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Exceptional and delightful.

Annika Perry's Writing Blog

Once again, I am flitting away for my usual Easter break in the peace of the Swedish landscape; savouring the calm of forest, the beauty of the lakes and seas! I’ll embrace the opportunity to unwind, relax … as nature soothes my soul.

7ABDF371-E1E5-4423-80B5-0F2032827A44 Ett Hem. Carl Larson 1969 edition

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a series of posts to peruse. With no more calendars to hand, I’ve drawn inspiration from a book I found at my mother’s house. Called ‘Ett Hem’, here Carl Larsson documents the family home, its gardens and his family. I will feature paintings from the book, along with self-portraits of the artist, and these will be accompanied by, hopefully, uplifting and inspiring quotations.

One of Sweden’s iconic artists, famous for the paintings of his home, Carl Larsson sadly and ironically was raised in extreme poverty. As young his father threw him, his brother and mother out…

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Bible Verses about God’s Presence

I know God didn’t move, but sometimes I don’t seem to have the closeness I should. I made a copy of this list so I could keep it in my Bible. It’s reassuring to know God is always nearby. I prefer the King James Version. ~ Connie

Heather C. King - Room to Breathe

  • Exodus 33:14 NASBAnd He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”
  • Joshua 1:9 NASB
    Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
  • Psalm 16:11 NASB
    You will make known to me the path of life;
    In Your presence is fullness of joy;
    In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
  • Psalm 23:4 NASB
    Even though I walk through the [d]valley of the shadow of death,
    I fear no evil, for You are with me;
  • Psalm 27:4 NASB
    One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
    That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    To behold the beauty of the Lord
    And to meditate in His temple.
  • Psalm 41:12 NASB
    As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
    And You set me in Your…

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9 Ways to Read Free Books Online

Support your reading habit without paying a dime or even taking a trip to the library.
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Google Books
The most extensive collection of free books online is available on Google Books. Searching for a book feels exactly like typing a question into Google. Unfortunately, not all books on Google Books are available for free. After you search for your book, click on “Search tools” and change “Any books” to “Free Google eBooks” to make sure that you’re looking at free content. Here are 20 books you should have read by now to help you get your search started.
The Library of Congress
If you’re looking for classics online, the Library of Congress has got you covered. With more than 60 classic books available on an easy-to-use interface, this is the perfect website if you have a specific classic you’re looking to read. This archive also includes children’s classics like Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. Learn which children’s books are totally worth a read as an adult.
Open Library
Open Library‘s goal is to create a web page for every book ever published. This easy-to-navigate website archive has more than 1 million books on it, which makes it the perfect place to read books for free online. If you’re searching for a specific book to read, use the search bar. When you get your results, make sure the “Ebooks” box is checked so that the results only show you free online books. Here are 18 good books you can read in a day.
Project Gutenberg
Founded in 1971, Project Gutenberg is the oldest eBook collection online. While the website asks for donations, no fees are required for reading the free online books they offer. There are currently more than 56,000 eBooks to choose from, and they are Kindle-compatible and easy to download.
If you want to read books for free online that aren’t just fiction, this is the website for you. Smashwords is an easy-to-use eBook site with a variety of genres, including poetry, classics, romance, and biographies. Just be sure to click the “free” tab when you search for books, because not all the website’s 478,000 books are free. Here are some classic books you probably read in school that deserve a re-read.
Internet Archive
Internet Archive non-profit organization offers free access to eBooks and digital files. In addition to its search feature, Internet Archive categorizes its content into genres. This makes it a great website for finding a new book to read when you aren’t sure what you want to read yet. Which is good, because your brain needs you to read every single day.
24Symbols follows a subscription model, but it also offers free books online. Once you create an account, the website will connect to your Facebook and your device to allow you to read books for free on many platforms. The website lets you browse books by author, by category, by language, and alphabetically.
If you’re a book lover who’s always looking for something new to read, BookBub is a site you definitely need in your life. To access this site and its thousands of available eBooks, you need to create an account, but it’s totally free. Once you’ve created an account, the site prompts you to pick your favorite genres so that it can provide the best reading recommendations. Not only does BookBub let you access plenty of free books online, it also offers you great deals on bestsellers, alerting you when big-name titles are available online (for a limited time) for 75% or more off. Learn more about BookBub here.
This site contains over 30,000 online books available for a free download. While you’re more likely to find older, classic titles available for free than contemporary ones, ManyBooks still has a great selection, and you can access plenty of other eBooks that are available for a discounted price. Next, check out these other ways to get free things on the Internet that everyone should take advantage of.

If you want to visit the Reader’s Digest site; here’s the link: Calling All Book Lovers! 9 Ways to Read Free Books Online

How to Write Description Your Readers Won’t Skim Over

Story Tips

Why does it matter?

C’mon, let’s be honest here. How often do you skip over description? You’re reading along, you see it coming… a huge block of boring text. You skim it or jump to the next interesting looking part.

But there are reasons you should want readers to notice your description.

Description can:

  • build your setting and your world
  • add to the aesthetics of your story
  • add to your character development (yes, you read that right)

Here’s the beautiful thing about it – description can do all that at once. Here’s how:

What Great Description Isn’t

Well-crafted description isn’t long. It isn’t cliché. Because it isn’t long or cliché, it isn’t boring. Even if you’ve written the most incredible paragraph of all time, if it drags on for a page, your readers aren’t going to take the time to plow through it.

