Fairy Illustrations

Chris, the Story Reading Ape shared this site today. (Thanks, Chris.) And I wanted to pass it along directly to you. These drawings are so beautiful and inspiring, they touch my heart. Hope you enjoy them, as well.


Jin Chantez Yee (Jin Xingye) draws imaginary worlds, fairy atmospheres, like children stories, with as main theme the relationship between men and nature.

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A Bank of Transparent Windows

Every now and then, I see words while reading that pop out at me as being used incorrectly. Let me say right up front, I’m not an English teacher, nor a grammarian, but sometimes, it’s pretty obvious that the word has been misused. It happens to all of us from time to time, but we should strive to do better, right? With that thought in mind, here are two examples of misused words I’ve noticed recently.

The first word is opaque. Believe it or not, I see this word being misused fairly often. “She gazed at the rose garden through the opaque windows of the greenhouse.” Huh? Not very likely. Opaque and transparent are exact opposites. Opaque is defined as not able to be seen through, or not transparent.

Example: “The windows were opaque with steam.”
Synonyms: cloudy, filmy, blurred, smeared, misty, hazy, etc.

So be sure your (clean) windows are transparent, and your thoughts, perhaps, opaque.

My second example involves a more confusing pair of words, which are very often misused in both common speech, and in published books. Let’s take a look at home versus hone.

The word home, in addition to meaning a place of residence, also refers to the act of heading home, much like a homing pigeon. “To move  or be aimed toward a target or destination with great accuracy, as in: “More than 100 missiles were launched, homing in on radar emissions.”

Hone, on the other hand, means to sharpen, as a knife or axe. It also means to refine or perfect something over a period of time. “She has taken numerous workshops to hone her skills over the years”

So if you are writing about someone moving toward or seeking a target destination, you use home. “She homed in on the source of the delicious aroma.”

If you are talking about perfecting a skill, the word choice is hone. “With every new book, the writer honed her vocabulary skills.”

And there you have it. No more being able to look through opaque windows, and no more “honing in on the pigeon’s nest.”

See? Easy-peasy!



Here’s One To Inspire At Least Some of You.
(You know who you are. )
And I must say, it worked for ME.


Okay, maybe one or two less fangirly ones!
After all, Thor can be a bit of a dolt.
Beautiful to behold, but still, just maybe, doltish.
A bit.

I rest my case.

My Review of That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 by Marcia Meara

At the risk of being pushy, getting another stellar review for That Darkest Place has just made my morning! Hope some of you will find time to check out Judith’s review, and share with the Immediate World. 😀 THANKS!

Judith Barrow

That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 by [Meara, Marcia]I received  a copy of That Darkest Place from the author in return for an honest review.

 I gave the book 4* out of 5*

Book Description:

In Book 3 of her popular Riverbend series, Marcia Meara, author of Wake-Robin Ridge, A Boy Named Rabbit,and Harbinger, takes another look at the lives of the Painter brothers—Jackson, Forrest, and Hunter. While Hunter is home again and on the mend, the same isn’t true for his oldest brother. Jackson’s battle has just begun.

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson…

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Book Tag – Wanna Play?


I saw this little game of Book Tag on Sarah Brentyn’s blog, Lemon Shark, and thought it would be fun. Happily, she invited the Immediate World to join in, so, on the count of three, here I go. *counts, here* 

Do you have a specific place for reading? 

I will read anywhere I can, but these days, I have very little time to indulge. I carry my Kindle in my purse, so any time I’m stuck in a waiting room, for instance, I read, as best I can. At home, I used to have a comfy chair which was my favorite reading spot, but it bit the dust, sadly. The new comfy chair turned out to be not so comfy. So now, I mostly read in bed. That’s about the only time I have to devote to it, anyway, since the rest of my day is usually spent writing.  

Bookmarks or random pieces of paper? 

Since I read most of the time on my Kindle, it’s not really a relevant question. Kindle very kindly opens right to the spot where I left off. If I’m reading one of my print books, I’ll use anything at hand. Sales receipts, paper scraps, or bookmarks, of which I have plenty. Just not always where I want them. 

Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter? 

I prefer to finish a chapter, or at least a scene, but since I have to read whenever and wherever I can, that’s not always an option. Therefore, I have gotten pretty good at stopping when I have to, and picking the thread right back up again.  

Do you eat or drink while reading? 

Oh, absolutely. Almost the only daylight reading I do is during breakfast and lunch, where I have my Kindle propped on a little easel next to my plate. And if I’m sitting in the not-so-comfy chair, I usually have a cup of tea handy. Decaf in the evenings, of course. 

Music or TV while reading? 

Not one thing. Nothing. No music. No chitchat. No noise at all. Exactly as I am when writing. I want to be lost in an imaginary world with nothing to remind me that I’m sitting in my own family room. It would pull me right out of the story. Or drown out the voices of the characters. 

One book at a time or several? 

Usually one at a time, though I’ve been known to add a second book, if the first one is slow, and I need a break from it. Mostly, though, I stop reading slow books, and focus on one. I will binge read an entire series back to back, though. 

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Home is better. I can control the environment more easily. But as I say, I do read in waiting rooms, and certainly I read in bed when I’m visiting family or the like. I just don’t sleep well if I haven’t read a little bit before dozing off. 

Read out loud or silently? 

I only read out loud when I have an audience. Since I do a lot of local Meet the Author things, there are often times when I read a scene from one of my own books for them. But that would be the only time. Otherwise, I read silently, lost in that imaginary world.

 Do you read ahead or skip pages? 

Absolutely, positively not. Under ANY circumstances. I’ve been known to cover the last page with a sheet of paper to avoid the risk of accidentally seeing how it ends before I actually get there. I can’t imagine reading ahead. Does. Not. Compute.

 Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? 

I try very hard not to damage my books. I have a LOT of them, you see. Floor to ceiling bookshelves in three rooms, and smaller ones elsewhere. I collect them like some people collect works of art, and indeed, consider cover art to be one of my favorite things. I would never, ever, intentionally damage any book. Period. 

Do you write in your books? 

See above. Writing in books is even more heinous than breaking the spine, which sometimes happens even with plenty of TLC. This is where Kindle comes in so very handy. You can underline to your heart’s content without damaging an actual book. I have many of my favorite books both on my shelves, where I can admire them, and on my Kindle, where I can READ them.

 And that’s it, folks. I’m going to do exactly what Sarah did, and suggest if you think you’d like to play along, you’re tagged. Just copy the questions, and have at it. Give it a whirl. It’s fun, and a bit cathartic, too.


Book Review: Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara

Wow, what a great review from Staci Troilo. I started my next Riverbend story yesterday, and Staci’s words have inspired me to work harder than ever. Hope you’ll check this out, and pass it along! THANKS!!

Marcia Meara, author of the popular Wake-Robin Ridge books, sets her second series in the sleepy little town of Riverbend, Florida, where the hungry creatures swimming in the dark waters of the St. Johns River aren’t nearly as dangerous as those walking along the quiet neighborhood streets.

Swamp GhostsWildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.

On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was…

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Commas and how to use them (Part 1)

Take a look at Harmony’s post on Story Empire. A great lesson on proper usage of commas, with more to come.

Story Empire

Hello SErs! Harmony here 🙂 I hope this finds you all well. Today, I’d like to take a look at commas. For such a small punctuation mark, it has a big impact on how well or not our sentences read. Though we use commas a lot of the time, few of us understand them fully.

What is a comma? What does it do?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary: ‘A comma marks a slight break between different parts of a sentence. Used properly, commas make the meaning of sentences clear by grouping and separating words, phrases, and clauses.’

The different types of comma: Listing (Standard or Oxford), Introductory, Joining, Gapping, Bracketing, and other comma uses.

One thing that can make commas so confusing is that sometimes you have options, especially with the Listing and Gapping commas.

Because there is a lot to cover on this topic, I have split it…

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