Thursday, December 01, 2022

December 2022 Reading Challenge: Christmas Book Binge Reading

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
A partridge in a pear -- Wait. Scratch that.

How about instead, my true love gave to me a few really good books to read? While the French hens are co-mingling with the calling birds and the maids are busy milking around, I'll kick back with my feet up, cocoa on one side and my book pile on the other. Bliss. No phones, no computers 'cause my December will quite literally be booked. Let the Christmas-winter-snow binge reading begin!


The Primer Pile

CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOK

1.) Over the River and Through the Wood by L. Maria Child
2.) Over the River and Through the Wood by Emma Randall
3.) Oliver Elephant by Lou Peacock
4.) The Most Wonderful Gift in the World by Mark Sperring
5.) The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas by Marie Tibi
6.) Morris Wants More by Joshua Seigal
7.) Luke and Lottie: It's Christmas by Ruth Wielockx
8.) Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares
9.) Jingle-Jingle by Nicola Smee
10.) Always Everly by Nate Wragg
11.) Always Together at Christmas by Sara Sargent
12.) The Wee Christmas Cabin of Carn-na-ween by Ruth Sawyer
13.) A Whisper in the Snow by Kate Westerlund
14.) The Gift That I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford
15.) Ricky's Christmas Tree by Guido Van Genecht
16.) Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve by Janet Morgan Stoeke
17.) Little Santa by Jon Agee
18.) The Best Christmas Ever by Chih-Yuan Chen
19.) I'm Not Santa! by Jonathan Allen
20.) Grumpy Badger's Christmas by Paul Bright
21.) A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea
22.) A Magical Christmas by Claire Freedman
23.) Merry Christmas, Mary Christmas! by Laurie Friedman
24.) The Wishing Tree by Meika Hashimoto
25.) Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden
26.) Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker
27.) A Thing Called Snow by Yuval Zommer
28.) The Tree That's Meant to Be by Yuval Zommer
29.) A Simple Christmas on the Farm by Phyllis Alsdurf

ROMANCE

30.) Kiss the Girl by Melanie Jacobson
31.) Christmas at the Ranch by Anita Hughes
32.) Home for Christmas by Camilla Isley
33.) Winter's Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

MYSTERY
34.) The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf

DYSTOPIAN
35.) The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson


2022 Christmas good-read meter = 3 book(s) to recommend, so far.

Reading in Progress by TheGeekRetreat1

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Check out the 8 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2020 here!
Check out the 3 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2019 here!
Check out the 3 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2018 here!
Check out the 8 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2017 here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Goodbye Little Etsy Shop

Things change, and that's just the way of life. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. After some thought, I've decided the latest change by Etsy is a sign for me to simplify my life. Today the EpialDesign shop is closing the Etsy door. Maybe it's for good or maybe a door will open somewhere else. Who knows? If you'd like to inquire about my wares--young adult reads, greeting cards, crafts, blackout poetry pages, book bags, bookmarks--feel free to email me! Until then, adieu to you!

* * *

Etsy Sellers Demand Reversal of "Train Wreck" Policy: The company is asking users to verify their bank details via Plaid, a fintech company that recently settled a privacy class action lawsuit - by Hyperallergic

 

 

 

 


Thursday, September 29, 2022

October 2022 Reading Challenge: Dem Bones

October Reading Challenge
Skulls and/or Bones on the Cover

October is upon us, and I know I'm ready for some cozy reads. With an anthology called Black as Death in hand, a book with the Jolly Rogers symbol on the cover, I thought I'd make this the theme for the month: skull and crossbones, dry bones, noisy bones, whichever kind of bones. It's looking to be a month of rattling skeletons and good reads!


Book Back Bones

Need some inspiration? Here's a list of books I cobbled together:

1.) Black as Death: A Collection of Cafe Cozy Mysteries by Kate Swenson et al. (Mysteries)

2.) Skeleton Tree by Kim Ventrella (Middle Grade)

3.) Little Bird by Tiffany Meuret (Contemporary Fantasy)

4.) Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks (Childrens Graphic Novel)

5.) The Curse of Madame "C" by Gary Larson (Cartoon)

6.) Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (YA Western)

A Western eBook
Beautiful Cover!

Still looking for the right read? Check out these links:

1.) Twelve Books With Bones on the Cover – Top Ten Tuesday – Books, Bones & Buffy

2.) Goodreads List: Skull and Bones Book Covers

3.) Scholastics: 10 Skeleton-Themed Stories for Every Age

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James Weldon Johnson
Unknown Photographer, Public Domain

Dry Bones by James Weldon Johnson

Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!
Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
"Oh, hear the word of the Lord."

