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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Dreams, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. How’s and Why’s of Dream Journaling

Dream Journaling

Keeping a Dream Journal

If you are serious about developing a deep connection with your inner self, this task is perhaps the best practice you can do. Keeping a dream journal involves writing down your dreams as they occur. Ideally, this would be just as you are waking up while the dream is still fresh in your mind. So keep a notebook and a pen (or digital diary–there are apps for that now if you can get technical while half awake!) next to your bed. If you are one of those people who can’t seem to remember your dreams, then try keeping a journal of whatever comes to mind that is important to you on a daily basis. For any kind of journaling, keep it simple. That will be the best assurance for encouraging you to be faithful about making regular entries into it. At a minimum each entry in a dream journal should include:

  • The date
  • A title for the dream (this will help you remember the dream as you remember a movie)
  • A detailed description of the dream written in the present tense. Include every color, character, object, background, place, emotional feeling, and emotional nuance. Pay attention to the number of things occurring such as recording if there are 3 books or 2 people. It is important. Find and use a good dream dictionary—one that gives many meanings to each symbol and teaches dreamwork exercises. I like Cloud Nine: A Dreamer’s Dictionary by Sandra A. Thompson.

This practice will usually be all you have time to do on a regular basis. However, depending upon how thorough you want to be, you can do the following:

  • Reserve a section either below or next to the dream where you make a note of any dreamwork done on the dream such as making associations with the dream symbols or make notes on what the dream may be about by using the other dream methods described below.
  • If you have asked to have this dream prior to dreaming it, you should by all means write down the question or intention before having the dream. The point isn’t to be so thorough in analyzing every dream but to keep an ongoing consistent recording of every important dream and even the minor ones, if you have the self-discipline. You can always come back later and do additional dreamwork on any dream if you have done a good job of recording the dream in detail.
  • If you have seen how this dream has helped, you may want to reserve space to add a note about this in the margin or in a space below the dreamwork section.

Also, what appears to be a minor dream to your waking mind can actually end up being of profound importance for the rest of your life, so please pay attention to the very short dreams and ones that don’t seem important. It might not be apparent at the moment, but you will see the dream’s significance in ten or twenty years down the road. You will see that your deeper consciousness is already preparing you for the major tasks that lie years ahead. Also you will want to record dream encounters with healers and guides whose presence you might want to honor later

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2. Looking back on 40 years of Recorded Dreams: What Can Be Seen?

We all dream every night but few of us actually try to remember, much less record, these messages from the Unconscious. Some people may jot down important dreams or keep a dream journal for a few months. A very small percentage of people, I among them, have made a lifetime habit of recording on a daily basis almost every dream remembered, resulting in a collection of dreams numbering in the thousands. What can be seen from reading and reflecting on all these dreams?

Many Dreams are Prophetic

As I read the dreams in chronological order as I would a novel, I see that a large percentage of the dreams are either telling me something about my current situation or are prophetic messages of something happening in the future. The dreams that relate to the present usually offer some sort of insight such as clarifying feelings I have or indicating a process I am going through. The ones that relate to future usually are a bit hard to understand in my current situation so I have learned to take them to be indicators of something that may happen later in a different situation. For example over ten years ago I had many dreams occurring over several months that had me living in Hawaii—at a time when I did not even consider making my home there. Three years later, I ended up moving to Hawaii. Because of experiences like this, I believe that déjà vu is often the remembrance of place, events and people we have already seen in dreamtime. Seeing this congruence between dreams and the future gives one a tremendous sense of awe at the power of the Unconscious to connect us to the future.

The Real Power of Dreams

In dreamtime, setting the stage for the future we may walk into and the making choices among several presented to us, is an important awareness that puts the conscious dreamer at a great advantage. I believe, after a lifetime of seeing this process take place, that we all live our lives twice— like the James Bond movie says—once in our dreams and once in our lives. In dreamtime we are already negotiating the future. Edgar Cayce noted that dreams are the answers to tomorrow’s questions. In dreamtime, we make the choices, experience the transformations, and meet the people we will meet later. If we tune into our dreams and become aware of the process, we can be prepared with foreknowledge to face the future. We will know that we can get through that awful transition or survive a breakup of a marriage because we will have already experienced and remembered doing it in dreamtime. However, the real power of dreams is not that they can predict the future. The real power lies in knowing we don’t have to make the decisions we made in dreamtime. If we weren’t happy with the decision we made in dreamtime, we can make a different decision in waking life. We have a second chance. But that only happens if we remember the dream. Otherwise, we are like computers playing out a code that has already been programmed—and live with the consequences.

