Belated Saturday Micro-Fiction #4

Jean Yves Lemoigne - The Last Symphony #6

The Last Symphony #6 – Jean Yves Lemoigne, Jan 2012

“Moment of Peace”

The group was on their way to the S&M themed Fashion Show at FIT. They were decked out feather masks, pleather, gimp masks and lots of tight black pants, but no one batted an eyelash at their attire. This was NYC after all. They stopped when they found the open door to the studio, and inside were orchestra instruments with no one was around to guard them. Everyone grabbed one and started to play. Nikolaj, in his bondage top made of black silk ropes, had actually attended Juilliard for about two years before giving it all up to become an actor. He was a classically-trained harpist and still played at weddings in his in-between time acting gigs. His fingers plucked the wires and the calming sounds of Greensleeves came out of the instrument. I always loved this piece, he thought to himself as his fingers delicaticately strummed the chords.

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Saturday Micro-Fiction #1

I’m late to the Micro-Fiction or Flash Fiction party. I only figured out what it was this week while trying to come up with ideas for Teen programs, more specifically for a program we have at my current library called Teens Write/New Phoenix Voices. It’s a partnership between PPL and the Poet Laureate of the city of Phoenix, Rosemarie Dombrowski. I had my first meeting with her last week and she seems really cool and is of course very interested in helping teens explore poetry, though she normally works with new adults (ages 18+) as she teaches at one of the local colleges, ASU. She will be presenting a program on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month and then I will be helping with programming on the 1st/3rd/5th Wednesdays of the month.

Last week we did blackout poetry, where you take a page from a book (usually one that has already been weeded/discarded) and create a poem out of it in pencil first then once you’ve selected all your words, you blackout the rest of the page with permanent marker. You can also make it super decorative, but I’m not that talented yet. Apparently my poems were like “mini-fiction,” which makes sense as my poetry tends to be pretty narrative/stream of consciousness and I write a lot more fanfiction than poetry these days anyways. 

names-for-flash

One of the first things suggested to me to do a program on was Flash Fiction, though I prefer the term Micro-Fiction. Basically it’s when you write a super short story that is anywhere from 100 words to 1000 words or less. As our program with the teens are 2 hrs long and I’m trying to keep their attention as long as possible, I figured I would start with 150 words. Originally I was just going to give them a prompt, and although we could still do this, I think it would be easier if we used photo prompts. This is where you take a photo and use it to help you write a story. Now I’m sure mine will not be the best as this was my first attempt, but I still wanted to share as I want to write and share more things this year. 

RL_Giant_small

Real Life Giant, Anonymous artist/date. Taken from: http://global-pillage.blogspot.com/2016/11/blog-post_22.html

“Tiny Houses” 

Anton was not what you’d call a giant, at least not in his native Siberia, but he knew he was taller than the average person. When he finally scraped together enough money to move to America, the land of opportunity, he was amazed by how large everyone and everything was (not just tall but wide). It wasn’t until he made his way farther north to Rhode Island, the tiniest state in the Union, did he realize how colossal he was. Even the houses were shorter than his expansive shoulders and boulder-sized head. He could literally lean on the houses as they groaned under his weight. It was like he was the benevolent deity looking down on his creations and pronouncing that “they were good”. 

Best Books I read in 2017

I ended up reading a lot of books this year, despite it being a completely crazy year for me personally. It should be about 235 for the year, which was a bit more than I figured it would be. I tend to get uber distracted and ADD the crazier things get, so really it was miraculous that I managed to read this many books despite all of this. I discovered a lot of interesting manga and graphic novels and comics series once again, and read a ton of mangas (72 total this year), and even got to read a few as ARCs. The following books were my favorites for the year. I read too many to limit it to a small number, though I have tried to abbreviate the list. For all the ones my son also loved, I will add “Kid approved” to the titles. 

Children

The Very Fluffy Kitty: Papillon (Papillon #1) by A.N. Kang – It’s so adorable, I’m gonna squeal! Kid approved. 

Papillon-5

Pretty much all of Ryan T. Higgins’ books, as they are hilarious and have fabulous illustrations. Very much Kid Approved:

Wilfred (my favorite illustration below) – I want Wilfred for my friend! 

Wilfred

Be Quiet! – This book feels like trying to explain “quiet” to kids and then the 4 million “why?” questions start. 

Be Quiet

Hotel Bruce (Bruce #2) – I love Bruce’s facial expressions. 

Hotel Bruce

Bruce’s Big Move (Bruce #3)

Bruces-Big-Move

Escargot by Dashka Slater, illustrations by Sydney Hanson – you can’t help but do this in a cute little French accent. Kid Approved. 

Escargot

The Not So Quiet Library written and illustrated by Zachariah OHora – I love his illustrations and this book is adorable! Plus he always includes a character from a previous book (the bear was in Wolfie the Bunny). 

the-not-so-quiet-library-interior-zachariah-ohora

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez Gomez – loved the slightly creepy but lush illustrations of this graphic novel, plus the heroine uses her imagination to escape

Nightlights

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Editions by J.K. Rowling – Re-reading these to my son and loving them much more than the first time I read them. The illustrations really make these amazing and so accessible to children. Can’t wait to read Volume 3! Kid Approved.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Young Adult

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – I liked this book so much, it ended up in one of my fanfiction stories. Can’t wait for book 2 in the series!

Strange the Dreamer

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan – hilarious audiobook for teens but really best understood by adults (I thought the title looked cooler in Hebrew). 

The Dark Prophecy - Hebrew

The Prince and the Dressmaker written and illustrated by Jen Wang – I loved this graphic novel about being yourself no matter what

The Prince and the Dressmaker2

The Other Side of the Gate and The Empty Sea by Craig Michael Curtis – a series my friend wrote, they’re awesome, please check out his works! Third book will come out soon.

The Other Side of the GateThe Empty Sea

Manga: To check out more info on most of these series, and why I liked the leading males in Manga/Anime, please check out this previous post!

Kimi Ni Todoke Vol 28 Kimi Ni Todoke Vol 27 , and Kimi Ni Todoke Vol 26 by Karuho Shiina

Kimi Ni Todoke

High School Debut Vol. 1- written and illustrated by Kazune Kawahara – I am Haruna and I need some help. Where’s my hot teacher? Also, Yoh is super adorable below. 

High School Debut

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition Vol 1-12 written and illustrated by Natsuke Takaya – after watching the anime again, I felt like I needed to read the original manga version and it was even better than the anime. This might be one of my favorite series’ ever!

Fruits Basket vol 21 Ch 120

Library Wars: Love and War Vol 15 written and illustrated Kiiro Yumi – last volume 😦

Library Wars Vol 15

Adult

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn – also coincidentally the best audiobook I listened to as well; I have always been a fan of the Chiss, but had never read anything about Thrawn in particular. Loved Thrawn –>Eli–>Governor Pryce as top three characters. Plus it was awesome to listen to the audiobook then literally a few weeks later see both characters in Star Wars Rebels Season 3.

Thrawn

Saga Vol 1-7 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples – best comic series I’ve read in a long time, hands down!

Saga

Black Dahlia, Red Rose: The Crime, The Corruption, and Cover-Up of America’s Greatest Unsolved Murder by Piu Eatwell 

Black Dahlia

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore – Tie between this book, Thrawn and Black Dahlia for the most interesting book I’ve read this year.

Wonder Woman

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 7-9

So I am apparently bad at remembering to do these day of, but I figure at least they are getting done.

Day 7: List 10 Songs You are Loving Right Now

  • Ed Sheeran Shape of You – Current fav song
  • Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland – Promiscuous – throwback to undergrad days
  • B’52s – Love Shack – fav song growing up, even karoake’ed this song in undergrad once
  • Usher Yeah! – another throwback to undergrad
  • MC Solaar Bling Bling – no idea what he is saying, just love the song and it always cheers me up when I listen to it
  • The Raveonettes – Love in a Trash Can – fav song ever of theirs, on my happy mix for a reason
  • The Chainsmokers and Coldplay – Something Just Like This – just discovered this one
  • Ariana Grande – Focus 
  • Flo Rida – My House – this one both me and my 5 yr old love for different reasons
  • DNCE – Cake By the Ocean – crank this one every time it comes on the radio
  • Aerosmith – Cryin’  – throwback to my youth, loved that song then and now – has kind of become one of my theme songs lately

