Snaps, Scraps & Snippets and other Books by Lois J. Funk

snaps_front_coverSnaps, Scraps & Snippets of the Past and Present

Memories are nothing less than bits of gold waiting to be mined from the veins of life. – Lois J. Funk

… even children who have lived in this world and are capable of reading and writing have something to write about, if not for the whole world to read, at least for their own satisfaction and as a way of preserving whatever history they have experienced. Their only problem lies in thinking that their experiences don’t count.

If you have a story to tell and don’t know where to begin; if you’ve ever been told to “show, don’t tell” and have been at a loss as to how to do that; or if you are a teacher who finds it difficult to convey the “show, don’t tell” concept to your students, Snaps, Scraps & Snippets is for you.

As nonfiction how-to for poets, memoirists, genealogists and more, Snaps, Scraps & Snippets offers a new and simple approach to recording as many memories as the reader/writer cares to share with family, friends, or the world.

Admittedly, I stepped out of bounds and off the beaten path when I combined memoir and poetry, risking being tripped up by either of two gaping potholes: poetry is a hard sell in its own right; and, does the world really need another memoir by an unknown, especially one that promotes poetry? Should I have stayed on the safer path by presenting another memoir in prose? Maybe, maybe not, but re-writing and repeating what had already been published in poetic form seemed redundant and not at all interesting from my point of view. At the same time, the more I shared with readers and writers, the more I was questioned as to how I remembered so many things about my past and how I could turn such mundane things as wash day into enjoyable reading. Still others claimed to recall some of the same experiences but didn’t know how to put them into words.

So, as I skirted the potholes, Snaps, Scraps & Snippets evolved into a “loose” memoir, with the added twist of “showing, not telling” how to retrieve and record one’s own memories. I had no idea how the book would work, or if it would work, but proof that it is working comes in the fact that readers are going back through it a second or third time, either because they fear they missed something during their first reading(s), or because they are using my snaps “tools” to write or “fix” their own work(s).

Perhaps the book’s qualities are best explained by a late teacher and friend, and the editor of Pieces of Her Mind – Women Find Their Voice in Centuries Old Forms, who accepted twenty-two of my poems for that book and had no qualms about endorsing Snaps, Scraps & Snippets:

‘Too often beginning writers are told to “show, not tell.” However, they are not told how to do that. Lois Funk, in Snaps, Scraps, and Snippets uses the example of taking pictures and vignettes from her childhood and trips abroad to do exactly that. Every beginning writer (and some seasoned ones) should read this book. It is charming and endearing and uses the simplest of things – such as a sieve – to show one how to sort through the good and bad of one’s writing. I would definitely recommend this book for my beginning students. Alvin Thomas Ethington, Editor, Pieces of Her Mind; staged playwright, published author, and a professional reviewer.’

Light for the Burning Soul Front Cover (2)Light for the Burning Soul: Sparks, Flames, and Embers

LIGHT FOR THE BURNING SOUL is a potpourri of insightful verse and heartwarming anecdotes derived from the author’s personal walk with God, her ultimate hope being that the messages therein will ignite sparks of inspiration for the wandering soul; fan flames of conviction for the soul on fire for God’s Word; and stir embers of faith where fervor is waning.

As teacher of, and writer for, kindergarten church curriculum, the author has come to know that there is no end to learning and inspiration when one keeps his or her eyes, ears, and heart open to God’s Word and teachings. She is ever mindful that God uses ordinary people, including artists and writers, to spread His Word and reiterate His promises.

Whether LIGHT FOR THE BURNING SOUL is read from cover to cover or opened randomly, the author’s hope is that the reader will find some level of inspiration and enlightenment on each and every page and give a knowing nod to many of the thoughts along the way.

“The Spirit of God speaks in a whisper and is heard only by those who listen with their hearts.” Few things in life are as rewarding, yet humbling, as being inspired by God to write about Him and for Him. The light verse and heartwarming anecdotes in LIGHT FOR THE BURNING SOUL – SPARKS, FLAMES, AND EMBERS are but a small measure of how He has blessed the author’s personal walk with Him, including years of teaching, and learning from, kindergarten-aged children. Its pages offer sparks of encouragement for those about to take their first steps with God; flames of excitement and joy for those who are already experiencing the walk; and embers of reassurance for all – lingering reminders that God is in control; that He always has been; and that He always will be.

indexPieces of Her Mind – Women Find Their Voice in Centuries-Old Forms is best summarized in the press release written by Susan Campion, facilitator for the book:

What do contemporary women really think?

