August Goals

It took me awhile to come up with my goals for August because I knew that despite the roll I was on, both planning and reading-wise, my schedule would be changing quite a bit.  It would be unrealistic for me to expect to maintain either levels of productivity.  With that being said, I was able to come up with three goals for the three major areas of my life.  I really did take the time to ensure that they were S.M.A.R.T. goals, which isn’t something I always do.

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Reading Goals for August:

1.  Read daily for a minimum of either 30 minutes or 50 pages.

2.  Complete five full novels – (20 nonfiction articles = 1 novel).

3.  Write a review for each of the novels (nonfiction article sets) I complete.

4.  BONUS: Daily, read two articles my friends/colleagues share with me (either via email or Facebook).

Professional Goals for August:

1.  Convert my text notes from the previous year into Evernote.

2.  Create departmental meeting documents

  • Individual Meeting Form
  • Monthly Meeting Agenda (department-specific)
  • Create individual meeting schedule for the 1st quarter

3.  Create a database of articles to read for our PLC time

Personal Goals for August:

1.  Create weekly dinner menus the week in advance – preferably by Sunday.

2.  Create weekly shopping list based upon the menu created.

3.  Find an outside bookclub to attend

  • Meetup.com
  • Local libraries
  • Barnes and Noble(?)

4.  BONUS: Family Budget

  • Update budget daily – easily done on Quickens
  • Create and maintain a travel budget/savings

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Jen and Kellee atTeachMentorTexts.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for readers to share what picture books, mentor texts, and young adult novels that they have been reading and what titles are to come in the upcoming week.  I am knee-deep in YA Lit love!

What I’m Currently Reading: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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(Via Goodreads)

“Bono met his wife in high school,” Park says.
“So did Jerry Lee Lewis,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be,” she says, “we’re sixteen.”
“What about Romeo and Juliet?”
“Shallow, confused, then dead.”
”I love you,” Park says.
“Wherefore art thou,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be.”

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under

What I’m Currently Listening To, via Audible.com

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

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(Via Goodreads.com)
 12868761Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

What I Completed Over the Past Week: The Elite by Kiera Cass

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( Via Goodreads)  Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending

My Review of The Elite by Kiera Cass

While I really enjoyed reading the first installment of America Singer’s search for a balance between her familial duty and following her own heart in The Selection, I am sad to say that The Elite fell into the dreaded subpar sequel trap.  If The Selection was a fruit salad, then The Elite was a can of fruit cocktail: a lot of the same, but not nearly as fresh or flavorful.  What made this novel stale for me was that the majority of the plot pinged back and forth between Maxon and Aspen winning America over.  The virtuousness that I appreciated in our protagonist’s character in The Selection was almost nonexistent in the sequel.

Something else that bothered me was the drastic change in both America and Maxon.  Maxon was simply Blah in this installment and I missed the heavy dose of personality that was present in the first book.  Also, it was like a literary version of “What’s good for the goose won’t fly for the gander.”  While America fumed at the thought that Prince Maxon would spend his free time getting closer, emotionally and physically, with the other contestants (as is the purpose of the competition), there was no hesitation on America’s part to further confuse Aspen with the dead end hope that they had a future that began anew with flirting and necking in the Illean palace.  I suppose if we’re going to overlook the concept that both America and Prince Maxon flip-flop between kissing partners as much as a spineless politician trying to win Red and Blue States, the one thing that I couldn’t stomach was the way in which author Kiera Cass seemed to forget all of the character that she filled America with in her first novel.  The writing was very similar, except that about 1/3 of the novel could have been cut out.  Perhaps Cass was hoping that she was building more tension with the ebb and flow of America’s heart’s desire, but all it did was make me root for her to get caught with Aspen and get a caning about the face and head.  Ok, so maybe that’s harsh; perhaps to be thrown into the castle’s moat then.

I’m hoping that the third installment will redeem the series, Maxon and Aspen grow a backbone to America’s trifling ways, and America is forced into a career of being a singing, traveling telegram messenger.

Author Love from Tumblr

Happy Birthday to the author of so many literarily and life inspiring poems, Robert Frost.  Without a doubt, the line that truly truly keeps me humble and motivated were his:

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Literary Birthday – 26 March

Happy Birthday, Robert Frost, born 26 March 1874, died 29 January 1963

Quotes

  1. In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
  2. Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.
  3. And were an epitaph to be my story I’d have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
  4. Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
  5. A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
  6. Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
  7. To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.
  8. Modern poets talk against business, poor things, but all of us write for money. Beginners are subjected to trial by market.
  9. No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
  10. Every poem is a momentary stay against the confusion of the world.

Frost was an American poet. He is one of the most popular and critically respected American poets of his generation, Frost received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Also, please let us not forget Tennessee Williams, and celebrating his contributions to this world.  I find his 4th quote below to be the most haunting:

Angels and Demons

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Literary Birthday – 26 March

Happy Birthday, Tennessee Williams, born 26 March 1911, died 25 February 1983

The Top 10 Tennessee Williams Quotes On Writing

  1. At the age of fourteen I discovered writing as an escape from a world of reality in which I felt acutely uncomfortable.
  2. I’m a poet. And then I put the poetry in the drama. I put it in short stories, and I put it in the plays. Poetry’s poetry. It doesn’t have to be called a poem, you know.
  3. When I write I don’t aim to shock people, and I’m surprised when I do. But I don’t think that anything that occurs in life should be omitted from art, though the artist should present it in a fashion that is artistic and not ugly. I set out to tell the truth. And sometimes the truth is shocking.
  4. If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.
  5. The theatre is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would show the door if they came to one’s office for a job.
  6. I don’t have an audience in mind when I write. I’m writing mainly for myself. After a long devotion to playwriting I have a good inner ear. I know pretty well how a thing is going to sound on the stage, and how it will play. I write to satisfy this inner ear and its perceptions. That’s the audience I write for.
  7. What shouldn’t you do if you’re a young playwright? Don’t bore the audience!
  8. I believe the way to write a good play is to convince yourself it is easy to do—then go ahead and do it with ease. Don’t maul, don’t suffer, don’t groan till the first draft is finished.
  9. We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.
  10. The strongest influences in my life and my work are always whomever I love. Whomever I love and am with most of the time, or whomever I remember most vividly. I think that’s true of everyone, don’t you?

Williams was an American playwright who also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs. His  plays are regarded as classics of the American stage and include A Streetcar Named Desire andThe Glass Menagerie. Williams adapted much of his best known work for the cinema.

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

And what would a day be like without some John Green love?
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