The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun'
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun'
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun'
Oh, hear the word of the Lord.

The head bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the foot bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

First Place!

Short Story

After my dad passed away, I hunched over my writing desk and wrote a fiction short story to process my grief. What was happening to my dad? What was he thinking in those last days? Where did he go? This story touched my heart. I cried while writing it...I cried while editing it...I cried again after taking first place at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2022 Conference.

I could feel my dad with me in spirit at the awards dinner last night, and if I could have, I would've hugged him. Thank you, Dad, for the love and the inspiration.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

June 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO BLACKOUT!


Stacia Leigh's Cozy Reading Challenge
BINGO card

Half a year of reading with a BINGO here and a BINGO there, and I'm truly ready for a blackout. Found some favorites and even found a couple to buy for my shelf. I posted Amazon links to my recommended reads. Here's the breakdown:

R1C1: One-word title: CABLE by Jeffrey A. Pitts
R1C2: Set in the northwest: WONDERLAND POEMS by Matthew Dickman
R1C4: A Rec-o-mended book: EVENTOWN by Corey Ann Haydu
R1C5: Picture book: WAITING by Kevin Henkes
R2C2: By an independent author: WINDS OF SKILAK by Bonnie Rose
R2C4: Bottom of your To Be Read pile: WHERE THE WORLD ENDS by Geraldine McCaughrean
R2C5: Blue cover: BOOK ARCHITECTURE by Stuart Horwitz
R3C1: Little Free Library find: ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE TO REMIND ME by Beth Harbison
R3C4: A holiday story: HONEYMOON FOR ONE by Jennifer Peel
R3C5: Memoir: ABOUT MY MOTHER BY Peggy Rowe
R4C1: Set in nature: WILD BIRD by Wendelin Van Draanen
R4C2: A cultural find: AMAL UNBOUND by Aisha Saeed
R4C3: Made into a movie: GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn
R4C4: YA romance by Stacia Leigh: DEALING WITH BLUE by Stacia Leigh
R4C5: A forgotten classic: YELLOW WALLPAPER by Charlotte Gilman
R5C1: Sci-fi or fantasy: DAUGHTER OF YS by M.T. Anderson
R5C4: An award winner: RUNNING DREAM by Wendelin Van Draanen 
R5C5: Art, poetry, or play: MOTHER by Maya Angelou

It was fun while it lasted. Now I'm going to run off and read whatever the heck I want. Enjoy your summer reads, my friends!

Monday, March 28, 2022

March 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update

 
Five in a row...fourth BINGO!
My two favorite reads.

 

SET IN THE NORTHWEST
Wonderland: Poems by Matthew Dickman (Poetry) - 4 out of 5 stars.
The eighties were a dreary time in Portland, yet the author's words seemed as apropos then as they do now, which inspired my ode to Wonderland:

This is Portland then and now.
This is Seattle, too, a green and seedy place, full of despair.
This is pills and brown powder on the streets and spent needles floating on puddles.
This is home to Billionaire Bill.
This is sprawling suburbia where neighbors in beige McMansions whisper behind their hands, "They're new here."
This is twenty years of "We should get together," on the other side of the fence.
This is the weather, wet, moist, gray, pushing people into their living rooms to collectively hate the color orange.
This is what 3 a.m. looks like.
~by Stacia Leigh

 

BY AN INDIE AUTHOR
Winds of Skilak
by Bonnie Rose Ward (Memoir) - 5 out of 5 stars!
An adventurous read already mentioned on the February 2022 BINGO win.

ABOUT YOUR DREAM JOB
27 Essential Principles of Story by Daniel Joshua Rubin - 5 out of 5 stars!
A shelf-worthy book with a new take on story crafting. Highly recommend.

A CULTURAL FIND
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (Middle Grade) - Highly recommend!
A fun read already mentioned on the October 2021 BINGO win.

BASED ON A TRUE STORY
Winds of Skilak: The Continuing Saga by Bonnie Rose Ward (Memoir) - 5 out of 5 stars!
The author certainly lived an adventurous and dangerous life. I think she should write a cook book next or maybe even one on canning. How many jars does it take to can a moose or a bear? Loved this series and would recommend it to anyone who's interested in homesteading, Alaska, or just being in the great outdoors.


Follow the BINGO wins here:
June 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Blackout!
February 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update
January 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update
October 2021 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update


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Want to join the fun? Click here to get your own BINGO card on Etsy.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Greeting Card Challenges

Are you like me with a closet full of paper, glue, and other supplies that only see the light of day once a year? Do you order things online--like stickers and stamps--only to add them to a bin, out of sight, out of mind until the next crafting retreat? Are you a tool collector? A paper saver?

