Category Archives: Links

Write Your Story…The Thorn Necklace

For devotees of Bird by Bird and The Artist’s Way, a memoir-driven guide to healing through the craft of writing

Francesca Lia Block is the bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the award-winning Weetzie Bat series. Her writing has been called “transcendent” by The New York Times, and her books have been included in “best of” lists compiled by Time magazine and NPR.

In this long-anticipated guide to the craft of writing, Block offers an intimate glimpse of an artist at work and a detailed guide to help readers channel their own experiences and creative energy. Sharing visceral insights and powerful exercises, she gently guides us down the write-to-heal path, revealing at each turn the intrinsic value of channeling our experiences onto the page.

Named for the painting by Frida Kahlo, who famously transformed her own personal suffering into art, The Thorn Necklace offers lessons on life, love, and the creative process.

Francesca Lia Block is the bestselling author of more than twenty-five books of stories, nonfiction, and fiction, including the Weetzie Bat books, her series of magical-realism novels. She has received the Spectrum Award, the Phoenix Award, the ALA Rainbow Award, and the 2005 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as other citations from the American Library Association, the New York Times Book Review, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Los Angeles, a city the New York Times says she describes “better than any writer since Raymond Chandler.” She teachers writing at UCLA, Antioch University, and numerous workshops across the country.
Grant Faulkner is the executive director of National Novel Writing Month, co-founder of the literary journal 101 Word Story, co-founder of the Flash Fiction Collective, and the author of Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Prompts to Boost Your Creative Mojo (Chronicle Book)

Write Your Story @ Union City Library

Join our library group, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Third Tuesday of the Month: January 15, February 19, and March 19                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

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The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

“This important book is about the lifelong journey from ?What will people think?’ to ?I am enough.’ Brown’s unique ability to blend original research with honest storytelling makes reading The Gifts of Imperfection like having a long, uplifting conversation with a very wise friend who offers compassion, wisdom, and great advice.”

–Harriet Lerner, New York Times best-selling author of The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Connection

“Brené Brown courageously tackles the dark emotions that get in the way of leading a fuller life; read this book and let some of that courage rub off on you.” 

–Daniel H. Pink, New York Times best-selling author of A Whole New Mind

“Courage, compassion, and connection: Through Brené’s research, observations, and guidance, these three little words can open the door to amazing change in your life.”                                 

 –Ali Edwards, author of Life Artist

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, Ph.D., a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living ? a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, And to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., is a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, where she studies how shame affects the way people live, love, parent, work, and build relationships. A dynamic public speaker, she frequently presents on the topic of shame resilience at conferences and public events. Visit her popular blog to learn more.

 Check the link for more titles on the subject of Self-Acceptance 

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Sense of Something Greater : Zen and the Search for Balance in Silicon Valley

Welcome to Silicon Valley’s search for fulfillment and purpose beyond devices, money, and power. 

With worker stress at an all-time high, particularly in the fast-paced technology industry, it’s no surprise that Google, Salesforce, and Apple have adopted mindfulness and meditation into their workplace culture. Studies show mindfulness practice increases emotional intelligence, reduces stress, and enhances health and overall well-being. 
 
A Sense of Something Greater goes deeper than the current mindfulness trend, into the heart of Zen practice. For Les Kaye, Zen is more than awareness––it’s also “the continued determination to be authentic in relationships, to create meaningful, intimate, intentional bonds with people, things, and the environment.” Kaye’s teachings are paired with interviews with current tech employees and Zen practitioners, conducted by journalist Teresa Bouza. A Sense of Something Greater is an essential book for business leaders, mindfulness meditators, and Zen practitioners alike.

Les Kaye worked for IBM in San Jose, California, and for over thirty years held positions in engineering, sales, and management. Les started Zen practice in 1966 with a small group in the garage of a private home. He was ordained a Zen monk by Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki in 1971. In 1985, he was appointed teacher at Kannon Do Zen Center in Mountain View, California. His first book, Zen at Work, includes stories of how his own meditation practice enhanced the quality of his life and work. He and his wife Mary live in Los Altos. 
 
Teresa Bouza is a journalist with extensive experience in Europe and the United States, most recently covering technology and innovation in Silicon Valley. She has worked for The Wall Street Journal as well as Spain’s global news agency EFE and the Spanish business daily Cinco Dias. Bouza has a master’s degree from Columbia University and was a Knight Fellow at Stanford in 2012.for more book on these subjects follow the links :Religious life — Zen BuddhismEmployees — Religious life ;  Spirituality and work

 

 

 

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The Christmas Mystery & Romance

  • Novels you can devour in a few hours
  • Impossible to stop reading
  • All original content from James Patterson
  • Check out library catalog for your holidays reading.
  • Or if you are a fan of Romance reader , join us for Union City Book Club discussion on Tuesday  December 4, 2018 .                                                                  The title is What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander. For more Christmas and Romance Check here!

