Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter, Love, And An Out of Control Book!

 Last week we gladly took the week off for spring break, and I caught up on my to-do list while Emily caught up with her friends. In addition, we had a visitor in our front yard. Usually, we find our visitors in the back  yard where the feeders are.


This past weekend my family also celebrated Easter and all the beauty and splendor it holds. The only sad moment occurred when everyone grabbed a plate off of the table, and I realized I had set ten places instead of nine. When my mom was with us the number was ten. It had been ten for the four years since my had dad passed away. I do not love the number nine nearly as much as I loved the number ten, and I might forget the number is still not ten from time to time, but I comfort myself that one day I will see my mom again and numbers won't matter any more!






And finally, I read two fun books from my library pile. The first book I read is cute, fun, and has some audience participation required. It is called This Book IS Out of Control and is the story of Ben and his new fire trick. Or more aptly, the remote control that comes with his fire truck. Ben takes his new toy and remote to his friend Bella's house to show it off. But instead of making his firetruck work, Ben's remote does strange things to the dog. Needless to say, a very unusual time ensues.


The second book I read is I Love You Forever and it is a beautiful quiet picture book about a mom's answer to a child's question of when she was cuter, when she was younger or now. It reminded me of something I have said to my daughter since she was tiny which is, "I will always love you no matter what!"


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.




Monday, April 10, 2017

Ohioana 2017

Those of you who have been following me for a long time know that one of my favorite things about being an author is attending book festivals. And this past Saturday I participated in the 11th Annual Ohioana Book Festival.

I was super excited to catch up with author friends. One of those friends, Lisa Amstutz, is a phenomenal nature author. Her latest book is all about gardening.


There was my friend, Julie Anne Lindsey, who writes mysteries under the pen name Julie Chase. How can you resist someone who writes mysteries involving cats?

 
There was my friend, Tricia Springstub, who writes for children.

 
And there was my friend, Tara Tyler, science fiction/fantasy writer.


 I also met several new friends. Illustrator Tim Bowers who illustrated four books I have read, reviewed, and enjoyed plus numerous others.



 


Author/Illustrator Adam Watkins whose bot books I can't wait to read.


Author/Illustrator Lindsay Ward who shared the back story of her latest book Brobarians. Who knew inspiration could come from Connan the Barbarian and your husband and his brother? She also created this year's Ohiana poster.


 

Cartoonist Steve Harpster who has some awesome how to draw books for kids.


Author/Illustrator Bill Cotter who is genius because he knows that kids always want to do what you tell them not to do.
 

Illustrator Joe Sutphin who illustrates for James Patterson and Sheila Grau for a start.


And author Marilyn Sadler who has sooo many interesting books including a new math inspired series that she co-authors.


So as you can well guess, I didn't have time to read and review any new books, but after introducing you to my friends from Ohioana, I'm pretty sure I've given you some great books to check out!

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.












Monday, April 3, 2017

April Showers

I'm sure you've all heard the old saying April Showers Bring May Flowers. However, in case of those of us living in Ohio, April showers bring April flowers. Crocus and daffodils are the early spring flowers around here, and I look forward to them each year.





And speaking of showers, when it rains it pours. The other night our microwave gave up the ghost and joined our grill in appliance heaven. Now most of you probably don't know just how much my husband, Bobby, despises shopping, especially on a Saturday. Well, let me assure you it is an immense amount. But when the appliance you use the most, after the fridge and the coffee maker, dies, you just have to bite the bullet and go in search of a new one.

So with determined spirit, I encouraged Bobby to drive me to Wal-Mart where we chose a new one. And since we were already out, and already driving past Sam's Club, and I'd been trying to get him to go there for months, I also wrangled him into stopping there and looking at the grill I've had my eye on for quite some time. So now, I can officially heat left overs and grill those burgers, hot dogs, and kabobs!

April also means my busy season of book fairs and traveling. Next weekend I will be participating in Ohioan in Columbus and would love for any fellow Ohio friends to stop over and visit a while. And toward the end of the month, I will be attending the Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the Local Author Fair at the Birchwood Public Library in Freemont, Ohio.