Sustained by a Greater Power

Years of recorded dreams will show times when guides and healers appeared in periods of crisis to sustain and support the dreamer. These figures bring insights and healing power that far exceed the abilities of the waking mind. Once these helpers are recognized for what they are, they can be accessed and employed for intentional purposes of the dreamer, again making the dreamer realize we are in the hands of loving and profoundly powerful forces that are ready to help us. And in dreams we can even see their faces!

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3. Dreaming of Someone’s Death: What Can Be Done?

Dream of Someone Dy8ing

The Knight’s Death by Antonio de Pereda

Having recorded my dreams for over 35 years, I can refer to a number of dreams that made me aware beforehand someone was going to die. Recently, I had another one of those dreams and they are unsettling—no matter how long or well you have worked with dreams. It is a fairly common phenomenon so I have decided to share some reflections on my experience:

The Dream Could be Symbolic

Take heart in that not every dream about someone dying means that person is going to die in the near future. It may be suggesting your relationship with that person is undergoing a change and will not remain the same. It may also mean that a part of you, which that person symbolizes, is dying. For example, you dream about your young 20-something neighbor dying might mean your relationship with that person is going through a death and rebirth or that the 20-something in you is dying as you see the first gray hairs in the mirror. Your gut instinct will tell you if your dream means any of these two things.

When the Dream is Prophetic of a Real Death

However, some dreams are literal, and one such dream could really mean the 20-something will die. Since every dream is a gift even when we would rather not get the information contained in these letters from the Unconscious; remember that a dream about someone dying was given for the reason such as to help you to prepare for the event or better appreciate the person while he or she is still alive. For example, I dreamed of my father’s and mother’s deaths long before these events happened. I even saw in a dream how my mother would die—in the arms of my father. The sadness in my heart told me these dreams where prophetic. Here is how I responded to the dreams:

  • I made it a point to visit my parents and spend quality time with them.
  • I tried to do little and big things that meant something to them.
  • I told them I loved them and communicated other important things I needed to say.

When they did pass, I felt no regrets and the inner critic saying, “You should have done…” As a result my grief was clean, viewing it as a privilege to mourn and honor these two amazing people who brought me into the world.

So when I had the dream of a close friend dying, and felt in my gut that this dream indicated she might really die at some point in the future, I now focus on spending quality time with this person, doing fun things we like to do. I try to show appreciation for what she does for me. I have not told her about my dream because I think it would be pointless. Since in my dream she died of natural causes and not from a plane or car accident, there is nothing I can do to prevent her possible death other than offer the usual friend’s advice (when appropriate) about eating well, exercising and getting a good night’s rest.

In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, teen detective Ashlynn has learned to work with dreams about someone dying. In this case, she is able to see the dream as a messenger to help her police father solve a crime.

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4. Review – The Free by Willy Vlautin

9780571300297I have always meant to read Willy Vlautin. My old sales rep practically begged me for years to read him (I still have two books in my to read pile). One of my favourite authors, George Pelecanos, ranks him as one of his favourite writers (which should have been enough for me). But what finally got to me read Willy Vlautin was the Ann Patchett quote (alongs side a Pelecanos) quote on the front of his new novel, because quite frankly Ann Patchett has done me no wrong lately.

This is not a war novel but it does deal with the aftereffects of war. It is not a political novel but it does look at health care in America. It is a novel about the wounded. Those wounded by what life throws at them and what they do with those wounds. It is a dazzling original novel, profound and full of hope. And it will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

The Free reminded me of two things. The first was one of the best books I’ve read about war, Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien. O’Brien is best known for his Vietnam War novel The Things They CarriedGoing After Cacciato was very different. It was experimental, it played with the boundaries of reality and went to that place inside a soldier’s head where he tries to hide from the horrors of war. Willy Vlautin takes this even further with the character of Leroy Kervin.

Leroy is a wounded veteran of Iraq. He has suffered a horrific brain injury and has spent years in a home for the disabled, barely functional. As the book opens Leroy has a moment of clarity and tries to take his own life. We then follow Leroy as he dips in and out of consciousness and into the dream world he creates to escape to somewhere better, to come to terms to what has happened to him.

