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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: love, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 547
1. Lucky Lazlo

Lucky Lazlo. Steve Light. 2016. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Lazlo was in love. He bought a rose from the flower-seller. The last red one--how lucky!

Premise/plot: Lucky Lazlo follows the adventures--or misadventures--of a young man, Lazlo, in love. His love is starring in a play, Alice in Wonderland. In fact, she's the star of the show, Alice. The show is premiering on a Friday at the Peacock Theater. This picture book is a comedy. The simple act of buying a flower for the one you love becomes a chaotic, hilarious riot of a book. And it all starts with a CAT who snatches Lazlo's rose.

My thoughts: I thought this one was charming even before I read the author's note. But. After reading the author's note, it went from "really like" to LOVE. Light has taken a LOT of theater superstitions and woven together a story that uses just about all of them--for better or worse! And his illustrations are both simple and complex. His use of color is simple, understated. But his use of detail is very complex indeed.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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2. Wordless Wednesday!

I discovered  Wordless Wednesday from my friend Sandee of Comedy Plus, and I immediately loved it. It's fun and interesting because you post a photo that conveys a message without using words.

The image speaks for itself whether its a photo capturing a moment in our lives or a cartoon imitating us being ourselves.
After posting your image or photo, copy and paste your link beneath Sandee's post on Comedy Plus' list of links then post Mister Linky's code  beneath your photo and we'll share the same links. Here's Sandee's link to the code. 

                                                     Have Fun!

Thank you for visiting A Nice Place In The Sun. 
All visits and comments are appreciated  

                                                              Thank you Google Images

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3. Christian theology, literary theory, and sexuality in the ‘Song of Songs’

hy were Christian theologians in the ancient and medieval worlds so fascinated by a text whose main theme was erotic love? The very fact that the 'Song of Songs', a biblical love poem that makes no reference to God or to Israelite religion, played an important role in pre-modern Christian discourse may seem surprising to those of us in the modern world.

The post Christian theology, literary theory, and sexuality in the ‘Song of Songs’ appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Etymology gleanings for February 2016

It is the origin of idioms that holds out the greatest attraction to those who care about etymology. I have read with interest the comments on all the phrases but cannot add anything of substance to what I wrote in the posts. My purpose was to inspire an exchange of opinions rather than offer a solution. While researching by Jingo, I thought of the word jinn/ jinnee but left the evil spirit in the bottle.

The post Etymology gleanings for February 2016 appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. A few things I might be working on…


Filed under: pigeons, songs, trees

3 Comments on A few things I might be working on…, last added: 4/6/2016
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7. Sesame Street: I Love You Just Like This! | Book Review

I Love You Just Like This! is an adorable story about love and all the ways parents feel it for their children.

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8. Room of Love

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9. HensLove

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10. Panda Hug

When world needs a hug...give it a HUGE Panda Hug!

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11. Winter Wonderland sketches - preschool book that celebrates the wonder of winter for young and old....

Sketches from "Winter Wonderland"  written by Debbie Estrem.
This is the third book in a nostalgic series for parents and 
grandparents to share with little ones, celebrating 
the best memories of every season. 

The first two books in the series are now available!

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12. Once Upon a Northern Night

UK cover (L), North American cover (R)

UK cover (L), North American cover (R)

Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault makes me weep.

I first read it back in April earlier this year, surrounded by a sea of people whirling about, chattering, elbow to elbow at a book conference. Despite the din of excited activity all around me, as I read Once Upon a Northern Night I quickly found myself inside one of those silent and perfectly still moments where the surrounding soundtrack fades to nothing, leaving a peacefulness where things can take you utterly by surprise.

Once Upon a Northern Night is a poem all about parental love. About how a parent looks at their sleeping child one evening and, with the magic intense love can provide, conjures up a wintry world full of wonder to gift to their child.

It’s a paean to nature’s beauty set against a snowy night-time backdrop. Pendziwol’s text (disguised as picture book prose) is some of the most beautiful I’ve read all year, set with those moments where description brings an unexpected focus to an everyday image, taking your breath away as you see it as if for the first, astonishing time.