Day 8: Share Something You Struggle With

Self-Confidence/Self-Love: Truthfully I have struggled with this forever. I had it the first two years of high school, then I moved the middle of high school to a completely different school in a different state and I went from being somewhat cool to the new awkward kid who according to a friend that I got to know better in college “the obsessive loner”. I’ve always been self-conscious about my body ever since I got snubbed because of it in middle school by the person I thought was my best friend (who I was also in love with), and it has been a very love-hate relationship based on the atmosphere around me. And yes, I know I need to love myself before anything but it has taken me a long time to learn that. It got better in undergraduate and very good the first year of graduate school when I finally came into my own. It kind of took a nose dive the first time I got dumped by my ass**** of an ex-boyfriend who I later learned was pretty much using me in undergrad. So I decided to have as much fun as possible when I was in Scotland in grad school, when I got my first sassy short haircut. There were a lot of gorgeous smart guys that year and I had a good time getting to know them, even if not all of us saw eye to eye as well as I would’ve liked. 

When I first met John, I felt on top of the world and on top of my game. Even more so when we got married, had Liam, and for awhile things were amazing. Then I started to lose sight of myself. It wasn’t him and me separately anymore, but us as a couple, and I really lost sight of myself. I am just starting to gain myself back and practice some self-discovery to see who I really am and what I want. I realized in the beginning of the last eight months that I need a lot of work and I’m working through it one day at a time. It’s funny because I know friends and acquaintances have said “What are you talking about? You are so full of confidence I’m jealous sometimes,” and all I can say is that “Yes, I can be an exuberant person, but that doesn’t always equal self-confidence.” I’ve always described myself as an extroverted introvert, meaning I have moments of both depending on mood and what else is going on in my life. 

Day 9: Post some words of wisdom that speak to me

I adore quotes and have been collecting them since I was little. I found this one recently and it really applies to my life right now: 

Plot Twist

This one from Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu says it all about God and his views (sorry folks, I believe in a benevolent God not a vengeful one): 

Desmond Tutu quote

Had to include one from Neil Gaiman, my favorite author. He always has some brilliant quotes as well, including this one: 

Mistakes - Neil Gaiman quote

And what librarian would I be without a book quote, lol. I love this one from Lyndon B. Johnson that I found recently that I’ve added as my tag line on my personal email: 

Most Effective Weapon

 

Moments of Zen: Sept 17-23

Well this week has been a bit better and a bit worse. I had a job interview on Wed for a Librarian position, so fingers crossed on that!

Sat: Got a new car, well new-t0-me car anyways, at the first place my mom and I went to: a Nissan Altima. It’s a nicer car, better than I would’ve thought to be honest. And it’s got decent reviews on Kelly Blue Book/Edmunds. 

Sun: Going to church with my parents and Liam and just enjoying the space. We went to a different church and it was gorgeous inside. Also identified a bit with the sermon, though not in the way the priest intended (he was talking about the true meaning of stewardship and how all our wealth comes from God). Later, it was nice to just listen to some Classic Hip Hop and Rap and relax for the first time that day, even though it was the end of the day. 

Mon: Watching back to back episodes of Mr. Selfridge Season 2. I recently discovered it and love the Edwardian-era Masterpiece Theater show.  My favorite part of the story is the love triangle between Victor, Agnes and Henri (the right three people in the below photo).

meet_the_staff_of_mr_selfridge

Tues: Finally getting to sit down and, in the quietness of the Children’s workroom in the evening, read some more of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale during my lunch break at work. Also psyched that one of my favorite British comedy shows, Green Wing,  is available on Netflix and I got to watch an episode – which really helped me decompress after work!

green_wing_poster

Wed: Got to politely show off storytime skills in an Librarian Interview for Maricopa County. 

Thurs: Sitting down and started to crochet two scarves and finishing up a third, whilst watching Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Fri: Presenting my Cloud DiscoveryTime storytime and eating lunch at Blue Fin while reading Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.