Such a great book… The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig

Matt Haig is an amazing writer. Over the holidays I found the audio version of The Truth Pixie from the Library. He wrote it in verse and he narrates. Such a fabulous story. It’s about a pixie who must always tell the truth, no matter what she is asked. Of course, many people get angry with her when she speaks so honestly. She feels lonely. Then comes the day that telling the truth saves the day. This story is about her journey of acceptance and loving herself.

The rhyming is so lovely, the story so powerful. I truly think you will fall in love with the book too. The audio is the best. This story puts you in a good mood. GREAT if you need a gift.


You’ve got to read this book, see the title…

A week ago, I was bored with what I was reading. Good books, but they weren’t catching my attention. I’m sure you’ve been there. When we keep reading the same paragraph over and over, it just won’t sink in. I even fast forwarded to the middle of the book to read a few paragraphs – NOPE, my interest in the story was not going to improve.

So, I went to the online library and started browsing. This book by Jack Canfield / Gay Hendricks, You’ve Got to Read This Book!, came up. The title alone got me hooked.

I’m half way through, and I gotta say, it’s a good title, good book. Great stories of people’s lives, some hardships and/ or how they got where they are. Somehow, this book has my attention. I think I like the short story aspect and learning about different people.

Time to head to a bookstore…

Spring / Summer — going to the beach, longing for a book to actually hold and read. Miss hardcover books, too much online reading.

Here’s to exploring the bookstore and buying a new book!

Free Library is back! Expats in Hong Kong, finding prayer…

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You never know what you are going to find on a walk. A friend of mine sent me a picture of this Little FREE Library she found. I continue to be amazed at how creative these neighborhood libraries can be. Normally, I see them as big bird houses, but this was indeed different. I asked her to see what books they had inside.

Take a look, one book called, “The Expatriates” by Janice Y.K. Lee about three female expats in Hong Kong. Then a second book called, “The Water Will Hold You / A Skeptic Learns to Pray,” by Lindsey Crittenden.

Two books, so different. I looked them up online, click on the links. I downloaded and started reading the second book by Crittenden. It’s a bit sad, it deals with family issues. At the same time, the author learns to find prayer and how she does that is interesting.

So, if you walk by a library, stop and take a peek, who knows what you’ll find!

Seattle -> London, a Librarian sets up an Elementray School Library (books for children)


As I am writing a children’s picture book, I have to do research. While my degree is in Elementary Education, I went into business after College. I know, you’re thinking, WHY did you do that. Good question.

Just kidding, it was not lack of effort. Life happens — I moved to California to get married, it was February, I sent out 200 applications for teaching positions, took the CBEST test for licensing, but could not find a job. Nothing! Teaching was not my destiny at the time.

So, I found a job as a Technical Writer. I know, again, you’re thinking, “HOW did that happen?” A twist of fate. I was terrified on my first day. I knew nothing about technical writing. Turns out, I did not need to be technical. I needed to be “smart” and ask the engineers a lot of questions, so I could turn their scribbles into a User Manual. I enjoyed working with the engineers. My biggest question was, “What did you mean by this?

Fast forward to 2015, my heart was “still” with elementary education. I was getting closer to following my passion of writing a children’s book, I had made it to the “research stage.”

One day, clicking here and there, I came across a wonderful Blog called, “LibrarianArika.” I needed to better understand the children’s picture book market AND every week Ms Arika was sharing books she had read, giving her review and sharing lesson plan ideas too.


My heart sunk. Did that mean Ms Arika was going to quit writing?

No, she’s back stronger than ever!

Always wanting to teach, she decided to Skype with her old classroom in Seattle, so they could see London (virtual field trip). She wrote a detailed post on that called, “Bringing Literature to Life with Skype.” She used the Harry Potter books for this.

Ms Arika found a Librarian job in her children’s International school in London. In this post, she shares how she was setting up the Library for the start of school, “Week 1 in a new Library: the behind-the-scenes work.” You’ll be amazed at how much she had to do, I was.

I’m excited that she is back! She’s an excellent Librarian and I know her students will one day say, “Remember when Ms Arika read (insert book name) !” What a great feeling that will be!

I still remember my 4th grade teacher, Mrs Landrum, reading “Charlotte’s Web.” Teachers/Librarians have a big impact on our lives! A big thank you to ALL of them!

Free E-books -> Use OverDrive App


Do you love reading? Do you want to save money? Well, then you should go to your local library, sign up for a library card and download the OverDrive App. I’m not a techie, but even I was able to download the app and with a few pointers from the librarian within minutes I was good to go and had downloaded some audio books.

Why do I mention this? Recently, I was at a coffee shop talking to a friend about the latest books we have been reading. I told her I was listening to a historical mystery on audio by Jason Goodwin called, “The Snake Stone.” She liked the story line of an eunuch detective set in Istanbul at the end of the Ottoman empire. I was happy to hear she wanted to get the book and read it; however, I was surprised when she said she would buy it on Amazon. NOW, great if Amazon makes money, but I told her unless she really wanted to “keep” the book, she could save herself money by downloading the e-book for FREE from the library. That was news to her, she didn’t know about the OverDrive App.

The OverDrive App is easy to use. Once you download it on your smartphone or tablet, you choose the library you belong to, which connects you to your library account and then you start searching for e-books, audio books, and videos, which you than view offline. THIS HAS BEEN GREAT. If you have a long commute to work and are stuck in traffic, it sure is wonderful to have an audio book to listen too.

One note, the OverDrive App does not send you a warning message that your e-book is about to expire. Instead your e-books are just returned. While that is good, it doesn’t allow you to “renew” the e-book, UNLESS you renew three days before the e-book is due to expire. Still, this is a minor disturbance for a free ebook. My next goal is to learn how to download the audio books to my iPod, so walking is more interesting… If you are an expert on this, let me know.


Seattle Freeze / Little Free Library

Seattle cat

Neighborhood Cat

I recently moved to Seattle and I am getting to know the area. As with any move, there is a lot to do… locate a place to live, find a job and make friends.

This is overwhelming and there is a lot of “rejection” in each of those tasks.

At the same time, there is a lot of excitement in exploring a new area. Thank goodness for GPS.

Not long ago a friend asked me if I had experienced the “Seattle Freeze.” Being new, and not thinking quickly enough on my feet, I said, “I didn’t know it snowed here.”

My friend laughed and said, “It’s not about the weather, it’s about the culture. It’s been said that while Seattle folks are friendly, they don’t take it further than answering questions, no one will invite you for coffee, a walk, etc.”

I am happy to report that so far I have not felt the Seattle Freeze!

I was first welcomed by this cat that seemed to be prowling around the front door. He does look a bit like a lion. You can see he was investigating WHO the new tenant was and he didn’t look too pleased. Maybe he was missing the old tenant who left food for him, but I still tried to be friendly.

Oh, and I was recently asked out for drinks… OK, it was a fellow Midwesterner, but “HEY,” she’s been here for two years, so technically not a newcomer anymore.

Seattle Library BirdhouseWhen the rain starts, I can just walk down the street and find a book.

Look at this lovely bird house called the “Little Free Library.” The concept is that you take a book, return a book. Great idea!


Is there really a Seattle Freeze?

If it turns out there is, just look for me at the “Little Free Library.”