Current Events, Everything, Poetry, Writing

Fury Released

She radiates fire and demands justice be served to those who have so wronged others.

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Everything, Poetry, Theatre, Writing

It Does Not Rise the Same

Flying faster and harder than had been known for her species before, the bird pushes through the sky.

She dodges buildings and trees and airplanes as they seem to leap into her path.

Still faster and faster she flies.

Into the darkness.

She knows that she can fly harder, so she does. And she’s carrying extra burdens, extra weight to carry with her. Sticks for her nest, food for later.

Still she flies. Pushing through the sky.

She knows that if she burns herself out, it’s fine.

She’s a Phoenix. She will always rise from her ashes.

So she continues to fly and fly and fly.

But something changes.

She loses her grip on the burdens. Sticks start to slip from her grasp.

A predator swoops in, steals her food, and is gone before she’s registered what’s happened.

She’s left with nothing but herself.

Still she pushes on.

Through the sky.

Faster.

You see, she’s set herself up to compete with birds of other species. Smaller ones, faster ones. Ones who can travel at that rate.

A rate at which she was not meant to travel.

The birds of other species love the Phoenix, but they don’t understand her need to keep up with them.

For she is a fine bird. But the Phoenix does not see it so.

So she competes.

Faster.

And faster.

Until it’s too much.

She starts to burn, but she doesn’t fear. She knows she will rise again from her ashes.

Like always.

So she embraces the warmth.

Until it’s gone.

Everything’s gone.

It’s just her mind.

Just her.

Then, nothing.

Puzzled, the other birds gather ’round the ashes, waiting.

Although a different kind of bird, she was unique.

Setting her standards high and her expectations higher proved to be her downfall.

Tentatively, the other birds approach the ashes.

There, they spot it. The tiniest baby bird, unlike that of a Phoenix.

It’s still the Phoenix, but the others don’t know it just yet.

She’s taken on a new form.

She’s smaller and lighter, but she cannot carry the loads of her past self.

She must only carry herself.

Whether she will grow into a better bird is yet to be seen.

But, she must start from scratch.

As herself.

And though she does not yet realize it, she has a whole group of other birds who will show her the way.

As she rises again, yet not the same.


This is a first draft.

Everything, Writing

Daily Prompt: Relocating Reflections

via Daily Prompt: Relocate

What does it mean to relocate?

We can relocate our lives. We can take new jobs and move to a new city, state, or country. We can move within our own city and feel as though we’re relocating.IMG_9985

I’ve recently moved from a townhome into an apartment in the city, and I feel like I’ve moved halfway across the country.

We can even relocate our relationships, in a way. We can change our focus, we can move away from relationships that are causing us harm. We can move toward relationships that provide value for our lives.

I’ve had quite a few people relocate in my life, some people who are very close to me. Some relocations by choice, others by necessity.

Personally, I love moving. I always reach for a chance for a fresh start. I love being able to start over and say, “let’s go.”

I kind of see “relocate” as “restart” or “refresh.”

This can happen at any time, even in the middle of a day.

You can physically move, you can move your thinking, you can move your focus in your life.

You can relocate.

 

Current Events, Everything, Poetry, Writing

The Bubble of Ignorance – Part 2

Okay, firstly, I hadn’t intended on publishing something twice in a row. This is my 100th post, and it’s not what I envisioned sharing. But this is the world we live in now, and I can’t make happy, woo, cutesy posts when our world is continuing to face terrible acts of injustice, murder, and hatred.

Over two years ago, I wrote and later published a post about my feelings on the so-called Islamic State.

In those two years, my knowledge and understanding about how they work has grown.

I’ve started speaking out more about them, as well as many other injustices happening around the world. Since publishing that post, I have made an effort to not live in my bubble of ignorance. I’ve started protesting and educating myself and people around me about what’s going on. I’ve become particularly passionate about what’s going on in Syria.

