Dear White People: Ferguson Protests are a Wake Not a Pep Rally

This is a very well-written post and something that I, as a white ally, am thankful to read and reflect upon. This fight is not about *ME*. It is about my brothers and sisters who are Black. While what is going on in this country saddens and angers me, I have to remember that it’s not about *ME*. Black Lives Matter. Period.

The Well Examined Life

White House #ferguson Rally

I get it. You’re frustrated. You’re angry. You’re sad. You’re confused. You know that the killing of Mike Brown and the lack of indictment of Darren Wilson are a travesty. You are probably aware that the system you live in, the nation that raised you, the institutions that educate and protect you, commit or support massive amounts of violence against communities of color. I’m sure for many of you the cognitive dissonance must be profoundly disturbing. For others, for those of you who, though white, are marginalized and dehumanized daily, this moment is probably an agonizing reminder of the pain you carry around everyday. I’m sure the discomfort you are feeling, the rage, the sorrow, the guilt, the confusion is probably further complicated by an excitement. I’m sure some of you are excited that things are happening, that movements are starting. I’m sure a part of you is hoping that…

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One more go…

Obviously, I’m not that good at this blogging thing.  I’m going to give it one more go. Hopefully, now that I’m not in school anymore, I’ll have more time and will actually remember to write blog posts!

Then again, maybe I won’t.  Only time will tell.

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Book Review: Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech

Memory's Wake (Memory's Wake Trilogy)Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful debut novel from Selina Fenech and I’m excited about the fact that it’s just the first in a trilogy as I really fell in love with the characters in this book and cannot wait to read more about them.

The book starts out on a high energy adventure and it never really slows down. The world that has been created in this trilogy is full of magic and wonder and yet is still believable. The characters are refreshingly real. They’re not perfect and yet they’re not completely bad either. Memory, Eloryn & Roen are teens and behave as teens have for centuries. They’re thrust into a situation in which they’ve never been in before and don’t know how to handle on top of the fact that they’re still learning who they are and what their purpose in life is. They don’t make the right decisions all the time. They get angry with one another and wish they could be somewhere else, but in the end, it works out.

The villains are just as realistic as the main characters and can be frightening and yet still very believable. We can see how the villain became the man he is. Then, there are the marvelous illustrations. They really add to the storyline, both the full page illustrations and the smaller, more whimsical doodles that preceed each chapter.

I look forward to seeing what happens to all of these characters in the next two installments of the trilogy.

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Another new teen book!

There’s another new teen book that I’m excited about and this one’s actually been released so you can purchase it and start reading right away!  However, with the school semester being in its end days, I haven’t completely finished the book so I can’t give a full review.

The book is titled “Memory’s Wake” and is the first in a trilogy by Selina Fenech, a very talented fantasy artist (my favorite fantasy artist actually). Memory is a teenager who has actually lost all of her memories when she was somehow sucked through a portal to an alternate world full of magic and the things most of us only read about in fairy tales.  Her new companion/friend, gave her the name Memory since she couldn’t remember her name.

The book is full of black and white illustrations drawn by the Ms. Fenech.  I’ve seen a few of them on the Memory’s Wake Web site and I can’t wait to get my copy of the book in the mail so I can see all of the illustrations!  I’m currently reading the e-book (which does not have illustrations) until my paperback copy arrives in the mail. Ms. Fenech lives in Australia, which is a bit of a distance from where I live in Michigan in the US, which means it’s going to take a good solid week or so for the book to arrive. I didn’t really want to wait that long before starting it, so I bought the e-book as well and am making do with that until the paperback arrives. I could’ve ordered the paperback through if I had wanted to, but by ordering it directly from the Memory’s Wake website, I could have it signed by Ms. Fenech so I chose to go that road!

So far, I’m thoroughly enjoying the book and am having a hard time putting it down to finish schoolwork!  But alas, it’s final crunch time and I have many papers due, so I’ve had to force myself to put it down so I could get those done.

You can purchase Memory’s Wake at the following places:


Paperback: and Barnes& and Memory’s Wake Web site

General E-book (can be downloaded for Kindle as well as in PDF or.epub format [for Nook, Adobe Digital Services – including Overdrive Media, etc.].)

Once I actually finish it, I’ll write a better review of it so stay tuned for that (and it shouldn’t take me almost 6 months like this post!).

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MICHAEL VEY! A great new teen book!

Holy Toledo I’m bad at this blogging thing! Wow. I want to say maybe I’ll be better when I’m not crazy with school, but then again, I don’t know if I would be or not, heh.

However, tonight I’ll be making two posts! So I guess it’s a feast or famine kind of thing!

The new book I’m referring to in the subject line is from author Richard Paul Evans, who also wrote “The Christmas Box” and “The Walk” series. The title is “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25” and it’s the start of a new Teen/Young Adult series about Michael Vey and his friends.  I was chosen to be a part of the Advance Reading team for this book and I’m so glad I was!

When we first meet Michael and his friends, they seem like just normal teenagers going through high school. But, as the story progresses, there’s so much more there. Michael & his friend Taylor have been endowed with special electric powers and when Michael’s mother is kidnapped, Michael, Taylor & their friend Ostin set off to find her.

