Words of Advice

I’ve not had much time this week for writing, so instead of a story (even a short one), I thought I’d share some quotes on writing that either: (A) Inspired me to be a writer myself, or (B) Have helped me figure out what kind of writer I want to be.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” — Stephen King


“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” — Neil Gaiman


“Wasn’t writing a kind of soaring, an achievable form of flight, of fancy, of the imagination?” — Ian McEwan


“To hell with facts! We need stories!” — Ken Kesey


“Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.” — Mark Twain


“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” — Robert Frost


“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” — Ray Bradbury


“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” — Dr. Seuss


“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London


“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

What quotes inspire you? I’d love to hear them!

Giving Some Credit to Inspiration

I’ve been a little bit busy here lately (the aforementioned, you’re-probably-tired-of-hearing-it Summer Reading), so I don’t have a poem quite ready for this week. But I thought I’d try something a little different: Today, I’m going to share some of the words that have inspired me. For me, music plays a huge role, especially when it comes to poetry. Here are just a few lyrics from songs that helped me find the poet in me. In short: These are all moments in songs that made me go: “Whoa… words can do that.”

“You can go through motions with your magic spells/ Buy all the potions that Fifth Avenue sells/You can try to call down all the stars above/But you can’t make love.” — Don Henley, “You Can’t Make Love”


“People speak of love, don’t know what they’re thinking of/Wait around for the one who fits just like a glove/Speak in terms of a life and a living/Try to find the word for forgiving.”–Jackson Brown, “The Shape of a Heart”


“Oh, life’s a maze of doors and they all open from the side you’re on/ Just keep on pushing hard, boy, try as you may, you’re gonna wind up where you started from.”–Cat Stevens, “Sitting”


“And it comes to you how it all slips away/Youth and beauty are gone one day/No matter what you dream, or feel, or say/It ends in dust and disarray/Like wind on the plains, sand through the glass/Waves rolling in with the tide/Dreams die hard and we watch them erode/But we cannot be denied/The fire inside.”–Bob Seger, “The Fire Inside”


“Don’t you hear my call though you’re many years away?/Don’t you hear me calling you?/Write your letters in the sand for the day I take your hand in the land that our grandchildren knew.”–Queen, “’39”


“I’ve really learned a lot, I’ve really learned a lot/Love is like a flame/It burns you when it’s hot/Love hurts.”–Nazareth, “Love Hurts”


“Walked out this morning/Don’t believe what I saw/A hundred million bottles/Washed up on the shore/Seems I’m not alone in being alone/A hundred million castaways looking for a home.”–The Police, “Message in a Bottle”


“If everything is nothing, then are we anything?/Is it better to be better than to be anything?”–Counting Crows, “Einstein on a Beach”


“I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good.”–Pearl Jam, “Wish List”


“Now I think I know/What you tried to say to me/And how you suffered for your sanity/How you tried to set them free/They would not listen, they’re not listening still/Perhaps they never will.”–Don McLean, “Vincent”

Do you have any lyrics that really connect with you? I’d love to hear them!

Letters: Chapter Two

Chapter two of the old fan fiction I posted last week. And, of course: I own nothing. JKR owns it all. High School Sarah just borrowed Remus for a bit to imagine what his time at Hogwarts must have been like. (Of course, if Ms. Rowling wanted to write a prequel about the marauders giving us just that… well, then all of my dreams will have come true.)

Oh, and obviously this was written WAAAY before Pottermore. So Remus’ parents were characters of my own creation, as, at the time, I didn’t have any canon characters to use. But I really wanted to explore what it would have been like for the Lupins to send their only child–who was also a werewolf facing major prejudice–to Hogwarts, alone. This chapter explores that idea.


Jonathan Lupin was sipping his morning cup of tea when Felicitus, the owl he had bought Remus in Diagon Alley, flew through the window and landed importantly on the table. The owl had a very proper nature, and stood alert atop the table, holding her leg out. Jonathan took the extremely thick letter, and passed the owl a bit of toast. “There you are, girl,” he muttered, before the owl flew away toward the old barn outside, leaving Jonathan alone with the letter.

