Author Archives: Miriam Hurdle

Tina Lost in a Crowd by Miriam Hurdle: On Book Tour, April 21, 2021

My dear friends and visitors, this week is the Book Release Tour of my debut children’s book Tina Lost in a Crowd. The daily book tour links are live here, please click the links to visit them. I’m thankful and excited to have many dear friends who enthusiastically support me and host the tour.

As promised, I’ll share with you the making of Tina Lost in a Crowd. Please come back to this post to check the links below.

Comments on this post are closed. I’ll see you at the the hosts’ blogs.

Amazon US

Amazon UK (for eBook, go to Amazon US)

Barns and Noble

Tour Dates and Hosts

Please visit them to cheer on. I love to have your support and see you there.

Monday, April 19, 2021 – Robbie Cheadle, Robbie’s Inspiration

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 – Pete Springer, Pete Springer Author

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 – Bette A. Stevens, Writers and Readers

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – Denise Finn, Author D.L. Finn

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – Balroop Singh, Emotional Shadows

Thursday, April 22, 2021 – Jacqui Murray, Word Dream

Thursday April 22, 2021 – Sally Cronin, Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, Children’s Reading Room

Friday, April 23, 2021 – Jan Sikes, Writing and Music

Friday, April 23, 2021 – Teri Polen, Books and Such

Saturday, April 24, 2021 – Yvette Calleiro, Yvette M. Calleiro

Saturday, April 24, 2021 – Majorie Mallon, Kyrosmagica Publishing

Sunday, April 25, 2021 – Diana Peach Wallace, Myths of Mirror

.

Check out this sample illustration of Tina Lost in a Crowd.

.

.

.

.

..

April Children’s Book Reviews @BookTrib

I became a member of the BookTrib Children’s Book Network beginning this year. Each month the members receive a “Booster Box” with several children’s books to read and share on the social media network. I received my first package of books in March, and read then posted reviews on Amazon and Twitter.

Where, Oh Where, Is Barnaby Bear? by Wendy Rouillard

This board book has beautiful and colorful illustrations. The bright and definite contrasting colors are appealing to the toddlers. The sentences are from three to ten words, easy for the little ones to follow along.

Barnaby’s friends were searching for him while he is on an adventure. They wonder if he is in a balloon or has flown to the moon, is he down by the sea, or has gone out to tea. At the end, they found him in his cozy bed with his sleepy head.

The toddlers would love the rhymes and would read along with the adults.

Amazon Twitter

The Colorless Chameleon | A Picture Book For Young Readers 4-8 | Can Chameleon Find Her Voice and Stand Up for What She Wants? | Kids Relate to Her Desire to be Heard and Understood by [Hayley Irvin, Rachel Bostick, Cassidy Reynolds, Samantha   Jo Phan]

The Colorless Chameleon by Hayley Irvin

Chameleon was a colorful lizard. She greeted her jungle friends with her vibrant colors. One day, the animals were preparing a party, her friends liked her colors and wanted to have them. The elephant took her blue before she agreed to it; the lemur took her red, and the crocodile took her yellow. Before long, she h.ad no colors left and no way to express herself. When her thoughtful friend flamingo asked how she was doing, she had no voice because her colors were gone with the colors. Flamingo asked if she were going to the party, she finally could shout, “No.” After they talked, Chameleon went to her friends who took her colors and asked them to return the colors to her. They were not happy about it but agreed to do so. Chameleon was her happy self again.

This hardcover book has beautiful illustrations with eye pleasing colors. It’s a delightful book for young children to read and learn to stand up for themselves.

Amazon Twitter

The Tale of Ferdinand Frog by [Mark Hughes]

The Tale of Ferdinand Frog by Mark Hughes

This book has three parts, The Problem, The Quest, and The Answer. The length and the word count of the book appear to be a chapter book.

The story is about Ferdinand Frog who was in love with Felicity Fogmore-Frog. Ferdinand’s friend, Wrinkleskin Rat, came to tell him that the evil snake, Samuel, wanted to win Felicity’s heart even though Felicity’s parents disliked Samuel the snake. Wrinkleskin Rat suggested seeing the wisdom and help from Osmiroid Owl. Two of them traveled miles deep into the wood and got frightened. They were rescued by Endroglen Eagle. They finally met Osmiroid Owl, who advised Ferdinand that with love, he could overcome the evil of the snake.

The text and the gorgeous illustrations are on the alternate pages. The lovely rhyming words read like poetry and song lyrics.

