I take pictures. I write stories. I build communities online. I am a writer, editor, photographer, and social media community manager available for assignments in the Washington metro area, anywhere else I can get to, and everywhere on the Internet.
There’s a great new world out there for those who dare to claim it. A better day is on the way and only you can change it. ✨
A cartoon by Kaamran Hafeez and Al Batt.
Photos from Marnie, Leader of Team Yell's post
It would seem so easy to just say “thank you” and move on. It would seem!
Here's the tl;dr version of my comic about the science of why it's hard to take a compliment. (The rest is at The Oatmeal . com)
Join Corey D. Samuels Samzbrego TOMORROW at 11:30am on the MCPL Zoom! LEGO STEM is a program that teaches students how to use LEGO to build everyday items and create stories by using their imagination. He will take students through a magical world while demonstrating how to make mythical animals that come from mythical tales.
Samuels, contestant from LEGO Masters and team member from Buddy vs Christmas, will teach you how to use LEGO to create amazing creatures. Log in at https://mcpl.events/LEGO-masters
Sponsored by Friends of the Library, Montgomery County.
From @lindsaycrouse, stitching @dianaweyma
"What kind of champion withdraws at the Olympics?
One who can recognize her limits and stop before she crashes into them. And so in dropping out of the team gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles, the best gymnast America has ever produced, issued a statement as powerful as anything she’s done in competition: She said “enough.”
Obviously, everyone wants to win. So it’s exciting that many of our brightest athletic stars are also recognizing that being the greatest means knowing your own variable limits and when to push through the pain — and when not to force it. How many Olympians have we seen push, persevere and then crumble when the Games are over?"
#olympics #tokyo2020 #gymnastics
Happy Birthday, a day late, to Robin Williams. You gave us words, ideas, and magic. Thank you.
How it’s going.
Be good y'all (or at least neutral)
Remembering the extraordinary life and work of children’s author and illustrator Eric Carle, who died Sunday at the age of 91.
Overthinking is my specialty 💭
We’re so excited to welcome Teresa Hsiao,
co-creator, writer, and Executive Producer of Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, this Thursday at 7pm on the MCPL Zoom! Teresa will discuss Asian American representation on screen as well as her career as a television writer. Teresa has written for American Dad, Family Guy, Fresh Off the Boat, and Black Monday.
More details plus login information at https://mcpl.events/teresa-hsiao. Sponsored by Friends of the Library, Rockville Memorial Chapter.
Why is it that I can record a weekly podcast with no problem but still do this?
Source: @mameerhamza_ on Twitter
Maya Angelou and Sally Ride Will Be Honored on Quarters
The coins are part of a new U.S. Mint program that will feature as many as 20 American women.
Join a special Mother’s Day storytime tomorrow, 5/9, at 10:30am, with the team of Librarian Cissie & her daughter! We’ll read books that are especially fun for two, play with rhymes and finger plays created for two, and sing songs that celebrate the love between children and their parents.
Filled with diverse stories and activities that promote and develop language skills and imagination, library #storytimes encourage young children of all ages to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning and introduce them to the culture of reading.
Login details at mcpl.events/family-storytime
It’s a flashback #bookfacefriday with “Crown: an Ode to the Fresh Cut” by @authorderrickdbarnes. Pick up a copy with your next holds-to-go haul!
Book cover art is fun! If you try it out with your MCPL finds, make sure to tag us. 📚
Check out this Midlife Mixtape episode on albums we’re still listening to, many years later! My love for Cowboy Junkies’ Black-Eyed Man remains the same as when I wrote this piece seven years ago. (Link to the original essay in comments.)
“It means different things all the time, but it always works”: Listeners share stories of the music of their lives, from Prince to Joni Mitchell to The Beastie Boys and everyone in between.
Events for Teens This Week @ MCPL!
Teen Writers Club of Chevy Chase Library.
Are you an aspiring writer? Are you 11-17? Do you want to meet fellow young writers? JOIN US!!
Improve your writing creativity with our club and have fun!! The group is led by Shelby Settles Harper, a local award-winning fiction author and lawyer. Teen Writers' Clubs are an activity of the Maryland Writers' Association, in association in cooperation with public libraries around the state.
