Thursday, August 15, 2019

Sharing Books with Little Free Libraries: Phinney Ridge in Seattle

One of the summer camps my kid attends is located in the north part of Seattle, and instead of navigating back and forth across I90, dropping off and picking up during rush hour traffic, we have ourselves a staycation. This time we rented a dog-friendly house, and I came prepared with books for a Little Free Library hunt. Hello, Phinney Ridge!

Palatine Ave

Most of the houses I find by using the Little Free Library map, which a lot of times shows a picture of the library and/or a brief description if it's in a difficult-to-find spot or off-street, like the inside a hotel lobby or in a filing cabinet in a small town grocery store. Normally, the book houses show their placards proudly, "Take a book. Share a book."

Free Little Library Map

Evanston Ave

Dayton Ave

78th Street

Creepy Cute Details

81st Street

83rd Street

74th Street

Sometimes though, I stumble across a library, like the one on 73rd Street, which seems to be run by a rogue kind of librarian. Off the beaten path, no placard, not in the system, running their own show.

Independent Library on 73rd Street

Even though my "Share a book" stash of eight ran dry, we were still stumbling across miniature book houses. Phinney Ridgers love to read and each library had some interesting inventory. The adventure continued, until over the past three days, we'd accumulated a pile of books for next month's reading challenge!

Tiny and Cute
Another Independent Free Library

 So first we shared books and then we took books. Our treasures included:

1.) Writer's Inc: A Guide to Writing, Thinking & Learning by Sebranek, Meyer, and Kemper - Writing
2.) The Work-Play Book Dictionary by Gates and Huber - Vintage Childrens
3.) Lunch Money and Other Poems About School by Carol Diggory Shields - Childrens Picture Book
4.) Henry IV Part One by William Shakespeare - Classic
5.) The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen - Young Adult
6.) Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus - Middle Grade
7.) Archie's Campfire Stories by Archie Comics - Middle Grade

Took Books
...with Tilly and Tango

8.) Paper Cut in China by Unknown - Childrens Nonfiction, Art
9.) The World of Richard Stine by Richard Stine - Art
10.) The Emerald Ring by Dorine White - Middle Grade

"Have your whole heart bent on a single purpose." ~ The Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Northern Oregon Coast: Sharing Books with Little Free Libraries

While camping at the Cannon Beach RV Resort with full hookup--which meant worry-free twinkle lights and unlimited country music on the radio--I set aside a day to map out Little Free Libraries in the area. First stop involved a coastal walk to downtown Cannon Beach.

An Early Morning on Cannon Beach
Tilly and Tango run amok.

Baby Seal Sighting

Haystack Rock

Cannon Beach Community Church

The next leg involved a car ride north on highway 101 alongside the beautiful Ecola Beach. Lots of traffic, pedestrians in flip-flops, saltwater taffy, and ocean air. Let me tell you, touring and hunting the streets for these cute doll-houses filled with books is a really fun way to spend an afternoon. 

Seaside, Oregon

 My friend drove while I read the map and described what I thought we were looking for...Do you see it? The picture shows it's painted white with a shingle roof. Is that it? That's it! Pull over! Then I'd tuck in a book--sometimes with a handcrafted bookmark inside--and snap a picture for the blog.

Gearhart, Oregon

Gearhart, Oregon

I love the sense of achievement. Check, check, and check. When my list was completed, we headed back to our site to kick up our own flip-flops, relax around the campfire, and roast a few marshmallows. Camping life resumed.

"The camp fell quiet." ~ from Burnout by Stacia Leigh

Thursday, August 01, 2019

August 2019 Reading Challenge: Self Reflection

August Reading Challenge: Self Reflection

My August reading challenge is about self-reflection since I've been feeling a bit lost as an author, my motivation and inspiration as arid and dusty as Central Oregon's high desert. It's a place where I've spent a lot of my summer, camping and being with family.

The High Desert of Central Oregon

Lake Billy Chinook
Culver, Oregon

I'm not complaining one bit, though, because it's a beautiful area. It lead me to see that even when the creative well may seem dry, there is still something beautiful to discover. So while I had many questions for myself--Why do I write? Who am I writing for? Should I give up? Do something different? Try again?--the high desert gave me my answer: look inside, restart, finish the book in a month, go all in, and treat myself with love and gelato!


Here's the Self-Reflection line up:

"That frown wasn't coming along." ~ ESPIALdesign