Arsenault’s illustrations are masterpieces in the use of colour, even though they are primarily black, white and sepia. Accents of colour lift them off the page, acting like tangible manifestations of those poetic moments of startling, touching clarity. A certain (apparent) naivety in style acts as a foil to the rich prose, keeping our feet on the ground, ensuring the text’s tenderness never cloys but remains authentic and profoundly moving.

Every line is beautiful in this book, but one set of images caught my imagination in particular:

Once upon a northern night,
in the darkest hours,
the snowy clouds crept away
and stars appeared –
twinkling points of light
hanging in the purple sky.

I knew by the time you woke,
the sun would have chased them away,
so I set them like diamonds
on the branches of the willow.

This made me want to bring home stars for my two children I sought out old chandeliers in our local charity and junk shops and we spent an afternoon taking them to pieces, to create mounds of stars-disguised as diamonds.


We then re-threaded them with silver silk and “set them like diamonds / on the branches of the willow” in our back garden.




We also hung some up in the window of our front room and now when the morning sun shines it scatters rainbows across my workspace.


I didn’t make the connection straight away, but I do wonder if I was a little bit influenced in this enterprise by Pollyanna.

Whilst we re-hung our stars we listened to:

  • December by Skipinnish (my kids’ favourite band at the moment)
  • Lintuseni by Finno Balkan Voices. Hauntingly beautiful music.
  • BBC Radio 3 currently have a Northern Lights season and we’ve heard some gorgeous, haunting music as part of it, not least during their poetry-and-music-programme-on-a-theme, Words and Music, all about the North Pole.

  • Other activities which might work well alongside reading Once Upon a Northern Night include:

  • Creating paper snowflakes. Here’s a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them. My little ballet dancer likes the ones turning snowflakes into tutus!
  • Use puffy fabric paint or PVA glue to make 3D snowflakes which will cling to your windows. Here’s one tutorial but there are many more out there on the web.
  • Signing up for aurora alerts. There’s Aurora Watch UK, Aurora Service (North America) and Aurora Service (Australia). And here’s an interesting article about auroras on planets other than earth.

  • If you liked this post you might like these other posts by me:

  • On the difficulties of sharing something you find exquisite – When Dad Showed Me the Universe written by Ulf Stark, illustrated by Eva Eriksson
  • Love and a lost toy – Ernest & Celestine by Gabrielle Vincent
  • Frost, birds and the countdown begins – Night Tree by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ted Rand
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    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher.

    4 Comments on Once Upon a Northern Night, last added: 12/13/2015
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    13. Preview: Archie’s Many Loves Get Twisted in BETTY & VERONICA COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #239

    BettyAndVeronicaComicsDoubleDigest_239-0  Love is in the air at Riverdale, and Archie, Betty, and Veronica are breathing deeply!  Valerie from the Josie & the Pussycats band has caught Archie’s eye this Valentine’s Day, but Betty and Veronica have something to say about that.  Check out the Comics Beat’s exclusive preview of Betty & Veronica Comics Double Digest #239! […]

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    14. Love story, part infinity

    Greg Taylor (1975-2015)
    My beloved husband, Greg Taylor, passed away on December 25, 2015, Christmas afternoon, around 2:30 pm.

    I would like to share our love story.

    We met on Craigslist (yes, Craigslist--they have a dating site). On a Sunday afternoon, September 23, 2007, I answered his personal ad and we exchanged our first emails. His personals posting had the heading as simply "hi" and the post was a list of funny and random things about him, including "I'm taller than you, even if you're tall."

    I responded with "hi back" and a corresponding list, including "I'm shorter than you, even if you're short. But most people say I don't 'look' short."

    We met for the first time on a Friday night, September 28, after work in front of the (now gone) Virgin Megastore in Union Square. I arrived first, and was listening to my iPod. As he approached, I removed my headphones, got flustered because he was so handsome, and my earbuds got tangled. I handed them to him to hold for a second, a gesture he for some reason found endearing and would mention for years later. We decided to walk and find a place to eat, and ended up at Yaffa Cafe on St. Mark's Street (also now gone). For many years later, on September 28 we would go back and meet in front of the Virgin Megastore, which eventually was turned into a Duane Reade drugstore (of course).

