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You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Giveaway Hop Aug 1-7

Blog Hop Book Giveaway!

All you have to do is fill out the form below for a chance to win
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups Of Tea
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Book Hounds

(Ships to US residents only)

Summary taken from Goodreads:
Greg Mortenson stumbled, lost and delirious, into a remote Himalayan village after a failed climb up K2. The villagers saved his life, and he vowed to return and build them a school. The remarkable story of his promise kept is now perfect for reading aloud. Told in the voice of Korphe's children, this story illuminates the humanity and culture of a relevant and distant part of the world in gorgeous collage, while sharing a riveting example of how one person can change thousands of lives.

  • Pub. Date: January 2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: Hardcover , 32pp
  • Sales Rank: 27,268
  • Age Range: For infants or children in preschool
  • Lexile: AD740Lwhat’s this?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: Classified as Murder

Classified as Murder (Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #2)Classified as Murder by Miranda James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Classified as Murder" by Miranda James was a fun and entertaining read! Diesel, the feline sidekick added to its charm and character :D Admittedly, I first bought it because of the kitty on the page and the snippet about him pawing around and helping the "investigator" do his job. I found out at the end of the book just how involved the kitty actually was but I loved him anyways. A really fun, easy and light reading. :) I can't wait to read more in this series! Kitties and Mysteries are a double treat!

View all my reviews

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Gratitude Challenge - Day #11 Break-in, Heritage Day and more...

MY! What a day!!! I have to praise Allah (God) that is was not as bad as it could have been though I often had to catch myself from thinking...."Can my day get any WORSE?" because inevitably, if you ask that question, Allah answers with the affirmative! So I reframed and kept praising Him for it not being the WORST day.

So, it started off with me getting out a tad bit late, but that is no biggie since I normally get off later than my normal shift due to parents picking up their children a little late. So to keep from getting chewed up about overtime, I don't fret coming in a few minutes late, there is always coverage in the mornings. So I am a few minutes late and I get to my car to find that the back window has been broken into. Now, this is the second time my family's car has been vandalized in our current house and neighborhood. The first time, our camera was stolen. The camera had the last few pictures of my mom before she passed away. :( I chucked it up to it being the doings of some unruly, untrained and unsupervised kid/teens/young adults. This time though, there was nothing important or valuable in the car. In fact, the only thing of any use was a case of water (that the vandalizers stole!) So naturally, I took it personal. Some one was not being very nice or neighborly on our street! :( To keep from taking my frustrations into work and burdening my toddler classroom, I just made dua' (supplication) that whoever did it, did it because they were truly needy and did not intend malice. (That was the only way I could let go of my own anger and feelings that maybe one of our neighbors had done it.) Surprisingly, I got through the day pretty well. The children were their active, energetic selves, exploring, learning, loving, and having a blast!

Today was Heritage Day at the childcare center where I work. Lots of teachers and families brought food, clothing, cultural artifacts to school to share. In my class, we had an Ethiopian scarf, a Chinese shirt, Chinese decorative wall hangings, Hallah bread and a children's book explaining the Shabbat. :) I brought hot water corn bread to share as well as wearing my normal Muslim clothing. My co-teacher wore a tee-shirt with a German logo and flag on it. It was really nice. Some of the teachers shared cultural food, artifacts, music and dancing! It is so nice and such a blessing to work with so much diversity!

As my work day came to an end, I found out later that we are not the only ones who have had a break in. One of our neighbors came down as my sister was cleaning the glass up and waiting to get our window fixed that his car had been broken into FOUR times since he has been here. In fact, he once witnessed another car being broken into and chased the vandalizers down the streets and lost them in an area of trees were a bunch of homeless people live. That got me to thinking. The fact that our water was stolen meant it may not have been a vicious and malicious attack on our property. So, that is one more thing to be grateful for!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Gratitude Challenge - Day #7

I missed quite a few days but I have loads to be grateful for! :D I wont do a day by day but I will include all my twitter post I did over the weekend for this gratitude challenge. I chose this picture from Sunday as it has a lot of fond memories. On Sunday, my nieces spent the day with me and my younger sisters at Mercy Mission Tacoma helping out in the kitchen and serving dinner to the homeless that the Mission helps. Then after the kitchen closed for the day, we all came here, Snoqualime Falls, along with two other friends to see the water fall. We got there around 8pm and had a good hour of daylight to enjoy the beautiful and serene fall. Then after that, we rushed over to Olive Garden to have dinner with my family before they closed their doors at 10pm.