Keep it short. Keep it simple. And…

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The Bird Feeder and Critters

I started out with a simple bird feeder hung on the front porch in front of the living room window where I sit. It was a perfect spot for me to look out and watch the birds flit around.
Over time the birds used the top of the porch columns for nesting. There are four columns across the front and one faux column on each corner of the house, making six altogether. The first nest was conveniently on the post next to the bird feeder in front of my window. They have built nests on every one of them, even the ones against the house which didn’t look big enough to hold one. One of the birds made a nest in an old bowl I used as a vase that sat on the table on the porch. I think a cat got that one.
The squirrels liked the seed as much as the birds. They shared with each other, but the feeder would empty in a single day. I don’t have to tell you about t he mess they left on the porch with all the seed dropped. Some of the birds are ground feeders so they would get a few of those seeds, but I think their friends on the hanging feeder kept tossing more down to them.
Naturally, birds draw cats. They would crouch in the corner of the porch or amongst the yard plants waiting to pounce on the next unsuspecting bird. We’d yell at them and they’d run, but it didn’t deter them much.
I filled the feeder one morning when Jack and I went out. On our return, we found the feeder lying broken on the porch. We think a cat tried to get a bird and knocked it off the hook. Jack fixed it and had it back up a few hours later.
Next came the dogs. Not surprised are you? A couple times I’ve heard the cats meow angrily, but for the most part these dogs and cats seem to get along. The dogs come down the driveway and walk to the backyard. Some days the cats go in the same direction, but I’ve never seen them walking together. At the end of the day the dogs head back up the drive. I’m sure the cats do also, but I haven’t noticed them. None of them ever act in a hurry. Often they’ll stop briefly and look around, like they know someone’s watching. Then they move on, like they’re just passing through.
I watch their activities from the dining room window where I type, supposedly working on my books or blog. I have yet to get up and see where they go in the backyard. We have the usual critters–rabbits, deer, bees, and even a few snakes.
I have one more critter to add to the mix – a chicken. Yep, we have a black and white chicken that now comes to the bird feeder. I guess she thinks she’s allowed since she is a bird. Chickens are birds, aren’t they? Our neighbor down the road keeps chickens so she has a pretty long walk to our house. The other day when she was in the front yard I told her I expected an egg for all the seed she was eating. Darn thing is I think it’s a male chicken.
The last critter to mention is a spider. I have an ornamental door knocker on the front door. People were using that instead of the doorbell. I decided to check to see if the bell was broken. There was a huge web covering the button! It look armored! The white strands were as thick as string and it took more effort to clean it off than most webs need. It was back a few days later. I sprayed it with repellent and haven’t seen it again. I don’t mind all the other animals, but I don’t like spiders.

My ‘Luck of the Irish’ Saturday Morning

On Saturday mornings several friends and I go out to breakfast. We rotate around the various restaurants and enjoy our time together.
Today we stopped at a small place where we’ve made friends with some of the other customers. One of our gentleman friends stood beside me as I placed my order. I gave the clerk my money and she was working on my change. I turned to my friend and jokingly said, “I’m hurt. I fumbled in my purse giving you plenty of time to pay for my breakfast.”
He chuckled then got a funny gleam in his eye as he opened his wallet and threw the money down to pay for mine, telling the clerk to give me back my money.
I was floored and insisted that I was only joking and he did not have to pay. He was adamant that he did. Even though we’ve talked every time we’ve bumped into each other and I like him, I still feel that we’re basically strangers. We hugged. He’s told his name several times. But I can’t remember it!
Moving on…one of my breakfast friends shopped in the little store in the next room and came back with three bags of pretzels for only a dollar. I decided to buy some. I got 3 bags of pretzels and a snack bag of sunflower kernels. I gave him a $5 bill and got most of it back.
My next stop was at the jewelers. I could not get the screw loose on my watch to change the time. Neither could my husband or son, and I was afraid to let either one of them try with a pair of pliers possibly breaking the screw with their efforts. I was not sure if there would be a charge for the watch, but the clerk did not having any trouble releasing the screw. She also changed the date and time for me.
My day out cost me $1.50!
I thanked the Lord for His blessing me and also asked that He bless my friends.

Enjoy the posts. I haven’t looked at the recipes yet. We’re having chicken a la king tonight with home-made biscuits. I don’t reckon that’s Irish, is it?

Little-Known History Lessons About St. Patrick’s Day
The day we associate with beer drinking actually started as a religious holiday.
Find out more »

11 Leprechauns We Love
(and You Will Too) »  [I’m having trouble with this link; don’t know if it’ll work; sorry]ct

Celebrate the day with these easy and delicious Irish recipes.

We bet you never knew these words had Gaelic origins.

Faith Filled Friday: A Few Bible Verses to Think About

I was going through some old papers and found a small corner torn from a sheet of paper with a few Bible verse locations on it. I’m not sure why I had them written down, but thought it would make an interesting post for this Faith Filled Friday blog. I didn’t look them up until I was typing them to post. It seems that they are about our trouble understanding God’s wisdom.
There’s a lot we don’t know about God. Today in Bible study we looked at the verse in Joshua where God made the sun stand still. We decided that would be a good question to ask Him when we get to heaven. ~ Connie

Psalm 36:6
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preserves man and beast.

Job 11:7,8
Can thou by searching find out God? Can thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
It is as high as heaven; what can thou do? deeper than hell; what can thou know?

Psalm 104:14,15
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
And wine that makes glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengthens man’s heart.

Psalm 145:16,17
Thou open thine hand, and satisfies the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

Romans 11:33
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

I came across a couple of my favorite verses and, even though they were not on the list, thought I’d include them as well.
Romans 8:37-39
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:13
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.