And Finally, April means Easter. Well , at least this year it does. Do you find it strange like me that sometimes Easter is in March and sometimes in April? Apparently it has something to do with a Fourth Century ruling that placed Easter on the first Sunday after the Full Moon of Spring. This means Easter can be as early as March 22cd or as late as April 25th. Just thought I'd sneak a little history lesson in on you there.
 

Which brings us to this week's book reviews or shall I say Easter Book List. These books have been around for a while, but they still continue to be family Easter favorites. There is of course, The Parabel of the Lily available in both English or Spanish versions.



There is The Story of Easter.


There is The Jelly Beans And The Big Dance which isn't really about Easter, but who can resist jelly beans.
 

And while I've yet to read the book, God Gave Us Easter, I would love to read it soon!


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.





Monday, March 27, 2017

Friends

Everybody wants to find a really good friend or two, and while I do have a some very wonderful local friends, I've also been blessed with a small group of literary besties. It has been my good fortune to be able to meet and hang out with these  fantastic people at events I attend. This weekend I attended such an event when I participated in the Marion Library's Read Local Author Fair, and I was thrilled to see my fellow Ohio author bestie Deborah Bence Boerema, proud book mother of The Innkeeper's Dog.



Deb and I met several years ago through our publisher and have since formed a close bond. We are sounding boards for each other when things seem bleakest. We are cheerleaders for each other, encouraging continued growth in our writings. And we even share the occasional recipe. Deb's Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread is divine!

Deb and I usually only see each other in the fall and once in a blue moon in the spring, but this year we are planning on attending Nerd Camp this July, and I can hardly wait. Not only will we connect with teachers, illustrators, and other authors, this will be the first true test of our friendship__ we will stay overnight in a hotel. Here's hoping that neither of us snore.


At this weekend's event, I also met my social media friend Meghan Colvin for the first time. I can already tell that Meghan is going to be part of my literary bestie group which includes Deb, author Laura Eckroat, author Lori A Moore, author Lisa Tortorello, author Phyllis Griggs, author/illustrator Mark Wayne Adams, author Gail Nall, author/illustrator David Biedrzycki, author Paul Czajak, and author David A Kelly.


 




 
 


 


This group of fabulously talented people makes me want to be a better writer, they cheer me on, they encourage me not to give up, they help me revise and polish my work, they put up with damp shoulders when I need a good cry, they give me tips for achieving better rhyme when mine stinks, and they never ever tell me I talk too much even if they're thinking it!

And so of course, this week's reading selection from my library pile is about (drum role please...) friendship. I know, shocking isn't it. The book I read is Friends to the Rescue by Suzanne Chiew. It is a beautiful story of Badger, Mouse, Hedgehog, Rabbit, and how they work together to help rescue their new friend mole. The illustrations are colorful and quite adorable to boot.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Grandparents Day, The Deer and Turkey Expo, and a Book Prize

This past week we celebrated Grandparents Day at the Independent Studies division of Mansfield Christian School. I usually volunteer in some capacity, and taking pictures of all the grandparents with their grands ended up becoming my job this time aropund. The picture of Emily with my mother-in-law is especially dear to me because MaMaw is the last remaining grandparent Emily has. And on top of that, this beautiful eighty-year-old woman made the effort of changing her doctor appointment so she could spend the afternoon with Emily!



We also went on an excursion this weekend. Emily and I joined my husband and my sister, and we attended the Ohio Deer and Turkey Expo in Columbus, Ohio. Now Emily and I aren't particularly interested in Hunting, Fishing, and the likes, but I am trying to teach her the value of sacrificial giving. You know, doing things with and for others that you wouldn't normally choose to do because you love them.

But I have to say, the event wasn't nearly as grueling as I anticipated. We sampled and bought some really delicious elk jerky. We found a booth with several varieties of honey, and the hubby's purchase turned out to be blueberry honey. For those of you not familiar with honey, that simply means the bees pollinated a field of blueberries, and the result from that particular plant created a uniquely flavored honey. We also viewed some extraordinary taxidermy. All in all I'd say it was a good adventure.




And finally, a book arrived in the mail. It is one of the two books that I received as a prize for winning tenth place in the 2017 Valentiny Contest. It is titled, Where Are The Words? and is written by Jodi McKay. Where Are The Words? is a interesting story about how a story is formed and the importance of punctuation. Period wants to write a story but doesn't know where to begin. With the aide of his other punctuation friends, the words they collect turn into something larger.



Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.