    We sat in the back courtyard and talked and talked and talked. He was a fifth-grade teacher, I was a children's book editor, he was studying history in grad school, I was always thirsty to learn more about everything. I liked sushi, he didn't eat raw meat. I had gone skydiving, he preferred his feet on the ground. But we couldn't stop looking into each other's eyes. His eyes were the most beautiful blue-gray. He told me they changed colors in the light, and I later discovered that they were sometimes flecked with green.

    I had a birthday party to attend later that night in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, and asked him if he wanted to come with me. When he agreed, I knew he liked me. (He had told me earlier that he hated Williamsburg.) He told me later that when I asked him to come with me, he knew I liked him, too.

    Now here's the "falling in love" montage. Kissing like there was no tomorrow. Going for walks--he showed me his neighborhood in Brooklyn and we walked to the Brooklyn museum and watched a dog frolic in the jumping fountain. It was there that we took our first picture together:

    This is also the hat he wore when we first met.
    Meeting each other's friends. House and dog sitting out in New Jersey (he LOVED dogs). Teaching me to play golf (he LOVED golf). Drinking a lot of wine (he LOVED wine). Introducing me to opera. Going to parties and weddings together, going to lots and lots of diners. (Later, when we briefly were looking to buy an apartment, it was important to us that the neighborhood have a diner.) Emails, texts, phone calls. Making each other laugh. Holidays. Supporting each other's careers.
    Dog sitting Maggie, Roxie, and Caesar
    He would share the books I edited with his students, especially Grace Lin's Year of the Dog, and he would proudly tell his students that he was friends with the real-life Melody who was a character in the book. When I attended his school's holiday concert, he introduced me as Melody and I was a celebrity. I later spoke to his school about being a children's book editor.

    We took a trip out to Iowa together, where he spent his summers as a kid. Showing off, he took us down a backroad where we promptly got stuck in the mud and he had to call his uncle for help--they laughed and said he was a city boy now. 

    Not a smart thing to do in a rental PT Cruiser
    He started flying out to my parents' home in Southern California with me and ended up falling in love with California, and especially my parents' backyard. (He wanted to live there. In my parents' basement.) We played a lot of tennis and golf.

    His mother was diagnosed with cancer, and he flew out to stay with her for six months to care for her. I went to visit him while he was there and spent Thanksgiving with his family and stayed in his childhood home.

    We moved in together into his tiny 5th-floor walk-up apartment in Park Slope. The two of us and his two cats, Venus and Serena, made a nice family. And then in October 2011 he proposed, on the same rock in Central Park where my parents got engaged.

    We were married less than a year later on July 21, 2012, in my parents backyard.

    It was a glorious day, and we were excited to start a life together as husband and wife. 

    And then he was diagnosed with cancer, synovial sarcoma, about six months after our wedding. You can read about that initial journey here. Major surgery, long recover, chemo, and then another long recovery.

    Just as Greg was starting to regain his strength, we found out that his cancer had recurred in January 2014. We knew that with Greg's type of cancer, once it came back, there was no cure. At first, Greg didn't want any treatment--he didn't want to go through chemo again. We decided to travel--to Rome, and then Paris. Greg left the US for the first time (aside from Mexico) in February 2014 and we went to Rome and had a glorious week. Before he died, Greg wanted to walk where Augustus walked.

    On the night before we were to leave for Paris, he was struck by excruciating tumor pain. We stayed in Rome for another week while we stabilized the pain, and then flew back to NY where he agreed to try a pill form of chemo. We were told that if the chemo worked, it would probably only work for 3-4 months. That pill ended up working for 18 months, and although he wasn't feeling great all the time, we were able to still have a relatively stable life. The chemo turned his facial pigmentation and hair snow white. He hated how his face looked and so he covered it with facial hair. Kids especially would stare at him--either thinking he was a pirate, or Santa, or, as we joked, a pirate Santa. Twice, once in our apartment lobby, and once at the Brooklyn Museum, he had a kid point to him and say, "Look! It's a pirate!"

