Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Everyone Has a Story


"Human Library: Don’t judge a book by its cover.” 


What is the Human Library?


In 1993, a young and idealistic youth organisation called "Stop The Violence,"was self-initiated by five youngsters from Copenhagen after a mutual friend was stabbed. The brutal attack on their friend, who luckily survived, made the five youngsters decide to raise awareness and use peer group education to mobilize danish youngsters against violence. In a few years the organisation had 30.000 members all over the country.
The Human Library is a mobile library set up as a space where visitors are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”--a group varied in age, sex and cultural background sure to enlighten.
The Human Library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner. It is a way of promoting tolerance and understanding.

Why Become A Reader?

How often do you get the chance to interact with someone who has a completely different story than your own? 


Transgender book with two female readers

Reading in the Human Library is unlike any kind of reading you've ever done. Becoming a reader gives you information  that can help you understand things and people better.

Readers at the counter in Budapest 2005


















Read to learn

You read to gain knowledge and maybe even understanding of the other. In return, you can ask what you've always wanted to know. A session with a 'Living Book' can be a real eye opener, or just another day in the Library, it depends on the eyes that meets the book. 
Police Officer Helen with reader in London.

A unique opportunity

Becoming a reader is a unique opportunity for you to challenge your beliefs or face your fears in the form of another human being. 


Some of us tend to judge groups of people based on the actions of a few. Although I try not to believe everything I hear and read, there have been times when I've found myself judging others. The Human Library sounds like an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Awesome Things

So I wanted to share a few awesome things that I've been saving up to show you.

A while ago, I 'liked' a Facebook page called, Faerie Magazine.  I love their posts and their pictures and decided to browse their page. Call me stupid, but I never realized it was a real magazine. I couldn't resist. I love magazines, and I LOVE fairies. So I subscribed. What a beautiful magazine!! Every page is filled with captivating photography, enchanting stories, and a little bit of magic.



If you want to add some beauty to your life, you must visit their website. http://www.faeriemag.com You can subscribe to the magazine or order back issues. Download a PDF of the summer issue for free! Click here http://bit.ly/1uDTHQk

Check out their handmade jewelry:


and don't miss their Sweet little gifts:


***
On another note--Here's a website that everyone should visit: Streampebbles



Streampebbles offers a showcase for promoting and sharing stories, blogs, and memories. Check it out, and contact them to share something of your own!

You can also join their Facebook Group.

PS You may see a familiar face if you click on the website's 'Blogs and Memories' tab. :)



What awesome things have you found lately?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Autumn: New Beginnings





Labor Day has come and gone. In my town, that means that the children will be starting school this week, Halloween candy and decorations will be on display in full force, and anyone wearing white shoes will be frowned upon by The Fashion Police. Summer is over. Thankfully, it wasn't too brutal for us here in The Garden State, but I'm still looking forward to hoodies, fall colors, and cooler nights.

As you may know, Autumn is when I feel more productive. Maybe it harkens back to my school days. Every September meant new notebooks, pens, and pencils, a new book bag and pencil case, and of course, new clothes. For me, September was more significant than the New Year. It was a chance to be more organized, to be a better student than the previous year, to make a new beginning.

Not wanting to waste a moment, I smuggled time during the past week to write and submit a short story to a contest. I decided to go all out and spend $10 for the entry fee and an additional $10 for a critique. I haven't written anything since April. To be perfectly honest, I'll be surprised if my story is good enough to earn an honorable mention. So then why did I do it? Because I needed to do SOMETHING. I needed to get back to putting words on a page, and most importantly, I really want the critique. I want to know how I'm doing--whether or not I'm growing as a writer. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait 2 whole months for the list of winners and the judge's notes on my story.

In the meantime, I don't intend to sit on my laurels. (What the heck are laurels, anyway?) I'm going to finish my second novel, dust off my first novel to send to publishers, and write 6 short stories. All before December 31, 2014. It sounds like a lot of work. Considering our repair shop has been steadily busy and leaves no time for writing during the day, it IS a lot of work! I'm prepared to make some changes in how I spend my time at home. I'm up for the challenge.

