lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
I don't remember the last time I called my congress critters.  I've been thinking it's probably time again. I don't want them thinking that we've lost faith, but I think I finally had that 'OMG I can't cope/too much' moment a couple of weeks ago. I need to pull myself back together and get back on the letters and postcards and phone calls.

The world isn't going to save itself.

The other thing I've slowed down on is my Japanese.  I didn't listen to my CDs at all while I was away in LaCrosse and, even though I've been back a couple of days already, I've not picked them up again.  I will have to throw the "Japanese: A Short Course" CDs I got from the library into the car's CD player so I can at least have something for the times when the radio sucks (which is kind always these days, I've noticed.)  

I have to head off to work in about 45 minutes.  Probably, since it's White Bear Lake, I should head off a little earlier than that, because the construction on Snelling has been a bear.  I worked last night at Roseville, which was busy (as usual) but fairly stress free.  They were still behind from Memorial Day weekend and so I spent the last two hours on the desk dashing back and forth between answering patron questions and helping the volunteers shelve the requests.  SO MANY requests.  On the flip side, I FINALLY got a copy of A Closed and Common Orbit, which I started reading last night.  I think I was #47 on the list... and I'm sure there's someone waiting for it after me.  

I watered the front and the new transplants a little bit this morning because I somehow, miraculously, have grass under the maple tree and I'd like to keep it alive.  Plus the little fuckers squirrels dug up one of the violet plants I carefully transplanted all the way from LaCrosse. So I had to replant yesterday, so I thought it could use a little boost of wet today.  It's actually supposed to be kind of HOT this weekend, so I think I'll finally be able to move my bonsai tree outside.  (*whispers* I can't believe I've managed to keep this tree alive this long. Normally, I suck at keeping anything resembling a houseplant alive....)

I'll close with a funny story from yesterday.  I have cash again because Mason bought a game using my PayPal account (he always pays me back in cash from his allowance).  As I do the moment I have "folding money" I stopped by my regular coffee shop, Claddagh, to get my morning infusion of caffeine.  The barista there said that she was thinking of me over the weekend because the coffeeshop team had a working retreat over Memorial Day.  One of the games they played was "try to name as many customers, their drinks, and one fact about them as fast as you can in five minutes."  Apparently, EVERYONE, every single barista there, named me.  They all remembered my drink and most of them remembered that I was a writer.  But, this cracks me up on a deep and profound level, because... yes, I'm THAT customer. Yet another sign that I am definitely not "from around here" was that Tim, one of the guys who is even MORE regular than me, was remembered only by half of them and most of them had trouble naming a fact about his life.  Tim is much more typically Minnesotan.  Personally, I could tell you several things about him: he plays Fall Out 4 on his phone, his son is the exact same age as Mason, loves to hunt, and has a dog named Chester.  But, see, that's because I'm THAT GIRL the one who talks to everyone about EVERYTHING.


I did joke though that I think I would have failed this quiz of theirs on their retreat because I am pretty sure I can only name about four of my barista.  I know the owner and Becky... but the woman who talked to me?  Maybe Molly?  There's a Lydia there and I know this because we talked about how I'm often called by her name and she is tattooed so I had to sing her the "Lydia, oh Lydia, Lydia the tattooed lady!" song.  But, the rest of them, even the ones who know me so well?  I would be hard pressed.

Now I have a new goal.  I need to learn all my barista's names.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 OMG.  So, this is an activism first. I ended up breaking down into tears while calling my state House Representative Erin Murphy.  There's a bill that was introduced to the MN State Legislature, HF1183, which, if passed, would allow health insurance companies to deny health services related to gender transition to trans folk.  I was doing pretty well on the answering machine until I got to why this is important to me.  This is LITERALLY what the friend of a friend killed herself over--a fear that something like this would come to pass and she could no longer get access to the things that are critical to her life.  Two of my other friends have considered (and attempted) suicide over the same thing.  

So, I started balling.

I'm sure Erin Murphy's office will remember the call.

I was lazy with my Project 1491 project. I was supposed to call Senator Franken (who is, of course, on the committee that hears this) about S.J. Resolution 13, which, if passed, with give states the authority to defund Title X programs, which is just the Republican hating on Planned Parenthood some more. I wrote him a postcard on my fancy new post cards that I purchased just for this reason. (Bummer? The card is shiny and slick on BOTH SIDES, which actually made it really hard to write a letter that didn't look like it came from a crazy person.)

