Picture Book Review- Carl’s Day at the Park

There are many wonderful picture books on the market, from classics such as Maurice Sendak’s beloved “Where the Wild Things Are,” to this year’s popular, “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” by Peter Brown, which was chosen for a place on Publisher Weekly’s list of the best picture books from 2013.

Each of us, hopefully, has a memory of a favorite picture book, something important from our childhoods, or our children’s childhoods, that has left a mark on our spirits. For me, one such book is “Carl’s Afternoon in the Park,” written and illustrated by Alexandra Day. The book focuses on a Rottweiler, named Carl, who is caring for a toddler and a puppy in Central Park.

Now, it may be that I am a tad bit biased about this beautifully rendered picture book. After all, Carl is almost identical to my sweet old Rottweiler, Bear, who is my toddler’s self-appointed protector/watcher/big brother. Or I may be biased because I love a good story, however it is told, and the pictures show a day in the life without many words to muck it up. Either way, the few sentences in this book explain to us how Carl comes to be charged with the two playful little ones, while the soft watercolors bring to life the day, as well as our imaginations. The book can grow with your family from your child’s infancy, when the pictures will be pretty colors and interesting distractions, on through toddlerhood and beyond, allowing pictures to gain names, short descriptions, and eventually evolve into a full blown story as your child learns and their imaginations take flight.

If you are looking for a delightful book to grab imaginations and incite conversation with your child, I recommend Alexandra Day’s “Carl’s Afternoon in the Park.”

May your imaginations soar, and may you have a Blessed Day!

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Unfinished Stories

I was glancing through my four current notebooks earlier, searching for any already written, yet sadly overlooked, blog pieces. What I found was row after row, page after page, entry after entry of short blurbs and pithy conversations that may one day find their way into being part of a story, but are currently just “hangin’ out.”

The problem is, how do I decide which story to write, which conversation to finish? Each one lives in me, every scene plays out in my subconscious mind. I don’t have time for them though. No time for lemurs or llamas, college crushes, or even heartwarming stories of giving. My dragons clamor for attention, their grumbles and fairy alliances effectively silencing other, softer voices.

But those softer voices fight their way to the forefront at odd times. A bit of random people watching, stray pieces of sentences, or a new commercial sending me into a quick frenzy of scribbles, leaving partial scenes and half-formed conversations in my wake.

I never seem to get far with a new work though. My babies, my sweet dragons, have me well in hand. There may be no other stories until theirs is finished. Unless, of course, I figure out a way to turn them each into a blog post….

Until then, go on an adventure, write a story, read someone new, and above all else, Have a BLESSED day!

Christmas Love

My mother loves Christmas. The music, the festivities, the baking, the movies, and pretty much everything else. She could, and usually does, watch/listen/sing all the year through…in fact, she could probably be a Who. Then there are some, like myself, who aren’t as interested in this holiday. However you feel about this time of year, most people find something to put a smile on their faces. But I’m not here today to talk about the family gatherings or the cute movies, or the connection my father feels to the Grinch..before he sells out.

No, I’m here to ask you each for a huge favor. I want you to remember, in whatever way you see fit, the people who can’t celebrate. Those who have lost loved ones this week, the soldiers stationed in areas that preclude their families gathering around them, the homeless, and the sick. There are people, possibly people that you often see in your daily rounds, that have problems during the holiday season. So while you are celebrating with family and friends today and for the next week or so, smile and wave at the woman down the street. You may never know how special that small act of kindness is to the recipient.

I hope that your Holiday, whatever it is that you celebrate, is Blessed beyond measure that you never have a reason to stop celebrating. May your day, your week, and your year be Blessed, and may you be a Blessing to those around you. Merry Christmas!

My life

I am a single mother. I do not receive child support, my child has never met the ‘other side’, and probably will never knowingly meet them. This is not how I imagined things would go. I never thought my fiancé would deny us and beg to have nothing to do with his daughter, but these things happened. I never thought that I would be living in my parent’s house at the age of 28, chasing a toddler and struggling to set up an online persona for my writing and my handmade items store; but this my life. I am blessed in that I have somewhere to be, a family that took us in when I couldn’t support myself, let alone an infant, on the salary I made as a waitress. I don’t know how other women do it with no support at all.

Yes there are days when I worry that my daughter will have problems because she only has one parent. Yes there are times when I wish I had someone to take a turn with at 2am because my toddler is breaking in new teeth. Yes, every day is a struggle, even now when I am ‘used’ to being a single mother living with her parents (can you ever really get used to that??).

However, everything happens for a reason…right? We now live back in the town where I attended high school and parts of college. I have new friends, and some old, that I can turn to, whereas the ‘friends’ I had when I got pregnant have all but turned their backs on me because I’m ‘tied down’ with a baby now. I haven’t been on a date in over two years, probably closer to three, but that isn’t really important in the grand scheme of things. Not when I have my sweet baby to snuggle me while she doesn’t take a nap.

Now maybe you know a little more about me. I hope that any of you who may need an ear, know that you can at least leave a comment for me!

May all of your frustrations lead to great accomplishments, and may you always remember that problems lead to solutions, and pain can lead to hope. Have a Blessed Day!

Are you REAL???

Are you REAL? This is a questions that we do not often think about after ‘growing up’ and going through the requisite SantaClause/EasterBunny/ToothFairy fiasco. After we hit that certain age, usually around the time that we get our first car or go away to college, we begin to simply assume ourselves all knowing.