Okay, enough intro. Here’s my follow up on The Bubble of Ignorance, especially in the wake of the attack on the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Once again, it’s unedited because I just wrote it.


Here you sit, in your bubble of ignorance.

I suppose it’s better than indifference and apathy.

But you laugh at me

When I call you out.

“What more can I do?” You say, as you scroll through Facebook endlessly.

Your thoughts and prayers are with them, you say,

When in actuality,

You’re hoping that I just go away

And let you return

To your bubble of ignorance.

Because you can’t be blamed for not acting

When you simply didn’t know

About the killing

Or the drilling

Or the missing

Or the chilling scenes of death, despair, and destruction

That flood my Facebook feed, but somehow you’ve tailored your feed

To only show you things you want to see.

That’s fair,

But you know what isn’t?

That you get to sit happily in your bubble of ignorance

While PEOPLE in Syria

And around the world

Are crying

Are DYING

Are trying to get to safety.

Are risking everything for their family.

When all you risk is your “image.”

“Facebook should be about happy things,” you say.

Fine, and by the way,

Your privilege says, “Hey.”

You can’t rush away from this injustice.

Now, trust us,

You’ll be asking for trouble

If you’re caught

Sitting in your bubble

Of ignorance.

Everything, Poetry, Writing

The Open Mic

Ten feet away, an idol stands at a microphone in front of her.

The idol announces that her turn is up in 3, and she isn’t sure

whether she’s ready.

She’s never been one to be so real

in front of strangers, and she doesn’t want to steal

the spotlight from people

whose stories matter more than hers.

Not that she thinks she’s any good.

It’s the opposite. She supposes she could

decide to leave or withdraw, but she sticks it out.

She practically blacks out during the next two sets,

but she tries to focus.

The man before her is powerful

with a message that empowers.

Will her message empower?

No.

But it’s her turn.

The idol returns and announces that she’s up.

Is that really her name? It sounds unnatural, and she wants to throw up.

But she stands up

and faces the open mic.

18528024_10212829200907499_2685136805552932061_n.jpg

I did my very first open mic the other night. I read Stubborn and Enough. I think it went well, but it was terrifying. Thanks to everyone who supported me that night, and special thanks to Kristine for taking me.

River Secrets Book Cover
Everything, Grad School, Libraries

Thoughts: River Secrets by Shannon Hale

This is a post for my LIS S401 class: Computer-Based Information Tools.

Many of you have wondered why my cat’s name is Razo (and those who have known me for some time have also wondered why my parents have a cat named Enna).

For reference, here are Razo and Enna:

Razo the cat
Razo
Enna the cat
Enna

These cats are named after two characters in a book series I have read several many times over. Shannon Hale was first recommended to me by Bev, our children’s librarian. After reading the Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, I began reading the Books of Bayern in reverse order (on accident!). I didn’t realize they had an order. The books were so well-written that I didn’t need the background stories to follow along.Enna Burning Book Cover

There are four Books of Bayern:

The Goose Girl

Enna Burning

River Secrets

Forest Born

The books follow the characters: Isi, Geric, Enna, Finn, Razo, Dasha, and Rin.

Out of all of the books, Enna is the character I liked the most (though I do connect with both her and Rin), Finn is the male character I liked the most, and Razo is a good guy and great comic relief.

Enna the cat and Razo the cat are named because their personalities line up closely with their corresponding characters.

River Secrets follows Razo’s journey as he travels into the land of his enemies, Tira. He feels useless and questions why he was even picked to accompany fellow members of Bayern’s Own on an important ambassador mission. Razo’s friendly personality and his keen eye for noticing things end up playing a huge role in the mission.River Secrets Book Cover

This is the one book out of the four that I can read over and over again and never get bored. There’s so much action, so much humor, and so much story to tell.

River Secrets is a story of compassion, understanding, and compromise.

