The Caretaker

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The emptied lockers told of those who had left in desperation seeking safety from what was to come. Emptied spaces echoed with the footfall of the caretaker as he meandered the corridors with the knowledge that soon the remaining boxes would be gone. He had no desire to run and was ready to meet his death. He had lived long enough and was tired of the day to day struggle to survive. He would stay here, defend what belonged to others, and buy them time. And in so doing, he may – maybe – absolve himself of a life lived selfishly.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(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.)

Teaser Tuesday: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

I have read Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin as part of a book discussion on Instagram.

Serpent and Dove is a Fantasy novel that pits the Church against witches. I enjoyed the themes that run through the novel and there were so many passages that I ticketed as I was reading. I have chosen to share with you an extract from a conversation between Lou and Ansel (a witch and a witchhunter-to-be) when discussing changing Reid’s opinion on witches:

“There are some things that can’t be changed with words. Some things have to be seen. Some things have to be felt.” (p 252, 2019, Harper Teen)

This quote is definitely one of my favourite from the novel. It resonates with me as I have often seen that people’s prejudices do not change unless it impacts their own life.

What do you think of the statement? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Snapshot of a Winter Wonderland

Yesterday morning the landscape in my neighbourhood was grey, brown and dreary. Most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees leaving the bare branches reaching for the sky. It felt like winter had already arrived, especially as snow was falling during the walk to work.

The snow did not stop falling and continued throughout the day. The amount of snow covering the ground was unexpected and I messaged home for my daughter to bring me my winter boots. While walking home, I was glad that I had been able to reach her – inches of snow lay on the ground and the salt coating the sidewalks would have damaged my good shoes.

While walking home in the twilight, I could not help stop but admire the scene before me. With the twinkling lights and the gently falling snow, the scene before me looked like a Winter wonderland: a scene that made me smile in appreciation.

Our second snowfall of the season will linger a little longer than the first. The children in the playground will certainly appreciate it.

Have you yet experienced the first snow of the season?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive)

Teaser Tuesday: No Judgements by Meg Cabot

I am currently reading No Judgements by Meg Cabot, an author whose books I have enjoyed in the past. I look forward to reading a little romance this week, especially as it is cold and dreary outside.

The story is about Bree Beckham who needs to start over and decides to do so at Little Bridge – a tiny island in the Florida Keys. Things are ideal until a Category 5 hurricane bears down on the island. Bree has no intention of leaving and has access to a landline and plenty of supplies. She refuses her ex’s offer to fly her off the island but when the storm proves devastating she begins to worry – not for herself but for the pets people have left behind during evacuation. She begins a rescue operation with the help Drew Hartwell, the town’s resident heartbreaker.

I have not yet read much of the book. My teaser comes from early on in the novel when Bree’s friends and family and trying to get her to eave the island before the hurricane hits.

“But then I’d arrived in Little Bridge, and suddenly I hadn’t felt the urge to run any more. I wasn’t exactly sure where in the world I belonged, but at least I was done running … for now. And despite what my mother said, I wasn’t being stubborn – or maybe I was being stubborn, for what felt like the first time in my life. I was standing up for myself, which meant running towards something. I didn’t know what, exactly … but maybe that’s why I was still here.” (p 51, 2019, Harper Collins Publishers)

I am hoping for some smiles in this one.

Have you read any of Meg Cabot’s books? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Teaser Tuesday: The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

I am currently reading The Wedding Party, a romantic comedy by Jasmine Guillory. After all of the thrillers I read in October, this novel is perfect to relax with.

The novel centres on the relationship between Maddie and Theo who are both best friends with Alexa – but they hate one another (despite the simmering attraction beneath the surface). Now that Alexa is getting married, they are thrown together as they both form a part of her wedding party.

For some reason, Maddie had hated him on sight. Okay, he was pretty sure part of the reason was the stupid way he had asked about her job the frst time they’d met. He hadn’t meant to sound like such a jerk. Fine, he had sounded like a jerk, but she hadn’t even let him back up and explain what he’d meant and had basically called him a pompous asshole. Whatever, he and Maddie would never have gotten along anyway. She was the cool, hot, party type, and he was the kind of guy everyone thought watched C-SPAN in his spare time.” (p 11, 2019, Penguin Random House)

I am hoping for some smiles in this one.

