Monday, July 01, 2024

July 2024 Reading Challenge: Pens & Pencils

What's your writing tool of choice? Colored, mechanical, lead, ink, ballpoint...pen or pencil...whatever gets the ideas onto paper is the point of July's reading challenge: pens and pencils on the cover. I found a few that I'm looking forward to reading. Here's my TBR:

Penciled in for a reading assignment.

1.) The Creativity Project by Colby Sharp

2.) Murder Your Darlings by Roy Peter Clark

3.) Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day

4.) The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell

5.) To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han


"I've got this." - Personalized Pencils 

Monday, June 03, 2024

June 2024 Reading Challenge: A Month of Poetry

Poem Pile

I'm a poet and didn't know it. No, wait...I did know it. Anyway, I thought June would be a good month for some poetry immersion. Random, out of the blue, and why not? Here's the short stack I pulled off the library shelf this inspiration for a reading challenge:

1.) The Aspiring Poet's Journal by Bernard Friot

2.) For Everyone by Jason Reynolds

3.) If Men, Then by Elzia Griswold

4.) My Name is Jason. Mine, Too... by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

5.) Ain't Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

6.) Wet Cement, a Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka

7.) Feel Your Way Through by Kelsea Ballerini


"Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of dictionary." ~Khalil Gibran

Monday, April 01, 2024

April 2024 Reading Challenge: Karma!

I recently grabbed a picture book off the library shelf called The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson and enjoyed the verse and illustrations...what a cute story! The end-flap advertised the author's "Bear" series, and I remembered Bear Snores On well, it being a 5-star read.

A Stack of Karma

After two great stories, I decided to see what else the author had cooking picture-book-wise and was flabbergasted by the sheer quantity--approximately 58 picture books! Are they all winners? That's the question that needs answering, and what this reading challenge is all about...reading Karma!

Childrens picture books by Karma Wilson (with links to Amazon):

1.) Bear Feels Sick (4 stars)
2.) Bear's New Friend
3.) Bear Says Thanks (3.5 stars) 
4.) Bear Sees Colors (4 stars)
5.) Bear Snores On (5 stars)
6.) Bear Stays Up for Christmas (4 stars)
7.) Bear Can't Wait (5 stars)
8.) Bear Finds Eggs (4 stars)
9.) Bear Wants More (4 stars)
10.) Bear Can't Sleep (3.5 stars)
11.) Bear Counts
12.) Bear Feels Scared (3.5 stars)
13.) Bear's Loose Tooth

14.) A Frog in the Bog (3.5 stars)
15.) Mama, Why?
16.) The Cow Loves Cookies (4 stars)
17.) Sleepyhead (3.5 stars)
18.) Moose Tracks (4 stars)
19.) Horseplay (3.5 stars)
20.) Princess Me (3.5 stars)
21.) I Love Your Face (4 stars)
22.) Whopper Cake (5 stars)
23.) Sweet Briar Goes to Camp (3 stars)
24.) How to Bake an American Pie
25.) Duddle Puck The Puddle Duck (5 stars)
26.) Moose Tracks (3.5 stars)
27.) Give Thanks to the Lord (3 stars)
28.) Hogwash! (4 stars)
29.) Hilda Must Be Dancing (4 stars)
30.) Big Bear, Small Mouse
31.) Doormouse Dreams
32.) A Dog Named Doug (4 stars)
33.) Who Goes There? (3.5 stars)
34.) Mama Always Comes Home
35.) Animal Strike at the Zoo
36.) Mortimer's Christmas Manger (3.5 stars)
37.) Mortimer's First Garden (3.5 stars)
38.) Bear Hugs
39.) Mr. Murry and Thumbkin (3 stars)
40.) If I Were a Mouse (3.5 stars)

41.) What's in the Egg, Little Pip?
42.) Don't Be Afraid, Little Pip
43.) Where Is Home, Little Pip? (3.5 stars)

44.) What's the Weather Inside?
45.) Outside in the Box (3 stars)

Other "karma" books on the TBR pile:

The Karma Map by Nisha Sharma
Karma Khullar's Mustache by Kristi Wientge
Karma: Why Everything You Know About It Is Wrong by Acharya Prashant

Thursday, March 07, 2024


Fun for Puget Sound Writers!

The Tipsy Typers (A Writing Club-In-A-Pub) is proud to announce Write-O-Rama on March 30, 2024 from 1:00-6:00 pm.


Part write-in, part social mixer, Write-O-Rama aims to expand your writing community and your word count, all during one enjoyable afternoon at the pub.

