Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Monday. What are YOU reading?

I just finished listening to Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper on audible.

Y'all.  This book.
I absolutely loved the duel settings of modern day and WWII, as Laurel attempts to solve the mysteries of her mother's past. Gorgeous.  It was a lovely LONG listen--so not for a quick road trip, but certainly worth the investment of time

My high school faculty book club is reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  First, his name is pronounced ooh-vuh, which through me for a quick minute (yes, I'm listening to this one, too, and SO grateful because otherwise, I would still be calling this man by the wrong name) but I am really enjoying this book.  Ove is a curmudgeon of the first order.  Everything has a place and should by god be there.  While most folks would overlook him as a bitter old grump, the new young family next door finds a way to connect and bring out the best in him.  I have laughed right out loud at this one, and have also found it to be a lovely, poignant story.

You know you have a winner when your high school students start passing around the picture book in the before-school crowd.  I heard the "you've gotta read this one right now" whispered from person to person as it made the rounds.  #allthefeels

What are YOU reading?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Winning at F-A-I-L

I have the most amazing job in the universe.
And yesterday was just awful.
This does not make me love my job any less. Saying this does not make me a negative person.
It's just the real honest-to-gosh truth of my day.
Today will be better.

I believe in putting positivity out into the world.
I also believe in being real.  These are NOT mutually exclusive things.
I think it is especially important in this age of Instagram moments and Pinterest and look-at-how-awesome-this-is social media that we also remember to share our first attempt at learning moments.
Yeah, that spells F-A-I-L.

The problem is not with failing and acknowledging our fail----this is not a negative, folks.
The problem would be STAYING in that place.

Everything in the world (just about) that could go south yesterday, did indeed go south.
I want to share that with you for two reasons. One, I sorta need to vent/examine/feel my feelings so I can move forward and begin to see the humor in the sheer craptastic-ness of it, and two, I need you to know that I'm not winning all the time, and that is OKAY.

No one is winning all the time.
NO one is winning all the time.

Winning all the time doesn't happen.  It isn't real.  It is a facade.
However, when all everyone does is acknowledge only our winning moments it can SEEM like everyone else is winning all the time.  Except you.

Don't believe it, folks.
It isn't true.  That isn't how life works.
Not one of us can do everything in superhero mode all the time.

And that is okay.
And you are okay.
And I am okay.
And WE are okay.

It isn't negative to say,
         look--I'm struggling.
         hey, this didn't go so great.
         I tried, but I didn't love the way it went down.
It is real. 
Fail Forward.

That is one of the most positive things you can do.
I promise.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dragons in the Stacks newsletter

Here's our new library newsletter!  This one will be digital, heavy on pics & vids and light on paragraphs.  I'd love it if you'd take a look!

Be sure to follow the link to see the freshman orientation video.  The kids had a great time working on teams to complete their scavenger hunt to become more acquainted with our library.

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Monday, what are YOU reading?

It has been a wonderful, fast & furious entry into the new school year.  I'm finally collected enough to start writing again (or doing anything other than merely surviving the day!) and just in time for this week's What are you Reading post!

I just finished listening to The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I was completely swept up in the gorgeously written historical fiction/mystery/magical fairy tale of a story.  Utterly delicious. Perfect for filling these weeks of rain we've had in east Texas lately.  I loved it so much that I've downloaded another Kate Morton book, The Secret Keeper.  I'll keep you posted on that one.

I now belong to 2 book clubs (for grown folks, that is) and Anne Tyler's Vinegar Girl was the selection for the first meeting of my newest one.  I am an Anne Tyler fan---her ability to make characters come to life is just beautiful, and she is a master at showcasing the ordinary life in a way that shines a light on its specialness. Vinegar Girl is interesting in that it is a part of the new Hogarth Press which has modern authors creating modern retellings of Shakespeare's work.  Vinegar Girl is Tyler's twist on The Taming of the Shrew.

The book club had mixed reviews on this one, but I liked it.  Not loved it---but definitely liked it.  I suppose my reasons are a bit shrewish, too---if shrewish means being a bit cantankerous rather than the screaming banshee that initially comes to mind.

I like that it is a love story with two brilliant socially awkward people.  I like that our main character, Kate, is completely herself (wouldn't it be utterly delicious to live life in such a way that you were always your most real self?) I liked its quirkiness and its imperfect characters.  And also, I feel like I should reread the original just to compare the two.

I hope the beginning of the school year is treating you well and make sure you are making time to read!

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's MONDAY! What are YOU reading?

