Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Totally New Way To Help Kids in Hospitals

So many children end up spending a long time in hospitals. I was one. I spent my entire Kindergarten year in a hospital. Some of these little darlings pop in and out of hospitals over a long time. Nursing staff know them on a first name basis as they walk in the door.

Sigh.

I saw this wonderful new idea to help these little ones. I took a little screen shot of one photo to give you an idea.

This link has the full art to help explain the idea:

dad-turns-board-games-into-bed-sheets-so-sick-kids-arent-bored

The product is called Playtime Edventures and it was designed and created by a dad. Kevin Gatlin came up with the idea after visiting a friend's child in the hospital. The kid was bored beyond belief. Kevin's heart and mind was stirred.

Apparently the idea sparked from watching his wife play games with their children while in bed. 

It took him two years to perfect the idea into the product today. His goal was to not only edtertain, but make the games educational. He designed severeral to meet different age groups with activities including sign language, trivia, and etc. 

Kevin has a heart of gold, wanting to help sick kids smile. The idea is still new. Ten hospitals have purchased these sheets. The idea is spreading, and I wanted to help. Parents can buy the sheets for use at home or to donate to their hospital/charity.

There is a wonderful video on the link I provided above. Take a look.


This post has been brought to you by the one work: HelpAKidSmile


By the way, next week I will be in North Carolina at a Writer's Conference. The Selah Writing Awards Ceremony is that Wednesday evening. My book, Daring to Live is a finalist for the contest. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer's Conference Award Ceremony  May 22 at 7 pm. Help me cheer on all the winners. Books by Authors you will enjoy reading.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Accents around the world.


Photo by Mary Vee

Today we are talking about accents around the world.

While working with a Crow Indian people group, I noticed the children barely had the accent of their parents'. I mentioned this to a linguistics student and learned an individual's accent comes mostly from the child's school and neighboorhood friends. 

The child spends the majority of their formative time in the schoolroom and playing in the neighborhood. As they speak, he or she is corrected by their teacher and peers. The peers tend to correct during everyday play and offer the community's slang and idioms. The teacher tends to offer something closer to correct grammar with an added ingredient, his or her own accent, cultural idioms, and slang.

So, when my sister came home with her family after serving as missionaries in Wales, she had taken on such phrases as "I will phone you," instead of "I will call you," etc. A few of her sentences had the sing-songy raise at the end. But that was it. Her children, however, came home speaking completely with Welsh inflections. The accent, after more than ten years there, was so different from what they had before moving to Wales. 

Since then, one of her children has married an American girl and had a son. This son speaks with a Midwestern accent, having not picked up the Welsh accent of his father. Quite typical for where he is being raised.

So curious.

I, of course, do not feel I have an accent. In my head, I hear myself speak normally. I hear the accents of others and detect the differences from mine. Therefore I do not have an accent. 

Hmmm. Is it possible, everyone feels that way?


What do you think? 

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: Accents

Link to my books, Mary Vee Writer: Click Here

Friday, May 3, 2019

How to Make a Medieval/Fantasy Map


Student created Fantasy Map
Photo by Mary Vee
Last week I drove 40 hours on a book tour.
While on my book tour, I was invited to speak to 6 classes. Rather than lecture the students, I chose to engage them in an activity. A map making activity.

Most fantasy novels have a map in the beginning pages of the book. The purpose is to acquaint the reader with the fictional land where the story takes place. 

After hours of studying the fantasy mapmakers on Instagram and practicing the techniques, I had a good grasp of the concept and made the map found in the beginning pages of my new fantasy book, Fire and Thorn.





Here is the how to Make a Medieval/Fantasy map in a nutshell.


Photo by Mary - Fantasy Maps






1. Make a border along the four edges of your paper. Many old maps, like treasure maps, end up with torn or yellowed edges. To protect the vital parts of the map, the border is drawn. Make it about 1/2" thick.








Photo by Mary Vee
Students creating Fantasy maps



2. Decide how many kingdoms you want on your map. Due to the limited space, choose one, two, or three. No more. Draw lines separating the countries. Make it squiggly for a puzzle piece look.
















