Navigation Control Center

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kurious Kids-Fest

In celebration of of reaching 100+ followers, Abby is throwing a fun contest over on her blog. There is still time to join so hop on over to her blog and join the fun!

I was hardly a kurious kid growing up. Don't get me wrong, I loved learning and experiencing new things but what I wasn't a fan of was getting in trouble. My fear of trouble seem to always keep safe and well, not so kurious. But, my favorite place in the whole wide world growing up was the library. It was there that I got to go just about anywhere, learn just about anything. I loved to read. One of the things my mom did for me was taught me how to read to learn. If I wanted to read a "silly" book, I had to read two books (non-fiction). I had to write a short summary about each book so that she knew I read it :D But there was one book... my FAVE book which also happened to be her FAVE book as well... did not count.
My all-time favorite picture book was the Amelia Bedelia series. OMG! That book was so hilariously funny! Amelia Bedelia was a maid who worked really hard to please everyone. She was so kind. But, she was a little silly. Unlike most adults, she seemed so much like a kid to me. She took everything literally, just like a kid! If she was asked to dust the furniture, she dusted the furniture with powder. If she was asked to dress the turkey, she put a dress on the bird. If she was asked to draw the curtains, she pulled out her pen and paper and drew the curtain. :)

I loved it! And I still do to this day! Everyone should experience Amelia Bedelia. And guess what? You can!!!!! I will give away your choice of any Amelia Bedelia book in the series! All you have to do is tell me: What was YOUR FAVORITE PICTURE BOOK from when you were a KURIOUS KID and WHY was it your favorite! Make sure you tell me which book in the series you want.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Partay!!!!!! @Tara's!!!!

I love celebrating happy ocassions!! This happy occassion is dedicated to Tara's one year blogaversery at her blog, Tara Tyler Talks.

                                                       Happy Blogaversery Tara!!!!!

I am bringing yummy Cheesy Pan Enchiladas!!! My Fave!!!1 :D I have so many variations that I love, chicken, beef, vegetarian and even a mix of a few like the other day, I mixed refried beans with tuna :D
Now don't turn your nose up at it, it was actually really good! LOL! But here is a recipe for my beef enchiladas. Enjoy!

didn't have olives this time round :(

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Pan Enchiladas

This recipe is really easy because you can pretty much make it with any ingredient you like, whether it is leftover rice or pre-cooked chicken. It can even be a vegetarian meal as well.

½ pound       Ground beef/chicken  
1 sm             Onion                
1 sm bunch  Chopped green onion  
1 tbsp           Crushed/chopped garlic
½ package   Taco seasoning        
 (to taste)      Black pepper          
10 shells       Corn Tortillas
1 sm can       Enchilada Sauce      
2 ½ cups      Sharp Cheddar Cheese      
1 sm can       Sliced Olives                
1 tbsp            Vegetable Oil      

* For a vegetarian substitute, use one can of vegetarian refried beans. I sometimes like to add leftover rice to the refried beans.

1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
2. Brown the beef/chicken.
3. Once meat is cooked, add the garlic and onions and sauté until onions are soft.
4. Add seasonings to meat mixture; mix well.
5. Remove meat mixture from heat.
6. On a low flame or heat setting, heat the oil in a small pan.
7. Place a corn tortilla in the heated pan. When the shell is soft, turn over. Place another shell on top of it then flip over so that the second shell can be heated till it is soft. Continue in this fashion, turning the shells as you add new ones.
8. In a 9 in baking dish, place about 4 tbsp of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan. Make sure the entire bottom of the pan has some sauce.
9. Arrange 4 or 5 of the shells at the bottom.
10. Spoon more sauce over the shells. Then, spoon some of the meat mixture over the shells.
11. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the meat mixture then cover with remaining shells.
12. Cover remaining shells with sauce, then cheese, then green onions and olives.
13. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then bake uncovered for an addition 10 minutes to brown a little.

Feeds 2-4

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday's Muse: Teacher Power and more!

I LOVE THIS!!! :D Not just because I am a teacher and I love it, but some of the most amazing people in my life were/are teachers and believe it or not, I, to this day think they had/have superpowers! Can't really explain it but I NEVER got away with anything! But I guess that is what I love about these amazing teachers. I learned so much from them. They did not just 'teach' me, they motivated me, they encouraged me, they supported me, they shared the love of learning with me. I think was the best thing they could have done for me. I am not all that surprised that after looking at a host of possible careers that teaching was the one career that suited me the most! So tell me, what is YOUR superpower?

I have a host of goodies to come this week!!!!!

On the 30th as part of Tara's Blogaversary Blogfest. I will be posting one of my all time favorite recipes (hopefully pictures included if the item does not get eaten before I can take a picture of it! :D)

From Sept 1-7th I will be participating in the Back to the Books Blog Hop co-hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.  I will be giving away books and prizes away to three lucky winners!!!!! So don't forget to stop by.