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Write Your Story…Cuyahoga

Cuyahoga

Bruce Haase

This is a second draft of a chapter of the fictional ‘faux-auto-biographical’ novel that I’m writing. It’s the story of two boys and a girl, born on the East side in Cleveland, Ohio in November 1943, and goes to the summer of 1959… “Cuyahoga” is the County that Cleveland is in.

June 2018

* * *

Mrs. Hagopian’s Goat

In the early hours of a still frigid April 1956 day, twelve year old Charlie did his now daily charitable task. He had discovered that the Hagopian Family (who weren’t his newspaper customers) had a young goat in their garage. Charlie was captivated by the goat, plus he was feeling sorry for the poor thing, living in a 50 year old, unheated garage with a non-running, spider infested, ’36 Ford. Since Charlie fancied himself a decent, and possibly heroic young man, after his route, at 6:30, he’d walk past the st

ill sleeping house and carefully open the garage’s side door to pet and feed a snack to Gary the goat. Actually the goat was unnamed, only Charlie seemed to care enough about Gary to name him and pet him. Charlie didn’t know if Gary was a boy goat. Maybe he should have named her Gretchen.

By Easter Sunday, the weather was better and Gary was on a chain in the back yard, the weeds were chomped short and Gary was pretty plump. Gary or Gretchen liked the morning treat and rub down, he or she knew that Charlie was due and was pulling the chain taut, eager for his upcoming visitor.

The Saturday following Easter, Gary wasn’t there. Mrs. Hagopian saw Charlie and came out. She told Carlie that the goat had been slaughtered and was being prepared at the Armenian Butcher shop for a Madagh feast to be held at the Armenian/American Social Hall the next day. She invited Charlie to come and join in the festivities.

In a most unheroic manner Charlie shook his head and ran away. He was horrified, the Armenians were cannibals and had killed Gary and were going to devour him, probably raw.

When Charlie calmed down, his natural curiosity took over. At the library in the following month, Charlie learned a lot about traditions, prejudice, Armenia, Genocide, independence, immigration, Greece, Turkey and more. One afternoon he went to the Hagopian house and apologized to Mrs. Hagopian for his rude behavior in running away from her invitation. She explained about the goat, why, from the day that they had bought him, they had never named him or made a pet of him, his existence to them was to be a sacrifice, that’s all. Next year it would be another families job to raise a goat or a lamb for the Madagh feast.

She invited Charlie to come to supper that evening, he accepted. At 5:30 Mr. Hagopian and two adult sons sat down with Charlie, they nodded to him. Mrs. Hagopian served from the stove, she flitted about, and didn’t sit down. Like a mother robin she made sure the chicks were fed. There was no conversation, a few grunts, a belch or two, some slurping, then a final wiping the plate with a piece of Wonder bread and chairs squeaking back, and the three men went to the living room TV for a beer, the sports report and a game show.

Charlie helped Mrs. Hagopian clear the table, then she dished up her food and sat down to eat. Charlie sat with her and they talked. He asked her about a “Madagh”. She told him it was a commemoration for the million and a half victims of “The Genocide”. She told him of Armenia, of the Armenia that she remembered as a girl, she told of moving to Ottoman Turkey when she was ten, of the Genocide of the Armenian people that started when she was twelve. She told of camps, refugees, walking, hiding, hunger, finally stowing-away aboard a ship to Portugal. Of her older girl cousin, named Lusine (meaning mysterious), somehow obtaining legal passage for them to Boston. Them being sent to Cleveland to be live-in servants to a rich Croatian family on the east side, near Shaker Heights, being set-up at eighteen to marry Mister Hagopian, a man 21 years older then herself. A man that she barely knew. She told Charlie of teaching herself to read English from the newspapers, of the four children that she bore and raised for Mr. Hagopian. She told of the two oldest, both daughters. How each were married when they were eighteen. How each married boys that they knew and chose for themselves. How happy her girls were to drop the name Hagopian, and move to the West Coast and a new way of life, near the clean, white California sands.