Be prepared to laugh, be touched and entertained, or raise a fist and shout “Oh Yeah!” — especially if you are a woman. But, men also will find lots to love and learn in this collection of prose and poetry that is satirical, witty, ironic, and wise, from a woman’s point of view.

About the book: This innovative collection, Pieces of Her Mind, is the first anthology published exclusively by contemporary English Language women poets, of three types of short Japanese poetic forms (senryu, kyoka and haiga). While readers who appreciate this genre of poetry will be particularly interested in this book, the book will also appeal to men and women who love satiric and ironic “one-liners” (in the case of this book, three to five liners) that provide insight into how women think – in a “today” kind of way. Read the endorsements!

Pieces of Her Mind will also be enjoyed, studied, and appreciated by book clubs, classes, and writing and reading groups as a vehicle to study and reflect upon not only how women think about their worlds but also about these centuries-old forms of Japanese poetry. Throughout the book are instructive and personal reflective essays. In addition, an extensive, selected annotated bibliography and free online website resource (Q&A’s to facilitate and prompt discussions) are provided by the authors.

About the Authors: Pieces of Her Mind authors are diverse in age, ethnicity, geographical location and experience with writing. They share writing skills, wit and humor, and a commitment to engaging in a learning community. This anthology is the result of a year-long collaboration of 18 modern women poets who studied the poetic forms of senryu, kyoka and haiga, and shared their unique voices through online classes, group study sessions, interactive conference calls and online research. The book evolved over time due to the special talents and contributions of the various authors. The result is a merging of individual voices into one common voice, a voice which will be enjoyed by readers whether they like to read from front page to back or randomly skip to pages while on an airplane ride.

Pieces of Her Mind is available through Amazon.

Mother’s Hands (1994)
Get ready to laugh, cry, or simply reminisce over this heartwarming collection of childhood memories. From mended dolls and dreams in “Mother’s Hands,” and lipstick and ribbons, in “Filling Mother’s Shoes,” to the gooey feel of “Goose Grease and Paper”; from the Monday-only wash days of “The Hang-Ups of ‘Quality’ Time” to the deep-seated realizations summed up in “Letter Overdue, Postmarked 1992,” vivid scenes of the ’50s come to life. This 10-page booklet measures 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and serves well as a gift or greeting card for birthday, Christmas, or Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Hands II (2003)
Open a locked storage trunk and muse over a myriad of cotton prints and sewing scraps that conjure up pictures of doll clothes, dresses, and aprons, in “Aprons and Things.” Muse over the years covered in “Three Generations of Aprons.” Breathe in the mingled aromas of canning day, in “Sipping Memories”; sort through the spilled contents of “The Button Jar”; and share unforgettable moments recorded in “With a Kiss and a Prayer.” This 10-page booklet measures 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and serves well as a gift or greeting card for birthday, Christmas, or Mother’s Day.

Father’s Hands (2003)
From bits of 1930s clay on “Dad’s Sunday Shoes,” to his dreaded but expected “Footsteps in the Hall”; from the humorous outcome of “Burned Up,” to the subtle lesson taught in “‘Plum’ Crazy,” get ready to step into family scenes of the ’50s. Pick up a whisk broom, or grab a polishing rag, and join in the cleaning of “The Old Gray Plymouth.” Witness the family car being packed for a yearly vacation in “Leader of the Pack.” This 10-page booklet measures 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and serves well as a gift or greeting card for birthday, Christmas, or Father’s Day.

Sisters (2003)
Get caught up in the humor of friendly sibling rivalry in “Super-facial Evidence” and “From Seedlings to ‘Wheedlings’.” Step into vivid childhood scenes where shared toys were the order of the day, in “Cinder Rocks and Hollyhocks” and “Loads and Loads of Fun.” Join in the search for letters A to Z, or for cows, but not graveyards, in the 1950s children’s travel games of “Highways from the Past” and “More Highways from the Past.” This 10-page booklet measures 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and serves well as a gift or a greeting card for birthdays, Christmas, or any day of the year.

Grandma’s Hands (2005)
Take part in the harmless antics of a fun-loving grandmother in “Grandpa’s Barber,” and gasp at the prickly pain in the humorous slip-up that caused “The Thorn in Grandpa’s Backside.” Laugh at the harmless trick played by mother and daughter, in “Pass the Onions, Please!”; muse over a grandmother’s patience and understanding in “Grandma and the Carousel” and “Under Grandma’s Spell”; and feel the love summed up in “Apron Strings and Angel Wings.” This 10-page booklet measures 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and serves well as a gift or greeting card for birthdays, Christmas, or Mother’s Day.