            He looked down at the—was that two rolls of parchment? Jonathan frowned; if Remus had that much to say, that could mean two things—he was having a great time and had a lot to write about, or he was having a horrible time and wanted to come back home, both of which seemed equally likely; Jonathan hoped it was the former.

            Jonathan drank the rest of his tea before calling into the living room, “Lucinda, I have a letter from Remus.”

            Lucinda was by his side in a flash, her light hair falling across her face. “Is he okay? Does he need anything?”

            Leave it to Lucinda to be worrying before the letter was even open; she’d been doing so all week, thinking about the boy who had hardly left her side since he was an infant.

            Jonathan smiled wryly, “Cindi, I haven’t even opened the letter yet. Give me a moment.”

            And with that, Jonathan unfurled the parchment and laid it on the table so the both of them could read it:

            Dear Mum and Dad,

            Well, it’s been a week already and so far things have been great. I’m sure you’ve already heard that I was sorted into Gryffindor, which was fantastic—I’ve made a lot friends really quickly, especially with the boys I share a dorm with. First, there’s James, I sat with him on the train on the way up. He’s really into Quidditch (he’s still upset about not being allowed to play on the House Team), and really knows how to have a lot of fun. Then, there’s Peter. He likes Quidditch too, but he’s a lot like me and wouldn’t even consider playing it. He collects chocolate frog cards like I do, and his collection is almost as large as mine! We’ve been trading and now I’ve finally got Ptolemy! Anyways, then there’s Sirius. He was sitting on the train with us too, and he was absolutely shocked when he got into Gryffindor. You see, he’s a Black; I don’t really see what the big deal is, but everyone seemed to be so surprised what House he was in. Maybe I need to get out more… But anyways, he loves being in Gryffindor and says that it’s a right bit better than Slytherin any day. He and James are a lot alike; he likes to have fun too.

            Okay, let’s see what else has happened. I’m really enjoying my classes. I like Defense Against the Dark Arts especially. The new teacher they have is really good; he has a lot of practical lessons, and he jokes around a bit too. His classes are really funny. Then there’s Transfiguration and Charms, both of which I like as well. I don’t care much for Herbology; I guess I don’t have much of a green thumb. Sirius is fantastic at Astronomy; he could already name half of the stars up there and got Gryffindor five points. Oh, I almost forgot, I got five points for Gryffindor too! In Defense Against the Dark Arts, the teacher was just seeing how much we know about different Dark Creatures and so forth in general, and I was able to tell a few things about werewolves; a real surprise there, right?

            Oh, and I don’t think I’m going to be any good at Potions. Professor Slughorn said the potion we were brewing was very simple, but I sure had a hard time with it. And as for Flying Lessons? I don’t think you have a Quidditch player on your hands, Dad.

            Oh, I forgot to tell you about Lily. She’s another Gryffindor in our year, really nice. I think James may like her, but he hasn’t admitted to it yet; Sirius’ is giving him a hard enough time about it already.

            Mum, Dad, you probably want to know what they exactly set up for me here, don’t you? For… that time of the month, you know? Well, I’ll be going to this house, through a passageway. It’s perfectly safe because over the entrance there’s a Whomping—

Love,

Remus

            Jonathan stopped reading and looked at Lucinda, whose eyes had widened in shock. Jonathan’s did too; it was impossible that something could have gone wrong, but for Remus to trail off with the final word “Whomping” made him feel slightly uneasy. It was so unlike Remus to just stop midway through anything.

            “Jonathan, do you think everything’s alright?”

            Jonathan nodded, clearing his throat. “I’m sure it is, Cindi.” He smiled again nervously at her narrowed brow, as she began to scan the letter again.

            “Anyways, it sounds like he’s having a good time.”

            Lucinda didn’t seem satisfied. “Hanging out with a Black? A dark wizarding family, Jonathan?”

            “The boy’s in Gryffindor, he can’t be that bad.”

            “What does he mean about this James and Sirius boy liking to–” she turned back to the letter, “‘Have fun’?”

            “I’m sure it’s nothing, Cindi.”

            “It better be nothing,” Lucinda agreed, turning to the living room again. “Write him back and tell him to tell us properly about full moons. I’m worrying about him enough as it; I don’t want to be left in the dark about those arrangements.”

            Jonathan nodded; he didn’t want to either.

Letters: Chapter One

I’m going to take another story from Past Sarah. I’ve been busy (you all know the drill–Summer Reading), so I’ve been going through some old stories. I actually had fun sharing an old fan fiction not long ago, so I thought I might share another one. Fan fiction was a good writing exercise for Past Sarah, and I had a lot of fun re-reading it. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with fellow fans. Any other Remus Lupin fans out there? He was always my favorite. (Yes this another Harry Potter story.) Anyways, this story has two-parts. I’ll post one chapter this week, and another one next week. My focus is still (obviously) on my own original fiction, but… hey, you’ve gotta have fun sometimes right? (And, if I’m being honest… I need a brain break.)

So, enjoy. (Oh, and also…. I obviously don’t own this. Thank you, JKR, for giving us characters like Remus that we couldn’t get out of our heads and inspired us to put pen to paper ourselves.)


Remus frowned at the parchment, the ink he had dabbed onto his quill dripping onto his hand; he’d never been any good at writing letters. After a moment he sighed, and placed the tip of the quill to the letter he was trying to write; after all, he had promised Mum and Dad he would write, and he most certainly wanted to. But how did he put everything he’d done this past week into words?

            Well, maybe not everything.

 Remus thought it would be a good idea not to mention how many times he’d snuck out after curfew with James and Sirius, or about the prank he’d helped them pull on that one Slytherin boy—what was his name? Saphron or something? No, that’s a spice; Seffrus? Ah well, it doesn’t matter any; it was just one harmless prank.

            Nonetheless, Remus couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt. Sure he was a Slytherin, and he had called that nice Lily girl a Mudblood, but he couldn’t help but feel as though charming a bottle of bubotuber pus onto his head (but first making sure to plant a sticking charm onto his chair) in Herbology was just a little bit harsh.

            Remus frowned again; how did he get himself off topic? He’d come up here to write a letter home while Sirius, James, and Peter watched the Gryffindor Quidditch team practice, and so far all he had done was write “Dear Mum and Dad”—pathetic.

            He cleared his throat, rolled up his sleeves, and put quill parchment again, writing:

Dear Mum and Dad,

            Hello from Hogwarts, I was sorted into Gryffindor, and I share my dorm with three other boys. First, there’s James, who—

            Remus frowned. That sounded horrible; though he couldn’t help having smiled: Hello from Hogwarts; a few months ago, he never would have even dreamed he’d have written that. Remus crumpled up the parchment, and threw it into a nearby dustbin, which belched in response.

            Okay, no more goofing off. Let’s get to it so that when James and the others come back, you can—whatever it is they want to do—with them.

            Remus smiled, slightly, suddenly realizing exactly what he wanted to write. After a few moments, his hand was racing across the first parchment—and a second. He didn’t know how long he’d been writing, when he was suddenly shaken from his thoughts by Sirius’ bark-like voice. “Oi, Rem!”

            Remus jumped back slightly, spilling ink over himself. “Bloody–” he muttered, then looked up to see James, Sirius, and Peter all smiling up at him; Peter was smiling rather bemusedly, and James and Sirius’ mischievous grins reached up into their eyes.

            “You still writing?” Sirius asked, a sarcastic drawl to his voice. He raised an eyebrow and waggled it, before withdrawing his wand and pointing it directly at Remus.

            “Scourgify!”he exclaimed, and within moments, Remus’ robes were immaculate. “There, so you done writing?” he asked, his voice brimmed slightly with accusation.

            “Well, I–”

            “Well, finish up!” James exclaimed, he was practically jumping up and down, his hair scattered more helter-skelter atop his head than was normal.

            “Why?” Remus asked; he could feel his own curiosity ebbing at him, mixed with slight mischief; he was very eager to find out what had his friends so excited.

            “Just sign it and come on!”

            Remus frowned slightly, then eagerly obeyed. He’d stopped mid-sentence, but oh well, close enough.

            “Come on!”

            “What are you two on about?” he asked the pair of them, as Peter trailed behind Remus.

