The Nutcracker – Writing 101 Day 13

Ella watched in wonder as the ballerina’s twirled and spun around the wintery stage. For years she had wanted to see Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet. Now, here she was in a magnificent theater, not far from Rockefeller center and the magnificent Christmas tree. It was truly a magical, wintery wonderland time of year.


My flash fiction is always longer than about 200 words. This comes in at fifty two words. Whoa. I was listening to classical winter like music, and since Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet has been one I am dying to see one day… It was in my head.

And because I like this image I’m adding it to the post


Goodnight Manger – A Review

_225_350_Book.1731.coverGoodnight Manger by Laura Sassi is  Laura’s sophomore picture book following her Goodnight Ark.  The book is illustrated again by Jane Chapman and the story follows the singsong story rhymes that Goodnight Ark had within it’s pages.   This time, it’s baby Jesus who can’t get to sleep. The animals are too noisy and the baby starts to wail.  Back and forth the animals try to help Mary and Joseph quiet  a squirming, twitching baby.  From hay for the baby’s head from the donkey, to feathers from the hen. Just when the baby is quieting down, the heavenly angels start singing their Hosannas, and soon he’s awake again.  Goodness all this noise in the stable!  Shepherds arrive along with sheep, then come wise men from far and wide, that baby’s sleep will be denied….. Okay, silly rhyme there, but reading the book to write this review had me rhyming myself!   Soon Mama Mary suggests a song and all the wise men and shepherds start singing a lullaby that gently lulls baby Jesus to sleep at last.

This picture book is quite similar to Goodnight Ark, which I did a review on.  As with the Ark, this book is geared towards children 4-8 in my opinion. Parents can read it to their younger children as a lovely Christmas rhyming story, while older children can use it to learn to read marvelous rhyme.  And while I enjoyed the book, I did find a couple of the rhymes a bit discordant with the rhythm, as I would have to turn the page to finish the rhyme and it caused too much of a pause. I felt a little jarred and harder to read than Ark.  Along with that, while the pictures of the animals, Joseph, the shepherds, and wise men were right on par with Jane Chapman’s other work, I was severely disappointed with her portrayal of Mary.  All my life I have pictured Mary as being this beautiful woman. I figure if God chose her to carry Jesus and have him as her son, she has to be beautiful.  And I think there are absolutely stunning Israeli women. Beautiful women.  So to have Mary look very plain and worn out was disappointing. Yes, I know she just had a baby, but well, it doesn’t matter about that aspect when illustrating a book. I would have preferred her to look prettier.  That is just my opinion.

All that being said, this is a lovely rhyme book again.  I think it would be a marvelous story to read young children during the month of December to prepare for Christmas. It’s sweet and charming enough that I could see children learning the whole rhyme to recite.  I would definitely give it 4 out of 5 stars. A little less than Goodnight Ark due to the illustrations and the jarring rhyme. But all in all a very good book

This book was provided to me free of charge for my honest opinion by HarperCollins Christian Publishing. I have in no way been compensated for my opinions.


Candy Cane – Haiku

A candy cane sees
happy licks slowly pleasing
under Christmas trees.

Not sure it’s really good, but eh, I had the dice out the other night and Christmas was still on my brain. No, not all of these words are included in Haikubes, but well, that’s what the blank spaces are for…..


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas deariesMerry Christmas, readers one and all. My dearies who have held up under my very random, but Christmas inspired 25 Days of Christmas.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. I’ll be taking a few days off through the weekend to just relax a bit and hopefully write some posts for future dates. I’ve been doing these blog challenges and I love ’em, but man, they require a bit more foresight that I don’t seem to always have. Especially towards the end. I still have a Toolbox post in the works. A Writer’s Path (Ryan, I think)  knows what I mean since I commented about his blog and his toolbox… I’m rambling. Anyways, I have ideas in the works. I still need to attempt more flash fiction, but it seems to have escaped me this month. Ironically since I want to write Christmas flash fiction! I had this thought about being snowbound at Christmas, a la Hallmark-y film with the Bing wallpaper that was the other day’s…..SJMountainCabin_EN-US11195673674_1920x1080 I just have ideas I need to work on!  Now that I don’t have sewing projects, I might be able to finish or start some writing things.

So, I hope you all are having a great Christmas wherever you are. North, south, east and west.


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

merry christmasJust a short post today since it is Christmas Eve and I’m sure we are all traveling somewhere, or are with our friends and family for the holidays.  This year it is very quiet for my family and I. We didn’t go to any friend’s house for eggnog and cheer… though we did do it a couple weeks ago and hot buttered rum was the specialty of the day…. That was incredibly good and I’ve since made the recipe and we have enjoyed that immensely.

My grandparents are way down south, along with my girl friend Jules (Mrs. Austen) and Boris is down under…. As in Australia.  (pssst…. I wish I could have gone with him. I’d love to go to Australia. And well, to go with Boris… who has someone drive him to his hotel. He doesn’t drive himself. I swear, it’s like Edward from Pretty Woman….)

There is snow on the mountains here in CA. A fast moving storm blew in and dropped a bit up in the peaks… And made it incredibly cold. Brrr.  Not a white Christmas per say, but close enough.

So, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! (don’t forget to hang those stockings and put out the milk and cookies.)


Christmas Stars

Twinkle, Twinkle little star, what a miracle you are, wonder how you ever came to be…


Stars at Christmastime is almost as synonymous as snow and Christmas. Clear, crisp nights with stars so bright you could almost touch them. Little diamonds in the sky. Orion shooting across the sky, trailing Taurus, and Leo chasing him.

Snowy nights with the stars above. Twinkling, twinkling, always twinkling.  Yes, stars are winter, and stars are Christmas. And it finally dawned on me the other day, why stars are so important this time of year. It’s all because of one star. The star in the sky that led the wise men to Bethlehem where Jesus was.  That was one very important star. The star the shepherds saw in the sky that led them to the stable. The star that remained in the sky for two years, leading those wise men west.

How very important a star can be.

And while I know stars are just flaming balls of hot gas in space, somehow I can’t ever seem to remember that scientific fact when I’m looking up at their magical diamond-ness.  No, I just can’t look at it as anything but a magical, very important thing.

I love the stars. I love looking at stars and the constellations.  The stars are my ‘friends’. I never can get enough of the night sky. And I think of the majesty contained in those sparkling pinpoints of light. They were put there for a reason, and I thank God for them. Somehow they seem to bring Him just a little bit closer.

William Blake wrote, ‘To see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.”

The stars are infinity and eternity.

Anyways, it’s that one star from so long ago that was so important.  I have the Gaither Trio’s song in my head. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great joy….” It used to be one of my favorites.  And at this time of year, as Christians, we rejoice.


Snow Moustache Season

snow mustache_ editsnow mustache_ word edit

Well it is, isn’t it?

Happy Friday, dearies. Only 5 more days until you should have everything wrapped. I, sadly, still do not have two of my gifts even done! And today I am off to donate blood to the Red Cross. Hey, there you go. Want to give a gift this season that doesn’t cost you anything but really helps out a lot of people? Donate blood at your local Red Cross. There is always a shortage of blood, especially right now. I urge you to consider it.


A Poetic Christmas Toast

Christmas ToastI rarely share personal poetry with my readers. I haven’t gotten comfortable with some of my thoughts. I have several poems I’ve written for friends that I may share with them, but only them. But this is one instance where I thought this was sweet and fit with the season. It’s for Boris, whom I hope does not read all my posts because then the surprise is gone…. But I sent this off in a card for him today. Mr. Grinch that he is, it’s not so much about the Christmas them, but more my feeling about him.