Girl on Fire: Life is short

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, April 2, 2015]

As I get older, I keep learning new life lessons. Recently, the lesson that has been playing over and over in front of me is that life is short, and we must take chances.

My heart goes out to fellow firefighter Kevin Webb, his son Tanner and their family during such a harsh and sad time.

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Book Review: The Nannie Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Nanny DiariesTitle: The Nannie Diaries
Author: Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Series: Nanny
Published: 2002
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 306
From: Drake Public Library book sale
Rating: 6/10

First off, I found The Nanny Dairies by Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin at a library book sale for a dime, so obviously, I had to buy it. I had seen the movie first, and thought it was very cute and entertaining, so I wanted to see what the book was like.

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Girl on Fire: Just a few updates

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, March 19, 2015]

Recently, the other reporters and I have been working on Progress, a special section in the Creston News Advertiser that will last five days next week.

I have to say, everyone in the newsroom and other news departments have been working so hard for this section to succeed. This is my third Progress here in Creston, and I am glad for it because, despite the long hours in front of a computer screen and tedious transcription, I have met so many interesting people in our five-county coverage area.

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Girl on Fire: Pack it up and travel

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, March 5, 2015]

It’s been four years since I flew on a plane over the Atlantic Ocean, the deep blue water miles below me, and landed back in the Midwest after a six-month stint in England.

Ever since then, I have had a feeling nagging at me to pack up and travel the world.

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Book Review: The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

The Sweet Far ThingTitle: The Sweet Far Thing
Author: Libba Bray
Series: Gemma Doyle
Published: April 28, 2009
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 819
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 10/10

American author Libba Bray’s novel The Sweet Far Thing, the third installment to her Gemma Doyle trilogy, came to me at the perfect time.

I had read the trilogy in college, when I purchased them instead of saving money for food or alcohol like most college students. But, that’s not what I mean by perfect.

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Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The HobbitTitle: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Series: None
Published: September 21, 1937
Publisher: George Allen and Unwin
Pages:
From: Walmart
Rating: 8/10

As many already know, J.R.R. Tolkien was a master of the written word. He was a master of prose, fantasy, poetry and creating a picture within the mind of the reader. This was all evident in the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit.

The Hobbit (1937) began with Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit that lived in the Shire. He was a normal hobbit, with many family members and friends. And then one day that all changed.

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Girl on Fire: U.S. in comparison to international education

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, February 19, 2015]

Recently, I’ve read stories about the nation’s education system, and the different pieces of legislation being considered to improve and expand graduation rates and work force.

I want to commend several people I know who are continuing their education. My friend and former coworker Sarah Brown is obtaining her master’s degree, while maintaining a job and caring for her family. Kelsey Hollen, another friend, also has her master’s degree in the works while working full-time at Southwestern Community College.

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Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red QueenTitle: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Published: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 382
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 9/10

I have a thing for getting on Goodreads and looking at what is super popular at the time, and what will be out soon, and what of the many books are getting hype. I noticed Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel Red Queen, and instantly wanted to read it (mostly for the cover, but also because of the summary).

I preordered Aveyard’s book, and it came in the mail on a Thursday. I instantly decided I would read it after finishing one of the series I’m working on now, until I wanted a change of pace on Saturday, picked up Aveyard’s book and didn’t put it down until I was finished.

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Book Review: Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Rebel AngelsTitle: Rebel Angels
Author: Libba Bray
Published: 2005
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 548
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 9/10

The second installment of American author Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy, Rebel Angels takes on the next phase of lead character Gemma Doyle’s life in England after her mother dies in India and Gemma realizes she has supernatural abilities.

Gemma and her friends spend the Christmas holiday at home in London, attending teas and dances, and using the magic to enter the realms and try to keep everything as it was.

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Girl on Fire: Unboiled eggs leads to improved scientific process

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, February 5, 2015]

Can you imagine boiling an egg while you whip up breakfast one morning, and then deciding you would rather have pancakes, so you unboil that egg?

A study done by a group of scientists with University of California, Irvine, in California, University of Western Australia and Flinders University, both in Australia, discovered a way to unboil an egg, which could lead the food, pharmacy and environmental industries to save billions of dollars in the future.

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