Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear Ray Bradbury

Many years ago, when I was about 13, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Not just any writer, but a writer just like Ray Bradbury. After reading "Something Wicked This Way Comes", and being enchanted by it, I read everything else I could find by him. I was so enchanted I wrote a letter to Ray Bradbury, telling him how much I loved his books, and how I planned to grow up and be just like him, and I'm sure I sought his writing advice.

I've always been a dreamy, goofy sort, so I faithfully sealed and stamped my envelope and addressed it to:

Ray Bradbury

I'm certain I thought that everyone in the state of California knew Ray Bradbury, and because he was so famous, the Post Office would take pity and make sure Ray got my heartfelt fannish letter. Santa Claus gets all the mail addressed "North Pole", doesn't he?

It took alot longer than you might think to come back to me, all full of Post Office stamps letting me know they didn't know where Ray Bradbury, the Famous Author lived. In the meantime, I pictured him reading my letter, smiling, and trying to think of just right encouraging words for this budding author.

I am now ancient, having reached the general speed limit this very day. I have an assignment to write a short author biography and ten questions about Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451 for our great Book Groups in a Bag program. I've been using Biography Resource Center and looking on the web for biographical information on him and just haven't found what I've been looking for. I think because he has been my favorite all these years, I'm not finding anything that says what I would like to say.

Maybe I should write another letter, and actually find his address this time.

Dear Ray Bradbury:

Thank you for the beautiful, crystalline prose that infuses everthing you write. Thank you for making your characters likeable and giving us a bit of understanding of ourselves and what an ever changing world can mean to an individual. I'm glad you're still with us. Although I'll never be a writer as I planned, I have been a reader all my life. Reading your books has given me a love of fantastic and beautifully crafted stories.


Librarian D.O.A.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Librarian D.O.A. Gets Flashy

No more whining from me! My official 23 Things Flash Drive, emblazoned with a tiny state of Minnesota and the phrase "23 Things on a Stick" has arrived. It is safely on the lovely lanyard they sent along as well. Kudos to the 23 Things folks for being such a fun, classy act.

How to promote a Romance Novel

We need clear, animated directions at the library

gif animation

Even More Blogginess

I've been toying with doing a gardening blog, so I made one, The Garden Rat.

And, if you know me, you know I play computer games, but you don't suspect how gamey I really am :) I started a game blog early this year, and I've been thinking of taking it down, but I'll just link it here instead for the nonce. Used a completely made up name, but the writing is so similar if you read the two you'd know it was moi. Salaryn's Sword is my game blog.

You can find links to both at the bottom of my links, etc. Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Whine...No 23 Things Flash Drive For me :( :( :(

So...23 Things on a Stick is over, and everyone here got their congratulatory 23 Things Flash Drive, but nothing for poor D.O.A. I finished first too! *Sniff*

Maybe...because my blog is so funny they are sending one made with a lil' skull on it....

Maybe...they're sending one made of CHOCOLATE!

Maybe...mine will be Bigger! 200 million gigabytes of storage!

Maybe they forgot me :( *sniff*

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reading for a Scrapbook Retreat

In addition to issues of Rubber Stamp Madness and Somerset Memories magazines, I'll be bring along on my weekend Scrapbook retreat a new book that just crossed my desk:

Stamped Out: A Stamping Sisters Mystery by Terri Thayer

First in a new series, it includes instructions for a stamping project. Can you believe it, the project is a Skull and Scrolls tag! Too perfect for D.O.A. scrapper!

Note: I came, I scrapped, I am relaxed! This book argh! Librarians CODE 101.50: never only bring one book! The main character in this book is such an annoying person I thought I was gonna die, but had to read to read before I went to sleep. I think that the author loaded too much angst into her characters relationships with others all in the first chapter or something. I just wanted to say to "April" (bad name choice) SNAP OUT OF IT!

In other retreat bookish news, my sister is addicted to James Patterson's Alex Cross novels. BUT. She reads them and then is scared to sleep with the lights out. And it sure is dark at night in northern Minnesota. Which I like, but not Ms Patterson fan :) She also...heard someone talking about bears, and thought she heard a rattlesnake while we were munching our supper on a picnic table. Love you, sister of D.O.A. no. 3, but you had me freaked by night no. 2.