Otherwise, I put in 4 hours at Shoreview. Today was labor intensive... but I survived because of our usual Tuesday bagel.

I just finished reading LUMBERJANES Vols. 1 -5, because the library had them.  I will probably write a review here in the next couple of days.  Generally though, I enjoyed them.  Good clean fun, as grandma used to say.  Today I checked out a couple of books about Montana because Mason would really like to plan a summer road trip there. 

lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
I occurs to me that I never wrote anything about my experience volunteering at Quatrefoil Library.  

I got there right on time, having managed to get my package off to New Zealand in record time (considering what the queue looked like AFTER I left, which is to say: stretching all the way outside.)  If you know nothing about Q Library--which I didn't really, either--it's now in a "new" location on Lake Street. They're in the bottom floor of the Spirit on Lake building. There is a small, convenient parking lot behind the building as well as lots of off-street parking.  When I showed up, I would have SWORN that the back door was locked, but after going around the building once, knocking on all the doors like a moron, I came back to discover a very confused Brian who opened the door to me and asked, "Did you even try it?"


Maybe not?

He gave me an exasperated eye roll, which is literally why I like Brian so much.  

Then we had some confused back-and-forth where I had to confess that, yes, I work at the Ramsey County Libraries (RCL), but, no, not a librarian--I don't have a masters in library science.  I think this bummed him out, because from what I gathered, maybe they only have one retire librarian doing cataloguing for them? But, he set me to work, anyway. I had to find some potentially MIA books on the shelves, because copies had been donated that could either replace them or replace copies in bad shape. 

At RCL, this would have taken me no time.  Maybe a bit longer, if I'm not familiar with the particular branch's layout, but over the past three years I've become pretty comfortable with how RCL is organized.  Q Library baffled me.  First of all, their non-fiction is organized via the LOC (Library of Congress) system which is, frankly, utterly foreign to me. RCL uses Dewey Decimal.  LOC is just about as intuitive as Dewey Decimal, but it still took a bit of a mental adjustment.  I mean, I don't have to understand what the purpose of the organizational system is, I just have to know how the numbers/letters fall in order, you know?  Alphabet still starts with A and ends with Z. Numbers still go from 0 up.  So, I'm good.

Fiction is alphabetical by author, same as anywhere.  But for some reason, I could not fathom how the shelves were working for a while, but eventually I got it down.  While combing the shelves, I discovered a HUGE cache of yaoi (in non-fiction, so don't be confused), which, when I left, I borrowed a half dozen of, with plans to take out the rest at some point.  I've been reviewing those over at MangaKast.  If you're curious about Q's holdings, I made a search term/tag for it, so you can just plug-in "Quatrefoil Library" or if you're afraid you'll misspell it, "Q Library."

After I finished that, I got a very fun task: going through recent donations to see if there was anything among them that should be added to the collection. The criteria is pretty simple: author must be GLBTQ+ _and/or_ a significant character must be GLBTQ+.  Any books that don't meet these criteria still help Q Library, though, because they're sold via various outlets--kind of like what RCL does with its book donations.  So, that was kind of fun because it was investigative--used my brains and my Google Fu.

Then, because it's that time of year, everyone who was working at the library was invited over to the community room for a potluck get-together for residents and staff.  Awkward forced socialization is awkward, but the food was very good.  Life came full circle when I met my very first lesbian nun (ex).  

I may never have told this story in any public forum, but my first exposure a larger sense of a larger lesbian world was when Phil Donahue
 interviewed lesbian nuns on his talk show sometime in the 1980s. I remember watching this pretty raptly.  I knew that one of my dad's colleagues at Viterbo was a lesbian, but here were SEVERAL lesbians ON TV.  I think my mom, who was watching with me, probably got her first clue that maybe I was queer at this point.  It could have been the MASSIVE crush I had on my dad's colleague (Betty? Betsy? Something completely different?) or the Gay Comix I'd bought at the head shop, too.

Anyway, I left shortly after eating, mostly because I was overheated--I'd dressed for a much colder day and didn't have a very good way to shed layers. Q is well heated PLUS they have huge windows that get a ton of sun.

I would totally do this again. It's certainly work I feel comfortable doing and it's enjoyable, if for no other reason that it's something I would NEVER be allowed to do at RCL. Acquisitions is 100% the purview of librarians at RCL, so getting to be part of a decision like that is very cool.

Speaking of things I barely remember from the 1980s, one of the bids for copies of Resurrection Code for Jim Hines' charity went a guy I went to high school with.  Honestly? I kinda hated this guy.  In fact, the year I was voted "Biggest Women's Libber," he was voted "Biggest Male Chauvinist."  But, he has the sort of name that--particularly in the Midwest--is really fairly common and so when I wrote the "uh, so how do you want the book delivered?" e-mail to him, I stayed very formal since I thought it would be much more awkward to act all chummy only to discover I was talking to a totally DIFFERENT person who just happened to have the same name.  We're considering getting together to exchange the book, so it will be interesting to see how this guy has changed since 1985.  I suspect a lot, given that he just donated to a trans hotline.  I remembered him as not only a male chauvinist, but also as a raging Republican.  But, then again, I don't even remember the name of my first lesbian crush, so probably he was never any of those things I remember, anyway.

One of the reasons I have not gone back to a high school reunion since my 5 year, is that I have utterly jettisoned all, except the most critical, memories from high school. I hated high school. I mean, I actually enjoyed learning--I always have--but I was not living an authentic life, while also going through a lot of hormones.  I barely even recognize MYSELF from those days, much less anyone else.  

And, that's the problem. Since becoming a published author, I've had people I knew in high school say "Hey, remember when we did this? Remember so-and-so?" and I draw an UTTER, embarrassing blank. Like, clearly this was a significant moment for the person I'm talking to and I literally don't even know for sure WHO THEY EVEN ARE, much less remember a single detail of whatever they're trying to convince me was the most epic thing we did together.

I blame the fact that I off-loaded my memories every day in high school. Seriously, I was a religious, devout journal keeper.  I wrote a diary entry every single day in high school. I poured out all my thoughts, my emotions, chronicled events, ruminated about gossip, etc.  So, I think I literally dumped those memories because part of me knew they were stored off-site--kind of how no one remembers phone numbers any more because we all keep them in our smartphones.

But, add on to that the fact that I've always been mildly narcissistic and high school was especially a time that was all about ME--in my own head. I was trying to figure out who *I* was and so I pretty much remember nothing except those things that were critical to defining "moi," as Ms. Piggy might say.

So, yeah.  That should be interesting. Probably it will be a lot of "Remember when?" and I'll be, like, "NOPE."

Tonight our whole family has been invited over to Mason's friend Rosemary's house for a night of casual gaming.  I'm looking forward to that.  I might have to bake some bread or some other treat to take over there, but everyone is on vacation now so there's lots of time.  I actually got up stupid early again today... I've been having trouble sleeping and might need to go back to the chiropractor. If I lay on my back for too long, fingers in my right hand go numb--so numb it wakes me up!  That doesn't seem right, and, weirder, is the opposite arm than the one I had trouble with earlier this year. So that's a bummer. It might not help that I've been hunched over my stamp collection a lot lately, but the chiropractor can still help with that.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 Today's breakfast is two eggs over easy (but three yolks, because I got  double one!) and two slices of yesterday's cardamom bread. This is a little heartier than normal for me, but I'm bracing myself for a long day at Quatrefoil Library.I'm volunteering with the acquisitions committee. I have no real idea what I'll be doing exactly, but hopefully it will be fun or rewarding or both.  I'll let you know how it went tomorrow. I'll be doing something with them from 9:30 am, until 1:00 pm.  

I also have to take off even earlier this morning to hit the post office before Q.  Not only did I finish off my pen pal list, but I also have a package that needs to go to New Zealand for one of the winners of the charity auction that Jim Hines organized to help fun the trans hotline in Michigan. If you're curious, I raised a decent amount of money considering that there were only three books on offer. I'll be curious to know how this auction is going over all, but fingers crossed that he's raising good money.

Otherwise, the weekend was very quiet.  My family intended it to be that way, since, like most Minnesotans, we'd heard that the polar vortex was coming and so basically planned to hunker down and wait it out.  I went outside exactly three times this weekend. The first time early Saturday morning to shovel the sidewalk. The second time, I started up the car Sunday morning to move it over to the day plow side of the street (a frustrating exercise since the day plow NEVER SHOWED.)  The third and final time was to take Mason over to his friend Rosemary's for their traditional Saturday (moved to Sunday) dinner and movie night. I guess last night they also made a gingerbread house with Rosemary's brother, which frankly looked AMAZING (ours last year was more of a gingerbread shack and kept listing to the side.)