By the way, I HAD to research the 'laurels' thing. If you're curious, I found this explanation:
Rest on one's laurels

So tell me--do you find that you're more productive during a certain time of year?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm A Smart-Phone Virgin

Sunday afternoon, I went to Verizon and came home with this:




Exciting, right? 

I was like a kid trying to choose a piece of candy as hubby and I browsed all the techy gadgets. Since neither of us have upgraded our phones since 2003--(We both had flip phones which we both loved.) I figured they should have given us 5 free phones, but let's not get into that. We decided to be frugal and choose a model that was free to upgrade. The Droid Mini. It's not really 'mini,' but it's smaller than the 'Ultra.' Whatever.  

Choosing from the 'Free phone' counter is almost like an arranged marriage. Verizon is like a matchmaker who chooses a model for you. You either learn to love it, pay the cancellation fee (which is cheaper than a real divorce,) or you live in misery until the two years are over. In any case, hubby and I are still in the wedding-night stage with our phones. 

Anywho, I immediately downloaded VZ Navigation (for a $4.99/month charge, of course.) because when I'm driving alone, I can't find my way out of a wet paper bag. I like the turn-by-turn directions, and that my phone will talk to me as I drive. When I got home, my daughter informed me that Google Maps does the same thing. Oh well.

Then, I learned how to take photos. This phone takes really good photos, which will be great for my e-baying, sending Tweetpics and Facebook statuses. 

I downloaded Facebook and Twitter and set my morning alarm. I plugged my phone into the charger and plugged the charger into an electric strip by my nightstand. Unfortunately, I don't know how to shut off the alarm, because this morning, just as the song that took me about 10 minutes to choose, started playing, the phone shut down. Apparently, I had forgotten to turn the strip on. Not apparently--I just forgot. I should probably stay away from electronics.

Anyway, all day at work, the phone buzzed, booped, beeped, and vibrated, letting me know I had an e-mail, a Facebook notification, a Twitter mention, and texts. It drove me crazy. I tried to figure out how to turn off notification sounds. I'm still trying. 

In the meantime, I removed Facebook and Twitter until I can decipher it. Besides, I stumbled across all the things I was permitting Facebook to do with my phone. I wasn't too happy. Have you ever read those permissions on your phone? You should. I would've shared that with you, if I could have found it again. Sorry.

There's a long road ahead of me, figuring out this phone. It will probably take me another 11 years to love it. Do you think it'll last until 2025?


If not, I still have this one:

 just in case.


What kind of smart phone do you have? Are you in love or eagerly awaiting your next upgrade?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rest in Peace, Robin Williams

I was all ready to go with an already scheduled blog post, but I was so saddened by the news of Robin Williams' death that I had to write a new post.

The first time I saw Robin Williams was on Mork & Mindy.


Even though the show was goofy, he captured my heart.

He was a very talented actor, with or without his beard, and I enjoyed almost all of his movies. Some of my favorites were What Dreams May ComeThe BirdcageAwakenings, and of course, Mrs. Doubtfire.

His death is such a tragedy, and I don't know what else to say except that I hope his family can find peace.


Thank you, Robin Williams, for bringing me both laughter and tears, and for sharing your gift with us all. May you rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

100 Years, 100 Films, 100 Nights I Won't Write.

Recently, I stumbled across one of those time-sucking Facebook quizzes that asked a few irrelevant questions and then calculated how many more cats you should own. Or something like that. Anyway, one of the questions asked whether or not you watched every movie on the American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movies. I had watched almost more than half of them, but most of them I'd seen more than 20 years ago. I thought it would be fun to watch them in order, starting with #100.

My daughter, Amanda, was on board with me and suggested we should write something about each movie. We entered the movies on my Netflix queue.
I rustled up an unused journal, (We have a few in my house.) and decorated the cover.


After watching the movie, we take turns jotting our thoughts into the journal--keeping the year of production in mind, we write a paragraph or two about how the movie made us feel, what we thought about the story, the acting, or the cinematography. Of course we each use different color pens, because that's how we roll.