Amateurs and pros, extroverts and introverts, pro-tipsy and tea-sipsy are welcome. Come join the fun! To learn more and get your place reserved, click the link below:

Don't wait too long, space is limited!

Thursday, February 01, 2024

February 2024 Reading Challenge: Be My Guest!

Check out February's TBR pile:

Stop by...but don't stay too long, okay?

1.) The Guest List by Lucy Foley
2.) I Invited Her in by Adele Parks
3.) The Houseguest by Amparo Davila
4.) The House Guest by Hank Phillippi Ryan
5.) The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
6.) You Can't Stay Here Forever by Katherine Lin

As you see, it starts with, "Hey, you're invited!" and ends with "Now, get lost." Lol. Mixed messages, over-stayed welcomes, regret, and even murder are the themes for this Valentine's month. Beware, nothing for your sweet tooth here.

Inspired by the title of Sam Sharland's picture book, Valentine's Guest House, which is filled with beautiful illustrations. If you like tigers, give this one a look.

Valentine's Guest House by Sam Sharland


"Come on baby and be my guest, come join the party and meet the rest,
Everything is gonna be alright, so be my guest tonight.
 ~ Fats Domino, Be My Guest

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Selected for the Writers' Room Residency 2024

Guess where I'll be writing this year? I've been selected to participate in the Writers' Room Residency program for 2024, so I'll be tippy-tapping away in the Eulalie and Carlo Scandiuzzi Writers’ Room at the Seattle Public Library! Whoot!

Inside the Writers' Room
Seattle Public Library

Want to read more about it or apply next year? Check out more information here:

Monday, January 08, 2024

Altered Cookbook

 My collection of recipes comes in all shapes and sizes: torn out magazine pages, printed copies, hand-scrawled recipe cards, and on a variety of scratch papers...and they all ended up in a big box that I'd pull out and dig through before cooking time.

Honestly, I enjoy the process of thumbing through the pile of odd notes. Well, I should say I did up until more cooks entered my kitchen. Then, too many hands were sorting and moving recipes around, adding to the time it'd take me to find what I wanted. It became apparent to all us cooks, that we needed a new system.

Handwriting all my recipes onto index cards wasn't an option and regular school-type binders weren't cute enough. I discovered the blog Fresh Vintage by Lisa S and got down to the business of finding my own copy of the ring-bound Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book from the 50s. 

I wasn't fortunate enough to find one at the thrift store, or patient enough to wait around. I went ahead and ordered a used version from Amazon, paying top dollar (*cough-cough*)...but I was happy with the quality and relatively clean condition...considering it's a used cookbook and all.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
Published January 1, 1953

The first step was to peruse the cookbook for pages to remove...and I can say with confidence that the recipe for the Liver-sausage Pineapple below (without any pineapple whatsoever) would never be made by moi. Goodbye to the recipe, but the photo has so much vintage-goodness that I set it aside in case it makes the cut later.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, circa 1953
Page 61, Appetizers and Beverages

The opposite page boasts, "Served with hot coffee or chilled juice, [these snacks] put people at ease, spark good conversation." I bet!

Pardon me as I go back in time for a spell to jelly molds, green olives, and casseroles... I'll be back soon with more work-in-progress photos.


Scrapbook paper options from Echo Park Paper Company:

Country Kitchen by Carta Bella

Farmhouse Kitchen by Echo Park Paper Co.

Farm to Table by Carta Bella

Homemade by Carta Bella

Monday, January 01, 2024

Fabulous Five: Favorite Reads for 2023

I've read over 300 books for the 2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge, which is a HUGE number for me mainly due to my Picture Book BINGO Reading Challenge last October. Due to the quantity, I easily picked out five of my favorites.


1.) The New Rooster by Rilla Alexander
4.) Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor
3.) I Want to Be Spaghetti by Kiera White-Ruiz
4.) Little Witch Hazel by Phoebe Wahl
5.) Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite by Ashley Spires


Picture books and easy readers aside, I read so many good books that I honestly had a hard time choosing five favorites. But after some mulling, five books rose to the top:

1.) My all-time 2023 favorite read goes to this SPECULATIVE FICTION...

Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter

2.) Best read from a local PNW author is this MEMOIR...

Rough House by Tina Ontiveros

3.) Wonderful audiobook and great hook into a MYSTERY series goes to...

Out of Range by C.J. Box

4.) Best COMING OF AGE / DYSTOPIAN read goes to...

Deadlands by Victoria Miluch

5.) A gem! I highly recommend this CHRISTMAS ROMANCE audiobook...

Faking Christmas by Cindy Steel