Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Work Party

Toady was our work party. Unlike in years past, I didn't take a ton of photos, but here is what I did get.

Our wall decorated for the holiday.

Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Black-Cat Game. I made the cat
and its tails (not shown).

Three photos of our Halloween Bingo game.



Sunday, October 27, 2019

Some Pictures From Last Night

The party last night was great. The leader from the Writers Lab held it at her house. It was hard to just choose a few pictures, but here are the ones I chose.

Me before leaving for the party.




Two pictures with Writers Lab members.
Mario and Luigi

The Blues Brothers

Loved the cheeseburger. Have seen this one
for sale every year at Kmart.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Monthly Motif Reading Challenge 2020

Another of my favorites is now up.




JANUARY-  Winter Wonderland

Focusing on ‘wonderland’, read a book set in a truly wonderful place- somewhere you’ve always thought was beautiful, somewhere with a wonderfully rich culture, a snowy setting, or maybe even a magical realm. It’s your interpretation, so have fun with it:
The Snow Bride--Debbie Macomber
FEBRUARY- Seeing Red

Read a book with the word ‘red’ in the title OR a book with a red-ish cover. Bonus if it has both:
The Girl With the Red Balloon--Katherine Locke
MARCH- Sub-Genre Sound Off
Choose a sub-genre of your favorite genre and read a book from it. Make sure you mention the sub genre you chose in your review. (Ex. Sub Genres of Fantasy could be Magical Realism, Fairytale Retellings, or Epic Fantasy to name just a few.):
Dorothy Must Die--Danielle Paige (Fairytale Retelling)
APRIL- Classics or Currents
Read a book published before the year you were born (classic-ish) OR a book published between April 2019 and April 2020 (current.):
The Betrothed--Alessandro Manzoni
MAY- Author Introduction
Read a book written by an author who you’ve never read anything by. Bonus if its been on your TBR for more than a year:
The Vintage Teacup Club--Vanessa Greene
JUNE- Name or Number
Read a book in which a name OR a number is part of the title. Bonus if the title includes both a name and a number:
2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas--Marie-Helene Bertino
JULY- Around or Out of this World 
Read a book set in a country other than the one you live in OR written by an author who is from a country other than your own OR read a book that takes place in space or on another planet:
Tigress--Jennifer Blake
AUGUST- Creature Feature
Read a book that includes a creature of some kind on the cover or in the story. Cat, dog, dragon, werewolf – mythical or real – find a book that features a creature:
A Dog's Purpose--W. Bruce Cameron
SEPTEMBER- When Text Just Isn’t Enough
Read a book that includes more than just text. Maybe it’s a map, a family tree, illustrations, documents like emails or letters- something else that helps to paint the picture:
This Star Won't Go Out--Esther Earl
OCTOBER- Thrills and Chills
Ghost stories, haunted houses, true crime, murder mysteries, a thriller keeping you on the edge of your seat- it’s up to you!
NOVEMBER- Dynamic Duos
Read a book with a couple of characters that make the perfect pair whether in business or in love. (Ex. Sherlock & Holmes, Elizabeth & Darcy)
DECEMBER- Sugar, Spice, Everything Nice
Holiday or winter themed reads, love stories and romances, happy cries, comedies; round out your year with a truly feel good read.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge 2020

Doing this once again. It's now back with its original creator.

Hi friends! Welcome to the 2020 Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge. Here’s a little background on this reading challenge:
I (Kim) started this challenge on my original book blog: Bookmark to Blog in 2013. When Tanya and I decided to join forces and co-blog here at Girlxoxo.com I brought the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge with me but let Claudia of My Soul Called Life take over hosting for the Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge. Claudia later disappeared from the blogosphere 🙁 and no one could get in touch with her.  Bev from My Readers Block decided to keep the challenge going when she couldn’t get in contact with Claudia. She’s been running it for the past two years. Bev also hosts several other yearly reading challenges, so make sure you go check those out on her blog!
For 2020, the Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge is coming back to its roots. As its creator I’m very excited to have it back! Read below for the details on this challenge and we hope you’ll choose to join us for next year…