Have you read any of Jasmine Guillory’s books? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Music Monday: Chicken Noodle Soup

My children enjoy listening to K-Pop and, every now and then, they introduce me to a song that they have discovered. Last week they showed me a video created by J-Hope, one of the singers from BTS, for his debut mix tape. It has a funny sounding title – Chicken Noodle Soup – but it has a catchy tune.

The song was apparently remade by J-Hope as it was one of the songs he danced to when learning that skill. All I know is that my daughters listen to it when they do the dishes 😀

What do you think of Chicken Noodle Soup?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Weekend Coffee Share: Working Towards Deadlines

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sombre days have begun. Yesterday I took advantage of the shining sun to take some pictures for my Instagram posts because when it is overcast, the photos I take are too dark and cannot be used. In addition, during the past week we were reminded that summer is a thing of the past and we are required to now wear closed shoes and jackets. There is definitely a chill in the air and I definitely feel it when I am on duty outside on the playground.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week I have been working towards achieving my deadlines at work. Two are coming up next week: the report cards for my students as well as the IEPs (Individual Education Plans). Staying after school on a couple of days and working on the report cards bore fruit as Friday at 5:30pm, they were done. I walked home with a sense of satisfaction as that meant I would not have to work on them during the weekend. Now I can focus on the IEPs.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a pleasant surprise when I arrived home on Friday. I had bookmail! The marketing group at Harper Collins Canada sent me an ARC copy of a Fantasy novel that I wanted to read: Infinity Son by Adam Silvera. I am so excited to read this one that I pushed aside the books I had planned to enjoy during October and opened this one this afternoon. I am loving it so far!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the tree foliage has changed colours – and it looks beautiful. I am also receiving a few leaf bouquets which are decorating my classroom. These are definitely the highlight of the season and the children in my class love collecting them.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my Sunday afternoon was spent reading and relaxing. It is definitely my favourite part of the weekend. Now that I have older children, I definitely enjoy these moments that I have for myself – it is like I am finding the person I was before children. 😀

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a wonderful week. And if you do anything for Halloween, enjoy it.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Vote Lines

Yesterday all Canadians voted in the elections – or at least, one hoped all Canadians would. (According to the stats, 68.5% did). My family and I strategically went to vote soon after we had eaten an earlier than usual dinner as we wanted to avoid waiting in any vote lines.

Our strategy worked and we were in and out of the voting room quite quickly – no long line awaited us! What made me smile, though, was the fact that both my daughters are now voters. Performing our civic duty is something we can now do en famille. It made me proud to see them registering to vote and then casting their ballot for the first time.

Do you vote in the elections?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge for which we will be posting square photos featuring lines during the month of October; as well as Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

I Thought You Meant

Oh,

I thought you meant:

That I should leave you alone,

Give you time to to think,

To just be.

I thought you meant:

That you would come back when you were ready;

Ready to communicate,

To express your concerns and your desires.

I thought you meant:

We would be okay;

That this was just a misstep that could be easily rectified,

Within a moment,

Or a series of moments.

I thought you meant

Something else.

Oh.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday challenge)

Teaser Tuesday: After Kilimanjaro by Gayle Woodson

I was accepted to read and review the following novel by BookSparks: After Kilimanjaro by Gayle Woodson. I was happy that my application had been accepted for two reasons: the book was set in Africa; and it dealt with basic women issues.

The novel is interesting so far and centres on a young woman doctor, Sarah Whitaker, who has travelled to work in Tanzania for a year. What she sees and experiences opens her eyes to the reality of the country she is in. The extract I am sharing describes one of the patients that she encounters:

” An awful stench floated in the next patient as she shuffled in with her head bowed. The chart said she was twenty years old, but she looked ancient. Her name was Charmaine. She was a victim of genital mutilation and a pregnancy gone wrong. The baby was tepees by scarring and after four days of labor, a dead infant was delivered in pieces. Charmaine was left with holes in her bowel and bladder and continually leaked urine and faces.” (p 107)

The content of the novel certainly makes me grateful to be living as a woman in a more modern society.

What do you know about female mutilation? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)