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It's the final countdown! Another school year in the books (well, nearly...). Why does it seem like the beginning and end of the year are the most frantic times? 100 million things to do, and not enough time. Here are ten things that can help you prioritize before you go out the doors and into summertime!!
1. Advertise your library social media accounts. That way people can follow you or at least contact you if they need to. Today's new library doesn't ever close, even during summer. If you keep your social media accounts active, you'll have no problem helping people who may need it from a book recommendation or how to access a database.
3. We can never escape from it....professional development. We all need it, we all have to have it. So make sure you go for the best. Start looking at your favorite sites and places you know will have top-notch PD, including webinars. (and if you're in Texas, come to our NTX Libcamp! http://ntxlibcamp.weebly.com/ )
4. Take your computer (or device you work with the most) home with you. It’ll save you gas money and headaches. I've often said, "Oh, I'll pick it up on the way..." famous last words! Make sure you can get to it quick. And if it's a desktop, welllllll...
5. Write down those usernames and passwords. Yes, for your databases but also for ALL THE OTHER things you'll need to remember. Summertime seems to zap memories, especially to whatever you have in the library that needs one (this also includes combination locks too). Don't put yourself in the position of adding to your first week of school frenzy by forgetting them!
6. Share your knowledge! It never hurts to have a presentation or two ready for those just in case moments when you may get a message asking if you can present to new teachers/other staff or be a part of summer professional development. And if not, then start creating a kickin' library orientation for the new kids coming to campus in the fall!
7. Get a copy of next year’s calendar now. Find out when new teachers are coming in, when school actually starts for students, and when each six weeks starts. And you know you're going to get well-prepared teachers who want to reserve the library for next year.
8. Make of list of your TBR (to be read) and let that be your summer goal. Or at least 3 of the best books on it (decisions decisions!)
9. Meet with local public librarians and see how both of you can collaborate on programs for the summer and possibly for the next school year. Nothing feels better than connecting with your community!
10. Make a list of your favorite librarifriends you’d love to spend the weekend with, find an Airbnb on a beach somewhere and send out those e-vites! And if that doesn't pan out, tell them you'll see them at conference for a night out!
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Barry Schwabsky on Kristin Ross’s May ’68 and Its Afterlives at Hyperallergic:
Okay, but when she dismisses a detractor’s charge that “nothing happened in France in ’68. Institutions didn’t change, the university didn’t change, conditions for workers didn’t change — nothing happened,” I have to wonder. Yes, something happened in the moment, with echoes that went on resonating for a few more years — but really, what long-term upshot did it have? That it’s hard to point to one is sobering, and to brush that aside seems to me too much like turning an uprising into (an unfortunate understanding of) a work of art: useless, complete in and of itself, to be admired, wondered at, and taken as exemplary. From May ’68 to the Arab Spring and Occupy, these beautiful apparitions, so easily quashed, can seem in retrospect a great argument for Leninism, and I can’t help sympathizing with, of all people, the embittered Maoist veteran of May, quoted by Ross, who came away from it with the lesson: “Never seize speech without seizing power.” Except that anyone who thinks they know how to do that is probably deluded.
To read the Hyperallergic piece in full, click here.
To read more about May ’68 and Its Afterlives, click here.Add a Comment
Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler On sale 6/14/16 About the Book In her first novel for young adults, New York Times best-selling author Liz Kessler tells a story about finding a kindred spirit and becoming your true self. Ashleigh Walker is a mediocre student with an assortment...Add a Comment
Afterlife with Archie is back from the dead! After a very long hiatus, the 9th issue of this cult favorite is finally on sale next Wednesday. After a delay of a year while writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa worked on the Ruverdale TV show (just slated for Fall) the book that kills Riverdale’s finest and brings them […]Display Comments Add a Comment
Day 32 of #100daysofoilcrayon #oilpastels #sennelier #lisafirke #the100dayprojectAdd a Comment
The Beautiful Pretenderby Melanie DickersonRelease Date: May 17, 2016Publisher: Thomas Nelson About the Book After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? The Margrave of...Add a Comment
Review by Leydy THE LAST STARThe 5th Wave #3Audible Audio EditionListening Length: 9 hours and 17 minutesProgram Type: AudiobookVersion: UnabridgedPublisher: Listening LibraryScheduled Audible.com Release Date: May 24, 2016Goodreads | Amazon | Audible Following the major motion picture release starring Chloë Grace Moretz, the heart-stopping finale to the New York Times best-selling 5th WaveAdd a Comment
This Monday, May 23 I will be teaching a workshop at The Open Draw in Amsterdam. It’ll be all about drawing food, so my mouth is already watering!
