Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June something, 2010. It's Tuesday.

Sunrise: 5:14, Sunset: 9:11.

Overcast, a little cool, it looks like it's going to pour.

We had warmth and sunshine for a few days this week. I bought strawberries and cherries at the farmer's market and the juices fair exploded in my mouth. The epitome of summer food- I could eat those almost black cherries until I hurt and spew. My fingers carred the stain and fragrance for a day.

I went out for my walk today and the flowers were bright in the overcast light. My pedometer and I, we are getting a head start on those 10,000 steps we should be taking.

My job often keeps me firmly in my chair in front of a computer. I have more pain in my hips than I have in years and my feet hurt, my back has this odd nerve cluster pain that really pulls and stabs, so I'm hoping the pedometer will push me to get up and walk more, maybe get my joints lubed up.

I'm a pretty competitive person and having this little marker on my hip keeps me thinking about how to get a few more steps in. I walk around the office instead of taking the back door shortcut. I don't wait to make one trip with a number of things, I will make a trip for each thing. I've been walking around the building on my breaks (we're in a mall so the outside area is pretty big) and that not only adds steps in, it adds to the half hour movement a day humans should do.

I really miss my hour and a half walks to work from here to University Village!

Yesterday: more than 13,000 steps. Last Tuesday: 948 steps.

Odd little thumpings and bumpings along the walls and the roof. Yesterday I heard a bird hit one of the windows. I think the starling fledglings that are nesting in our roof have taken wing and they are still pretty clumsy at dipping under the roofline to slip into the ventilation hole where the nest is. They've been chasing the robin out of the fountain and all three are in the water bowl ducking and flapping and splashing. Oops, there they go!

There's flicker at the edge of the water now and it's settling into the bowl, bending at the knees to get its breast in deep water. It's fluffing out its feathers to get water underneath. I am going to have to set up a camera out there. It's so cool. The other day we saw paw prints leading away from the bowl. Raccoons?

I have been finishing up the three books I've been working on over the last week. I just finished Omnitipia Dawn, by Diane Duane, and it was GOOD! Middle school and high school librarians can add this to their collections for a good science book read. There isn't any content or objectionable language that they would have to worry about-I really liked how she was able to describe computer games and gaming to someone who doesn't. And the money part of games...man, it's a lot!

I'm about half way through Ghost of a Chance, and I had to start a different book on my way to work yesterday: Butterfly, by Sonya Hartnett. OMG.

If you were ever an adolescent girl, you will see yourself in this book, all the embarrassment, all the worry, all the hate and love, all the desire of even a little bit of the power the other girls have. She writes simply but filled with the perfect words to describe what Plum is feeling. It reads like it should be read aloud, although hearing the words would make me squirm- I can read it silently and not feel like everyone will know everything about me (I'm sure I won't be the only one who feels this way).

Plum is almost 14. She's lonely even though she has friends. She knows her friends don't like her very much and she's not quite sure she likes them either but they're what she's got. She doesn't think her family is much like the others in her town, but she loves her brothers. Just before her birthday she meets the next door neighbor and her son. Maureen is in her 30s and so glamorous, thin, beautiful, and she offers Plum a look into what her future as a woman could be.

This is a year of changes for Plum. She is beginning to realize that nothing is as it seems and that life itself is secret folded on secret. Sonya Hartnett has brilliantly captured what it is like to be in that bittersweet moment between childhood and everything else.

I don't know if this is a book for teens or a book for adults. Like Eli the Good, also by Candlewick, whoever reads it may need a little distance from the time depicted, a little perspective on the subject. I am really glad that there are so many amazing books being written now for teens and young adults that adults will be able to enjoy. Butterfly reminded me of really early Alice Hoffman: spare and lush, quiet and foreboding, true stories about things we know.

We really need that crossover bookshelf for books like these.

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