Music Monday: A Little Dancing

At the moment there are two songs on my playlist that I listen to – and watch – every day while I make dinner. I love the songs – they get my feet tapping and make me want to move to the music. I enjoy watching the videos because of the dance moves.

The first video I want to share with you is the song Nota de Amor  by Winsin and Carlos Vives:

I love watching the dance choreography – so graceful. I never get tired of watching the video (though I am sure my children are tired of hearing the song!)

Another song I enjoy watching and listening to is one sung by Ricky Martin featuring Pitbull. I found this song quite by chance while scrolling through Ricky Martin songs. I enjoy the beat and watching the dancers during the live performance.

I have been listening to these songs for about three weeks now – and they often pop into my head during the day. I am not to sure when I will get tired of them!

What is your current favourite song?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018


She Named Me Patience

I was born a week late.

“I was in a hurry for you to be born and  your dad kept telling me to be patient. I couldn’t wait to meet you and love you!”

She named me Patience in memory of my tardy arrival. And patience was what I had to learn. She said she wanted me with her – desperately! And yet I remember always waiting for her arrival while growing up. After school when all the other moms had bundled energetic siblings into cars. At concerts when she missed the encores and the after-show buzz. Over weekends when it was her turn to spend time with me. I learned patience through disappointments and waiting. And with patience, I became strong.

And now I am able to wait until the right moment to bid on an item. I can wade through piles of throwaway articles to find the gem. Months can go by until I find the perfect fit for a person’s home.

And I can wait until a person no longer disappoints me or hurts me.


A name that reminds my mother that she had to wait.


A name that reminds me that I have the strength to wait – and the strength to continue despite disappointment.

What does your name mean to you?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is a response to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Patience)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Week of Reading

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were meeting for coffee, I would greet you with a relaxed smile on my face. As you know, last week was March break – a week during which the schools are closed. For one week I could sleep in, do things slowly, and spend time relaxing. The weather was not pleasant (it was grey, cold, and snowy). However, it was perfect for what I wanted to do – which was read. And read I did.

The mornings during the past week were perfect. I slept in (which, for me, is around 7:30am to 8am) and then curled up on the sofa with my current read and a bowl of fruit. Our home was quiet as my teenage daughters slept in until even later (as you would expect of teens, they got up at noon). I enjoyed this quiet time and savoured the stories I was engrossed in. I am a true bookworm and I relish the times I have when I can read to my heart’s content (something which I am not often able to do). During the week I managed to complete a book and read three other stories – one of which I struggled to put down.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that reading is not the only thing I did during March break. I went to the Zumba classes that I cannot attend when I am working. What fun they were! It is such a pity I cannot attend them more often. I also completed some of the games I had created the week before. I spend time laminating them and then cutting them out. It is a lot of work and takes quite a bit of time – but the games can be used for years afterwards.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today the sun is shining. This afternoon my family and I are going out for a while and we will have an early supper at one of the restaurants my husband enjoys in Chinatown. At least the sun is shining but I do wish that the temperatures were a little higher. I feel that we are counting the days until spring has arrived. I am a little tired of wearing winter boots, a winter coat, and a hat with scarf.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I wish we had another week’s break. I am grateful, though, that we did have this week. At school we will now be entering the last stretch until the end of the school year.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

An Unexpected Loss


The tripod stood abandoned on the side of the road;  the darkness surrounding it fleeing as the car headlights swept over the gritty road. The panic inside of the car was palpable. It had been hours since Vicky had last been seen. She wasn’t answering her cell phone, and her car had been found abandoned at the last crossroads.

“Don’t touch her camera! It may tell the police something.”

A mother’s keening cry touches the very soul of a person. Her helplessness and despair haunts memories over the years. A mother should never outlive her child.

Maybe I am reading and watching too many murder stories, but this photo this week for Friday Fictioneers steered my mind towards the dark echoed in the photo. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post was inspired by Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge asks for bloggers to write a story in 100 words or less in response to the photo prompt.)

