Book and Design for “Timelines”

As a professional writing major at my college, seniors have to compile their best work from over the last four years into a bound, designed book. It’s been a project I’ve been waiting for with bated breath ever since I learned about it.

Older students told me as a sophomore to save every paper I ever wrote, keep teachers’ notes, and to be thinking about a theme that can tie everything together. Back then, I couldn’t imagine picking out a theme that could encompass all my writing: after all, I liked to write about different things, and some of my stories were vastly different from others.

But as my senior year came upon me, I found the perfect theme. My stories revolve around either hope or memory. Many of them look to the future with either a warning to society about our faults, or an expected adventure just out of reach. And when not writing a social commentary on America’s morals, I’m pulling nostalgia from the cracks of my mind.

I thought “memory” and “hope” were much too generic for my theme, but finally it hit me: I also write about time. Time looking forward to the future or back to the past. “Hope” and “Memory” go hand in hand with time.

The final book was named Timelines, and you can purchase a copy here for $6.97!

Over Christmas break, I got the jump on designing my cover. This is what I came up with:

Timelines Cover Blurb Cover

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Middleridge Celebrates “Night Out” (Fairfax Connection)

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Middleridge Celebrates “Night Out”

The Middleridge Civic Association puts on the largest National Night Out party in Fairfax County.

The smell of grilled burger and smoking coals mixed in the air with the soundtrack of live music Tuesday night in Middleridge Park during the community’s National Night Out. Hundreds of Middleridge locals came to celebrate their community at the Middleridge Civic Association’s annual picnic and festival.

“My kids are having a blast. [They’ve got] snow cones, they’ve got fireman helmets, they’ve got badges from the police,” Jenny Scherff listed, a new resident in Middleridge from Alexandria City. Continue reading

Saratoga Pool a Hot Spot to Cool Off This Summer (Springfield Connection)

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Saratoga Pool a Hot Spot to Cool Off This Summer

Local pool continues to be a source of community for its members

After the climatic deluge from rainstorms throughout the last weeks, Springfield had a few days of blazing sun one would expect at the end of July. Nestled between the neighborhood and Saratoga Shopping Center, the Saratoga Pool provides a respite from the heat and haze prevalent in the late summer months.

“This is kind of my kids’ first exposure to water,” said Lucy North, recently moved from New York. “It’s great because being around friends or other kids their own age has made them stretch themselves in their ability and what they’re willing to try.” Continue reading

Lorton Library Challenge “Takes You Everywhere”

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Lorton Library Challenge “Takes You Everywhere”

Library integrates STEAM activities with reading program for the summer.

The Lorton Library is halfway through their Summer Reading Adventure, which runs from June 15 to September 1. Children and teens participate in the library’s summer reading program every year to read outside of school and win a coupon book for their efforts.

“I really enjoy working here and working with the kids and the community. It’s great especially in the summertime to connect them with books and activities while they’re out of school,” said Melissa Kariger, youth services manager.

The reading adventure at Lorton is one way the library encourages children to extend their education even during the summer. Any time during the program, children and teens can pick up a reading log at the library or register online and read a specified number of books based on the participant’s age. Continue reading

Obon Festival Returns July 14 (Burke Connection)

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The Fairfax Station Ekoji Buddhist Temple prepares to host its annual festival for everyone in the community.

The Ekoji Buddhist Temple off the Fairfax County Parkway in Fairfax Station will be hosting the only Obon festival in the Washington DC area July 14. Admission is free, and the temple invites all visitors, no matter their religion or culture, to celebrate the annual event.

“It’s a time to show your gratitude and respect to all those people who’ve passed away before us, because they made the world; we are the next generation,” said Reverend Nariaki Rajan Hayashi, who has been Ekoji’s minister for the past three years.

Because of the growing number of visitors per year, with last year’s attendance at 1,700, the Ekoji Temple plans to extend its hours for the festival. The temple and grounds will be open starting at 3 p.m. and will continue until 9 p.m.

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Serving Meals and Blessings to Homeless (Profile: Vienna Connection)

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Karen Curtis of Antioch Christian Church helps feed 100+ visitors of the Lamb Center, a Fairfax homeless ministry

The minivan comes to a stop in one of the few remaining parking spaces outside the Lamb Center in Fairfax. Seatbelts pop and side doors roll open as a handful of members from Antioch Christian Church climb out of the gray-green vehicle to help unload the back.

Three crockpots full of homemade chili and nearly 100 baked potatoes are nestled in the back of the van, all prepared specifically for the homeless people who frequent the Lamb Center—a Christian-based ministry that serves people experiencing homelessness in Fairfax County. Continue reading

Hidden Pond Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New Playground (Springfield Connection)

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Hidden Pond Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New Playground

Completed nature-themed play equipment to replace previous wooden playground.

The Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield announced their completion of their new children’s playground and picnic shelter Saturday, June 23, with a short ceremony and ribbon cutting event.

The $1.1 million playground was partially funded by the 2012 Park Bond, which originally provided for building the shelter and repaving the parking lot. With extra money saved on the parking lot, the new nature-themed playground could be constructed on a flat patch of land near the park entrance. Continue reading