Friday, April 27, 2012

Casperl and The Princess

This Fairy Tale you may recognize from my book. It isn't a very well known Fairy Tale, and I couldn't find it online except for in books that you can buy. I discovered it in The Bookshelf For Boys And Girls Volume 3 and from there I am copying. It sometimes goes merely by the title Casperl, but I prefer adding and the Princess to it. It was written by Henry C. Bunner.

Casperl was a wood-chopper, and the son of a wood-chopper, and although he was only eighteen when his father died, he was so strong and that he went on chopping and hauling wood for the whole neighborhood, and people said he did it just as well as his father, while he was certainly a great deal more pleasant in his manner and much more willing to oblige others.

It was a poor country, however, for it was right in the heart of the Black Forest, and there were more witches and fairies and goblins than there were healthy human beings. So Casperl scarcely made a living though he worked hard and rose early in the morning summer and winter. His friends often advised him to go to some better place where he could earn more money. But he only shook his head and said that the place was good enough for him.

He never told anyone, though, why he loved his poor hut in the depths of the dark forest, because it was a secret which he did not wish to share with strangers. For he had discovered, a mile or two from his home, in the very blackest part of our woods, an enchanted mountain. It was a high mountain, covered with trees, and rocks and thick, tangled undergrowth, except at the very top, where there stood a castle surrounded by smooth green lawns and beautiful gardens. They were always kept in the neatest possible order, although no gardener was ever seen.

This enchanted mountain had been under a spell for nearly two hundred years. (a/n In Sew, It's a Quest, I said it was only a hundred years. Yes, I did take a few liberties, but I took liberties with the other Fairy Tales I put in there, as well. That's one of the beauties of rewriting Fairy Tales: you can take liberties.) The lovely Princess who lived there had once ruled the whole country. But a powerful and wicked magician disguised as a prince, and played court to her. At first the princess loved her false princess; but one day she found out that he was not what he pretended to be, and she told him to leave her and never come near her again.

"For you are not a prince," she said. "You are an impostor, and I will never wed any but a true prince."

"Very well," said the magician, in a rage. "You shall wait for your true prince, if such a thing exists as a true prince; and you shall marry no one until he comes."

And then the magician cast a spell upon the beautiful castle on the top of the mountain, and then the terrible forest sprang up about it. Rocks rose up from the earth and piled themselves in great heaps among the tree-trunks. Saplings and brush and twisted poisonous vines came to fill up every crack and crevice so that no mortal man could possibly go to the summit, except for one path that was purposefully left clear. And in that path there was a gate that the strongest man could not open, it was so heavy. Farther up the mountain-slope, the trunk of a tree lay right across the way, that no man could climb over, or crawl over, or cut through. And beyond the gate was a dragon with green eyes that frightened away every man that looked at it.

And there the beautiful Princess was doomed to live until the true prince should arrive and overcome these three obstacles.

Now, although none of the people in the forest, except Casperl, knew of the mountain or the Princess, the story had been told in many distant countries, and year after year young princes came from all parts of earth to try and rescue the lovely captive and win her for a bride. But, one after the other, they all tried and failed. Te best of them could not so much as open the gate.

And so there the Princess remained, as the years went on. But she did not grow any older or any less beautiful, for she was still waiting for the True Prince and she believed that some day he would come.

This was what kept Casperl from leaving the Black Forest. He was sorry for the Princess, and he hoped some day to see her rescued and wedded to the True Princess.

Every evening, when his work was done, he would walk to the foot of the great mountain, and sit down on a great stone and look up to the top where the Princess was walking in her garden. And as it was an enchanted mountain, he could see her clearly, although he were so very far away. Yes, he could see her face as well as though she were close by him, and he thought it was truly the loveliest face in the world.

There he would sit and sadly watch the princes who tried to climb the hill. There was scarcely a day that some prince from a far country did not come to make the attempt. One after another, the would arrive with gorgeous trains of followers, mounted on fine horses so magnificent that a plain cloth of gold suit looked shabby among them. They would look up to the mountain-top and see the Princess walking there, and they would praise her beauty so warmly that Casperl, when he heard them, felt sure that he was quite right in thinking her the loveliest woman in the world.

But every prince had to make the trial by himself. That was one of the conditions which the magician made when he laid the spell on the castle, although Casperl did not know it.

And each prince would throw off his cloak, and shoulder a silver or a gold-handled ax, and fasten his sword by his side, and set out to climb the hill, and open the gate, and cut through the fallen tree, and slay the dragon, and wed the Princess.

Up he would go, bright and hopeful, and tug away at the gate until he found that he could do nothing with it, and then he would plunge into the tangled thickets of underbrush, and try his best to fight his way through to the summit.

But every one of them came back, after a while, with his fine clothes torn and his soft skin scratched, all tired  and worn out. And then he would look spitefully up at the mountain and say he didn't care so much about wedding the Princess, after all; that she was only a common enchanted princess, just like any other enchanted princess, and really not worth so much trouble.

This would grieve Casperl, for he couldn't help thinking that it was impossible that any other woman could be as lovely as his Princess. You see, he called her his Princess because he took such and interest in her, and he didn't think there could be any harm in speaking of her in that way, just to himself. For he never supposed she could even know there was such a humble creature as poor young Casperl, the wood-chopper, who sat at the foot of the hill and looked up at her.

And so the days went on, and the unlucky princes came and went, and Casperl watched them all. Sometimes he say his Princess look down from over the castle parapets, and eagerly follow with her lovely eyes the struggles of some brave suitor through the thickets, until the poor Prince gave up the job in despair. Then she would look sad and turn away. But generally she paid no attention to the attempts that were being made to reach her. That kind of thing had been going on so long that she was quite used to it.

By and by, one summer evening, as Casperl sat watching, there came a Prince with a small train of attendants. The Prince was rather undersized; he didn't look strong, and he did look as though he slept too much in the morning and too little at night. He slipped off his coat, however, and climbed up the road, and began to push and pull at the gate.

Casperl watched him carelessly for a while, then, happening to look up, he saw that the Princess was gazing sadly down on the poor little Prince as he tugged and toiled.

A bold idea came to Casperl. Why shouldn't he help the Prince? He was young and strong; he had often thought that, if he were a prince, a gate like that should not keep him away from the Princess. Why, indeed, should he not give his strength to help to free the Princess? And he felt a great pity for the poor little Prince, too.