We finished decorating the house for Yule, which, in our case, meant actually getting the Yule Log together and putting various evergreen boughs around the house.  Yeah, we decked the halls.  Except without holly, since I think holly berries are poisonous to cats... and this year I would not trust our new kitty Buttercup not to eat ALL THE POISON.  He already likes to climb up on of of the larger presents under the tree and carefully chose various ornaments to steal and then noisily bat around the room.  THIS is why we decided to revert to our "toddler tree" in which we hang absolutely nothing breakable on the lower 2/3rds of the tree.

Solstice shopping is done, but I still have a few Christmas presents to get.  The bonus of being pagan is that decided to double up on the gift-giving holidays and we celebrate Yule/Solstice AND Christmas (because, really, outside of this whole birth of Christ thing, have you LOOKED at Christmas?  It's completely pagan.)  Plus, Shawn was raised Christian and decided she wanted to keep Christmas.  Given that none of what she wants involves going to a church, it seemed perfectly fine with me.  I will say that I'm just as happy to celebrate it.  Easter always gets me, because we celebrate Ostara and it ALWAYS comes early (being one of the points from which such things are counted) and so I end up wandering around on Easter Sunday wondering why the heck all the stores are closed!  

Ah, I'd better run. There's sure to be a line around the block at the post office, and I don't want to be late to my first volunteer gig!
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
Last night was the board meeting of Quatrefoil Library.  Normally, this would have been a Wyrdsmiths night for me, but shortly after I bowed out, a bunch of people chimed in that they had conflicts and/or ENDED UP IN THE ER, (but that's another story.)  

The board meeting was fascinating.  One of the things I discovered, listening to people talk, is that many of the other board candidates had put in a lot more people-hours into the organization.  One of the other board candidates had been an artist in residence; another had helped with an archival project.  And, I thought: what am I doing trying to jump in at the top?  Especially when I found out that there were a number of committees that a person could join without being a board member.  

What I really want to do for Quatrefoil is physically HELP.  You know what I mean? Maybe not staffing the desk (because I think the hours might conflict with my existing library work), but maybe to help build/expand content for their social media or review books for their newsletter or other places where I can link back to  them to help raise their profile. I can put out chairs for an event.  I can set out snacks or help clean-up.  I can help recruit writers and readers. Stuff like that.

I made what I felt like was a good connection to the acquisitions board member, and I'm hoping that, though him, I can find the right kind of committee work for me.  Ideally, he and I could work together to really raise people's awareness of Quatrefoil's collection... which is HUGE and expansive and I don't know how many people know that much about them, despite how long they've been in the community. So, if you see me talking them up here, that's all part of my overall goal.  :-)

At any rate, I just wrote some follow-up emails to my contacts that hopefully made my continued excitement clear, but explained how humbled I was at the meeting and how much I'd like to work my way up to the position of board member... after paying some real dues.

So, that was last night.  

Today... today is starting out slowly.  Shawn is out with a migraine.  I'm huddled under the blankets because it's so cold outside that the radiators haven't managed to catch up. I'm thinking about writing another pen pal letter. I have about four or five left to write on my list. It's been a little frustrating, if only because I'm such a school girl and I run anxiously to the mailbox every day, hoping to find some new treasure from some stranger overseas.  I did get the one, but it's been otherwise silent.  I wonder if they give you such a big list, knowing that a lot of people aren't going to follow-through?  Or maybe I'm just being anxious and I'm the person down on the list, like the last few stragglers are on my own.

lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 I accidentally agreed to work at the one branch of the Ramsey County Library system that I usually avoid like the plague it is.  In fact, I think my boss is on to me, because she tricked me.  

Her: "Oh, how about 9 to 1 on Friday?"
Me: (unsuspecting) "Oh, yeah, I could do that."
Her: (with a note of triumph in her voice) "Great! It'll be S----."
Me: (silent screaming of rage, 'oh no, not Umbridge and the Dementors!') "Oh... uh... great. I'll... uh, put that down on the calendar...' (more silent cursing.)

So, I don't know what a person does to prepare for Azkaban, but I decided to stop and get two cups of my favorite coffee latte from my favorite coffee store.  I'm hoping that will help me be perky as my soul is slowly sucked out for the next four hours as the boss of that branch cheerfully/not-cheerfully sputters "NO PROBLEM" (subtext: 'YOU F*CKED UP!!!') any time I make some tiny mistake that at any other library would be laughed off and/or gently corrected.  

