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. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016


Life is full of difficulties.
Chock full of them.

Full of unfairness, of hatefulness, of hurt and of wrongdoing.
All of that is true. 

Its easy to get all caught up the negative because it is all around us. When we hear about events that are heartbreaking and those that stir up anger within us it is easy to become a part of that mob mentality--even from the comfort of our favorite chair with the technology that has become such a basic part of many of our lives.

The latest news of uninviting authors to schools because their books included difficult subject matter had made me angry and left me frustrated.
Good folks used as pawns in games beyond their control makes me feel sick.
The heartbreaking tragedy of both a young woman being shot to death after her concert & a gunman entering a nightclub and shooting down folks in Orlando this week makes me weep.
Our nation divided by politics.  POLITICS.  Where has civility gone?
We hate one another because we don't agree with one another?
The fear of "other" and remember the good ole days has gotten completely out of control.

I'd just like to remind you (and myself)
there were NO good ole days. 

Take a walk through history and you'll see that we are actually living in a time that is no worse, and maybe better than any other time in the history of humans.

It is good to remember this.

So now I'll breathe deeply and get myself calmed.
I'll remember that every generation has its stuff--the good, the bad, & the ugly.
I'll remember that we live in a world that has instant access to overwhelming amounts of information so sometimes it feels as though the world is becoming a topsy-turvy mess.

The world has always been a topsy-turvy mess.
Maybe not in YOUR neighborhood, but look at it as a whole.
Take that walk through history and breathe.
The sky is not falling, friends. 

This doesn't mean we don't fight the good fight and make every attempt to right the wrongs we see around us.
It means we don't panic while doing so.

Life is full of difficulties, but it is also full of magic, and wonder, and love, and beauty.
Now breathe deeply, and go do amazing things.

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Monday! What are YOU reading?

I just finished Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina last night.  I was hooked right off the bat by the awesome disco ball on the cover--and the book was a solid read.  Set in NYC in the summer of 1977, Nora is finishing high school and trying to figure out her life.  The backdrop story is the Son-of-Sam serial killer who is terrorizing the city. 

I'm on book 5 of the cozy Molly Murphy mystery series by Rhys Bowen.  I'm listening to them all via Audible and the accents make them so much fun!  Today I worked on genrefying my library while enjoying several chapters. 

I've just begun Biblo Tech by John Palfrey.  It is one of the books on the TALL Texans reading list and I'm finding it interesting.  As a librarian who loves books and fully embraces technology I'm interested to see what thoughts this book holds. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Book Study

This year our district librarians have read Teri Lesesne's Making the Match as our book study selection.  No matter how long I have been in this business, I always learn something from Teri Lesesne---whether it is listening to her wisdom at conferences, reading her blog, reading her books, etc. Sometimes I shout "YES!" at top volume while reading, and my pages are dog-eared and worn.

Tomorrow is our final meeting of the school year and this Thinglink will be used to share Chapter 10 with the group. Hover over the image to see the links!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May! An assortment of random thoughts.

May has arrived!
My seniors walk a month from today.
My baby girl turns 7 on the 17th.
Spring is truly here, as is all the rain.  ALL.THE. RAIN.
All of the winding up of the year begins in earnest.
A new writing challenge has begun, and it is time to sign up for one of my faves. 

If you don't know about the YA Buccaneers spring writing challenge, you should absolutely check them out. You set your own goals and they provide scaffolding for reaching them.  
Teachers Write is my most favorite summer professional development on the planet.  It is an amazing community of teacher-writers, FREE, and I always come away having grown in my writing.  It starts in June, but sign up now and you'll be in the drawing for an incredible prize.

I'm sending extra love to all the students involved in the dreaded testing this month.  I'm sending extra love out to all the teachers and parents of those students, too.  Surely this madness has reached its climax and we can start to reclaim these days for actual awesome learning, right?  

I hope your May is magical, friends.  Make it so!