Inspirational Literary Quotes-14March2018

From Lesley M.M.Blume’s Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters(pg.208):

“All story endings should be either witty or meaningful–preferably both.”


Writerly Tips: Finding a Creative Time and Place

While in the Literature & Writing Studies graduate program, one subject that kept coming up–especially in creative writing workshops–was the need to discover our own writing process.

There were a number of aspects to it, but the essential puzzle piece involved finding a time of day or place that helped us get our creative juices flowing.

Everyone has their own creative time and space.

For instance, one writer might find it easier to write in the late evening (maybe after a long day at work), with her or his feet up. Meanwhile, another writer could prefer to write in the early morning right before their day really starts, while standing up and leaning over a table.

I’ve heard of famous authors who preferred to write while doing such things as soaking in their bathtubs to laying in bed.

Whatever your writing process, it should feel natural and comfortable.

Sometimes we writers don’t have the luxury of choosing where or when we want to write; however, understanding our process can help us reach out for those elements that can make our lives a little easier.

I hope that helps!

Writer Journal–12March2018

Hi, everyone!

Have you ever had difficulty navigating around your WordPress site, arranging categories and your site’s pages?

I’ve grappled with several of those types of issues over the last few days, but now I think I’ve finally managed to figure out everything in that front.

In other words, I apologize if anyone has had trouble getting around my site due to issues with the menus!

Book Review: This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson

Rating: Highly Recommended

Pages: 282

Published by: HarperCollins Publishers

As I’m sure many people would agree, libraries provide havens of knowledge and offer invaluable services for any community lucky enough to have one. The San Marcos Public Library, for one example, provides any number of materials to check out—from books to DVDS—but also holds storybook hours, academic tutoring, and tax information workshops. In addition, libraries come in a wide variety of roles—including ones focused on university collections (like the Kellogg Library at Cal State San Marcos) or that hold genealogical records for their distinct regions (such as the Pioneer Room archives at the Escondido Public Library).

Considering their importance in relation to the knowledge they possess, and to the communities of people they serve, the issue of how libraries and their librarians handle emerging technologies is an important one.

The fact that the very heart of Marilyn Johnson’s This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All focuses on technological shifts in libraries thus turns her work into a timely read. Johnson—current editor of Esquire, among other notable publications— explores different facets and issues found in the library field as it presently stands, through an easy-to-digest essays.

Truly, one of the greatest strengths in This Book is Overdue is in its conversational prose style. Johnson discusses her forays into the library field like an enthusiastic explorer. It is easy to follow along in her interviews with the head of reference services at the Chappaqua Library in New York, or in her navigation of the blogs produced by an increasing number of librarians who wish to highlight their holdings or activities, or even her voyages into Second Life (an online platform getting used to create virtual libraries, develop digital collections, network, etc.).

Johnson develops the term “Cybrarians” as a new term attached to the many talents librarians must now have, indicating the importance technology now plays within their profession. In an age where so much information gets transmitted online, Johnson suggests, librarians or cybrarians are now learning to manage vast computer databases, digitize paper-based materials, and continue to improve accessibility for their patrons—all while dealing with dwindling funds allotted to them by legislators throughout the nation.

A crucial point that comes up again and again in This Book is Overdue concerns the tremendous financial struggles faced by libraries, which Johnson emphasizes need our support to remain up and running to the best of their abilities. These are places that go out of their way to help people, without asking for payment from the people who frequent them; a rare gem, indeed. Johnson highlights this need through her visits to various libraries, interviews, and attended ALA conferences.

The essays found in Johnson’s work also have a nice arrangement that guides the reader on towards more complicated issues. “Information Sickness,” one of the first essays in the collection, describes the gradual transition libraries have made in their use of technologies, and explores public opinion as to where libraries should stand in terms of the materials and technologies they should possess for patrons. Meanwhile, the midway “Big Brother and the Holdout Company” addresses the lesser-known tale of a group of librarians who sought to protect their patrons’ privacy despite a gag order due to the Patriot Act. Yet another essay, “What’s Worth Saving?”—found close to the end—ponders over the fine details of what materials and formats libraries might focus on preserving for future generations.