Amazon Twitter

Banana Fun Bread by [LEAR RIOJAS Illustrations by Chrissie Vales, Chrissie Vales]

Banana Fun Bread by LEAR RIOJAS Illustrations by Chrissie Vales

Banana Fun Bread is about a little boy, Fred chasing his imaginary banana bread everywhere. The rhyming words would appeal to little ones from baby to toddler. Sentences are easy for these kids to understand, such as:

“One loaf, two loaf, come back three, why do you run away from me?

Who, who, who are you? Don’t you know it’s too late for you?”

The illustrations are in pastel colors with cute expressions.

Amazon Twitter

.

If you’re interested in receiving free children’s book, please check out the website BookTrib Children’s Book Network for more information.

.

.

Lens-Artists Challenge #144 – Baby Birds Taking Flight

This week, Tina would like us to think of the idea of flying. It could be any flying objects such as birds, butterflies, bees, insects, airplanes, balloons, or kites. I have many bird stories to tell, so I chose to share about the baby birds in my garden taking flights.

I started watching and feeding birds in 2014. Over the years, there were mourning doves, house finches and hummingbird gave birth to their babies. I was fortunate to watch these amazing creatures laid eggs, nurtured their young, guarded them until they took flight.

In 2016, I noticed two mourning doves were courting and mating. This pair built their nest in a tree, but the eggs were stolen. I suspected it was the naughty squirrel. The female dove seemed depressed and was motionless, sitting in the grass for over 20 minutes. The male dove was sitting still two feet from her. Only after she got up and stretched that he also stood up. I was sad for them, but it was beautiful watching these doves mourned for their loss.

In 2017, the same pair of doves built a nest on the top of the stone windowsill under the eaves in the front yard. I thought it was the same pair because the male dove had a ring around one leg, same as the dove in the previous year. Probably someone tried to track him. They built the nest together. She laid two eggs. They took turns incubating the eggs. My research showed that mourning doves are monogamous. The male and female look so much alike, and it seems only the female incubates but in fact they switch shifts. In 2020 I noticed them switching shifts.

The mourning doves used the nest the house finches built on the trellis in 2015 and have used that in 2017, 2018, twice in 2019, and 2020. When the baby doves were ready to fly, they were as big as mature doves.

In 2015, the house finches built a nest on the top tier of the trellis at the front porch. The female bird laid four eggs but sadly the eggs were gone. I had no idea what happened. I have kept the nest clean and strapped a piece of chicken wire to hold the bottom of the nest. The house finches returned to the same nest in 2016, she laid three eggs and four baby birds were hatched. I didn’t see the baby birds flying away. The house finches didn’t use the nest after that.

I’m fortunate to have a baby ruby-throated hummingbird born in my garden in 2018. The nest is like a cheese ball the size of a golf ball. When my husband trimmed the orange tree, without knowing it, he barely missed that branch. When I noticed that cheese ball, I climbed up the ladder to look. Somehow, I touched the nest and scared the baby to fall on the ground. I was more scared than he and quickly picked him up to put him back in the nest. When the baby was ready to leave the nest, he flew to the next tree, clung on to it for a little while before he took off.

All these amazing birds, by the time the babies are ready to leave the nests, they are ready to fly. I wonder if they’ll see their parents again. Amazingly, the baby hummingbird stays. He has been living in my garden since he was born. I’m sorry to say the papa bird died last year. My husband found him on the grass. He was at least four years old. Mama bird doesn’t live here, but she comes by to play with the baby. I think he has a brother that comes by occasionally.

.

Lens-Artists Challenge #144 – Baby Birds Taking Flight

.

.

Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh – A Book Review

April is National Poetry Month. It is my pleasure to review Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh, a talented fellow poet.

Magical Whispers: Poetry by [Balroop Singh]

Blurb

I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.
‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.

In this book, my poems focus on the whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.
Each day reminds us
It’s the symphony of surroundings
That whispers life into us.

My Review

Magical Whispers is an aesthetic poetry collection. Ms. Singh weaves the softest whispers of her words into dreamy tranquility. The poems in the first section Magical Whispers reflect on the nature that evokes the heart, the mind, and the senses. Many poems have the subject of water such as the lake, the waves, the pool, the stream, and the waterfalls that convey a soothing sensation. The poems in the second section Whispers of Life reflect on the self, the love, the heartache, the hopes, dreams, fears, and the memories. Ms. Singh submerges herself in nature and sees the beauty beyond appearance. She ponders upon the hidden treasures and finds hope in the puzzle of life. The poems are inspiring to many poetry lovers.

My favorite two stanzas in “Dwindling Pool”are:

When did the magic fade?

