Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thanks, Mom

I just wanted to be on record as appreciating my mom. There isn't anyone else on this planet who knows me like she does.

From my first skinned knee to my sorrow as a parent, Mom has been there for me.

My earliest memories are of Mom stopping to point out simple things: the magic of shapes inside clouds, the delicate wings of butterflies, the fascination of watching a pill bug roll into a ball.

My mother also introduced me to the magic of the written word. I remember lazy afternoons where I was glued to the floor next to her knee while she read from Freckles by Jean Stratton Porter. I lived those moments in the forest with the characters. Or Heidi by Johanna Spyri. I mourned with Heidi when she missed her grandfather. I listened with fascination as Mom's voice changed in pitch or tone according to who the character was.

Mom also shared with me her love of good music. I might not have been able to pronounce Tchaikovsky, but I knew how to dance to "The Nutcracker."

Like me, Mom didn't have a college degree, but she taught me the value of constant learning. We had a library in our home that we were expected to use. Bored wasn't even a word in our house. If any of us said we were "that word," there were always plenty of activities to fill the time. Not only did we deliver the local paper, we devoured it - cover to cover. The funnies always came first. I'm not talented at writing humor, but I know where I can find it; and I lived in a home where there was always laughter.

I know I've been able to find joy in the moments of life from the example of my mother. When I find joy in driving my kids to school, joy in having a house despite the piles of laundry and dishes, joy in watching an ant carry a leftover crumb my kids have left on the sidewalk, I know I can thank a mother who took those moments to stop and find joy too.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Book Tour for A Royal Elf of Abalon

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of Anna del C. Dye's blog tour. The best part was, of course, getting to read an advanced copy of her new book, A Royal Elf of Abalon. I have read several of Anna's elf books. I love her portrayal of the valiant and protective Elf men. I enjoy reading stories where the men are genuinely good people who love their wives. You can follow Anna on Twitter. She loves to hear from her readers. If you love the book like I do, you can show your appreciation by nominating her book for this year's Whitney Awards.

If you look at this year's movie line up, it's a year for fairy tales. "A Royal Elf of Abalon" is no exception. I felt liked I'd wandered into a fairy tale when I picked up the book. The story started off with secret meetings and references to a wicked queen. When I first started reading it, I could see from both the title and the details included at the beginning of the book where the story was headed, and I was intrigued about how all the pieces would fit together. I confess to having stayed up very late to finish the book. Like all good fairy tales, there's a happily-ever-after ending, but I ached for the characters as they went through their trials to get there. It's a story I enjoyed and its also one I feel comfortable handing to my children. The romance and action will interest both the young audience and an older one. Highly recommended.