It's also just... grueling.  The Dementors hate substitutes and so we are given the repetitive and back breaking tasks, things like hand checking books in.  It's the kind of work that makes a person start to think they work at a book factory, not a library.  In the past, they had me doing that one thing for the whole four hours (most branches trust subs enough to let them shelve or work the desk or answer phone to mix things up a bit, so it's not just mind-numbing monotonous work for the entire shift.)

What always amuses me about S----, is that it seems that nearly everyone at the other branches feels the same way about them. When I first started, it was kind of an initiation/are-you-one-of-us-or-a-robot kind of questions:  "A sub, eh?  So... have you been EVERYWHERE....?"  And, I'd say, "Yes, I've been to every branch now."  And, they'd drop their voice and ask, "So... what do you think of S---?"  To which I replied, "Oh, you mean Umbridge and the Dementors?" And then we would laugh and I would have a fast friend for life. Last time I stopped in at Roseville, they lamented that they hadn't seen me in a while and asked if I was getting many hours and when I told them I'd been tricked into working this particular shift they nodded solemnly and said softly, "I swear that's the only way [boss] gets people to work there."

So that's what I have to look forward to today.  Hope y'all are doing better! 
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm working this whole week at the Roseville Library from 9am to 1pm... which is kind of both awesome and a bummer.  

Obviously, the money is awesome and, honestly, Roseville is one of my favorite libraries to work at.  I like the people and it's always busy enough to keep me hopping and the time flying by.  The bummer is that this is the week that my collaborator Rachel had off to work on our joint project, I'm pretty much going to be unavailable to help get things launch-ready except in the evenings.  But, I try to remind myself I used to work like that all the time before I was lucky enough to stay home and write. In other words, suck it up, Lyda.

I've been reading a lot lately.  I'm still trying to find a fun new weekly manga to review for our podcast and I keep reading full runs of things.  This latest one is a shojo manga:  It's another one I don't quite know why I ended up getting so sucked into it.  I try to figure that out in the review. (The answer seems to be that I'm a sucker for manga about writing, art, and food, and this one has elements of all three.)

My friend Kyell Gold was in town over the weekend for Furry Migration, so I caught up with him and my buddies from SofaWolf Press. Kyell and the SofaWolf guys are always a tremendous amount of awesome, plus I dragged Naomi Kritzer along and so we talked Marvel movies, Furry cons, writing, and all the things.  The guys at SofaWolf encouraged me to consider writing a story for them, so I'm in the process of ruminating about what that might be.... Hmmm... time to put the thinking cap on.  

That's kind of all the news I have at the moment. Tomorrow's Tate installment will be late, thanks to my work schedule.  Note to self: I'm going to have to buckled down and write tonight so that I can have it ready to go for the AM tomorrow.  And, yes, if you ever wondered if I write right up the last moment... *NODS FURIOUSLY*
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Today at the library I got cornered by one of those  people who you just know is winding up for a rant about something.

After asking me if I worked there, she launched into a Thing about how dark young adult novels were getting and how we shouldn't be surprised when our children axe-murder us in our sleep after reading things like that.  Tisk, tisk and all that.   

I mostly nodded politely because I don't believe for a minute that teenagers are any more likely to axe-murder me over something they read or a game they played, than I would have when I was that age and read and played the same sorts of things.  (Look, when I was coming of age, it was the horrors of Dungeons & Dragons... there's always something that's going to Ruin the Youth of Today.)  

However, what this woman complained about is old news to some extent, and she's certainly not alone in worrying about it.  I told her so.  I also told her that I felt that some of what she was worrying about is actually a somewhat new (though, again, not really) trend in young adult books towards dystopian futures, which aren't actually about feeling sad and powerless at all, but about the need at a certain age to change the world, a desire to have a clear-cut enemy, and to DO SOMETHING to make things right.  This is a Good Thing disguised as a Bad Thing.

I didn't tell her, because I knew she couldn't hear that, that I also believe books about self-harm and other things aren't so much 'how-to' books for self-destruction as novels that help people feel less alone (like I did when I discovered that there were other gay people, thanks in large part to science fiction). Maybe these were never issues written about when we were young, but... I knew people who self-harmed when I was a teen, so you know, writing about it doesn't bring it into existence, it just makes the issues less invisible.