HOW IT WORKS

~ This is a monthly challenge that runs all year long from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
~ Six “key words” are given for each month. Your task is to read 1 book that includes one or more of the key words in the title.
~ The title you choose can be a variation on one of the key words. For example- your title could include the word ‘snowing’ or ‘snowflake’ even though the key word is ‘snow.’
Key words can be tweaked. For example- You could read “Cinder” or “Ashes” for the key word ‘Fire’. If the key word is ‘family’ then your title could include the word ‘sister’ or ‘mother.’ If the key word is ‘food’ then your title could include the word ‘cake.’ Use your best judgement and have fun with it!
Please link back to Girlxoxo, Tanya, or Kim any time you post about the challenge on your blog so that we can follow along with your progress!!
~ If you post what you’ve read to social media please use the hashtag #MonthlyKeyWordGXO .
New This Year: A check in post will be published at the end of each month where you can see what we read for the challenge and comment with the book you chose and a link to your review.

MONTHLY KEY WORDS

JANUARY – Water, This, Hello, Sun, New, Six:
Daisy Jones & the Six--Taylor Jenkins Reid

FEBRUARY – Girl, Any, Love, Red, Note, Throne:
The Girl With the Red Balloon--Katherine Locke
MARCH – Dream, Day, In, House, Luck, Friend:
The House of the Spirits--Isabel Allende
APRIL – Lost, Below, City, Jewel, Night, My (mine = my):
If You Could Be Mine--Sara Farizan
MAY – Sky, Name, Blue, Book, Enchant, Is:
The Book of Joe--Jonathan Tropper
JUNE – And, Beach, Number, Wish, Down, Word:
Sunset Beach--Mary Kay Andrews
JULY – Boy, Last, Day, Into, Dear, Summer:
Boy Meets Boy--David Levithan
AUGUST – Kiss, Flower, When, Happy, North, Right (violet = flower):
Acts of Violets--Kate Collins
SEPTEMBER – Star, Cry, She, Window, Forever, Eye:
This Star Won't Go Out--Esther Earl
OCTOBER – Haunt, Around, Shadow, Grave, Murder, Deep
NOVEMBER – Look, Forest, Out, Color, Lock, Now
DECEMBER – Sword, Magic, Fly, Of, Silver, Crown

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Quiz: What Childhood Halloween Costume Are You?

I agree somewhat, though I think I am more of a follower than a leader.

You Are a Princess

You love to look your best for every occasion, and that includes Halloween. You enjoy turning heads.
You are a good sport, and you love to participate in most Halloween activities. However, you always put your own spin on things.

You tend to be more of a leader than a follower. And if people don't want to follow, you just go your own way.
You like to live life on your own terms, and you expect the best from everything and everyone. If that makes you a little spoiled, so be it!


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2020

I will once again be hosting this one.




Choose a level from below.  You may go up a level, but not down.
Cartoonist: 1-5 books
Humor Columnist: 6-10 books 
Comedy Writer:  11-15 books
Stand Up Comedian: More than 15 books 


Guidelines for the Challenge:
  • Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2020. Books must be started on or after January 1 to count. Re-reads are allowed as long as they are read during the specified time frame.
  • Books may cross over to other challenges in which you are participating.
  • Any book (fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, graphic novels, poetry collections, plays, picture books) labeled as humor counts. As such, all book formats (paper, audio, electronic) may be read.
  • You do not need a blog to sign up. You may keep tract of your progress on Goodreads, Amazon or other similar sites with a shelf dedicated to this challenge. Or sign up on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. 
  • There will be no checkins, nor do you need to post reviews.



NOTE: I am removing linkys for this challenge, and closing signups for the remainder of 2020. Challenge signups for 2021 will be coming soon.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Creativity Reading Challenge 2020

This will be the third year I've hosted this one.