So he walked modestly up the hill and offered his services to the Prince.

"Your Royal Highness," he said, "I am only a wood-chopper; but, if you please, I am a strong wood-chopper, and perhaps I can be of use to you."

"But why should you take the trouble to help me?" inquired the Prince. "What good will it do you?"

"Oh, well!" said Casperl, "it's helping the Princess, too, don't you know?"

"No, I don't know," said the Prince. "However, you may try what you can do. Here, put your shoulder to this end of the gate, and I will stand right behind you."

Now, Casperl did not know that that it was forbidden to any suitor to have help in his attempt to climb the hill. The Prince knew it, though, but he said to himself, "When I am through with this wood-chopper, I will dismiss him, and no one will know anything about it. I can never lift this gate by myself. I will let him do it for me, and thus I shall get the Princess, and he will be just as well satisfied, for he is only a wood-chopper."

So Casperl put his broad shoulder to the gate and pushed with all his might. It was very heavy, but after a while it began to move a little.

"Courage your Royal Highness," said Casperl. "We'll move it, after all." But if he had looked over his shoulder, he would have seen that the little Prince was not pushing at all, but that he had put on his cloak, and was standing idly by, laughing to himself at the way he was making a wood-chopper do his work for him.

After a long struggle, the gate gave way, and swung open just wide enough to let them through. It was a close squeeze for the Prince; but Casperl held the gate open until he slipped through.

"Dear me," said the Prince, "you're quite a strong fellow. You really were of some assistance to me. Let me see, I think the stories say something about a tree, or some such tree farther up the road. As you are a wood-chopper, and as you have your ax with you, perhaps you might walk up a bit and see if you can't make yourself useful."

Casperl was quite willing, for he began to feel that he was doing something for the Princess, and it pleased him to think that even a wood-chopper could do her service.

So they walked up until they came to the tree. And then the Prince drew out his silver ax and sharpened it carefully on the sole of his shoe, while Casperl picked up a stone and whetted his old iron ax, which was all he had.

"Now," said the Prince, "let's see what we can do."

But he didn't really do anything. It was Casperl who swung his ax and chopped hard at the magic tree. Every blow made the chips fly; but the wood grew instantly over each cut, just as though he had been cutting into water.

For a while, the Prince amused himself by trying first to climb over the tree, then to crawl under it. But he soon found that whichever way he went, the tree grew up or down so fast that he was shut off. Finally he gave it up, and went and lay down on his back on the grass, and watched Casperl work.

And Casperl worked hard. The tree grew fast; but he chopped faster. His forehead was wet, and his arms were tired, but he worked away and made the chips fly in a cloud. He was too busy to take the time to look over his shoulder, so he did not see the Prince lying on the grass. But every now and then he spoke cheerily, saying, "We'll do it, your Royal Highness!"

And he did it, in the end. After a long, long while, he got the better of the magic tree, for he chopped quicker than it could grow, and at last he had cut a gap right across the trunk.

The Prince jumped up from the grass and leaped nimbly though, and Casperl followed him slowly and sadly, for he was tired, and it began to occur to him that the Prince had not said anything about the Princess. That made him wonder if the little man who called himself Prince were the True Prince after all. "I'm afraid," thought Casperl, "that the Princess won't thank me if I bring her a prince who doesn't love her. And it is really strange that this Prince hasn't said a word about her."

So he ventured to remark, very meekly, "Your Royal Highness will be glad to see the Princess?"

"Oh, no doubt," replied the Prince.

"And the Princess will be very glad to see you," went on Casperl.

"Oh, of course!" said the Prince.

"And your Royal Highness will be very good to the Princess," said Casperl further, by way of a hint.

"I think," said the Prince, "that you are talking altogether too much about the Princess. I don't believe I need you any more. Perhaps you had better go home. I'm much obliged to you for your assistance. I can't reward you just now, but if you will come back to see me after I have married the Princess, I may be able to do something for you.

Casperl turned away, somewhat disappointed, and was going down the hill, when the Prince called him back.

"Oh, by the way!" he said, "there's a dragon, I understand, a little farther on. Perhaps you'd like to come along and see me kill him?" Casperl though he would like to see the Prince do something for the Princess, so he followed him. Very soon they came to the top of the mountain, and saw the green lawns and beautiful gardesn of the enchanted castle - and there was the dragon waiting for them.

The dragon reared itself on its dreadful tail, and flapped its black wings, and its great green, shining, scaly body swelled and twisted, and it roared in a terrible way.

The little Prince drew his jeweled sword and walked slowly up to the monster. And then the great beast opened its read mouth and blew out one awful breath, that caught the Prince up as if he were a feather, and whisked him clear off the mountain and over the tops of the trees in the valley. And that was the last anyone ever saw of him!

Then Casperl drew his old ax and leaped forward to meet the dragon, never stopping to think how poor his weapon was. But all of a sudden the dragon vanished and disappeared and was gone, and there was no trace of it anywhere; but the beautiful Princess stood in its place and smiled, and held out her white hand to Casperl.

"My Prince!" she said. "So you have come at last!"

"I beg your gracious Highness's pardon," said Casperl, "but I am no Prince."

"Oh, yes, you are!" said the Princess; "how did you come here, if you are not my True Prince? Didn't you come through the gate and across the tree and haven't you driven away the dragon?"

"I only helped -" began Casperl.

"You did it all," said the Princess, "for I saw you. Pleas don't contradict a lady."

"But I don't see how I could -" Casperl began again.

"People who help others," said the Princess, "often have a strength beyond their own. But, perhaps you didn't come here to help me after all?"

"Oh, your gracious Highness," cried Casperl, "there's nothing I wouldn't do to help you. But I'm sure I'm not a Prince."

"And I am sure you are," said the Princess. She led him to a fountain near by, and when he looked at his reflection in the water, he saw that he was dressed more magnificently than any prince who ever yet had come to the enchanted mountain.

At that moment the wedding-bells began to ring, and that is all I know of the fairy story, for Casperl and the Princess lived so happily ever after, in the castle on top of the mountain, that they never came down to tell the end of it.

I may or may not do this up with commentary next week.

Doranna's Birds

Another room they came to was a magnificent aviary. These birds were remarkably tame, and flocked to Doranna’s outstretched arms. There were all sorts of birds, both common and exotic, in all sizes and colors. To Robin’s amazement, Doranna seemed to be talking to them, in their own languages, everything ranging from peeps and caws to groans and moans and grinding noises, all of which seemed out of place coming from the throat of the girl standing before them.

A mourning dove perched on her shoulder, rubbing her under her chin. A cardinal perched on her head, admiring its reflection in the back of Doranna’s tiara. A peacock strutted proudly around her, his tail fanned magnificently. A small, brown chicken settled down at her feet, cackled contentedly, and then stood up to reveal that she had just lain a solid gold egg. Doranna laughed, picked it up, and slid it into her pocket. A strange, pink bird with long legs stood close by, staring at them while it perched perfectly on one leg.

Even Robert was taken by surprise when a short, black and white bird popped out of the water and waddled up to Doranna on short, almost non-existent legs. A little fish was in its beak, and he laid this at Doranna’s feet.

- Excerpt Chapter 9 of Sew, It's a Quest.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Yarn

The title of my blog is Knitted by God's Plan. This is because I love to knit. One of the most important part of Knitting is yarn. In fact, if there was no yarn, there would be no knitting. You can knit without needles (it's called finger knitting, very awkward, and all you can make is rope, but it is still knitting. Or you could use a knitting circle, a spool knitter, a knitting machine or skewers. I have used all but the machine ... and the only reason I haven't used a machine is because I haven't figured out how to cast mine on yet.), but you can't knit without some sort of yarn. True, you can use ribbon or plastic bags ... but I lump everything that you can wrap around those needles and loop together in the happy category of yarn.

There are so many types of yarn. I have a toy box full of it. There are the cheep yarns, which tend to be a bit coarser and thinner, there are baby yarns that are soft and thick, there is fun fur ... Fun fur is my particular favorite. It's so much fun. It's harder to crochet with (I love crocheting, too. I usually make my fake food with crochet), as it is harder to see the holes, so I mostly knit with it. You can use ribbon, or if you're really desperate, you can cut plastic bags into loops, link them together, and crochet or knit with them. I'm making a mat out of plastic bags right now.

All in all, I'm so thankful for yarn. I'm glad God gave man the ingenuity to come up with it!

A yarn Ice Cream Cone I made.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tips from a Young Writer - Descriptions

Thick mists hung heavily between the trees. A few beams from the moon struggled to pierce it. Odd shadows and shapes formed themselves here and there, inviting fear from any wayfarer who stumbled into these woods. Punctuating these shapes were the hootings of an owl, the howl of a lone wolf, and the sctritch and scratch of the small forest creatures.


The air was crisp with the smell of wildflowers and pine needles. Rays of sunshine filtered down through the trees, creating an ethereal effect. A deer is sighted for but a moment, and song birds sing sweetly in the trees. A squirrel scampers across the path carrying an acorn.


Would you believe me if I told you that I described the same forest both times? I did. Yet, the first time, the forest was scary, the second time, a place you would like to visit. What made the difference? It was my choice of words. I used words that conjured up fearful images the first time - who doesn't get scared when we talk about mists and shadows, wolves and owls? - and the second time I used cheerful words - crisp, wildflowers, sing, sunshine, ethereal.

True, the first time it was the forest at night, and the second during the day, but that was only because night lends itself to fear better.

Description helps set the mood of your book, therefore, it's important to know how do do it.

First of all, determine the mood of your book generally, and the scene specifically. If it's a cheerful scene, make your descriptions cheerful, if it's a scary scene, use scarier words. Second, use descriptive words. Now, that seems simple enough and straightforward, but it's a lot harder than you may think. It's easy just to say that the sky had storm clouds, but what about this: Angry clouds hung over us, threatening to loose their rain at any moment. Third, avoid being verbs. Use action verbs as much as possible. Action verbs? For description? Yes! Action verbs for description! You see, when you use the being verbs, the descriptions just sit there. When you use an action verb - then your descriptions pop into life - The yellow sun pops into life when you say that the smiling sun caressed us with his golden rays, doesn't it?

Of course, you're going to have to describe your characters as well as the setting. This is slightly trickier than describing setting, especially when you describe the main character. You see, you usually tell the story from the point of view of your main character - and how many people go about describing themselves! You can describe most of your other characters outright, but your main character, you have to be sly with. You can have them brush a curl of their brown hair out of their green eyes, or you could have them stand on tiptoe and wish they were taller. You can have them compare themselves to a family member that they think is more beautiful than they. Have another character mention what your character looks like.

However, do not over describe your character, or anything else. And don't describe any part of the scenery that is not absolutely necessarily to the plot or to the mood. If there isn't a secret message on the rug, you don't have to describe it to ever minute detail. That would just bore your readers and disappoint them when they realize that the rug has no significance to the story whatsoever. And, also, give your readers the benefit of the doubt - in other words, you can take for granted that a reader knows what an acorn looks like, or that they can remember what something looks like once you have described it.

Now, that's all I have to say on this subject. If you have any requests for me to write on, leave a comment with it, and I will try to write something on it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Cousin's Book

I have a family of writers. As I stated in the dedication, my Mom ought to be a published author (which she will be as soon as I publish Saffron's Big Plan, as she partially wrote two of the stories). My Dad and younger sister are both working on books.

Well, my Mom's cousin, Tenya Sharp Ingalls recently published a book, Cumbrian Rain. It is the first book of a series called The Weather Tales. I have not read it yet, but all of its reviews on Amazon are glowing. It's a Romance book, and it deals with some heavy issues such as the exploitation of children around the world, so it's not a kid's book.

Well, It's free today! Hurry and get your copy now.

You can check out her blog here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Flower Queen's Daughter

A young Prince was riding one day through a meadow that stretched for miles in front of him, when he came to a deep open ditch. He was turning aside to avoid it, when he heard the sound of someone crying in the ditch. He dismounted from his horse, and stepped along in the direction the sound came from. To his astonishment he found an old woman, who begged him to help her out of the ditch. The Prince bent down and lifted her out of her living grave, asking her at the same time how she had managed to get there.

Ah, classic beginning, young prince helps old woman out of the good of his heart. I love how he multitasks here. He helps her out AND AT THE SAME TIME asks her how she got in.

'My son,' answered the old woman, 'I am a very poor woman, and soon after midnight I set out for the neighbouring town in order to sell my eggs in the market on the following morning; but I lost my way in the dark, and fell into this deep ditch, where I might have remained for ever but for your kindness.'

And I'd like to know who dug the ditch so deep, and where the eggs went.

