’s Quest, in editor lingo)have all kinds of things in it? Goodness me, there are two maps, one from Twistedoak to Winterfrost and one, just a map of Twistedoak! That’s the one I like. Have your kids draw a map, like the ones in the PQ books, of your house, your street, your village! You can even get them started by teaching them which direction is North! Or, tonight, look for the North star!!! Who knows, they might even see Azur, the Blue Wizard!

In the back of Winterfrost, there’s even a family tree! Not my family tree — we’d need at least a whole book! But, there’s the Tuber family tree — funny names those Tuber folks! Sound like a bunch of potatoes, if you ask me. Anywho — the kids could do a family tree of your family, starting with themselves!IMG_0115

Oops, I hear Oli calling –needs more acorns for her biscuits!  She has that recipe in the back of the book, you know! All of our books have recipes!!! Gotta run — will post more activities for the Spring break — please remember to put a few nutz out for us! And, nutz and acorns, Happy Easter!

— Edward the Squirrel. Editor-in-Chief

Winterfrost Publishing