This challenge is about reading books on creativity, art, crafts, writing, film making, photography, cosmetology, DIY, cooking, music and any other topic that helps you live a more creative life. 

Here are some links to get started:


Best Books on Creative Life
Fiction Books Involving Art
Books on Creativity
Best Books on the Writing Life
Books with Main Characters Who Are Artists

You are by no means limited to what is suggested in the links above. Any books you find that fit the challenge description may be read toward the challenge.


Challenge Guidelines

  • Begins January 1, 2020 and ends Dec 31, 2020. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want.
  • Books may be nonfiction, memoir, how to, self help, coffee table books, instructional, picture books, and even fictional if they are about people who are creative.
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks or audiobooks
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges in which you are participating

NOTE: I am removing linkys for this challenge, and closing signups for the remainder of 2020. Challenge signups for 2021 will be coming soon.

Color Coded Reading Challenge 2020

I have loved doing this challenge and am in a gain for 2020.




The Color Coded Challenge

Once again the categories will be more open--the color may either be named in the title or it may appear as the dominant color for the cover of the book. For "implies color" the image implying cover should dominate the cover--for instance a large rainbow, a field of flowers, or the image of a painter. Get ready for a rainbow of reading in 2020. 

Here are the rules:

~Challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2020 and any book read after January 1 may count regardless of when you sign up. Sign-ups accepted until November 1, 2020.

~Read nine books in the following categories:


1. A book with "Blue" or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc.) in the title/on the cover:
The Bluest Eye--Toni Morrison (link)

2. A book with "Red" or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

The Girl With the Red Balloon--Katherine Locke (link)

3. A book with "Yellow" or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.) in the title/on the cover:
Gold Fame Citrus--Claire Vaye Watkins (link)

4. A book with "Green" or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

The Green Carnation--Robert Smythe Hitchens (link)

5. A book with  "Brown" or any shade of Brown (Tan, Beige, Sand, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

Sand Castle Bay--Sherryl Woods (link)

6. A book with "Black" or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

Black Dove, White Raven--Elizabeth Wein (link)

7. A book with "White" or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc.) in the title/on the cover:
White Fang--Jack London (link)



8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Magenta, Pink, etc.): 
An Appetite for Violets--Martine Bailey (link)


9. A book with a word that implies color in the title/on the cover (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Shadow, Paint, Ink, etc.):
Pretty in Plaid--Jen Lancaster (link)


Challenge completed on May 19

Thursday, October 17, 2019

30 Years Ago Today

If you lived in Northern California in 1989, you will remember what happened 30 years ago today.  Even if you didn't live through the quake, you likely still heard about it, since it struck at 5:04 PM, just as the third game of the 1989 World Series was getting underway.

I can still remember what I was doing that day. I had graduated from high school in June 1989, and was now going to community college. I had gotten home from my classes about an hour earlier and was listening to music when I felt rumbling under my feet. It then hit me (no pun intended) that an earthquake was occurring. It lasted 15 seconds. I was very shaken (again, no pun intended) as was everyone that day.

This was one of the few times my hometown, Hollister, California (San Benito County), made the news. It's about 100 miles south of San Francisco, which sustained a great deal of the damage. But Hollister was just as hard-hit. Electricity was out for the next two days or so, and my college classes were cancelled for the rest of the week. Only one place in Hollister had electricity that night, a local grocery store that had a power generator. Half the town gathered at the store, where the employees were gathered on tables on the front sidewalk. Residents were attempting to buy emergency supplies. Here is a look back at what happened in Hollister. And just two days before the 
anniversary, Hollister felt an earthquake. Hollister is one of three towns in California known as "The Earthquake Capital of the World."  Here is a photo of some of the damage (from the 20th anniversary in 2009):





Nearby counties Santa Clara, Monterey and Santa Cruz were also hit very hard.




Read about the quake here.


Do you remember what you were doing that day?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Epistolary Reading Challenge 2020

Once again, I'm bringing back the Epistolary challenge.





