Posted in awareness, Books, Quotes, Social Justice

Book Recommendations that Speak Out Against Injustice

Hello everyone, the moderator of our alumni book club wrote me an email a few weeks ago, and I wanted to share with everyone who may be interested apropos of current events.

Hi Sa,

“Books are a form of political action. Books are knowledge. Books are reflection. Books change your mind.” -Toni Morrison

In light of the current moment, many resources and books have been circulating that may promote understanding and facilitate meaningful conversations about injustice. As such, we understand that your reading priorities may be shifting directions. We support book club members in reading whatever literature speaks to them at this time. We will continue to send information and questions related to our summer reading period. Feel free to jump in to the Online Forum (http://tamusa.pbc.guru) whenever you’d like to engage with the group or to share and discuss some of the books you are reading independently this summer. 

Additionally, we imagine our book club members are seeking books and other resources that speak to the preexisting and immediate conditions from which many communities suffer. Such topics might include justice, equity, equality, diversity, the systems that built, support, block and/or degrade these principles, how we got here, and ways in which we can be agents of change in working to build a better world. In line with this goal, we think you may find the following works to be of interest and of value on that journey:

Recommended Resources

A list of book recommendations to get started:

When considering where to buy books, you may be interested in checking out this list put together by Lithub of black-owned independent bookstores that offer ordering/shipping options.

Similarly, we welcome members to share book recommendations in our Book Recommendations thread within the Introductions and General Topics category in the Online Forum (http://tamusa.pbc.guru). Please know that we believe in the importance of this community reading books from a range of voices and perspectives, and we sincerely welcome your input.

Be well,
Tessa
Texas A&M-San Antonio Alumni Book Club
Online Forum (http://tamusa.pbc.guru)

Posted in Dreams, fiction, Nature, poetry

Painting Landscapes with Bob Ross

It’s the imperfections that make something beautiful. That’s what makes it different and unique from everything else.

– Bob Ross

Last night, I enjoyed digitally painting alongside Bob Ross for the first time. His soothing voice helped quell any anxiety as he takes you away to a fantasy world of luscious landscapes. Bob also said that as you’re painting, you can create a story along the way. So, I will link up to Denise, author of Girlie on the Edge’s Blog for her Six Sentence Story word prompt.

Invigorated by the fleeting, fresh smell of pine, Mirela admired the radiance rippling across the lake during her morning stroll in the fields while munching on her croissant breakfast egg and ham sandwich.

Mirela vanquished her fear of unknown and retreated to the mountains, a dream destination, away from the noise and bustle of the city life she’s been in the thick of for decades.

The care of her sanity was treated with high priority during a tumultuous time in history, so the guidance of her heart has led her and her husband to this peaceful place.

She enjoys the quiet moments of checking out the woodland creatures scurrying away to their homes holding food tightly to their chest while hiking her way through the woods.

As she came back from her brisk walk, her husband had just finished chopping wood to add to the crackling fire on the hearth of the fireplace.

They walk into the cabin together preparing to drink a glass of delicious wine and feast on some delicious pot pie.

Also in response to:

Posted in flashback, poetry

If I could write a letter to my body, it would say …

Photo by Taisiia Shestopal (taisiia_shestopal) provided by Unsplash

Dear Delicate Vessel of Mine,

You’re an absolute mystery to me
Waking up to a bold, astringent black tea
As you relish a reading from the Code of DaVinci
Skin tingling to the sight of the coral sea

Hands enable such meticulous notes
Empowering the mind within to vote
Legs traversing far and wide
In a march to express one’s pride

A dedicated immune system army
Attacking bacteria on a hellish landscape
Fever scorches the battle field journey
Host defense system seeks an escape

Despite the strength you have some days,
Help is needed to get through the maze
No need to fight imaginary hallucinations
After donning the armor of medications

Confiscate the germ
You set the terms
As it squirms
Be firm!

Appreciatively,
A Grateful Heart

In response to:

Posted in Culture, fiction, Photography, Quotes

Legend of Felexia: Recycling Outreach

“LEGO has essentially taken the concrete block, the building block of the world, and made it into the building block of our imagination.”

Ayah Bdeir

Good evening everyone! I have missed being here. Taking a short break from all of my duties in the world, indulge myself in a bit of storytelling, and play with some legos.

For the life of me, I’m having trouble solving these Lego riddles. 7 years ago during Lego’s 55th anniversary, the company issued 55 graphic riddles where LEGO bricks represent various characters from movies, songs, cultural or political highlights that occurred over the last 55 years. Here’s an example of one picture:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears, perhaps? 🙂 Ok THIS one might have been the easiest!