Did it vanish with the pool fairy?

Or apathy and human avarice

Devour its exquisite grandeur?

Depleted oasis ebbing away

Reflections gather to ponder

 Confabulations grow grim

Shimmer of sun waning at the horizon

My favorite stanza in “An Escape” is:

She woke up with a fright

Shuddered at the light

That filtered through the leaves

Offering a velvety delight.

My Amazon and Goodreads Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars

An image posted by the author.

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, an educationalist, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in San Ramon California.

Website: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balroop.singh1

.

.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #143 – Colorful April, National Poetry Month

This week, for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy invited us to look at the colorful April that spring brings us. Every year, the cold of winter melts away and spring brings a new beginning.

April is National Poetry Month. I’ll include a poem “A Light Exists in Spring” by Emily Dickinson.

Every year, the cold of winter melts away and spring brings a new beginning. The nature and the creatures wake up from their hibernation, stretch the limbs and pop the heads up to give us a big smile.

The flowers in my garden invited me to give them a visit.

When I take my afternoon walk, the vibrant colors stopped me more and more frequently to capture their beauty.

I’m grateful for living in a community with the walking/hiking/horse trails snake through the cities. These trails are in the neighborhood yet they seem to be away from the distractions of voices and noises.

A Light exists in Spring
by Emily Dickinson

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

Written in around 1864 but not published until 1896 (as with many of Dickinson’s poems), ‘A Light Exists in Spring’ beautifully captures the way that spring slowly appears in our consciousness, like a light in the distance. The final stanza of Dickinson’s poem also seems to acknowledge what we now call ‘SAD’ or Seasonal Affective Disorder, with the passing of spring affecting our contentedness.

.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #143 – Colorful April

.

.

.

Tina Lost in a Crowd – #3 on Amazon Hot New Releases

I woke up with this exciting news. My debut children’s eBook Tina Lost in a Crowd was #3, then #2 and now is #1 on the Amazon Hot New Releases! It’s from #50 to #22 on the Top 100 Paid Best Sellers. Thank you for your pre-order (I think the pre-order counts)!

I just received the proof copy of the paperback from Amazon. It looks good. It’ll be ready for purchasing on April 15.

.

.

.

My First Children’s Book and Cover Reveal

I’m excited to announce that my debut children’s book Tina Lost in a Crowd will be published on April 15 and is available for preorder. The paperback will also be available. I’ll share with you the making of the book during the book release.

On Amazon, the eBook is $1.99 from preorder to the end of April. The paperback will be $6.95 from April 15th to the end of April.

The Hardcover and eBook will be available on Barns & Noble later.

I’m grateful for Bette A. Stevens, Pete Springer, Robbie Cheadle, and Denise Finn who were tremendously helpful in the process. They generously gave me detailed feedback and suggestions beyond my expectations.

The Book Release Tour will be from Monday, April 19 to Sunday, April 25. I’m thankful for the friends who will help to host the tour. I will post their links and invite you to visit the tour.

If you are interested in helping me to host a tour, please email me at mhurdle7@gmail.com, or comment below with your preferred date.

Here is the book cover of Tina Lost in a Crowd.

~

Why I Write Children’s Book

My experience of writing the children’s books was when, at age 26, I worked in Hong Kong as the Director of Children’s Department at Asian Outreach, which was a Christian literature publication company. They recruited me to design and write children’s magazines for the third grade and higher students. I modeled after a well-established local children’s magazine and wrote stories with Christian values.

This was the process we went through to publish the children’s magazines:

  • I set the themes of each issue and wrote the stories, games, word puzzles, and riddles.
  • My boss, David who was the Director of Asian Outreach edited the contents.
  • I worked with the supervisor, Martin and the illustrator, Isaac in the Art Department on the illustration design. It was exciting to see the pages from sketches to the completed products. They were creative and artistic. On one story about the farm animals, they took the stuffed animals to a village area, used the village as the background to film the sequence of the story. I had fun going to the darkroom watching the photos being developed.
  • I worked with the typesetter who did the typesetting in Chinese.
  • Back in the late 1970s, there was no digital design. When the artists finished with the drawings, the typesetter would type according to dimension of space for the text and printed out the words. Isaac cut and pasted them to flow with the artworks. Then he took photograph of each page and sent the negatives to the print shop to ordered the “blueprint” which was the same size with multiple pages as the blue print for buildings.
  • When the blueprint came back, I proofread the text, the artists proofread the artworks, and the manager ordered the printing of the magazines.

It was exciting to see my first magazine in print coming back to our office. I published four children’s magazines before leaving the office to come to the US.