Starting with today....

Blessing #11 Nap time. No not for the little ones (who did take a nap though) but for me! I got a few nods in at lunch that had me a little refreshed at the end of day! Rest, it does a body and mind good!

Blessing #9 Being able to help the less fortunate. Spent the day with my younger sisters and nieces at Mercy Mission feeding the homeless.

Blessing #8 Good Friends! Just got back from a really nice baby shower of a friend of mine. We had a blast and she got lots of nice gifts!

Blessing #7 cool breeze. We have not been affected by the extreme heat wave crossing the US. In fact, we have had a cool rainy summer so far

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Gratitude Challenge - Day #3

Blessing #6 (yes, I skipped #5 only because these guys are extra special :D)


I had a great time with my niece and nephew. It was only a couple of hours and really really late at night, but my nephew had me in stitches. Kids are such a blessing and it is so nice watching them grow up and exceed your expectations (and I have very high expectations :D)

Thought for the day: Alhamdulillah

I remember dawns like this when I was a little girl. I miss those days. :)

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I intended to be.
~Douglas Adams~

Picture Prompts: Mystic Fall

There exist a mystic place that cures all diseases of the body and the mind, beauty for flaws, youth for age, intelligence for senility, strength for weakness, immortality for mortality. From this mystic place flows a water so pure, so clean, so true that it cleanses upon sight. I have seen this place. I have tasted its water. I have cleansed my soul in its fall. Its cool waters descend from an invisible heaven and gather in pools, glowing by the light of an unseen source. With every breath, my lungs filled with the mystic mist. My wrinkles vanished. My vision became clear, my hearing crisp, strength flowed through my veins again. My memory returned with knowledge I did not know before. Bliss. Wonderful bliss. I felt whole again. But that is all I remember. I never noticed the watchful eyes on the wall. The ones that protect these pure waters, this mystic fall. Glowing. Glaring. Savage. No one warned me when they whispered about the fabled cave containing healing waters. No one told me that a place so pure could be so cursed. No one told me that this mystic place was never meant to be found by a sinful mortal. So remains the secret of the Mystic Falls.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Gratitude Challenge - Day #2

Blessing #1 I woke up this morning listening to birds singing outside my window.

Blessing #2 I was greeted with many smiles from my toddler classroom students. I was told they missed me and asked about me all day yesterday (I had the day off.)

Blessing #3 Peace and Quiet! You never know just how savory the sound of quiet is until you've left a room of ten energetic toddlers!

Blessing #4 Sweet parents. Just before I left work, one of my toddler parents gave me a bouquet of flowers & thanked me for my hard work :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday's Muse: The Gratitude Challenge

“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”. [Quran 2: 152]

Gratitude is the acknowledgment that all things good come from Allah (God) and it is also the realization that when things don't happen the way we plan, or we don't see the blessing that we are trying to attain, that it is His plan and will to withhold that blessing. Thus, being grateful means to accept the blessings He gives with praises and humility and being patient when the Almighty denies.

This week I begin a challenge of the heart. This challenge will focus on all the favors and bounties I am blessed with, the good, the sad, and even the hurtful. This challenge is open and anyone can join. In fact, if you leave a comment or link to your blog, I would love to read what you are grateful for. :)

You can express your gratitude in how ever way you like be it in verse, prose or photography or all the above. :)

It is my hope that all who participate, including myself, will learn to focus on the favors and blessings our Lord has blessed us with, not the everyday struggles that make us forget just how truly blessed and loved we are.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Review: The Kingdom

This really is an unfair review of The Kingdom by Clive Cussler but at least I am aware of it and hope to do it some kind of justice.

