Status Update

April 5, 2012 at 8:46 PM (General) (, )

Hello lovely followers!

If you’re still out there, I wanted to pop in and give an update.  Well, since my last post, my mom went into the hospital.  So I’d appreciate any good thoughts or prayers you could send her way.  She really needs them.

I am almost done with a complete draft of my thesis, which is exciting!  Except I had to start a full-time job in order to cope with my family situation.  Writing is on hold while I adjust, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about my characters!  It just means I have to be extra careful about making time to write.  Which is the essential dilemma of the writer’s life, I suppose.

On the bright side, I now have my own desk and phone and best of all…

I became a Library Assistant!  Yup, I work in the library of a major company now.  (Trust me, you’ve heard of it.)  I’m not quite a librarian, but I’m pretty close in rank.  You could say I’ve been initiated as a squire, I suppose.  I guess my new name will have to be The Library Squire.  ;)  What do you all think?

My life hasn’t been completely devoid of book-loving, though.  I did find the time to squeeze in some WonderCon action… Check out what I got:

Those would be the signatures of one Mr. Ransom Riggs and one Ms. Kami Garcia!

And I met Gretchen McNeil too!  She’s so gorgeous!
And I scored an ARC of Ten!  Wonder what I could do with that… ;)

Just think, now I’ll be able to afford more books than ever before!  I just have to find the time to enjoy them now that I work more than 40 hours a week.  Yikes!  I don’t know how some bloggers do it.  But I’ll work something out.

If you’re reading this, thanks for sticking with me.  I hope I have more for your enjoyment soon.

Until next time,
Clara aka The Library Squire (?)

Permalink 1 Comment

Hiatus-Type Thing

January 31, 2012 at 9:44 PM (General) ()

Hi all!

Sorry for the absence, but blog posting is going to be on and off for a while.

In addition to trying to finish up my thesis for graduation, my mom’s health has been deteriorating, and I’m dealing with other family issues.

It’s hard to focus on much else right now, but I don’t intend to quit the blog completely.  Not at all.  Let’s just call this a sort-of hiatus.  I still want to drool over books with you all and write about libraries and other things.  So I’ll be here.  Just not as much.  ;)

And I still have that great news to share with you!  Coming up soon.

Thanks to you all for following the blog.  Here’s to another half-year on the web!

Permalink 1 Comment

Library Post: Cute Alert!

January 21, 2012 at 6:18 PM (Fun, Libraries) (, , )

Okay, if you cannot stand bugs this is not the post for you!  Just a warning.
But this isn’t a grossout post, it’s a cute post.  :)

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that we have walking sticks in my library.  Well, we do.

The last adult stick died just as the little baby ones were hatching, so the wee ones have been all by themselves, with no one but us gigantic people looking after them in their little tank.

Well, The Library Assistant saw a small fake praying mantis on sale when she was on a trip, and she brought it back so the sticks would have companionship and someone to turn to.  :)

A couple of days ago, I saw this:

That’s probably the first time we’ve seen one of the sticks bonding with Fred.
(Fred is the fake mantis.)

TLA and I just thought it was the most adorable thing and we whipped out our phones and snapped pictures.  LOL!

Sorry for the absence everyone!  I’m not abandoning you, I swear!

In fact, I have some great news to post later today.  Well, it’s on my Twitter feed, but if you remember what happened the last time I got this kind of news, you know what’s coming. ;)

(Don’t worry, it’s good!)

Permalink Leave a Comment

Beg, Borrow, and Steal (021)

January 14, 2012 at 8:03 PM (Beg Borrow & Steal) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hey all!  I’ve actually had quite a few books come my way since my last post, and I’ve also made a pact with myself to buy less books this year, so I’ll be doing my latest BBS post in installments.  We’ll call this one my Beg, Borrow, & Steal: Ebook Edition!

These posts are my take on the In My Mailbox meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.  Just a way to showcase the books in my life, because not all of them will be reviewed. :)

Gotta say I love it when people blog about getting good ebook deals.  Even though I get sad I can’t participate in the Kindle deals, I still manage to find Barnes & Noble deals.  So it all works out! :D

Here are my shiny new ebooks!

Begged

Don’t Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth C. Davis
Saw this one for free.  I figured I love mythology so why not?

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
Have seen this one around the blogosphere.  Cute title, so I went for it.

Heroes ‘Til Curfew (Talent Chronicles) by Susan Bischoff
Impulse Control (Talent Chronicles) by Susan Bischoff
I actually own the first one of this series.  I grabbed these for a great price.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
No, I haven’t seen the musical yet.  :(  But I want to see AND read the story!

Witch & Wizard by Gabrielle Charbonnet and James Patterson

Exiled by RaShelle Workman
How gorgeous is this cover?

Well that’s it for now!

Next week, my paper book purchases!
(And possibly my wallet’s demise…)

Thanks for stopping by!

Permalink 6 Comments

200 Subscriber and Mid-Winter’s Eve 2011 Giveaway Winners

January 14, 2012 at 7:27 PM (Blog Hops, Giveaways) (, , , )

Thanks to everyone who participated!

The winners for the 200 Subscriber Giveaway are:

Yiota

and

Denise

And the lucky two for the Mid-Winter’s Eve Giveaway are:

Mary

and

Marie

Congratulations!  Emails have been sent.

I just have to say I loved reading the comments you all left in my entry forms,
it was especially touching to see how many people out there really appreciate family.

Now that it’s January, I look forward to my first full year of blogging with you all! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Permalink 1 Comment

Follow Friday (006)

January 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM (Follow Friday) (, , , , , )

Hello all!

Sorry for the absence, I’ve been chiseling away at my thesis what with the start of the quarter.

Hope you all enjoy the music recs to tide you over.  :)

Thanks to Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read for hosting Follow Friday!

Q: Many readers/bloggers are also big music fans. Tell us about a few of your favorite bands/singers that we should listen to in 2012.

Oh man!  Don’t get me started.  I have to admit a big secret of mine.  I love classical music.  Not like Beethoven and Handel and stuff.  Okay, just kidding, I do like those guys.  I even like when they get spruced up with techno music.  But I have a supreme weakness for modern instrumental music.  So, if I could rec a group or two, I think first up would be Two Steps From Hell.  They mainly do trailer music.  That’s right, the jamming tunes they play in a dramatic movie preview.  That’s them.  Take for instance, Freedom Fighters:

Which was the trailer music for the recent Star Trek film.

And Thomas Bergersen, who is part of Two Steps From Hell, has released his own album.  And my absolute favorite track from that is this gorgeous song, Sonera:

If you like epic music, especially if you’re a writer or artist who wants to “get into the mood” for writing epic scenes, I’d suggest looking into pieces by these fabulous musicians!

Happy music hunting, and thanks for stopping by!

Permalink 3 Comments

Workshop Wednesday (007): Speaking Up In Workshops

January 4, 2012 at 10:53 PM (Workshop Wednesday) (, , , )

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.  Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

So what exactly is Workshop Wednesday?  Well, it’s going to be an ongoing discussion of ways to read and critique (and hopefully improve) writing.  Basically, I’m going to be drawing on my experiences in writing workshops through undergraduate and graduate studies and sharing them with you all.  These posts are for everyone, whether you’re wondering how you can give good feedback to a writer friend, or whether you’re a writer yourself and want to find new ways to look at your writing.  Hopefully these discussions will be helpful.  And hopefully seeing a compelling first line in each post will inspire you to write your own, or to read the rest of that story!

Well, Happy New Year everyone!  I’m a little late to the party on this one because I’ve been really sick since the weekend (no parties for me :( ).  But you’ve all seen my blogging resolutions, so here’s hoping for a great year in 2012!

Anyway, so far in Workshop Wednesdays I’ve given advice for the reader giving critique as one person.  Hopefully this has been helpful for those of you with a workshop/critique partner gig.  But I realized today I haven’t really addressed being in a workshop or a critique group itself.  That is to say–how do you handle critiques within groups of people?

I could go over all of the different aspects of workshop etiquette, but I think I’ll just focus on one aspect for the moment.  And that’s speaking up.  I think this one is really important.  You see, it might happen in a workshop that there will be people who speak more and people who speak less.  This is okay.  I would encourage you as someone with a critique in mind to speak up, no matter which extreme you tend toward.

Some people might think it’s silly to confirm something that’s already been said.  I think it’s actually helpful for the writer in question to see that there is some kind of consensus.  I know it might be hard for you shy folks, but think about how that writer would feel if you didn’t contribute to workshop.  If you say something, even if it’s to agree with someone else, it shows that you care about that writer’s project and respect the writer enough to share your opinion.

If you’re in a situation where you’re submitting written critiques as well, don’t feel that speaking up is redundant.  Sure, the writer will have the written comments to turn to, but there’s something that happens in workshop discussion that is magical and can’t be captured by a short paper that was written beforehand.  You never know when bringing up a point or an observation might lead to a discussion that can change the way the writer looks at his or her own work.  In fact, my recent workshops worked so well because they were interactive.  The group as a whole would come up with ways I could approach certain problem areas, and even though it was kind of intense, it was also really, really helpful.  It could not have happened on paper, in just one person’s critique.

As someone who used to be super quiet in workshop, I understand if you feel shy.  There are so many reasons why someone might not want to speak in workshop.  Mine was a fear of sounding stupid.  I was scared to counter what someone said very eloquently, because I was afraid of being wrong and falling flat on my face.  I also thought that my own observations were trivial and unimportant.  But I was so, so wrong on all counts.  Every reader brings something different to the table, and should not be discounted for a different point-of-view.  If you want to counter someone’s point, I say counter.  Not for the sake of argument, but for the sake of the writer.  The writer is ultimately the person making the decisions about the story, and knowing different sides of one issue is vital.  I’ll admit that I sometimes make observations about changes that could help a story, then someone will note that while I have a point, the change can be handled with a sentence or two.  Well, good!  Now the writer’s not scrambling around and worrying about trying to change this one thing over the course of a hundred pages.  And now I have also learned that certain issues don’t have to be big writing issues.  Everyone wins. :)

So those are some reasons why you should speak up in workshops/critique groups.  Trust me, I had the worst time trying to be more vocal in workshops.  But once I warmed up to my group, I enjoyed contributing more and more.  Like anything, it takes practice.  And remember, everyone else is there to help the writer, just like you.  :D

Permalink Leave a Comment

Follow Friday (005)

December 30, 2011 at 5:58 PM (Follow Friday) (, , )

Well well well!  The new year is almost upon us!

I thought this FF question was appropriate,
and a much-needed motivation for keeping up with the blog.

Thanks to Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read for hosting Follow Friday!

Q: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

Very good question!  I think one of my main goals is to try to be better at commenting.  This includes visiting and commenting on other blogs, as well as responding to comments on my own posts.  A huge thing that I’d like to work on next year is organization.  I have been here and there with organization since I started up the blog, but I’d like to be more consistent with posting, especially since I do more than just book blogging here.  I came up with the Toaster Tuesdays and Workshop Wednesdays to give the blog a little more structure, but I’d like to take it a step further if I can.  I definitely want to be better at posting updates on Twitter, and possibly on a Facebook page or other social media of that sort.  In that vein, I’m also going to look into more ways people can follow the blog, because there have been some requests for that.

Wowsers, think I can do all that in the next year?  We shall see!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Permalink 6 Comments

Workshop Wednesday (006): Picking and Choosing

December 28, 2011 at 11:57 PM (Advice, Workshop Wednesday) (, , )

“High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969,
two professors of English Literature approached each other
at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour.”

Changing Places by David Lodge

So what exactly is Workshop Wednesday?  Well, it’s going to be an ongoing discussion of ways to read and critique (and hopefully improve) writing.  Basically, I’m going to be drawing on my experiences in writing workshops through undergraduate and graduate studies and sharing them with you all.  These posts are for everyone, whether you’re wondering how you can give good feedback to a writer friend, or whether you’re a writer yourself and want to find new ways to look at your writing.  Hopefully these discussions will be helpful.  And hopefully seeing a compelling first line in each post will inspire you to write your own, or to read the rest of that story!

Hey all!  Today’s post is a little different, but I think it’s just as important in critiquing and writing as my past posts.  I’d like to ramble on for a bit about fit.

I’ve noted previously that even if your writing friend hands you a manuscript that happens to be the type of story that you despise, you can still offer good criticism.  It’s true.  Granted, it would probably be difficult for both of you, but it’s certainly not impossible.  I think it’s a rather genius method of getting someone to look at elements of craft that might be overlooked by a writer who specializes in the same genre.  This is why I think workshops, while sometimes painful, can be awesome.

That said, though, there may be times when you offer a critique that just does not fit.  This could happen for any reason.  Neither of you should stress over it.  You are absolutely entitled to offer what you bring to the table, and the writer is equally entitled to do with that feedback what she will.  Please don’t be offended.  The simple truth is that the writer must go with her gut, and ultimately, writing is about the choices she makes.  Sure, that thing that bugged you may still be present in the story, but that thing makes the writer happy and is in line with her vision.  If she will fight for it, it deserves to stay in.

As I’ve said before, never be afraid to say something.  Just remember that your writer is in a tough spot and must listen to you as well as her little writing heart. :)

Permalink Leave a Comment

Beg, Borrow, and Steal (020)

December 23, 2011 at 8:40 PM (Beg Borrow & Steal) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hey all!  Happy holidays!  Or just happy weekend. :)

Another one of my friends gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card for Christmas, so you can thank the other M in my life for a lot of this Beg, Borr0w, & Steal post.

These posts are my take on the In My Mailbox meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.  Just a way to showcase the books in my life, because not all of them will be reviewed. :)

I guess you can say I’ve been doing a little Christmas shopping for myself while looking for gifts for other people… Let’s see what I broke down and bought this week.

Begged

Books I absolutely had to have.

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Finally!  Finally I have this book.  Ugh, want to read NOW!

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Yeah, I hate scary movies, but scary books I seem to be okay with.
And I actually like the fact that this has a male protagonist.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Cool cover, and I am intrigued by the premise.

Steals

Nookbooks purchased via giftcard.

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan
I can tell by the first page that I’m gonna like this book.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Entwined by Heather Dixon
A play on the dancing princesses fairy tale.  Uh, yes please!

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starlighter by Bryan Davis
Sounds like a cool start to a neat series.

Thank you, Mel!

And thanks to you all for stopping by my IMM post.

I am cooking up some cool giveaways so be on the lookout this winter!

If you’re here for the Mid-Winter’s Eve Giveaway, it’s at this page.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Permalink 3 Comments

Next page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 194 other followers