#TikTokGrandma Works the Election

If you are reading this on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, then I am working the polls as you read! I’ve always believed in the importance of voting (even local elections – already voted in a school board election earlier this year!) but this is the first I’ve decided to work the polls!

I’m excited. And nervous. And not thrilled about how early I have to get up on Tuesday – I have to be there at 6 a.m. and I am NOT a morning person! It’s gonna be long day – we were told to plan on working till an hour AFTER the polls close – but as far as picking an exciting election to work for my first ever experience . . . wow!

It’s Sunday evening as I’m typing this and, like most of the nation, I have hopes about the outcome of Tuesday. I’m very aware that we may not have a final answer for a couple of weeks depending on how close the race is and taking into account states with regulations that allow for absentee ballots that are postmarked by election day. It’s obvious to anyone watching that emotions are running very, VERY high for many people.

But I’m going to choose to see the positives and they are there believe me.

Nearly every state in the nation is setting records for early in-person voting numbers. Voters between the ages of 18 – 29 are showing up in large numbers to make their voices heard. People often bemoan the fact that just over half of those eligible to vote choose to do so even in a presidential election year. That’s not going to be the case this year.

There are significant number of people who have told me that they have never voted before but they have already voted early this year. Some are still in their 30’s but one woman was in her early 60’s and is casting her first vote ever in a presidential election. That’s huge!

I encourage everyone to simply breathe. If you are a person of faith your job is simple – love EVERYONE. Yes, everyone. There is no escape clause in that commandment. You are to love your neighbor and everyone is your neighbor.

From My Bookshelf – A Storm of Glass and Stars

(This is book 4 in the series “The Oncoming Storm by Marion Blackwood)

I was already a huge fan of this series before reading book four. But I have to admit – this one surprised me! In the first three books, Blackwood did a beautiful job creating characters that I came to love but who I still didn’t know much about. We got a BIG surprise about Shade – the leader of the Assassin’s Guild – earlier in the series and book 3 revealed some things about Storm that left readers with MANY questions. And in this book, we get all sorts of new information about our favorite leading lady although we still have questions to answer when the story is over – and I’m thinking there is a book 5 coming at some point?!

When I TRULY fall in love with a series I develop this love/hate relationship with the last book because I don’t want to say goodbye to the story and the characters for good. I’m DREADING the final installment in Storm’s story. But it looks like I don’t have to say goodby quite yet!

What’s New!

As promised in my previous post, I’m back to share with you the “new look” for this blog. Now to be COMPLETELY honest, the physcial look of this space will continue to evolve as I “tweak” things going forward. But the weekly schedule is set and I’m ready to share it!

Sunday – I’m keeping my “Song for Sunday” installment simply because . . . well . . . I love it! It’s a great way to start my week – even in the virtual world – so that one is sticking around!

Monday – “From My Bookshelf” is moving to Monday. I had recently started sharing book “stuff” on this blog but it’s becoming a permanent Monday fixture. This could take the form of a book review, information about an author, anticipated releases, etc.

Tuesday – We’re calling this one “#TikTok Tuesdays”. While I never expected to find myself involved in political and social activism, one viral video changed all of that back in June! So #TikTokGrandma will be taking over Tuesdays!

Wednesday – “Wild Card Wednesday”! Pretty much anything goes on this day! Silly, serious, thought-provoking, intriguing . . . any random bits that I find interesting could land here.

Thursday – On Thursdays we will be discussing all things theatrical – “Theatrically Speaking”. This could be shows I’m currently working with (once live theater becomes a thing again!) or theatrical memories, songs from favorite shows, etc.

Friday – This is another day that isn’t changing – “Friday Fun” is here to stay simply because we all could use a little fun in our lives!

So there it is! The new weekly plan for the blog. As I said before, the physical appearance of the blog may change in the coming weeks, but at least you have an idea now what the content will look like!

I’m Still Here!

Despite the lack of activity here I haven’t vanished! I’ve been taking time to reevaluate what I want my online presence to look like. This blog especially has been kind of all over the place so I’m trying to narrow down my focus.

I’m not ready to reveal everything yet, but there will be dedicated book reviews and “book talks” as well as theater chat for sure! I’m going to be working hard these last couple days in October to be ready to launch the “new stuff” in November!

Quarantined Pages

I am typing this in June of 2020. Since March 13 of 2020 life has been . . . odd. The country has been dealing with the impact of a world wide pandemic. Schools and universities finished their year with students learning and working online from home. Business shifted to work-from-home set ups whenever and wherever possible . . . it’s been a shut-down/quarantine/isolation of sorts. Introverts loved it (until they realized that the rest of their family was going to constantly be underfoot!) and extroverts weren’t sure how we were going to survive!

Enter seven outstanding Booktube personalities! (If you don’t know what Booktube is you are missing out! It’s an entire community of book lovers and book reviewers who create content on Youtube!) They created a daily reading time that they called Quarantined Pages. Using Zoom meetings, readers from all over the world gathered together for an hour of silent reading after which we would discuss the books we were reading. As time went on, the group was acknowledged by Forbes and others which brought new members to our get-togethers! The organizers even found authors willing to come chat about their work! Some have been debut authors trying to get their first book out into the world at a time when book tours and book signings are not happening. Others have been established authors talking about their newest work. No matter the case, each of those “author chats” has been an absolute joy to be a part of!

A Twitter feed, a reading list on Goodreads, special registrations for the author chats . . . the numbers varied from one meeting to the next and we were checking in from LITERALLY all over the world. But one thing has been constant – At 51 years of age I might be the oldest face to show up and I feel completely embraced each and every time – they have become, for lack of a better term, my “bookish family”. Those who attend cover all ages, ethnic groups, gender identity groups . . . the only thing about us that is exactly the same is that we love to share books. And some of us get REALLY expressive when we experience “bookish joy” (I’m lookin’ at you Adri and Noria!).

I’ve had a few people chuckle when I’ve told them about this. But for this extroverted people person, this daily get-together of fellow book lovers became the one thing on my calendar that I could count on to occur exactly when it was scheduled to in a world when so many things were cancelled. Many of us have connected on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads . . . several of us have found new Booktube personalities to follow and we ALL have gotten a number of books to add to our personal wish lists!

To some it might seem like a simple thing. Maybe even a little silly. But when the world shut down from a pandemic, reading became a thing that connected a group of strangers and gave me something to look forward to every day. And I’m ever so grateful to have found such a unique, special online community.