I have been remiss …

In posting any more crafts for the month of July, but I hope you have been working on your Story Box! The reason I am so remiss is that I have been working so hard on two projects myself! First, the publication of the newest book in the Phillip’s Quest series, “Across the Elusive Sea.” You have been looking at a cover for quite a while and I promise you that it will be even more fun than the first two books: “Winterfrost,” and “Above the Stars.” If you recall, “WInterfrost” introduces my friend, Phillip Tuber(a farmer gnome from the land of Twistedoak), and sends him on his journey, with his friend, Edward the Squirrel, to the land of ice and snow — Winterfrost! “Above the Stars,” tells of the many adventures Phillip and Edward have trying to get to Azur, the Blue Wizard’s castle and to the Carnelian Sea! Don’t forget about “Stinky” the Dinosaur and Chaspére, the lizard who’s a wizard! Now, they’re on a great pirate sailing ship, the La Fortuna, where they come in contact with sea monsters and sea creatures — including the mermaid, Kala! The excitement continues! My other project has been working with the Little Free Libray initiative. Have you seen one? They are popping up as fast as the ‘shrooms in Twistedoak. Write by the Rails is a large group of writers and authors from Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas City, Virginia, who has been building these libraries to install in certain locations. The first one will be installed at the New School, a school for literature and the arts, on August 8th. So, we have been busy. Check out littlefreelibrary.org and writebytherails.org to see these wonderful programs.

This is our Alice in Wonderland library! Enjoy and will catch you later for some of Roscoe’s favorite cookies!

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This WbtR Little Library will be installed at the United Methodist Church in Nokesville, VA

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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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Across the Elusive Sea, Book III

So, the title is not carved in stone but since Book II is: Above the Stars, I thought that this name would continue the preposition thing.  Of course, I’ve given you a clue about what happen to Phillip, next.  Although I am only 2000+ words into Book III, I can tell you that it will be exciting! All kinds of seaworthy and not so seaworthy creatures and Phillip is getting closer and closer to Winterfrost Castle.  Lots of things are going on with our friends, the Ragworts, too! And Phallow!  Ah, hah!

So, How many have let your children read Phillip’s Quest, Book i:Winterfrost?  Am getting many reviews from adults and how much THEY love it, but c’mon guys, give it to your kids!  No, I love that it’s been read by young and old. Don’t forget to tell your friends.  It’s on Amazon and you can buy it from me, too!

Book II: Above the Stars is out of editing.  As soon as Dean gets the artwork done, end of April, it will be submitted for publication.  We should have that out by the end of the Summer.  Phillip and his friends have gone through Azur’s picture and have landed, with a thump, in Winterfrost! He will meet some cool critters and also some nasty ones.  Razorsnoot is there…farting away, so are the Ragworts, who now have their own series.

A new book is in publication, The Ragwort Chronicles, the Beginning:  The Ragworts of Brokenfell.  This is a shorter book.  It is geared to the younger grades and will be produced in an 8×8 format.  Same great art, recipes and a insight into the Ragwort’s family.  They are pretty interesting!  I would imagine this book will be published and out early Summer.

My dear friend and editor, Katherine calls me, “one prolific lady.”  I guess I am but I’m having a blast!