Around these dreams we meet the people around Leroy; his mother who sits by his bedside reading science fiction novels to him, his girlfriend Jeanette who is also a huge part of Leroy’s dreamscape. Leroy’s dream world reminded me a lot of George Saunders’ short stories. Influenced by the books Leroy used to read, and now listens to, his dreams take on a slight science fiction bend. But as hard as Leroy tries he can’t out run his own consciousness and he wounds and memories creep into his dreams.

We also follow Pauline, the nurse who cares for Leroy in the hospital and Freddy, the caretaker at the home who found Leroy. These are the other wounded, the ones who soldier on. Who bare the brunt of a hard and uncompromising world. Freddy is drowning in debt trying to pay off a huge hospital bill. He works two jobs and as a consequence his wife and kids have left him. Pauline looks after her mentally ill father while at the same time trying to care for her patients at the hospital. But both Pauline and Leroy find hope in their lives and this drives them toward something better.

Willy Vlautin is an amazing writer who I should have read long before now and I can’t wait to get stuck into his previous books I have sitting in my pile.

Buy the book here…

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5. 4 Coaching Tasks of a Dream Mentor

Ashlynn Acosta with Dream Mentor

Ashlynn Acosta with her Dream Mentor, Maeve Merton

A dream mentor is very much like a midwife, but instead of helping the mother birth a new person into the world, the dream mentor supports the dreamer who is like a mother birthing of a new consciousness into awareness and action. Dreamwork, when done with the help of an experienced mentor, is an intentional exercise used to facilitate the process, much like a midwife would instruct the laboring woman to breath or sit in a position that will help the birthing process along.

A dream is a symbol for a new awareness waiting to take on life, and it is the role of the mentor to not create the new awareness but just to help it along. Dream mentoring is basically a helping and facilitating role, not a directing role. It is guided by nature’s way of bringing new awareness into our waking world.

Towards this end a good dream mentor will prepare the dreamer to give birth to new consciousness by coaching the dreamer:

  1. To record and remember dreams. For many people, just making the intention to do these two things is a major step in a new direction and often prompts the dreamer to remember his or her dreams. Following through on the choice alone quite often helps people to become more aware of their dreams.
  2. To work with dreams through various kinds of processes such as association, storytelling, improvisation, and re-enactment.
  3. To proactively seek solutions for problems and concerns through dream incubation and lucid dreaming. Instead of just waiting for an answer from a dream, the dreamer can request a specific answer from a dream by asking to have a dream that will provide the answer. Writing the dream down and making the intention the night before helps a great deal to get a good result.
  4. To work in a dream group whereby members can help each other with their dreams or can dream for each other such as is done in Henry Reed’s Dream Helper Ceremony.

For an example of how a dream mentor works, please read or have your children read Dead Men Do Tell Tales, a teen mystery novel. In the story thirteen-year-old Ashlynn Acosta learns how to work with dreams from a dream mentor, Maeve Merton. With this assistance she learns to turn nightmares into problem solving tools, heals grief and helps save a friend suspected of a murder. She has learned skills that will help her for life and set her above her peers in accessing an important inner resource that can be relied upon in time of crisis.

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6. Dream language

PinkPink’s had a shock.  All the animals have.  It’s all because of the bears, who’ve suddenly appeared and started to spread across the house. But now and then I wonder if there’s something hidden in the dark that the bears are just a symptom of.  Alleycat’s resorted to purely practical, military measures.Class dismissed  He drills the dogs and makes them line up and gives them instructions to watch and guard and report any weirdness; but dogs aren’t the type to take instruction, and Alleycat’s just marking time in my opinion.  But he’s done more too.  He’s been in dark places, under the floor (we’ve heard him down there) and he’s been in the cupboards too, searching for a reason, or a sign.  But oddly enough it’s Pink who’s trying hardest. She might seem a lazy and vain little cat, but she sits by my PC and stares at the keyboard as if she’d love to write me a message, and last night she appeared in a dream and spoke to me urgently, not in a miaow, but in actual human words. Unfortunately when I awoke I couldn’t remember what she said. That’s how it is with dreams. They’re different.In here somewhere

2 Comments on Dream language, last added: 11/5/2013
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7. Listening for Lucca, by Suzanne LaFleur

"I'm obsessed with abandoned things." So begins LaFleur's quiet and enchanting book about friendship, family, choice, ghosts and history.

