Tag: story warren (page 1 of 3)

Home in the Woods

“A few months into quarantine, I started keeping a list. This is nothing new—I keep dozens of lists. Hundreds! But this particular list didn’t contain a single task or idea. I wasn’t planning for or brainstorming about anything, but simply making a note each time I noticed something our family gained because of the quarantine.

Things we already did but could now do more often? Didn’t count. Things we’d have done anyway, but now did differently? Disqualified. This list was only for things we’d never done before and had discovered only because we were home together all the time, because of the way quarantine stretched us and challenged us and made us rely on the Lord and one another differently. For example: jigsaw puzzles. . .”


This week, Story Warren shared my review of Home in the Woods, a delightful picture book by Eliza Wheeler (John Ronald’s Dragons), and I heartily urge you to check it out—the book, that is, if not the review.

Onward to the full review!

Home in the Woods, by Eliza Wheeler | Little Book, Big Story

Home in the Woods
Eliza Wheeler (2019)

The Wilderking Trilogy (A New review)

In some ways, this has been the summer of Jonathan Rogers at our house. It began with my determination to finally, finally start that review of The Wilderking Trilogy I’d promised Story Warren an embarrassingly long time ago. So I re-read the books and remembered all over again why I love them. And with all the free time I’ve had to actually take writing classes this summer, I joined Rogers’ writing community, The Habit. (I haven’t regretted that. It’s wonderful.)

Then we discovered the recordings of Jonathan Rogers reading his other book, The Charlatan’s Boy (which deserves a place on this blog, let me tell you). Every day at lunch, we pulled up a chair for Jonathan and listened to him read.

Which led naturally to us purchasing and enjoying the full Wilderking trilogy on audiobook (read, again, by Jonathan Rogers). That was the first time through the books for all three of our younger daughters, and ever since, the bark of the bog owl pierces the woods when we go on family hikes. Little girls zip past our house on bikes, bellowing out the feechie battle cry, “Ha-weeeeeee!” And when we set up the sprinkler in the backyard and it made puddles all around, the girls declared it the Feechifen Swamp. These books are a deeply entrenched part of our family culture.

And if they aren’t a part of yours and you want convincing, please, read the full review of the series over at Story Warren. Or skip that and just go buy the books. You won’t regret it.

“The Ingredients We Have on Hand”

My friend April and I used to joke that the moment you blog about something it dies. Routines, recipes, updates on what you’re up to now—as soon as you share them, the routines shift or your schedule or circumstance changes. It seems inevitable, and we’ve seen it happen often enough that we’ve joked, after publishing a post, “Well! That was nice while it lasted.”

Today, Story Warren published an article I started writing over a year ago (in much the same way I describe in the post). When I began it, I was a homeschooling mom, and when I revised it, I was a homeschooling mom, but by the time I submitted it, I had an intimation that all that was about to change. I’ll tell you the full story soon, I promise—it deserves its own post.

What I didn’t know until after I heard the happy news that my piece had been accepted was that my writing life was destined to change as well.

Last spring, I stepped down from my editing responsibilities at Deeply Rooted. I prayed over the decision for months, tossing it back and forth and back and forth. I have been with Deeply Rooted since the magazine’s first issue—five years ago!—and I have loved my work there, every part of it. The nit-picky part of editing, the broad-sweeping-changes part of editing, the finding the perfect verb part of editing, the encouraging a writer as she revises part of editing—this was a hard role to lay down. But I realized that, no, I did not have time to both homeschool my kids and give editing as much energy as I’d like to. And so I stepped down in order (I thought) to focus on homeschooling.

But a few weeks later, homeschooling changed course too.

So, I spent the summer finishing my last editing assignment for Deeply Rooted (the fabulous four-part series by Leslie Bustard running right now!) and then, quietly and without ceremony, removed “Contributing Editor” from my email signature. But, Mitch and I wondered: What was that about? What is God up to?

We pondered and prayed and discussed the subject of “What will Thea do with the time she spent editing or planning homeschool lessons?” I considered returning to Deeply Rooted, but neither of us thought that seemed in the direction God was leading us.

And so we waited.

And the very same week—two days later, in fact—that Mitch started looking into what it might take for me to find work as a freelance editor, work found me: I received an offer from a small publishing house (run by people I adore), asking if I’d consider working with one of their authors on a project.

So, Mitch and I celebrated and I took that assignment and already other options have opened up in other places for potential assignments. And now, on account of our schedule changes (again, story forthcoming), I not only write in the early mornings, as described in the Story Warren article (I knew we’d get back here eventually), but also for hours in a coffee shop, one day a week, where the pastries are flaky and the iced coffee gets tossed about in a cocktail shaker. (I love hipster coffee.)

I am embarking, in seems, upon the seas of freelance editing.

Was it the fact that I tried to write about it that killed the current routine? I joke about it, but no, of course not. I see God’s faithfulness through the whole process, in his asking me to (yet again) surrender something I love, and in his generosity in making something new of that gift—before giving it back to me. May I use this gift and any others for his glory, always.


Seriously, though, here is the link to “The Ingredients We Have on Hand,” my new post for Story Warren. I loved writing this one!


Postscript

I am still a regular contributor for Deeply Rooted, so I will continue to write for both the print magazine and the blog.

The Mistmantle Movement Advances!

Remember The Mistmantle Chronicles? I was only slightly joking about starting a movement to get them reprinted. This week, I hope the news of their goodness, their loveliness, their urgent need to live on bookshelves worldwide spread a little further, because Story Warren let me revise and share my review of the series on their site.

You can read that review here.

But I’ve never started a movement before. What should we do next? Commission matching hats? Invent a handshake? Stage a flash mob? I welcome suggestions.

The Little White Horse

“I absolutely adored The Little White Horse.” —J. K. Rowling

That sentence alone persuaded me to purchase The Little White Horse, a book I knew nothing else about by an author I’d never heard of. If this story fed the imagination of young J.K. Rowling, I wanted to save our family a seat at the feast. . . .

I have read The Little White Horse at least four times—more times than I have read many other excellent books—and yet, I’ve never reviewed it for this blog. Perhaps I put it off because the story is so difficult to describe. Or because I wanted to do things like hold it to my chest and smile dreamily at clouds rather than attempt to pinpoint its magic, its mystery, its loveliness. Like The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic and The Wingfeather Saga, this book left me brimming with joy and fumbling with words: “You have to read it; you’ll love it” was all I could think to say.

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge | Little Book, Big Story

But Story Warren gave me an opportunity to review The Little White Horse, and I leapt at it. It took a few days of dreamy re-reading and a few weeks of fumbling with words, but I finally finished, and the post is up on the Story Warren site today. I hope you enjoy it, but better still, I hope you read The Little White Horse. You have to. You’ll love it.

Read the review here.


The Little White Horse
Elizabeth Goudge (1946)