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Best Books of April 2019

April 30th, 2019 (06:00 pm)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: Nervous by L Devine

April 2019: 9 books and script read

This month, I read a healthy mix of suspense, science, horror, fiction, and fact. This month's standouts are The Pandora Room by Christopher Golden, Chasing Captain America: How Advances in Science, Engineering, and Biotechnology Will Produce a Superhuman by E. Paul Zehr, and The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O'Meara.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Mysteries, Yes by Mary Oliver

April 26th, 2019 (06:00 am)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: What If It All Means Something by Chantal Kreviazuk

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
      to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
      mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
      in allegiance with gravity
            while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
      never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
      scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
      who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
      "Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
      and bow their heads.

- Mysteries, Yes by Mary Oliver

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Earth Day Every Day!

April 22nd, 2019 (07:00 am)
thirsty

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Topper score music

Celebrate Earth Day every day! Here are just a few ways you can help protect this planet of ours and inspire others to do the same.

Every single time you go to throw something away, take a moment to consider how you could recycle, reduce, or reuse that item. Don't just toss things in the trash.

Be creative! Use that empty oatmeal canister to store fruit or jewelry or socks - but not all at the same time - or make it into a drum!

Recycle everything that you can - newspapers, plastic bottles, tin cans, everything. Check containers to see if they can be recycled and either take them to a local recycling center or, if you have separate trash bins for recyclables and greenery, use them properly and encourage your family and neighbors to do the same.

Bring your own canvas bags to the grocery store and other shops.

Buy locally grown and/or organic foods. After a meal, give those uneaten bread crusts to the creatures outside. I know, I know, you don't want to attract raccoons and such into your yard, but maybe you can feed the ducks at the pond or offer those crumbs to the critters at a local park. If possible, make a compost pile. I admittedly don't have a compost pile, but I buy day-old bread and feed wild squirrels almost every week when it's good weather. (The folks at Seven-Imp know all about this!)

Eat at home and you'll save time and money, spend more time with your loved ones, and consume healthier foods. If you have to eat at work or school, pack your food in a reusable lunchbag or lunchbox, and include reusable utensils, plates, and containers.

Get a reusable beverage container and keep it with you. Summer's coming, so it's time to hydrate even more than usual! (Those of you that know me well won't be surprised to learn that one of my reusable bottles, that which goes to and from theatres, auditions, and rehearsals with me, is decorated with Tinker Bell.)

When making purchases of any kind, look for items made of recycled and/or organic materials. Try not to buy things with excessive, wasteful packaging. Consider what it is that you're getting. Do you really need things to be individually wrapped?

Before you print something out, think about whether or not you really need to print it. If not, DON'T. Save that ink and that paper. When you do have to use paper, always use both sides, then recycle it when you're done with it.

Walk whenever you can, wherever you can.

Use public transportation whenever you can.

Carpool to and from work, school, and other places.

Exercise daily. Make an effort to MOVE MORE. Take a walk at lunch and/or before or after work, especially if you have a job where you sit all day. WALK. WALK. WALK. Also run, or run-walk, or hike. Ride a bicycle, a tricycle, a skateboard, a scooter - whatever works for you and runs solely on the power of your own two feet (and arms, and heart, and lungs...) Make it part of your daily exercise routine. If you include friends or family members, you're more likely to meet your goals because you will be challenging and encouraging each other. Whether you are with friends or by yourself, make sure that you have the proper safety equipment (helmet, kneepads, armpads, etc) - plus that trusty reusable drinking container filled with fresh, cool water, and good-for-you snacks, like dried fruit or granola bars! If you're going on a big hike or biking an offbeat trail or something like that by yourself, please, please make sure someone knows where you are, because I get really worried when I picture you doing that alone.

After you read this post, GET UP AND WALK AROUND YOUR HOUSE. (I mean walking around inside, but if you actually go outside and walk around the perimeter of your house, give yourself kudos, and give me photographic evidence, videotaped proof, or something.)