But that was an argument I was sure to lose, so I just nodded politely.  And, you know, YA *is* darker now than when I was a teen, but when I was a teen it also wasn't its own section.  We didn't really have YA as a separate thing.  We had juvenile and we had grown-up books.  A lot of people my age had to get our parents' permission to have free range of the library once we'd grown out of Dr. Seuss.  So, you know, I tried Lady Chatterly's Lover at sixteen (I missed the sex.  Seriously.  Completely.)   I also read Go Ask Alice and didn't become a drug-addict, funny enough.  Thus, I've never worried over much about books corrupting people.  

At any rate.

When she really, really wanted to agree with me that it was All Bad, I told her I don't make the buying decisions for the library.  If the kids want it, we stock it.  What are you going to do?

Ultimately, she thanked me for such an interesting discussion 

Have I mentioned I love working at the library?  I do, actually.  I really do.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I just got back from the interview for the Library Page job and, you know, it's so terribly hard to judge these things from the inside, so I have no idea how it went. The thing I wanted to relate, though, was that, at one point I was talking about how familiar I am with that particular library, and I said, "My son and I were just here Sunday taking out a ton of books. We cleaned out your YA section; he took out about forty books." And, one of the two interviewers perked up and said, "Oh! That was YOU?"

Now, he could have just be kidding around the way you do, but I got the sense that... well, that maybe our reputation proceeds us, because Mason does this semi-regularly, too. We get all of the books back in time (for the most part) and we don't do it very often, but when we do, it's a BIG haul....

At any rate, I thought that part was awesome. The rest--I'll have to wait and see. I should hear in the next couple of weeks. The hours would be pretty perfect for me. Their average shifts are really quite short, 2 to 4 hours, which is super-duper ideal for me. Plus, it sounds like you have a chance to pre-schedule some shifts and take on others spontaneously.

Fingers crossed, as they say.

When Mason was wishing me luck this morning, he was trying to come up with an analog to the theatre superstition, "Break a leg," and so, out of the blue, he said, "Burn a book!" and I was like, "GAH! What are you saying?!!!" But, then we decided maybe a better one was, "Break the Dewey Decimal System!" Which, in retrospect, sounds like some kind of subversive battle cry: "Fight the system, man!"

Can you tell I'm still a little giddy from having an interview? It's been a lot of years since I've had an actual job interview. They're nerve-wracking. I don't know how you kids do this on a regular basis. But, you know, I'm trying to just relax and remind myself that it'll be what it will be. I feel like I've also put out the energy into the universe that says, "Hey, I'm up for this" which is good too, you know?

The other thing that was cool was that one of the interviewers looked me up. I'd said on my application that I'd been a writer for the past decade, so she checked and sure enough they have some of my titles in their holdings. I think she was surprised that I wasn't making that up. We ended up talking about libraries and how much I love them BECAUSE I'm a writer. Not only because they're a great source of research, but really more because they're a great place for readers... who then buy my books.

I used both the word "symbiotic" (to describe that relationship) and "squee" (when talking about my enthusiasm for Mason's school) in the interview. I wonder what that says about me?

Also? I was picking up books that Mason and I'd had interlibrary loaned, and so I was sitting there with a small pile of manga. I'd gotten ATTACK ON TITAN for myself and more TORIKO for Mason. I must have looked like a World-class otaku. I did notice one of the librarians checking out my reading material. And, I couldn't have pretended they were all for Mason because when I was waiting to go in, she found me reading them....

Well, at least she knows I'm honest about being a reader/library user.

So, that was my big excitement for the day. Now I think I'm going to go collapse in a corner for a while, maybe try to get some writing done.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Wow, I had a typo on my subject line at first, which read, "What I Did My Sumer Vacation" and I thought that might make an awesome historical novel or time travel short story.

But, at any rate, as I said, yesterday Mason and I went to Minnehaha Park. I'm actually still sort of recovering from the massive amount of sun we got. (Why IS it that fresh air makes a person so tired?)

Thanks to all the rain we've been having, the falls were magnificent.

Mason says of this next picture: "The sand pits in the picture, I dug with my hands. I call them the Causeway Caverns."

Now we're off to the Roseville Library to pick up all the books we put on hold. I think today is going to be a lounge and read day. I'm giving up on the book I started reading (with my dyslexia, sometimes I have to make the call that a book isn't worth the effort and time,) so I'm going to see what I can find for myself to read as well.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I've been letting pictures do the talking lately partly because my life has not been terribly exciting at the moment. Mason is off school for "summer" (though he goes "year round," which means, while he gets three months off, they're not all in the summer. We only have the month of August off before he starts third grade in September.) We kicked off vacation by going up to our friends' cabin, and now we're settling into days spent at the library.

