Oh, Susanna! What Verbs Should I Avoid And Why?

A fantastic blog about verb usage for picture book writers by Susanna Hill!

Susanna Leonard Hill

Hey, Everyone!

What an exciting day it is!

It’s time for . . .

(cue dramatic soap opera theme music 🙂 )

. . . the long-awaited return of Oh, Susanna! (your picture book questions answered!)

Today’s question comes to us from BoldWriter who wonders:

In writing picture books strong verbs are a must. My question is this,
‘What are the most common verbs to avoid using, if possible, and why?’

BoldWriter, I’m so glad you asked!

As writers, it is our goal to express ourselves with the strongest, most articulate, most evocative language we can muster.  We use our words to bring stories to life for our readers.  In addition, as writers of picture books, our word count is extremely limited and we never want to use two or three words where one will do… and do a better job!

We’ve probably all seen those blog posts or articles…

View original post 1,035 more words

Ort: A Perfect Mouseful

[dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster Learner’s Word of the Day selections; photo credit-Merriam-Webster Learner’s Word of the Day]

ort – noun

[awrt]

  1.   Usually, orts. a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.

 

mischievous – adjective

[mis-chuh-vuh s]

  1.   causing or tending to cause annoyance or minor harm or damage

2.   showing a playful desire to cause trouble

      3.   intended to harm someone or someone’s reputation

 

Cat was angry at Mouse. Mouse was laughing at Cat because Mouse had just won his third game against Cat. Cat slunk off to figure out how to beat Mouse at Mouse’s games.

I have to slow down Mouse or trip him up somehow, Cat thought. Visions of glue, tape and food danced in his head. With the glue, Mouse was begging for help reaching out to be pulled from the glob of glue gumming up his paws. Cat shuddered at the thought. No glue.

Tape took over, tacking Mouse to it who was desperately trying to escape. Tape won’t work either. I don’t want to hurt my friend. 

While Cat was contemplating his next move, Mouse was mulling over how to help Cat win a game. A mischievous idea formed quickly.

Mouse made a maze in the middle of the yard. To help Cat win, he made Cat smiley faces on each turn leading the way out. Whoever got to the end of the maze first would win.

Tap, tap, tap.

Cat whirled around, surprised to see Mouse.

“I don’t want to play anymore of your games. I think we should play one of mine,” Cat said.

“Sure, but can we play one of yours after this last game of mine? I worked really hard at creating it,” Mouse said.

Cat’s whiskers twitched. “What’s the game?”

“I built a maze in the yard. Whoever gets to the end first wins and can choose the next three games to play.”

Cat shook his head. “Since you made the maze, you know how to go through it. That’s not fair.”

Mouse sighed. “You have a point, Cat. I will wear a blindfold to even us out.”

Cat thought about this. “We should each choose a winning treat for the other to place at the end of the maze. Whoever makes it through the maze and finishes their treat first, wins.”

“Deal.”

Together they scoured the house for the perfect treat.

Mouse found part of a tuna sandwich and carried it out.

Cat scoured the kitchen but there were no orts about, not even one crumb. All he could find was a small pink glob under the table. It was a little big for Mouse to eat but Cat planned on winning.

Treats in place, Cat and Mouse took their spots at the beginning of the maze. Cat was haunched in start position while Mouse was blindfolded and ready to go.

“Go!” Cat shouted.

Cat darted away turning this way that, into a dead end. “Drat!” He looked for Mouse. No Mouse around. He listened for Mouse. He could hear scurrying ahead of him.

Mouse twitched his nose letting him guide him to the end. He bumped into wall after wall but the strawberry smell was getting stronger.

Cat turned right, then followed straight. He turned left and left again into another dead end. He sat down and pouted. Doggone Mouse! He’s going to win. As a tear rolled into his whiskers, he noticed a smiley cat picture on the opposite wall. Oh sure, rub it in Mouse! 

Cat ran to the picture and scratched it out. He sulked through the maze scratching out each Cat Smiley he found. He was so busy looking for these smiling Cats, he didn’t realize what he had done.

I. Smell. Tuna! Cat’s nose twitched and his tail swished. He followed his nose right to the end of the maze. Mouse was already there, chewing and chewing.

Cat’s ears drooped. Mouse had won again.

“You won Mouse. But I’m going to enjoy this sandwich anyways.” He took a bite, then another.

Mouse said nothing but kept chewing away.

Cat finished his sandwich. “This was a great treat Mouse. Thank you.” Cat licked his paws.

Mouse just chewed.

“I said, ‘Thank you’ Mouse.” Cat stared at Mouse.

Mouse inhaled deeply.

As he breathed out, a bubble formed and grew and grew. Then…

POP!

Cat jumped straight into the air.

Mouse’s mouth still full he muttered, “Clever cat, giving me this ort. Not supposed to swallow gum. I lost.”

Cat blushed. “Mischievous mouse. Drawing those Smiley Cat faces to tease me. If I had seen those sooner I would have…Hey!”

“Won sooner,” Mouse said still chewing.

“You said a mouseful.” Cat laughed.

The next three games were Cat’s choice and he lost all but one.

 

THE END

If you enjoyed this story, take the challenge and write your own story in 60 minutes and edit it. The idea is to #justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

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HOW TO HIDE ACORNS JUST RIGHT

[photo credit: Ebay.com]

This is my 50 words or less children’s story in honor of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and for Vivian Kirfield’s #50PreciousWords contest. 50 Precious words Enjoy! Thank you Vivian for this opportunity. You rock!

HOW TO HIDE ACORNS JUST RIGHT

(50 words)

By Traci Bold

Winter is coming!

Squirrel must bury his food.

In a place…

Just right.

Or I’ll forget.

Let me help. Near a shrub.

Which one?

Under the fir.

Not my fur!

By the house.

Humans will find them.

Among the garden.

Maybe…

Below the trellis.

Good spot…

Perfectly center.

Just right.

Rex’s Big Words

Wow! I have not done a Word of the Day story on here in months.

To you the reader, if you are not familiar with my Word of the Day posts, I take the word of the day entries from dictionary.com, Learners Dictionary or Merriam Webster  (I may use all or just one or two) and create a story for children which have to include the words I post below. I give myself one hour to write and edit the story before posting it. The reason behind only the one hour is to give writers the incentive to just write, as the hardest part of writing is getting started. My story will never be perfect when it is finished in this time frame, but it is not supposed to be and in this case, I went over by nine minutes to finish editing. Feel free to leave comments at the end. I hope you share this story with your child and spark a conversation or a writing project. Enjoy!

scapegrace – noun

[skeyp-greys]

  1.   a complete rogue or rascal; a habitually unscrupulous person; scamp.

 

kudos – noun

[koo-dohz, -dohs, -dos, kyoo-]
      1.   fame and renown resulting from an act or achievement : prestige
      2.   praise given for achievement
REX’S BIG WORDS

This story can be summed up with it’s end…

Kudos to Rex for keeping the light burning in Olympus Theatre. Her ongoing crusade to raise enough money to restore it and get it declared as a Historical Landmark will keep theatre alive and thriving for many years to come. To Rex! May you someday be on that stage, but not in a boxing ring on it!”

But if you always read the end first, you miss the fun and excitement of the beginning and the middle and end up wondering what happened. Like, why would Rex be in a boxing ring? This is how it all started

“We are finished for the day. Thank you for coming in to help us set up the fundraiser. That scapegrace, Pinche, has a fight on her hands,” said Mr. Torres, owner of the Olympus Theater which was in danger of being condemned and torn down by the city.

Lottie, Rob, Arnold, and I packed up our flyers, loaded our backpacks and met outside.

“We did good today,” I said.

“We did well,” Lottie corrected.

“We done did good,” Arnold snickered.

“Yup,” was all Rob said.

“Hey Rex, we need to divide up the town between us to hand out the flyers. Which section do you want?” Arnold asked.

“Makes the most sense to cover the areas around each of our schools, right? Grab as many people as you can to help distribute them.”

Lottie, Arnold, and Rob nodded in agreement.

“If you need more flyers, Mr. Torres said he would be at the Olympus tomorrow evening.”

Again, everyone nodded.

Rob hopped on his bike, Arnold took off walking and Lottie and I waited for our rides.

“See you all on Saturday,” I said.

Lottie waited until Rob and Arnold were out of sight.

“What happens if Mrs. Pinche gets her way?”

“We need to make sure that doesn’t happen,” I told her.

Our rides pulled up next to the curb.

“That scapegrace has no chance against us!” I said fist in the air.

“You and your big words Rex,” Lottie said rolling her eyes, playfully.

 

“Rebecca, your dinner is in the oven,” my Mom said the minute I walked in the door. She’s the only person I know who won’t use my nickname. Even my grandparents call me Rex.

“Thanks Mom. I have homework to do so I’ll eat it in my room,” I told her as she followed me into the kitchen.

“Good try Rebecca, you can eat at the counter or at the table but not in your room. What kind of homework?”

I fumbled with the hot pad and the plate of food in the oven.

“I have to write a one page paper about a local historical landmark or a place that should be saved and considered as one. I chose the Olympus Theatre.”

“That should be easy since you’ve been volunteering there for months now.”

“Hope so,” I said, mouth full of food.

 

Upstairs in my room, I gathered my resources. In my notebook, I wrote notes and points of interest. Next, I wrote my paper. I read it over twice, crossed out words and added words like my teacher told us to do and rewrote it neatly. Something was missing. My older brother Mike, is in ninth grade and in his paper for English, he had to write a closing statement. That’s what my paper was missing. I raced to his room.

“Hey Mike, what’s a closing statement for a paper?” I asked him.

He stared at me like I was an alien. “Since when do fifth grade papers need closing statements?”

I rolled my eyes, but not playfully. “Since right now,” I shot back.

Mike raised his eyebrows but told me anyway.

 

At school, I was the first to read my paper in class.

“In closing, the Olympus Theater has been a part of Pepper Grove for over a hundred years. Letting the Olympus get torn down is like letting your grandparents home get torn down with them in it. It is a historical landmark and needs your help. You can help me by handing out these fliers today after school.” I waved a handful of flyers around.

“Nicely done Rex. A little dramatic but nice,” Mr. Buckley said.

A hand shot up in the back of the class. Stephanie Pinche. Bully extraordinaire and only child of Mrs. Pinche.

“Go ahead Stephanie,” Mr. Buckley said.

“Who cares about that smelly old place. My mom says it’s a dump and unsafe and theater is dead. Everybody watches Netflix now or rents movies. Tear it down, a gas station will be a gold mine there.”

The room erupted in noise.

My face burned hot.

“Stephanie, Rex made a nice case for the Olympus and why it should be a historical landmark. You can read your paper next.” Mr. Buckley said.

I walked down the opposite row of Stephanie to avoid her.

 

After school five kids met up with me and we walked the neighborhood around school and handed out all flyers that I had. They agreed to tell their parents about how important the Olympus is and I promised them cookies if they brought their parents to the fundraiser on Saturday.

I stopped by the Olympus on my way home and picked up more.

“Yours are gone already Rex?” Mr. Torrres asked when he saw me.

“Yup. I need more. I recruited friends from school to help me hand them out.” I told him a big smile on my face.

“Well done. You are an activist already,” he said, his toothy grin hidden partially by his mustache.

 

The next day after school Stephanie chased me to my house.

“T-Rex, would you stop running so I can tell you something?” she hollered behind me.

I stopped and turned around. “What do you want?”

Out of breath, she huffed, “I can hand out some of your flyers if you need help.”

My eyes popped right out of my head. (not really)

When I popped them back in, I narrowed them at her. “I thought you said the Olympus should be torn down.”

“My mom wants to share them at the Historical Society committee meeting tomorrow night. She said it would be good to know more about it since you researched it and all.”

I didn’t quite buy her story but I gave her a few flyers.

“Thanks,” she said and left.

 

Thursday, Lottie, Rob, Arnold, and I met Mr. Torres at the Olympus and helped him clean the lobby. We scrubbed the counters, swept the floors, scrubbed the floors, cleaned the glass and shined up the staircase until the entire lobby sparkled. When we finished, we took the last of the flyers and headed home.

 

Friday morning, Stephanie grabbed my arm. “My mom loved the flyers. Said they helped her make her point at the meeting so you can have them back.” She handed them to and sneered. “Good luck saving that dump.”

When I opened a flyer, everything looked good.

 

On Saturday, people from all over Pepper Grove turned out at the Olympus Theater. Mr. Torres was strutting around, handing out cookies and coffee to the adults, while Rob, Arnold, Lottie, and me handed out cookies to the kids. The five kids from school were there along with their parents so I gave them extra cookies as I promised.

Mr. Torres walked onto the platform to give his speech. He glanced around then smiled and started. He answered questions and when no one had any more to ask, he held up his hand and shouted, “Can the Olympus be saved?”

The crowd replied, “Yes!” and waved their flyers.

Mrs. Pinche and Stephanie shouted, “NO! TEAR IT DOWN! IT’S UNSAFE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND THIS COMMUNITY.”

Mr. Torres dropped his hand.

Mrs. Pinche rushed onto the platform. She held up a flyer.

“Mr. Torres stated in the flyer, ‘Olympus Theater has served its community and in its current state of disrepair, I recommend it be torn down and the lot sold. To remember it in its glory days, I will donate photos and memorabilia of the Olympus to the library for all to enjoy.’”

People held up their flyers.

Mr. Torres grabbed the flyer from Mrs. Pinche’s hand. He scanned it and his face turned beet red.

The crowd started booing.

Lottie nudged me. “Do something Rex!”

Without thinking I ran up to the platform and shoved Mrs. Pinche away.

“The Olympus Theatre was home to the first performance…” I read from the flyer in my hand.

The crowd quieted. I read some more.

“We already heard this speech by Torres,” came a snotty voice from the front.

Stephanie sneered up at me. She started chanting, “Tear it down. Tear it down.”

Some older kids in the front joined her.

I watched Mr. Torres slump his shoulders forward.

Now adults joined in the chant.

“HEY! NO SCAPEGRACE IS GOING TO TEAR DOWN THIS HISTORICAL LANDMARK!” I shouted into the microphone, creating an ear-splitting ring.

The crowd covered their ears but stopped.

I recited my paper and ended with this, “Olympus Theater is a historical landmark and needs your help. Pepper Grove will lose its fame if the Olympus gets torn down. Instead, help us bring it back to its former glory. How many of your grandparents came to shows here when stars of their day took to the stage? How many of you performed here when you were in school? Does Pepper Grove need a gas station right in the heart of downtown?”

A buzz started in the crowd. People looked at each other.

“Open your flyers.”

People opened them.

“Does your flyer have a quote from Mr. Torres on the bottom of it?”

People checked and rechecked the flyers in their hands.

“No!”

“That’s because you have the original flyers, not the ones Mrs. Pinche copied and remade with her added fake quote.” I went on to explain about her and her gas station idea.

Finally, Mr. Torres, Mike, my parents, Rob, Lottie, and Arnold flooded the platform next to me. We held hands and raised them.

“Are we going to save the Olympus?” I asked fist pumping in the air.

A few people mumbled yes.

“ARE WE GOING TO SAVE THE OLYMPUS?” we shouted together.

“YES!!!”

“Is Mrs. Pinche going to build a gas station here instead?” I shouted.

“No!” the crowd replied.

“Save the Olympus, save the Olympus!” I chanted.

Soon everyone was chanting it.

Mr. Torres grabbed the donation box and held it over the side of the platform. People lined up and dropped money and checks into the box. Our town mayor pushed through the crowd, held up a fistful of fifty dollar bills and dropped them in.

The crowd cheered.

When the event was over, Rob, Lottie, Arnold, and I along with our families, sat in the lobby while Mr. Torres and his staff counted the money.

“We have enough money to start renovations.”

“Yay!” we cheered.

“And this was in the bottom of the donation box.” Mr. Torres held up a sealed envelope. He tore it open, read it and sucked in his breath.

He read it out loud,

‘Dear Mr. Torres,

Your request for consideration of the Olympus Theater to be a recognized Pepper Grove historical landmark has been approved. Attached is the documentation form for you to fill out and to mail to the state Historical Society. You will receive official paperwork from the state upon receipt of the completed form.

To help ensure the Olympus is ready for a public announcement of its inclusion into the Historical Society, we have set aside money to help offset restoration costs.

Congratulations.

Sincerely,

Pepper Grove Historical Society’

 

We cheered and whooped and hollered.

Mr. Torres gave each of us kids a big hug, and thanked us for our help.

Lottie whispered in my ear, “big words.” Then she held up my hand like a champion and said, “Kudos to Rex for keeping the light burning in Olympus Theatre. Her ongoing crusade to raise enough money to restore it and get it declared as a Historical Landmark will keep theatre alive and thriving for many years to come. To Rex! May you someday be on that stage, but not in a boxing ring on it!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREATE THE PERFECT BOOKENDS

Bookends are not just for adults. Many children have book shelves in their rooms and a designated book case is not available, maybe create one using unique bookends. The best part is children can make their own as can adults and they will be unique to the creator.

From the photo above, you see just the black bottoms of standard metal bookends like seen in a library. But photos can be deceiving.

In my quest to find the perfect bookends to use in my office space, I came to the conclusion that I needed to make my own. The beautiful marble horse head beauties that I inherited, just did not hold up the books. They consistently toppled over, sending books to the floor in a riotous mess.

bookends-marble

For months, my husband and I scoured consignment shops, Goodwill and Salvation Army stores and flea markets to find the perfect bookends. We did find some unique ones but when we tested them out with a stress test none passed.

The inspiration hit me at our public library. I was a volunteer shelf reader for years and was in awe at how much strength metal bookends like these had, so I bought a pair.bookends-start

However, I didn’t want to leave them plain. How to bling them up? I have an arsenal of craft supplies and these ones were at the top of my list for jazzing up effect. bookend-craft-arsenal

I did a trial run of using the bookends as is to see how I liked them. The problem was that one end would not show at all except for the bottom which would show anyways. The exposed end would show a little more but only if I was away from my desk to look at it. An idea hit! Find used hardcover books to glue over them and hide the black ends! This was the first book I found at Goodwill. I loved the color of the binding and when thumbing through it found scribbles like this throughout. bookend-green-start-showing-scribble

Using the next photos, I will explain my process of creating the perfect bookends. Find two thin hardcover books large enough to cover the upright part of the metal book end. I found  this book as well and I loved the colors. It too had scribbling all over in the book making it an inexpensive find when I showed the cashier. $1.56 total for both books. bookend-yellow-start

I found the middle of each book, slid the bookend in between, making sure it was even and glued the bookend and pages together in the middle.

bookend-glue-bookend-in

Then glue the covers to the pages next to them…

bookend-green-cover-glue

and secure with rubber bands and clamps.

bookends-clamped

Once they have been clamped for at least two hours, remove the rubber bands and clamps to brush glue onto the page edges, then secure again with rubber bands and clamps.

bookends-gluing-pages

Repeat this process in one hour. Keep secured overnight.

Voilá! Two new perfect bookends! And here they are in use in their finished state.

bookend-at-an-angle-2

bookends-finished

Creating these perfect bookends for my desk also was another win-win for me as it forced me to clean up my desk area. clean-desk

If you or your child are ever in need of a gift for a book lover or a writer, or you just want some for your self, consider making a set of bookends. (Idea: A pair of unique bookends and a couple of books and you have the perfect book lovers gift!)

The possibilities are endless and the joy of using your own creativity to make them is priceless.

The metal bookends can be found at office supply stores and possibly discount department stores as well. Mine were bought at Office Max for under $6 total.

Here’s to you for reading this blog and hopefully being inspired to get creative.

Happy crafting!

For me it’s back to #justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting.

 

SNUCK UP

Today is January 17, 2017. There I said it and now realize that TODAY IS JANUARY 17, 2017. Today my sweet girl Brittie would have been 17! If she were here on earth, we would have celebrated today as her Golden Birthday with special salmon and sweet potato cookies and Beef Stew. Brittie, if you are listening as I write this, know that we wouldn’t have your favorites without you. 

Brit and me 3 9 2015
Brittie’s selfie (a rarity)

Back to today’s date. The date snuck up on me and tapped me in my heart when I opened Facebook and saw my memories page. Naturally, they were of Brittie and previous birthdays and her first birthday without her (2016). The flood gates opened as did my picture folder of her. The tears are for missing her and for laughing at the memories as I scroll through my photos of her. 10-375083E5-24963-960 She was a curious dog and this bug really had her intrigued.

Every animal has a personality all their own just like humans. In fact, by watching animals in varied situations, we humans could learn a lot. Such as do dogs feel guilt?

