Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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January = Storystorm!

For picture book writers, January equals Storystorm!

Storystorm, an adventure in brainstorming new picture book ideas, is Tara Lazar’s kicking-off-the-new-year-of-writing-picture-books project. I can’t even remember how many years I’ve been doing Storystorm, but it is worth every second. And I have the dog-tagged notebooks to prove it.

Thanks, Tara, for planning this creativity-inspiring month of posts for building a bank of picture book ideas. Let’s go, 2022!


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Happy New Year!

Photo by Angie Quantrell, Yakima Valley

Sending prayers and wishes for a 2022 filled with love, joy, hope, and peace.


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Haiku Moment: stuck

winter freeze equals

locked in place, stuck in RV

special escape tool

stuck by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley


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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you, family and friends. Sending extra special wishes and prayers for love, joy, and peace. And if you are missing a loved one and having a tough holiday season, may the comfort of the Lord surround you and your family.

Joy and peace.


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Sunday Inspiration

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Little Naches River area, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, WA


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Pantser or Plotter?

I’ve always been a pantser. That’s a writer who creates stories by the seat of her pants, just jumping off the cliff and writing whatever happens next. This is a very exciting way to write. You never know what is going to happen next. Because. Well. You haven’t planned anything.

In November and December, I suddenly found myself desiring to plot new stories. I wanted to try being a plotter, a writer who makes a plan before writing. This of course helps with story arc, characters, setting, and all of that stuff. Well, it’s not like I said, “I want to be a plotter,” but one day I noticed my Debbie Ridpath Ohi picture book thumbnails template and thought it would be fun to try.

And wow! Two picture books written by actual plotting. For these two stories, the plotting plan worked perfectly. (Heh-heh, I love alliteration.)

I’m sure I will continue to be mostly a pantser because I love running with a story idea that begins with a title (which happens quite often) or a phrase or a character. But on occasion, I might just dig out that template and put on my plotting pants.

Who’s with me?

Thank you, Debbie Ridpath Ohi! You can find her picture book templates (and tons of other great info) on her website: debbieohi.com

Writing Tip: Always add kitties to help you write. Works for plotters OR pantsers. (Or snugglers.)


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Cauliflower Parsnip Soup a Success #magnolia

It’s actually called Cream of Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup and I found it in Magnolia Journal, issue 21, a gorgeous magazine with several test-worthy recipes.

I’m notorious for finding and ripping out recipes I “want” to try. Which often (mostly, okay, maybe never) happens. But this time I remembered to buy a head of cauliflower and parsnips at the store. Everything else was on hand. Even my bottle of herbes de Provence I’ve been trying to find a use for.

My only change was to add a bit of grated cheddar cheese. Success! This is so delicious. The recipe makes a huge pot of soup, so plan ahead to serve it to a crowd. We will be eating this for the next 3-4 days. And I am quite happy about that!

Two thumbs up.