Then the Prince said to her, 'You can hardly walk; I will put you on my horse and lead you home. Where do you live?'

He seems like a good young man ... of course, he's a fairy tale character, and therefore knows the rule: Help old woman, get reward.

'Over there, at the edge of the forest in the little hut you see in the distance,' replied the old woman.

The Prince lifted her on to his horse, and soon they reached the hut, where the old woman got down, and turning to the Prince said, 'Just wait a moment, and I will give you something.' And she disappeared into her hut, but returned very soon and said, 'You are a mighty Prince, but at the same time you have a kind heart, which deserves to be rewarded. Would you like to have the most beautiful woman in the world for your wife?'

See, as I said, he helped old woman, he gets reward.

'Most certainly I would,' replied the Prince.

Now, the most beautiful woman in the world is Queen Helen, although, unfortunately acquiring her will create a war between your country and the entire rest of the known world ... oh ... wait, that was to Peris ... I don't think this is Peris ....

So the old woman continued, 'The most beautiful woman in the whole world is the daughter of the Queen of the Flowers, who has been captured by a dragon. If you wish to marry her, you must first set her free, and this I will help you to do. I will give you this little bell: if you ring it once, the King of the Eagles will appear; if you ring it twice, the King of the Foxes will come to you; and if you ring it three times, you will see the King of the Fishes by your side. These will help you if you are in any difficulty. Now farewell, and heaven prosper your undertaking.' She handed him the little bell, and there disappeared hut and all, as though the earth had swallowed her up.
Then it dawned on the Prince that he had been speaking to a good fairy, and putting the little bell carefully in his pocket, he rode home and told his father that he meant to set the daughter of the Flower Queen free, and intended setting out on the following day into the wide world in search of the maid.

Nope, She's not sending him after Helen ... Of course, she doesn't think to mention what direction he needs to go, only that she's being held by a dragon. The bell's cool, though.

So the next morning the Prince mounted his fine horse and left his home. He had roamed round the world for a whole year, and his horse had died of exhaustion, while he himself had suffered much from want and misery, but still he had come on no trace of her he was in search of. At last one day he came to a hut, in front of which sat a very old man. The Prince asked him, 'Do you not know where the Dragon lives who keeps the daughter of the Flower Queen prisoner?'

A whole year! His poor parents!

'No, I do not,' answered the old man. 'But if you go straight along this road for a year, you will reach a hut where my father lives, and possibly he may be able to tell you.'

He must be gone a second year! And honestly! This old man is already old - how old's his father going to be?

This is an unusual twist on the "visit three sisters to find goal" ploy.

The Prince thanked him for his information, and continued his journey for a whole year along the same road, and at the end of it came to the little hut, where he found a very old man. He asked him the same question, and the old man answered, 'No, I do not know where the Dragon lives. But go straight along this road for another year, and you will come to a hut in which my father lives. I know he can tell you.'

Ummm... okay... I mean no disrespect, old man, but if it takes a whole year to travel to your father's house, how do you know he's still alive?

I just love how Fairy Tales plow through whole years in just a few words, as if they mean nothing. They're only years you know. Not as though they're centuries or something like that.

And so the Prince wandered on for another year, always on the same road, and at last reached the hut where he found the third old man. He put the same question to him as he had put to his son and grandson; but this time the old man answered, 'The Dragon lives up there on the mountain, and he has just begun his year of sleep. For one whole year he is always awake, and the next he sleeps. But if you wish to see the Flower Queen's daughter go up the second mountain: the Dragon's old mother lives there, and she has a ball every night, to which the Flower Queen's daughter goes regularly.'

I'd like to know what these old men's secret to being so old is. Having the dragon be asleep is handy, though. Maybe he'll be able to get it over quickly and get home ... he's already been away three years! His parents must be so worried! And what if he has a younger brother who's trying to take over the throne!

Fairy Tales often present more problems than they solve,

So the Prince went up the second mountain, where he found a castle all made of gold with diamond windows. He opened the big gate leading into the courtyard, and was just going to walk in, when seven dragons rushed on him and asked him what he wanted?

"I want to rescue the Flower Queen's Daughter. Now, if you would please, hand her over nice and easy-like and no one will get hurt ..."

The Prince replied, 'I have heard so much of the beauty and kindness of the Dragon's Mother, and would like to enter her service.'

Okay, so he doesn't like my idea ...

This flattering speech pleased the dragons, and the eldest of them said, 'Well, you may come with me, and I will take you to the Mother Dragon.'

Well, prince, you're the one looking for the princess, not me. If you don't want to take my advise, that's your problem.

They entered the castle and walked through twelve splendid halls, all made of gold and diamonds. In the twelfth room they found the Mother Dragon seated on a diamond throne. She was the ugliest woman under the sun, and, added to it all, she had three heads. Her appearance was a great shock to the Prince, and so was her voice, which was like the croaking of many ravens. She asked him, 'Why have you come here?'

See what you've been praising? You should have followed my advice!

The Prince answered at once, 'I have heard so much of your beauty and kindness, that I would very much like to enter your service.'

Let's see how long you can keep this up, Prince. 

'Very well,' said the Mother Dragon; 'but if you wish to enter my service, you must first lead my mare out to the meadow and look after her for three days; but if you don't bring her home safely every evening, we will eat you up.'

Yup, the kindest woman in the world. Mm-hm, Mm-hm.

The Prince undertook the task and led the mare out to the meadow.

At least he only has to watch a horse. How hard can that be?

But no sooner had they reached the grass than she vanished.

Whoops! Spoke too soon.

The Prince sought for her in vain, and at last in despair sat down on a big stone and contemplated his sad fate. As he sat thus lost in thought, he noticed an eagle flying over his head. Then he suddenly bethought him of his little bell, and taking it out of his pocket he rang it once. In a moment he heard a rustling sound in the air beside him, and the King of the Eagles sank at his feet.

And the bell proves useful. 

'I know what you want of me,' the bird said. 'You are looking for the Mother Dragon's mare who is galloping about among the clouds. I will summon all the eagles of the air together, and order them to catch the mare and bring her to you.' And with these words the King of the Eagles flew away. Towards evening the Prince heard a mighty rushing sound in the air, and when he looked up he saw thousands of eagles driving the mare before them. They sank at his feet on to the ground and gave the mare over to him.

And the prince has the horse back. Hope she doesn't vanish again. And that is a lot of eagles.

