Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zombie

Come on! You knew it was only a matter of time until I went there. After all, I am the zombie whacking ninja princess (sorry, inside joke. Yes, I know, extremely unfair).
*readers scratching heads in confusion*
I really do feel like one of the walking dead at the moment. I just finished up with a stellar storytelling program that went very smoothly except that we were cursed with an absolutely beautiful day. The kind of day where you want to go to the beach, a beach that is only about 15min away...
Yes, everyone went to the beach. :(
Well, it is over and I am very excited because I have a copy of The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 3) by Carrie Ryan. Yes, it is a zombie apocalypse story. I am absolutely in love with it.
I was going to say I love zombie stories because they can remain the villain rather than the love interest, though I know some authors have done it. Frankly, that is just gross. But I remember reading a series where zombies were the secondary characters who were really just very misunderstood and had lives just as social as any vampire or werewolf. It actually worked in the book, but that was a special circumstance. I mean really, zombie romance? I prefer a romance with zombies.
Have you seen the new Ford commercials featuring zombies?

Something else zombie related that I absolutely love is the ghoulishly delightful cookbook Zombie Cupcakes: From the Grave to the Table with 16 Cupcake Corpses by Zilly Rosen. I am not a bit fan of fondant but I love these tasty treats. The graveyard brownies look absolutely yummy. This will be a definite purchase to add to my collection which boasts of titles like Ghoulish Goodies: Creature Feature Cupcakes, Monster Eyeballs, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches Knuckles, and Much More! (Frightful Cookbook). If you work with teens then they are an absolute must for fall programming. I mean who doesn't know that the Walking Dead (aka zombies!) are HOT right now? Well, these are HOT out of the kitchen HOT (sorry, bad attempt at humor).

Hmm, getting kind of hungry...umm, brains...cupcake brains...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for Yikes in I almost forgot to write this blog post.

So I watched the Dr Who premiere last night and was very excited to see that it was taking place in Brevard County at what was once back in 1969 called Cape Kennedy. Now it is called Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center.

Considering that today was suppose to be the launch of space shuttle Endeavor.I find their timing pretty ironic. president even visited today! Would have been great if he had stayed a bit see surrounding community. So many families depend in some way on industry and business program brings area.

According to the local news broadcast, the President promised the astronauts that he is committee to funding NASA research.

*sigh* If wishes were rocket boosters, astronauts would fly...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for X-Men

It was so hard to think of a topic for X, but then a blog post from Writing Rockstar Meg Cabot about her reading choices had me thinking about X-Men.

In case you couldn't tell from the blog title, I am a little obsessed with superheroes. I am, however, a bonafide Marvel lover. To me they can do no wrong. Don't get me wrong, I love Smallville and Batman (You did know Batgirl was a librarian, right?). Plus I am very excited for all the superhero films coming out this summer, but DC just doesn't hook me the way Marvel does.

My ultimate favorite are the X-Men and my favorite pairing is Jubilee and Wolverine (the whole movieverse thing had me disappointed for a while, at least my girl was in the director's cut). When I was in high school and college I used to read fanfiction based on the series. My favorite site was The fanfiction is no longer up, but the site still sits there in honor of the best comic duo ever (yes, I wanted them to hook up. JeanGrey is just a skanky two-timer who can't make up her mind). The website creator, Marjorie M. Liu, went on to become a published author in her own right (New York Time Bestseller in fact!) and her books do have some x-factory goodness to them.

When I was student teaching, I had a student who wrote X-men fanfiction. It was pretty good, but the cooperating teacher thought she was wasting her time. I wish more teachers would recognize the value of comics in encouraging readers and writers who do move on to more challenging stuff (not to mention that there are some really deep topics covered in comics that can be just as challenging as anything to be found in a classic).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Wedding

It doesn't matter where you look this week, everyone is talking weddings. Particularly the Royal Wedding this Friday (which I find very funny considering the USA was founded by people who wanted nothing to do British Royalty and yet today we are obsessed with them).

So today I share with you one of my favorite Brits and a song about weddings...Um, yeah...weddings...

