30 Day Blog Challenge

Ultimate Convention Throw Down – Library vs Comic

Well that didn’t take long.  Nothing like getting half way through a self-imposed challenge before completely folding like a cheap tent.  I could spew out some wonderful excuses but facts are facts. Then of course when I really wanted to post this week, while I was at a library conference, I couldn’t because of no free wi-fi.  Okay, so that probably passes for an excuse.  But its a good one.  Because while I was at ILA’s (Illinois Library Association not the International Longshoremen’s Association) Annual Conference I came to the realization that library conferences would be way more awesome if there were more like comic conventions.

Library conventions need more cos playing!

No, not 50 Nancy Pearls running around.  Show some creativity.  Most library conventions come down hard on the side of professional.  While I never balk at the chance to pull out my super cute wear that I deem too fancified for everyday use, others seem to follow their everyday uniforms.  This is our chance to show off not just our professional accomplishments but our unique personalities.  And where’s the librarian’s Masquerade?  There could be different categories, favorite fictional characters, best dead author impersonation, Harry Potter.

Hi Eye Candy. Aren't you scrumptious?

More entertainment panels!

Not saying run out and get low-rent celebrities but what about mixing things up with the presentations.  Conferences offer a unique opportunity to share ideas and best practices but sometimes the presentations can be dry and one-way conversations.  There should be a wider mix of types of presentations and dear lawd, less POWER POINT!  Some hot eye candy wouldn’t hurt either.

More videos!

I want to take a second to give a big hell yeah to the ILA Video Shootout team.  They encouraged con goers this week to shoot and edit videos from scratch.  It probably got some people out of their comfort zone but also gave them hardcore skills they can take away.  (Why didn’t I make one? See above various excuses.  Lame.  I Know.)  Library cons need more of these active, rather than passive activities to get people mixing, mingling and gasp, playing!

More hype!

My C2E2 peeps are already gearing up for our third year of rocking the McCormick Center, nerd style.  There is year round anticipation.  While some library cons attract that kind of dedication for many it just inspires jealousy and heartache.  Library conventions aren’t cheap.  It’s the sad fact that it’s cost prohibited for many people to attend the bigger library cons unless they get help from their organizations.  They are also, oddly, on weekdays.  I understand there’s probably some discounting and flexibility in scheduling a conference during the week but it also limits attendance to those that can/afford to take the time off their jobs.

So what are some ways we can get library cons up to comic con standards?  First, make them cheaper.  Second, make the presentation selection process as simple and transparent as possible.  Third, encourage cosplay.  Fourth hold smaller, informal events (think Librarian Bar Crawl, Kidlit Drink Nights) throughout the year to keep interest and excitement up.  Fifth, incorporate more active participation like video contests.  Sixth, invite more eye candy.  Yum.

So let’s be even more like the real library superheroes we are and we need right now!

Oh hai, Eye Candy. You seem to have lost your shirt. Shame.




Day #15 – It still counts

Yeah I’m bending the rules since yes it’s technically the 16th but I haven’t gone to sleep yet so my body still thinks it’s the same day.  Time, it’s relative!

So I have this bad habit of thinking about my NaNo at inopportune times, like driving in my car or shopping at the grocery store.  I start playing around with a scene in my  head and get snatches of dialogue or observation.  But the problem is I’m nowhere near a computer or even pen and paper.  And even if I was it’s really bad timing to jot all that done before it’s gone out of my mine.  Annoying.

Okay yeah this post is weak.  Tomorrow’s will be better.  Promise.  Yeah, I know, you’ve heard that before.

Here listen to this.  Some musical inspiration for my writing.

Day #14 – A Long Form #FollowFriday

I don’t usually do the Follow Friday thing on Twitter because I tend to be really lazy on Fridays.  Imagine that.  So here’s a list of library blogs I can’t live without brought to you by laziness.

Awful Library Books – An ongoing pictorial thesis on why we weed.

YALSA’s The Hub – But only the days I write for it.  Just kidding.  I’m in some very good company and there’s always something new and interesting in the world of YA Lit.

iLibrarian – Everything tech and libraries you can handle.  A good mix of applicable and theoretical.

Awesome Storytime – A friend’s blog about all things storytimes.  She’s one of the best storytellers I’ve seen and I always steal learn so much from her.

Librarian Unafraid – Another friend’s blog that always gives something to think about.

The AV Club – So not exactly tied to libraries but they do have book and graphic novel reviews so I can easily pass this off as a collection development tool.  Plus I don’t think I could do without Great Job Internet!

Forever Young Adult – Again another review source that I’m not sure counts as professional but damn is it entertaining.

Recently finished THIS and holy cow was it good.