Siena's family is about to abandon Brooklyn for the beaches of Maine.  Siena doesn't really mind.  There's not much tying her to Brooklyn anymore.  Her once deep friendship with Kelsey has fizzled since Kelsey no longer seems interested in Siena's dreams or imaginings.  And honestly, Siena is a little frightening about what has been happening to her lately.

She has always had vivid dreams, but now these dreams are creeping into her waking hours.  Scenery seems to shift and she finds herself viewing history, when she should be seeing what everyone else is seeing.  Maybe Maine will help?

The move is not for Siena, however, but for her little brother Lucca.  Lucca used to be a run of the mill little kid...sticky and loud.  But now Lucca is silent.  Siena's mom is desperate for anything that will give her son a voice again.

Once Siena is in the new house, she just knows that there are ghosts.  What's more, is that Lucca seems to sense them too.  She has no sooner unpacked her collection of abandoned things, when her vivid dreaming and visions start again.  Only now Lucca is scared, and Siena promises him that she will get to the bottom of things.

When Siena finds an old lost pen high up in her closet, pieces of the past come forward and help her to understand not only her dreams and her visions, but her family as well.

This is a lovely slow reveal of a book that will delight detail oriented readers.  LaFleur weaves the story together with invisible strings that form a delicate pattern that becomes clear in due time.  Each character is fully developed and the past and the present storylines never compete with each other; rather they complete each other.

Simply captivating.

1 Comments on Listening for Lucca, by Suzanne LaFleur, last added: 7/29/2013
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Yesterday I had a vivid, cinematic dream in which I was more viewer than participant.

It began with a montage of old sepia toned film clips-- one of which featured a lion tamer on stilts in a darkened circus ring. The tamer has his back to the lioness. He loses his balance and begins stumbling backwards towards the lion, sitting calmly on her pedestal. In a flash the lioness lashes out her paws, swiftly and effortlessly snapping the tamer's neck before he even realizes he's fallen within her grasp. 

The montage stops. A new scene opens on a wide expanse of green field. I am outside, it is warm and bright under the midday sun. In the distance, I see a lion in the field. Slowly, the camera pulls out, revealing a tall chain link fence enclosing this field. The camera pans along the fence perimeter. A figure is standing on the outside of the enclosure. It is an aged (but not ancient) buddhist monk, clad in saffron robes. He is expressionless, yet somehow comforting. The camera pans to his left, and I see that directly in front of where he is standing, the chain link fence is broken in a four-foot gap of twisted metal. I gasp. Instantly I realize there is NOTHING separating the lion in the field and this solitary monk. I scream inside my head: "RUN! RUN! GET AWAY FROM THERE!" In my mind I envision the distant lion bounding towards the man. I panic. Can't he see the fence is compromised  Why isn't he running away??? Yet the monk stares back at me, unconcerned. 

Calmly and slowly he walks away from the fence towards some grass nearby. I'm overwhelmed with anticipation that any second that lion will emerge and there will be nothing to stop what may come. But the monk carries on, seemingly oblivious to the impending danger. 

He takes out a deep blue blanket and lays it on the grass. 

The final scene of the dream is in the form of an illustration, as if from a book.

White background. Birds eye view of the blue blanket and the peacefully sleeping monk. Curled up beside him is the sleeping lion (which has become a tiger). Together they are Yin and Yang. 

I awake, the image lingering in my mind's eye. 
This dream is so odd. So abstract and yet specific. I can't shake the feeling that it is trying to tell me something-- that encoded within the imagery and loose narrative is a message I need to hear.

The message I have found is this:
The monk was not unafraid. He knew the natural danger and threat presented by the lion and the faulty fence. But he also knew he could not control what may or may not happen to him. He acknowledges the existence of his fear, but behaves despite it. In so doing, he has mastered his fear and attained inner peace.

Only by accepting the existence of lions (or tigers) in our world can we find peace within it, and within ourselves. 

I had to sketch this. Hoping to turn it into a polished piece.

2 Comments on LIONS AND TIGERS, last added: 5/9/2013
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9. “Dreams”

50 Book Pledge | Book #23: The House Girl by Tara Conklin

In honour of National Poetry Month, I present “Dreams” from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

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10. Dream Your Way to a Better Story

by Crystal J. Otto

I’ve enjoyed sleeping for as long as I can remember. My mom may tell a different story about childhood naps and early bedtimes, but as far as I am concerned, sleep is a very necessary and enjoyable activity. I sleep, therefore I dream, and in recent years I’ve incorporated my dreams into my journal. Journaling my dreams has provided me with fabulous material for short stories and blog posts and has also given me ideas on how to enhance my writing to make it more vivid and exciting for the reader.