You know, he kinda looks like Spike. Billy Idol would make a great vampire. ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Vuvox

I love Vuvox. It is a free tool available on the internet for creating interactive collages. This is a great resources for educators, librarians, and writers. You can use it to market a program, teach a lesson, or even incorporate a digital booktalk into it. I love the idea of using it to promote books because it allows the user to explore a bit more than a digital book trailer does. The only downside to the application is that it does use Adobe Flash which means that it can't be seen on an iPad or an android device (Bad Adobe! Haven't you learned nothing from Beta? If you don't allow others to use your technology then something not quite as good will come along to take your place. i.e. VHS).

*If you are viewing this post in a blog reader, you might want to check out the actual post because there is a pretty cool Vuvox collage on Digital Booktalks at the top that doesn't seem to want to carry over. ;)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Update Your Home

So maybe it is the fact that this book comes out on my son's birthday (9/24) or maybe it is my Hungarian seamstress grandmother's influence, but I love Sew Up a Home Makeover: 50 Simple Sewing Projects by Lexi Barnes. I am a novice sewer at best, so as much as I may drool over the ideas presented in this book, I know that I am just not up to par on every project (to be honest, I just don't have the patience to do a big sewing project). However, there are really simple ideas that I could do in a day or less and that is what I love. I mean I spend about $1-$2 on one placemat; multiply that by 6 or 8 and that could have been almost a complete meal. Fabric remnants are cheap and it is even cheaper if you up-cycle from some other item purchased secondhand or rescued from the closet. Why did I never think of making my own?!

That is the great thing about this book, it is a way to turn a nothing into a something just by adding a bit of new fabric you can create anything from a new slipcover for the beat up sofa to a cushy headboard for the bed. BTW I sooo want to make a marshmallow cushion. It is a project towards the back of the book (saving best for last?). They are perfect for lounging around at home, make them from a vinyl material and they might even be pool-side friendly. I can already see several in my future when I finally get my home organized. Yes, you see I still have unpacked boxes from when we moved in last year. I can not start any new projects until my guest/craft room is finally empty. *slacker*

Up-Cycling is a great way to decorate your home using materials you either already have or ones you can get cheap secondhand. When my husband and I moved miles and miles from Jersey to Florida we only had what we could fit in the back of a 4dr sedan and that was with room for two American Eskimos in the backseat. We hit up the local thrift store and were able to furnish our home on the cheap in a style that we liked. We still hit up the thrift stores and eye the garage sales, but I have to admit that our style back then was no where near the gorgeousness of those at Vintage Revivals.

Vintage Revivals is so awesome that they even have a Epic Room Makeover Giveaway right now where they will come and makeover your home. You have until April 30th to link up your picture for the vote. Maybe I should put a picture of my box filled room up on the site. You would all vote for me right?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Twitter Twit

Follow me on Twitter! @woofer_kyyiv by Slava Baranskyi
Follow me on Twitter! @woofer_kyyiv, a photo by Slava Baranskyi on Flickr.
Okay, so around this time last year I was very anti-twitter. I just couldn't see a need for it when Facebook did everything that Twitter did. That was until I seriously started blogging and writing and, well, you get the picture. 

It helped that I spent a lot of time on my smartphone and was seriously bored. Yes, there is an app for that. It made me realize how many of my favorite authors, agents, and publishers were using twitter. The great thing is that they will even reply back to your comments when you @mention them. There are even Q & A events using hashtags like #YALit and #AskAgent. Very helpful.

I even won a box of books from an @YALSA twitter #whyYALSA contest. Coolness!

Twitter is a great resource for me. I am connected to other writers and bloggers. I am able to keep up on new technology and other trending topics. I can even find out the latest Dr Who and Marvel news.

BTW last night because the wonderful @KierstenWhite and @WolfsonLiterary retweeted the link to my book review for White's Supernaturally, the blog has seen 100 hits in two hours. That is a record. Now how can you not love that?

Come follow me on Twitter @JHopwood80

Friday, April 22, 2011

Supernaturally Rocks

Being normal is so overrated.

As Evie, is beginning to learn, real high school is nothing like a high school tv drama. There are things like homework, PE, and oh, yeah, those lockers. Yes, those coveted lockers from the first book. Not to mention a long distance relationship with college-boy, Lend.

Confused? I am of course talking about Supernaturally by Kiersten White. This is the sequel to the oh so wonderful Paranormalcy. First thing I have to say is that I have some absolute cover love for these books. Fair hair and eyed Evie standing in her gorgeous dresses. I really hope that they don't change the cover when book two finally hits the bookstore shelves because it is absolutely gorgeous. Yeah, I know, don't judge a book by its cover, but I admit that and the title are what first caught my interest in Paranormalcy.

