Writing Prompts and Getting Started

If you came to our writer’s workshops on Oct. 24 or 31 you received this information. It explains what the writing challenge is that we’re completing! The PDF also includes a full schedule of events, including the author and editor visits.

The website we are using for our writing challenge is NaNoWriMo.

We did writing prompts and generated ideas at the workshop, but here are more resources for getting started through generating ideas.

Writing Prompts from Tumblr

Creative Writing Prompts

Language is a Virus

Think Written

And whether or not you like Stephen King, his advice for writing are very good:

TIME Magazine – 21 Pieces of Writing Advice from Stephen King

Finally, here are 30 tips for people attempting to tackle writing a novel in 30 days!

Writer’s Digest 30 Tips

Photo Club: Portraits and Poses

Click here to download the June Photo Club about portraits and poses. This is a large file and may take a little while to download. Below are other related web pages that expand on the information here.

Give Your Subjects Space To Look Into

Poses for Men

Men Posing Like Women or Like Pin-Ups

Stop Posing Women Like This or This

Posing Women Part 1 and Part 2

Poses for Kids

Natural Un-Posing for Kids

Posing Couples and Poses for Couples at Special Locations

Posing Groups

Posing at Weddings

Getting the Best-Looking Eyes in Photos

Basic Portrait Prepping Tips Link 1, Link 2, and Link 3

Photography Club 4/25/15: Color, Black & White, and Lighting

This time in Photo Club we learned about color photography, black and white photography, and how to light photos.

To see the full lesson, click here. It will take a while to download or open in a new window. It is a very large file, so be patient.

Here are some links to relevant web pages on this topic, too.

Color Wheel

Men and Women See Things Differently

Another Article About Color Perception for the Sexes

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Lighting Lesson

Another Great Lighting Lesson

A Video that Demonstrates Even More Lighting Techniques

Looking “Fat” in Photos

Why You Think You Look “Weird” in Selfies

The Blue/Black, White/Gold Dress

Exploring Color Combinations

The next Photography Club will be on Sat., May 30 at 10am. We will be discussing Photoshop and other post-production editing. It will be our most interesting class yet, and depending on your feelings of post-production editing, it could lead to a healthy discussion of what is “acceptable.”

Cooking Demo 4/18/15 – Cooking with Ramen

Basic Formula for Ramen Soups

Lightly oil pot.
If using raw meat, brown it in the pan, then remove.
Cook aromatics (onion, garlic, celery, ginger, etc).
Add long-cooking vegetables (like mushrooms or potatoes).
Add liquid and meat (if using).
Add spices.
Simmer until everything is mostly cooked.
Add ramen, cook until barely done.
Add quick cooking items (frozen peas, fresh herbs).
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

The below are variations of the recipe to change it up a little.


Aromatic-onion, garlic, ginger.
Long-cooking: bok choy stem.
Liquid: broth (or water+bouillon).
Spices: Sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil.
Quick-cooking: bok choy leaves, egg drops, green onion.

Thai Peanut

Aromatic: garlic.
Long-cooking: bok choy stems
Liquid: broth.
Spices: peanut butter, Sriracha, soy sauce.
Quick-cooking: green onion, lime juice.

Chicken Noodle

Meat: chicken.
Aromatic: onion, garlic, celery.
Long-cooking: carrots.
Liquid: broth (add meat back at same time).

Creamy Mushroom

Aromatic: onions, garlic.
Long-cooking: mushroom.
Liquid: milk and bouillon cube or broth and cream.
Spices: thyme, very small amount of soy sauce.


Aromatic: onion, garlic, ginger.
Long-cooking: potato.
Liquid: milk and bouillon cube, or broth and cream.
Short-cooking: peas, green onion.


Aromatic: onion, garlic, celery.
Liquid: tomato sauce and water or broth.
Spices: Italian seasoning.
Short-cooking: peas

Cooking Demo 4/11/15

Basic Crock Pot Meal

Start with your meat. Choose what is available, but the cheaper cuts (shoulder, chuck) really do well with long, slow cooking.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat, and add a little oil. Cook the meat until it is very brown, and then turn it and cook the next side. Continue until the meat is browned on all sides. Put in Crock Pot.

Take your veggies and add them to the skillet with a little more oil, browning them on one or two sides and then adding them to the Crock Pot.

Take your liquid of choice (broth, juices from a previous meal, or water and bouillon cubes) and pour it into the skillet.  Stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet until the browned bits in the skillet have dissolved into the liquid.  Pour the liquid into the crock pot.

