Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meet one of my talented and famous friends - Theresa Sneed

OK - so I am part of a "book blog tour" which is kind of a cool thing done these days to promote books right from the comfort of your own computer screen (or whatever device you are reading this on). I did my write up over at: Stephanie's Book Reviews & Author Interviews: "Elias of Elderberry"

It was especially fun because Theresa Sneed is a dear friend of mine. Here's a pic of the two of us when she flew in from Maine just to attend our ANWA (American Night Writers Association) summer retreat in Show Low, AZ. We took a tour of Coppervale Studio, owned by the famous author, illustrator and motivational speaker, James Artimus Owen in Taylor, AZ. It's very cool. It used to be an old church building; in fact, the one James attended as a child.

When Theresa lived here in AZ we used to teach at the same school for a couple of years and we drove over to the school together each day - talking, laughing, talking, laughing... you get the picture. I adore her and admire her talent. I think you should go check it out: Stephanie's Book Reviews & Author Interviews: "Elias of Elderberry"


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Local Princess Festival Makes Little Girls' Dreams Come True

It's happening here in Mesa, AZ this weekend (July 8-12, 2014) ~ a "Princess Festival."

Cutest thing ever!

Girls (about ages 3 to 13) dress up in princess clothes. Accompanied by a parent, they head on down to the ClearView Cultural Center near the Superstition Springs Mall in East Mesa and participate in several "Princess Activities" and concludes in the theater room for an original musical, "Princesses of Light," written just for the Mesa event by local talent: Betsy Love, Nancy Genys and Michael Leavitt.

Their first stop is to check in at the front desk where they are sprinkled with a light dusting of glitter (I'm sure it must be magical glitter) and receive a goodie bag with their very own Princess story book that they can keep. The last few pages have room for autographs from the Princesses, Princes and other cast members they meet. They also get a Princess Pin that their name is written on and they wear it proudly. They even get a DVD that shares the story of one of these original princesses, created just for this program (which also reaches out in charity work to include little princesses that might not otherwise get to experience this). See the "About Us" page for more information.

As the children move from room to room they are part of a play or a story about several Princesses and her friends. Many of these activities are interactive and the little princesses are even participants. Here are the highlights of their experience as found on the "Princess Festival" website:

  • The 2014 Princess Festival is a platform used to teach children character values and a new definition of what a Princess is. Our Princesses help classical princesses and others. We also enact our original stories that emphasize what Princess Power is.
  • The 2014 show has 4 Princess Interactive Plays and 4  Princess Quest Adventures where the children can participate with the Princess actors actors in finding clues, solving problems, helping people, and helping the Classical Princesses.
  • There are also a main stage where we will feature Princess Music, performances including talent like the 12 Dancing Princess ‘celtic style’ and much more.
  • Your children will be fully engaged with our cast in various positive story-lines that will teach them the values of caring about others including: kindness, forgiveness, courage and always how to be MORE than a  PRINCESS. 

All of the Princess events rotate throughout the day. Shows and Adventures start about every 20 minutes, beginning at 9am and running throughout the day, with the last session starting at 2pm - check the website for details. It's easy to show up anytime between 9am-2pm and participate in the entire event. And with the other activities, which include face-painting, coloring, making things for our service men and women, etc., your child can easily be involved and entertained for 2-3 hours, perhaps longer. It's all fun. Boys are also welcome to join in the fun and dress up as a Prince. 

The parts of the Princesses and the other actors are played by local high school students. This is a wonderful opportunity for them as well.

The 4 day event (you can choose to attend any of the days, Wed, - Sat.) concludes with a delightful Daddy-Daughter Dinner-Dance, "The Royal Ball of Everly." Of course, our local "princesses" (designed for girls from age toddler age 3-4 to about 15) may also opt to bring an uncle, older brother or grandpa if that fits their situation better. Get details here - Royal Ball of Everly

Tickets for one child and an adult to the Princess Festival is $30 and $15 for each additional child.  TICKETS TO THE ROYAL BALL of EVERLY (the Sat. night dance) are separate and include dinner. Get info and tickets here: Royal Ball of Everley

CHEERS!! (All photos on this post were taken by Katie Wride - used with permission) 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

MAY DAY ~ May 1st ~ MORE POETRY? Why not?

So for those of you who followed along during the month of April – whether you posted your poems here or somewhere else or just kept them to yourself, I’m glad you joined us. It was so much fun I kind of hate to see it end. 

So, for MAY DAY, May 1st, I thought I would share a few links were you can go and find some of your own info on poetry and keep exploring other forms of poetry and revisit the poems we wrote during the month and create some new ones!!

Here’s a couple for you to try out that we didn’t get to:

Sonnets – VERY explicit and detailed instructions on how to write a sonnet – after you read it – you will be an expert and be surprised that, YES, you can write one too!!

Personification – A figure of speech where inanimate objects and/or animals are given human characteristics and attributes.

You can get GREAT ideas at “My Word Wizard” ~ dedicated to helping you find the right assortment of words to express any sentiment

Great site for how to ideas on poems – aimed at kids – but anyone can learn from it:

Another helpful site – regardless your age:

At any rate – I’m glad you’ve been showing up at my blog and I hope you’ll check back in now and then and see what I’m up to. As a writer and retired teacher (and a mother and grandmother) I tend to have a keen interest in education, writing and family life, but you never know what I might post on don’t be a stranger. Cheers!!


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DAY THIRTY!! "Questad Poem" for 30 Poems in 30 Days" #NationalPoetryMonth

Well, my poetic friends, looks like we have come to the end of "National Poetry Month." Kind of feels sad, doesn't it? I hope you have had fun and will continue to write poetry – do some searches for various types of poems. The list is endless (a little hyperbole for ya’).

I thought for the last day (although I may be on a roll and continue to do poetry posts for a while (although NOT every day – phew!!) ~ Anyway, the Questad Poem is a poem that brings it all together – many of the things we have learned or practiced this month are contained in this unique and somewhat uncommon poetry form. I have included a chart with details created by Carolyn Osborne, a teacher.

Have fun – my poem for this form is just below the chart. ENJOY!!



Your Draft
Title—topic of poem
By Eric Harker

They seem to sing when you rev up the engine

The sound is sweeter than honey

Purring proudly like a pack of panthers


It is a shiny dream in the eyes of a child,

Speeding like the space shuttle

Gleaming with silvery metallic paint along a black road of fragrant tar.

NO idea why that one title header - example - is purple - go figure.

Anyway, I got the above chart from: Poetry Alternatives (and if you go there – it will pull up a 22 page doc that has lots of poetry forms and instructions) – for your continued poetry writing pleasure.

The doc says this chart was adapted from: Skyview High School - Poem Types
Heartsongs made visible,
Rising from the depths of my soul,
Pretty, poised parcels of perfection, 
Pitter-patter through my mind.
Poems are microscopic slides of slices of my life,
Dancing through my days like a prima ballerina,
Revealing my authentic self; raw, vulnerable and honest. 

              © 2014 Stephanie Abney

It's been a GREAT month - thanks for participating!!