Day 3, yep that’s how original I feel

Well that didn’t take long.  Only three days into my 30 Day Blog challenge and already I’m out of ideas and not wanting to post.  Self-discipline, I can haz it.  A big reason I want to post every day is it’s part of my turning a new leaf plan.  I want to get more serious about my writing and to that end I feel strongly that I should naturally write more instead of just saying I will.  But when I don’t make it an intention I get posts like this that ramble and loll about without aim or purpose and full of superfluous qualifiers and run-ons.  Hurray!

Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara, I might be using this in my novel. Think rain, wind, sexy Irish man, dinner but no tournament.

For some reason fall weather inspires me to write.  It’s the combination of cool weather, turning leaves and afternoon naps in the sun.  Mostly though it’s probably NaNoWriMo’s fault.  I have an idea for this year’s attempt.  Well I always have an idea, hopefully this year that idea will translate into an actual completed novel.  I’m going lowball this year, no supernatural, no steampunk, no YA, straight up contemporary romance with a slight chick lit vibe.  I’m going to set it in Ireland, mostly because I want to go back desperately and writing about it will be close enough.  I don’t really have a clever temporary title.  Maybe something lame like Holiday Fling or Green Love.  Yeah, that good.  But like I said it gives me a chance to go through my Ireland pictures and day-dream while munching on apples and sipping cider.

YA Saves – My very late response

So that just happened.  My 10 year high school reunion that is.  When the plans first started bouncing around Facebook I’ll admit I was all eye-rolling, whatever, I’m not going to that attitude.  But as plans came together and more people I haven’t spent enough quality time with committed I mellowed to a less obnoxious, why not?  Compared to all the terrifying things I’ve done in my life, 50 foot cliff dive, preschool storytime with over 90 kids, Cumberland Cemetery on a fall Friday the 13th, this was nothing.

The day of an old friend posted on her Facebook wall that even though she was invited she didn’t think she was cool enough to attend.  I didn’t response back or mention it to anyone there but it bugged me.  This was a girl I was really close to.  So close we spent New Year’s Eve on a highway overpass because we were too chicken shit to go to a party we’d been legitimately invited to.  That one comment brought back memories of how many things I didn’t experience or events I didn’t attend because I was too intimidated or hesitant.  And hanging out with my old classmates last night I realized, not for the first time, there’s nothing to be scared of.  It was a room full of people living their lives, some married, some single.  Some still at home and some flew in for the weekend.  No one cared about being cool enough.  And if they did it didn’t make a difference to me.

My ALA 2010 Haul, a Proud Moment

So maybe that’s why I read YA and find a connection to the characters and their story.  I’ve been confronted with it before, why don’t I read “adult” books and what I could possibly get out of stories about teenagers and their high school drama.  It’s not the usual assumption that I’m immature or want to be back in high school.  More I think I’m discovering a lesson I wish I learned then but instead took a lot of growing after high school.  It’s become my golden rule, if you’re always yourself and you love yourself, not much anyone else thinks will change that.  If YA lit was as robust and expansive when I was in high school as it is now maybe I would have looked differently at my small world.  Maybe I wouldn’t have needed to chase after so many experiences in college and later.  I might have trusted more, made more mistakes and let more people in.  Because in the greater scheme of things it wouldn’t really have hurt anything.

Of course this could all just be the perspective of ten years talking but I think about the books I read then and the books I read now and can’t help but wonder if John Green, Cecil Castellucci, Malina Marchetta, Gayle Forman and David Levithan were on my radar how I would have seen my world differently.

I did learn one other universal truth this weekend, people for the most part stay the same or become more like their parents.  Now that is a truly scary and hopeful thing.

30 Day Blog Challenge

I’m doing something different this year.  Instead of diving head first into NaNoWriMo with all guts and bluster on November 1st, I’m going to ease into.  I’m taking up the 30 Day Blog Challenge.  Other friends have done it and it’s fun to see what they come up with to write about everyday.  I have something of a leg up as I’m not just using this blog but also three others I write for, one I guest write for and one super secret one that I’m just starting.  They run from personal to professional so I should have enough material for 30 posts, if not opportunity.

Here on Library Mountain I’m planning on some posts about…you guessed it, libraries.  Specifically the interesting experiences I’m having working full-time at a closed library.  It really makes you aware of how the job is about people, not books.  I’m also going to draft some NaNo ideas and thoughts so I’m ready to go come 11/1.  I am not failing at NaNo again this year.  No excuses.

I might also post some pictures of books I’m reading and update my reading challenge for 2011.  Currently I’m 68% done on my way to reading 200 books this year.  There’s an insanity in my goals I realize but hey, gotta work toward something.

If you have any other thoughts on what topics you’d like to hear me go on about let me know.  It can be like blogging on demand!  Except I won’t charge you Comcast prices.  Well if I could, I would.

Currently reading this: