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October 2020 - Posts
Purple flames reveal tiny creatures, but what are they? Shadows in the Neighborhood.

"Shadows in the Neighborhood" was submitted by Mattix, Harry, Rachel and Dain, who wrote the story together as a family, each taking turns to add what came next. Congratulations to our winning Scary Stories in the Stacks submission!

Get in the spooky spirit and watch all Scary Stories in the Stacks here.

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  at 11:03 AM
  
What happens when the storyteller is forced into the story? When fate doesn’t follow a script. Well today fate has found Brandon. It’s almost here.

Leave the comfort of your book covers this Halloween as we share haunted tales right here on your computer screen. Come back tomorrow, Oct. 30 for a spine-tingling tale submitted by patrons!

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  at 10:59 AM
  
by Stacy

"I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles." – Shannon Hale

NaNoWriMo


Alright – you know what NaNoWriMo is, you’re game for the challenge, there’s only a few days until November 1…. now what?  

While November is the month of writing, September and October are really the months for prepping! If you aren’t like me, you probably have a pretty good sense of time and maybe you’ve already started prepping for NaNoWriMo – which is totally awesome and I’m jealous! Maybe you didn’t know what NaNoWriMo was until now and wish you had a few more weeks to prepare? NaNoWriMo’s official website has their own preparation guideline you can follow as early as September 2021.

However, maybe you are like me. Maybe life is pretty busy and you probably don’t even know when November is – let alone that it’s in two months, or one month, or even three days. Aha – then this is the blog for you! Not official by any means except to me, I am going to share with you how I prep for NaNoWriMo before November!

Create Goals
First and foremost – Create. Your. Goals. 
(Trust me, this is so important.)

You know your end goal is 50,000 words by November 30. Now it’s time to create mini-goals to last you from now until November 1 to get you as prepared as possible to start writing. I will share with you my personal NaNoWriMo 2020 mini-goals and a bit about each one – maybe your mini-goals aren’t exactly the same and that’s perfectly okay! There’s no one correct way to write a novel and that’s what this month long challenge is all about!

My NaNoWriMo Mini-Goals:
- Develop an Idea
- Plot/Characters/Setting/World Building
- Outline, outline, outline!

Develop an Idea
Yeah, okay, maybe this one sounds like a no-brainer, but unless you’re already flowing with creativity (which I am not) this is a really difficult first step.  

Luckily there are a lot of ways to generate story ideas! Listening to music, watching movies, reading books are all classic ways of getting ideas. All you need is that one line or that one piece of imagery to move you in the right direction – sometimes the whole work can move you. I’m pretty notorious for writing adaptations of my favorite older movies and books like “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carol and “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman.  

Another thing I like to do when I feel stuck on an idea, or lack thereof, is use random word, story or sentence generators online such as Plot Generator. This website gives you random generators for story ideas, opening lines, etc. A lot of times this can sparks new ideas that you wouldn’t be exposed to in your day to day life! This tool is actually one I use a lot when I write – not only is it good for creating ideas, it’s a really great daily writing practice I use before I pick up my NaNoWriMo novel for the day.

Character/Setting/World Building
Okay you have your idea – now on to the hard stuff.  

I find it impossible whether I’m writing a novel for NaNoWriMo or writing a novel for an entire year to have all three of these things figured out in detail. So absolutely do not stress about having all of this set in stone. I guarantee you it will all change as you are writing and discover new paths and developments for your story and characters.

Character: I like to start with a few characters – namely, my protagonist. Really, my only goal with characters before November is to get some names down for my primary characters, a few names for my secondary characters and any important information that will make starting the story easier. For me, I prefer to let my characters come out as I write.  

Setting: I know it’s difficult – who wants to write about the state and town that you grew up in? It seems so boring and dull, where’s the excitement? It doesn’t seem as glamorous as Hollywood or New York City. Real life isn’t glamorous. I grew up in a small farm town where my middle school graduating class was maybe 500 kids, essentially the exact opposite of glamorous. But that’s what I know – that’s where my childhood is rooted, it’s where I learned the fundamentals of who I am. Is it glamorous? No. Is it pleasant and fun to write about? It can be. Do I confidently feel that I could believably write my hometown in a way that will create a strong setting for my characters? Yes!  

World Building: World building can be soooooo much work. It doesn’t have to be though. If you decide that you want your world set in our real modern day Earth, your fictional world will likely follow our same rules and laws. World building can be as easy as modern day Aurora, Colorado or as extensive as J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. If you’re like to me and like to create fantasy and sci-fi stories, world building is crucial. You’ll most likely start a whole world entirely by scratch. This can include maps and landscape, lore, currency, religion, laws, government, etc. Trust me, it sounds like a lot because it is. I personally lovelovelove world building and taking the time to create a fictional world can be such a blast.  

Again; I guarantee that you will change you character/setting/world as you are writing and discover new paths and developments for your story and characters. This is super common and expected, especially for NaNoWriMo.  