7pm: Teen Poets Read from Their Book for National Poetry Month
Celebrate National Poetry Month as Shout Mouse Press presents two poets reading from the anthology 'I Am the Night Sky & Other Reflections by Muslim American Youth.' Leyla Rasheed and Salihah Aakil are part of Shout Mouse Press's community of writers, which mostly includes young people of color, ages 16 to 24, from low-income communities in Washington. In "I Am the Night Sky," ten Muslim American teenagers from Maryland come together to explore what it means to be young and Muslim in America today. The book is available for checkout at mcpl.link/catalog
Teen Writers Club, Little Falls
Are you a teen who loves to make words sing? Then join us for the Little Falls Teen Writers' Club! Every Thursday night, you'll hang out with other teens who share your love of words and may even pick up a tip or two. We play word games and make up zany stuff. We bring in writer guests to talk about the paths they’ve taken. Share if you want to; there's no obligation, no grades, no tests. No attendance taken; drop in as often or as little as you like. Mostly it’s about having fun around writing.
Doesn’t matter what you prefer to write, where you live or go to school, as long as you are of middle-school or high-school age, and a parent or guardian gives the OK, you are welcome. The adult in the room is Frank S. Joseph. A published novelist (To Love Mercy, Mid Atlantic Highlands: 2006), Frank has been a Washington Post and Associated Press reporter and editor, a publisher and publishing entrepreneur, and an award-winning direct-marketing copywriter.
10,000 points for all witches, wizards & muggles who join us for the Harry Potter book discussion, tomorrow at 4pm! This month we’re discussing “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire,” available for immediate download on Hoopla with your MCPL card.
Log-in information at https://mcpl.events/harry-Potter-discussion.
Need a card? Get one at https://mcpl.link/DigitalCard.
My family and I are mourning the loss of our beloved grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama, affectionately known to many as “Mama Sarah” but known to us as “Dani” or Granny. Born in the first quarter of the last century, in Nyanza Province, on the shores of Lake Victoria, she had no formal schooling, and in the ways of her tribe, she was married off to a much older man while only a teen. She would spend the rest of her life in the tiny village of Alego, in a small home built of mud-and thatch brick and without electricity or indoor plumbing. There she raised eight children, tended to her goats and chickens, grew an assortment of crops, and took what the family didn’t use to sell at the local open-air market.
Although not his birth mother, Granny would raise my father as her own, and it was in part thanks to her love and encouragement that he was able to defy the odds and do well enough in school to get a scholarship to attend an American university. When our family had difficulties, her homestead was a refuge for her children and grandchildren, and her presence was a constant, stabilizing force. When I first traveled to Kenya to learn more about my heritage and father, who had passed away by then, it was Granny who served as a bridge to the past, and it was her stories that helped fill a void in my heart.
During the course of her life, Granny would witness epochal changes taking place around the globe: world war, liberation movements, moon landings, and the advent of the computer age. She would live to fly on jets, receive visitors from around the world, and see one of her grandsons get elected to the United States presidency. And yet her essential spirit—strong, proud, hard-working, unimpressed with conventional marks of status and full of common sense and good humor—never changed.
We will miss her dearly, but celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life.
Rest In Peace, Beverly Cleary—a light for decades of readers & dreamers of all ages.
A season to blossom and grow 🌸 Happy first day of Spring!
Want to start or rejuvenate a yoga practice? Join us weekly for yoga @ MCPL! Check out the schedule on the blog, then log on for a variety of teachers and styles. No registration is currently required.
Visit https://mcpl.link/yoga-schedule for this week's classes.
This really sums it up quite nicely, don’t you think?
Pic credit goes to Pie Lady Books
#bookrackpeoria. #bookrackusedbooks. #usedbooks. #shoplocal. #shop309. #peoria
This is the way
Photos from Montgomery County Public Libraries's post
Chillin’ 😎 #coldbernie
A timely message on this MLK Day. We can no longer wait. #mlk #mlkday
I woke up yesterday elated by the news of Reverend Raphael Warnock’s election victory. He’ll be Georgia’s first Black senator, and I was heartened by the idea that the Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church—the home parish of Dr. King and a spiritual and organizational hub during the Civil Rights Movement—would be representing his state in the United States Senate.