I’ve suggested dream journaling to those who have diagnosed themselves with ‘writers block.’ I personally have found that dream journaling is a great way to stop those recurring dreams or those that end too soon. Recurring dreams and those that end in the middle seem to have one thing in common—something needs attention or closure. I’ve found that by writing down what I remember about the dream and then adding the unfinished details I can find the closure my sleeping self was looking for. This may not come naturally at first, but the more you journal the easier it gets.

My most recent example was a dream where I was visiting the doctor and he was about to give me some important news, and my alarm starting blaring and I woke up. I had that unsettled feeling, and I grabbed my journal later in the day and wrote a happy ending in which the doctor explained that I was expecting a child. I went on to write about a textbook pregnancy, quick delivery, and gorgeous baby girl with blue eyes and blonde hair. Those unsettled feelings were quickly replaced with joy, pride, and excitement!

12 Comments on Dream Your Way to a Better Story, last added: 4/8/2013
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11. 10,000


Last week, we reached 10,000 views on our blog. I’m not much with the math, but 10,000 seems like a lot, seeing as how Mom only lets me post once or twice a week. I am excited that so many people and pets wanted to see what we were up to.

Of course, about 9,000 of the views were probably Mom, looking for mistakes and reading comments and stuff. She is my biggest fan. I am her biggest fan, too!


A long time ago, Mom got a fan letter from a little girl who read one of her poems in Spider Magazine. The little girl said that Mom’s poem made her laugh.

fan letter

I’d like to say Mom was excited about the fan letter, but excited doesn’t even begin to express how she felt. That letter was her favorite piece of mail of her life, until she got the contract for her first book years and years later.

Even though Mom’s book had a ton of good reviews and won The Moonbeam Award, she has never received a fan letter from any of her readers. She has lots of thank you letters from the kids at the schools she visited…

notes2 notes1

….but no fan letters.

If I could write, I’d send her one, but paws aren’t much good with a pencil.


Thanks to all my fans for visiting Cupcake Speaks. Every Visit, every Comment, and every Like feels like a fan letter to me!! xoxo

11 Comments on 10,000, last added: 2/5/2013
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12. Archie


Meet Archie: Designer. Fashionista. Dog. Archie leads a quiet life with his faithful pet. That is, until he gets a sewing machine and his creativity starts to run wild. It's not long before Archie's nimbleness with a needle catches the attention of his friends and fellow dog walkers. Soon, the entire city is straining at the leash for one of his couture concoctions... including a queen and her two very royal corgis. This enchanting, nearly wordless picture book is a great story about following your dreams wherever they may lead...

If you liked this, try:
Sleep like a Tiger
Three Hat Day
Halibut Jackson
Boot and Shoe
The New Sweater 

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13. What have you been reading?

Different kinds of books for different kinds of mood.  Are you like me, do you vary a lot in what you want to read?   I find it often depends on the mood I am in. Sometimes it is fantasy, sometimes I am reading adult novels, Young Adult, Younger books or picture books, but in the end it is all about whether the book is a good read, and also in the case of books for younger readers, whether it works for the intended audience.
Here are a few of the books I have enjoyed this year- not actual reviews but there are plenty reviews of all of these, some in the ABBA review pages,  I wanted to share some books I have enjoyed and I hope you might suggest some books that have been on your list this year, in the comments.
 I particularly enjoy epic fantasy where there are several books in a series.  I love it when I have been reading a series and I get the latest volume about a place or time or other world where I know the characters, care what happens to them.  It is like slipping on a comfortable coat but in the hands of a skilled storyteller you know you will be entertained, and sometimes frightened or upset for the characters, perhaps fall in love with them and laugh or cry with them, experience their loss, their discomfort and decisions; exploring their values and their lives . It is all part of the experience.
I have read some of A Song of Ice and Fire series , but I am beginning to read it again starting once more with A GAME OF THRONES so that I can get back into it before I read the two books in the series I have not read yet.
I love the way George RR Martin is not afraid to kill off characters you care for, so that you are never sure. So many books I read  (particularly in a series)I know the main characters will always find a way out of any situation and that sense of reality and real life danger is lost.

