Going Back

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Sitting in a plane seat for hours, inactive and restless, was difficult for Tate. It reminded her of high school and the ongoing drone of the teachers’ voices. The Haagen-Dazs, however, made her think of sunny days with her girlfriends. As each scoop melted in her mouth, thoughts of their antics and conversations swirled in her mind. Sighing, she savoured the last mouthful. She needed to get back together with them. They had been her rock and she had been drifting along aimlessly since her departure. The plane was taking her home and bringing her closer to her people.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(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: Twice In A Blue Moon

On Instagram, many women posted positive reviews of Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren so I decided to pick it up from the library to read. Today I will share an extract from this romantic comedy.

The extract I am sharing with you describes the moment when the main protagonist, Tate, is caught unawares by reporters and photographers. Since she was a child, she had been living in obscurity causing a lot of curiosity about her as her father is a famous and beloved actor:

“An explosion of cameras caught the awkward collision on film. I’d see the photos everywhere for weeks to come. A chorus of voices shouted my name – they knew my name. Nana turned, grabbing my hand and jerking me back into the hotel. It took me a long time – far longer than it took her – to figure out what was going on.” (p107, Simon & Shuster, 2019)

The story continues fourteen years later when she encounters her first love, the man who sold her story to the papers.

Would this romantic comedy interest you?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Music Monday: Lose You To Love Me

For the last couple of days I have had Lose You To Love Me, a song by Selena Gomez, continually running through my head.

The first few times I listened to the song, I did not quite get what the song it was about – it just didn’t make sense. And then it clicked! In order to love herself, her toxic relationship needed to end. The song tells us, too, that you will get over a heartbreak – and that it will make you stronger.

Lose You To Love Me is such an inspiring song. And I love the voice of Selena Gomez. I know I will be listening to this song for a long while yet.

What song is currently running through your head?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Weekend Coffee Share: A Little Catch-Up

If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a big smile as it has been a while since we have had coffee. I have no excuse for my lack of commitment except to say that the weekends have, for the last month or so, been a time when I have avoided any computer screens. I have instead been journaling and enjoying the creative process that this activity brings. This coming week, I will share a little of what I have done with you. It is a relaxing activity and one that reminds me of the hours I spent as a teenager drawing and practising my calligraphy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since our last chat I have been on a break from school as well as celebrated Christmas in the warm climate of the Dominican Republic. I am still sporting browner skin but the memory of the warm sun on my skin seems like a memory. Instead it has been cold in the city I live with icy winds, sleet, and snow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am back in my routine at school – the deadlines very quickly make a person feel as if a vacation hasn’t happened! On Friday we had a PA day on which we wrote report cards. As we are currently in strike action mode, we are not expected to spend hours crafting comments and inputting these into the system. Instead, we are recording grades on a class list. It makes for a less stressful and time-consuming experience.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that negotiations with the government have stalled and they are not negotiating in good faith. Up until today, we kept our fingers crossed that the situation would change. Alas, nothing has so we will walk out tomorrow. All schools in my school board will be closed and the teachers will be walking the picket line. Tomorrow is forecast to feel like -20c so I do not think it will be a pleasant experience! However, it is important for us to show solidarity and I am sure all of my colleagues will be with me in front of our school standing up for what is important.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I plan to spend some time reading this afternoon. For some reason, I am feeling tired this afternoon and will take the time to relax.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

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

Asian Fusion Tastes

While on holiday in the Dominican Republic, we had the opportunity to try a number of restaurants and tastes. My husband wanted to try the Asian Fusion and we were lucky enough to get a booking.

As we approached the restaurant, it looked promising. I loved the entrance to the place, the night lights making it appear inviting.

I enjoyed the look and feel of the restaurant once we had entered the space. The lighting was intimate and the decorations were a delight to look at.

The food was beautifully presented.

The tastes, however, were far below what we expected. As I said to my husband, it is best we don’t go to a restaurant that offers food which we cook at home. We are disappointed every time.

Do you enjoy tasting Asian Fusion food?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge as well as Norm’s Thursday Doors challenge.)