Below is a story that I’ve been meaning to share in my other social media sites. However, it seems that something keeps holding me back. I’m not sure the cause for my hesitation as I’m trying to market for a recycling outreach in an imaginative way.

“The only thing 12-year-olds crave is more Lego. Lego is fun; it’s therapeutic. It’s a beautiful sensation when you click the pieces together.”

James May

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away where ingenuity reigned… 😉

…there lived a domestic cat-lady named Felexia who was fairly content. Yet, she left her beautiful, humble home in the planet of Gnivri to explore the mysteries of the unknown.

Felexia’s Home

An adventurous spirit, she decided to embark on a journey by joining a fleet of star cat cadets to her parents disapproval. With the lead lieutenant’s help, Felexia became a star pilot of the Millenium Falcon and a strong-will warrior familiar with martial arts originally acquired from various foreign lands.

Felexia treats this ship as if it’s her baby

One day after narrowly evading a dangerous asteroid belt in the alpha quadrant, they passed by the planet Earth. The Alien Relations departments of various countries reached out to them to establish lines of communication. Defensive teams were ready to strike with missiles, but were standing by waiting for the commander. India was open-minded and allowed Felexia to transport herself onsite to further discuss intentions. Felexia was about to tour the beautiful Taj Majal.

Scanning the crowd, Felexia noticed a young lady in a bit of trouble, and rescued her from a doomed fate. Indebted to Felexia, she tags along to glean from Felexia’s prowess while Felexia was equally intrigued by Sa’s human idiosyncracies.

Felexia learned that Sa was participating in a Recycle Rally alongside with the Alamo Ranch Rotary Club to help out an high school communications art teacher.

And so… Felexia whips Sa’s recycling goals and then some into shape!

*wuh-PSSSH!*

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart

FOWC – Riddle

Word of the Day Challenge: Outreach

Posted in Dreams, Events, Music, Quotes

SoCS: 2020 Vision – Happy New Year!

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! 

Happy new year everyone! I hope you all had a blessed day! Cheers to new dreams and goals ahead with powerful declarations for the future. You’re worthy of great things in your lives and I hope that you will live up to your full potential.

Image by alan9187 from Pixabay

I’ve been relaxing, tidying up my room, enjoying time with the family, and entranced by a variety of shows on Netflix. Growing up, I had terrible vision, and always needed glasses. I always wondered what it would be like to see with 20/20 vision with full clarity.

What does my vision for 2020 look like? Maybe it can be clearer with the help of this really thoughtful gift my coworker gave me as my Secret Santa this past Christmas. He knows I enjoy blogging, and I’m very excited to explore these quotes! Here’s one I’ll think about:

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

2019 feels like a blur to me! From computer networking classes to public speaking classes, it’s been a journey of self-improvement. The ideas from the pictures and phrases that I glued to my vision board this year started manifesting left and right. I don’t know why I feel surprised. It’s typically a fun, relaxing craft activity for me. To be honest, the metaphysics behind the mysterious “Law of Attraction” still fascinates me. Maybe, I see what I want to see. Regardless, it’s been an interesting year and there are stories to tell!

I can share one story. I cut and pasted an intriguing quote I found in Forbes magazine from Douglas Baker Jr., CEO of Ecolabs. Curious to know why he was 2017’s Person of the Year by Twin Cities Business.

“Our focus is delivering clean water safe food, abundant energy, and healthy environments. These needs are fundamental and transcend economic ups and downs. Wherever water needs to be conserved, food needs to be safe, energy is required, and people seek healthier environments, we will find opportunity.”

Douglas Baker Jr.

One evening, the president of the local Rotary Club invites me to a meeting to see what’s new in the community. The Rotary Club’s central causes are: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.

I’ve been on the fence about joining because of other obligations. Despite my reasons related to time, I find myself participating in and feeling enthused by their community projects.

So, that evening a communication arts teacher shares with us a recycling contest the school has joined with Pepsi Co. My ears perked up. I’ve been looking for an environmental cause post-graduation. I immediately got to work and started to partner with the local Wal-marts and Mary Kay representatives to collect aluminum cans and type 1 and type 2 plastics. I’ve been collecting at my friends’ holiday parties as well.

My car smells soda and the scent has been attracting honey bees. My poor guests have been carefully shooing them out the window. I haven’t been able to drop them off at the school because the facilities are closed for the holidays. Thank goodness my boyfriend offered his truck to help which reminds me of this song!