I loved getting lost in the world created by Gillian Phillip in the Rebel Angels series. This is another engrossing fantasy series and  Book3, WOLFSBANE, came out this summer. Gillian is not afraid to give her characters a really bad time of it, but their difficulties and their loves and fight for survival, make them all the more real.

I am a huge fan of Guy Gavriel Kay and could not miss out  UNDER HEAVEN,
A stand alone fantasy. I think it is one of his best.
'The world could bring you poison in a jeweled cup, or surprising gifts. Sometimes you didn't know which of them it was...'
 You gave a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You gave him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor.'
Under Heaven...takes place in a world inspired by the glory and power of Tang Dynasty China in the 8th century, a world in which history and the fantastic meld into something both memorable and emotionally compelling.

I  loved Mary Hooper's FALLEN GRACE  it is describled as..
'A stunning evocation of life in Victorian London, with vivid and accurate depictions, ranging from the deprivation that the truly poor suffered to the unthinking luxuries enjoyed by the rich: all bound up with a pacy and thrilling plot, as Grace races to unravel the fraud about to be perpetrated against her and her sister.'

 THE FOOL'S GIRL by Celia Rees
'In an adventure that stretches from the shores of Illyria to the Forest of Arden, romance and danger go hand in hand.'

You can read an excellent account of how this book came about and see a video clip of her talking about the book on Celia's website   www.celiarees.com/fools_girl/index

and also Penny Dolan's A Boy Called Mouse

“‘Penny Dolan unfolds a story that will have her audience captivated from the intriguing cast list that precedes Chapter One to the bittersweet epilogue . . . This is a true page-turner - clearly influenced by the timeless storytelling of Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte, but still very much an original in its own right'” – Primary Times

Three great historical novels.

I don't really do vampires but this year I did dip into a couple in that genre and I enjoyed them so here they are. They always seem to have such amazing covers, too!

I met Amy Plum this year at the Edinburgh Book Festival and  DIE FOR ME is the first of her series, the second is out now and the third in 2013.  It is set in Paris which gives it a little extra style, and is very readable, with credible characters.
'Kate discovers that Vincent is s a revenant—an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray.'
'In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.'

A new series Sarah Midnight starts with DREAMS. It is by Daniela Sacerdoti. You can read a review of it on the Abba review    
' Ever since her thirteenth birthday, seventeen-year-old Sarah Midnight's dreams have been plagued by demons - but unlike most people's nightmares, Sarah's come true.
Sheltered from the true horrors of the Midnight legacy She is cruelly thrust into a secret world of unimaginable danger after the murder of her parents,  as she is forced to take up their mission. Alone and unprepared for the fight that lies before her, Sarah must learn how to use the powers'
If you are looking for something slightly younger Emma Barnes' wonderful new book WOLFIE is a delightful tale for younger readers that is attracting a lot of well deserved praise.
'Sometimes a girl's best friend is...A WOLF.
Lucie has always longed for a dog.
But not one this big.
Or with such sharp teeth.
Or with such a hungry look in its eyes...
Lucie realises that her new pet is not a dog, but a wolf.  Not only that, but a wolf with magical powers.'

For little ones a couple of great picture books I enjoyed...I love picture books where the pictures tell a quite different story to the one in the text.  Both of these are a lot of fun.

'There always seems to be something wrong with his tractor. But Arthur is concentrating so hard on his tractor that he doesn't notice a very exciting magical story that is happening all around him!'

You can read more about this book and how it came about in Pippa's blog on  picturebookden blog

Three little trolls, Oink Moink and Boink, go out to find a baby for the baby pie they want to make...but they are in for a surprise!

 Can you sniff it?
Can you whiff it?
Lick lips, pat belly, my oh my.

What  books have your had on your reading list this year? 

Linda Strachan is the award winning author of over 60 books for all ages from picture books to teenage/ YA novels and a  writing handbook Writing For Children
Her latest novel is Don't Judge Me-  published by Strident November 2012  

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14. Dream blog.

If you follow me on Facebook you know that I have insanely vivid dreams. I've had them most of my life. I'm not one to look into their meaning but I'd be happy to hear what anyone has to say about them in the comments. Mostly I just find them entertaining, disturbing or downright funny. I hope you will too- but mostly for the funny.

Anyway, I started a new dream blog aptly named, Head Injury Induced Dreams (or as the address says, bump30x30). Whether I actually receive dreams from the head trauma I participated in over the years I do not know, but I thought it was a fun title.