            James whipped around, his hazel eyes sparkling, “You’ll never guess what we found behind the statue of that humpbacked, one-eyed witch! Hurry up!”

A Bit of Progress… and A Lot of Nerdiness on the Horizon

I actually had a bit of time to write this week. Not much, but I did have a nice rush going for a bit.

I’ve gone back to working on my old NaNoWriMo project from last year. I’ve had writer’s block with it, but I think I’m starting to get my groove back.

I’ve also worked on a little bit of poetry. It’s nice to have that kind of emotional outlet. Very freeing. I never should have stopped writing poems.

Summer Reading is still going strong, but I’m glad that I’ve been able to carve out a bit of time for the writing side of me.

Of course, the Library Comic Con is coming up soon…. It takes a TON of planning and prep, and, as the nerdiest librarian in all the land…. well, it’s kind of my baby. Patrons really enjoy it, and I love being able to give my fellow nerds a place to let their nerd flag fly. (There aren’t a ton of opportunities for that in rural communities.)

That’s going to be taking up most of my time.

Thank goodness I got some writing in this week!

Some Inspiration

I’m doing something a little different. I haven’t had the time to write (even one of my short 500-word flash fictions), but I thought I’d take some time share some of the stories that have most inspired me–the stories that I got completely lost within and that made me think, “Wow, I want to be able to do what this author has done.”

My Top 10 Favorite Books

(10) Atonement by Ian McEwan

(9) Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

(8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky

(7) Looking for Alaska by John Green

(6) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

(5) Recursion by Blake Crouch

(4) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

(3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

(2) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

(1) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

What are your favorite books? I’d love to hear them!

Nerdy Time (It’s Been a While)

I realized that I haven’t shared some nerdiness in a while. Between that and some extreme cabin fever–come on, COVID-19, haven’t you held us captive long enough?–I ended up coming across some pictures from the last Cincinnati Comic Con I was able to attend.

Nothing quite captures what it’s like to attend a con like cosplay–particularly when characters from different worlds suddenly converge. These were taken from the top floor of the convention hall (where you can overlook the ENTIRE con and just relish in the nerdiness of it all.) And nothing warms a nerd’s heart like Merlin and Mad Madam Mim posing for a photo with Batman (left), actually finding Waldo and Carmen Sandeigo (center), and the Pines twins chatting with Snow White (right).

Ah, conventions… how I miss thee, and how I can’t wait to enjoy you again.

When Does Weird Work?

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the world is weird.

We’ve faced impending doom in the form of murder hornets, carnivorous rats, thieving monkeys, and even UFOs. (I’m just now realizing how much strangeness has been animal-related….) Of course, that’s just the bizarre news… I’m not even counting all of the other headlines that has us wondering if we should invest in panic rooms. (Though the fact that all of this is happening at the same time just adds to the weird factor.)

This year has been proof that fact is stranger than fiction.

Which begs the question: When does fiction become too strange? As Mark Twain once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

But where does that put sci-fi and fantasy? Obviously, we extend our suspensions of disbelief, but at what point do they start to break?

The answer, of course, can be a matter of taste. Someone who prefers nonfiction and documentaries will probably think even well-loved stories like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are too “out there.” Conversely, someone who watches a lot of anime is used to being so far out of the box, they’re not even in its orbit. That dog is also a gun who shoots cannonballs? That’s just a Tuesday.

So while preference will vary from person to person, are there some general guidelines that help make “weird” a bit more accessible? What can a writer with a crazy idea do to make their audiences still love the story… and even love the idea solely for how crazy it is?

There’s no hard and fast answer, of course, but in my time diving into the weird side of stories, here are few takeaways I’ve found.

(1) Build Up To Your Ultimate Weirdness

If your story is going to walk on the weird side, chances are that you’re going to let the audience know right away. Readers/viewers like to know what to expect: What kind of world are we in? What’s normal for the characters and what’s not? However… that doesn’t mean you show you’re entire hand from episode one. It’s a shock to the system to cannonball into cool water–so, instead, you tiptoe your way in. The same is true with storytelling.

