The Secret of Standing Like a Tree: For Kids

Are you a grownup? Maybe you want to read last week’s blog post too: The Secret of Standing Like a Tree: For You


FoxTales Debut – Aftermath:

Shell Wakefield, heroine of the children’s magical fiction novel, Because Of The Red Fox, is stunned. Leaves the Red Fox offers comfort of a kind.

FoxTales 1 - Draft by Jane Valencia
FoxTales 1 – Draft by Jane Valencia

Shell: I don’t believe it.

Leaves: What don’t you believe, Shell?

Shell: FoxTales ... the blog comic. Jane even sketched out a bunch of episodes. To the right is the first one. It was supposed to be about us.

Leaves: Just because a novel was all about us doesn’t mean everything has to be about us.

Shell: Oh, I know that! The world isn’t all about me. But even you got into the first comic!

Leaves: Lucky me. You know why your cousins got into the first one, though.

Shell: Because Annie stood like a tree?

Leaves: She was relevant.

Shell:  … because what she was doing tied into last week’s blog post. Fine! So the secret  of relevance is to stand like a tree.

Leaves: In the short term. But, indeed, fame and a fortune cookie could well be yours by standing like a tree. Certainly one of the secrets of a happy life is yours for the taking by doing so. Look how much fun this Red Alder sapling is having.

A young Red Alder power poses victory – photo by Jane Valencia

Shell: But that’s what Red Alders do by their very nature ….

Leaves: And take note of the Sword Ferns in the photo below. Don’t they look like they’re having a fantastic fiesta?

Shell: Well, yes — actually, they do! Don’t tell me they’re imitating trees too.

Leaves: No! Of course, not. Look at those fox tails — try them out yourself, Shell.

Shell: What? Oh … I get it. So all I have to do to get into my own comic is to imitate you, Leaves? That seems ridiculous ….

Leaves: Do that! Have a little mischievous fun. There, Shell. Very good. You even got my whiskers. Now look at the comic again. Is that me in it, or you?

Shell: Hm! Okay, Readers – what about you? What happens to you if you stand like a tree or imitate Leaves? (or ferns or other fantastic creatures inside, outside, or in your imaginations). Please share your adventures below!


Sword Ferns imitating Leaves the Red Fox - photo by Jane Valencia
Sword Ferns imitating Leaves the Red Fox – photo by Jane Valencia

Why Not Write? Camp NaNoWriMo Begins!

Join a Writers Camp like no other!

Hello, folks!

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, and takes place each year in November. Folks from all over the world spend one month furiously writing novels — whoo hoo!

Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer fun version of this annual undertaking. Each one of us is invited to work on a writing project of our choice for one month, in the spirit of campfires and cook outs.

This month, my daughters and I have embarked on writing projects. And it looks like my sister-in-law and niece will be joining us too.

Here’s a peek of what I started:

Dragon Tale

by Jane Valencia

Santa here, reporting on a typical late winter predawn morning on Yonder Island. The birds are whimpering. The trees are drooping in the drizzle. Who wants to be out here in the damp? The birds don’t, and I bet the trees don’t. And I sure as heck don’t.

My sister Annie is snuggled in bed. My mom has forced me to bundle into layers of thermal underwear, wool socks, my insulated waterproof boots, and, ugh, rain pants. I’m pained as I put all this stuff on, but, see—I’ve been coming out every morning for quite some time. And though I despise all this stuff and nonsense, my scientific mind has to admit that, although I’m miserable out here in the damp, I’m far more miserable when I forego all these absurdities. So, layers and waterproofs it is. I’m bundled as much as I can deal with and still hike up from the house, and up into the Upper Woods. I bypass all my favorite places, our longtime haunts: the Mental Village and DragonAir, the Octopus tree, and all the other fun of the Hundred Acre Woods.

You could say that reason has overcome madness in this regard—or is the other way around?

Santa is not here to play. I’m here for a high purpose. The highest anyone is likely to find.

I’ve an egg hidden in the Upper Woods, an egg of the most incredible kind. And I intend to hatch it. …

[to be continued]

Do you want to be a writer? Then please join me at Camp NaNoWriMo, and let’s all write!

Share what your writing project is in the comment box below!

What’s New In Your Agrihood?

In which Santa (Samantha) Wakefield-Browne, one of the supporting characters in Because Of The Red Fox gets rather excited …

Santa, here. You may or may not know that my family (that includes my cousin Shell and her family) live in the Hundred Acre Wood Farm Community — basically a rural neighborhood of a number of households that works together to grow food for ourselves.

You'll see delicious greens like this at your local CSA organic farm!
You’ll see delicious greens like this at your local CSA organic farm!

Some of us raise chickens for eggs and meat, one household raises cows. Some folks help with growing vegetables or making cheese, or making other kinds of food from things our community grows or provides. Some folks help with providing wood for our winter fires. It’s all a kind of cooperative, and it works pretty well for all of us.

Well, my dad (he’s a co-owner of a chicken shop in Seattle, as well as owner of a feed and supply store here on Yonder Island) — my dad has heard about something new. They’re called “agrihoods”.

Basically, they’re residential developments that have a working organic farm at the heart of ’em instead of a golf course or a park. And families are excited to beautiful farms in their neighborhood and the opportunity to get fresh fruit and veggies in weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, and at farm stands.

It’s certainly very fun when folks pick up  their farmshares at the farmstand here. Everyone catches up on all the news of the neighborhood, and us kids get busy in some huge games of Hide and Seek or Fire In The Forest. So I think it’s very cool that this kind of thing is catching on around the country. It’s the best thing I’ve heard about since Backyard Chickens became the rage.

Okay, this is Santa, signing off. Check out an Agrihood near you!

Read an article about Agrihoods here.

What you might find in the Hundred Acre Farm Community farm stand in late summer
What you might find in the Hundred Acre Farm Community farm stand in late summer