If you’re from around, join us at The Open Draw – both beginners and more advanced are welcome!
I hope to see you there!
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Please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by John Hinderliter, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of NOSTALGIA. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!
You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.
And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:
Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).
Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.
Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).
Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!
HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!Add a Comment
Ozark Creative Writers 50 Year Celebration
June issue of the Writers Digest has an article about OCW
About This Book: Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects. Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by...Add a Comment
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Vivien Thomas’s greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.
As Dr. Blalock’s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien’s name did not appear in the report.
Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine—children’s heart surgery. This book is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine.
Submissions Needed. Only one in the queue for next week. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post.
The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective.
Note: all the Flogometer posts are here.
What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about 1/3 of the way down the page). Directions for submissions are below—they include a request to post the rest of the chapter, but that’s optional.
A word about the line-editing in these posts: it’s “one-pass” editing, and I don’t try to address everything, which is why I appreciate the comments from the FtQ tribe. In a paid edit, I go through each manuscript three times.
Before you rip into today’s submission, consider this checklist of first-page ingredients from my book, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling. While it's not a requirement that all of these elements must be on the first page, they can be, and I think you have the best chance of hooking a reader if they are.
Download a free PDF copy here.
Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of this list before submitting to the Flogometer. I use it on my own work.
A First-page Checklist
Caveat: a strong first-person voice with the right content can raise powerful story questions and create page turns without doing all of the above. A recent submission worked wonderfully well and didn't deal with five of the things in the checklist.
Also, if you think about it, the same checklist should apply to the page where you introduce an antagonist.
Kevan sends the first chapter for The Tick Tock Girl. The rest of the chapter follows the break.
An alternative opening and another poll follow this opening.
Springtime in Manhattan is a leap from darkness, the precautions of winter cautiously discarded. My time to grow, the year I'll blossom. A bang from my cab slammed my teeth together. And maybe the year New York will fix its potholes.
My phone uttered a sympathetic R2D2 beep and spat out the location of my first fare of the day. I turned towards Wall Street, glad traffic hadn't begun its inexorable climb to gridlock. The rising sun bounced off my rearview mirror, and I fumbled in my purse for my sunglasses before finding them perched on an explosion of kinky hair.
My strategy came from a computer simulation I'd written. Start early with no traffic but few fares, then surf the growing wave of commuters. The uncertainty appealed to me, a duel of probability and luck. I might score with a long ride to the airport, or end up in a dead zone fighting my way back.
Knowing a fare could track my location through the app created a bond, as though I was the icon in a game app, a tiny car careening through the streets in a battle of strategy and reflex. I imagined the gamer peering down from a glass sky, cheering me to the finish. Maybe a game I'd create and use to finance my tech startup dream. Right. Just like my cab would sprout wings and whisk me over midtown traffic.
My phone beeped and a text appeared. $141 if U hurry.Were you compelled to turn the page?
Once again, strong writing and a good voice get me off to a good start. But then my interest fizzles as we enter setupland combined with musing. We learn that the character is a cab driver, but that’s about it.
But, for me, there was gripping narrative later on. It’s below, trimmed and tightened a bit. Once again, the setup material could be woven in as things happen. Is this a stonger opening? A poll follows.
I reached the heart of Wall Street and scooted my cab into a spot created by knocked-over construction cones, thanking my luck in finding parking at the exact address. Fifteen minutes later, my mysterious fare hadn't shown. Then my phone rang.
I put it to my ear. Tick tock, tick tock.
No voice, no static, just a damn ticking. With some people it was a fork scraping across teeth or nails on a chalkboard. For me, it was the sound of ticking clocks, a childhood phobia I'd never faced down. I tried to end the call, but my body had frozen.
A crashing from above freed me from my spell. I dropped my phone and fought the urge to floor the pedal. A screaming intensified. White particles bounced off the windshield like hail. A whomp shook the car, and I threw myself across the seat and covered my face.