Favourite Read of the Month: February 2018

During the month of February, I managed to read six books for this year’s Book Pledge.

The titles in February were mostly thrillers with a YA adventure, an apocalyptic story, and a literary novel thrown in. Three of my February reads were books that I had received at the OLA Super Conference (two were ARCs, the third a recently published debut novel). To read my reviews (if you haven’t already), click on the title in the following list:

  1. Knock Out by Catherine Coulter, a fast-paced FBI thriller.
  2. A World Below by Wesley King, a YA adventure story.
  3. Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday, a literary novel.
  4. The Last Mile by David Baldacci, a fast-paced thriller.
  5. The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson, an apocalyptic story set in the future.
  6. Four Blind Mice by James Patterson, an Alex Cross murder story.

My reads for February were varied. I always enjoy thrillers (as you can see, three of the six books I read were of this genre). However, I also enjoy titles with different themes and often try to read a novel that would not be my first choice (during February it was the book titled asymmetry). My favourite read for February is a non-thriller title – the debut novel by Tyrell Johnson. I have read apocalyptic novels of this ilk before and this one was a little different from most. I like that the protagonist is a young woman who finds her strength in the story after undergoing some hardships. The book ends with a question in the reader’s mind, and I hope that the author writes a sequel to answer it.

What was your favourite read in February? Share your choice, or the link to your post, below.

Favourite Read of the Month: January 2018

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Grateful for March Break

Processed with RookieThis week winter has returned to the city I call home. Temperatures are below zero and snow has fallen on the ground. The wind has an icy bite to it as I step on the salted sidewalks. This week, however, I am not standing outside on duty while the school children play. Instead when outside, I am on my way to Zumba or the grocery store. This week is March break – a week during which schools are closed.

During March break, many have flown south to sunny skies and warm beaches. I have chosen to stay at home and take the time off to relax. I am sleeping late, reading a few books on my TBR pile, and going to Zumba classes during the day. With my feet up on the sofa and a book in hand, I sip my tea and occasionally look out through the window at the flurries falling to the ground. I like knowing that I don’t have to go out of I do not want to. I like knowing that there is nothing that I have to rush out to go and do.

This week I am grateful for March break. I am grateful to have the chance to recharge my batteries so that I can complete the last stretch before the end of the school year. Slowing down for a while does me good – and gives me the chance to get some reading done!

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Book Review: Four Blind Mice by James Patterson

I had met Detective Alex Cross before in one of James Patterson’s novel. When I saw that I had not read of his experiences in Four Blind Mice, I knew that I had to read this tale. In this novel, Alex Cross is on the verge of retiring from the D.C. police force when he comes across a case that he is unable to resist. His partner, John Sampson, has a friend who has been framed for murder and is facing the gas chamber. His accuser? The United States Army. Cross and Sampson go up against codes of honour and silence and three ruthless killers. But the bigger threat is the controller of the three murderers.

This story was as expected from a Patterson novel – fast-paced with moments of the Alex-story interwoven in. I enjoyed reading a bit about Detective Cross to see where his life is leading; and turning the pages to see how he and his partner solve the last murder before he leaves the police force. This thriller was a perfect read for me as I had wanted something with uninterrupted action that would not leave me thinking. For readers who enjoy page-turning thrillers, this novel is a perfect choice.

Do you enjoy reading Patterson’s Alex Cross novels?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This novel was the 11th in my 50 book pledge for 2018)

Share Your World: What If

Cee’s questions this week encourage my mind to wander to some of my family members – an uncle and an aunt.

If a distant uncle dies and you were always his favorite and leaves you $50,000 (any currency) in his will, what would you do?

English: Ballet.
English: Ballet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would spend the money in celebration of what he enjoyed doing. The first purchase would be a ticket to the ballet. He was the person who took me to my first ballet. I remember the experience well: the music, the grace, the beauty of movement. We went with my grandmother and spent a magical evening together. My second purchase would definitely be a trip to somewhere in the world – probably Europe. He, too, was instrumental in helping me take my first airplane trip over the seas to experience a country and culture different to what I had experienced growing up.