Outlining
I understand that not everyone outlines. Outlining can be tedious and it can be slow, especially when you’re in a dry spell for ideas. I know a lot of writers who don’t outline at all – they just begin writing and create an outline/story path as they go! For me though, honestly, sometimes I get so invested with outlining, I forget to actually write my stories. Outlining is always what I spend the most time on when I write novels.

I create two documents; one is my general/overall outline and another I call “chapter/idea outlines.” The general overall outline is my story from start to finish. The likelihood of me getting an outline completely finished before November 1 will never happen, even if I started it the previous November. A lot of this time this outline will start in the middle of my story or at the climax, and I will outline my way to the end before going back and outlining backwards to the beginning. My “chapter/idea” outline is when I have something specific that I know I want to happen, but not sure where to fit in yet. This document allows me to express and flesh out all of my ideas, while giving me the time to fit it in rather than force it in.  

Conclusion
Come into NaNoWriMo on November 1 as prepared or unprepared as you want to be! My favorite part of novel writing is the research, planning, and world building so I spent a lot portion of my time catering to these expectations. If you haven’t tried preparing for your stories before, 2020 might be a good year to try it out! Normally over plan like me? Forgo it! Wing it – see how your story comes out!  



















































Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Oct 29, 2020 at 2:20 PM
  
Create It Pets

Welcome to Create It: Pets! Each month, in partnership with the Aurora Animal Shelter, we will be sharing a fun, easy DIY to make for furry friends!

In this video, librarian Tessy shares a tutorial for how to make a DIY bow tie for a furry friend. Bow ties are cool!



Make these fun projects for your own pets, or consider donating to the Aurora Animal Shelter! For more information about the Aurora Animal Shelter and donations, visit their website here.
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Oct 29, 2020 at 12:05 PM
  
Make & Learn

Welcome to Make & Learn! In this program, our librarians will be sharing easy-to-make games and activities that support cognitive development and practicing early literacy skills.

In this video, Miss Karen discusses counting and conservation of numbers and shares a fun activity for little ones to practice one-to-one correspondence when counting.

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Oct 29, 2020 at 12:04 PM
  
Create It!

Create It! Haunted House
by Karen

It's Make It Monday with just a few days before Halloween!
What's Halloween without a haunted house? Karen shares a fun DIY that lets you get creative and is sure to put you in the spooky spirit!

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Oct 26, 2020 at 10:12 AM
  
Game on!
Game reviews by Elizabeth, Kristin and Stacy.

Hello everyone! To celebrate fall and the season of all things spooky, we hope you’ll enjoy these reviews of our favorite horror video games!

Today's theme
Games that intend to frighten, scare or disgust – if we’re lucky, maybe all three!

Game 1
We Were Here
Available on PC
We Were Here
“Now, I don’t mean to rush you. Take your time. I might be dying, but it’s fine.”

We Were Here is an escape room that taps into that truest of horrors: trusting other people. Do you want to survive a room filling with water, get out of a locked tomb, or avoid freezing to death in the bitter cold? You’d better communicate with your friends! One of you is locked in a series of dangerous rooms; the other is locked in a room with clues. However, the clues are cryptic – even more than the typical escape room, and I say that as a fan. As you progress through the puzzles, new rooms unlock for each of you, until (hopefully) you’re standing in the entrance hall, looking out at the snow and freedom once more.

Most of this game isn’t horror. Spooks lurk at the edges of this escape room. You walk past old tombs and rattling chains, hear faint shrieks from the walls. Most of the time, you’re far too focused on surviving the next puzzle to worry TOO much about the terrible Things out there that might get you. But I promise, there is an intensely spooky scene. During one puzzle, a horrifying monster with glowing eyes inches closer and closer to the player while tinkling bells play in the background. Will you survive? That depends entirely on your partner, who is probably stammering over how to direct you as the lights flicker on and off.  During my first time through the escape room, the terrifying creature definitely did catch up with the puzzle-solver: a shriek over the mic let everyone know exactly what had happened.

We Were Here is free to play on PC. If you like it, it’s the first of a series. - Elizabeth

Game 2 
The Open House
A browser-based game available

The Open House

This quick browser-based horror game went low-key viral in March of 2020 when a handful of streamers played it live. The game starts by masquerading as a generic real estate listing that offers a 3D tour, but don't be fooled--the home has a gory history bleeding through the seams. The Open House depends on atmosphere, ambient noise, and some jump scares to entertain, but it's still a fun ride. All said, the game takes about 20 minutes to complete, and that's factoring me getting lost at the end trying to figure out how to progress (hint: hit tab).