Book two continues Evie's story with her trying to adjust to a normal life outside of the International Paranormal Containment Agency. Well, maybe more like not adjusting. Her shapeshifting boyfriend is away at college and she isn't exactly fitting in with the whole normal high school girl scene except for missing said boyfriend and making plans to attend the same college on early admission. In the first book, it was a desire for prom and in this one the goal is Georgetown.

It is no surprise that Evie is seriously tempted by Raquel's request to help IPCA out again with a couple missions, but of course things don't always go so simply for her. However, hasn't she learned from all those episodes of Easton Heights that lying and boyfriends don't mix?

Mingled throughout the teenage drama, you have Jack the boy who just doesn't want to grow up, a paranormal hunting UberVampire, sneaky paranormal locals, and yes, ex-boyfriend faery drama once again. There is even NASCAR, but you will have to keep reading to find out how that fits in the mix (yeah, not exactly Evie's sparkly pink scene).

Did I mention that this book is all age teen appropriate? Yeah, those bleeping "bleeps" are so endearing. It kinda fits with a character that has a pink taser gun affectionately nickname Tasey.

Questions will be answered but even more will be asked so book three better not be too far away. So put on your hottest paranormal hunting heels with coordinating sparkly pink accessories and head to your closest bookstore to place your pre-order for the July 26, 2011 release.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reader Roundup

Thought I would share some goodies with everyone today...
Once upon a time when I was an undergrad, I worked for Waldenbooks (you know, those almost extinct places known as bookstores, in fact I think that one may in fact be extinct). St the time, most of my paycheck went towards supporting my reading habit. As a librarian, this habit continues. In fact, I tend to bring home more than I could possibly read and end up sending it all back or adding my name back to the hold lists. This doesn't stop me from wanting more books. The cheaper the better.
How can it get any better than free?
NetGalley is a website that connects book reviewers and librarians with publishers in want of reviews for their books. They only provide digital copies of the books, but these range from already release to already on the market. We aren't talking no name companies either, these are big name authors and publishers. Some titles are available for immediate download and others have a more stringent approval system. It is worth checking out. In fact many of the books you have seen reviewed on this blog have come from NetGalley.
LibraryThing and Goodreads are both websites that offer free books to their members in the form of contests. Think of it as placing your name in a hat and crossing your fingers that you will be picked. Many of these titles have hundreds of people vying for only a handful of copies; so your chances of winning are close to that of winning the lottery. I have known people who have received copies, so it can happen.
Remember that if you request a copy of a book for review purposes that you should actually review it. Failure to do so may not only hurt your chances or working with that publisher again, but also for other reviews.
You also might want to try some author stalking. NO! Put down the binoculars! I don't mean that kind of stalking! Check out the author's website. If they have a blog, follow it. Hang on their every tweet, just don't become an annoying gnat (you know the bug that buzzes annoyingly non-stop in your ear, get the idea?). You never know when there might be an impromptu giveaway directly from the author or their publicist.
A lot of book blogs also give away their Advance Readers Copies (ARCs) to followers and those that comment on their posts. (Sorry, this blog, does not yet host giveaways. Digital ARCs,yeah, non-transferable. But keep posted cause you never know when that might change). I find a lot of ARCs to give to my teen reviewers at the library by keeping an eye on the list-serves and blog rolls. Here are some websites I know of that offer free book contests, both ARCs and published:
Free Book Friday
Dead Rules Giveaways to Support Teen Reading
If you know of any other interesting places to get free books or ARCs, post the, to the comments below. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quiet Time

(183/365) Shhh.... by Sarah G...
(183/365) Shhh...., a photo by Sarah G... on Flickr.


I said quiet time. Find a book and settle in for a good read.

See you tomorrow ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P Is For Promoting Happyness

Yes, it is spelled wrong. Kudos points to anyone who can tell me where that one is from...

Anyway, today I heard some good, some bad, and some ugly. It had me thinking about happiness. With the economy as troubled as it is right now, many people are trying to just hold on. Many have been holding tight for longer than they expected and for some are just getting started. It is especially tough for those with kids because we want to give them the world or at least give them better than we had it.

