I cannot believe how quickly this summer passed. Our Summer Reading Program has come to a successful end and now all that’s left is to enjoy the last few weeks of summer! August is shaping up to be a fantastic month full of home improvement tasks, birthdays (my 30th!), outings with friends, and I’ve begun working on a special project that I hope to unveil soon! In-between all that, I need to catch up on my Goodreads reading challenge for the year. I’m five books behind! Time to get my butt in gear and finish some books! Here’s a look at what I read in July. Continue reading “Book Reviews: July 2017”
Once upon a time, there was a lovely princess who lived alone, high on the cliffs of a mountain, within the crumbling walls of an ancient castle. The castle hadn’t always been dilapidated. Once it had been a magnificent kingdom full of vivid flora and enchanted fauna who could speak to the inhabitants of the kingdom. But a scorned and hateful sorcerer had cursed the princess’s mother and grandmother, and all of the mothers before them because one vain ancestor had dismissed the sorcerer’s love and proposal, choosing instead to marry a prince just as arrogant as she. From that day on, any daughter born to their line would be cursed, killing instantly anyone or anything she touched. Over the centuries, the townspeople of the kingdom fled for their lives, fearful of their once peaceful home until none remained. When the new king died following his marriage to the cursed queen and she gave birth to the princess in solitary in the forsaken place, she abandoned the child to the decaying castle. The queen wrapped the princess in an old scarf, and pressed a kiss to the child’s brow. Tears dripped from the queen’s face, sprouting blackened and ashen colored flowers where they fell. Continue reading “The Bold Princess”
Young Adult Book Display
Our Summer Reading Program is nearing its end. It always feels like the 4th of July is the end of summer at the library. Our shelves empty out in May and June and like a rush, everything returns the first week of July in anticipation of school. So now that things are beginning to calm down, it’s the perfect time to share all of the Summer Reading displays that we created!
While the bulletin board debuted in May, it’s held up surprisingly well. I was a little worried the weight of the 3D tubes would pull against the backing but nothing has taken a tumble. (Yet being the key word!) It has just a few more weeks to go so fingers crossed it’ll make it!
This year, our Summer Reading Program theme was “Build A Better World” which, at first stumped me. But as I pondered on all the ways we could indeed build a better world, I realized I had so many options at my disposal. From careers and relationships to community and environment and even architecture, there are so many ways to better the world. But first and foremost, bettering the world begins with one simple word: YOU. We created the Summer Reading Program banner with the six key points and listed the various ways to make the world a better place and it’s the first thing you see upon entering the library. (The photos are deceptively dark because of the lighting. I promise, our library isn’t pitch black!)
Additionally, I saw a similar post on Pinterest that stated “Do all things with kindness” and I loved the simplicity of that message. The wall above circulation seemed the best place to hang a poster related to kindness, because, who among us doesn’t need more kindness in their lives?
The display case contained the annual supply of prizes for promotion. This year, kids and teens chose from a selection of colorful bags, their choice of a book, and coupons to places around town, including two vouchers to a baseball game! Even adults were able to get on the prize train this year with a coupon to Chipotle restaurants and their choice of a free book while supplies lasted!
My favorite part of the Summer Reading Program display? The book bridge! I was stuck on what to do here throughout June and July and as I was searching for ideas, a coworker of mine suggested a banner of books bridging divides. The thought of books as a bridge mulled in the back of my mind for a few days until the idea of creating a physical book bridge came to mind. I tried searching Pinterest and Google for inspiration but couldn’t find anything that I liked. Perhaps this book bridge is the first of its kind? Welcome to the world, book bridge! I had a lot of help from coworkers from the actual design of the bridge, to the woodworking, and finding an image that we liked. And while it isn’t complete in the sense that I had wanted to include suspension cables of some sort (perhaps next time you make an appearance, bridge) I’m still awed by it every day.
For the Young Adult Book Display I really wanted to display books by authors outside of the US. But after further investigation, I found this was an extremely difficult task to complete. So I settled for books that discussed diversity. I love the banner that fits so nicely with this topic too. Because the best way to grow empathy and compassion is by reading and learning about other cultures and life-experiences. Best of all? I’ve had to refill the wall three separate times!