While not the scariest game on the planet, this game is above all free and browser-based, so if you're looking for a quick scare to get you in the Halloween spirit, give this a try. It's especially great to play in the dark with friends for some good laughs.  – Kristin

Game 3
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Available on Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4 & Xbox One

Resident Evil 7

New to Resident Evil? Haven't played games 1 through 6? Worried you won’t know what's going on? No worries! Resident Evil 7 is almost entirely unrelated and unlike the previous games in this series. For new players, this is great news! This self-contained story makes it fairly easy to just pick up and learn the story as you go. There aren’t any repeat or important main characters you’re supposed to know that randomly show up to move the story along. Honestly, the only benefit I could see to having played the previous games beforehand is that it might make you a little bit more prepared for what the overarching storyline is.

If you are a returning player to the Resident Evil series and want a game more similar to the first few games – this might not be for you. However, if you are looking for something scary, intense, and appetite losing, than look no further! This is the first and only Resident Evil game to play through a first person perspective rather than an over the shoulder 3rd person perspective, making it feel more similar to games such as Outlast. Rather than focusing on solely horror, this game focuses a lot of its attention on world exploration. This is also one of the few games that doesn’t reference the previous games and characters, making it truly an outlier in the Resident Evil series.

I highly highly highly recommend this game to fans of first person horror video games. This game is both interesting in story and plot, the game mechanics are so smooth, the exploration never feels tedious – and for those of you with VR, you can even experience the horrors of Biohazard as if you were actually there! Well, for those who are brave enough to go through THAT ordeal. - Stacy

Tell us what you think!
Played one of these games we listed? Know of another horror game we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Oct 24, 2020 at 9:48 AM
  
Read It!
APL Reader's Corner
with Tessy & Elizabeth

Welcome to Reader's Corner! This month we're exploring fantasy/science fiction with the book "Gideon the Ninth" by Tamsyn Muir.Available with your library card from our OverDrive & Hoopla collections here.

GIDEON THE NINTH: The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines and no more time for undead nonsense.
Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won't set her free without a service.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon's sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead.

Discussion Questions
- What did you love about this book?
- Who is your favorite minor character?
- Which of Gideon the Ninth's nine houses would you be assigned to?

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Oct 23, 2020 at 8:18 AM
  

UPDATE:  Sabrina, Demarcus, and Marcus were located around 11:20 p.m. on 10/22/2020 in California.  They are all safe and there are no indications at this time that that they were brought there against their will. 

We want to thank everyone who helped us get the word out about this incident.  

Agent Faith Goodrich
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095  

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Information previously released on October 22, 2020
On Wednesday October 21, 2020 at about 2 p.m. Aurora Police officers responded to an address near East Hampden Avenue and South Tower Road to check on the welfare of Sabrina Walls and her two children, Demarcus Thomas (3 years old) and Marcus Thomas (5 years old). 

After talking to multiple different people and going to multiple addresses, officers learned that Sabrina, Demarcus, and Marcus were last seen on Monday, October 19, 2020 and no one has heard from them since that time.  Sabrina has a 2006 Ford Fusion with Colorado License Plate CES-661.  That car was seen on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 near East Mississippi Avenue and South Blackhawk Street but it is unknown if Sabrina and her sons were inside the car at that time. 

Multiple investigative units have been working on this case since the initial call.  As investigative leads are pursued, and more information is developed, the concern for the Sabrina, Demarcus, and Marcus has grown.  Sabrina has never been out of contact for this long, it is out of character for her.  Sabrina is a survivor of domestic violence and her family is worried about her. 

We made multiple posts to different social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Nextdoor to try and locate Sabrina, Demarcus, and Marcus. 

As the investigation progressed over the last 24 hours, investigators gathered information that met the criteria for an Amber Alert.  As soon as that information was known, we partnered with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to issue that alert.  You can learn more about Amber Alerts and the criteria that must be met before one can be issued, HERE. 

Additionally, investigators learned that there might be some connection to the Las Vegas area.  We are asking anyone along Interstate 70 and Interstate 15 to please keep an eye out for Sabrina, her children, and her vehicle. 

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 to anyone who has information regarding this case.  Please call (720) 913-STOP (7867). Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Thank you to everyone that has assisted in our search to find Sabrina, Demarcus, and Marcus. 
 Marcus and DemarcusWalls Family Walls Family 2
Agent Faith Goodrich
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095

Posted by fgoodric@auroragov.org  On Oct 22, 2020 at 11:39 PM
  
He never wanted to hurt anybody. He never wanted any of this to happen. But now what does he do? How does he stop this? Is it even him – or are there other forces at play? Just how far is the reach of The Long Arm?

Leave the comfort of your book covers this Halloween as we share haunted tales right here on your computer screen. Every Thursday at 8 p.m., tune into Facebook for new spine-tingling tales!



Do you have a spooky story of your own? We're taking scary, terrifying or spine-tingling submissions! Staff will choose their top five favorite stories to read on Facebook the day before Halloween, and allow Facebook to vote via reaction! The winner will receive a prize from Aurora Public Library. Submissions must be 1,000 words or less, rated PG-13 and under, and must be emailed to aplreadingrocks@auroragov.org by Sunday, Oct. 25.
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Oct 22, 2020 at 5:35 PM
  
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