Guilty Brittie

I doubt it from looking at this photo of her holding evidence of a recent sock theft. Do dogs care about how they look to humans? fb_img_1453044074165

Nope, I do not believe so. Dogs do what they can to be comfortable. Brittie was just annoyed that I had the camera out. (Maybe she does care a little?)

Dogs care about the important stuff such as playing, snuggling, sleeping and being sassy (well Brittie was sassy).

Brittie in crock

snuggly-brittie-with-girls

sleepy-brit

i-want-to-eat-now-brittie-2

When memories of loved ones sneak up on you, embrace them. Cry, laugh, chortle, or gasp; whatever comes naturally for each memory. Your loved one will know at those moments that they are not forgotten and who knows, they may have had a sneaky hand in sending those memories to you. At least, this is what I believe.

HAPPY 17TH BIRTHDAY BRITTIE! We love and miss you. Thank you for the wonderful memories. pheasant-brittie

 

Storystorm Day 1: “The Calm Before the Storm” by Deb Lund

Day One of StoryStorm starts today, January 1, 2017 so what new picture book idea have you thought of today? Maybe Deb Lund’s analogy will spark one for you.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

by Deb Lund

I’ve been restless lately. Uncertain. Wondering what to work on next, but not taking action. Growing up in northern Minnesota, the outward version of that was an approaching storm—a blizzard, a tornado, torrential rains… It starts out in stillness and quickly gets dark.

storm-clouds

There’s something in the air that you can’t quite identify, and then it whooshes in…

storystorm

Energy builds. Everything whirls around you. There’s nothing to hang on to. It all feels impossible and there’s nothing you can do about it—except face it. Be brave! Lean into the wind! You got this!

Creativity needs chaos. It needs a storm. Once in a while we need to be shaken out of our pitiful patterns and hideous habits. You know what I mean. Those crazy excuses—I’m too old/young/busy/whatever. Or… just another game of Solitaire, or another snack. Yeah! That’s what I need!

storm-dance

When the storm hits, don’t hide…

View original post 690 more words

GOODBYE 2016

[title photo credit: happynewyear2017s.com]

2016 had its highs and lows and was both fast fleeting and slow going depending on the day. What I remember most about this year is it was iconic and quickly became capricious.

It is iconic for the most lost lives of more than noteworthy people in the world in one single year; people who made a difference in politics, arts and entertainment, community, health, environment, sports and so much more. {May the major networks at least come up with a looooong special in January about all of these amazing people and what the world lost when they left earth}.

2016 is also capricious with all of the erratic and unpredictable change that occurred throughout the year.

For me, I struggled to keep my head above water and concentrate on the good that was going on in the shadows of the lies and horribleness that reared its ugly head this year. My heart broke as each angel left earth and entered their new journey onward, which started in January with Pat Harrington Jr. of ‘One Day at a Time’ fame. Followed quickly by
David Bowie and Alan Rickman, two artists who I admired for their uniqueness. Celine Dion’s husband, René Angélil died the same day as Rickman sending the music world into another grieving moment. Then my Grizzly Adams died (Dan Haggerty) the day after, followed by one of my favorite Eagles, Glenn Frey and finishing off the sad month was ‘Fish’, Abe Vigoda from Barney Miller and Paul Kantner, founding member of Jefferson Airplane. My heart ached that month and it seemed like the deaths would not end.

alan-rickman-snape

{photo credit: mashable.com}

But February brought about more deaths inside and outside of the music and movie industry. Inside we lost Joe Alaskey, Maurice White, Vanity, George Gaynes, Sonny James, Angela Raiola, Tony Burton and George Kennedy. But outside of these industries we lost, BMX racing legend; Dave Mirra, astronaut Edgar Mitchell; US Supreme court Member, Anthony Scalia; two authors- Harper Lee and Umberto Eco.

george-gaynes

{photo credit: hngn.com}

March rolled on with fifteen more deaths that rocked the world: Lee Reherman, Joey Feek, Pat Conroy, Nancy Reagan, George Martin, Keith Emerson, Frank Sinatra Jr., Bob Ebeling, Phife Dawg, Rob Ford, Joe Garagiola, Garry Shandling, Jim Harrison, Mother Mary Angelica, and Patty Duke.

patty-duke-hail-to-the-chief

{photo credit: imgarcade.com}

In April we lost Erik Bauersfeld, Merle Haggard, David Gest, Doris Roberts, Les Waas, Chyna, Prince, Michelle McNamara, Isabelle Dinoire, Papa Wemba and Billy Paul.

purple-rain

{photo credit: printmatic.net}

How would we cope with all this loss? We learned that instead of simply mourning their loss, we needed to remember what each of these people brought to us and what can take away from them being on earth as long as they were. We will all die sometime so what will we each leave behind for the living to remember? May gave us chance to ponder.