Lately, I've been obsessed with the Weetzie Bat series by Francesca Lia Block.
I read Weetzie Bat during National Readathon Day after having it suggested to me by a wonderful brilliant English teacher friend but just got to the others this week.  I read Pink Smog, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat & the Goat Guys, and Missing Angel Juan and might have stayed up until about 3:00 am finishing them up. I will definitely finish out this series.  These are quirky, dreamy magical realism about teens figuring out how they fit into their world.  Lush and gorgeous for those days when you just need to be swept away.

I've just started Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker for a summer book club. I've finished "phase one" and I have much to ponder.  This is not escapism--it is a hard look at reality and what it truly means to love the least of us. I look forward to discussing this book later in the week.  This is one that I will need to read slowly and carefully and take time to consider thoughtfully.  So far, it seems totally worth it. 

What are YOU reading?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Love is the answer.

The world needs more of it, and we need it now.
We need more of the love that allows us to see that we are all connected, we are all one, we are all sharing space on this earth at the same time, and we are all made from the same stardust.

Yes, #BlackLivesMatter.
Yes, Police lives matter.
Yes, privilege is a thing --be it white, be it male, be it wealth.
Why are these things thought to be mutually exclusive?
They are ALL true. Denying them doesn't help.
The truth will set you free.

Until we admit the truth of these things, I do not believe we will be able to truly come together in love.

Love unites. Love drives out hate.  Love overcomes fear.

I pray that these horrible happenings will at the very least bring light to the darkness of fear, racism, and those in positions of authority who should not have that authority--be it priests, or teachers, or police officers, or politicians so that we may move forward in love.

I pray for peace.
I pray for love.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Planners & Calendars & Journals, Oh My!

I fell in love with this little journal last week at the TALL Texans retreat (more on that amazing experience in a later blog post--I'm really still processing all.that.awesome. y'all).  I walked into the first session and spotted one of the mentor's writing in this slim antique looking journal, and it was instant attraction. 

When I discovered they were actually for sale in the little bookstore downstairs I knew I had to have one.  I just wasn't quite sure what I would use it for at the time (Okay, so I'm a bit of a journal addict. I love them. What can I say?) but I knew that little beauty was coming home with me. 

I need to say at this point that I appear to be a solidly Type B personality, but like many weird dichotomies that describe me (ambivert, right-handed, but left-eye dominant-according to my archer husband, one ear lobe attached, one free-hanging, as I discovered to my amusement during middle-school years in a DNA traits mapping exercise) I have some very Type A characteristics, too. Maybe this is because I'm an Aries & a first child?  I'm not sure, but I do know that I have been described as having a big personality and I am both ambitious and impatient as well as being introspective, creative, and reflective by nature. 

At any rate, and however you might describe me, I have tried a multitude of ways to organize myself and my time effectively through the years. None of them have been truly terrible, but none of them have been anything to write home about either. I've tried everything from spiffing up the dollar store purse calendars to the Franklin-Covey system.  I love how pretty Erin Condren's items are, and I love how easy it is to find the Day Planner stuff locally. I just never felt like I had found anything with the "it" factor I need, however. 

Fast forward to last night. 

Since I brought my little journal out of the suitcase and onto my nightstand to admire I've noticed that it is really a perfect size for list-making.  Last year (or maybe the year before---can we go with sometime in the near past?) I started looking into bullet journaling. What always scared me off was the seemingly impossible standards of beauty and perfection that everyone seemed to bestow upon them.  I mean seriously--I no longer have time to scrapbook, I don't want to scrapbook my flippin' calendar/organizer, right???

Then the lights from heaven appeared and shone down upon a single blog post that has since changed my life. 

Well, in all honesty, I was up really late and so it was my table lamp shining down upon the laptop and the blog post is awesome and has inspired me to action....which I fully believe will lead to life-changing results. 

The Lazy Genius (yes, I will totally check out her other posts, because YES! to the Lazy Genius) has written out a very simple, easy-to-follow intro to her system of using bullet journals.  She gave me permission to do what works for me without worrying if it is perfectly Pinterest-worthy, (which is fricken' exhausting, honestly).  

For the first time this bullet journaling thing looks DOABLE.  I can make up exactly what works for me as I go along.  I can be as creative (or not) as I want to be in all aspects of this journal. I can start TODAY without feeling like I am wasting pages, or that I need to be a particular point in the calendar to begin fresh. 

Whoa.  This is big, y'all. 

My perfect little journal can be found HERE and I'm excited to KISS (keep it simple, stupid!) this bullet journaling thing.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.