Then the Prince rode home to the old Mother Dragon, who was full of wonder when she saw him, and said, 'You have succeeded to-day in looking after my mare, and as a reward you shall come to my ball to-night.' She gave him at the same time a cloak made of copper, and led him to a big room where several young he-dragons and she-dragons were dancing together.

Oohh!! Cloak made of copper. Wait! That means she's going to give him two more tasks! (so she can give him something silver and something gold. Oh, and also so he can summon the other two creatures his bell can summon.)

Here, too, was the Flower Queen's beautiful daughter. Her dress was woven out of the most lovely flowers in the world, and her complexion was like lilies and roses. As the Prince was dancing with her he managed to whisper in her ear, 'I have come to set you free!'

How romantic!!! Hope the dragons didn't overhear.

Then the beautiful girl said to him, 'If you succeed in bringing the mare back safely the third day, ask the Mother Dragon to give you a foal of the mare as a reward.'

Hmmm .... wonder why?

The ball came to an end at midnight, and early next morning the Prince again led the Mother Dragon's mare out into the meadow. But again she vanished before his eyes. Then he took out his little bell and rang it twice.

Because there is an unspoken Fairy Tale rule that if you are given three things to summon, you can only summon each once.

In a moment the King of the Foxes stood before him and said: 'I know already what you want, and will summon all the foxes of the world together to find the mare who has hidden herself in a hill.'

That is one tricky horse.

With these words the King of the Foxes disappeared, and in the evening many thousand foxes brought the mare to the Prince.

Horse is back, lots of foxes.

Then he rode home to the Mother-Dragon, from whom he received this time a cloak made of silver, and again she led him to the ball-room.

See, as I said, he gets a cloak of silver.

The Flower Queen's daughter was delighted to see him safe and sound, and when they were dancing together she whispered in his ear: 'If you succeed again to-morrow, wait for me with the foal in the meadow. After the ball we will fly away together.'

She has several books of strategic planning that she reads when she's not at the balls ... wait ... fly? Fly as in run away fast or ... fly?

On the third day the Prince led the mare to the meadow again; but once more she vanished before his eyes. Then the Prince took out his little bell and rang it three times.

Because he already rang it once and twice.

In a moment the King of the Fishes appeared, and said to him: 'I know quite well what you want me to do, and I will summon all the fishes of the sea together, and tell them to bring you back the mare, who is hiding herself in a river.'
Towards evening the mare was returned to him, and when he led her home to the Mother Dragon she said to him:

They overlook the fact that sea fish cannot survive in a river.

'You are a brave youth, and I will make you my body-servant. But what shall I give you as a reward to begin with?'
The Prince begged for a foal of the mare, which the Mother Dragon at once gave him, and over and above, a cloak made of gold, for she had fallen in love with him because he had praised her beauty.

And here is where I feel sorry for the mother dragon. Ah the perils of listening to flattery. And, as I said already, he gets a cloak of gold.

So in the evening he appeared at the ball in his golden cloak; but before the entertainment was over he slipped away, and went straight to the stables, where he mounted his foal and rode out into the meadow to wait for the Flower Queen's daughter. Towards midnight the beautiful girl appeared, and placing her in front of him on his horse, the Prince and she flew like the wind till they reached the Flower Queen's dwelling. But the dragons had noticed their flight, and woke their brother out of his year's sleep. He flew into a terrible rage when he heard what had happened, and determined to lay siege to the Flower Queen's palace; but the Queen caused a forest of flowers as high as the sky to grow up round her dwelling, through which no one could force a way.

Yup, fly as in fly. Wonder how the dragon kidnapped the princess in the first place. Maybe flattery ...

When the Flower Queen heard that her daughter wanted to marry the Prince, she said to him: 'I will give my consent to your marriage gladly, but my daughter can only stay with you in summer. In winter, when everything is dead and the ground covered with snow, she must come and live with me in my palace underground.' The Prince consented to this, and led his beautiful bride home, where the wedding was held with great pomp and magnificence. The young couple lived happily together till winter came, when the Flower Queen's daughter departed and went home to her mother. In summer she returned to her husband, and their life of joy and happiness began again, and lasted till the approach of winter, when the Flower Queen's daughter went back again to her mother. This coming and going continued all her life long, and in spite of it they always lived happily together.

Because they had time to pine after the other while they are apart.

You can read it without my comments here

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tips from a Young Writer - Setting

The setting of your book tells a lot about your book. If your setting is a land filled with dragons, expect to see a dragon or two (hundred). If your setting is the arctic, expect polar bears and ice. If your setting is a futuristic world with amazing technology, expect robots and space travel.

Setting affects your characters. For instance, a young girl in the first setting probably wears something typical of the fantasy genre - a long dress with a corset or something. If she belonged to the arctic, she probably wears a parka. In a futuristic world, she would wear something hightech - maybe a watch capable of displaying a computer on the wall?

Setting is very important, so its something you need to know. Define your setting well before you start writing.

How do you do that? First, state the premise of your book - to take from two weeks ago, a girl finds mysterious glowing egg. Obviously, magic will be involved. As we have already discovered that Mr. Fiery decided to take over the universe, this is obviously set in a place that has interplanetary connections. If Julia is disbelieved because of her overactive imagination, it may also be a place where magic doesn't happen very much.

Therefore, Julia's story is probably set in the future, or perhaps in a parallel universe, but one with magic.

That's the general setting. Of course there is also the minor settings - and unless this story takes place in a single room, there's going to be plenty of these. For instance, there's Julia's backyard. What does it look like? Does it look like any other back yard? Are there trees? Flowers? A pool? A swings-set? Where in her backyard will she find the egg. It's not vital that you know every detail about her back-yard, but give enough that your reader can visualize it.

Of course, then there's in the house itself, Julia's school, Mr. Fiery's HQ ... basically, anywhere Julia goes is a minor setting. You don't have to describe every detail of every minor setting, but give enough so that your reader doesn't get lost and so that he or she has a clear, well-defined mental image of the setting. To many details may make your reader want to put the book down. You can tell them there's a rug on the floor, but unless the pattern is important to your book, you don't have to describe the pattern. Some readers like lots of detail, but I, for one, do not, and I know for a fact that I am not the only one that doesn't.

So, describe your setting, but don't annoy your reader with it. 