Photo by Mary Vee
Students Creating Fantasy Maps






3. Each kingdom needs a castle for the king. One castle per kingdom. Give it a mote. Drawbridge. Flags. Perhaps a princess in a window. Soldiers with weapons. Etc. Every detail added needs to be small...teeny tiny in order have enough space for other additions.












Photo by Mary Vee
Student creating her map






4. The people in the castle will need water and will not want to walk far to get it. Draw a river near the castle. Each kingdom--one castle. Each castle--at least one river.













Photo by Mary Vee
Student creating her map.



5. The water from the river comes from the snow-capped mountains upstream. Draw mountains at the source of each river. The river can be extended to end in an ocean or lake.

6. Add habitats for the creatures. Deserts: cacti, dunes, sandstorms, rattlesnakes. Forests: Bats, coyotes, wolves, etc. and so forth. To draw a forest make a triangle with a line (like a popsicle). Draw a second triangle touching the first. Add a third one touching the second. Add as many more as you wish. Draw the appropriate creatures, including dragons, unicorns. One student created a snake-tiger. Create away! Add villages. Thatched roofs. Campfires with pots to cook food, and more.  







Photo by Mary Vee
Student creating his ornate
compass rose




7. Add a compass rose. Fantasy map makers will spend more time creating an ornate compass rose than the entire rest of the map. So, put lots of details, swirls, anything to jazz it up.











Photo by Mary Vee
Finished Fantasy Maps

8. Each kingdom needs a name. This can be a made-up word. I used: Malum, Vista, and Aerlis for my three kingdoms. Use block letters. To help viewers see the kingdom name put a box around the word with a dark line.

By this point, the map should be CROWDED with amazing details.


Feel free to share these instructions with a Fantasy reader you know. THEN tell them how they can take a quest in my new fantasy, Fire and Thorn.






Link to Mary's books: https://amzn.to/2Fq4Jbm
Fire and Thorn
The day the king of Aerlis heroically dies and his lovely queen is viciously carried off to the dark north, dragons invade the land. Crops and homes near the border burn to the ground. Prince Gilbert must give up what he wants most to save his father’s kingdom and himself. Far away lies the answer. Something unseen. To save the kingdom he must go on a quest to bring the unseen back. A quest filled with danger. There seems an easier solution in the vast north. One that offers great wealth and power. Time is short. One choice will save his kingdom. The other will silence him and his people—forever.




This post has been brought to you by the one-word: FantasyMapMakingFun

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Time For a Road Trip - Cross Country. You Are Invited!!

Road Trip!

I'm excited to take you with me. This destination is 18+ hours. We'll cross most of the United States.

Although, today being only two days after the Shri Lanka church bombings, I wish I could go and help.

For this cross country drive, the bags are packed. My sister, who is going with me. will arrive soon. I am so thankful for her company and help. My broken arm is still mending, (I am on a no weight restriction)...BUT  the arm is slowly getting better.

The purpose of this trip is a book tour. At the destination, I will teach classes on how to write a story about a quest and sign books already purchased by students. This is going to be so much fun.

THEN, after the work, my three sisters and I will drive down to Waco and have a fun sister day. I hear there is much to see in Waco.

Have you been to Texas? What should we see there?

The book I am taking is my new release. A fantasy. If you are looking for a story like Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or stories by Wayne Batson, this is the book for you.

Link to Mary's books: https://amzn.to/2Fq4Jbm

Mary Vee -Rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking top Mary’s list of ways to enjoy a day. She was homeless for a time, was a teacher, a missionary, and married an Air Force vet. Mary has been a finalist in several writing contests and writes for her King.
Visit Mary at her WebsiteBlog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter
 Meet my new fantasy story, Fire and Thorn. 
A Story for Teens


The day the king of Aerlis heroically dies and his lovely queen is viciously carried off to the dark north, dragons invade the land. Crops and homes near the border burn to the ground. Prince Gilbert must give up what he wants most to save his father’s kingdom and himself. Far away lies the answer. Something unseen. To save the kingdom he must go on a quest to bring the unseen back. A quest filled with danger. There seems an easier solution in the vast north. One that offers great wealth and power. Time is short. One choice will save his kingdom. The other will silence him and his people—forever.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Virtual Travel


Photo by Mary Vee
Caesarea on the Mediterranean, Israel
Once upon a time, in a land far away...