Today, I heard about a government funded program that was giving capes out to the unemployed who visited their office. Yeah, bad idea and a waste of money, but I understand where they were coming from. When you don't have a job, it is very easy to sink into depression and once that happens it is hard to climb back up. They were only trying to boost moral and send a message. Though that message could have been told in a more metaphorical manner rather than literally passing out red capes. Everyone is somebody's hero regardless of what they do or if they have a job or they make tons of money. A lot of these heroes go unnoticed.

It is situations like this cape thing which paint a target on what other agencies are trying to do to help. I would like to hear more stories not about how the government or other companies are mismanaging but rather how they are doing right. When was the last time you heard about the family who visited the library where dad used the free Internet to search for a job and mom took the kids to the story time workshop being conducted in the children's room, also free? What about the free tutoring offered to at risk learners through the school system? Free family movies in the park? Free lunch at the senior center? Volunteer run community groups that provide sports for youth? How about a company like Target that gives back 5% of profits to the communities they serve? Yeah, might not sound like a lot, but think of how much 5% profit for a company like that can go. Even individuals can do small things to spread a little good cheer.

Yes, times are tough, but we all have a responsibility to each other. We all need hope and something to get us through. What do you do to promote a little happiness?

O is for Olivia Parker 's Guarding A Notorious Lady

So far on the blog, we have seen reviews for picture books, Young Adult, graphic novels, and craft books. Now it is time for some guilty pleasure reading. I am not a big fan of contemporary literature, I prefer my reading to send me either to another realm or another time. That is why I love historical romances. I especially love the stories where the love interest is the best friend or the guy who is always getting the girl out of trouble.

Guarding a Notorious Lady by Olivia Parker due out May 31st is such book. In this case it is the conundrum of falling for the little sister of your childhood friend, a little sister who is not quite so little anymore, and whom the task fails to guard her reputation while said brother is out of town on his wedding trip.

Wonderfully this story opens in a bookstore (for all truly great stories begin in a bookstore or library) where Lady Rosalind is attempting to snoop on a promising couple in the stacks; she is a matchmaking meddler after all. Unfortunately, a certain gentleman keeps blocking her view.

Nicholas Kincaid, the Marquess of Winterbourne, has already started in his duties of guarding the younger sister of his childhood friend. This mischievous lady has always managed to get under his skin though to be truthful she can't really help it if suitors decide to serenade her in the middle of the night. He'll just have to be handy with a ready pot, book, or slipper to throw at them.

What is a good historical romance without some scandal and treading on society's unspoken rules? Readers of Parker's other novels will be sure to recognize previous characters and elements (which in my opinion are the signature of a truly great historical romance). This is a delightfully fun read!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coolness, I got some awards

Thanks to Deirdra at A Storybook World for the Beautiful Mommy Writer Award. Coolness!

I've also been awarded the Stylin' Award by Giggle, Laugh, Cry. Total Awesomeness! Check out her blog!

To accept the Stylin' Award, you have to do the following:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself. *See below
3. Award 10-15 blogs who you think deserve this award.
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

Seven wonderful, glorious things about me are:

  1. Have a wonderful family.
  2. I love paranormal/supernatural type stuff but think the big baddies should, well, stay big baddies, i.e.not the romantic interest (unless the name is Spike and has a Brit accent, also a bleach blond.)
  3. Have a serious tech addiction.
  4. Tend to be a workaholic overachiever.
  5. Have a second addiction--chocolate.
  6. Will do anything to get out of folding the laundry, which includes contacting stomach flu.
  7. Can find the answer to anything, i.e. a librarian.

Deserving blogs for the Stylin' Award are:
The Daring Librarian
Vintage Revivals
Mouses Houses
BonBon Rose Girls
Kiersten Writes
Adventures in Bento Making
Cherry Tomatoes Productions
A Storybook World
Read & Riot
Craft Gossip
Please check out their blogs!

Now if I could just figure out how to post these awards on a permanent page...


Not Having a Very Good, Wonderful Day

So I caught little man's stomach bug which knocked me out for a good portion of the day. I can't remember ever being this sick. Thank goodness for my men who took care of me.