Add spices, salt and pepper. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Use your imagination with spices! Use a mix you enjoy or come up with your own. Cumin and oregano give it a Mexican flavor; oregano and basil taste Italian (especially good if you add some diced tomatoes with the veggies!)

Chicken Pot Pie/Chicken and Dumplings

Leftover chicken, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
2 tablespoons flour, a handful
1 quart chicken broth or stock,or a combination of broth and milk
1 cup frozen green peas and carrots

Place a large pot on stove over medium-high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.

Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth or stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken and peas/carrots to the broth and stir.

From here, you can either pour it into a pan, add a refrigerated pie crust to the top and bake it, or add dumplings and finish it on the stovetop.

For dumplings, you need 2 cups of biscuit mix (like Bisquik) and ⅔ cup milk or water. Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine with water or milk. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly.

Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium-low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit.

Chicken salad

To your chopped chicken meat, add enough mayo to coat all the pieces of chicken.

Add salt and pepper, and whatever add ins you prefer. In my demonstration I used dried cranberries, celery, and walnuts. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

To Cook Beans in Crock Pot

Pick over a pound of dry beans and discard any broken or shriveled looking ones.

Put beans  into the slow cooker and add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Add a diced onion, a small spoonful of minced garlic, and some salt and pepper. Turn cooker to HIGH and cook beans until they’re tender and cooked through, about 5-6 hours.

To turn the cooked beans into soup, add a bouillon cube and some more water if needed to make the beans soupy.

Chop up a few stalks of celery, an onion, and a bit of carrot. Cook them over medium high heat with a bit of oil until they start looking brown. Add some minced garlic and cook a minute more, until you can smell the garlic. Add the veggies to the crock pot.

Add a pinch of chili powder, about a teaspoon of cumin and two teaspoons of dried oregano.  Cook on high 2 hours.

Come to the next demo!

If you would like to attend the next cooking demo, please call the library at 585-589-4246 by Sat., April 18 to register. The demo will be on April 18 at 10:30am.

Pictures from this event will be posted soon on the library’s Facebook page.

March Book List


Ashley, Jennifer      –    Rules for a Proper Governess
Harnisch, Kristen      –    The Vinter’s Daughter
Jeffries, Sabrina      –    If the Viscount Falls
Andrews, V.C.      –    Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger (YA)
Wiggs, Susan      –    The Maiden of Ireland
Fisher, Suzanne Woods      –    The Waiting (LP)
Moyes, Jojo     –    The Girl You Left Behind
Gerristen, Tess     –    Life Support
Mlynowski, Sarah      –    Frogs and French Kisses (YA)
Wilde, Oscar     –    The Picture of Dorian Gray  (YA)
Brunsetter, Wanda     –    On Her Own
Brunsetter, Wanda     –    Going Home
Brunsetter, Wanda     –    Allison’s Journey
Brunsetter, Wanda     –    A Sister’s Secret
Archer, Jeffrey      –    Not A Penny More , Not A Penny Less
Robards, Karen    –    Hush
Harper, Karen     –    The Irish Princess
Harper, Karen     –    Fall From Pride (LP)
Lewis, Beverly     –    The Mercy
Lewis, Beverly     –    The Reckoning
–    Holidays are Hell
Myracle, Lauren     –    The Infinite Moment of Us (YA)
Johnson, Harriet McBryde     –    Accidents of Nature (YA)
Gray, Shelley Shepard     –    Winter’s Awakening (LP)
Gray, Shelley Shepard     –    Autumn’s Promise (LP)
Sparks, Nicholas     –    The Best of Me
Freveletti, Jamie      –    Robert Ludlum’s the Geneva Strategy
Macomber, Debbie     –    Last One Home (LP)
Archer, Jeffrey      –    Mightier Than the Sword
Gruen, Sara     –    At the Water’s Edge
Macomber, Debbie     –    Last One Home
Tyler, Ann     –    A Spool of Blue thread
Robson, Jennifer     –    After the War is Over (LP)
Brannan, Sandra      –    Lot’s Return to Sodom
Penny, Louise      –    Still Life
Wax, Wendy      –    While We Were Watching Downton Abbey


Gaskill, Malcolm     –    Between Two Worlds
Jarboe, Jan      –    The Train to Crystal City
Andrews, Synthia      –    Self- Hypnosis
Millard, Candice      –    The Destiny of the Republic
Buongiorne, Art     –    The Italians and Why they Came
–    Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Mizobuchi, Makoto     –    Pokemon : Arceus and the jewel of Life
Tredway, Catherine      –    Dream Cottages: 25 Plans for retreats,Cabins, Beach houses
larson, Eric      –    Isaac’s Storm
Downing, Taylor     –    Secret Warriors
Durham, Teva     –    Loop -d-Loop Crochet
Cousins, Suss     –    Home Knits