    Right before pirate Santa decided to shave his beard off.
    We went to the US Open, a few hockey games and baseball games, and took a trip down to Atlantic City to see Bob Dylan perform.

    Through it all, Greg handled his illness with courage and grace. It wasn't easy by any means, but I was eternally grateful to him for how he accepted and dealt with his situation. He knew this cancer would probably kill him, and although he was terrified of dying, his goal was to get as many good days out of life as possible. He had always been loving and attentive and romantic, but these past three years, he became even more so. 

    For my 40th birthday last year, because he knew he didn't have the energy to take me out or throw me a party, he threw me a cyber party instead. He got over 100 T-shirts made in our wedding colors (fuchsia and purple) with the Chinese character for "love" on the back, and my last name in Chinese "Ling" on the front, to match the tattoo on my shoulder. He sent them to friends and families all around the US, and asked them to take pictures of themselves in the shirts and email, Tweet, and Facebook the pictures to me on my birthday. Here are just a few:

    He told me he needed to make sure to tell me how much he loved me as much as he could in the time he had left. He told me that I should feel comforted in knowing how much I made his life better. He told me how in awe he was that he had met me, that I had responded to that one Craigslist ad so many years ago. He left me love notes around the apartment, on my computer, in my wallet. We had so many silly inside jokes, and I'm mourning the passing of what was known only between us. And of the children we never had (he was SO GREAT with kids, and would have made an amazing father), of our future that has been cut short.

    But, I'm also so so so grateful for the time we had together. I loved him unconditionally. I loved his all-enveloping hugs, his sweet kisses in the middle of the night. I think we probably laughed even more together in these past three years--it became almost a competition to make the other laugh. We made up funny dances and funny voices. He got more and more into music, especially Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and John Lennon (he admired the great love between John and Yoko), and also discovered a love for Elvis Presley, Kris Kristofferson, Motown. But, Bob Dylan above all.  

    Gradually, the chemo stopped working, and Greg started having more and more pain. We tried one last chemo, which worked for two months, and we knew that we were running out of options. A few months ago, we found out that Greg had a spot in an immunotherapy trial at Sloan Kettering, and we jumped at the chance. It was a Phase 1 trial, never tested on humans, but we knew if there was someday going to be a cure, it was probably going to be through immunotherapy. But on the day he was due to start, they discovered that his liver levels were high, which disqualified him from the trial, and the doctor sent him over to the hospital to see if they could solve the problem so that he could start the trial.

    He had a procedure done to help drain the bile from the liver (which they thought was causing the high levels). Unfortunately, his liver levels didn't improve, and other liver levels were starting to get high as well. We knew that he had at least one tumor in the liver, and that once the liver starts to go, it can end quickly.

    Every night after I left the hospital to go home, he sent me a text. "I love you sweetheart. More than anything. You are such a superhero." His last text to me was, "You are the best thing to ever happen to me." He was the best thing to ever happen to me, too. 

    Eventually, they started Greg on chemo while in the hospital, and he was released on December 23rd--we were thrilled to have him home for the holidays! This is the last picture we took together, in his hospital room while waiting for our ride home:
    As my mother told Greg the last time she saw him, "You're still very handsome!"
    After one night at home (Venus was ecstatic to have us both home again!), we ended up calling 911 and going to the ER in an ambulance on Christmas Eve. Greg had been struggling with nausea and ended up vomiting blood and fainting a few times. He was admitted into the ICU for observation, as they suspected internal bleeding. But, he appeared stable after getting fluids, with no symptoms aside from some weakness and dizziness.

    But on Friday morning he suddenly started having seizures, and then started bleeding profusely internally. The doctors were able to stabilize him with a breathing tube and blood transfusions, but we knew there wasn't hope for a full recovery, and I knew Greg didn't want any drastic measures taken just to keep him alive. They removed the breathing tube and Greg rested peacefully for a few hours before passing on while I held his hand.