Readers of my newsletter travel to interesting places with me. Virtual travel style. No need to pack. No visas or passports needed. 

We take trips four times a year to interesting places. This month, in honor of the Easter season, we visited a few places in Israel. We saw the aqua ducts built by Herod two thousand years ago. The slope is only one degree, perfect to keep a continuous flow for the nine-mile structure. There is more! In the newsletter.

Every month, I send the new readers to our group a virtual trip newsletter to welcome them. Like the other trips, I take the photos and provide links to videos whisking you right there from the comfort of your home.

We have gone cliff climbing, hiking, white-water rafting, zip lining, sailed on a pirate ship over the 23 letters sent out so far.

Want to join us?

You are invited.


Here is the link to sign up:






Wednesday, April 10, 2019

We Stumbled Upon This In An Old Section Of Town

Photo by Mary Vee


Look what my family discovered!
A bookstore for rare books across the alley from...
Photo by Mary Vee











A bookstore for used books.




Field Trip!!





No need to ask if we bought books. The paper bag ripped from the page turning contents only moments after we stepped outside the bookstore for used books!

Creaky floors. 
Quiet.
Comfy, worn chairs.
Lower level loaded with shelves and more books. (Be sure to duck, low clearance.)

We barely scratched the surface during this visit. This is a definite repeat.

So when did you last visit a bookstore of any kind?

Would you like to hear the sounds? Here is a very short video. CLICK TO WATCH

Speaking of books, I have news.


My latest book is now available!!



The day the king of Aerlis heroically dies and his lovely queen is viciously carried off to the dark north, dragons invade the land. Crops and homes near the border burn to the ground. Prince Gilbert must give up what he wants most to save his father’s kingdom and himself. Far away lies the answer. Something unseen. To save the kingdom he must go on a quest to bring the unseen back. A quest filled with danger. There seems an easier solution in the vast north. One that offers great wealth and power. Time is short. One choice will save his kingdom. The other will silence him and his people—forever.


This story would make a great Easter gift for the fantasy reader you know. Written with the young adult in spirit reader age, 8-99, in mind. 

If you buy a copy, snap a photo of you and the book or ebook and send it to my email. I will post it here in appreciation. maryveewriter@gmail.com

AND!!

The best way to show an author you like the book is to write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. The more reviews, the more these companies help tell others about the book.


This post has been brought to you by the one word: LoveToReadInABookstore

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Nature is Waking. Time for A Quest


The sky may have been gray, but the temperatures were a delicious Spring 57 with no chill in the slight breeze.

Photo by Mary Vee
Look what will be here soon!! Green. Lots of green!
Sleeping Bear Dune scenic drive, Traverse City

I opened the windows and cleansed the winter closed-up smell.

THEN Yes, I went for a walk and soaked in the scents, marveled at the buds on the trees, the grass green after a refreshing snow melt, spring flowers poking through the earth's surface.

And, at this moment anyway, no bugs. 

Win-win!! 

Nature is waking.




Easter is on its way. 

The days are longer. We should take a walk together. That's what I will plan for next week's post.

In the meantime, I want to share with you

And am so excited to tell you

About the release of my new book,
Fire and Thorn, a Fantasy.
 It a perfect gift for Easter. What better gift to give than a book?


Geared for the young adult audience, but also a great read for adults.  Knights, Dragons, Castles, and best of all, a quest. A clash between good and evil.

SO...TAKE A MOMENT AND CLICK THE LINK BELOW. I am especially looking for reviews from readers. This helps others know about the book. Did you know Amazon and other companies show the books that have more reviews first to shoppers?


This post has been brought to you by the one word: ILoveQuestsInSpring