Whenever I am having a horrible day I am reminded of Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Alexander is a young boy who wakes up to just one of those days. From gum in his hair to no prize in his cereal, it all goes down hill from there. Throughout the story he mutters the refrain "I think I'll move to Australia". This is a phrase that sticks with me and if you ever hear me mutter I am moving to Australia, then you know what kind of day I am having.

I have used this book in my story times; it is a great story to get kids thinking about how a story relates to their own lives. Many of them can emphasize with Alexander. To make sure they are paying attention, I have even asked them to keep track of all the horrible things that happened in the story.

On the flip side, we don't just focus on the negative. After we have talked about the bad stuff, we have brainstormed on what little things we can do to make it into a good day.

When you are having a bad day, what do you do to make it better?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L Is For Lazy Days

Sick Day by Flickr user Shom Tore

Sick Day by Flickr user Shom Tore

Today is a lazy day, no sooner did I walk into work than the school was calling me to come pick up the little man who was losing his breakfast all over the playground. Looks like it is cartoons for him and laundry for me today. But that is okay, could use a lazy day home from work. I might even make some chocolate chip cookies (Unfortunately, not the million dollar kind, just regular tollhouse).

When you have to stay home with a sick child what do you spend your day doing when not dishing out the meds and answering to "Mom?!" ? Is it a lazy day? Do you spend your day watching cartoons too? Or do you bring your work home to do? Do you spend your day cleaning the house (which is really what I should be doing)?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Yeah, I know we are suppose to have two separate blog entries for each letter, but a friend gave me this idea. So for the combined letters of J and K, I present some of my favorite spoof/parody YouTube videos.

This is a parody video of Aqua's Barbie Girl. I love it because, though I might not fit the descriptions in the video, I am a Jersey Girl.

I love Taylor Swift's music because it all tells a story. My current favorite book series is Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth. Pair the two themes and you get this awesome parody video from VenetianPrincess.

I love paranormal and supernatural themed books. However, I really do think that vampires, well, they just need to die. Make them the bad guys again and Van Helsing their butts! The whole vampire craze is a bit over done for my tastes and that is why I love this next parody video.

Hello, librarian, had to mix that in here somewhere. I think we need more ads like this...Ummm, yeah...

Dr Who...Star Wars...Need I Say More?

Okay, this is from one of the best Graham Norton episodes ever. If you want to find out what happened after the guy from the personal ad got the picture of "The Doctor" try to find part 4 of the video.

BTW the joke was on me tonight because this was the second time I have tried to post this. My Blogsy app froze right when I was updating. The guys at Blogsy were right there on Twitter after I vented a bit of my frustration. Great customer service. I may have had a hiccup tonight, but I still highly recommend the app.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for...Innovation

...Bet you thought I was going to say iPad.

If you have been following for a while then you already know I am a big fan of innovation and imagination. I have used digital storytelling in my library programs and I am still trying to think of ways to excuse bringing the iPad to work. --Well, this one gives me an excuse for bringing the droid.

The first time I heard about QR codes, I think it was through Woman's Day or Entertainment Weekly. All I can really remember was that it was a magazine left on the staff table. I downloaded the app and tried to scan the codes in the magazine. Needless to say it didn't really work , but I think it might have been the start of the issues with the Blackberry.

The Daring Librarian had a great post last week about using QR codes in her library as a scavenger hunt and though I am eager to try it, I am not so eager to hand my phone over to the teens. (Let us just say that I know a former Teen Camp Counselor who did something similar and he still gets text messages to this day from former camp members who "added" him while they had access to his phone. Yeah, so not happening.) I do applaud the idea and if I thought that my library's socio-economic area meant that every teen had a smart phone let alone a cell phone, I might even try it. --Yes, it is a misnomer that every teen has a cell phone, though I admit it does seem that way.

BTW know what I am going to do tonight? Yup, I am going to download a QR code scanner app to my phone. Who knows maybe I will change my mind about doing a program. While hands on programs are the best, there are sometimes ways around it. Very much a thinking out of the box ideology.

I welcome innovative thinking and new ideas and suggestions. I especially love hearing from other librarians. If you have a suggestion for a program, new tech activity, etc; I would love to hear about it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H Is For Hot Apps

It has already been established that I am in love with my iPad. There are some great apps out there that are free or relatively cheap. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

Grocery IQ-- Free. This app is also available for my droid which makes it even better. It keeps a running list of items I need from the grocery store; when I update on the iPad it will automatically update the droid and vice versa. The list can be divided by store which means I can have a list for Wal-Mart and one for Sam's. It let's me input the prices to keep a running total of how much I am spending and keeps those listed in my history. Very useful and such a time saver-- it even has coupons!