    Over the two-week hospital stay, we knew that the end was coming--Greg said he didn't know if he had days, or weeks, or months, so he was going to focus on enjoying each minute with me. I'm going to focus on each minute at a time. And breathing. This last year especially, Greg was struggling, and his bad days were outnumbering his good days. Recently, he said that the pain and complications he was having were making it easier to let go. I know he is at peace now.

    Greg did not want to have a funeral, but he will be buried in Iowa where he spent his summers. He wanted his body to rest under open skies.

    If you want to offer some support, please donate money towards sarcoma research--if I may suggest, the Sarcoma Foundation of America: http://www.curesarcoma.org
    or Mt. Sinai for Sarcoma research: https://philanthropy.mountsinai.org/waystogive

    Greg started his care at Mt. Sinai with Dr. Robert Maki and Nurse Practitioner Linda Ahn (who is now at Sloan Kettering). They made the whole process more comforting for both of us, and even though I wish we had never had to meet them, I'm thankful they were in our lives. 

    I'm grateful to his many doctors and nurses--at Mt. Sinai, at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and at New York Methodist. They have such a tough, important job, and see suffering and death every day.

    I'm also so blessed to have such loving friends and family and colleagues, including the authors and illustrators I work with, who have supported us over the years and are mourning the loss of Greg, too. This isn't a unique journey that we traveled on--what's devastating is that so many people are touched by tragedy.

    I know Greg didn't want a big deal made of his death. But, for my own healing, I wanted to acknowledge publicly what an extraordinary man he was. He was full of passions--whether it was golf, wine, watches, jewelry, opera, American history, Chinese history, Andy Kaufman, dogs, cats, lacrosse, soccer...or me!--when he loved something, he loved it with all of himself, and learned everything he could. He was supremely moral, had a kind heart, and was sometimes loyal to a fault. He was sardonic, sarcastic, self-deprecating, and silly. He could put kids at ease in seconds. He had a deep voice that got higher and lighter when he was in pain--I knew he was feeling strong when his voice was deep. He was ticklish, and especially hated when I touched his feet. He watched the same movies over and over again, memorized the best lines, and would constantly call me to watch funny scenes. He also loved pointing out continuity errors. When he was in pain, he told me it helped him when I held his hand. 

    His favorite books were The Plague by Albert Camus, and Sophie's Choice by William Styron. His favorite song was "Love Minus Zero" by Bob Dylan. His favorite movie was "Deer Hunter." 

    People loved to tease him--he had the kind of personality that made people feel like he could take it. But he was sometimes sensitive about it. Sometimes he just wanted people to be nice to him. He was ferocious (but nice!) when dealing with customer service, and usually got what he wanted. He hated being told what to do, but I knew he took everything in, even when he was arguing (and when he was arguing, he always sounded angrier than he really was), and was able to keep an open mind. He was always so proud of me and my career, and embarrassed me by boasting about me to everyone he knew. And he was an astonishingly good teacher--so many of his students stayed in touch with him, and I feel lucky to have met so many of them. He made a difference in their lives. He made a difference in the world. 

    Although he was an introvert at heart, he was the mayor of his old block. He knew everyone and they knew him. He was buddies with all of the shop keepers--one of them helped him get up the stairs of his apartment when he came home after his surgery. They always asked me how he was doing after his surgery. He made Brooklyn into a small town. Although his time was cut short, he had a rich, fulfilling life, and so many people who loved him.

    The day after his death, I remembered that he had wanted to make me a music mix before he died, and I was feeling bereft that he hadn't been able to do it. But I checked my computer just in case, and there it was, a playlist called "For Alvina" and it was like he was giving me a hug and a message from the great beyond. The last two songs on the mix are "Shelter from the Storm" and "Across the Universe."

    For those of you who have read this far, thank you for bearing with me. My mother is with me now, and I've been surrounded by friends, both virtually and in person. Greg and my dear friends Donna and Daniel were with me at the hospital when he died, and took care of me that night and the next day.

    And just to leave this on a note of levity, albeit one that I'm finding profound right now, this is a silly email Greg sent me while I was at work and then out to dinner about a month ago. Venus is our one remaining cat (Serena also passed away from cancer about a year ago). Warning, there is cursing ahead!:
    I'm very lonely.  Venus is also lonely.  The two of us are acting like our worlds have been destroyed.  