What sound or sounds do you love?

I have always enjoyed the sounds of children at play. The sounds of children’s voices in the playground always bring a smile to my face. A good thing, I think, as I spend quite a bit of my workday listening to the sound of children playing 🙂

What’s your middle name?  Why?

My middle name is Michelle. I was named after my aunt (my father’s sister). She wanted to be godmother but my mom chose instead her sister with whom she was close. I was named after her instead as a consolation.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

I have a child in my class who came into my room and did not speak nor participate in any activities inside and outside of the classroom. He was new to the school and had no friends. It used to sadden me to see how lonely he was. Looking at him now during the past week or two, my heart swells with happiness. He has become chatty, has made friends, makes jokes in class, and always has a smile on his face. He has made a complete turnaround, and his experience at the school can only get better.

041514 sywbannerWhat would you answer to any of these questions?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Cee’s Share Your World weekly challenge). 

Book Review: The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

For my tenth book of 2018, I picked a story from the pile of books I had collected at the OLA Super Conference. The Wolves of Winter is Tyrell Johnson’s debut novel and was one that intrigued me. The story centres around Lynn McBride, a young woman who has learned a lot since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and disease seven years ago. Living in the snow-covered wilderness of the Yukon in Canada Lynn has learned to hunt, forage, and survive with her family. A stranger arrives near their dwelling, a fugitive named Jax, who brings with him dark secrets and enemies from the past. The arrival of Jax brings a change in the tempo of the life Lynn had been living with her family. The extract from the book I share with you gives a hint at the change:

“My knife had been bloody before. Countless times. Cutting into animal flesh, guts, and even small bones. I’d wipe it off in the snow, leaving trails of bright, bright red against the powdery white. But every time, it had been an animal’s blood. The kill had meant food. Meat. Nothing more. Sorry, elk; sorry, deer; sorry, moose, squirrel, crow, marten. A girl’s gotta eat. 

My knife had never been smeared with human blood before.” (p 102, 2018, Simon & Schuster Canada)

Lynn’s life changes. She learns much about her past, and the reasons for the changes in the world that she was born into. I enjoyed reading this apocalyptic tale. Even though the story is set in a possible future, the events described seem believable. My sympathies are definitely with Lynn and, as the story unfolds, even with Jax. I would recommend this read for those who enjoy reading apocalyptic tales that question the society we live in; and for those who are interested in another suggested scenario for the breakdown of society as we know it.

Do you enjoy reading apocalyptic stories?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This novel was the 10th in my 50 book pledge for 2018)

Weekend Coffee Share: The Start of a Break

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile on my face even though I had one hour less sleep last night (yes, the clocks have moved forward). I am smiling because it is March break and schools are out for a week. I look forward to a week of taking things slowly, of reading, and of resting.

The week leading up to March break was busy. Surprisingly, the children were not too excited and we were able to get quite a bit of work done. I held off on starting something new in Math and instead focused a bit more than usual on Science. When we return to school from the break, I want to encourage the children to do some building. They will build a simple bridge with popsicle sticks. I have some wheels and just need to figure out how to build something with them using an axle of some sort. Any tips?

On Friday, the last day of school before the break, we had our spirit day. All children – and some teachers – arrived at school wearing their pajamas. The children in my class brought their stuffed animals as well – and some even brought their blankies.

In the afternoon, a film was shown in the gym. I gave my class the option of watching a film in our room – an option which was taken (most of us did not want to have to deal with a noisy gym). Once we had watched for 45 minutes, I gave the children the opportunity to play if they had completed all of their tasks for the week. While they were playing, I tidied up the room. At the end of the day I locked the door to a clean room that is ready to greet all of us when we return to school in a week’s time.

As I am writing this post, I find myself yawning. I think it is time for a little nap to catch up on the hour of sleep I missed last night. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)