For my October 2020 spreads, I looked to my daughter’s journal for inspiration which she was kind enough to let me use. I wanted a spread simple this month that would incorporate the quintessential pumpkin.
I love the simplicity of the drawing and the minimalist colour. I do admit, though, that last night I grabbed a green brush pen and added a bit of colour to the grass.
The calendar for the month was quick and easy to draw. There is not much to add to it at the moment as all of our celebrations will be taking place at home due to Covid restrictions.
The mood tracker is cute – and is definitely my daughter’s idea. Each day I am drawing in an expression on a pumpkin and it is certainly looking fun!
Last month I did not use my planning pages too much for my blog and Instagram posts. Hopefully I will have more energy for social media in October.
I love the way my weekly spread looks. And the bonus is that it did not take too long to create. 🙂
What theme are you using in your bullet journal this month?
Next week is Thanksgiving in Canada which means that in class we are talking about this holiday: what it is, why we celebrate it, and what it means to us.
One of the tasks I usually set is for the children to copy a sentence from the board onto a colouring page and which they then work on when their tasks are done and we are waiting for everyone to finish the activity. Today a number of children completed filling in the lines with colour.
These turkeys may have the physical form of ones seen in reality but their feathers have been filled in with an array of colours. I kinda like the look of them! 🙂
What colours would you use to colour in your turkey?
The cover design for Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam is absolutely stunning, so much so that it whet my curiosity about the book. When I read the blurb, I was intrigued enough to listen to a online presentation on the book. I loved the discussion of the two authors – so interesting – and was delighted when I was told I had won an ARC of the book.
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
The story that I thought
was my life
didn’t start on the day
I was born
Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white.
The story that I think
will be my life
Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?
I loved this book so much that I could not put it down and read the work in one sitting! The story is written in verse and packs quite a punch. While reading, I heard the voice of the main character, Amal, and sensed the rollercoaster of his emotions as he went through his experience – one which certainly brought up emotions in myself as I read the story. This is a book that made me feel anger against the injustices that are experienced by young people like Amal – young people who are judged not for their actions but by the colour of their skin.
Amal is a character that grows in the story and who experiences a range of emotions. Not only have Zoboi & Salaam have created a person who young men like Amal can relate to; they have also created one who represents the injustices experienced by this group of young men. What I like about this story as well is that it is a thought-provoking one: it encourages readers to think about social injustice and to become more aware of prejudices that exist in our society.
I recommend this book for any person to read – not only young adults. It is a novel that would be a perfect springboard for intense discussion on social justice; and the way in which art can be used as a way not only to express this injustice but as a vehicle to recognise it.
Last week I started Writer’s Workshop with my grade 1 and 2 students. Before they begin writing, I like them to analyse the structure of the stories that they read. We begin with a read aloud and then, as a class, we discuss the beginning, middle, and end of a story.
The next step in my lesson is for them to work in pairs. The story that I give them to work on is a simple one in the which structure can be easily determined. Working in pairs means that they can discuss their options – and it also gives them the confidence to do the task.
Tomorrow I will encourage them to work solo to figure out the three parts of the story I will give them. Some children may make errors but it is a first step – they can only improve from there. I do not look for perfection but for the sense that they kind of understand the concept. After all, they are emerging readers.
Yesterday my cousin was kind enough to take me with him on his monthly trip to Costco. As always, I found some good deals for my family. And the best deal was finding some prawns – prawns which my husband cooked for the family.
The dish was absolutely delicious: the vegetables a perfect compliment to the marinated shellfish. I always appreciate it when my husband generously takes on the task of feeding the family – it gives me a break and I get to taste cooking different from my own.
Last week I was looking for a relaxing film to watch on Netflix when I came across a new rom-com of theirs: Love, Guaranteed. I clicked on the thumbnail and decided to watch it based on the very short blurb.
The film was what you would expect of the typical rom-com: a predictable love story that leaves you with a smile on your face. It was just the type of film to watch after a tiring day – and one, as well, that I could stop midway and watch over two days.
During the film, snippets of I Think we’re Alone Now by Tiffany were played.
I used to love this song when I was a teenager – I would play it over, and over, and over. Hearing the song took me back – and of course I had to listen to the full version later on on the week! 🙂
What song in a film has taken you back to the past?
I love receiving bookmail – especially the unexpected kind. Jessie Kwak, an independent author that I read and review for, launched the two final books of her science fiction series during the pandemic. The borders between the US and Canada were closed so I knew she would be unable to send me review copies.
This week I received a brown package that made me grin from ear to ear – the two final books in the Bulari series. Jessie’s kind gesture means that this month I will be able to binge read the rest of the story and find out what happens to the characters that I have grown to love.
And aren’t the covers gorgeous? I adore the artwork on the covers of this series.
What was the last book that you received in the mail?
October is the perfect time to open the thrillers I have on my TBR stack.
Most of the books in my stack are new releases. I look forward i particular to reading Gilly MacMillan’s new novel as I have enjoyed reading every story she has written. in addition, Karin Slaughter is another of my favourite authors.
Are you picking up any thrillers this month? If so, which one are you going to read first?
Many Bookstagrammers on Instagram raved about the book Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – especially those readers who enjoy a good thriller. I was curious about this author’s writing so decided to give the novel a read.
My extract comes from the beginning of the novel:
“I stare at the keys, hesitant to pick them up. I’m uncertain about accepting this part of my inheritance. I was raised to fear Baneberry Hall, for reasons that are still unclear to me. Even though I don’t believe my father’s official story, owning the house doesn’t sit well with me.
Then there’s the matter of what my father said to me on his deathbed, when he pointedly chose not to tell me he stile owned Baneberry Hall. What he did say now echoes through my memory, making me shiver.
It’s not safe there. Not for you.” (p17, Penguin Random House, 2020)
This was the perfect start to an excellent novel with an ending that surprised me. Will I be reading another of Riley Sager’s novels? I think I will.
Have you read any of Riley Sager’s stories? If so, which one?
The craziness of back-to-school in September took my mind away from sharing the pages I had created in my bullet journal for September 2020. But better late than never! Because September is the beginning of the new academic year here in Canada, I decided to focus on one of the tools elementary school children frequently use: the coloured pencil. For my quote, I decided to use a line that I loved from Anne with an E, a show that I had been watching on Netflix.
Creating the pages took a while – but I had time. I began drawing and colouring in mid-October and worked on my journal everyday until it was ready for the beginning of the month.
I love the idea I had for the mood tracker. I enjoy colouring in the pencils every day in the evening – and the page is currently looking so good.
I created a planning page for both my blogging and Instagram posts. Unfortunately not much was filled in this month.
For the first two weeks of the month, I created a dutch door. It worked really well not only because the rows of coloured pencils brightened the pages, but also because the layout suited the number of days in the first week of September.
The layout for the third and fourth week of September also look pleasing and I enjoyed filling in the spaces.
On the whole, I took pleasure in creating and filling these pages. Now I look for inspiration for October!
What writing tool do you tend to use the most often?