    While we cuddled - more like held on to one another as the universe battered us - she said, "Dad?"

    I said, "What is it, sweetie?"

    "I miss Alvina."

    I said, "I do to, Venus.  I miss her too."

    She asked, "Is it always going to be like this?  Is it always going to hurt this much?"

    I explained to her that it will always hurt but that we will get better at dealing with it.  Eventually the wound will heal and a scar will grow in its place, making us stronger.

    She said, "What?"

    "Ugh," I said.  "Right now we hurt because the wound is so new.  As time passes the wound will close and a scar will form." 

    She replied, "What are you talking about?  I don't have any open wounds.  I said I miss Alvina."

    "It's a metaphor," I said.  "We are wounded EMOTIONALLY.  We will develop EMOTIONAL scars."

    She said, "I have no idea what a metaphor is.  A metaphor?  What the fuck is a metaphor!  I'm a fucking cat.  Stop treating me like a human being, because I'm not a human being.  Also, STOP TOUCHING ME!"  

    Then she swatted at me and jumped off the bed and ran into the other room.

    Venus and I both miss Greg. I wait for the wound to close and the scars to form.

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    15. End of Year

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    16. dream a little dream

    The Red Case - continued
    (Part 1 HERE)
    'The Shooting of Hector Littleton'
    Well, laid up in bed with a chest infection, coughing my lungs up, wasn't how I'd envisaged the start to my New Year. I'd wanted to start all guns a'blazing, but the Universe had other ideas.
    Poor vain Hector,
     I love New Year. It is, without a doubt, my favourite of all the holidays and birthdays put together. I love all the possibilities and opportunities a new start begins. There's nothing I like better than a new chapter or even a brand new (sketch) book.
    his untimely death...
    (drawing by Kate Yorke)

     But lying here, gives me some time for reflection - which is yet another good thing about a New Year.
    ...meant he had no time to enjoy his ill-gotten inheritance.
    2015 saw so many changes for me. Big changes. And one of those big changes, perhaps the biggest, was that I gave up my job to become a full time illustrator.
    Somebody wanted that case and would go to any lengths to get it off him.
    (Drawings by Karrie Brown)
    This was not a decision I took lightly. I'd battled with it for years. And years. Making every excuse in the book not to do it. But I'd just got so bored of hearing myself talk about it.
    On a train station on the other side of town a brief encounter was about to happen
    (Photo by Karrie Brown)
    Then, on New Year's Day last year, I just woke up and I took the leap. I made the decision. I wasn't going back to work. Job done.
    But would she turn up?
    (Drawing by Lynne McPeake)
    I was now a full time illustrator. Yay!!!! Argh!! Shit! YAY!!!
    He waited. And waited.
    (Drawing by me)
    I had no back up plan, hell, I had no plan. And, I had no money behind me, I had nothing. Not a bean to my name. All I had was this faith that somehow it would work out and this overwhelming belief that it was the right thing to do.
    Then she came
    (Photo by Rod Walton)
    And sometimes that's the best place to start. There's something quite beautiful about being in that place.
    But had she brought what he wanted?
    (Drawing by Kate Yorke)
    But it hasn't been easy. Far from it.
    But when is anything? Anything that means anything?
    There was no sign of the red case
    (Drawing by me)
    I was prepared for that.
    And I was prepared to be poor. I'd been practicing at that for quite a while.
    They moved into the café
    (Drawing by Becky Field)
     But even though the stress about having no money continued (and still continues) everything else became better. Since making that decision everything improved. Finally I was doing what I wanted to do. What I was meant to be doing.
    They'd go unnoticed there
    (Drawing by Karrie Brown)

    And, it's required me to be more, much more, creative. Not just as an artist, but how I live my life. I have to be creative in the way I spend my money and in how I make my money. And the latter has been a revelation.
    He had the money but did she have the red case?
    It was no longer feasible to just draw, and to hope that I might get some sales or commissions. I had to look at other things - things I'd learnt and how I could utilise them to bring in an income.
    She came up with the goods
    (Drawing by me)
    I started using my creativity in ways I'd never have dreamt of. Bringing all of the things I'd learnt, all the things I was skilled at, and was good at, together. With some extraordinary results.

