Music Monday: La Respuesta

During the past two weeks I have been learning a new Zumba choreography which I will use with my students when school begins again in September. Last week Monday, I tried it out with my Zumba instructor in front of her class. It is a fun choreography and matches the song, La Respuesta, very well.

I have no idea what the song is about, but I did enjoy watching the official video 😀

Have you heard this song before?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(Link your Music Monday post to this one so we can share our love of music.)

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Weekend Coffee Share: A July Break

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that for the past weekends, I have put my laptop aside and made the decision to not write this post. Instead I have been taking my days easy and ignoring my usual routine. After all, isn’t that what a vacation is supposed to be about? This year I may not be jetting off to another part of the world but I am still doing things on a whim.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past month we have had some extremely hot days. So hot that I have not moved from my position in front of the fan. I have spent my time reading; and have even watched a TV show on Netflix. Rectify. Have you seen it? I loved the show and quickly could not stop watching which resulted in late nights and morning sleep-ins. The storyline is so good – and is a discussion of so many different types of prisons. I would definitely recommend seeing this one if you haven’t seen it already.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past few weeks, I have also spent some time tidying: I have sorted through my clothes and books and given away quite a bit. I am currently at an impasse as I still have a few non-fiction books sitting on the floor with no shelf to put them on. I need a few days to think before I figure out where I am going to put them. I don’t want to give these books away just yet – unless I come across someone who would appreciate them and use them.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have spent quite a bit of time with a friend of mine whom I don’t normally see during the school year. We have gone to a book launch, listened to a barbershop quartet, had coffee to discuss our buddy reads, and gone shopping. It has been lovely seeing her, and I look forward to spending more time with her during the month of August.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last Saturday I went with my cousin to the St. Jacob’s farmer’s market. Even though it is quite a drive, I enjoy strolling through the market and seeing the wares that are on sale. The fruit and vegetables that I buy there are always more tasty; and the vibe in the market energising. Every time we go to the market, my cousin and I visit the Dutch shop to buy some treats – we cannot leave without buying some double-salted licorice!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still in holiday mode. I haven’t done as much as I wanted to as the heat sometimes gets to me – we do not have air-conditioning in our place and sometimes it is too hot to do anything. I am still enjoying my break though and will continue to take things slowly for the next few weeks.

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)

Restart

The train pulled out of the station, leaving Amanda standing forlornly on the platform. Regretfully, she thought of Max and the last words they had exchanged. Hateful words that would be difficult to take back. Now she was here alone, exploring the places they had planned to see together. Sighing, she hefted her backpack onto her shoulder and began the walk to the castle ruins.

Amanda gazed at the ruins in wonder. They were just as she imagined.

“Fancy seeing you here!”

Tears slowly fell down her cheek as she saw Max walking towards her with a smile of forgiveness.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(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.)

A Snapshot of Memory

On Saturday I visited St Jacob’s market with my cousin. It is a lengthy drive to visit the market but we love to do it for so many reasons: the market is huge; the prices are reasonable; the fruit and vegetables are freshly picked; and it gets us out of the city. Another reason is that there is a Dutch store in one of the buildings.

The both of us enjoy browsing in the store as it brings back pleasant childhood memories. One of the memories that play back in my mind is of my aunt (my cousin’s mom) preparing us a snack with toast and flavoured sprinkles. I used to devour freshly baked bread slathered with butter and topped with chocolate sprinkles. The best snack ever for a 10 year old!

During the past week, visiting the Dutch store at St Jacob’s market brought a smile to my face. It is always good to go down memory lane once in a while.

Have you tasted any of the Dutch sprinkles showcased in the photo?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Music Monday: Java Jive

Last week I attended the book launch for a Canadian author here in Toronto. I had read and enjoyed Farah Heron’s debut novel The Chai Factor (see post here) and was excited when I heard that there would be a barbershop quartet at the event.

The group sang four songs in total. I loved listening to their harmonies and their song choice brought me back to a time when I enjoyed listening (and dancing) to the music of the 1930s and 1940s. Their first song brought back childhood memories as the song was one that my dad used to play on his gramophone.