Author Interview and Book Giveaway: I just received and started reading The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle. I'm loving it so far!! On the 9th, Heather will be joining us to talk about her book and some of her interest. Heather is such a fun person so I'm going to love interviewing her! If you have not met Heather or visited her blog then You. Must. Do. It. Now! Ps. Check out her "Friday Feature Creature" posts. They are awesome! :D

Were you a Kurious Kid growing up? What was your favorite picture book? Why was it your favorite? Hop on over to Abby's blog and join her Kurious Kids-Fest as she celebrates reaching 100+ followers.  The Kurious Kids-Fest will run from aug 29th to Sept 10th. Quick, you still have time to enter to win a really fun book or a $10 Amazon gift card!! I will be posting MY fave picture book soon so don't forget to come back to see what mused my childhood :D

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Picture Prompts: Cosmos

The night sky explodes with brilliance and color. A sound so deafening it lingers on even after the explosion. The ground shakes, trees fall and the mountains tremble. My body is thrown to the ground. Every building lay toppled or completely destroyed. Not even our fortified bunkers and sanctuaries are spared. But we knew this day was coming. 

For generations scientists warned of the great event. We knew our world would witness the birth of a new star system. We prepared for it. At least we thought we did. What we didn't know was that the new star system would open up a rift in our own galaxy. A rift that would either be a new beginning or a horrifying ending. 

But it is too late now. As the rift opens, we are bound to the fate of our world. Those who left before the great event, my family included, are likely safe in a faraway galaxy. But here I stand witnessing with my own eyes the most powerful birth of all. In all its beauty and glory, I  brace myself for what will come.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign

I want to thank the lovely Heather for sharing this wonderful opportunity called the Writers' Platform Building Campaign that is being conducted by Rachael Harrie at Rach Writes. This campaign is all about getting us writers together, networking, supporting each other and creating lasting friendships. Here is a snippet from her blog regarding the campaign:
Basically, the Campaign is a way to link those of us in the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Campaigners are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others' online platforms while at the same time building theirs.
I am really looking forward to this campaign. As the only writer in the family and very few of my close friends who are interested in writing or reading picture books or scifi short stories, it often feels like a lonely road. But i have been fortunate thanks to the online community to find some wonderful ladies who have inspired me so much and in the short time I have tweeted and blogged with them, have learned so much. This Writers' Platform - Building Campaign will be a fun way to meet other writers who share our love and passion for the written word and love and passion for writing it! :) Hope to see you all there!!! :D

Thank you Rachael for this wonderful campaign and as always, thanks Heather for sharing this with the rest of us!!! :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Haven't you heard.........?

.................There is a new book in town and it is making its rounds all over the web!

Join the tour band wagon and see what secrets Heather McCorkle reveals as she travels and tells us all about her new book, "The Secret of Spruce Knoll." :D If you tag along, you have the opportunity to win a ton of fabulous prizes and swag! Join now or forever lose out on all the fun! You still have a chance to check out all her previous stops. Just check out her cover! Does that not intrigue you????? :D

PS. If you don't win anything the first time around, don't fret. You will get a second chance to own your very own copy because Heather will be here in September with her awesome book and one lucky winner will get to learn about the Secret of Spruce Knoll! *Knoll, Knoll, Knoll*

Sunday, August 14, 2011

No Secrets. No Lies. Part Two (an interview)

Interview Part two:

Q: What does it mean to be telepathic on your world?
A: It is our form of communication. It means to have a complete understanding and to be one with my sisters

Q: Is there any kind of privacy when it comes to mind reading and communication? A: We have no need of privacy, only respect and honor.

Q: Is it difficult not having private thoughts?
A: No. I have nothing to hide. But I can see how a being such as your self would find it difficult, and would need to hide and protect yourself and your weak and feeble desires. But we have overcome those desires of greed, lust, envy and power. We Naqabashi are masters of our Hakana, our being, and therefore have no need for secrecy. We have evolved.

Q: So, it hasn’t always been this way for the Naqabashi?
A: No. We were once like you and the land dwellers of Naqaba. We did not understand our abilities; we were feared by non-telepaths and often used it against each other for our own gains.

Q: Then what changed?

No Secrets. No Lies. Part One (an interview)

Character Interview: Nusa
Place: Spaceship Hablas

Q: What is your name?
A: I am Nusa, daughter of Hidana

Q: Where are you from?
A: My home Naqaba. I was born and raised in Sky City.

Q: Did you go to school? Can you read and write?
A: Hai, all young Naqabashi go to school. I can read and write in the ancient language as well as the Naqaban language.

Q: What is your rank?
A: I am a warrior guard.

Q: What are some of your duties?
A: I patrol the sky cities and the valleys, I join the elite guards and warriors on various space missions, and I am an apprentice to elite guard, Zurana.

Q: What is a typical day like on your home world?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Sum of All Things....

It has been a great week all and all (despite the naptime hiccup on Monday :D) I actually got a little creative write time in, got some reading done, visited with friends and the annual summer family picnic that center hosts was a success! A lot of families showed up and had a great time. It has been a good week!

This week on the blogoshpere I have come across some great items and fun contests!

