Monday, September 01, 2014

Bull Run Library Presents: September 2014 Adult and Family Programs‏

All programs are free but registration is requested and begins three weeks prior to the program date unless otherwise noted. Sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodation is available if requested three weeks prior to the program date. 

To register, please visit Bull Run Regional Library at 8051 Ashton Avenue, Manassas, Virginia, or call 703-792-4530 (TTY 703-792-4524), or sign up on the website using the online Calendar of Events.

*English Conversation Club

Tuesdays, September 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 10 am and Mondays, September 8, 15, 22 and 29 at 6 pm
This is an opportunity for new speakers of English to practice their speaking skills in a fun and friendly environment. No registration required. New members always welcome.

*Spanish for Fun
Tuesdays, September 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 12 noon
Bring your lunch and chat with new friends in Spanish. We’ll supply coffee and dessert! A native Spanish speaker will be available for help. No registration required. Todos bienvenidos.

*Memoir Writers
Tuesday, September 2, 10:15 am
Group meets monthly to share their writing and offer encouragement and constructive criticism. No registration required. New members always welcome. 

ESL Classes (English as a Second Language)
Wednesdays, September 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 6:30 pm
Fridays, September 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 10 am
Literacy Volunteers of America/Prince William offer a free program to adults who want to learn how to speak, read, and write English. Call 703-670-5702 for more information.

The Truth about IRAs and Retirement
Thursday, September 4, 7 pm
Created by New York Times bestselling author Ric Edelman, this free seminar shows you how to get the most from your retirement accounts and IRAs. You’ll discover how easy it is to manage your retirement assets properly and the consequences of failing to do so. In just 90 minutes, you’ll gain the knowledge you need that can help you enjoy your retirement in comfort. No registration required.

Choices: A Workshop for Change
Saturday, September 6, 2-4 pm

“Make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.” This workshop will focus on increasing your potential for employment and managing your money more effectively. Topics will include employment and financial management and will cover items such as preparing a resume, budgeting and planning ahead. The workshop will help participants look at where they are, decide where they want to be, and consider reasonable changes to make a better life for themselves and their families. No registration required.

Monday’s Page Turners

Monday, September 8, 1 pm
The group will discuss The Things We Do for Love by Kristin Hannah. No registration required. 
The youngest of three daughters, Angela DeSaria Malone was always "the princess" of the family, a girl who thought she knew how her life would unfold. High School. College. Marriage. Motherhood. That was how it had gone for her sisters, her cousins, her friends. But it didn't work out that way for Angie. Read her story and join the discussion. No registration required.

Bull Run BookTalkers: The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

Tuesday, September 9, 7 pm
The delicate balance of class and gender in contemporary India is captured through the lives of two women--Sera Dubash, an upper middle-class housewife hiding shame and disappointment, and Bhima, her illiterate servant hardened by a life of struggle. Each one has joy and heartache, love and loss. Their lives are intrinsically connected yet vastly separate in this poignant and unforgettable story of the bonds of womanhood and the constraints of race and class. No registration required.

The DAR Library: Researching the Revolution and Beyond
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
The Daughters of the American Revolution Library in Washington D.C. is not just for members. Learn about the resources, both in-house and online, of this vast repository from its Library Director, Eric Grundset. To register, please contact RELIC at or at (703) 792-4540.

Writers of Adult Literature

Saturdays, September 13 and 27, 2 pm
Group meets to share their writing and offer encouragement and constructive criticism. New members are always welcome. No registration required.

Random Reads Book Discussion Group: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by
Monday, September 15, 2 pm
There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter, Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her once inseparable older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies far too young of an illness her mother can barely name, June’s world is turned upside down. Feel free to bring your lunch. No registration.

*North of Fifty Lunch & Learn: Memory Loss, Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease
Thursday, September 25, 12:30 pm
If you or someone you know is experiencing memory loss or behavioral changes and you want to learn the facts about Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, come hear Jane Priest, Regional Manager, Programs and Services from the Alzheimer’s Association, separate out the facts and learn how Alzheimer’s affects the brain and the benefits of early detection. Bring your lunch and the library will provide beverages and desserts. This is a forum for seasoned adults over 50. Register online or by phone at 703-792-4530.

Genealogy 201: Beyond the Basics
Tuesday, September 30, 7 pm
RELIC’s Tish Como demonstrates advanced search techniques and alternate resources to add interest and detail to your family tree. To register, please contact RELIC at or at (703) 792-4540.

*Special thanks to the Friends of the Library for their programming support!