Charlie helped her wash and dry the dishes, he told her how much her liked her cooking. In the background, the television set quietly murmured, the three men snored, probably not dreaming about their brutal steel mill jobs. Mrs. Hagopian tousled Charlies hair, and told him, “you good boy to listen to old woman’s stories.”

She left the kitchen and came back with a small shoe box, covered in Christmas wrapping and decorated with ribbons. Carefully she opened it and took out a colorful silk and cotton wrapped treasure. It was a cheap child’s toy tea cup, broken, chipped, and carefully glued. It was her sole possession for her girlhood in Armenia, before they moved to Turkey. It was priceless to her, she cradled it then gently kissed the cup, she told of her father and mother and brother and sisters, her five family members of whom she knew nothing since 1916.

Eyes closed, she tightly held her cup, and told of herself as a 9 year old girl, the youngest in a healthy, and happy young family. They were picnicking in a meadow, under an Ash tree, laughing and sipping pomegranate juice from the child’s tea set. That picnic was during the good days, safe, under a clean Armenian sky, with puffy pure white clouds, the scents of flowers and spices in the air, song birds singing joyously. She clutched her little cup to her chest, her eyes were closed. Her cheeks were damp.

Charlie quietly let himself out of the kitchen door, dusk was sneaking up. He looked at the goat’s chain hanging from a nail on the old garage. Weeds in the small, un-landscaped back yard were reappearing, there was no goat to stop them.

Walking home Charlie thought about the refugees, immigrants, non-english speakers. Brave people, seeking freedom and safety, coming to a strange, and foreign new country. His four grandparents had all done that, the three that he had so fleetingly known were gone now, he had never heard their stories about their lives in the old country.

Four grandparents, all dead and no one to tell their stories. Someone should have written them down. Maybe someone should write down Mrs. Hagopian’s stories. Maybe he should help her do that this summer.

Charlie thought, from now on, maybe he wouldn’t make fun of immigrants and their funny clothes, their funny accents, their odd ideas, foods, and traditions. Maybe sacrificing a goat or lamb once a year is very meaningful to them. Maybe we shouldn’t judge them too quickly.

Charlie made a vow to buy Mrs. Hagopian a pomegranate or two at the fruit stand when they come in season….

When he got back to Villa Beach, he sat on his bench, overlooking his now dark great lake, a few night birds were singing, maybe singing the songs of their grandparents.

Write Your Story @ Union City Library

Join our library group, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Third Tuesday of the Month:  July  17 ,   August 21 , and September 18  .                            1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

 

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Eat What You Grow…Gardening Series @ Union City Library

Gardening workshops with Lori Caldwell

Wednesdays, June 13, June 27, and July 11—4:30 to 6:30 P.m.

Learn how easy and fun gardening can be!

Join Bay-Friendly Landscape Professional & Garden Educator Lori Caldwell to learn the basics to be a successful gardener. She will be present three workshops this summer.

 

Eat What You Grow

Wednesday June 13

There is nothing more satisfying than eating food from your own garden. Topics such as: crop rotation, seeds vs, starts, soil fertility, and plant succession, transplanting, seedlings, watering, irrigation and the best crops for your garden. Emphasis on re-use able materials will also be discussed.

Big Gardens in Small Spaces:

Adventures of container Gardening June 27

This class is geared toward people who don’t have a lot of space and want to grow their own food. Topics such as maintaining soil fertility, best plants for container gardens & crop rotation will be covered. Growing in containers is a great way to start a garden or add-on to maximize your already existing garden possibilities!!

Gardening All Year:

Prepping Your Garden for Fall Wednesday July 11

One of the many benefits of our climate is being able to garden year-round!!

Fall/Winter is still a great time to garden. This class will go over some great techniques on how to transition to your Fall garden:  cool-weather, edible crops, starting seeds, crop rotation, sheet mulching & planting natives.

  Lori‘s Blog: 

Facebook Page: CompostGal: Consulting, Landscaping & Education

There are more than 500 titles in the Library collection under the subject gardening. check it out!

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Nowruz 2018 @ Union City Library in Pictures

Shahrzad Dance Company presened an engaging and educational program on Persian Dance, Elegant and flowing, yet rhythmic and inspiring, this visual journey showed the unique body positions, angles, and dynamics that are intrinsic to Persian aesthetics.  A brief informative lecture and audience participation were included.

 

Amir School of Music performed using three traditional instruments , Daf, Ney, and Santur .

Naghmeh Danishmand, a library member , as well an Miniaturist Painter was present to talk to public about Persian art ,She displayed her works and other artists. She also kindly served tea and Persian pastry after the program

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