Heather McCorkle is hosting a tour of secrets for her new book "The Secret of Spruce Knoll"! She will be giving out lots of secrets along her tour route with many opportunities to win big! Check it out and join the fun! Her tour schedule can be found on her blog.

Tara Tyler is hosting a food/recipe blog fest in honor of her upcoming blogoversary. Join the fun and post your fave food, drink or dessert recipe and enter to win some fun prizes. Come back on the 30th and you will see MY favorite recipes. :D

There is always something fun going on over at Kristi's Book Nook. She has fabulous book giveaways every week! I won "The Greedy Bee" from the wonderful and generous Kristi! It is a fun and favorite read in my toddler classroom. Check her out and win big!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: From A Distance

This month of Ramadan I pray for peace, love, understanding and harmony for all of God's creation. There is just way too much violence and death. Too much hunger, poverty and pain. Mankind is failing his duty and obligation of being God's vicegerent on earth. Tonight, all of mankind are in my thoughts and prayers.
When one person hurts, we should all feel their pain.
Prayers of hope for the despair. Prayers of peace for distressed. Prayers of guidance for the lost. Prayers of love for the forgotten.

Picture Prompts: The Dark Side

Rumor has it that no one has ever returned from the dark side of the moon. Rumors that divide; rumors that conquer. Rumors that enslave and oppress. They say there is no turning back once you've reached the outer limit, where light disappears into the black of darkness. They say the dark side is an abyss of nothingness, where even thoughts can get lost in the vast expanse of mute space. But tonight I will take that chance. A chance to free myself of the rumors, perhaps even the lies. There is no turning back for me as I extend my shaking hand into the unknown of the dark side. It is a matter of uncertain life or excruciating death.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Little Girl Who Would NOT Go To Sleep

There was a little girl who would not go to sleep. No matter what she tried, she could not close her eyes.

She drank her milk. She hugged her bear. Then she lay flat upon her bed. She cuddled her blanket and nuzzled her pillow. But her eyes only got bigger and bigger.

She crept and she crawled, sneaking here and there, but to her bed she always returned. She took off her socks and threw down her blankie, bear and pillow and when there was nothing left, she got cranky.

She kicked and she screamed, she thrashed and threw a fit. Soon she began to cry. But the little girl would not close her eyes.

She pulled out her ponytail and twirled her hair. Tuckered and tired she soon counted sheep. 1, 2, 3 she closed her eyes and fell fast asleep...........

..... but only for a little while.


This story was inspired by a little girl in my toddler classroom who refused to take a nap today. :) Luckily, she got a half an hour of sleep to sort of hold her for the rest of the afternoon!

And the Winner is!!!!!!

And the Winner of the summer hop giveaway is...............

Janelle Ashton!!!

Congrats Janelle! you will be receiving a confirmation email soon. :) I hope you enjoy "Listen to the Wind" just as much as I do!! :)

Thank you all for joining the Summer Hop. Stay tuned for more hops and book giveaways in the near future! :D

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Gratitude Challenge - Day #20 many days, many thanks...

It has been a long while since I posted up some of my many blessings and thanks. God be praised, I have been doing well. I have been quite busy and things are hopefully looking like they will start to settle down to a nice simmer :D So getting straight to my challenge!

Blessing #15
Yay! my co-teacher Jessie is back from a one month vacation!!! While it was probably not as stress free as a vacation should be (she went home to get married <3) she was definitely missed! It is interesting how children rely heavily on continuity and familiarity. The month that Jessie was gone, I wouldn't say it was horrible or devastating to the kids, but it was stressful for them (and me) at times, especially the first couple of weeks. Getting to know a new face/teacher is a bit frightening for little ones so it made for a challenging month as the children learned to adjust. But she is back and Yay!!!

Blessing #16
I'm the type that likes to put on a brave face and smile no matter what. And, I like to make others feel relaxed and comfortable and smile too. But it also feels nice to be appreciated and valued. Well, the parents in my classroom are just wonderful. They gave me the most heartwarming card and gift when Jessie returned acknowledging and thanking me for all my efforts, love and care in maintaining the classroom all without breaking a sweat. Really, I have the best parents and it is such an honoring being their children's teacher/caregiver.

Blessing #17
It's nice when parents value you, but even sweeter when their children do. I recently visited a family and the first thing I got upon walking in the door was a gift and hug. The gift was a drawing of me and the child. PRICELESSSSS!!!!!!

Blessing #18
I have been following the news about the EAST AFRICAN CRISIS. My heart breaks into millions of pieces as I look at the pictures and hear about the suffering that the people of Somalia and other East African countries are going through as the famine rages on in their countries. I can't imagine how a mother (or father) feels watching and hearing their baby cry and wither away of hunger and are powerless to do anything about it. We (I) am so blessed to have food, clean water, sanitation, health care and more. I am making an even greater effort now to not waste these precious resources.

Blessing #19
I am equally blessed to have some money to donate to some really trust worthy organizations that are working hard to bring food, water, sanitation and medical aid to the devastated areas in East Africa.
Islamic Relief USA/Worldwide is a great humanitarian organization that I trust and often volunteer for. Learn more about them here.

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