I would recommend This Book is Overdue for anyone interested in discovering what types of issues currently confront the library world, the types of innovative things librarians are up to in connection with emerging technologies, and simply ways in which our libraries need or could use the support of their home communities.

Literary Blog Journal—5March2018

Southern California is experiencing one of the worst cold and flu seasons we’ve seen for quite a while. I’ve seen several reports now on KCAL9 News, and even ABC, stressing its contagiousness and severity. Many of my friends and family members have fallen ill, or are out on sick leave.

With the above in mind, I hope everyone who reads this post is well—or if, unfortunately, you have fallen ill amid the cold and flu season (no matter where you live), I hope you make a speedy recovery!


In happier news, however, Southern California also received our first actual snowfall at an evaluation of under 2500 feet. Which means that more places than usual got to enjoy days of building snowmen, making snow angels, and simply gazing at the drifting snowflakes outside.

Beautiful. It’d been such a long time since I’ve seen any snow.

Do all snowflakes look like the fluffy, loose feathers of baby birds? That’s what they resembled for me. ^_^


Just out of curiosity, what are your favorite memories of snow and wintertime?

Book Review: Irish Fairy & Folk Tales, edited by W.B. Yeats

Rating: Recommended

Pages: 416

Published by: Dorset Press

William Butler Yeats is a beloved 19th-century poet and playwright in literature. Born in Dublin, his works–particularly his poetry–have preserved his thoughts and ideas for centuries (an inspirational thought).

However, like many great writers of note, Yeats also did his part to ensure the games of other people endured as well. That includes the need to keep alive the knowledge of folklore passed among through the ages.

Yeats separated each section of this anthology based of distinct legends in Ireland, such as changelings, kelpies, ghosts, and giants. And, in each instance, Yeats gives a brief yet fair overview of their history within Irish lore.

So if you have an interest in delving into crafty fairy tales from Ireland, Yeat’s anthology is a perfect choice.

Happy reading!

Book Review: Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory

Rating: Recommended

Pages: 210

Published by: Penguin Books

I came across Ben Loory’s Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day in the Fiction section of my local library.

On my first reading through its collection of dream-laden short stories (with many flash fictions woven into its tapestry), I half-wondered if it might rest better in the Fantasy or Science Fiction sections; until I realized Loory’s work really doesn’t for cleanly into one particular category of genre literature or another.

As mentioned, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day contains a collection of tales–which cover anything from televisions that randomly gain life and compose programs on Winston Churchill to Octopuses who rent apartments in major cities. It is an quirky gathering of dreams.

Dreams are, as the book’s title suggests, the central theme that connects all these seemingly random incidents together. Loory has done a wonderful job in giving the impression of these tales being things someone might experience in their dreams. The hypnotic tone of the prose only intensifies that overall mood.

My favorite story would have to be the first, however, entitled “The Book,” a piece that has a lot to say about our personal interpretations of literature.

I would recommend Loory’s collection for reading right before bed, and at off moments for a little douse of peculiarity.

Writer’s Log (Feb 18, 2018)–Confirmation and Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Hi everyone!

After a very satisfying and festive week, with a warm Valentine’s Day celebration and the beginning of the Chinese New Year of the Dog, I’m back to this blog at last!

Right on Valentine’s Day, l learned that CSUSM had conferred my master’s degree. So that made the day bright, alongside several cards from loved ones.

I hope everyone reading this post had a fun week!

In addition to the above-mentioned happenings, news of an intriguing animated film has started to spread around the internet: Mary and the Witch’s Flower.

Inspired by Mary Stewart’s The Little Broomstick, Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the tale of a young girl who visits a magical (yet dark) school. It’s the first film by Studio Ponoc, whose head animator came straight from Studio Ghibli ( Spirited Away, Ponyo, etc.); and that heritage shows through in the trailer released for it.

Apparently, we’re supposed to see the film over here in North America sometime around March or June. But the wait is worthwhile.

Happy reading!