Full of mystery, adventure, a bit of science fiction, this book has it all.  Plus, while it is not overtly religious, there is an underlying tone of hope, inspiration and a solid moral base. And yet, while our heroes make the right choices even though it costs them, the book is not preachy nor is it fake-sounding. The characters are realistic, the villians frightening, and the plot exciting! There are wonderful twists and turns throughout the whole book.

I work in a library and more and more the things that come in for teens are full of horror and dark topics. They’re either full of vampires and demons or they’re full of the very worst high school has to offer.  There are a few gems in the mix of course, but they’re few and far between these days.  The Michael Vey series is going to be one of those gems.

I read the majority of it while I was waiting in line to see the original Emancipation Proclamation at the Henry Ford Museum last month. It was a long wait (4 1/2 hours but worth it!) and while there were plenty of conversations going on around me between friends and strangers alike, I found myself drawn too far into the book to pay too much attention to them or to join in any of them!  It truly was that good.

The release date isn’t until August 9th, but the book can be pre-ordered today at & Barnes&  The links are below as is the link to the official Web site.  Check out the reviews and pre-order a copy for that tween/teen/young adult in your life who like adventure and science fiction! – Michael Vey

Barnes&Noble – Michael Vey

Michael Vey – The Official Site

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2011 in ONE Word

Alright, woo hoo! Managing to get another post in within a month! Perhaps I CAN do better at this!

One of the latest posts on the Compassion International blog is about choosing a word for the new year ( One of Compassion’s staff members posted about how for the last few years he’s prayerfully chosen a word to represent the new year and the things to accomplish.

While I was reading the post and reading some of the replies to the post, including other people’s blogs, the one word that kept coming to my mind was “Open”.

At first, I thought about it in terms of being open to new ideas, new cultures, to learning things about people who are “different” from me. Given that I live in a very diverse area of the nation, that’s a reasonable conclusion to come to and I do believe that I’m being challenged to be open in that way, but not JUST in that way/area.

But, the more I thought about the word, the more I felt as though I was being challenged to be more open in other areas as well. I feel as though I’m being challenged to being more open to change, not only in areas such as economical changes (i.e. job changes/location changes/etc.) but also changes in physical health and appearance, emotional changes and spiritual changes. I also feel that I’m being challenged to be a more open person and to share more with friends and family.

I have no illusions that this is going to be an easy challenge. I’m not a very open person by nature. I’ve been burned too many times before so unless it’s through postings on blogs or other places that have a slight feeling of anonymity, I don’t share much about what I’m feeling and who I am. Part of that is because I do have mental health issues (I do not call them problems or an “illness” because I do not believe I need to be “cured”). Those issues do cause me to be more cautious with what I share about myself.  In fact, I know that part of the reason that I’ve never been too anxious or eager to lose weight and do other things to change my physical appearance is because it does put a barrier between myself and the rest of the world.

And while I know that many people are not big on change, I have even a more adverse reaction to it than most, including being prone to panic attacks if things change too quickly for me.

But, I’m going to graduate with my master’s degree in December and the odds of me being able to get a job in my career field in the library system I currently work for is fairly slim. The jobs there just aren’t opening up. This means that I’m probably going to have to go to work for another library system and possibly even have to leave southeastern Michigan if I can’t find a job here. So, I need to start getting used to that idea.

I also believe I’m being challenged to be more open spiritually which is also not going to be easy as I have a lot of anger and hostility towards God that I’m going to have to deal with if I’m going to be more open to things in that area.  There are a lot of things from my childhood that I’m going to have to deal with if I want to successfully be more open to spiritual things and that’s not going to be easy.

But, I truly believe that this is the challenge that has been set before me for 2011. So, I’m going to embrace the challenge and see what happens this year as I strive to be more “Open” in every aspect of my life.

I’m going to try and write posts about the journey as we go along this year and share the experiences I’m having with being more open to the world around me and within myself.

If you decide to take the challenge and choose a word for 2011, I’d love to hear what your word is and why you chose it!

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Gifts of Compassion

My Compassion kids are one of the most important parts of my life.  They have taught me more about faith, love, hope and life in the two years that I’ve been a sponsor, than all the therapy, prayer and other “helpful” things that have happened in the last 10 years.  They are by far more of a blessing to me than I could ever be to them.

However, I know that not everyone can make the $38 per month commitment that sponsorship consists of.  People’s lives are all different and I don’t know anyone’s situation.

But, if you’re looking for a way that you can get involved and help with Compassion’s mission of “Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name”, there’s the “Gifts of Compassion” gift catalog.

The catalog can be accessed here:

It contains gifts ranging in cost from $10 for a mosquito net up to $5000 to provide major surgery for a child.  There are all sorts of gifts available for the choosing. For $13 you can give a child a soccer ball which not only provides them with something to play with, but playing soccer can help them with physical fitness as well as learning how to play well with others and other skills.  For $55 you can provide a water filter for a community or beauty training for a young woman so she can then help her family meet their needs.

You can purchase chickens, goats, cows, computers for the centers, all sorts of gifts at all sorts of price levels.  So no matter what you can give, you can help!  Won’t you click on the link above and help?  And if you want to go a step further and sponsor a child today, please click on the link to the right and help me reach my goal of 10 sponsorships in the Sponsorship Challenge!

Join in the fight against poverty today!

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