    And there it was
    (Photo by Rod Walton)
    My favourite of which has to be this crazy idea I had for a series of alternative, costumed, life-drawing sessions, which had a narrative (that I'd written - in my head) running through them...
    The red case inside the green case
    Drawing by Liz Ackerley 
    ...passed on from model to model by via a little red case, and that included a lot of people getting shot or hit over the head with candlesticks and Prime Minsters getting involved with showgirls and...and...well, yeah, oh....
    And whilst all of this was going on
    (Drawing by Kate Yorke)

    ...and not to mention spies falling in love with each other.
    This pair were falling in love
    (Photo by Rod Walton)
    I mean, who could have predicted all of that?
    But can two spies truly fall in love?
    (Drawing by me)
    So you see, the craziest things can happen in just a year...
    How could they ever truly trust each other?
    (Photo by Rod Walton)

    ...when you take the leap of faith.
     And 2016? Well, I intend to make even more crazy things happen. Lots more.
    Oh, and it would be nice to make a bob (buck) or two along the way too. That's the aim.
     And then there was Edna
    (Photo by Rod Walton)
    I must say a HUGE thanks to all of the sketchers and amazing models who have made this project an absolute joy and one of my proudest achievements.
      I CANNOT wait for the new series set in a swanky New York apartment block in the 1970s to start in Feb. Let your creativity have no limits and it'll take you to amazing places too!
    Hector Littleton played by Mike Cross
    Michael Mann played by Christopher Freeman
    Eliza Day played by Kayleigh Amos
    Edna played by Kristina Parkin

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    17. a few wishes for awesome, wondrous you






    Filed under: children's illustration, flying, journeys, love, songs

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    18. A Movie Review of Faith Flix Film: Providence

    by Sally Matheny

    Providence movie releases February 2016

    Imagine watching a movie but instead of hearing the dialogue, we must cultivate it ourselves.  Although we all view the same scenes, each of us insert something unique to the story. We create conversations based on our own past experiences and knowledge. A kind grandmother in one scene expresses familiar words of love and wisdom because we’ve heard those words from someone significant in our own lives. Or we have hoped and dreamed of hearing them.

    Such is the case in the the Faith Flix Film, Providence, set to release February 12, 2016. Screenplay writer, Sharon Wilharm, and her producer-husband, Fred Wilharm, are known for their award-winning, independent films, such as The Good Book, which I reviewed in March 2015.  Both The Good Book  and Providence stand out from the crowd as they speak volumes about the Christian faith—and without saying any actual words. Both are modern-day, silent movies, except for the music soundtracks.

    Providenceis a family-friendly movie encompassing a rich story of God’s divine power to bring people together, despite our own shortcomings.

    Have you ever had a time of miscommunication, misunderstanding, or mistiming? Disappointments and missed opportunities have a way of pulling us into a melancholic party for one. 

    However, the story in Providence shows God is able to pull something wonderful together out of our seemingly fragmented lives.

    A failure to communicate can stall your love story.
    (Actors Stacey Bradshaw and Josh Allen)
    Providenceis described as a redemptive romance. After the opening scene of a bride with second thoughts before her wedding, we view a flashback of her past. We see how the relationships she had with her parents, her grandmother, and her friends have affected her life.

    When she is a teen, she becomes friends with a boy who secretly holds a key object from her past--a key that, at one time, was dear to her heart.

    An entertaining story unfolds sharing the wonders and awkwardness of their high school years. Their friendship grows. But due to communication failures, the relationship they both longed for doesn’t happen. They go their separate ways. For forty years, they each wait for God to send them a soul-mate. 

    Later, a tragedy and challenging life events produce second chances for several relationships. Does everyone grab their second chance?

    You’ll have to watch the movie, Providence to find out!