If you answered yes, we might be twinsies! I recently made a vow to only shop from my stash and not buy any more stuff (already broken thanks to finding a like-new Cuttlebug at the thrift store). But I'm making somewhat of a dent after learning of the Bring Smiles to Seniors nonprofit organization that accepts greeting card donations for seniors. It inspired me to GET BUSY because if I donate 2,500 cards I'll get "Angel" status. Uh, oh...a challenge! Lol. So far I've made a bag of 50, so I  have a ways to go yet...hence, the list of prompts below:


52 Weeks of Greeting Card Prompts
 

And I'd be remiss if I didn't turn it into a BINGO game. You know...design...fun stuff. If you're on Instagram and feel like participating, be sure to tag your projects with #greetingcardchallenge and/or #greetingcardbingo to join in the fun. See you there!

Greeting Card Challenge - BINGO
 
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"She aint nothin' but a goal digger." ~ @DMarzDesigns

Monday, February 07, 2022

February 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update


Five in a row...third BINGO!

 

ONE-WORD TITLE
Something a little different for this one: I read an as-yet-to-be-published manuscript for a friend that crosses off this BINGO box for the win! A great book that I'll be able to talk about VERY soon.

BY AN INDIE AUTHOR
Winds of Skilak by Bonnie Rose Ward (Memoir) - 5 out of 5 stars!
The pages were filled to the brim with hardships, wild critters, and adventure. I was truly sad for it to end, but thankfully there's another book by this author, the saga continues.

FREE SPACE
A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems by Janet S. Wong (poetry) - 5 out of 5 stars!
A beautiful and amusing read already mentioned on the January 2022 BINGO win post.

YA ROMANCE BY STACIA LEIGH
Dealing with Blue by Stacia Leigh (Young Adult Romance) - 5 out of 5 stars!
I published this in 2015 and after reading it through with a lens of six more years of experience (more books written and published, judging contests, and providing critiques), I gave my debut baby a little polish. Update your Kindle or buy a new copy. It's now New & Improved!

ART POETRY OR PLAY
Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me by Maya Angelou (Poetry) - 5 out of 5 stars!
Short and sweet and nearly made me cry. Highly recommend.


Follow the BINGO wins here:
June 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Blackout!

March 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update
January 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update
October 2021 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update


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Want to join the fun? Click here to get your own BINGO card on Etsy.

Sunday, January 02, 2022

January 2022 Reading Challenge: A BINGO Update

 Five in a row...second BINGO!

I'm taking the long way around this Bingo card, but I've finally managed another BINGO win, starting the New Year on the right foot. Here's what I've read so far (Amazon links included):

REPEAT READ
The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols (Young Adult Romance) 4 out of 5 stars.
A romantic comedy with lots of snow-filled high jinks. It's a quick read and perfect for the holidays.

A NUMBER IN THE TITLE
2000 to 10,000: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron (Nonfiction) 4 out of 5 stars.
What's this book about? Exactly what the title says. It's a quick and motivational read for a dedicated writer.

FREE SPACE
A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems by Janet S. Wong (Poetry) 5 out of 5 stars!
The author denotes beautiful and amusing words depicting family pride, being Korean, Chinese, and American. I loved this one.

MADE INTO A MOVIE
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Suspense) 4 out of 5 stars.
A fun read already mentioned on the October 2021 BINGO win.

A SCARY BOOK
Dangerous Prayers: Because Following Jesus Was Never Meant to Be Safe by Craig Groeschel (Spiritual) 5 out of 5 stars!
I'd never read a book about prayer before, but the cover and title sounded scary enough to cross off this BINGO square. All said and done, it did the job in more ways than one. I'd recommend.

 

Follow the BINGO wins here:
June 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Blackout!
March 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update
February 2022 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update

October 2021 Reading Challenge: BINGO Update

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Want to join the fun? Click here to get your own BINGO card on Etsy.

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Fabulous Five: Favorite Reads for 2021

Oh, how I enjoy this time of year. Instead of making resolutions, I go back in time, reflect on the books I've read over the past year, and pick out my favorites. 2021 was pretty straight forward, so let's get to it.


 

 
TOP FIVE!

1.) My all-time 2021 favorite read goes to...
 
 

2.) My favorite author for the year goes to...
 
 
 
3.) Best Middle Grade read and favorite cover goes to...

 
 

4.) Best Young Adult read for the year...
 
 
by EmilyWibberley and