Of course, setting can also be used to set a mood. For instance, if you describe a place as being sunshiney and pleasant, you probably have a cheerful mood to your book. If, however, the clouds are low and foreboding, and the wind chilly and biting, you probably have a darker tone to your book.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Mother's Work

What does you mother do? 

1. She cooks meals.
2. She wipes noses.
3. She settles arguments
4. She cleans the house.
5. She folds the laundry
6. She cleans the house
7. She folds the laundry.
8. She drives you places.
9. She teaches you.
10. She makes sure you're always on time.
11. She reads you bedtime stories.
12. She tucks you in at night.
13. She kisses boo-boos.
14. She finds lost toys.
15. She answers questions ... and more questions ... and more questions.
16. She disciplines you when you err.
17. She rewards you when you do right.
18. She prepares you for your future.
19. She sings you to sleep.
20. She helps pick up after you.
21. She makes your birthday cakes.
22. She encourages you.
23. She comforts you.
24. She knows you.
25. She considers you her treasures.
26. She nurses you when you're sick.
27. She is scared for you when you do dumb tricks.
28. She counts the days - because they are so few.
29. She puts straggly wildflowers in vases - as if they were expensive roses.
30. She's always there.

(Note: I know no mother lives up to everything on this list. My mother comes close, but she still misses it on a few of them, so don't feel discouraged if your mother doesn't live up. Most mothers do get the important ones.)

What is Wisdom?

Wisdom is defined as 1 a : learning acquired over a period of time  b : ability to see beneath the surface of things  c : good sense   2 : a wise attitude, belief, or course of action, by the Marrian-Webster dictionary. 
According to the Bible, Wisdom is something we need to seek after. Indeed, according to James 1:5, we need to ask God for it if we lack wisdom.
So, what, exactly, is wisdom, if it is something God wants us to ask him for if we don’t have it.
Wisdom is knowing what to do when and where. It is different from knowledge in that knowledge tends to be fact-oriented, whereas wisdom is action/attitude-oriented. In fact, you can be the most brilliant person in the world - know more facts than any other person, be a mathematical genius ... and a fool.
Of course, there are also two types of wisdom: worldly wisdom, and godly wisdom. Worldly wisdom is knowing how to get to the top and destroy everyone else in the way ... and godly wisdom is knowing how God wants you to act.
So, what we are after is godly wisdom.
A good place to start a search for wisdom is Proverbs. Proverbs was written by Solomon, who was the wisest person in the world. Also look in the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels, as well as the Epistles.
Don't be fooled by the world's wisdom. The world wants you to think that it has all the answers. It doesn't. It actually doesn't have any. Only God has all the answers, and he is the one you must go to.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Giraffes

I am thankful for giraffes. I fell in love with giraffes at a young age on a trip to the zoo. I have been collecting them ever since, and have a huge collection. (Somewhere upwards to a hundred figurines, pictures, and stuffies). Most of my giraffes have names - usually based on their appearances (such as Carrie for a carosel giraffe, or Stony for a stone giraffe, or Giant and Mega-Giant for my two biggest) or who gave them to me (such as one named V. after my sister.)

Me and Crackers. (He sings Animal Crackers when you push a button on his leg)

Some fun facts about giraffes:

They are six feet tall at birth - that's as tall as my dad!
Like humans and most other mammals, they have seven bones in their necks.
Like cattle, giraffes are called bulls, cows and calves.
They have blue tongues.
They have LONG tongues.
My favorite giraffe is the Masai, which has star-shaped spots.
I, unfortunately, have only found one Masai giraffe figurine.
The most common breed of giraffe is the reticulated, which is what most of my collection is.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tips From a Young Writer - Villains

Villains are a special type of character, and often the most delicate to write. They tend to distrust people, especially their authors, with their secrets, which are often quite crucial to the understanding of the way they work. You have to make sure their evil doesn't corrupt you as you develop their characters.

To make matters worse, there are actually three types of villains. There is the true villain, the antagonizer, and the circumstances. The true villain is what most people think of when they say the word villain. He or she is evil through and through - like Sauron from the Lord of the Rings, or the White Witch from Narnia. What they do, they do on purpose. They are powergrabbing, stingy and selfish. The only thing you can do with them is kill them (or at least dump them in the nearest black hole.) Once in a while you can find out a secret about them that can turn them good in the end, but this is rare.

The second type is the antagonizer. This would be someone like Eustace from Narnia, or simply a bully at school, or an annoying younger brother. They are someone who stands in the way of the Hero's story, but they probably won't be too hard to get around. You don't have to conquer them, as they are usually redeemable, or, at least, they are not the main thrust of the book, merely a hurdle to jump over.

And then there's the circumstances. Circumstances are just that: circumstances. In Robinson Crusoe, sure, there's cannibals and pirates and such, but they are all merely a part of what Robinson has to overcome. The main thing he must fight is his circumstances. He must learn to tame the goats, milk them, build himself a shelter ... basically he has to learn to survive no matter what his circumstances throw at him. Sometimes the villain is the character themselves - a bad personality trait they must overcome, like lying or fear.

Some books have all three villains! For instance, take Julia's story that I told you about last week. In that, we can say that Mr. Fiery is the True Villain. He wants universe domination using those mysterious eggs. But, perhaps, Julia also has some bullies at school, or an older sister with whom she doesn't see quite eye to eye. Perhaps, also, Julia needs to overcome something in herself, such as her overactive imagination.

Of course, when it comes down to the villain, make sure you develop him. He or she is one of the most important parts of the book. If you don't have a well-developed villain, your story will fall flat. Make sure you know why your villain is evil, what he wants more than anything (beyond world domination) and his destroying secret.

Some people use their villain for comic relief - the bumbling villain appears to be getting quite popular. Now, while they may be okay for children's books, where you need to lighten the whole villain stuff anyways, in books for older people, they just don't cut it. There are a few cases where you can get away with it, but most older people want the Hero to succeed by the Hero's skill, rather than the Villain's lack thereof. Therefore, I shy away from the comic villain.

But make sure your character is able to overcome the villain realistically! Readers will roll their eyes if your villain is overcome by a freak power that the hero acquires not five seconds before the hero overcomes the villain. Also, they will be sorely disappointed  if the villain wins. Yes, I know you want to be unexpected ... but don't do it like that, please! Be unexpected in how your hero prevails (by revealing your villain's secret, not by a new, freak power) not in having the villain prevail.