Honey Bee – Blake Shelton

In response to:

Posted in Dreams, fiction, poetry, Quotes

Tell the Story – Marceline’s Stage Fright

Inescapable
Nowhere to turn but the now
Moon is spotlighting

After meeting with lobbyists from various advocacy groups all day, Princess Marceline attempted to sleep. Despite residing in the comfort of her castle, she was entangled in her sheets and unable to rest in her bed as she tossed and turned. In her dream, she was supposed to pitch several ideas and initiatives to help her country recover from the damage caused by war by presenting a speech in front of the people she served. Wearing a brilliant blue gown designed by fashion designer, Pierre, she marveled at the beauty of the intricate lacy French brocade near her wrists.

She pulled the curtains aside and stepped forward out to the balcony. As her subjects’ eyes attentively stared back at her, Marceline’s typical poise was disturbed by her inability to speak. She suddenly remembered something that a dear friend once shared with her which elevated her spirit.

Surfing in crowds is like mind over matter. If I don’t mind it don’t matter.”

Brodus Rogers

Her trembling was imperceptible from such a far distance, but she refused to be daunted by the anxiety of her temporary muteness. She drew in strength from her loyal, dedicated audience and smiled. She turned to her interpreter on the right and began performing sign language. The interpreter read her hands and began speaking into the mike and out to the crowd before her, “Thank you for coming out today. Contrary to a popular critic’s prediction that the crowd will not come out due to the cold and rain, it seems like today is quite the exception!” Marceline slowly felt the anxiety melt away as the crowd cheered in unison.

Lucid dreams present
A chance to change the outcome
Dignity and charm

Inspired by the prompts below:

Posted in Books, Culture, Events, flashback, Music, poetry, Quotes

Waiting for the Dust to Settle

Alexander Hogue, “The Crucified Land,” oil on canvas, 1939
Reference: Russer Tether Fine Art Associates LLC

“And I know now that all the time I was trying to get
out of the dust,
the fact is,
what I am,
I am because of the dust.
And what I am is good enough.
Even for me.”

Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust

Good evening! Please forgive me for my absence, everyone. It’s been a whirlwind, and I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle, but it seems like it going to pick up again soon! Recently got back from Las Vegas travels filled with personal development nuggets, and I have fun Halloween adventures to share. I also had an enjoyable collaboration with Joey on Writing with Strangers which resulted in a Grimm inspired poem, “A Boy Named Gullible“. I’ve also been learning how to navigate the world of solicitors touting their products and services in my new job. Discerning what is really the best value for what my boss needs is… a process. 😉

Karen Hesse wrote a verse novel called, “Out of the Dust”, which is set in Oklahoma’s dust bowls during the time of the Great Depression. Billie Jo, the 14-year old protagonist, must cope with the tragic losses of her family members and forgive herself for some devastating mistakes.

I was 13 years old when I first read it, and stepping into Billie Jo’s world was an eye-opening experience. This book was the first time I encountered a full length written in poetic format. The quote above makes me wonder about the symbolism of dust in the story and how it shaped Billie Jo’s identity. I wonder how the proverbial dust in my life has affected my character.

I’m hoping taking more breaks and relaxing my mind will help me find a few answers to my homework and work responsibilities. I decided to pass on the Brain Focus supplements in the pharmacy aisle. I like to think I can naturally release the fog in my mind and wait for it to gradually clear so I can find my way ahead…

Image Credit: Tang Jiao @ Pixabay

Though, I wouldn’t mind a metaphorical leaf blower to speed up the process of blowing the brain fog away! 🙂

In response to:

  • VJ’s Weekly Challenge #71: wait
  • FOWC with Fandango: tout
Posted in fiction, flashback, Food/Recipes, Photography, poetry, Quotes

#OctPoWriMo2 – Morphing into a Gourmand

A mother was once frustrated!
Still unsalted
Picky eater
Desired sweeter

Are you a little changeling?
Fairy humming?
Not wanting food?
I can just brood!

Surprised to see a growing girl
Giving a twirl
Eating a lot
A food for thought

Nuggets of Gold: Tuesday’s Thoughts

Good evening! I experimented with minute poetry today as I was pondering on this quote above while eating some French onion soup with seasoned toast tonight in a charming restaurant downtown. Like the fairy girl in this story, I was once a picky eater, but now I sometimes can be a gourmand. I need to slow down when I eat. A work in progress! 😉 Would love to show you what I’ve been eating for the past few months down below!

Boyfriend’s homemade goulash
Schlotzsky’s Deli’s incredible sandwich
La Perla’s Blue Hawaiian
Pops Pops Honeydew boba tea
My own squash and sausage soup
My friend’s impressive opera cake
Tech conference food
WP Engine’s complimentary meal