Blogsy-- $2.99. Now I have been having trouble updating my blog from the iPad. I use blogger and for some reason the two just don't like communicating. That is where the new app Blogsy comes in. The app is new on the market and I mean new as of this week. Right now it has an introductory price that will change with the next update. It is compatible with both Blogger and Wordpress. You don't even have to know HTML code! (though I have to say, I am getting better at embedding the codes for links). Blogsy allows you to grab links and images from the integrated browser, Google Images, YouTube, Picassa, and Flickr. Simple and easy just like it should be!

Twitter-- Free. I use to be very anti-Twitter, but I have since discovered that it is a great networking tool. I am connected to authors, librarians, bloggers, and tech news. It keeps me up to date on the things that I need to know about.

Angry Birds-- Free. I am not obsessive about this game, but I can understand how some might be. It reminds me of an old shareware DOS game where these huge monkeys held on the top of these buildings and the object was to throw bananas at other buildings and helicopters. The one thing I will say about it is that it is very useful to have when you are sitting waiting somewhere with a five-year old who doesn't want to sit even works on husbands!

Do you have a favorite iPhone or iPad app? Any for the droid?

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Gender Bender

Be prepared, Shakespeare is about to show his ugly mug once again.

Anyway, back in Shakespeare's time there were little or no female actors. It just wasn't acceptable. This does not mean that there were no female parts, as we well know. Most of the female parts were played by young boys. Now Shakespeare was pretty worried about the psyches of these boys (or at least that is what my Shakepeare professor used to argue). So he created situations in his plays that would allow these boys to get back into pants, britches, leggins, or what have you. These have been some of my favorite plays, I love the drama of will the girl be discovered?

This tradition of putting girls into pants with their hair cut short and their chests bound flat continues, especially in manga. The reasons for it range from wanting to get an education denied because of their sex to just wanting to be close to the boy they like. Here or some of my favorites and a few extras thrown in.

Alanna: The First Adventure (The Song of the Lioness) The Lioness Rampant Books by Tamora Pierce are all about a girl who disguises herself as her brother so that she can train to be a knight. This series is awesome and created a whole world for Pierces books that have gone on to inspire girls everywhere.

Hana-Kimi, Vol. 1: For You In Full Blossom Mizuki Ashiya is American, but she has been in love with Izumi Sano ever since she saw him perform a high-jump on television. Determined to meet her idol, she convinces her parents to send her to the same high school in Japan, not telling them that it is actually an all boy's school. 

The Education of Bet Here is another one where the girl is denied an education and takes her brother's place at the all-boy English Boarding School he was to attend. In this case, it is her foster brother and there is an underlying mystery surrounding her true parentage. 

Leviathan Okay, bad, bad, bad, librarian! Don't booktalk a book you haven't read! But I want to read it; I really do. It is even sitting on my shelf right now. But I will let the guys over at Unshelved explain it better than I could. Click


If you know of any others, put them in the comments below. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Fireworks!

Katy Perry's Firework-A Capella Cover-Mike Tompkins- Beatbox by YouTube user pbpproductions

The human brain is the greatest tool we have at our disposal. One spark of creativity can ignight into something beyond our imaginations. Even small ideas can lead to huge results.

Two library blogs that I recommend you follow are Gwenyth Jones' The Daring Librarian and Buffy Hamilton's The Unquiet Librarian . These two librarians both work in schools, but they are an inspiration even to this public librarian. Both also happen to have been listed as two of Library Journal's 2011 Movers and Shakers. They are innovators, change makers, and yes, fireworks. They do these things because they love it. They are library superheroes!

Who are your heroes? Who do you admire? Who do you emulate to be? Challenge yourself to be an innovator and catalyst for change.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Everybody Wins!

This post almost became "Eek! I hit an itty bitty baby boar!" At first I thought it was a small dog or cat running across the street. It was very cute and very young which makes me think Mama Boar isn't too far behind.

But I digress...

Soooo...ten kudos points to anyone who can tell me what sport the title refers to!