However, it has recently been brought to my attention that some things are still in question. For example: Are you a REAL cowboy? Are you a REAL Christian?? Are you a REAL fan of…?? I won’t address any of these at the moment because the real question now has to be boiled down to just, “Are YOU a REAL Person??”

When you answer the phone, call customer service, or even talk to someone online, you have to wonder if you are actually speaking to a blood and bones living being, or if a program is responding to signals.

More than that though, the advancing technologies for media have allowed people to pigeonhole themselves into groups they, or their friends, identify with and then change accordingly. So that preppy girl next door, she may not be anymore ‘real’ than your customer service program. “But Elizabeth,” you may ask, “What is your point?? People change all the time!”

The point, my dear friends, is that you and I don’t know it all and there are questions. Questions that, at least in my world, need to be asked, and hopefully answered. Ask your cousin why he feels the need to wear a spiked collar, or talk to the girl in line at the store and find out about the names on her shirt. Don’t let people slip by in the anonymity of their ‘kind’, there is a “Real” person inside that Elvis Impersonator. There may even be a real person in that hipster downstairs!

May you all be lucky enough to find the real bits inside each person you meet, and may you have a Blessed Day!

The Need to Learn

After the fourth time I watched my daughter drop, and therefor open, her ‘big girl’ sippy cup I started to tell her that she needs ‘to learn.’  But learn what exactly; consequences, reactions, rules?? That is EXACTLY what she is learning! Each and every time that lid popped off she changed and rearranged her methods before starting all over again.

So then, since she is learning universal truths each and every time that she experiments with these things, perhaps it is not my fifteen month old who ‘needs to learn.’ Maybe, just maybe, its me.

Maybe I should be stockpiling good paper towels and teaching her clean up methods instead of freaking out and immediately sopping up her messes. It is possible that I should be setting aside times to do artwork and nifty experiments with her (colored bubbles anyone?). More than any of that though, perhaps I need to stop and take a moment to enjoy the beautiful order that arises even out of this chaos.

See that pile of food on the floor? It is a butterfly…and we have dogs!

May you all be blessed enough to spend time with a toddler, and if not, make some bubbles just because you can! Have a blessed day!

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Dragon on the Green (The Stone Dragon Saga Book 3)

Dragon on the Green (The Stone Dragon Saga Book 3)

So far today I have managed to give away 53 free digital downloads of my third novel in the Stone Dragon Saga. If you haven’t gotten your copy, please go do so! Even if you don’t have the first two books in the series, go snag this one. I will have another give away for the first two soon…or you could just buy them if you need them more quickly 😉 The give away ends at midnight on December 17th, so go get yours before the price jumps up.

Please pass this on to all of your friends in any country that Amazon/Kindle works with. I would love to give away at least one copy in each area that I get reports for!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! Have a Blessed Day!

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Another Free Book – Kindle App Edition

Another Free Book – Kindle App Edition

Who are you reading this week? If you don’t have a Monday book picked out yet, may I suggest my own?

Beginning tomorrow (December 16th) at 12 am and going through Midnight Tuesday (December 17th), the newest Stone Dragon Saga book, Dragon on the Green, will be available for free download.

Pass the word along and see how many I can give away in the two days!

Feel free to leave messages and/or reviews for me wherever I pop up!

Have a blessed day and enjoy the reading!

Dragon on the Green

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pride that I announce the arrival of the third addition to the Stone Dragon Saga. Dragon on the Green, by Elizabeth S. Tyree, is now available on createspace,com and will be up on the kindle platform within the next few hours, with Amazon to follow in the next week.

I invite you all to check the series out, and will be having a free give away for the Kindle edition soon. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when!

Have a Blessed Weekend!!

My Addiction

I have an addiction. They say that admitting it is the first step to recovery, but all admitting it has ever gotten me is a bowl full of strange looks and pitying laughter. Even so, I press on and admit again, I have an addiction. I cannot help myself, I love the pull of the sweet swirls, the joyous brightness that erupts as the pressure pops the fluid down across the smooth white paper…yes, I am addicted to colored pens!

See, there’s that look. The wide eyed, sideways glance, a little cough to hide the giggle…there ya go. Welcome to the world of the non-afflicted. Yes, this is real. I see a colored pen and I need it. I have to work overtime to not purchase new packs of pens, or just grab them off the shelf, open the package, and take off! I love the colors, the plethora of ways to use them. I write my books in rainbow ink. Each character, each place, each novel has different colors denoting their roles in my life. I cringe when I have to fill out paperwork that says “please use blue or black ink.” I prefer purple, or pink maybe…sometimes green, or orange, or rust. I love metallic silver and copper colors on crisp paper. I can write, doodle, sign my name, and write some more all on one page and make it look like an art major’s pad. I have note cards covered in precise lines of color and can tell you at a single glance who and what those notes are referring to. Can you do all that with a simple black ball point? I think not!

Oh now I’ve gone and done it, I need a fix. Luckily I have a small metal briefcase that holds 36 ink pens, 32 of which are not plain black or blue (there are a few beautiful blue pens with glitter or lightened colors, I’ll use those on occasion. I’m not too picky!).

May all your addictions be as pleasant as mine, may you all be surrounded with colorful lines. May your days and your nights be comfy cozy, and may your blessings be bountiful as blooming posies.