Lovely resort, good company, good food, lots of relaxing reminiscing as I worked on a Halloween book.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Top Five Favorite Knitting Books from our Master Knitter

Thanks to our Master Knitter for paging through her vast personal collection of knitting books and picking out her five favorites! Without further ado, our Master Knitter:

When Librarian D.O.A. asked me to do a review on knitting books I was thrilled. Then she said "Narrow it down to 5”. How do you pick just 5 books when there are so many good ones? The good thing is the library has many good knitting books so you can check them out and see which ones works best for you.

Here are my top 5:

The Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe.

This book answers all your knitting questions (or at least most of them) from how to read the symbols on the yarn wrapper to how to finish your project.

Super Stitches Knitting by Karen Hemingway

This book has nice color pictures of just about every knitting stitch and combination there is, with instruction on how to make them.

The Ultimate Sock Book by Vogue Knitting

This has history, technique and design all in one. It has a Sock Yarn Chart and Sock Calculator (for the right fit). Shows cuff down, toe up and how to design your own pattern.

Anything by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Elizabeth is the considered the Grand Master of Knitting. In 1958 she grew tired of how patterns were written and started writing her own patterns. She started Wool Gathering a news letter for knitters and mail order business School House Press. Many knitting logs and groups still use Elizabeth as a standard of excellence.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Roald Dahl Funny Prize

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize Awards will be given for the first time on November 13th 2008 in London.

A "reading charity" named Booktrust is responsible for the prizes. Since this is a British prize, these titles may not be published in the U.S. yet.

Here is the shortlist of nominees, with brief descriptions added by me:

The Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under:

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson, Illus. Axel Scheffler (Alison Green Books) (A stick man with a family has adventures as he tries to find his way home)

Elephant Wellyphant by Nick Sharratt (Alison Green Books) (Fanciful elephants with lift-the-flap and pull-the-tab pages)

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children's Books) (An ecological mystery in a changing forest)

The Witch's Children Go to School by Ursula Jones, Illus. Russell Ayto (Orchard Books) (A little witch tries to help her ogre friend fit in on the first day of school)

There's an Ouch in My Pouch! by Jeanne Willis, Illus. Garry Parsons (Puffin Books) (Willaby Wallaby finds his home sweet pouch is no longer comfortable.)

Manfred the Baddie by John Fardell (Quercus Books) (A thief captures scientists and makes them create fantastic machines for him.)

The Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to Fourteen:

Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear by Andy Stanton, Illus. David Tazzyman (Egmont Press)(Part of the Tales from Lamonic Bibber series, a little girl tries to save a bear who is forced to dance.)

Paddington Here and Now by Michael Bond, Illus. R.W. Alley (HarperCollins Children's Books) (The perennially popular Paddington is nearly fifty. In this new novel, he has word of a long lost relative from Darkest Peru.)

Stop in the Name of Pants! by Louise Rennison (HarperCollins Children's Books)(Series character Georgia Nicholson returns to describe her antics in such twisted terms that we're never quite sure what exactly has happened.)

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Macmillan Children's Books) (If a twelve year old were unusually tall and needed a shave, they could easily end up testing a new spacecraft, among other amazing things.)

Aliens Don't Eat Dog Food by Dinah Capparucci (Scholastic Children's Books)(Three boys with a penchant for getting into trouble end up on a reality tv show)

Urgum and the Goo Goo Bah! By Kjartan Poskitt, Illus. Philip Reeve - (Scholastic Children's Books) (An Urgum the Axeman tale, part of the Murderous Maths Series)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Scrappy D.O.A.

Next weekend D.O.A. Sister #3 (of 5) and I are going on our second annual Scrapbook Retreat. I was rather new to scrapping then and had no idea what to expect or what to bring. I traveled really light, and had only one project (Disney trips) to work on, not many photos, and lots of blaringly brightly colored Mouse themed paper and stickers. Others there were hauling in huge black trunks and the large plastic drawers you can get, full of *stuff*. I was beyond intimidated. In the year since, I have found my scrapping feet, and accumulated mucho scrapping supplies. I will be bringing 4 projects worth of photos so I don't get burnt out (you scrap 12+ hours per day at these things) and paraphernalia that will make me right up there with my fellow scrap-ettes. Here is my helpful list of supplies for a weekend scrapbooking retreat:

o Photos
o Papers
o Stickers
o Embellishments
o Pages
o Page Protectors
o Scissors
o Adhesives (lots!)
o Scrapbooking pens
o Trimmers
o Corner Rounder
o Tickets, memorabilia
o Pencils
o Ruler
o Journaling paper
o Stencils
o Photo labeling Pencil
o Notepad
o Stamps (Rubber and otherwise)
o Ink Pads and re-inkers
o Colored pencils
o Chalks
o Scrapbook Magazines and books for inspiration
o Accordion file for the papers etc for each project
o Book of Quotes
o Small dictionary

Don't forget your jammies, the preferred evening wear of scrappers everywhere.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

There's No Place Like The Library

I'm a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz, both the film and the books. I have a really nice Oz collection. Maybe it would all fit in my cubicle... Submitted by our Master Knitter, here is a video of a library that offers a place where Oz and Good Customer Service meet:

In case you want to collect Oz memorabilia, visit The Oz Collector

Join The International Wizard of Oz Club for information on all things Oz, the opportunity to subscribe to The Baum Bugle, and a discussion forum for Oz enthusiasts.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Get Thee to the Generator Blog, and Generate

This is just the sort of thing you didn't want to see me find. I have had alot of fun with Comics and Image Generators.

Now, I have found the Generator Blog! The blog has everything you can imagine. The blog subtitle is: "This blog is not about those machines used to change mechanical energy into electrical energy. It's about software that creates software. Software to play around and have fun with."

I tried a Chinese Movie subtitle page which would let you add subtitles to a short video clip. Unfortunately, this one didn't work for me, but others did! What a Goldmine!

Make your own Receipt, endlessly useful:

Eternal Life Coupon--who doesn't need one of those?

Your personal Rocket for all of us Spacey Types:

There are tons of things to try. The Generator Blog links to other sites who have created endlessly fun and useful images and mini-programs for you to personalize.

Motorcycle "Dance Routine"

For those of you who are still seeing spidery visions of the dancing Potato Salad Triplets in your Mind's Eye, here we have the truly amazing 1950s Italian Police Motorcycle Drill Team submitted by our own Catwoman. How did they get the aerial shots????

Friday, September 12, 2008

Book of Lies Unusual Promotion makes it a Must Read!

Clare on the Women of Mystery blog posted this video of thriller author Brad Melzer's Little League Team and residents of his grandmother's nursing home quoting bad reviews of his books as if they were dissing Brad himself. Luckily his grandma sticks up for him! I haven't read any of his books but this clever video makes me want to try him out. I'll get on a list for his new book The Book of Lies right away (I'm number 119 on the wait list! At least my library folk love him). Visit the poor trod upon author's web site and learn more! A+ on the video, Brad.

How I Became a Science Fiction Reader and The Hugo Awards Winners 2008

After seventeen years as a YA LIbrarian (and a term as a high school librarian before that) I am now the Adult Fiction personage. I really still enjoy YA books, and I like their readership too, since my own teen just recently passed out of teenhood, I can appreciate them and all they're experiencing.

Although I've been reading Mysteries heavily since about 1995, I am broadening my horizons and all that and have been reading science fiction and will attempt best sellers and a wider variety of genres.

I've been reading science fiction since sixth grade when my school librarian recommended "A Wrinkle in Time" which was science fiction, but she thought I'd like it. I told her I didn't want to read "about spacemen and blasters" but polite child that I was, I took it. A Wrinkle in Time has a teenage girl take on an evil society governed by "It", a disembodied brain, in order to rescue her little brother and her missing father. Although she has help, it is her own bravery and strengths that help her in her journey. Loaded with scientific ideas, the excellently drawn characters and the choices they need to make were so compelling I wanted lots more science fiction after reading it.

Although in the years from then till college I read some fantasy and horror, I was sold on science fiction. I have always been awful at math and science, but I loved the "real world, what if?" basis of science fiction, especially what they used to call "Hard Science Fiction". The more solidly grounded the science in the story, the better. I have struggled to understand chemistry and physics in stories that I would gloss right by in any other form.

This brings me to the Hugo Awards. They are given out in August each year, and are voted on by readers and fans of science fiction. In order to vote, you need to register for the current year Worldcon (world convention). You can attend the convention or not, but you do have to purchase membership to vote. I wish I could have gone this year when it was held in Denver (I have never been to a Worldcon), but no. In any case, once good way to get a feel for the latest and most interesting science fiction is to read the Hugo winners list. That is my goal between now and the next one, to read all of the winners and if I whip through those, to read the nominees. I'm hoping this brings me up to speed science fiction wise so I can help our local readers find good reading, and release my inner science fiction self from the "mundane" I have become. Voila!