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15. Childhood Memory


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17. No one can take your dreams away

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18. U/V are for... Ultimate Vision

Ok, so yes I'm cheating. This week has been...draining to say the least. I just didn't have the energy to even think about blogging. So, I ended up getting behind in my posts. To catch up, I have to put a few of the letters together. Mafi mushkila, right? BTW, "mafi mushkila" means "no problem" in Arabic. See, I'm learning a little something something while living here in Abu Dhabi.

Anywho, on to my post...

I'm going to visualize what I want my life to be like...where I'd like to see myself in 10 years. Of course, God has the final say, but He gives us the desires of our heart (if it's according to His will), right? So, here it is. In 10 years, I see myself...

  • Married to a wonderful, God-fearing husband who loves and cherishes me. He's the head of the house, but he doesn't mind me being me cos of course, that's who he fell in love with. I see us as sort of a power couple, only for the Kingdom of God. Everything we do, whatever job we have, will be for the glory of God. And people will see Christ through us. Will our marriage be perfect? NO. I have a feeling God is going to send me someone who's the opposite of me, so I'm sure there will be some head-bumping going on. But after all is said and done, we'll work our problems out. I know this can happen cos my parents have done it. 35 years of marriage - 39 years of being together - and my parents are still together...still in love.

  • A mother to wonderful children, including twins. Honestly? I'd love to have a set of boy/girl twins and be done with child-bearing. Not so far-fetched considering the fact that my dad was a twin (she died at birth, though). So, it's quite possible one of his children will have twins. I've discussed this with God: boy/girl twins then I'm done. But of course, God may decide to give me more. Or less. My children will not be perfect, but who is? But my husband and I will be rearing them with God's help.

  • As Dr. Raenice B. Weakly, EdD. I will finish my doctorate. I'm determined. I had to take a break because of financial hardship, but I will go back. Soon. Prayerfully, if all goes well, I'll be back in school this summer. And since I'm on that final leg of my program - my dissertation - I can be finished by sometime in 2013. My degree will be used more for research purposes. I'd like to research reading education. I'd especially like to research aliteracy, which is when people know how to read, but they choose not to. My main focus will, of course, be on kids - teens to be specific. I've heard of so many tweens/teens who hate reading. They don't do it. Unless they're forced and that makes them hate it even more. I want to research ways to get children and teens into reading. Being a total book nerd myself, I can't fathom people NOT liking to read. I just can't.

  • Successful entrepreneur. I'm still panning out the details of my business, but I know I plan to open an enrichment center for youth. I've had this idea in my head since I was about 14 years old. It was an old Cosby show episode - the one with Theo working at a community center - that planted the seed. I saw the kind of work and the difference he was making at this center, I knew that's what I wanted to do. It wasn't until 2 years ago that God reminded me of my dream. So, one of my goals while here in Abu Dhabi is to come up with a business plan and afterwards, start looking for places and funding. Whether or not the enrichment center becomes a franchise, I'll leave up to God. But I plan to do big

    6 Comments on U/V are for... Ultimate Vision, last added: 4/27/2012
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19. Something Close to Home

I live in Mt. Dora, FL. I work close to home. I shop close to home. On Facebook, I have "friends" all over the world. Turns out, one of those friends is an author that also lives in Florida. Leona Bodie is the Vice President of the Florida Writers Association and she shared a touching story with me recently. It is about two other authors from Florida and I wanted to share it with you.....

Hospice of the Comforter and Florida Writers Association Join Forces to Help One Dying Man’s Final Wish Come True


ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla… Meet Hospice of the Comforter patient Tony Mancuso. He offers you the best smile he can, given his physical situation while at theGarnet Heart group home in Altamonte Springs, Fla. And meet Doug Dillon, a volunteer with Hospice of the Comforter of Central Florida, whose patient is Tony.

During one of Doug’s visit, he learned that Tony was a writer and before he got sick, published 1,200 copies of his first novel titled, The Lie Catcherwhere he uses first names of fa

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20. Anatomy of a (Writer’s) Dream

It’s the last Wednesday of January 2012 and a lot of New Year’s Resolutions are starting to loose their glitter and shine.

You still want to write a book this year or finish your current novel project. It is a writer’s dream to complete this task.

But it can be frustrating at times.

This is when you must step back and remember that dreams can be fulfilled by maybe not in the instant gratification way our society says it should.