Mason has really been taking advantage of the library this year. From some friends at school, he'd heard the Roseville Library had the "good prizes" for "Bookawocky," the libraries' promotion to encourage kids to read 20 hours. We'd been meaning to go check it out for months, but we finally made it there early last week. We registered ourselves in their system (since they're officially Ramsey County and our card is only good for St. Paul,) and got ourselves a "Bookawocky" form. Mason dilligently set out to read for 20 hours. It took him three days.

He won a day pass to the Waterpark of America, a ticket to the State Fair, a free book, and a lovely, red water bottle.

During "Bookawocky" madness, we must have also checked out over 20 books, though he's a fast enough reader that he supplimented with some books of his own. He checked out a whole bunch of chapter book sized ones, particularly the Beast Quest series and Bionicles. And, he discovered the joys of putting books on HOLD. He's now become a HOLD expert --and kind of a hoarder. I think the thrill of "request it!" went straight to his head.

Even now that "Bookawocky" is over for him (the rest of you have until the 21st!), he's been starting the day asking when we can go to the library. Routinely, we've driven between both the Roseville one and our own Mirrim Park Branch. Still, it's been fun.

We also went to the Children's Museum on Monday, as it is one of the few museums open on Mondays. Consequentally, it was really quiet at 9:00 am, and Mason nearly had the run of the place. Also, kudos to the kid for checking out the "Passport to Play" from the library, so our trip was free.

I think, however, that Mason might be starting to outgrow the Children's Museum. It's really keyed for kids much younger and I noticed that places that used to entrance him, like the faux restaurant/grocery store just don't hold his interest as long. We still love the Art Park's sandbox, and managed to spend the majority of our time there building sandcastles in the sun.

Luckily, there's still the zoo...

Otherwise, I found some time to finish up Tate's copyedited manuscript for ALMOST EVERYTHING the third Ana book, and I had a very painless experience with the copyeditor. In fact, I probably got the best copy-edit everywhere when s/he informed me that the proper usage of "nom" is "nom nom nom."


Otherwise, I've been kind of low-energy emotionally, and I'm not sure why. Sorting LEGOs on the floor with Mason today helped some. Though I'm still distressed how many minifigs we have that are missing their legs!

Also, I have to confess that we have not been to kuk sool wan in some time because, *cough*, we've been staying home to watch "Master Chef" on Monday and Tuesdays. Probably my mood will lift when we're back on a regular schedule with them... I feel kind of puffy and out of shape. As far as "Master Chef" goes, I'm beginning to be irritated by what clearly seem to be ratings choices. The villian was spared elimination last night, I think unfairly, because he makes a good villian. I'm also really worried that they're going to go with the perky blonde simply because she makes good cover copy for the cookbook. Jaded, I know.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Shawn is off visiting some other out-of-work state employees for a commiseration session and coffee, and Mason and I are getting ready to head off to the public library. He absolutely adores the WARRIORS series by Erin Hunter, and a couple of the *new* books that we ordered/interlibrary loaned came in, so we're going to hike up there to pick them up.

Last night I made it back to kuk sool wan, and that was fun.

What I really need is for Mason to be back at school (that starts Monday) so I can focus on the "new" novel, which is due in a matter of weeks.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm at my favorite coffee shop today because today is Thursday, and Thursday is my busy day.

First of all, it's always recycling. It's also fish tank changing day. Thursday is the day that I volunteer to stuff folders at Mason's school, as well. Tonight is Wyrdsmiths, which means that soon I need to go home find the handouts from last week, read and critique them, AND print out what I'm going to hand out tonight. By chance this evening is also a meeting for parents, etc., of gifted students and I agreed to go to that since it's downtown and they're going to provide my dinner (and it gets done before Wyrdsmiths starts).

Did I mention busy?


Even so, I managed to finish Scott Westerfeld's SO YESTERDAY, which I enjoyed. The hero is a teenager named Hunter whose job it is to spot trends, sniff out cool just before it hits the mainstream. His love interest is a girl named Jen who is an Innovator, someone who invents cool just before it hits mainstream, but, consequentially, is also a bit odd and out of step in her own way. They get caught up in a mystery involving shoes. (Seriously.)