The experience of working at Asian Outreach was a great asset to my current publication of the children’s books.

..

.

Happy Easter to You

Happy Easter to you!

Happy Easter GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Did you have an Easter egg hunt this morning with your kids or grandkids?

Last year Autumn dyed the eggs with the help of her dad. On Easter Sunday, she had an Easter egg hunt outside of the house. My daughter, Mercy did a good job hiding the eggs, but Autumn found all the eggs.

When Mercy was a kid, I put messages in the plastic eggs and hid them inside and outside of the house. I helped her find the first egg. She read the age-appropriate math problem, solved it, and read the message that led her to the next egg until she found all the eggs. She looked forward to the Easter egg hunt for many years.

When I sang in the choir, the church used to have four Easter Sunday services with the first service starting at 6:30 a.m. The following recording was from 2015.

Happy Easter Images: 44 Best Happy Easter Pictures Free

.

.

.

National Poetry Month 2021: I Am From – A Poem by Miriam Hurdle

April 2021 marks the 25th annual celebration of poets and poetry.

Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.

Each April, the Academy offers activities, initiatives, and resources so that anyone can join in National Poetry Month online and at home. Please visit National Poetry Month for a list of activities.

In 2014, I joined the Poetry for Pleasure group, which is part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program for the retirees or age 50+ individuals.

The Poetry for Pleasure group meets once a week for two hours during the regular quarters and intersessions at the California State University, Fullerton. We study the lives of the poets, classic and contemporary, and their works. Members signed up to lead each session. The leader would share the introduction, then the members would take turned to share and read a poem by that poet. Besides studying the poets and their works, we study types or themes of poetry such as humorous poems, poems from a 4-legged point of view, or poetry about love, family, and seasons.

In the second hour of the meeting, members would read their own poems. One member had been in that group for many years prior to my attendance. She was 90 years old when I first met her. She still wrote new poems until early 2021 at 96+ years old when she died of Covid complication. I remember her citing poems she wrote at age 6. It was an inspiration to watch her coming to the poetry group every week reading poetry of her own and others.

The group publishes an Anthology once a year. Each member has a share of eight pages to publish their unpublished poems. The last section of the Anthology is a themed poetry contributed by anyone in the group. One year, the theme was I Am From. The poems could refer to an actual location or a mental, physical, and emotional state, or a family origin. Such as…

I am from Boston where…

I am from a family of seven…

.

The following was my poem contributed to the anthology.

I Am From –

From a familiar land of Hong Kong, I came forty-some years ago –

to a land of the unknown in Portland, Oregon, following the rainbow.

From a dramatic scene of a skyscraper jungle crowded with people –

to a forest like of sky-reaching trees and behold the first snow.

From restaurants filled with muffled noises drowning my own voices –

to cafes so quiet I could hear the whispering and chewing of Époisses

From television, music, and chattering sounds saturated everywhere –

to air filled with crispy rubbing leaves and whooshing wind brushed my hair.

My surprising discovery was the intermittent tinnitus in my left ear –

which was masked by the environs from my discovery for many years.

The foreign land of the unknown now became my home.

Even when I traveled to places around the globe,

I long for coming back to my bed in my present home.

.

.

I will post poetry related posts during this month including the poets and their works, selection of my published or new poems, and other poetry projects.

What would you write if you were writing a poem or a thought on I Am From…? I would love to hear from you!

.

.

There are some things a poet cannot accept

A beautiful tribute to Sue Vincent from Jim Webster. Thank you, Jim, for speaking for all of us and let Sue know what you were doing before her passing. She held all our love and appreciation with her.

Sue lived a courageous life. She was still writing when her legs were too weak to stand up. She showed us to be true to ourselves and be vulnerable. She didn’t complain about her dying but continued to value her living.

Sue, you lived a life greater than life itself. We all missed you tremendously and we’re thankful for the precious words you left behind!

Tallis Steelyard

There are times when a poet must make a stand and say, “This has happened without my cognisance and I will not accept it!” Today has not been the best of days. Today I got a note from a patron. Common enough, especially from her, as she was always quick to praise, swift to encourage. But today the note had a bitter flavour. She was sitting awaiting death. A week? Longer?

And what can a poet do? A poet can protest, a poet can stand tall and say firmly that this will not do. A poet can bang the table with his wine glass obvious of the fact it has shattered and the pieces lie glistening but incoherent, shards of dreams never now to be dreamt.

Others have known Sue for longer than I, others will doubtless feel the grief more keenly, will mourn longer, but my job as a…

View original post 431 more words

« Older Entries