Virginia Cooperative Extension, September - November, 2014‏

Prince William County Office
8033 Ashton Avenue, Suite 105
Manassas, Virginia 20109
Fax: 703/792/4630


Prince William Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is offering the following Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) groups.  STEP is a six-week discussion group for parents and others who want to learn more effective ways to communicate and discipline. It is available in English and in Spanish.  It is offered for three separate age groups, Parents of Young Children (Birth to age 5), Parents of School-Age Children (ages six to twelve), and Parents of Teenagers (ages 13 and up). The Spanish class combines the age groups.  The cost to cover class materials is $40.00 per individual or couple. To view class schedules and to print out a registration form, please visit our website at:    Questions please call 703-792-6288.  Childcare is not available.

Upcoming classes in the Woodbridge/Montclair area are: Young Child class: Thursdays, August 21 - September 25, 2014, Dr. A. J. Ferlazzo Building, 7:00 – 9:00 pm; School- Age class:  Mondays, September 8 – October 20, 2014, McCoart Administration Building, 7:00 – 9:00 pm; Spanish STEP class: Wednesdays, October 15 – November 19, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building.

Upcoming classes in the Manassas area are:  Young Child class: Wednesdays, October 15 – November 14, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Sudley North Government Center; School-Age class:  To be announced; Spanish class: Mondays, October 20 – November 24, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Sudley North Government Center.

When Families Get Angry

When Families Get Angry is a three session, six hour course, developed to assist parents in understanding and constructively dealing with anger in the home.  It will focus on anger between parents, parents and children, and siblings, with recognition of influences from outside forces. Advanced registration is required, walk-in registrations are not accepted. Upon completion of the class a certificate is awarded.  Childcare is not available.  The cost to cover class materials is $40.00 per individual or couple. To view class schedules and to print out a registration form, please visit our website at:    Questions please call 703-792-6288.  

Upcoming WFGA classes in the Woodbridge/Montclair area is: Wednesdays, October 1 – October 15, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Government Building

Upcoming WFGA classes in the Manassas area is:  Tuesday, October 28 – November 11, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Sudley North Government Center

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Julie Stiles, VCE, at 703-792-6288 during business hours of 9:00 am to 3:00 pm to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event.  *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.
Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.  An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Seasonal Change

I've been blogging for so many other people that I have neglected this blog somewhat. I have not neglected my writing self, however.  The variety of clients I have ensure my skills stay sharp as I integrate myself into essay, writing about parenting experiences, cooking escapades, the accounting world, regional treasures and local events.  I've got it all.  And to feed the other parts of my brain, I've got PR, web content authoring and website layout work.  No, I cannot complain about my writing life in terms of satisfaction.  What I do worry about, though, is steady income.

I have a good friend who calls any money we earn from writing "writing dollars."  You see, we writers operate on our own economic scale, with the currency exchange rate being stupidly low.  One writer dollar equals about fifty in other industries, maybe even more, depending.  And the income is sporadic for those of us who survive mainly on freelance or contract work.  We spend a lot of time networking and marketing.  We spend a lot of time producing.  But the return is not commensurate with the effort or the product.  So I'm waiting to hear on some larger, onsite contracts that will put me in a better place financially, while enabling me to stay employed in this challenging field I've chosen.

Don't get me wrong.  The perks of freelancing have been wonderful.  I commute to my basement.  I sit in my pajamas or shorts, a cat on my lap, and type away.  I throw some laundry in, take care of the animals, answer calls, all from the comfort of my family room, which also happens to be my office.  At night, I am surrounded by people I love who, for the most part, respect my need for quiet as I wordsmith.  My kids love that I am here, that I have flexibility, that they can message me between classes (at least, I hope it's between classes) and know that I am generally available if they need me.  I attend to my volunteer work and get to write poetry between assignments.  If I get a bigger contract that requires me to work onsite, some of this is going to shift. 

The good news is, my kids are in high school and are able to handle mom "going" to work again.  The pets are house trained and can wait until someone comes home to care for them.  There is plenty of room in the morning, late afternoon and evening for us to spend time together, and there are weekends.  The only thing that might suffer a little more is housework, but frankly, that suffers anyway because I can't do a lot of it even though I am working from home.  Writers have to write, and that doesn't always leave many openings for cleaning toilets.  I wish the house were cleaner and more organized, but that's life. Our house is lived-in.

All of this is to say, with the kids going back to school tomorrow, we are once again transitioning, and I am looking forward to a seasonal change.  I don't know when it will happen, but it's coming.  As I explained to the kids, life is ever moving.  Nothing is stagnant. If it is, we don't grow.  I think it's my time to grow, and I am ready.  So prep yourself, world.  Here I come.    

Thursday, August 28, 2014