Library Days: Rancho Santa Margarita Library

My latest library visit led my to Rancho Santa Margarita Library in you guessed it — Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. This visit happened shortly after the LA13SCBWI Summer Conference, so I was really in need of a decompression day.

I started my day with a manicure at the Luxe Organic Nail & Spa and had my nails painted with my latest color obsession — mint! I love that they use organic products and natural cleaning products. Not all of their polish is organic but they do have some options that are.

PolishThen I headed for a sushi lunch at Sake Sushi. Can you see the steam rising from my lightly salted edamame?

IMG_2075Finally, I made my way to the library. Naturally, I looked at the return cart first, curious to see what the children were reading. The books were arranged in such a haphazard way it made me believe that the picture book section was being thoroughly enjoyed that day. A storyteller was there as well reading aloud several picture books to a handful of cheerful and inquisitive children.

IMG_2060I also grabbed several books to study that were recommended by Deborah Halverson at the Summer Conference as excellent examples of picture book rhythm. Her suggestions were spot on and included:

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed By Margaret Chodos-Irvine

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

An excerpt from my favorite, Pete The Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, a fantastic example of picture book rhythm that I could read over and over any day.

Did Pete cry? Goodness, no. Buttons come and buttons go.

 He kept on singing his song:

My buttons, my buttons, my two groovy buttons. My buttons, my buttons, my two groovy buttons.

Overall, I had a glorious outing. I have two more weeks of summer, and hopefully a few more trips to the library left. I love my summer library days.

Goodreads Challenge 2011 — Completed! Onward 2012!

Happy New Years!  I am so excited to announce I completed the Goodreads Reading Challenge 2011.  I finished with 47 books total.  I entered the challenge late — in May, as I wasn’t aware the challenge even existed.  So, I am hoping to read EVEN MORE in 2012! I am setting my goal with Goodreads as a conservative one to start, at 60 books, but hopefully I can increase it later in the year.  (On my blog, I have challenged myself to read 75 children’s, middle grade or YA books here. Yikes! Wish me luck!)

I truly believe reading, reading, and more reading has helped me become a better writer. Truth be told, reading good books inspired me to write in the first place. And, an added bonus — It feeds my soul.  Here’s to 2012, a year full of delightful reads!

How about you? Did you complete a Reading Challenge in 2011? How about 2012? It’s a new year, the perfect time to embark in new endeavors.  Cheers everyone!

Loving my new Kindle

A few weeks ago my husband bought me a Latest Generation Amazon Kindle for my birthday. I don’t have any other kindle models to compare it to, but nonetheless I am very happy with it. It sure beats what I was using before. Last December my brother-in-law gave my hubby an itouch for Christmas. At night time, when he wasn’t using it I hijacked it and instantly downloaded the Kindle application for itouch. From December 2009 until now I had been reading books off of the itouch. The screen was tiny and I had to turn pages every few seconds but it did the job. So in essence, in the contest of kindle vs. itouch for reading, kindle wins, no contest. I am also amazed at how much the screen text looks like an actual page out of a book. I’m all for authenticity. Now all it needs is to emit puffs of paperback scented air every few seconds and it will have completely replicated the sensory experience of reading a physically real book.


So what am I reading at the moment you might ask? For pleasure I am reading “Blue Moon: The Immortals.” by Alyson Noel. My favorite genres have always been YA and adult dark & urban fantasy, and Sci-Fi. I loved reading the Twilight series but my love for this type of  book began many years earlier with books such as Christopher Golden’s “Of Saints and Shadows” and L.J. Smith’s “The Vampire Diaries” being among my favorites.

I’m also reading a few books on writing right now including Stephen King’s “On Writing” and William Strunk’s “Elements of Style.”

If you have a kindle and have not checked out Amazon’s huge selection of Free Popular Classics, you should do so. I have downloaded “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen and “Anne’s House of Dreams” by L.M. Montgomery to name a few.

I love being organized, so having all of books in one place on my kindle has been very comforting for me. You can also put your books into categories which I found to be equally delightful!

Do you own an e-reader? How do you like it?