My friend did not recognise the song which surprised me a little. I am guessing her parents did not listen to the same music as mine did! 😀

Do you recognise this song?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(Link your Music Monday post to this one so we can share our love of music.)

Remnant

Standing in front of the carved stone, he remembered when the artist was feted. People would travel from all over the world to see his work and admire his handiwork. Discussions would ensue on the meaning of the pieces and what had inspired him to create them. Then the scandal erupted. He was imprisoned, the many artworks torn down or vandalised. Except for this forgotten piece in the centre of the city. Unnamed, the early work stands proudly surrounded by office buildings. A remnant of a life that was crushed to pieces by the love for a young girl.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(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: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Today I am sharing an extract from Pride by Ibi Zoboi. I picked up this Young Adult novel last year when I heard that it was a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I loved reading Zoboi’s perspective. Not only did she incorporate references from one of my favourite classic novels, she also added the viewpoint of a culture far removed from that of Austen’s England.

The novel is set in Brooklyn and is told from the POV of Zuri Benitez, a woman who has pride in her Afro-Latino roots. The wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, the epitome of those who are slowly gentrifying her neighbourhood. Zuri wants nothing to do with the Darcys but as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial shifts into understanding.

“I don’t smile when Mrs. Darcy greets us. Her eyes immediately drop down to our shoes. So I look down too, to see Mama wearing her leopard print platform stilettos that she bought for her fortieth birthday party at a small club in Bed-Stuy. My face gets hot with embarrassment because I knew that this wasn’t the kind of party for those kinds of heels.” (108)

(2018, Balzer + Bray, Harper Collins Publishers)

Pride is definitely worth the read for those who enjoy Pride and Prejudice retellings, or diverse reads.

Do you enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice retellings? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

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

First Line Fridays: The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

He struggles to breathe. There’s blood trickling into one of his eyes. His glasses are gone. He can hear the ocean rising to meet him. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. ”

The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley (2019, Simon & Schuster Canada)

I have just started this novel and it promises to be a good one!

Would you keep reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books and her One Line Friday challenge.)

Teaser Tuesdays: Crossfire by Jessie Kwak

I received Crossfire by Jessie Kwak and eagerly picked it up to read as I had enjoyed the first novel in her Bulari Saga. Yesterday found me sitting on the sofa reading the story until it was done – I could not help it, I had to now what would happen!

“Pitch darkness is strange. It’s claustrophobic, shrinking down the entire world to the amount that fits into your awareness, a palm-sized space where your breath leaves your body, your organs thrum in your chest cavity, you feel the tiny, disconnected sensations where parts of your body press against unknown objects. But it’s also expansive, your potential environment no longer confined by the physical walls that once hemmed you in. Pitch darkness is what your imagination makes it.” (p298)

(2019, Independent Author)

In Crossfire, I have learned more about Kwak’s characters – and I am getting to love them. I also enjoy the writing – it is precise and the imagery is on point.

Do you enjoy reading independent authors? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

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

Weekend Coffee Share: First Week of the Break

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we are in the middle of experiencing a heat wave and will therefore opt-in for the iced version. Since Thursday, the temperatures have been wicked and I have been cooling off in front of the fan and reading. I am also grateful that I have set up my balcony so that we can sit outside as often it is cooler to spend time outside instead of inside.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my week started with a public holiday – Canada Day, to be precise. My family and I decided to do something different and stand in line to receive a free meal given out by a local restaurant. If you want to read more about this, you can have a look at my post (the link is here).

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I met up with my dear friend a couple of times during the week for a brief tea. After a little catching up, we managed to speak a little about our buddy read. We haven’t finished discussing the book though – there is so much to say about it! Hopefully we will get the chance to do so this week.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have managed to rest a little. I am still feeling a little tired but not as exhausted as I was by the end of the school year. This time off does me good and I look forward to resting more before I work on my plans for the summer. In the meantime, I will continue to take things slowly and enjoy my time without deadlines and a tight schedule.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still enjoying the flowers given to me by the parents over a week ago. The lilies have died and I have cut off the dry leaves. The carnations and white flowers are hardy though.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a good week. May it be filled with many adventures.

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)