I felt rather than saw the roof of my car crumble to where my head had been. My window exploded with a wave of tinkling glass. The car rocked on its suspension before going motionless. For a moment, NYC was silent. I lay on my side, afraid to move.
The ringing of alarms broke the silence. Cries rang out, then a car door slammed. A voice through my shattered window startled me. "Are you okay?"
I straightened and hit my head on the roof.
The voiced tried again. "Miss?"Were you compelled to turn the page with this as the opening?
For what it’s worth.
Submitting to the Flogometer:
Email the following in an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf preferred, no PDFs):
Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of the first-page checklist before submitting to the Flogometer.
Flogging the Quill © 2016 Ray Rhamey, prologue and chapter © 2016 by Kevan
Three specific digits representing 1.41—the square root of two to the dollar. Strange. Uber discouraged tipping as part of their business model. Not to mention the app picked the closest driver, and no one needed to tell me to hurry.
Now the ability of the customer to track my route seemed disturbing, as though the gamer was changing the rules. I turned down the Reggae beat and glanced at my mirror where Jujube hung. A figurine of a Japanese girl with a manic smile, huge glasses, and hair worse than mine after an afternoon rollerblading. She'd been keeping me safe from harm for as long as I could remember. Now her plastic face held a worried look.
My cell rang, and I cautiously answered. "Hightower."
A burst of electronic noise, then the line went dead.
Probably my friend calling to cancel our rollerblading for tonight. Something she did often with the pressure of her internet startup. No doubt she'd call back, and I'd be left alone for another evening. Not that it mattered. I'd found a way to track Uber requests across the city and could use the time to improve my simulation. Who knows, an evening's work on the computer might increase my earnings past minimum wage.
An alert came from my phone, one I'd never heard before. The exaggerated sound of a music box being wound, or perhaps an old-style clock.
$173 if U wait.
The square root of three was 1.73. I peered up at the monoliths of the Financial District, trying to spot the gamer controlling my fate, then laughed at my imagination. Punching the throttle, I entered velvet shadows and cold granite.
Next to pizza, there was nothing I liked better than a puzzle.
The Watchmaker moved slowly down the corridor, as though her practical shoes held the weight of the world. A formless dress, too tired to wrinkle, encased her from calf to elbow. Around her head, dandelions of gray struggled to escape, restrained by a headscarf that could have passed for a rag. Click click went her cleaning cart under rectangles of light.
Taped to its handle was a cell phone with a blinking green screen.
She unlocked the door to his office with the ring of keys at her waist and entered the foyer where his clients waited. A flip of a switch turned on the lights, a series of taps on a keypad silenced the alarm. She pulled her cart inside and locked the door. Around the receptionist's desk, through an inner door leading to a large room. Another desk faced her, an expanse of dark wood. Upon the polished surface, there was no paper, no pencils, and no photos, only a computer and pendulum clock whose inner workings were on display.
Tick tock, tick tock.
His leather chair squatted behind the desk. To the side hung a painting, behind the painting was a safe, and under the safe stood a file cabinet. His computer, cabinet, and safe. The Watchmaker had copied their contents on earlier visits, then altered certain bits of the information to her liking.
The wheels sank into the carpet as she rolled her cart to the window. A wall-to-wall expanse of glass, his sunrise view of Wall Street. She learned against the window and studied the tiny cars below, the cool glass soothing the scar across her face.
The screen of her cell turned red. Thirty stories below, her patient had arrived. She spun and ripped off the skirt concealing the bottom of her cart, exposing containers, coils of wire, rolls of tape—and a hammer painted the same color as the carpet. A hammer that tapered to a point the size of a quail egg.
I reached the heart of Wall Street and scooted into a spot created by knocked-over construction cones, thanking my luck in finding parking at the exact address. Fifteen minutes later, my mysterious fare hadn't shown. I tried calling the number given, receiving only a message voicemail hadn't been set up.
My employment contract allowed me to leave now, but there was that bonus waiting. No doubt 2G2BT but curiosity held me fast. I hesitated, then deleted the texts from my phone. Not that they were illegal or anything. I'd wait a few minutes, or until another fare contacted me.
To my left stood a mirrored building, the sidewalk in front blocked by yellow tape and red cones. No signs of actual construction but that was the big city—block off the sidewalk, then wait days before starting. I cracked my window and let the cool air blow in. Still dark on the street even as the sun's reflection crawled down glass monoliths. In the distance, a jackhammer started before its legal hour. The metallic clang of trucks unloading, a shoeshine stand opening, the rattle of a hot dog cart pulled through the street.
My job wasn't glamorous, but gave me time to play, and the object on the passenger seat offered entertainment, a Rubik's cube on steroids. I closed my eyes and imagined the colorful form floating in front of me. The sides spun faster. Twenty-seven moves later, each side was a solid color. Five seconds, a personal record for a mental solve.
The Watchmaker moved efficiently. Off came her uniform, on came a pair of rubber gloves, out came wire and tape from her cart. She taped one end of the wire to the glass, then stretched the length to the opposite side. Back and forth went the wire until a starburst pattern covered the window. She returned to her cart and mixed the liquid from two unmarked containers, then soaked a roll of fabric in the pail. The wet cloth clung like paper mache, tracing the path of the wire across the glass. She stuck the bare ends of the wire into a power outlet. The glass hummed and an acidic smell filled the room. The air conditioning swept the odor away as she polished the glass for the last time, then hid the hammer in the thick carpet.
Over her head went a new uniform, pretty in blue fabric and white trim, shorter and tighter than before. On went the mascara, the red lipstick, the eyeliner. Off went the wig, disposed of inside the cart. She brushed her black hair, then pulled out a glass figurine from her cart and placed it on the desk.
The Watchmaker sat in his leather chair and studied the entrance door. Tick tock. She tapped her finger in time, then stopped the pendulum with one finger— an action surprisingly difficult, for her job was to fix broken clocks, not stop working ones.
The screen of her phone flashed in shades of green and red. The Watchmaker giggled, undid the top button of her dress, and waited for him to enter.
I aimlessly played with my phone. I'd created a few sellable apps, but the user interfaces still needed polishing, and that was best accomplished by using them. The screen changed to show an incoming call, and I put the phone to my ear, expecting my missing customer to offer an excuse.
Tick tock, tick tock.
No voice, no static, just a damn ticking. With some people it was a fork scraping across teeth, nails on a chalkboard, or walking barefoot on dusty concrete. For me, it was the sound of ticking clocks, a childhood phobia I'd never faced down. My fear of ticking wasn't a problem in the digital age, but I wasn't going to be taking piano lessons anytime soon. I tried to end the call, but my body had frozen.
A crashing from above freed me from my spell, the noises of the street receding. I dropped my phone and fought the urge to floor the pedal. A screaming intensified. White particles bounced off the windshield like hail. A whomp shook the car, and I threw myself across the seat and covered my face.
I felt rather than saw the roof of my car crumble to where my head had been. My window exploded with a wave of tinkling glass. The car rocked on its suspension before going motionless. No horns, even the jackhammer had gone quiet. For a moment, NYC was silent. I lay on my side, afraid to move.
The ringing of alarms broke the silence. Cries rang out, then a car door slammed. A voice through my shattered window startled me. "Are you okay?"
I straightened and hit my head on the roof.
The voiced tried again. "Miss?"
I twisted around. A man in a dark suit and darker sunglasses studied me through the broken glass of my side window.
"Stay in the car." A command, urgent and brief.
I blinked, and he vanished, leaving me to wonder if he’d been real. Past the distorted shape of my windshield frame, the street was littered with glass. The world spun, and I rested my forehead on the steering wheel.
In the distance, sirens wailed, rising to a fever pitch before stopping. The resulting quietness only intensified my fear, and I opened my eyes. Red lights reflected off buildings and doors closed with a series of punches. A trio of men in yellow coats gathered around my car, pointing and gesturing as they peered through my window
I straightened, seeking reassurance or instructions. Under their hard hats, the firefighters argued among themselves. I reached for my door handle, but a man jumped forward and waved me back. I tried not to imagine planes, bombs, or terrorists. My body tightened in a way I didn't know flesh could, as though smallness gave me a better chance of survival.
The door opened with a shriek of sheet metal, and hands reached for me. "Go, go, go!"