For those of you unfamiliar with Earth Day, I'll give you a brief history: The United Nations celebrates Earth Day annually on the March equinox, inspired by activist John McConnell in 1969. In 1970, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day as an environmental "teach-in," and it is celebrated annually on April 22nd in the United States and other countries.

Again I say: Earth Day every day!

Related Posts:

The Julie books by Megan McDonald - I highly recommend that you read Julie and the Eagles in your classroom or library and at home with your family!

Readergirlz: Community Challenge: Go Eco - From June 2007

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Forest is and was and will be

April 18th, 2019 (06:00 pm)
sleepy

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Something's Coming from West Side Story

Forest is and was and will be
Root and roof and all between
Pan-fruit feed me, nid-bough hold me,
Peace and Joy be ever green

- from the novel Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: La Clef des Songes (The Key of Dreams) by Robert Desnos

April 12th, 2019 (06:00 am)
sleepy

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Dark Side by Jaymes Young

Cook or poet
Businessman or carpenter
Everyone loves laziness
Leisure, sleep, and dreams
For dreams are spectacles
A dream is a lucky ticket
That night gives as a gift to the dreamer
Luck that is our due
It’s an everyday miracle
A night without dreams
          Without love
          Is lost.

- the first verse of La Clef des Songes (The Key of Dreams) by Robert Desnos

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick

April 5th, 2019 (03:51 pm)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: Gravity by Sara Bareilles

Mallory O'Meara always loved the monster design in the movie Creature from the Black Lagoon. When she was a teenager, she was thrilled to learn it was designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick - then devastated to find out that someone else took credit for it, and that Milicent's career seemingly ended after that. As an adult, Mallory did deep research to find out why that claim was made, and what happened to Milicent both personally and professionally before, during, and afterwards.

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick is a fantastic biography. It's also a wonderful testament to the impact one person can have on another, even without ever meeting them or working with them directly. Mallory's respect and admiration for Milicent is apparent, and I really like how she incorporated her research experience and reasoning into this. May we all be so fortunate to touch someone's life in such a way, and to have someone write us back into history and make sure we get the credit and respect we deserve. Kudos to both Mallory and Milicent!

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: "Do You Have Any Advice for Those of Us Just Starting Out?" by Ron Koertge

April 5th, 2019 (06:00 am)
sleepy

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It's all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author's name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, "Shhhh."

Then start again.

- "Do You Have Any Advice for Those of Us Just Starting Out?" by Ron Koertge

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Best Books of March 2019

March 31st, 2019 (08:00 am)
hopeful

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Uncharted by Sara Bareilles

March 2019: 32 books and scripts read

This month's standouts:
PG by Courtney Summers (short story)
The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu (novel)
Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Among Women by Marie Ponsot

March 29th, 2019 (06:00 am)
curious

Current Mood: curious
Current Song: California Dreamin' by The Mamas and the Papas

What women wander?
Not many. All. A few.
Most would, now & then,
& no wonder.
Some, and I'm one,
Wander sitting still.
My small grandmother
Bought from every peddler
Less for the ribbons and lace
Than for their scent
Of sleep where you will,
Walk out when you want, choose
Your bread and your company.

She warned me, "Have nothing to lose."

She looked fragile but had
High blood, runner's ankles,
Could endure, endure.
She loved her rooted garden, her
Grand children, her once
Wild once young man.
Women wander
As best they can.

- Among Women by Marie Ponsot

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Once Upon a Time II by Nikita Gill

March 22nd, 2019 (06:00 am)
determined

Current Mood: determined
Current Song: Rearrange by Ella Vos

But the universe never promised
you this would be easy,
after all, you are the hero here.

And heroes are meant
to be forged golden
from the blaze.

It is up to you to rise again
from the fragmented shards
your foes left of you.

You must lift a sword
with reborn strength and take on
the demons in your ribcage.

You must devastate the chains
every violent person
has brutally placed on you.

And you must show them all
how they were simply
characters in your story.

But you, you are the author
of this spellbinding tale
built of hope and bravery.

Out there may be monsters, my dear.
But in you still lives the dragon
you should always believe in.

- Once Upon a Time II by Nikita Gill

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.