Taken from Goodreads

The Fargos are used to hunting for treasure, not people. But then a Texas oil baron contacts them with a personal plea: an investigator friend of the Fargos' was on a mission to find the oil baron's missing father-and now the investigator is missing, too. Would Sam and Remi be willing to look for them both? Though something about the situation doesn't quite add up, the Fargos agree to go on the search.

What they find will be beyond anything they could have imagined. On a journey that will take them to Tibet, Nepal, Bulgaria, India, and China, the Fargos will find themselves embroiled with black-market fossils, a centuries-old puzzle chest, the ancient Tibetan kingdom of Mustang, a balloon aircraft from a century before its time . . . and a skeleton that could turn the history of human evolution on its head.

I did like the story, the plot, the twists, the action and more. But having read it AFTER Dan Brown’s, The Lost Symbol, it was like reading an amateur novel. Not amateur in a bad way but amateur in that it was not complex or sophisticated. But to be fair, it was a fun read. I was surprised to see that the most romantic action between the husband & wife team was a kiss here and there! LOL definitely my kind of read but still with all the action and suspense I could handle. The story was about a famed adventurous treasure seeking couple employed to find a very unique type of artifact. In fact, it was not an object at all, they were sent to look for a very dear friend of theirs. But from the get go, they don’t feel their employer is up to any good and they get to finding out what he’s really up to. Along the way they discover a plot way beyond what they were expecting and because their friend’s life is put in jeopardy, they take it personal and put their lives on the line (many times) to bring justice and bring the biggest discovery in history to light. I have to say though; this read was entertaining and light. I guess it was perfect to read after “The Lost Symbol” which was so intense and complex! If all of Mr. Cussler’s books are like this, fun, entertaining, adventurous, less romance, I will be on the look out for more of his work.

***** Stars for the Kingdom. J

Picture Prompt: The Lost City.......

No one knows for sure how I met my demise. There have been a lot of discussions, speculations, research, and even grand expeditions to find me and learn about my history and final days. But I was there. I know. Built by hands that were neither god nor human, I governed the great waters that nestled between the vast East and West continents. With knowledge and technology far greater and more advanced than any on the planet, my builders ruled supreme. A city of wonder, a city of power and a city of wealth; I was a city that all wanted to conquer and possess. For thousands of years they ruled in peace, but slowly, like the sanding of shores, corruption crept into and infested the hearts of the builders. The battle began not just from outside the great city walls but within. In a sacred room in the center of the city’s heart, the high elders made one final attempt to protect their city from the wicked and ruthless. During a great storm, they used every bit of their knowledge and power to hide me from the weak and narrow-minded. In one great wave, the finest, most technologically advanced city in the world vanished taking with it thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom. Some say a great tsunami swept me away, some say a devastating earthquake seized me while others don’t think I ever existed. But I know better. I am here to say I do exist. Once a strong, formidable, sight to see, I am here beneath the depths. A remnant of my glorious past, I am hidden away forever.

Picture Prompt: Crying Girl

Lowered gaze, a silent tear,

No one knows my worries,

my fears.

No one stops, no kindness to share.

they keep on walking

without a care.

I sit alone, waiting to hear,

all the while holding on

to what's dear.

My dignity, my pride,

my soul, my life.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal

Hi friends! Here is a book, children's albeit, that I thought was really fun and interesting to read. I have always loved reading fairy tales growing up and Cinderella was a classic favorite. Growing up, I found other versions of the story from different cultures which were fun to read as well. Tonight however took the culturally diverse cake. :)

Once upon a time in Mexico.... in Iran... in Ireland... in Zimbabwe...... there lived a girl who worked all day in the rice fields..... cooked in the royal kitchen..... tended the cattle.... then spent the night by the hearth, sleeping among the cinders. Her name is Ashpet.... Vasalisa.... Sootface.... Catskin.... Cendrillon.... Cinderella.