"Wait!" I grabbed Jujube from the mirror and shoved her into my pocket, then hesitated before grabbing my wallet. I was hustled across the sidewalk to an open door and lead into an ornate lobby. Hands lowered me to a chair. A cuff tightened on my arm. "Look up." A light hit my eyes, then someone swabbed my forehead.
I forced myself to breathe deeply, ignoring the people bustling around me and the raucous screeching of radios. Footsteps came towards me, heavy and deliberate, then a voice from my side. "Can she answer questions?
The woman attending me answered. "Some bruising on the head but she's fine, just shaken up."
I turned my head. A police officer with gun and hat studied me. He had dark skin, a trimmed mustache, and a solid paunch that looked like it would hurt your fist. Under his badge was printed the name Williams.
I tried to smile. "About time." A few shards of glass bounced off the floor as I ran my fingers through my curly hair and brushed my jeans and t-shirt.
The officer didn't smile back. "Ms. Hightower?"
"How'd you know?" Out of habit, I reached for my phone, then remembered it was back in my car.
"From your car registration."
Officer Williams hesitated for a moment. "A window broke. Big one I guess."
Those cones and tape blocking off the sidewalk—not too smart to park next to a construction area. That would explain the hesitation of my rescuers. But it didn't explain the scream and my roof caving in with a solid whomp.
I'd guessed but needed to ask. "What landed on my cab?"
"A man."Add a Comment
As we told you on Tuesday, DC Entertainment unveiled a brand new logo for all its branding across all platforms. It's more of a "print" type throwback logo, designed by Pentagram, specifically partner Emily Oberman, just in time to give DC a "rebirth" to its older, more hopeful and optimistic self.Display Comments Add a Comment
The Buried Symbol: The Runes of Issalia, Book Iby Jeffrey L. KohanekRelease Date: May 5, 2016Publisher: Black Rose Writing About the Book Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten… Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to an existence below the lowest rung of the...Add a Comment
If you are anything like me, the first time someone asked you to be an advocate for the library you pictured attending some kind of librarian rally event, writing letters to congressmen, and making super scary presentations to library administration and other stakeholders. While all of these things are certainly advocacy, they were intimidating and sounded like they might take more time than I had. However, after becoming acquainted with Everyday Advocacy and doing a lot of thinking, I realized a lot of what I did every day was actually advocacy. Today, I’ll share an example of an early literacy program that I think of as developmentally appropriate advocacy.
In 2014, as a result of a random article from the internet and encouragement from many librarian friends, I gave Baby Storytime caregivers washable markers and oil pastels to use to decorate their babies’ faces (read more about the activity here). Every Child Ready to Read tells that practicing reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing with children every day helps them get ready to read. This activity encourages caregivers to talk to their babies and use vocabulary they might not typically use (how often do you talk about diabolical eyebrows with a baby?), caregivers are modeling writing, and are being extremely playful. This activity also encourages caregivers to photograph their babies and post these images on their Facebook pages or send them to family showing off what they did at the library today. This activity entered the regular rotation for an after storytime activity.
How is this advocacy? Caregivers learned, or had reinforced, the notion that the library is not a boring place just for reading and books. They learned that early literacy can be more than sharing books and that they have the tools already to help their child develop early literacy skills. They told all their friends that the library is a cool place because of this activity and others like it. Caregivers hated missing storytime because they were afraid to miss out on their favorite activities. Whenever we needed storytime participants to fill out surveys or comment cards they were more than happy to help. They would do anything to make sure storytimes continued and that storytime presenters were appreciated.
Do you have dedicated storytime families? Are your storytimes growing as a result? Do your storytime families help spread the word about the awesomeness of the library? If yes, congratulations, you are an advocate!
We would love to hear your stories! Matt McLain detailed in a previous Advocacy and Legislation blog, “Did You Know This Is Advocacy”, just how important these stories are personally, locally, and even nationally. Please take a moment to submit your advocacy story to the Everyday Advocacy website.
Kendra Jones is the Youth & Family Services Coordinator for the Timberland Regional Library in Washington State and a member of the ALSC Advocacy & Legislation committee. She is also a member of the Managing Children’s Services committee and Co-Chair of the Diversity within ALSC Task Force.
The post Did You Know This is Advocacy? Early Literacy Programs appeared first on ALSC Blog.Add a Comment
|Glenn Tait's DIY 'stay-wet' palette tests|