Saturday, January 9, 2016

First off, just a quick congratulations to Katie Grace! You won the giveaway! I'll be contacting you soon about it :)

Second, today’s post marks Silver Mess’ first ever Creative Challenge!

Creative Challenge (noun) : Specific exercises designed to inspire others to explore, learn, and create art that is noble, pure, and good.
This month’s CC is something I’d like to call the Rainbow Library Basket (which has exactly nothing to do with June 26). Basically, here’s how you do it:
  1. Go to the library (obviously). (You can also do this with an online library; check to see if your library has one by going to Overdrive.com).
  2. Bring a bag/basket.
  3. Go to whatever section of the library you’d like. I went to the children’s section, because it’s my favorite (because I’m still a child and I read middle grade fiction) and also because I was also under a time crunch; however, I’d advise you to also check out the young adult and adult sections as well as the nonfiction areas. Heck, why not the magazine area? Diversity, man!
  4. Grab books with covers of varying colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo is optional because nobody really cares about indigo, and violet). Think of it as Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors--it’s your Library Basket of Many Colors. The books can be ones you’ve already read, books you haven't read, books you've always wanted to read but haven't been able to.
  5. Arrange the books into a living, breathing, bookish rainbow. Snap a picture of it. Post it on Instagram with the hashtag #SilverMessCreativeChallenge. Tag @silvermess in the caption.
  6. GO HOME AND READ. If you don't have time to read all of them, don't sweat it; if you've got the time, why not? Challenge yourself.

The point of this exercise is to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t just stick to one specific bookish section; go to the nonfiction section. Learn how to beatbox, plant birds of paradise, make a movie, etc., etc., etc. Read something you’ve never read before. Reread something you’ve already read and go down the pathway to nostalgia. Check out a weird political book by Donald Trump from the adult section, or a book that has a demographic of two-year-olds. Read, analyze, explore, create. Who knows? You might discover something about yourself.
When I went to the library, here’s what I checked out:

A Mango-Shaped Space, by Wendy Mass
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, by Rodman Philbrick
Tik-Tok of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine
The House on the Gulf, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Dreamer Wisher Liar, by Charise Mericle Harper
Dear Emma, by Johanna Hurwitz
Sideways Stories from Wayside School, by Louis Sachar
Finding the Worm, by Mark Goldblatt
The Missing: Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, by Wendelin van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy, by Wendelin van Draanen

(Like I said...I’m a child.)

I haven’t read all the books yet, but I found out that
  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School is hilarious. The guy who wrote Holes sure does have a great sense of humor. Go get it...it's short and it's quick, but it's funny.
  • Finding the Worm’s protagonist, Julian, is awesome. You should go read the book. It’s sad...but it’s so, so symbolic and significant and good.
  • The House on the Gulf is what you think it’s about, but it’s more than that, too.

I think this library trip also revived my sense of children’s literature. I love middle grade fiction. I’m sixteen years old, and I still love it. Sammy Keyes’ sass? The precociousness of twelve-year-olds? The maturity (and immaturity) of eighth-grade boys? It gives me a peek into different worlds.
And I have a feeling that I’m never going to outgrow it. Books are just so. stinking. incredible, particularly children’s fiction. As a result, I have an idea for a book now. I don’t think I have the ability to do it justice while I’m still this young, but maybe when I’m older and I know more, I’ll be able to write it.
Go to the library. Judge books based off their covers (I’m giving you permission, just this once), and you never know what you’ll find.

take a picture. what did you discover? what did you learn? are you inspired? or do you feel “meh”? tell me what happened in the comments! hashtag it! post it! write about it! and link it all below!

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