I'd really wanted to read Westerfeld's UGLY/PRETTIES series, but my library only had one that seemed to be far along in the series. SO YESTERDAY was the only one of his that they had that was self-contained. As I mentioned before I was actually a fan of Westerfeld's and didn't know it. I read both the short story and what eventually became the novel EVOLUTION'S DARLING, which I found weird, but compelling. Westerfeld has some kind of funky writing juju, I think. I suspect he shouldn't be as popular as he is, but his narrative tone/voice is strangely compelling. I wish I could figure out how to harvest that, and make it work for me.

Shawn and I also watched "My Life in Ruins" a chick-flick about a 40-something woman who works as a tour guide in Greece who finds true love with a scruffy bus driver named "Poopy." (Seriously.)

Say what you will, but I tend to really enjoy feel good movies where people find love. One thing I've learned about myself is that I'm not terribly discriminating about what I want from a movie. I was a terrible movie reviewer when I did it for focusPOINT because I'm not all that critical of these kinds of sappy, formulaic films. I get wound up about my science fiction or my angel movies and I tend to find art films obtuse and irritating, but the Hollywood formula works for me. I like my action films to run like a big advertisement for the video game with a lot of explosions, and I want my romances to be sappy and predictable.

It's embarrassing, really. Shawn inevitably looks over at me and says, horrified, "Are you sniffling???"

I don't want to talk about it. I'm easy, okay?

My folks are coming up this weekend to celebrate my birthday with me (early), and to see the Louvre exhibit at the MIA. I should probably add "clean the house" to the list of things I need to do today. Oh, but that reminds me. I need to pick up a cheese pizza for Mason and Shawn. They're going to have a movie night in my absence.

Well, I should go do something constructive... or start on my to-do list!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Okay, I should be working on revisions, but Mason is home from school (some scheduled deal -- I swear kids spend every other Friday home.) We went to the library this morning. I should learn never to go to the library with a list of books I want to find. My library never has them. I have to order them or put myself on a waiting list. I did pick up Scott Westerfeld's SO YESTERDAY, though what I really wanted was the first of his UGLIES/PRETTIES series. While I was searching him in the database, I discovered Westerfeld wrote EVOLUTION'S DARLING, a book (and short story) that I found strange yet compelling. So when they had SO YESTERDAY on the shelf and it didn't seem to be the third or thirteenth book in a series, I picked it up. The nice thing about the library is that if it's not my taste, I can just drop it off. No questions asked.

I finished Willis' INSIDE JOB last night after Wyrdsmiths. That book was pretty awesome. I hesitate to recommend it because it might be hard to find, as Subterranean Press is somewhat smallish. Anyway, I ripped through it, though, like I noted yesterday, it's a small book, maybe even just a novellette.

A friend recommended VELLUM: THE BOOK OF ALL HOURS by Hal Duncan, which I tried to find at the library to no avail. It was supposed to be on the shelf, but it wasn't! When I took Mason to HalfPrice Books, there it was, tauting me. So I bought it. (I hope it doesn't suck! I can't return it!)

Also, since all of the kids are reading it, I tried to check out BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest but my library had ordered it but not put it in the system officially yet. No one has dropped one used yet, no surprise, though, since it's so new.

If you can't tell, all I want to do on a snowy day like today is curl up with one of these books and read. I don't want to work on my revisions, especially since I have to sit at the "big" computer to write (as opposed to my paperweight of a laptop.) After this Backyardigans is over, I'm going to coax Mason out into the cold. We need to check and see if a local computer shop has a replacement cord. It would be nice to be able to use my laptop sooner rather than later. Obviously the big computer works fine (since I'm using it to write to you), but it's not as comfy as laying on the couch or in the bed and I've gotten awfully spoiled by the convenience of that.

Also, I have to say my instinct was right. There's been a thread about advances on a list of professional SF/F writers that I belong to that I have quite purposefully avoided. Knowing what other people get paid for their writing is potentially crazy-making. The thread came up at Wyrdsmiths and I actually got interested enough to check it out this morning. Mistake. Now I feel even LESS like doing my revisions. Although if I don't do them, I don't get paid at all....

Though I don't really have that much to do. Some of it is very simple. But, like I've been saying, I've been paying more attention to the book because it *is* the last of the Garnet books and I don't want it to be a disappointment to readers.

I need to get it off my plate, though, because the next big thing I need to do is come up with some proposals for more adult books by Tate. My editor is willing to consider more contemporary urban fantasy. I'd like to be able to give my agent a range of ideas, maybe a half dozen. Shawn and I came up with some ideas, but I need to flesh them out into proposals so I have something to offer.

Plus all my web pages are woefully out-dated.

Stuff to do!

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