    I recommend you watch this movie. The acting is excellent and the film is well-crafted. I love the soundtrack. My favorite songs were “Paperdoll” by Jaclyn Brown, “I Will Fight,” by Caleb Allen, and “Walking Stories,” by Jilian Linklater.

    This movie reminds me God is a God of love, forgiveness, and thankfully, second chances. But we can’t take those second chances lightly. Every choice we make affects our love stories and our life stories. Our actions and the words we choose to say--or not to say. As in Linklater’s song, “Walking Stories,” she sings, “We’re all walking stories—what’s yours going to say?”

    Rachel (Juli Tapken) and Mitchell (Rich Swingle) have their
    first date forty years after first meeting.

    Check out more information, view movie clips, and hear songs from the soundtrack at:

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    19. Professor Squawkish Fallathropy ~ Quoter Supreme ~ continued


    (please excuse temporary lessening of artwork quality as I experiment with different materials…like felt tips. Oh yeah! A Fine Art degree at the Slade and, years later, I’m just now realising the utter joy of these incredible deliverers of colour :-)

    Filed under: children's illustration, love, poetry

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    20. Worm Loves Worm – Perfect Picture Book Friday and Diversity Day

    Title: Poet: Worm loves Worm Written by: J. J. Austrian illustrated by: Miike Curato Published by: Balzer & Bray, Jan 5th, 2016 Themes: celebration of love, marriage, wedding, worms Ages: 3-7 Opening: Worm loves Worm. “Let’s be married.” says Worm to Worm. Synopsis: A worm meets another worm and falls in love. One proposes; … Continue reading

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    21. Proposal Pop-Up Book

    My new designed book - shipped in time for Valentine's Day

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    22. Beartime Stories

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    23. The Other Side Of Heaven

    Hey, how have you been?

    This post is dedicated to Sandee of Comedy Plus, her "hubby," whose heartful post inspired me, and to their little dog "Little Bit," who they lost recently. Please stop by Comedy Plus, if you haven't already, and read Sandee's husbands post. 

     The Other Side Of  Heaven                                                  

    We often think of going to heaven, but we seldom consider the fact that heaven comes to us.  I think it’s because we’re not paying attention to the gifts we see around us every day.
    For example, people say “money doesn’t grow on trees,” when, in fact, we have oranges, apples, and the other kind of foods that grow from a seed, produce a tree, and bear fruits that literally fall from the tree, not the grocery store.

    Obviously, I do know what people mean when they use that expression, it’s because man discovered long ago to charge for their hard work at harvesting their crops, plants, etc…   But, you get my point, money does grow on trees, and, in fact, it’s a gift from heaven and a gift that will keep on giving.

    And I believe your animals or the people we love will show themselves in a different form to let us know they’re just on the other side of heaven and will see us soon.

    People also say that nothing is free, it’s another expression that simply isn’t true, for example, love is free. I believe we were born to live, love, and teach each other many things, the most of which is love, but the noise we experience in our daily routines gets in the way.
    However, animals do not hear the noise, so they allow their spirits to love freely, unbounded by the restrictions us humans require of one another.

    I believe domesticated animals are heaven sent perhaps to teach us how to live a life of joy, love, compassion, understanding, and loyalty to the ones with love, without judgment.  

    So, go hug your animal today, and if you do not have a pet, hug a person you love.
    And for those of you, who, like my friend Sandee and her husband have just lost a dear friend, hug someone you know you may also be grieving a pet, and help them remember the things their pets came here to teach them.

    Because, as I mentioned they are sent to remind us how to live a life of joy, love, compassion, and understanding, the most of which is love.  

    Show them that they taught you well, and you will gain strength from the treasures they gave you and remember you will see them again. -'Cause we are just on one side of heaven.-

    God bless  “Little Bit” Sandee, and Hubby.


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    24. Ruby Gold and Heron Bright visit Everyone Welcome Café

    heron - oneheron - twoheron - threeheron - four

    Filed under: love, pigeons, Ruby Gold

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    mirror, mirror on the wall...today's FEATURED PRINT is the fairest of them all!

    0 Comments on DECEMBER DISCOUNT DAYS...DAY 7! as of 12/7/2015 12:03:00 PM
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