August displays are in the works! There’s also a very strong theme coming along with them. One tied to a historical event. Any guesses as to what it might be?
As she sat at a patio table covered by the brown awning, sipping her steaming café au lait, she watched the people beneath their dripping umbrellas as they strolled leisurely past the cafe . That was one thing she found she enjoyed, the easy and relaxed manner in which people traveled here. Gone was the hustle and bustle of her former life, the bumping into strangers without apology, the feeling of loneliness without ever being truly alone. She lifted the mug that warmed her hands to her lips, blew across the foamed top and took another sip. She smiled to herself as she felt the creamed mustache left upon her upper lip. Dabbing her lip with her napkin, she set it down beside her plate and let out a sigh that caught on a gust of wind and sprinkled her slightly with rain drops.
She was thirty-eight and alone for the first time in nearly twenty-five years. Continue reading “New Life, New Love at a Parisian Cafe”
July marks the sixth month anniversary of my Write Chain Challenge that I set for myself in December. My challenge for myself was to write 200 words every day. Each day that you write, you add a “link” (proverbial or real, it’s up to you) to your chain. If you don’t write, your chain breaks and you have to start again. I can’t count how many times I heard from someone “just skip it and write extra the next day!” or “write double today so you can skip tomorrow!” but I refused to bend my principles on this. And I can proudly say that I’ve written at least 200 (sometimes more!) a day since December 1st. And in that time, I’ve added over 70,000 words to my WIP. By no means does this mean my manuscript is done. No, this was just the push I needed to complete my first draft. Believe me, there are still a lot of rough spots. Literally, the whole last fourth of the book needs so much work! But there are also a lot of really compelling and thought-provoking passages. At least, I hope they will be to the reader because they are to me! But in these past six months, I’ve learned some very valuable lessons in writing. Continue reading “Write Chain Challenge: 6 Month Anniversary!”
Surprise, surprise. My plans for June (all the reading! all the wine!) did not go as planned. But that’s okay! I was kept busy moving and unpacking and attempting to make our new house feel like home. It’s getting there, but like all good things, it takes time. With my office painted (feature post coming soon!) I’m beginning to feel settled and relaxed.
But the few books I did manage to read, I wanted to share with you! Continue reading “Book Reviews: June 2017”
A Note from the Past…
Playing in the hallway one day, your kids accidentally bump into your grandfather clock, which has been in the family for years. As it smashes into the ground, you find a note hidden inside from your great grandfather, who died two months after you were born. Strangely enough, the note is addressed to you….
As the sound of the crash echoed throughout the quietness of the house, my stomach knotted with fear. I rushed down the hallway to discover my boys standing silently beside the wreckage of what had been my family heirloom: a grandfather clock. My knees went weak at the sight of the splinters of wood and the cracked clock face and I crumpled to the floor. Continue reading “A Note from the Past…”
May brought with it so many life changes. Best of all: we found a house to make our home! It’s true that good things come to those who wait. After putting in several offers that were rejected, my boyfriend and I both felt like our lives were a roller coaster. The elation that came with finding the “perfect” house only to come crashing down when that text message appeared from our realtor letting us know that we didn’t get it. Just as my boyfriend and I talked about looking but not actively getting attached, our house literally fell into our laps. So the month of May was spent finding a balance between work and life and all the while closing and dreaming of our new home. So it’s no surprise that I found little free time for reading. But now that June is here, and we’ve moved and are getting settled, I plan to enjoy every bit of summer reading on our new deck with a glass of Prairie Berry wine in hand. Continue reading “Book Reviews: May 2017”
The drive west was taking longer than she expected. Hours had passed since she had first mentally-checked her luggage while filling the gas tank of her car in the early morning light, before she flipped on the blinker and pulled out onto the open highway. The landscape, so flat and dull passed by in a blur of endless miles. It seemed that she would never reach her destination. Continue reading “Westward, Ho!”