100 Word Challenge | Through My Twin’s Eyes

I was adopted, so used to pretend that I had a long lost twin.

I would close my eyes and imagine that I could see what my twin saw. I still imagine this sometimes when I’ve been drinking.

I saw hands that looked like mine, but instead of typing at a computer, these hands held tools high above the ground, building skyscrapers.

I always strained my ears, but even when I listened carefully, I could never hear what my twin heard.

Until the scream, when I saw the ground rush to meet me.

I can’t see through his eyes anymore, but I do feel the heat.

fire

100 Word Challenge | Pink Nails, She Cried

“Hey Jane,”said Monica, “package for ya. From Richland.”

Richland Construction was Jane’s former employer. After years of getting passed over for promotions, Jane finally quit and started her own company, Athena Construction.

Jane approached the package warily. She flicked the packaging tape and popped the top. Sifting through some crumpled papers, she held a smaller box aloft.

“Pink nails!” she cried.

“”Who has time to paint framing nails?” asked Monica,

“Huh,” said Jane, eyeing a crumpled paper. “I doubt they meant to give me this.”

“What?”

“A list of bids on upcoming projects. Would you call Richland for me? Thank them for the nails.”

pink_nails

The New, Improved Baker Book House

It is finally here. After many long months, phase 1 of the construction at Baker Book House is complete. We have occupancy of the new sales floor and our bookstore actually looks like a bookstore from the road. Here is a video collection of the changes at Baker Book House. You can tell when things really got busy because there is a large gap in the time between videos.

If you are in the West Michigan area, please stop by and check it out for yourself!

These videos make it seem like this was a speedy process. It wasn’t. And really, it isn’t over yet. We’ve still got phase 2 of the construction to get through before it is all said and done. And that is the part that I’m really looking forward to (since that is when my new office will be built!).

Anyway, this is a beautiful new building and we’ll be making the most of it. This was built with the mindset that we are here to serve our community. So if you are in our community, please come in so we can serve you!

The Joy of Creation | Creating the Summer Reading Program

This Saturday marks the end of the Children’s Summer Reading Program at my work, Baker Book House. The theme this year was “The Nature of God” and was inspired by the series of the same name published by Zondervan.

There were a few reasons that we went with this them:

  • It is a great series
  • Kids love animals
  • The author lives in Michigan and is super cool
  • Baker was under construction and we couldn’t host indoor events

All good reasons, but the last one was a big one.

Last year’s theme centered on the Berenstain Bears. We hosted Mike Berenstain for a book-reading/signing. We rented Mama/Papa/Brother/Sister Bear costumes and promoted the program on the street outside the bookstore (you couldn’t pay me enough to get back into one of those costumes without some kind of fan installed inside). We had weekly activities to get kids back into the store and the participants were entered to win an original drawing from Mike Berenstain himself. It was a great program, but it required a lot of space and time within the walls of the bookstore.

If you’ve seen the bookstore lately, you’ll know that only half of the walls are still standing (but we REALLY ARE still open for business). Anyway, we didn’t have the space or the time to devote to the weekly in-store activities.

But it worked out. I contacted Peter Schriemer and asked his thoughts on using his materials as the basis for the summer reading program. He loved it. We met up and brainstormed some of the offsite activities that we could do, how we could get kids to read AND enjoy nature. It was a beautiful arrangement.

We set up events at the John Ball Zoo, Meijer Gardens, and Blandford Nature Center, where Peter even joined us and the kids got to hang out with him and identify bugs in a field. Good times.

The funny thing in all of this is that, though putting the program together takes up a ton of time (setting up the events, designing the guidebook, selecting and implementing the theme, marketing the program to kids, etc.), only a small part of the whole thing SHOULD fall under my job responsibilities at work. Mostly, it should be up to the Children’s Buyer to set up the program.

But I ask to do it every year. I love setting up the Children’s Summer Reading Program. There were times when the normal aspects of my job (boring things like arguing with the website designers over whose fault it is that international customers must select a state within the USA as their residence before they are allowed to place an order) would become so infuriating that the Reading Program was like therapy to me.

In the midst of professional chaos, I was able to retreat to a creative place and craft something beautiful and innocent, something inspiring and wholly good. At least, that was what I was going for.

And now the program is coming to an end. The kids who participated are coming in, guidebooks in hand, showing off how many books they have read and getting rewarded with gift certificates for even more books to enjoy.

On one hand, it is sad that the program must come to an end, but for me, it came to an end a while ago, just after the books came in from the printers and kids started picking them up.

You see, for me, the fun part of the whole thing is in the creating. Of course, I get a swell of pride once the project has been completed. But once the thing exists and I have seen that it is good, it is not as important to me. Its use and implementation are someone else’s job.

My job is to dream and bring into being. And I love my job.

Now to dream up Next Year’s program!