Here are the winners for 2008:

Go to the Hugo Awards Site for nominees, information on the next Worldcon, and past year winners if you would really like to dig in and read some good science fiction.

Best Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins; Fourth Estate)

Best Novella: “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)

Best Novelette: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean Press; F&SF Sept. 2007)

Best Short Story: “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s June 2007)

Best Related Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Charles Vess Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Paramount Pictures)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who “Blink” Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)

Best Editor, Long Form: David G. Hartwell

Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder

Best Professional Artist: Stephan Martiniere

Best Semiprozine: Locus

Best Fanzine: File 770

Best Fan Writer: John Scalzi

Best Fan Artist: Brad Foster

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Other Duties As Assigned

In my thirty or so years in the business, I have been really lucky to have dealt with few "bodily fluids incidents". This afternoon, I was informed that there was a small wee personage in the children's restroom turning the water on and off with a little too much relish and regularity. (That isn't how the customer put it).

In I went, and there, happily filling the sink with rushing water was a small child who had cleverly shredded a good half roll of TP into the sink, clogging it. I asked her to go find mama, and take her bear along too (thankfully he hadn't gone for a swim). Although it was only cold water and TP, it seemed gross somehow. I found rubber gloves, but the water was at the top of the sink and when I plunged my gloved hand into the cold papery water the water went right on over the top. Ick.
It took about ten minutes to clear the drain. I sooo need a shower. Gross, gross.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wii came, Wii had a Bowling Tournament

The Floating Lush and I held our first ever Wii Bowling Tournament in conjunction with Grandparents day. Grandparents and Grandfriends could come to the library with their grandchildren for a loosely organized competition. A few were familiar with the game and had played it at home, others had never tried the game. Ages ranged from 3 to 70+.

We had 16 people, which is great for a first time. People asked if we would be doing this more often, and one wondered if we had the tournaments weekly. The joy on the faces of the new players who mastered the moves was priceless, and well worth the technical glitches we had setting things up:

Doh, we had two Wiis but only one data did we think we were going to get the second unit displaying the game?

The television in our lounge is too much of a dinosaur to have the proper data cable connections, we found this out after moving the couch out of the way and dragging the behemoth cart and tv to the meeting room.

My clever idea to use some folding tables as a second screen didn't work out...

We had no snacks for our hard working CC team of The Primrose Reader and The Wii Bowling King, let alone the ace bowling teams.

We gave out certificates as our inaugural prizes:

Highest score (Team)
Highest Score (Individual)
Lowest Score (Team)
Lowest Score (Individual)
Best Stance
Best Celebratory gesture/dance
Loudest screen talker
Funniest Screen wiggler
Most Improved (Team)
Most Improved (individual)
Smooth moves
Best A and B Button Control (new players had alot of trouble holding and releasing both buttons at once, whilst swinging their arms and doing odd things with their legs)
Best New Bowler
Power Ball Toss (We had some really powerful movers and shakers, at both ends of the age range)

We let them pick their certificate, and had multiples of a few of the spicier ones. Nobody wanted the high/low score ones so I think next time we'll go for wacky award names. Silly is good when playing with imaginary balls.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Presenting Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine

Mystery writer Bill Crider shows us how to do a really excellent blog with book reviews, observations and video clips. I love the title of the blog as well.

He had this posted last week. I thought it was just a nineteen forties musical type song and dance routine but keep watching it is an eye popping dance, done with incredible cheer. This is from the movie "Broadway Rhythm" (1944), and the dancers are the Ross sisters, Aggie, Maggie and Elmira. The Floating Lush says she can (or could, in her Lush Gymnast Days) do the initial flips.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Name in Lights! Fortune and Glory!

Fortune and Glory is mine, I'm quite sure (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom reference, thus the cute Lego Indy...great game by the way, buy it now!).

Scott Westerfeld posted my Uglies series cartoon on his blog Westerblog He also places me in the post heading with hurricane Gustav!!!!! Hurricane D.O.A. will surely be the next step in my ascension :) He also kindly linked visitors to D.O.A. Central, aka this blog.

Since I gloriously have tomorrow off, I'll be writing and posting my Uglies series review. Also, off I go to Barnes and Noble to pick up the Midnighters Series, which has always sounded intriguing, and his first book in the Succession series "Risen Empire".