Disney’s Gravity Falls, which has gathered a nice little cult following, chronicles a summer that the protagonists Dipper and Mabel Pines spend with their Grunkle (Great-uncle) Stan in his tourist trap called the Mystery Shack. The real mystery, however, is the town Gravity Falls: Grunkle Stan may have fake mysteries in the shack, but all around them is very real weirdness–ghosts, gnomes, unicorns, zombies, etc.

Episode one sets the stage pretty quickly–I won’t give any details, because the twist at the end is pretty funny. But with each episode, the stories get stranger, but also more complex. A deeper mystery is unraveled concerning Grunkle Stan and the entire Pines family. By the end, “Manotaurs” (super manly Minotaurs) seems downright tame when the show’s maniacal, chaos-addicted villain Bill Cypher unleashes “Weirdmageddon” on the town.

But when you reach that point, it simply seems like the next logical step in the story. So instead of shaking your head at the “eye-bats,” you’re just cheering for the heroes.

(2) Stay Grounded with Relatable Characters and Situations

The anime Assassination Classroom is a prime example of weird that works. When I first came across the anime, I was certain I’d be able to count the brain cells popping out of existence as I watched it. A super-powered yellow octopus-thing with a smiley-face-head is a teacher and his students have to try to assassinate him or else he’ll destroy the world?

Okaaaay…..

Except, it doesn’t take long for me to start binging the episodes. And, by the end, I’m sobbing at its heart-rendering conclusion. (No spoilers, I promise.) So how did a show with such a crazy premise leave that much of an impact?

Easy: A complex plot with relatable characters. Koro Sensei is the ideal teacher: He cares about his students and does everything in his power to help each and every one reach their potential. He imparts lessons that reach far beyond the classroom. And he’s had to overcome his own twisted past. Each student is also as equally developed. Plus, the show itself is as much about educational theory–what helps students and what hinders them. For example, we’ve all sat through a particularly difficult test, so we can relate when the show likens it to a Colosseum battle.

In the end, you know you watched something completely insane. But what you remember isn’t how outlandish it was, but what you learned from it. (My personal favorite moment? This quote: “The difference between the novice and the master is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried.”)

(3) Add Some Humor

This scene pretty much sums up how weird comics can be. (FYI: This is from “Dark Nights Metal” (2018) by Scott Snyder–one of the best comic story arcs I’ve read in a long time!)

It’s a crazy ride. You, as the writer know that. It came from your own imagination, and even you know its crazy. You believe in the story… but how do you make your audience connect with it?

Easy. Make ’em laugh.

But humor is not only a way to form a connection; it’s also a wonderful release. If you can call yourself out on some of the weirdness and let your readers/viewers have a chuckle, then all of the “What the hecks?” that have been building up in their minds can be eased. A good laugh is like turning a valve: It lets out some steam, relieves some pressure.

Dark Nights Metal is a stellar comic arc–as much fun as it is heart-pounding. One of these days, I’ll go into the pure genius of it during one of my “nerdy” posts. But it’s also very strange. The best way I can describe it actually brings me back to a quote from Gravity Falls. The super-chill teenager Wendy describes “Weirdmageddon:” “End of the world…. Those death metal album covers got it shockingly right.”

Of course, that right there brings a chuckle. (Gravity Falls knows how to use humor, too, as does Assassination Classroom.) The same is true in comics.

Of course, weirdness works the best when all three of these elements are carefully utilized. Dark Nights Metal, Assassination Classroom, and Gravity Falls, all not only know how to use humor, but also how to create engaging characters, and how to pace the story.

When these three elements are balanced together, you get a weird story that’s a wild ride but also captivating. Rather than rolling your eyes, you end up getting lost in the strange, outrageous world.

And, let’s be honest. We all like to live in a little bit of weird now and again–if for no other reason then to escape the weirdness of the real world.

But there’s one more attraction of weird stories. They dare to ask that tantalizing question: What if?

And we love that question. Not just because it sends us on fantastic adventures in fiction, but because it reminds us of all that is possible. We might not have to fight extra-dimensional monsters (*knocks on wood because, you know… 2020*), but we do have little battles every day, little doubts. But if we can ask “what if,” then we can keep moving forward.

So never stop asking that all-too-important question. And never stopping reading and watching the stories that remind us to ask it.

Stay weird, people.

The Fastest Librarian Alive

Today’s nerdy blog is a little bit different…. A while back, my library’s writing group all drew random prompts. Fate was with me as mine was: If you could have any superpower what would it be? *cracks knuckles* I’d been preparing my whole life for a prompt like this. Today, I thought I’d share that story, mostly because: (A) It’s super nerdy; and (B) It was a ton of fun to write.

We’ll skip the origin story. As a dedicated comic nerd before I became an actual superhero—and, yes, I know how crazy that sounds, but hear me out—I know that origin stories are everyone’s least favorite. I mean, don’t get me wrong: You can’t have Batman without Crime Alley or Spider-Man without great power and great responsibility.      

          But we all know those stories. We want to get to the action, to the grit, to the “How will they save the day” and the “Does the day even deserve to be saved?”

          The latter is for edgier comics, though, and if my real life ever became a comic book, I doubt it would be all that edgy. I don’t think a 4’11” librarian can pull off the angst that, say… Daredevil can.

          That’s not to say I haven’t had some hard times in my life. But everybody has. Everyone has had wracking sobs and shaking fists. We’ve all been heartbroken and we’ve all been furious. The difference is whether we let those moments be our molds or our ladder rungs: Do they define us or do they lift us higher?

          I tend to lean towards the latter, because… well, like I said, I can’t pull off the doom and gloom.

          And besides the past is in the past… in the origin story. And this isn’t really an origin story. This is how Sarah Davidson became the fastest librarian alive.

          You wouldn’t think being a librarian has that many occupational hazards. (Though we tend to joke that the compulsion to take home a new book at the end of every work day is a real danger.)

          And, yeah, except for the occasional pulled muscle or papercut, things are pretty quiet.

          Minus the freak accident that gave me my powers: an early morning storm, a lightning bolt, and me working on the computer. I don’t know how, but somehow the electric shock that surged through the computer and into me… gave me super-speed!

          Super-speed is by far the best power. No more driving—because now running is actually faster! Plus, there are technically no speed limits for running. (But who would have guessed anyone would ever be hitting Mach 3?)

          Not that I can go my fastest. The speed would tear up the sidewalks.

          People are starting to talk about a strange blur throughout this normally quiet small town though. No one’s suspected superpowers… mostly because that idea is crazy.

          But super speed also comes with speed brain—which means I can think as fast as I can move. That comes in handy whenever I’m typing—those two books I’ve been wanting to write? I finished them last week.

          Now I just have to edit them….

          Unfortunately, super speed did not come with super motivation.

          Plus, I can vibrate my molecules fast enough to go through solid objects. Locked myself out of the house? No problem!

          I can also vibrate quickly enough that I appear invisible… though I haven’t experimented with that much… yet.

          But that’s not even the biggest plus to super speed. The best part? Superfast metabolism. This speed is always a part of me, even when I appear to be still. And that speed needs fuel—10,000 calories per day fuel. I can lose the weight I want, and then eat whatever I want just to maintain my new figure!  

          And that is especially good news for a chocoholic.

          It’s been a couple months since I got my speed, and I’ve grown pretty accustomed to it. I mean, there was definitely a learning curve (namely passing out a few times because I needed to eat and then there was that one time I meant to go get my mail, but I ended up in Fiji….)

          I never had any patience, but now with super-speed always itching at me, I find it’s nearly impossible to be still. I get up earlier in the morning and then I get three times as much done as I used to. Dishes, no matter how high they’re stacked, take only 5 minutes.

          I spend the rest of my free time writing (and wearing out my keyboard) and reading (I’ve already read 200 books this year!) And at work, I can put books away in a blink of an eye. I’ve also already scheduled all the employees for the next five years! And I’ve outlined programming for the next ten!

          Huh… maybe speed brain doesn’t mix well with being a planner….

          Of course, most of the time there are fellow librarians around. And that means I can’t use my speed (which is like asking a seven-year old with a water pistol not to shoot it). But I manage. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of hiding my powers (as long as no one looks at the floor under my desk—there’s a pretty good sized hole from my incessant foot tapping).

          About a week ago, I started wondering how else I could use my super speed. I’ve gotten ahead at work, at home, and with my hobbies. I’ve helped around the house at my parents’, and I’ve even let my engineer brother run some experiments on me.

          But today, as I was sitting at my desk, double-checking the schedule for October 2022 for the tenth time, I couldn’t help but wonder if I could do something more.

          I’m a pretty… normal person. I’ve never been one to rush into danger. I’m more than a bit squeamish, and I’m very introverted. Even when just reading comic books, I would find myself wondering how the characters could take such colossal risks.

          But then I started paying attention to the sirens. This might be a pretty small town, but it’s surprising how often sirens blare.

          And that’s when it hit me: Every comic I’d ever read: “With great power comes great responsibility.” “Life doesn’t give us purpose. We give life purpose.” “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

          What reason is there to have abilities if you don’t use them? And as I ran to the siren, I realized that was true of any ability, not just this strange super speed that had miraculously come my way. If you have the ability to write a story or give a speech that moves people, if you have the ability to open up young minds to the world around them, if you have the ability to make people laugh and forget their troubles—whatever it is, how can you not use it?

          This particular siren was just for a domestic dispute. Nothing I could help with. But there will be others—fires, or robberies, or who knows what—where my speed might be helpful.  

          I’ll keep an ear out, and my running shoes nearby. And in the meantime, I’ll keeping putting away books at lightning speed….          

Because I’m Sarah Davidson. And I’m the fastest librarian alive.


Note: I do not own any of the references to DC comics. I am simply referencing them in this parody work.

What No One is Saying About Masks

Alright… everyone has an opinion about masks. Today’s not about that.

We’ve all been wearing them for about five months now, and while there has been endless discussion and debate and everything else, there are a few things that no one is really talking about. And that’s a shame.

But today, I’m going to talk about what no one else is! Let’s get started:

(1) Fashion statement!

Love sharing who you are with your clothes? Of course you do! I have seen masks that have as much style as a bohemian dress or a t-shirt with a favorite sports team. People are decorating them in a million different ways, or choosing them from countless styles. Love dogs? Cute puppy mask! Wanna be a fashionista? Color coordinate with your outfit and jewelry! The creativity is astounding. Say who you are loud and proud!

(2) Men Can Now Understand Us, Ladies! (At least a little, tiny bit)

Alright gals… we all know how it feels when we finally take our bra off at the end of the day. That feeling of restriction evaporates and we can finally relax. I saw a meme the other day that said masks are the new bras… and guess what that means? Guys can now understand how we feel! (At least in that aspect… now if only we could get them to understand “Aunt Erma,” right?)

(3) You feel like a superhero!

I know what you’re thinking… Superheroes wear masks over their eyes. Wrong! Check out these heroes who were trendsetters and didn’t even know it!

(4) No make-up!

I’ve not worn any make-up since March. My skin feels amazing, and I feel amazing. Make-up isn’t essential for beauty–just our gorgeous positivity.

(5) Incognito!

See someone in the grocery store that you don’t want to talk to? Well, the odds of them recognizing you from a distance and waving you over have significantly DECREASED! Just duck down an aisle and go, go, go!

Listen, all humor aside (though, to be honest, I actually do really like all those mask advantages), I’ve always been one to look on the bright side. Complaining is easy. Being angry is easy. Arguing is easy.

You know what’s difficult? Being positive. I often say you can laugh or cry, but if 2020 has taught me anything, I think the phrase should be amended: You can laugh, you can cry, or you can shout.

For me, personally, I’ve always preferred laughter. I feel better and I’ve noticed the people around me tend to feel better, too.

We have a lot of reasons to feel terrible this year. I’d rather do something that helps to alleviate all of that rather than add to it.

So I hope this list gave you a smile, or maybe helped you look at masks a little bit differently. No one’s having much fun wearing them, but if you can maybe feel like a superhero or snidely tell your husband, “Welcome to my world,” then maybe we can have a few more smiles than groans.

Stay positive, people. We’ll get through this together. Lots of love!