In this retelling, snippets of the story unfolds across cultures, each page beautifully illustrated to represent each country. However, to truly appreciate this diverse telling of Cinderella, one would have to know the story to begin with and the fact that there are many different versions of the story. While I think older children would benefit reading the story alone, younger children would be confused by it especially if the classic story is the only one they know. Great picture book though!

**** stars for unique story-telling and beautiful illustrations!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Brothers Under the Sun

Things it should be.

We often find ourselves wondering about the should have, would have, could haves in life. Things we see that others have and that we want for ourselves. Yes, it is nice to work hard to achieve an outcome, an outcome that would or could make life a little better, a little easier or maybe just a little more different. I am a hard worker and I have dreams and goals that I want to reach as well so I sometimes fall into that "looky-loo" trap (seeing what's around me and trying to get it for myself.) But right now, I am at a moment in life and time where I feel good about myself, my state of mind, my state of happiness and my state of life.

Things are....
as it should be.

I am not rich, but I have what money I need for when I need it.

I may not live in a big house, but I have just enough room to call my own.

I don't have the highest paying job, but I love where I work (and it pays my bills :D)

I may not have a ton of friends, but I have the best friends EVER!

I don't drive the newest fad cars or wear the high brand clothes, but my car gets me to where I need to go and I have all the right clothes I need to make MY statement!

I may not know where I am going, but I am definitely up for the ride.

I don't always know what to say, but I always know when to remain silent.

I may not be famous, but I am known for my heart and smile. :)

I don't know when I will get a chance to finish my higher education, but I will continue to strive and reach my goals in life.

I may not have the perfect man, but I have what it takes to find him, right mind, right intentions and a better understanding of myself.

I don't know what my destiny is, but I have been blessed with the tools to shape it.

My life isn't celebrity worthy, but my life IS worth celebrating.

Things are.....
as they should be.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Book Giveaway! Week four!!

It's the fourth week of our book giveaway! For a chance to win your choice of book or prize, do one or more of the below:

Answer the question:

Name a book you have read MANY times (or at least twice)?


2+ Follow my blog Of Thoughts and Words
1+ Leave a comment on the blog
2+ Follow me on Twitter @worddiaries
1+ Tweet me @worddiaries a book you have read many times (or at least twice)
2+ Like Family Reads fan page
1+ Leave a comment on the Family Reads page

To read or not to read....

I feel so guilty |0_0| I think I have committed "booktry".

I have yet to open the "The Kingdom." So here is the deal, every time I have the desire to sit down and read, something comes up that takes my attention away from it. Then, there are the times I go to pick it up and another book catches my attention. Today would have been the day to start. I had an hour and a half long wait for my sister to pick me up from work and was the perfect time for me to start reading The Kingdom only I did not have it with me! I had taken the book out of my purse and left it at home some days ago and forgot to put it back. |<.<.| So, I did the next best thing, I took a walk through B&N. I had originally planned to just browse the bookshelves to kill time. They have a few comfy chairs for reading in the store so when I saw

"The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown, I grabbed it and got comfy in one of those chairs. Well, after an hour and a half, I got up to find my way home (on foot |`_'| that's another long story!) So, the prologue and first ten pages into the book I was hooked. I bought and have started reading TLS before even beginning TK. I feel horrible, it has been almost two or three weeks and I have not started on the book. TLS is not the first book either, I read "I am Nujood....", albeit it was a really easy and quick read, I feel like I am doing TK a disservice having up in my currently reading section. I don't want anyone to think it is a boring book or that the book is not interesting just because I can't see to finish it.

So now I am torn between reading


Wordless Wednesday: My dream room..... Can you say books galore!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday Tunes

I have been listening to this song for a while. I got to thinking about all my loved ones who have passed on and just remembering the legacy they left behind. My thoughts and prayers go out for my mom, grandmother, grandfather and uncle tonight, and every night. I love you all and I pray one day, God-willing, we are all reunited in heaven.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Book Giveaway Winner #3


And the winner of this week's Summer Book Giveaway is....
~drum roll please~
dum dum dum dum

!!!! KAREN @KarenMusings !!!!!!

(Karen, please contact me so I can send you your choice of book or prize from the bookshelf)

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators