Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

From Cashel, Co Tipperary.

The Rock of Cashel is always an impressive and beautiful sight from any angle.  But standing among the graves, looking up at the round tower that nearly blocks the sun, you can really get a sense of the scale of the place.

And not only in size, but also in history, too: the round tower and several other parts of the structure date from the 1100s.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale


Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

From Dublin.

Dublin strikes me a very walkable city.  There is nothing special about this side street to my knowledge, merely one of many typical Dublin streets we saw on our bus tour; additionally, it’s full of people walking around.  So, pedestrian in two meanings of the word!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

Fan Art Friday: Boba Fett Mandala

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.

For this picture, I simply started with the idea of Boba Fett’s armor colors, mainly green with some warmer tones as accents.  I used three different shades of green for the helmet outline tessellations and the outside leaves.  I used red for what looks like the outline of Fett’s ship, the Slave I.  Last, I added some golden details to the edges of the leaves.

For not having much of a plan except “green” going in, I really like how this one came out.  I’ve always liked the idea of Mandalorian armor, how it expresses tradition as well as utility.  There’s been so much cool stuff written in Legends about Mandalorians, and Boba Fett specifically.  I couldn’t find any information on where the color scheme for Boba’s armor comes from, as it is different from both his father Jango’s and his father’s mentor Jaster Mereel’s.  Any know/have a guess?

Speaking of Jango, check out Kiri’s mash-up mandala of Jango and Boba Fett here!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

From Connemara, County Galway.

My mom and I sat in the back of the Vagabond minibus (lovingly referred to as the Vagatron) several times, which I didn’t mind at all because there were some cool views out the back.  There are lots of lakes and mountains in this area, and they looked wild and beautiful through the Irish rain and mist.

You can see the trailer with all our luggage behind us, and “Vagabond,” the name of the tour company, written backward in orange on the windows.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

Words Have Power: Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week 2017 Official Words Have Power Twitter Image

This week (September 24-30, 2017) is the annual Banned Books Week, sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and others.  The ALA has a department called the Office for Intellectual Freedom, which records “challenges” to books in public schools, libraries, etc. every year.  Last year in 2016 there were 323 challenges.

Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 GIF

There are many reasons why books are challenged; here’s the list of the ten most frequently challenged books last year, along with why they were challenged.


Several of these are YA books; several are graphic novels.  The only book I’ve read is Eleanor & Park, which is a truly wonderful book that really touched me.  You can read my thoughts on it here.  It was challenged for its “offensive language,” which I honestly don’t remember.  Maybe there were some kind of slurs in it?  I don’t believe the book portray this language in a positive way, but rather as a realistic part of the sometimes harsh lives of these teenagers.  Here’s an interesting article on the challenges to Eleanor & Park, as well as the author’s reaction to them.

Several of these books I can understand may not be appropriate for certain age levels.  I always support parents taking an interest in what their kids are reading.  However, that does not give someone the right to determine what other parents’ kids are reading, and that is what censorship does.  Banning or removing books takes away our freedom to information, our freedom to read what we want.

Have you read any of the top ten banned books?  Any other challenged books you are reading?  Here’s some more info about book challenges in the US.