Definition of an Epistolary Novel (from Wikipedia):
An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries,newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic "documents" such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. The word epistolary is derived from Latin from the Greek word ἐπιστολή epistolē, meaning a letter (see epistle).

The epistolary form can add greater realism to a story, because it mimics the workings of real life. It is thus able to demonstrate differing points of view without recourse to the device of an omniscient narrator.  


The challenge, then, will be to read books written in the form of letters, diaries, blogs, e-mails and such, either completely or partially written this way. Here are some links to get some reading ideas:
Goodreads Best Diary Novels
Goodreads YA Diary Novels
List of Fictional Diaries
7 Variations on the Epistolary Novel




Guidelines:


  • Challenge will run from January 1 to December 31, 2020.  Books must be started on or after January 1 to count.  Re-reads will be allowed as long as they are read during the specified time period.
  • Books may cross over to other challenges in which you are participating.  
  • Fiction (all genres and subgenres) and nonfiction that fit the challenge description may be read.
  • All book formats are allowed (paper, audio, electronic, graphic novels/manga, picture books). 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • There will be no levels.  I will let you choose how many books to read.
  • You do not need a blog to sign up.  You may keep tract of your progress on Goodreads, Amazon or other similar sites with a shelf dedicated to this challenge.  Or sign up on Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.
  • You do not need to post reviews, nor will there be any check-ins.

NOTE: I am removing linkys for this challenge, and closing signups for the remainder of 2020. Challenge signups for 2021 will be coming soon.

Friday, October 11, 2019

It's Getting to Be That Time




As you can see, I have begun creating my signup posts for two of my reading challenges for next year, with three more to come. In the next months, more of these will be popping up on other blogs and sites. I'm not sure how many I will be doing next year, but there are several I will be doing once again. More to come.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to finish up the ones I am in for this year. I recently noticed that the blog hosting one of the challenges has been deleted. Not the first time that has happened this year, or any year. It seems to happen each year. I've decided to call this one off for the rest of the year, since the host blog has been deleted.

Memoir Reading Challenge 2020


I


It's back for another  year, once again using a checklist. Some categories have been changed, however. To participate, you must read a minimum of five memoirs from any of the categories listed. One book can only count for one category. Re-reads are acceptable. You do not need a blog to participate. All book formats count. 

Other Rules:

  • Books must be read on or after January 1, 2020 to count.
  • Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2020.
  • Books may cross over to other challenges in which you are participating. 
  • Books must be labeled as memoirs to count. 
Need some reading ideas? Here are some lists to get ideas for reading:
    Goodreads Memoir Book Lists
    10 Famous Memoirs Everyone Should Read Once
    17 Memoirs By Women
    Best Celebrity Memoirs of All Time

    Fictional Memoirs

    Here are the categories:

    1. _ Mental Illness Memoir
    2. _ Other Illness Memoir
    3. _ Political Memoir
    4. _ Food Memoir
    5. _ Animal Memoir
    6. _ Music Memoir
    7. _ Travel Memoir
    8. _ Written by a person of color
    9. _ Written by a woman
    10. _ Written by a person who identifies as LGBTQIA
    11. _ Written by an actor or a comedian
    12. _ Written by an author or journalist
    13. _ Written by any other celebrity
    14. _ Written by someone under 40
    15. _ Written by someone over 40
    16. _ Written by someone from a country different from your own
    17. _ One you find thought-provoking
    18. _ Made into a movie
    19. _ Graphic Novel memoir
    20. _ Bestselling memoir
    21. _ Humorous memoir
    22. _ Fictional memoir
    23. _ Published in 2020
    24. _ Published in 2019 or earlier
    25. _ Under 300 pages
    26. _ Over 300 pages
    27. _ One you want to re-read
    28. _ Subject of your choice
    29. _ Author of your choice
    30. _ Free choice
    31. _ Free choice
    32. _ Free choice
    NOTE: I am removing linkys for this challenge, and closing signups for the remainder of 2020. Challenge signups for 2021 will be coming soon.