A Moment of Change

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Time spent in the garden breathing in the scents of damp earth and perfumed flowers were her best moments. Gazing up, she looked past the checkered dome to the clear blue sky. She itched to be out there like the birds she saw flying high. But she would never have the courage to leave on her own.

“I wonder what it would be like out there. The elders claim the dome protects us. But is it necessary?”

The boy had twinkling eyes and an earnest gaze. Her heart leapt out to his. Connected. Maybe he would venture out with her.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(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: The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

During December I read The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman – a novel of historical fiction that really opened my eyes to an atrocity that had been committed in Quebec, Canada. In order to receive more funding from the government, orphanages were transformed into mental hospitals and the orphans themselves were abused and neglected.

The extract I am sharing with you today describes the first hint of the change that Elodie, the young child in the orphanage, experiences:

“The next morning, three important things happen, all of which give Elodie an anxious feeling of terrible things to come. The first is the banging that wakes her up much earlier than usual. When she looks outside, she sees workers removing all the shutters from the windows and replacing them with black iron bars.

Next, when she goes downstairs to breakfast, she notices that all the sisters are wearing white habits instead of their usual black.” (p107, Harper Collins Books, 2018)

The story continues with heartbreaking intensity and is one I will not forget quickly.

Would this novel interest you?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

A Winter Themed Door

In the spirit of the Holidays, I usually decorate my classroom door with my students. This year I decided to go more with a winter theme so that the decorations could stay up during the month of January.

Snowflakes are a must for a winter theme and I decided to place all the snowflakes the children had coloured in a wreath. I love the icy blues and shades of purple that they chose.

On the bottom of the door, my student volunteer and I created a snowy mountain on which I placed snowmen featuring the faces of the children in my class. The children and I love seeing the smiling faces on the door as we approach the room. It is definitely a pleasing way to start the day!

I am crossing fingers that the snowmen stay attached and that none are lost. When I take down the door decorations, I usually paste their work in their workbook so that the memory of our door stays with them.

How have you decorated your door for the winter season?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to Norm’s Thursday Doors challenge)

A Toronto Pop Up

By mid-morning on Saturday, the weather looked awful. A mix of rain and snow was falling and the temperature was slowly plummeting. However, the weather did not prevent my daughter and I from going out as we had been lucky enough to get tickets to attend the Pop Up event organised by Amanda Rach Lee, a popular YouTuber who shares videos on bullet journaling.

When we arrived, the snow falling was wet and we were lucky enough to be the penultimate group of people who joined the line inside the building. The line outside of the building went on a bit down the street. I felt sorry for the people standing under their umbrellas in the cold and wet.

I noticed that not only were there girls my daughter’s age or a little older attending, but also young girls of 10 to 12 years old. The people my age were the moms accompanying their children. Unlike me, they did not line up to meet Amanda and have her sign their personal bullet journal.

Amanda was so personable as she greeted each fan. Even though she is wildly popular ( with 1.68 million subscribers), she was humble and friendly towards each person she greeted.

After greeting Amanda and having our bullet journal signed, my daughter and I joined the line to get our bubble tea and snack. We grabbed a seat and, after eating, spent a little time doodling.

On Sunday I decided to make a memory page of the event. I used the pens that we had received as a gift and the two strips of washi tape that I had brought home with me.

I really enjoyed the occasion. Not only was it mother-daughter time, but I also got to go to an event of a young person who inspires so many.

Definitely something to smile about!

Have you attended a Pop Up event?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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

Teaser Tuesday: How To Hack A Heartbreak

I enjoy reading the modern rom-coms as they are so much more than a romance story. This weekend I finished How To Hack A Heartbreak by Kristen Rockaway. The story centres on a young woman who works in the male-dominated world of coding.

The extract I am sharing with you today makes a commentary on the use of technology in our lives:

“It was funny: modern technology could forge a connection between two people on the opposite ends of the earth, but it could just as easily drive a wedge between two people standing side by side in the same room. The more Alex scrolled through his phone, the more disconnected we became. His body was only two feet away from me, but his mind was off somewhere completely unknown.” (p168, Graydon House Books, 2019)

There are a number of insightful moments like this in the novel and it is these that make the story more in-depth than one would expect.

What do you think of the experience quoted? Have you ever felt this way?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016