In just a few hours, though, my heart had fallen harder and faster than I can remember. Like all of you, I watched as a gang—organized, violent, and mad they’d lost an election—laid siege to the United States Capitol. They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government. And once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days. The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can’t handle the truth of his own failures. And the wreckage lays at the feet of a party and media apparatus that gleefully cheered him on, knowing full well the possibility of consequences like these.
It all left me with so many questions—questions about the future, questions about security, extremism, propaganda, and more. But there’s one question I just can’t shake: What if these rioters had looked like the folks who go to Ebenezer Baptist Church every Sunday? What would have been different?
I think we all know the answer. This summer’s Black Lives Matter protests were an overwhelmingly peaceful movement—our nation’s largest demonstrations ever, bringing together people of every race and class and encouraging millions to re-examine their own assumptions and behavior. And yet, in city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force. We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op.
And for those who call others unpatriotic for simply taking a knee in silent protest, for those who wonder why we need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter at all, yesterday made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbols of our nation. They’ve just got to look the right way.
What do all those folks have to say now?
Seeing the gulf between the responses to yesterday’s riot and this summer’s peaceful protests and the larger movement for racial justice is so painful. It hurts. And I cannot think about moving on or turning the page until we reckon with the reality of what we saw yesterday. True progress will be possible only once we acknowledge that this disconnect exists and take steps to repair it. And that also means coming to grips with the reality that millions voted for a man so obviously willing to burn our democracy down for his own ego.
I hurt for our country. And I wish I had all the solutions to make things better. I wish I had the confidence that people who know better will act like it for more than a news cycle or two. All I know is that now is a time for true patriotism. Now is the time for those who voted for this president to see the reality of what they’ve supported—and publicly and forcefully rebuke him and the actions of that mob. Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection. And if we have any hope of improving this nation, now is the time for swift and serious consequences for the failure of leadership that led to yesterday’s shame.
Thankfully, even in the darkness, there are glimmers of hope. It’s something I imagine Reverend Warnock has preached about before—and I’m still heartened beyond belief that he’s headed to Washington. I’m glad his fellow Georgian, Jon Ossoff is, too, and that together they’ll help give control of Congress back to the only party that’s shown that it can put our democracy above its own short-term political fortunes. I pray that every American, especially those who disagree with them, will give our new Congress, President-Elect Biden, and Vice-President-Elect Harris the chance to lead us in a better direction.
But make no mistake: The work of putting America back together, of truly repairing what is broken, isn’t the work of any individual politician or political party. It’s up to each of us to do our part. To reach out. To listen. And to hold tight to the truth and values that have always led this country forward. It will be an uncomfortable, sometimes painful process. But if we enter into it with an honest and unwavering love of our country, then maybe we can finally start to heal.
There’s likely going to be a large shift towards Biden in the national popular vote tomorrow afternoon due to a quirk in the NYC election laws. The New York City Board of Elections is going to vote to certify the election results at their 1pm meeting, but due to some outdated administrative processes, the only results currently posted online are from in-person voting. We’re still missing the results of every vote-by-mail, which represent about 30% of the city’s vote total. These mail-in ballots have been collected and counted at warehouses throughout the city since Election Day. The Commissioners of the NYC BOE (a longstanding NY political patronage job) then have to meet and agree to certify the results before mail-in totals are updated on their website. They missed an original Nov. 28 deadline but they promise to certify tomorrow. It’s a slow and inefficient system but there is nothing nefarious about it.
I have no doubt that this will lead to the same calls of voter fraud from bad actors who have been at it for weeks. There will be all-caps tweets about the hundreds of thousands of additional votes added to the totals nearly a month after the election. These updated numbers should add to Biden's lead, with a combination of his strength in deep-blue NY along with the propensity of his voters to vote-by-mail. Tomorrow is just our notification of the official count. In nearly all cases, these ballots were correctly counted by BOE officials weeks ago.
Of course, New York missed an opportunity here to shut this down by providing real-time, or at least daily, updates. Still, if we all remember that these new totals are just the public notification of valid votes, our collective faith in our democracy will be better off for it.
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