Now, that's all I have to say on this subject. If you have any requests for me to write on, please leave a comment. If I have enough of an opinion, I just might write on it!

Wordless Wednesday - It's Too Hot Already

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fan Art

Art work done by my fans inspired by my writings.

"Eric" by Grub 1, age 10

"The Sword in the Ceiling" by Grub 1.

"Prince Eric of Winthrop" by Grub 2, age 7 1/2

Mock Covers by Kiri Liz

Andrew, Clara, Laura, and Amber by Alea Harper

Mock Covers by Alea Harper
(Credits: Lady Dragon, Tela Du cover
Stone Background: photo credit:">Obscura

Water Princess, Fire Prince cover
Holding Hands: photo credit:">Vem cá

Mock cover by Alea Harper

Granite and Amber: The Younger Years
By Hannah Rhodes

Mock Cover by Hannah Rogers

If you would like your artwork added here, send me a picture of your artwork at Include the title of your picture, your name (or what you want to be called), and your age (opt.). If you have a website, you can send that to me and I'll link that into your name.

Prince Eric of Winthrop

Robin's bitter rival ... 
He's only the most pompous, irritating, insufferable prince in Bookania ...

The Writing on the Wall

I just discovered a story I wrote a few years back while looking for scratch paper on which to do my math. It was a project for Bible, and I'm wanting to say I was either ten or eleven ... but it doesn't have a date on it. All I know is that it was for SOS, and I haven't done Bible with SOS in quite a while. Here it is, exactly how I wrote it then:

I can hardly not thinck of it,! and I am still badly shaken that hand just apered out of nowhere and it wrote on the wall these words: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. The King called for his wise men and none of them knew what it ment, but one said that There was a man named Daniel and that he could prophisy thing so he called for him and sayd  asked him what it ment and he said that it ment that he would die soon and the land would be divided and that night he died and that scared me more than ever.


I got a 98 on this, so I think I was younger when I wrote it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why Does God Allow His Children to Suffer?

Why does God allow His children, His precious children that He purchased with His own Son's own Blood? Why? This is a question that has caused many to stumble and fall from the faith.

However, the Bible gives many clear reasons.

John 9:1-3  These verses tell of what happened when Jesus and his disciples encountered a man blind from birth. Now, while in our society blindness isn't so bad, in those days, if you couldn't see, you were automatically a beggar and never sure if you'll have enough to eat. Notice what Jesus says when asked why the man was born blind. Not because of sin, but because of the miracle Jesus was about to do. Therefore, sometimes suffering is allowed so that others can see the power of God through us.

John 11:1-4 This is Mary and Martha informing Jesus of Lazarus's sickness. Now sickness isn't a good thing, and those who know the story know that Lazarus did die. But Jesus allowed Lazarus to get sick and die not because he didn't love Lazarus, but because he wanted to show the world his power.

2 Corinthians 4:7-11 If God had wanted to, He could give us our glorified bodies as soon as we accept Him. But he didn't. Instead, he did something even more wonderful, he placed his glory in earthly, broken vessels. Since we are still imperfect, the world will still accept us, listen to us. If we were perfect, we would drive them away with them thinking that it would be impossible for us to relate to their lives.

Psalm 119: 71 We are human .... but we get big-headed sometimes and think we know it all. Sometimes God sends us trials to remind us that He's the one who knows everything and that we need to follow His instructions.

Isaiah 26:9 Sometimes we get caught up in ourselves, and don't seek God until He sends a wake-up call, otherwise known as hard times.

Psalm 78:34 He sends us trial so that we will inquire after him and find him.

Deuteronomy 4:30-31 Sometimes we aren't just ignoring God, but we're in utter defiance against Him. Again, He sends us trial so that we return to him.

Jonah 2:1 If you're suffering because of defiance, the beautiful thing is that, often, once you return to him, he often takes much of the suffering away.

Psalm 119:67 However, once you return to the Lord, stay there. If, when the suffering is gone, you just return to your former ways, he'll just have to send the suffering back to you, and that's a vicious cycle.

Luke 15:16-18 If you are facing trials, examine yourself and make sure that it isn't because you are trying to live your life without God. Return to God. He'll forgive you! Life's much better with him.

Psalm 32:3-5 Because, often, not only are circumstances rotten when we are not right with God, we feel much, much more rotten than any simple trial would make us feel.

Psalm 66:10-12 However, God doesn't send us trials to take us from bad to good, but sometimes from good to better. Raw silver and gold is valuable, but how much more valuable is silver or gold that has been put through fire and acid to refine it!

Psalms 17:3 Sometimes he sends us trial not because we have sinned, but so that we won't sin.

1 Peter 1:6-7 We should rejoice when we have tribulations, for it means that God cares enough to refine us to perfection. Of course, we will never be perfect until we get to heaven; however, God starts the process of perfecting while still on earth.

2 Corinthians 12:7 Sometimes God sends us trials so that we won't get proud and assume that we are doing everything on our own. He does it to remind us that we need Him.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14 So, if you're facing tribulation and trouble, pray, humble yourself. He'll turn back to you if you turn back to Him.

Ecclesiastes 7:2-3 This world's happiness is all false. So sometimes trials and tribulations are truer.

Isaiah 48:10 Think about it! Pleasant experiences, like silver, don't refine you. It's only the fiery furnace of affliction!

Romans 5:3 People who live in the the lap of luxury tend to lack patience.

James 1:2-3 If you find yourself in tribulation, rejoice! Consider it an opportunity to learn patience!

 1 Peter 2:20 What's remarkable about patiently taking tribulation that you DO deserve? However, if you don't deserve it, but still take it patiently, that's pretty remarkable, and a great witness platform.

Hebrews 12:10:11 Here the writer of Hebrews admits that trials don't make you want to rejoice. However, he reminds you that, when they're finished, there is much reward.

John 15:2 A fruit tree bears more fruit after it has been pruned. Likewise, we bear more spiritual fruit after we have been pruned by God.

Acts 11:19-21 God sometimes sends us tribulation so that we'll scatter and tell everyone about His love, and so that more will believe in Him.

Philippians 1:12-14 We humans suffer from a horrid case of one-up-manship, we hate being out-done. God sometimes uses this to get us to be more bold. If Paul can suffer this, why do we fear suffering that? So, sometimes God uses your suffering to encourage others.