*pause for speculation*

That's right! It is baseball month. My son plays t-ball and is very excited, well sometimes. I mean he is only 5 and so is his attention span. Right now if you head over to you can play Step up to the Plate @your library and be entered for a chance to win tickets to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. All ages can play and if your library doesn't participate, just send me a note and I will let you know of one that does. ;)

April is also full of other great events that can be used to promote libraries. For example:

  • Hop to Your Library- story time about bunnies.
  • Earth Day Birthday- throw a birthday party for the earth with recycled crafts and earth friendly tales
  • El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros (Children's Book Day!) April 30th
  • National Library Week April 10th-16th

With libraries everybody wins! Great books, friendly people, community, fun, and yes, sometimes even cookies!

What are some of your favorite library events?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Deadline

Well, that is the problem with my writing. I have no deadline. It just doesn't seem to carry enough weight when it is self imposed. Therefore none of my projects ever get finished. However, I have no problem meeting a deadline for work or even stuff that has already been committed to a publisher. Problem here is that agents usually want to see the finished product rather than a work in progress. So far my only completions besides my upcoming chapter in Marketing Methods for Libraries have been my picture books. Yeah, not so much luck with the whole picture book querying thing.

I have been toying with the idea of entering a pseudo-fan-fiction type of contest rewriting a scene from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. To be honest, as much as it should be one of my favorite Shakespeare plays based on the concepts, I hold very little interest in it and I am not sure if I could sit down and try. Give me Twelfth Night! Give me Taming of the Shrew Give me As You Like It! ----I am having flashbacks to Shakespeare I & II. Scary!

The iPad addiction is whittling down, so I should get my act together and get more motivated. This A-Z Blogger Challenge is a step in that direction. What gets you motivated to write?

**Check my Works In Progress Tab for a list and synopsis of what I am working on ---or procrastinating on. ;)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Christmas in April

Well looks like I have already failed the challenge. Why did I think Saturdays didn't count either? Does it count that I caught this fact early in the game?

Anyway, I got home from work today to find a nice little padded envelope from one of my favorite publishers, HarperCollins. Awesomeness often comes in small packages because an Advance Reader Copy of Kiersten White's Supernaturally was inside the envelope. I am very excited to read and review the title. You may remember that her first book Paranormalcy was the first ever #bktweetlet. Keep posted for the review, I am thinking it would make a great addition for S.

If you are a book blogger or librarian, you may also want to check out NetGalley for other great titles to read and review.

Blogger...there's an app for that

I made a decision over the weekend and ditched the Blackberry in favor of the LG Vortex. So far I have not been disappointed. It sychs with all my google stuff, I can even get blogger. Though I have to say that my all time favorite app is GroceryIQ which is a free app provided by This app is available for both android and apple which means I can make a list on my iPad and have the list at hand on the phone while cruising the aisles at Wal-Mart.

What makes this app better than any others that I have tried is that it will list the items according to grocery aisle and I can input the price of an item so that next time I add it to my list it will keep a running total of what my grocery trip is going to cost me. I can also specify more that one grocery or warehouse club store and either designate items specifically to a certain store or list it as available for any store.

Yes, I am of the school that technology makes life better. What apps are your favorites?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Android or iPhone: that is the question

Happy April Fools Everyone!

Well, I was going to post about the origins of April Fools, but to be honest, I just couldn't rouse the energy to research about it. Maybe, I just wasn't interested enough. So what to write about that could start with the letter A? Why A? Well, today marks the first day of the A-Z Blog Challenge. Let's see if I can keep up.

So what starts with letter A? Android does. Now I love my blackberry, but it doesn't love me and right now it is good for little more than a paperweight. It also seems that because my husband's phone died a horrible death recently, I am not eligible for my free upgrade! Tragedy!

If I wait until April of next year, I can get my coveted iPhone 4. However, I don't think my blackberry is going to make it another year. I do have the option of upgrading to a LG Vortex which seems to have all the neat little features that I wanted in the iPhone. I do still have my iPad (*insert voice over* "My Precious"). It may not have 3G, but both phones can act as a hotspot if I decide to pay extra to my carrier. Probably not, but cool that it is an option.

So the question throw out into the blogsphere...Do I upgrade to the LG Vortex now or get a cheap *basic* phone to get me through until the iPhone next April? Those of you who have the Vortex speak up, I want your opinions.

*sigh* I am too much of a gadget junkie.