Here are some reminders to hold fast to your dream:

You are the only writer who can tell this story

Every one has a unique voice. You are the only one in the Universe who has this certain voice. And although there are no new stories under the sun, only your voice can tell this story you want to write. Only you.

Remember why you wanted to write

Writing can be hard but you came to this story for a reason. You were compelled to get it into words and out in the world. That reason, however small you may think it is, is enough. Remember this reason while you write. It brought you here. So keep writing.

Everyone starts from the bottom

It can be hard seeing all the other novels that have been written when you’re first starting out. But remember all of these novels started with a blank page and an idea. Everyone starts at the bottom — and makes their way to the goal. It’s a journey all writers must take.

Consistency in small steps make big progress
Although January is coming to a close, there are still 11 months left in 2012. So much can be completed. But you must be realistic. There is family, work, and life. Duties and responsibilities. Writing can still be in the mix but in a manageable way. Set small goals and be consistent with them. You will be surprised how much writing can get done with this practice.

So a writer’s dream does not have to end when difficulties arise. Remember that anything worth accomplishing will be challenging but if you want it, you can make it happen.

My hope for you is that you never give up on the dream of your novel.

9 Comments on Anatomy of a (Writer’s) Dream, last added: 1/25/2012
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21. What you dream about when you have not one, but two, terrible deadlines:

What you dream about when you have not one, but two, terrible deadlines:

- Your radio won't stop playing when you turn it off. It won't stop even when you yank out the batteries. It is still playing while you beat it with a hammer.
- A smiling woman passes you, then suddenly puts you in a headlock and jams a lit cigarette against your temple.
- You hear a baby crying in an empty house. No worries, you will breast feed it. When you pick it up, you realize there's not one baby, but two. And your milk won't come.

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22. Unleash Your Dreambeast

Thanks to the OPEN A BOOK blog for using my "Dreambeast" poem to get people thinking big for 2012!

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23. Scary dreams and good things

There's an an ad in Shelf Awareness for The Night She Disappeared. (Pets.)

For the first time in my career, I have a UK edition of a book -in this case, Girl, Stolen.. I've always heard it's hard to sell a mystery or thriller in the UK because they already have so many excellent writers in that genre. Coals to Newcastle kind of deal.

I dreamed that a few years ago I gave birth to a baby, but things didn't work out. It was stunted and never learned to walk. The doctors determined that it hadn't spent enough time inside me. The solution: Push it back up. They did not listen when I protested that the baby was now far too big to go back.

Could this have anything to do with my crazy deadline?

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24. Waterfall Dreams

Illustrazione che ho fatto per il concorso "Cavoli a Merenda"
promosso dall'associazione Malagutti Onlus
Anche se  non ho vinto io il concorso 
è stato l'occasione per creare questa bella cascata di sogni
spero vi piaccia


Illustration for a contest
I didn't win the contest, but it was a great occasion to create this waterfall of dreams. Hope you like it :)


Vincitore (The winner of the contest you can see here): 

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25. D is for...Dreams

D is for Dreams

Do you remember the dreams you had as a kid, for your future? I remember mine.

According to the young me, I was going to be married by 25. By 35, I'd be a mother of 4. As far as careers go, I'd either be a dancer, singer, actress, teacher, writer, pediatrician, pediatric nurse, entrepreneur or a combination of any of the above. I'd be living in a massive mansion, have the world's best behaved and smartest kids, own a vacation home on the beach, and my life would be all kinds of awesome.

Did my life turn out the way I'd dreamed? That would be a very big, HA! At 35, I'm still single with no kids. I do not live in a mansion nor do I own a beach house. Out of all the careers I wanted, only 3 of them have already or will come true: teacher, writer, and entrepreneur. I'm currently a teacher with dreams of owning my own business (enrichment centers for youth) and becoming a published (best-selling, ahem) author of novels for preteens and teens.

Does that mean my life isn't all kinds of awesome? Nope. I still believe I have a wonderful life. I'm still looking to get married and have kids, but I'm in no rush. That will happen when God says it'll happen. And the huge mansion? I still want a big house, but the massiveness, not so much. I don't have a beach house, but I do live in a high-rise apartment only a 20 minute drive from the beach. As a matter of fact, I can see beaches from my window.

So, yeah. All my kiddie dreams may not have come true, but I still consider myself blessed. And at 35, almost 36, I still have dreams that I'm working on to see come true. Hey, you're never too young to dream!

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