2 Timothy 2:9-10 We must remember, even if we are suffering horridly, and are cast into prison, God's Word isn't in bonds, and it will go out! God is not limited by limited man!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Makes a Wise Counselor?

(Titus 2:3)  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

These are Paul's instructions to Titus telling him what the elder women of the church should be like in order to be good examples to the younger members. What do they mean? How can I apply them to myself.

I will answer the second first. I can use this list of counselor traits to find someone to make my role model in my own life. Of course, I must take into consideration that no one is perfect, and so I will have to make allowances as I search for my role model. Now, let's look at this list and see what I need to look for.

First, Paul states that a wise counselor must have behavior as becometh holiness. He then goes on to explain. They can't be false accusers. In other words, they must tell the truth and not try to shift blame to where it doesn't belong. They should try to keep peace and you should be able to trust them when they say something.

Second, they should not be given to too much wine. That's pretty self-explanatory.

Third, they must be teachers of good things. This doesn't mean that they have to be teachers, although it is a good idea if they are, but what they have to say, and pass down to us younger generations, ought to be good. He goes on to explain what he wants the older women to teach. First, to be sober, which means not given to too much emotion (or wine). Someone who teaches you to be moderate. Second, to love their husbands and children. Pretty self explanatory, however, you may be asking, "But I don't have a husband or children???!!!" In that case, apply that to your parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, nieces and nephews ... basically all of your family. Your family is your training ground for life, and if you can't get along with them, what make you think you'll get along with your husband and children.

Fourth to be discreet. This means that she doesn't constantly place herself in the center of attention. In fact, you might hardly realize she's there.

Fifth to be caste. That's pretty much to be loyal to your husband or future husband.

Sixth, to be obedient to their husbands. Hey, don't stone me, this is Paul saying this, not I. Yes, wives need to be obedient to their husbands, but, no, we're not their slaves! Husbands have their own instructions, and, true, it would be easier for us to obey them they followed them. However it's also easier for them to follow their instructions if we follow ours.

So that's the sort of woman I need to find. I happen to be lucky, and God has blessed me with many older women in my life that pretty much fill this role. I am aware that many others don't have as many good role models about. My advise to those people is this: find someone, and ask God to help you. He will help you to find a good role model, because he has told you to find one. God never tells you to do anything you can't do.

Tips From a Young Writer - Characters

One of the most important parts of a book are the characters. If you don't have a character your reader will fall in love with, they will put the book down and not touch it again.

So, one of the biggest challenges an author has is how to create a character that will keep the reader from putting the book down. Now, that's a pretty tall order. You've got to create an entire person and effectively bring the character to life through words.

How are you supposed to do this????

The first thing you have to do is define your character. Give your character a name, a brief backstory, a basic appearance, and a core personality. For example, I'm going to create a character named Julia. I think she is a little girl of ten or twelve who discovers a strange egg in her backyard ... which glows red. As for basic appearance, I think she's of average height, has blue-green eyes, ginger hair, and freckles. Lots of freckles. As for core personality, she's sweet, and curious, has an overactive imagination, and loves big words that she does't know what the mean exactly but she uses them anyways.

Now that I have a basic character (and the start of my story, girl finds egg in backyard) I need to go in depth. If I want to, I can give Julia a middle and last name ... how about Anna and Roma. Julia Anna Roma. That has a nice ring to it. I can go in depth with her backstory. Because she has an overactive imagination, no one believes her when she finds the egg. Also, due to all those freckles, I would deem it a safe guess that she spends a lot of time outside. A great idea is to take Julia and interview her. Ask her a list of questions and see how she answers. It doesn't really matter what sort of questions you ask her, and it doesn't matter how random they are. Indeed, sometimes the random questions can give you the best insights on your character. For instance, I could ask Julia what sort of shoes she wears, and when she tells me she wears a pair of hand-me-down shoes that were originally bought for her cousin 10 years older, and that they're severely beat up, and that she has the shoelaces decorated with beads and glitter from school, I learn that she comes from a somewhat poor family and that she's very creative. Don't forget to give her flaws (readers hate flawless characters) but make sure the flaws make sense for her character.

And now for the really fun part. Bringing Julia to life through words. There are three ways, which I call the three A's: Action, Appearance, and Articulation. Action is what she does. If she tosses her bookbag on the couch as she dashes outside, it shows a definitely different personality than if she placed her bookbag carefully on the couch before she calmly went outside. Appearance is what she looks like. Having unkempt hair and a shirt covered in glitterglue shows a very different personality than well kept hair, and a clean shirt. Articulation is what she says. "Hurry, Hurry, there's a giant in the yard!" Julia exclaimed, interrupting her mother on the phone, shows a very different personality than, Julia waited for her mother to get off the phone before she calmly informed her mother, "I think I saw a giant in the yard."

Of course ... Julia's just the main character! Julia also has a mother, a father, older and younger siblings, friends (both real and imaginary) and of course, the all important whatever-that's-in-the-egg. Guess what? You've got to define their characters, too. Just because they aren't the main character doesn't mean that you don't have to know pretty much everything about them too! A well defined supporting cast is just as important as a well defined main character.

And what if there's a villain who wants the egg so he can take over the universe! You've got to define him too!!!! Give him backstory (why he became a villain) and physical characteristics. Mr. Fiery may have once been a little boy in a situation (overactive imagination, poor family ...) much like Julia, but then he discovered the egg, and it corrupted him, and now he's collecting all of the eggs like it in the universe in hopes that they'll give him great power (which they do).

And soon, as you come up with your characters, you'll find you have a great story.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Zucchini Banana Walnut Bread

First off, a hearty thank-you to the 98 people who downloaded my book the last two days! Not as many as previous times but ... if you add to it all the other free giveaways, and all the people who have purchased my book ... over 800 people have my book!!!

And now back to your regular programming

The other day, my mom wanted zucchini bread ... and my dad wanted banana walnut bread ... so I compromised and made ... BOTH!!

3 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 cups mashed ripe banana
1 c. canola oil
1 tsp. banana extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, bananas, oil, and extracts. Stir into dry ingredient just until moistened. Fold in zucchini and walnuts.
Transfer to loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick trick works.

Let cool for ten minutes before you cut into it and enjoy its melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Next Book is Out!

April Fools!

No it's not. (I told you that it would be out June 12th, remember?)

 But the Kindle version of Sew, It's a Quest is free until Midnight tomorrow!

And Hosanna, and happy Palm Sunday!
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