It’s the only book in the series of four that features a male character (Yay for strong female characters!), but Razo’s tale is one of uplifting and supporting his female friends, and it is in no way your typical male-hero story.

River Secrets is captivating and will leave you questioning who the real bad guy is until the very end.

I highly recommend you check out the entire Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale, and River Secrets isn’t one to pass over.

Everything, Grad School, Libraries

Thoughts: Social Networks

This is a post for my LIS S401 class: Computer-Based Information Tools.

You could say I’m fairly connected. I use a variety of social media in my daily life. I have a Facebook, a Pinterest, an Instagram, a LinkedIn, and I operate Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages for several of my employers and organizations I volunteer for (I’ve added hyperlinks as an example).

I’m on Facebook the most, though I would say 90% of my posts are uploaded from Instagram. I use LinkedIn to connect to people I know professionally. I use Pinterest to plan crafts, displays, and to store good ideas (and yes, I actually found Pinterest helpful when planning my wedding).

However, even though I’m on a lot of social networks, I make a conscious effort not to use them too much, though they all are useful.

I check Facebook multiple times a day, I check Instagram a couple of times a day (and I post maaaaybe twice a week), I scroll through Pinterest a couple of times a week, and I check LinkedIn once a week.

Since social media is normally not a very private platform, I use it to highlight events in my life, to express some of my personality and opinions, and to promote things I care about.

Each social network is useful in its own way.

Below, I’ll list out the uses for two social networks I use: Facebook and LinkedIn.


Facebook – Facebook is really good for keeping track of friends whom I can’t see much because of our schedules or who live elsewhere (such as the friends I made while studying abroad). I mainly use Facebook to find articles; a lot of my friends share a lot of really interesting reads. I also use Facebook to interact with certain groups of people, such as the NaNoWriMo group for Indy. Lastly, I opt to have most of my blog posts share to Facebook automatically.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is good for keeping track of your professional accomplishments as well as those of others. I use it to connect with people I know from work and from classes. The idea of this social network is networking. We connect with people and present our best professional selves to them. We update our profiles, which contain professional images, examples of work, work history, and recommendations from others. It’s a social network where colleagues can congratulate each other on work-related milestones. Like with Facebook, I opt to have most of my blog posts share to LinkedIn automatically.

LinkedIn differs from Facebook in the type of content that is posted on each account. Facebook is mainly for personal information, such as the day-to-day goings-on in life. LinkedIn is reserved for work- and education-related content.


Value for Library and Information Science Professionals

Social media is a useful tool for libraries and other organizations. The IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI has a Facebook page where they share articles, events, information, and more. For example, they recently posted to upcoming graduates the following:

SOIC ExampleThis is a great medium for places to share information. However, Facebook has a “mysterious” algorithm that doesn’t always allow everyone to see your posts unless they visit your page specifically. So you’ll want really important information to be shared multiple times (Hootsuite is a great tool for planning posts in advance).

Facebook is also a great way to express the “personality” of your library. Some library Facebook pages are very professional and some feel very connected to their patrons online.

I use the library’s Facebook page to share library programs, community events, pictures from events and programs, upcoming happenings for the library system in general, closing information, new services (such as our new fax machine!), and occasionally articles.

We are in the process of building our Pinterest page, but we currently use it to highlight books and materials on display at the library, staff picks, and programs. We also have secret boards where myself and other staff members can save pins for display and craft ideas.

Our Twitter is the least-utilized of all of our social media accounts, but we occasionally use it to “live tweet” events currently happening.

Social media is a great tool for libraries to get in touch with their communities, to share events, to show patrons what goes on at the library, and to make the library seem less like a building and more like a place to be.

One last thing that I have noticed while operating social media accounts for a library is that it allows for patrons who can’t physically make it into the library (home-bound patrons) to connect with us on a social level.

I would highly recommend libraries and library professionals to become familiar with social media, as it is a great tool for them as professionals and their organizations.

Do you use social networks? What are your favorites? What don’t you like?