Greeting 2021 with a new book — and sending off 2020 with a Pollyannaish thank you

Sharing with you one of my many blessings of 2020, a strange year not without its positives.  Pollyannaish, you might think. I always like to say, blessings abound.  Maybe, some in the nooks, crannies and crevices. You may just have to search hard to find them,  And when you do, celebrate and be thankful.

Mine, I found while staying home during this pandemic guidelines-dominated era.  Beyond some remote work hours, I found time to squeeze considerable bits of creative writing.  With encouraging suggestions and feedback from my 11-year-old grandson Eliott, a fairy tale was born, “Something Curious, Book 3: Stratucopia, a starry tale”.  This book, third in the “Something Curious” series, just came off the press, literally speaking.  The story aims to interest both the youthful and adult readers.  Ninety-page “Stratucopia” features vibrant illustrations, including one drawn by my grandson just before he turned 11 in July 2020.  He also is the creator of the abstract artwork used as cover for all of the books in the series.

As a teaser, I include in this blog the Prologue of the book.


A land not so far away, floating atop a heavy mass of white billowy clouds, enjoying the same blue ceiling of a sky as the earth below, is Stratucopia.   Stratucopia is as real and vibrant as the cosmic earth, as lovely as the forest and rivers of the Amazon.  It can be as peaceful as the pastures of Montana, or as turbulent as the erupting volcanic craters of Hawaii.  Stratucopia sits solidly on thick billows of clouds.  It is just there, gliding above and holding lives of inhabitants unperturbed by earth’s current events, because it, too, has its own current events. It has no connection to the earth below.  But its residents are like earth’s people, with the same looks, same needs, embroiled in life’s daily demands, drawn by the same magnetism for relationships and lo, strapped by the same rules for survival.

The difference is, in Stratucopia, it is general knowledge that all are children of the stars.  Yet, no one knows how they were born, or how they came to be a child, or how it is to become older than 100, or what becomes of them after 100.  Very strange to us earthlings, but what is stranger still is that all in Stratucopia think that isn’t strange at all.  That’s just how things are, and that’s the way they should be in Stratucopia, where one big village is walled in from the rest of the land.  In fact, from the rest of their world.

The common thread of all three in the Something Curious series is to inspire awe and encourage a childlike heart in both the young and the old – to see and delight in God’s gift of grace, abundant everywhere, even in the mundane.

Something Curious, Book 1: Poetry is for children and the young at heart.  This book that features 10 poems, celebrates the child’s curiosity and love for asking or wondering why … simple mysteries around us … like the drop of the rain, the stir of the wind, the fall of a lemon, the tease of a tickle, the crackle of a popcorn, or the moo of a cow.

Something Curious, Book 2: Simply Awed renders expressions in poems, vignettes and dreams. Dedicated to my Mama, Leoncia Manuel Pandes, and given to her on her 100th birthday (the year before she passed), the book offers meaningful poetry and prose, and highlights observations and reflections that lead to inspiring devotionals.

I hope your curiosity is peaked, and you’ll want to find these books, either on Amazon or Barnes & Noble for the softcover and e-book, or from Xlibris for the hardcover.

If you do, happy reading!

And yes, let’s greet 2021 robustly with thankfulness for all the blessings of 2020.  Try to be Pollyannaish … at least, a little bit?

Linda P. Jacob

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