Buongiorne, Art     –    Faith Builders
Scott, Stuart      –    Every Day I Fight
Signer, Michael     –    Becoming Madison
Mayfield, Kate      –    The Undertaker’s Daughter
Hillenbrand, Laura      –    Unbroken


Mlynowski, Sarah      –    Sink Or Swim
White, E.B.      –    The Trumpet of the Swan
DiTerlizzi, Tony      –    Jimmy Zangwow’s Out of This World Moon Pie Adventure
Keene, Carolyn     –    The Case Of the Lost Song
Manushkin, Fran     –    Katie Woo Celebrates
Mlynowski, Sarah      –    Fairest of All
Ferris, Jean     –    Once Upon A Marigold
White, E.B.      –    Charlotte’s Web
White, E.B.      –    Stuart Little
Preller, James         The Case of the Marshmallow Monster
Preller, James      –    The Case of the Food Fight
Korman, Gordon     –    The Medusa Plot
Preller, James      –    The Case of the Class Clown
Jeffers, Susan     –    My Pony
Seuss, Dr.     –    the Big Green Book of Beginner Books


Campbell, Brian      –    Pure
McLachlan, Sarah     –    Shine On


–    In Your Eyes
–    before I Go to Sleep
–    Big Hero 6
–    John Wick
–    The Judge
–    The Grand Budapest Hotel
–    Two Night Stand
–    Predestination
–    Earth To Echo
–    When The Game Stands Tall
–    The Theory Of Everything
–    This Is Where I Leave You
–    No Good Deed
–    My Old Lady
–    The BoxTrolls
–    Mr. Peabody and Sherman
–    Gone girl
–    Addicted
–    Book Of Life
–    Saint Vincent
–    The Guest
–    J. Edgar
–    The Expendables 3
–    The Truth About Cats and Dogs
–    Dredd
–    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest
–    The Day
–    Damien Omen II
–    Super Trooper
–    Me, Myself and Irene
–    Intolerable  Cruelty
–    It Could Happen to You
–    The Interview
–    Outlander Season 1
–    Fury
–    Foxcatcher
–    Whiplash
–    Dumb and Dumber To
–    If I Stay
–    Transformers, Rescue Bots. Jurassic Adventure
–    Stephen King’s  A Good Marriage
–    Nightcrawler
–    Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Big Brother Daniel
–    Game of Thrones Season 4
–    American Wedding
–    Downton Abbey Season 5
–    Kill the Messenger
–    Destruction of the Shield WWE
–    Dracula Untold
–    Lucy
–    Scooby-Doo : Moon Monster Madness
–    Boyhood
–    Miss Meadows: Justice is Sweet
–    Left Behind
–    Elsa & Fred
–    Hop
–    The Hundred-Foot Journey
–    The Identical
–    What If
–    And So It Goes
–    The Song
–    Beyond The Lights
–    Falcon Rising
–    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
–    Sons of Anarchy: The final Season
–    Land before Time: Invasion of  the Tinysauruses
–    Land before Time: The Wisdom of Friends
–    Barbie in Princess Power
–    Annie
–    The Land Before Time: The Great Longneck Migration
–    The Land Before Time: The Great Day of the Flyers
–    The Land Before Time
–    Unbroken

Photography Club Review – Basic Operation and Image Composition

For those who would like to review what was covered in Photography Club for April, here is the PDF file of the presentation. To open the file, you will need Adobe PDF Reader, which is a free program. Simply download the file, the follow the website’s installation instructions.


Awkward Family Photos (Great examples of what NOT to do.)

Digital Photography School (Everything you need to know about photography.)

Depth of Field


Space to Look Into

Rule of Thirds

Red Eye


Composition from a Painter’s Perspective

Join us for the next session of Photography Club on Sat., April 25 at 12pm.

Crochet Class 3/25/15

We learned a new set of skills in crochet class this week!

First, we have the skip stitch. It is the same thing as a chain, but you skip over the spot where you would have put your hook into your work. This video has 5 skip stitches in a row, but if your pattern calls for one, you’d chain one and skip inserting your hook into the matching hole, and would instead move on to the next hole.

Next, we have the slip stitch. This lays the yarn right against the row below it.

Finally, we used all of our skills from the last class and this one and made granny squares!

There are MANY ways and patterns to make a granny square. If you have a different method, we’d love to have you join us at our Knit and Crochet Social Meetups in April to instruct others or just share some tips!

040815 knit crochet meetup