High Five / 09

Hi everyone!

high-five-09Happy Sunday! How are things? I myself am so grateful that the weekend has arrived – after a busy few days, the time at home {and the chance to finish my current read, Mindy McGinnis’ The Female of the Species} is much appreciated. I have many a homework assignment to attend to and a new autumnal recipe I hope to try this morning, but in the meantime, I wanted to share another edition of High Five; I always enjoy the opportunity to catch up! How was your week?

[1] First up is my current television obsession: New Girl! When the news of the New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine {another favorite show of mine} crossover was announced, my sister and I thought it was high time we watch the quirky comedy ourselves. The sitcom has been on for several years now, first premiering on Fox in 2011, but we were delighted to find five complete seasons of the show on Netflix – and we’ve already made our way through two! Jess and her roommates, Nick, Schmidt, and Winston, have warmed their ways into our hearts, and the jokes have us both laughing out loud. At the rate we’re going, we will likely be caught up with the current episode in a few weeks time, and then it’s just a matter of tuning in each week. Do you watch New Girl at all?

[2] As I mentioned in my previous post, these past few days brought my final Spirit Week and homecoming celebration! It’s the first of many “lasts” that come with senior year, but fortunately, it was such a good one, in no small part to my creative and enthusiastic friends. We went all out for our themed days, including my personal favorite, Pajama Day {let’s agree, there’s nothing better than staying comfy at school} as well as Tacky Tourist Wednesday and Decades Day. As an added bonus, I was named Homecoming Queen by my class at our pep rally. The tradition is a tad outdated, but nevertheless, I was honored to take the crown and my family was so sweet as to come and support me – that’s me and my sister Lulu above at the game that night! If you too are in high school, how do your homecoming festivities work?

[3] I don’t think there was any ever doubt, but if this year has proven anything, it’s that the Knowles is certainly one talented family! Solange’s new album, A Seat at the Table, is a testament to that fact, addressing race, and in particular, Black America, in an honest and unabashedly proud manner. Her gorgeous voice comes alive on each and every track, but my favorite songs of the bunch are “Rise” and “Don’t You Wait.” If I haven’t already made it clear, I absolutely adore it, and I believe it’s not only what the music industry needed, but society at large. At the very least, I’ve found it the perfect soundtrack to my calculus studying! Have you listened to A Seat at the Table and/or Lemonade, Beyonce’s stellar 2016 release, yet?

[4] In other weekend fun, my mom, sister, and I attended the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books and Authors yesterday! Due to family schedules, we could only attend the latter half of the event – meaning I missed Cece Bell, author of the delightful El Deafo – but it still made for a wonderful afternoon of panels and signings. Elizabeth Wein, who wrote Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, spoke about her literary inspirations and first attempts at writing; acclaimed illustrator Bryan Collier shared images and messages from his portfolio of work; and Chris Van Allsburg finished strong by answering questions about his career. I haven’t attended many bookish events, but after this one, I have my fingers crossed I’ll be able to go to more in the future!

[5] Finally, Boden’s Roald Dahl collaboration has me wishing one thing: that the pieces came in bigger sizes! Taking inspiration from Dahl’s literary classics such as The BFG and James and the Giant Peach, the line is all sorts of cute and makes the designer in me oh-so happy. Boden always rocks it with their creative direction, and this time is no exception; hop on over to the website to take a peek for yourself. I, unfortunately, won’t be adding the Matilda Dress or the Rainbow Drops Dress to my wardrobe anytime soon, but that’s alright, I’ll simply save my tips for the next Boden release! Have you bought any cute pieces for fall recently?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Do Tell / Stage Managers’ Day


Do TellHow was your weekend, friends? Mine was all sorts of wonderful: New Girl marathons {I’m only a few years late}, a birthday breakfast for my sister, and a night in with friends all making my pile of homework easier to stomach. Today, nothing’s on my agenda save a yoga class in the afternoon, so I’m hoping to finish Jason Reynolds’ Ghost and wrap up spirit week preparations – as class president, the days leading up to the homecoming game keep me busy.

October might as well be the month of celebration, as today is a holiday of its own: International Stage Managers’ Day! As someone who has stage-managed numerous school and community productions, this day is, naturally, near and dear to my heart. In honor of the occasion, I wanted to share five reasons why I consider theater so important in a new edition of Do Tell. While they are not unique to the performing arts, together, I feel the reasons below capture why theater is such a meaningful part of my life – and those of many others! Are you a theater fan?

waitressWhen I first became involved in theater at my middle school, it was just another extracurricular activity; many of my friends had a role in either the cast or crew, the musical seemed like an easy way to transition into a new grade, and helping out with costumes satisfied my dream of working in fashion {clearly, I’ve since changed my mind}. However, with each show I’ve participated in since then, I’ve come to appreciate theater as an art form, something of both aesthetic and intellectual value. Even when I have a hand in bringing a performance together, I continue to be in utter disbelief when the play or musical finally moves from pages in a script to a fluid piece of art on stage, complete with costumes, props, and set pieces that all serve to bring the story – and message! – to life.

shuffle-alongMy love of shows and my love of books go hand in hand: both are forms of storytelling, allowing audience members and readers respectively a window into another time, place, or way of living – plays act as a “slice of life,” if you will. I hate to use the word “escape” in this sense, as that implies to see a show is to ignore reality, when it is often the exact opposite: I believe the best productions mirror the world outside, teaching us a lesson or two about ourselves and others, even if they’re set a few hundred years back from now. And if the characters sing and dance while doing it? All the better, in my humble opinion :)

she-loves-meWhether you are in the starring role or simply moving set backstage, if you’ve ever worked on a production, you know of the bond that often forms between cast and crew members. Late night rehearsals and tech week schedules lend themselves well to quickly formed friendships! But even within the audience, community can be found; whenever I’m calling a show, I love to anticipate the laugh that ripples through the auditorium with a funny scene, the intense hush that comes at the height of a drama, or even the snippets of conversation as people exit the theater. Those moments are hard to beat.

hamiltonBroadway and the theater world at large still have a long way to go in terms of diversity; like many other forms of entertainment, the representation of different races, genders, and disabilities leave much to be desired. That said, I’ve still found that with the assistance of social media, theater is more accessible than ever, and I think that only goes to show how much it has grown – and the potential it has in the future! I may never see Hamilton in person, for example, but the cast album is on Spotify, print and digital interviews are in abundance, and videos shared by the cast only spread the show’s influence. And, of course, one can’t discount the power of local theater. Quality can range, sure, but in many communities, an excellent production is only minutes away from your door at a far cheaper price than what you’ll find in NYC.

the-color-purpleFinally, it’s difficult to expand on the idea that theater is powerful, but it’s true: why else would so many people say that theater has changed their lives for the better? Hours of rehearsing can be draining, shows can seem repetitive by closing night, and nothing pains my stage manager heart more than a technical glitch, but nevertheless, I’ve found few things replicate the excitement I feel when the lights dim and the curtain opens, regardless if I’m on headset or in an auditorium seat. I can’t wait to see what future productions have in store.

Have a lovely Monday!

My Fall 2016 TBR List


Top Ten TuesdayHow’s your week been, friends? Thanks to a half day yesterday, mine is zipping right along, and, before I know it, the weekend and with it, October, will have arrived! Cue all the pumpkin recipes, cozy sweaters, and Halloween classics {It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, anyone?} your heart desires – it’s such a fun time of year :) In other news, you may be double-checking your calendar, curious as to why I’m sharing a Top Ten Tuesday on a Thursday. It’s a bit odd, I admit, but with how senior year is rolling, I’ve had to put blogging on the back burner, hence the few days late post. Nevertheless, I love crafting my seasonal to be read list, and The Broke and the Bookish’s weekly feature provides the perfect opportunity to do so. All that said, here are the releases – and a few backlist titles! – I’m anxious to read this season, in rainbow order, no less. {Late to the party as well? Find all of the details on how to participate HERE!}.

heartlessI’m still steadily making my way though the Lunar Chronicles, Fairest and Winter still waiting on my nightstand, but in the meantime, I might as well add another Marissa Meyer novel to my TBR list. Her newest series kicks off with Heartless, named for the protagonist: Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts. I’m excited to dive into the backstory of such an interesting character, and knowing Meyer, I’m certain it will be an excellent read. {out November 8}

where-am-i-nowMatilda, Roald Dahl’s charming story about a plucky young genius, is a classic, a label that’s supported by its expansion across other forms of media. I’m still waiting for tickets to the musical, but in the meantime, I plan to pick up a copy of Where Am I Now?, a memoir written by Mara Wilson, the actress who played Matilda in 1996 film. If it’s anything like her Twitter account, I’m in for a treat. {already out}

sometimes-we-tell-the-truthWhen I look at the illustrations that surround the title of Kim Zarins’ debut novel, I’m nothing short of intrigued. What do a dolphin, playing card, and baby doll all have to do with one another? Questions aside, Sometimes We Tell the Truth sounds right up my alley, bringing The Canterbury Tales to a high school setting in a story that one reviewer describes as “brave and honest and raw.” That’s a combination that can’t be beat. {already out}

when-the-moon-was-oursI tend to stay away from pure fantasy, the lengthy sagas and mystical quests rarely capturing my interest. Mention magical realism, however, and I already have my library card in hand! Anna-Marie McLemore is known for her work in the genre, but I have yet to read any of her books: her debut, The Weight of Feathers, or her sophomore novel, When the Moon Was Ours. Here’s hoping my reading this autumn will change that. {out October 4}

howard-wallace-piWhile the rate of my reading ebbs and flows throughout the year, one thing’s for certain: I can’t let a season go without one middle grade mystery in my library pile. For this fall, I have my eye on Casey Lyall’s Howard Wallace, P.I. This debut has received nothing but rave reviews since its publication, and furthermore, the premise – a middle school detective finds himself with a new partner and case – sounds all sorts of adorable. Sign me up! {already out}

trouble-makes-a-comebackStephanie Tromly is hilarious. I don’t know her personally, of course, but such a fact must be true for her to write such a funny, quirky read as Trouble is a Friend of Mine. She follows in the debut’s success with Trouble Makes a Comeback, bringing back the memorable duo of Zoe and Digby in a new set of antics. Its publication falls in between my college application deadline and my first grading period, all of which is to say that I’ll want the laughs. {out November 22}

the-candymakers-and-the-great-chocolate-chaseThere are several authors whose work I first began in my childhood and continue today. Wendy Mass is one in the bunch, her whimsical stories never failing to bring a smile to my face, even as I grow older! With that said, I can’t wait to read another adventure with the Candymakers crew as they trek across the country to promote a new chocolate bar – and perhaps, solve a few problems along the way. The six-year wait was worth it. {already out}

this-adventure-endsEven if it weren’t for the intriguing synopsis and wide acclaims from publishers and other bloggers alike, I’d pick up This Adventure Ends on its stunning cover alone. Art direction aside, I’m anxious to get my hands on Emma Mills’ second book, a contemporary novel that highlights “intense and important friendships [and] a wonderful warts-and-all family.” I don’t know about you, but I think it’s the perfect read to kick off October. {out October 4}

a-room-with-a-viewI haven’t read as many classics as I aimed to in the beginning of the year, but never to fear: I have a few I want to fit in before the holidays roll around, one of which is E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View. Since reading the modern adaptation Love, Lucy by April Lindner a few years ago, my interest in its inspiration has only grew, and it should only be a matter of weeks before I’m learning more about Lucy, George, and Cecil. {already out}

the-last-true-love-storyFrom his provocative debut, The Gospel of Winter, to his important and well-written collaboration with Jason Reynolds, All American Boys, Brendan Kiely has quickly proven a new favorite author of mine. He’s sure to win me over again with his third release, The Last True Love Story, in which teens Hendrix and Corrina take a sudden road trip along with Hendrix’s ailing grandfather. Fingers crossed I’ll have a copy in my hands soon! {already out}

girls-in-the-moonJen at Pop! Goes the Reader had another successful year of Her Story this past summer, the posts all worth a read if you have the time, and it was through her feature that I came across so many talented debut authors, one of which is Janet McNally. Her first book, Girls in the Moon, hits shelves in November, and needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading it. Who can resist a well-written contemporary novel? Not me. {out November 22}

iron-castFinally, the skull on the cover of Destiny Soria’s first novel, Iron Cast, in addition to the premise of gangsters and illusion and mystery, leads me to think only one thing: it’s meant to be read around Halloween. With comparisons being drawn to Libba Bray’s The Diviners – a wonderful, atmospheric read I’m always recommending – I’m finding it hard to imagine my dislike of this spooky-sounding book. Only time, I suppose, will tell. {out October 11}

Have a terrific Thursday!