Seven extraordinary lives succumbed in May. Afeni Shakur Davis, Jane Little, Emilio Navaira, Guy Clark, Morley Safer, Alan Young and Nick Menza.

tupacs-mother

{photo credit: stylemagazine.com}

But June pounded us back into reality with the deaths of Muhammad Ali, Kimbo Slice, Theresa Saldana, Gordie Howe, Christina Grimmie, Ron Lester, Anton Yelchin, Ralph Stanley, Bernie Worrell, Bill Cunningham, Alvin Toffler, Buddy Ryan, Scotty Moore and Pat Summitt.

muhammad-ali

{photo credit: blog.richmond.edu}

July slowed us down again with the deaths of Elie Wiesel, Michael Cimino, Noel Neill, Abbas Kiarostami, Garry Marshall, Mark Takai, Rev. Tim LaHaye and Miss Cleo.

noel-neill-645x370

{photo credit: 411mania.com}

August gave us a running for unlucky with thirteen noteable deaths…David Huddleston, Pete Fountain, Berry Jenner, Kenny Baker, Fyvush Finkel, John McLaughlin, Lou Pearlman, Matt Roberts, Toots Thielemans, Steven Hill, Sonia Rykiel, Juan Gabriel and Gene Wilder.

gene-wilder-willy-wonka

{photo credit: twistmagazine.com}

September did not want to be outdone by August so it beat it. Joe Polito, picture book author-Anna Dewdney, Jerry Heller, Phyllis Schlafly, Lady Chablis, Greta Zimmer Friedman, Alexis Arquette, Edward Albee, WP Kinsella, Curtis Hanson, Shawty Lo, Bill Nunn, José Fernández, Arnold Palmer and Shimon Peres.

anna_and_llama {photo credit: alchetron.com}

With the US Presidential campaigning in full progress in October, the world watched with squinted eyes. The following people almost slipped through unnoticed but we did mourn: Tommy Ford, King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Steve Dillon.

Onto the most capricious month of 2016 where a vast majority are now wishing 2016 to end. November trumped up the shock value not only with who won the US Presidential election (not my choice) with these incredible losses: Janet Reno, Leonard Cohen, Robert Vaughn, Leon Russell, Gwen Ifill, Holly Dunn, Sharon Jones, Florence Henderson, Ron Glass and Grant Tinker.

senectitude

As we come to the very last senectitude of 2016, I hope there are no more capricious moments before 11:59 p.m. December 31. Not only did the group Emerson, Lake and Palmer lose Emerson earlier this year, the first WOW fatality of December was Greg Lake, another member. We took ourselves back in history to celebrate the life of astronaut John Glenn who died December 8. Longtime soap stars, Joseph Mascolo and Barbara Tarbuck passed on as well as author E R Braithwaite; actor Alan Thicke; sports broadcaster, Craig Sager; model and fashion editor, China Machado; actress Zsa Zsa Gabor; pop star George Michael; comedian Ricky Harris; Children’s author, Richard Adams; Princess Leia- Carrie Fisher followed immediately one day later by her mother and also famous actress, Debbie Reynolds.

My advice for the coming year which is already in motion for surprises: every person who dies in the world is noteworthy and left behind some kind of legacy that can be learned from in some capacity; so take time to learn about the people who have left you whether in your own family, your community or the world and put their life into perspective. Love and enjoy those around you and live every moment as if it’s your last because it could be. What legacy do you want to leave behind for the world? The significance will be great no matter how small you think it may be.

As for me, I have set myself some lofty goals for 2017 that I plan to attain. I will experience failures along the way but these failures will lead to my eventual success. Therefore…

2016, I bid you adieu. Bring on 2017!

Happy New Year all and may your highs be more abundant than your lows which is also my wish for the world in the new year!

Sincerely,

Traci

 

 

 

 

 

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