So far, life has gotten in the way, along with SYTYCD and the new Starz Outlander series, so we've only watched 2-1/2 movies. I'm hoping to set aside 2 nights a week to catch up, which means that will be 100 nights that I'm not writing. But hey, I need to look at it as quality time with my daughter, right? We'll see how that goes...

Here's the 10th Anniversary list of AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movies:

#MOVIEYEAR
1CITIZEN KANE1941
2THE GODFATHER1972
3CASABLANCA1942
4RAGING BULL1980
5SINGIN' IN THE RAIN1952
6GONE WITH THE WIND1939
7LAWRENCE OF ARABIA1962
8SCHINDLER'S LIST1993
9VERTIGO1958
10THE WIZARD OF OZ1939
11CITY LIGHTS1931
12THE SEARCHERS1956
13STAR WARS1977
14PSYCHO1960
152001: A SPACE ODYSSEY1968
16SUNSET BLVD.1950
17THE GRADUATE1967
18THE GENERAL1927
19ON THE WATERFRONT1954
20IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE1946
21CHINATOWN1974
22SOME LIKE IT HOT1959
23THE GRAPES OF WRATH1940
24E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL1982
25TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD1962
26MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON1939
27HIGH NOON1952
28ALL ABOUT EVE1950
29DOUBLE INDEMNITY1944
30APOCALYPSE NOW1979
31THE MALTESE FALCON1941
32THE GODFATHER PART II1974
33ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST1975
34SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS1937
35ANNIE HALL1977
36THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI1957
37THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES1946
38THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE1948
39DR. STRANGELOVE1964
40THE SOUND OF MUSIC1965
41KING KONG1933
42BONNIE AND CLYDE1967
43MIDNIGHT COWBOY1969
44THE PHILADELPHIA STORY1940
45SHANE1953
46IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT1934
47A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE1951
48REAR WINDOW1954
49INTOLERANCE1916
50THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING2001
51WEST SIDE STORY1961
52TAXI DRIVER1976
53THE DEER HUNTER1978
54M*A*S*H1970
55NORTH BY NORTHWEST1959
56JAWS1975
57ROCKY1976
58THE GOLD RUSH1925
59NASHVILLE1975
60DUCK SOUP1933
61SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS1941
62AMERICAN GRAFFITI1973
63CABARET1972
64NETWORK1976
65THE AFRICAN QUEEN1951
66RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK1981
67WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?1966
68UNFORGIVEN1992
69TOOTSIE1982
70A CLOCKWORK ORANGE1971
71SAVING PRIVATE RYAN1998
72THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION1994
73BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID1969
74THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS1991
75IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT1967
76FORREST GUMP1994
77ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN1976
78MODERN TIMES1936
79THE WILD BUNCH1969
80THE APARTMENT1960
81SPARTACUS1960
82SUNRISE1927
83TITANIC1997
84EASY RIDER1969
85A NIGHT AT THE OPERA1935
86PLATOON1986
8712 ANGRY MEN1957
88BRINGING UP BABY1938
89THE SIXTH SENSE1999
90SWING TIME1936
91SOPHIE'S CHOICE1982
92GOODFELLAS1990
93THE FRENCH CONNECTION1971
94PULP FICTION1994
95THE LAST PICTURE SHOW1971
96DO THE RIGHT THING1989
97BLADE RUNNER1982
98YANKEE DOODLE DANDY1942
99TOY STORY1995
100BEN-HUR1959

How many have you seen?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Just For Laughs

Happy Friday! Here are a few giggles I found around the interwebs. Enjoy!


If Moses were alive today he’d come down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and spend the next five years trying to get them published.
- Anonymous


The dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he’s given the freedom to starve anywhere. 

- S.J. Perelman



As far as I'm concerned, "whom" is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.
- Calvin Trillin





Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public.
- Paulo Coelho





How many mystery writers does it take to change a light bulb? 
Two. One to screw the bulb almost all the way in, and one to give a surprising twist at the end.