Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book club days ...

Thursday was our third meeting.

I know ... where have my posts been? I call it "Momma Brain Fizzle" - a diagnosis of this common ailment covers all areas of forgetfulness, tardiness and plum craziness :)

Here's a little catch-up:

We kicked off our first meeting with a trip to our city's Annual Arts Festival where we took in the inspiring sights, yummy food and amazing talent. Unfortunately, storms were brewing for the day and I left my camera at home with the fear that we would get caught in a downpour ... and guess what? .... we didn't. Doesn't it always seem to work out that way? :)

One of the highlights of the event was meeting Wildlife Photographer Mark Thomas. His work is incredible ... he travels the globe, above sea and below, to capture the most amazing photos. Truly, his gallery is stunning and quite educational. Stop by his spot on the web to view some breathtaking shots. My son picked a beautiful print to give my husband for father's day ...

... magnificent, isn't it? This will soon be displayed after my hubby reclaims the playroom as his own (but, really, it will be the family room - but, shhhh... don't tell him that!)

The festival offered such a wide variety of artists from potters and painters to photographers and jewelry designers coming from all parts of the country. The girls seemed to enjoy the different artistic media and I'd venture to they might have even been a bit inspired from it all. One of our members purchased an ornament from which she is incorporating into her summer project :)

If I haven't mentioned before (and forgive me if I have ...) the girls are dipping their pens into the ink wells this summer and writing their very own children books, topped with illustrations to boot! I am beyond excited by this new venture and have very high hopes that they will create some magic for children with their creative efforts. We are working with a printer to combine their works into an anthology. A very exciting twist to this endeavor is that our local Borders bookstore has offered to view the collection when printed with the possibility of hosting a Book Release/Signing Party for the group. I .... KNOW!! TOO EXCITING FOR WORDS!!

With that said, we have been taking a step-by-step approach with our meetings ... the first was a creative kick-off :) ... the second meeting was a children's book reading & review.

The girls shared their favorite childhood books with each other by reading them aloud. We followed each story with discussion of the character traits, the conflicts of the story, as well as identifying the differences in illustration style. Through 7 titles, they truly gave their attention to one another, lifted each book in a positive light and even found new favorites in the mix.

Our book discussion that day reviewed their summer read of ...

Eggs, by Jerry Spinelli.

It was an intriguing tale of an unlikely friendship between a 9-year old boy who lost his mother a year earlier and is now living with his grandmother and a teenage girl who never knew her father and lives with her eccentric mother. Colorful characters mixed with complex relationships creates this heartfelt story of acceptance and understanding of those people most important in life - - family and friends. The girls really seemed to enjoy this book and gave it an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Good read!!

Now ... this week's meeting was to get their wheel's turning and ideas flowing. I presented the girls with memory journals ...... with the hopes that they will use them as tools to capture funny occurrences or endearing happenings that has been special and meaningful to them. The goal is to drum up original ideas for their storybooks, and I thought that writing entries of memories may help them along with this process - - we'll see. LOL One of our members has completely jumped into this project with gusto and has written her tale and is already working on some sketches - - love that enthusiasm!

This week's book discussion over lunch was the alarming title of ...

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter

I know. Not exactly a book that just jumps off the shelf to parents as a must read -- now the girls? - OH, it made it on almost ALL their lists!! But truth be known ... never judge a book by its cover (or title in this case). It is rated with top marks by parents and YA readers alike. A spy novel featuring Cammie as strong, smart girl who learns to be her own true self through a series of events - including a crush. The girls all enjoyed the book and gave it top ratings. :)

Then, we reviewed the variety of sketching pencils - 6H - 6B (ie, hard to soft) and practiced sketching storybook ideas ...
These are the moments that I love to walk around and see creativity blooming in my very own backyard. It thrills me to be able to guide the girls when needed, or just simply offer encouragement in their work.
These girls have been reading together through summers since second grade ... I feel blessed to have been able to be a part of it. Come fall, they will be entering the halls of the Jr. High ... the same halls that my great-grandmother attended for High School. Yes, that means its old - rumored to be haunted - and no air conditioning ... but it means so much more to me. As tradition and history hold such a dear place in my heart, my cup overfloweth with remembrance as my daughter marks the 5th generation of our family to attend school there. It might be considered silly to some ... but I find it meaningful.

So ... to end this very loooooooooong post ... I wish for you time to enjoy the simple things in life -- make the time to share with the kids ... time to reminisce with your family ... and time to capture the magic of the day.


Nancy said...


Your talent and time are much to be treasured by the girls who are gaining so much by the experiences that you are guiding them to. I want to thank you for what you do best - bring inspiration & creativity together.


Tolentreasures said...

What a great program for the girls! I love that they are writing their own books. Recently, while cleaning out the attic, I found a book that my daughter had wrote in first grade. She is now 30, teaching 6th grade. It was amazing to look back and remember how proud she was of that book. She recently told me that she could not wait to read chapter books to her daughter, that one of her favorite memories of growing up was the before bed chapter of a book that I read to them. You are creating those memories now! How wonderful!

Katie said...

Truly the second book called Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy is the best one of the series that I Would Tell you i love you, but Then I'd have to Kill you is in (so I hope we could read that next year because Ally Carter is my favorite author. Second, what book are we reading this week?

Sara@TCme said...

I love that the girls have been readng togeher since 2nd grade. I am going to have to check out your book suggestions. I love reading young adult books, it takes me back to when I fell in love with reading. Oh, man I wished I lived closer, how (excuse the 80's flashback) totally AWESOME that Borders wants to do a book signing! Please keep us posted. (okay, I'm going to try and leave a comment, let's hope blogger lets me.)

Sara@TCme said...

success! (There is however other blogs I can't comment on, because it doesn't "recognize" me.)

Jen Kershner said...

You are such a good mommy! Your girls are very lucky indeed.