Monday, February 20, 2012

D.O.A.'s Guide to Twin Cities Literary Events Online

I've been trying to find ways to publicize our incredibly cool library programs to a wider audience.

In my search for places to promote our Author Programs in particular, I've found that there are plenty of places you can find listings for author appearances in the Twin Cities.

One thing I did notice is that many of the larger news sites list mainly bookstore events. I don't know if this means they get moola on the side from them or if libraries just don't think to advertise with them ( I will say that none of them posted my submitted events so who knows).

Meeting authors is always thrilling for a bookish type like myself. Most of the time, these folks are just fascinating and immensely likeable people who happen to create some of your favorite fictional characters or who write on topics of high interest. You have the chance to ask about character and plot and inspiration. Ideal!

Here's where to find your favorite authors:


Libraries have always been a natural place for authors and readers to meet. In the last few years we have all been able to bring in more local and national authors. Check your local library web site for the latest appearances. Visit the MELSA website for links to Twin Cities area libraries to see what is coming up near you.

Online Events Calendars

There are a wide array of places to find events of all types. The sites below feature literary events.

My favorite for literary events is the Twin Cities Literary Calendar (Rain Taxi) Packed with author events, I would look here first if I were you! Not only have they always posted my library author events (hugs!), they have the best listing of what is happening at venues all over the Twin Cities.

They also offer a Twin Cities Literary Punchcard which allows you to get credit for attending events at participating venues. Twelve punches gets you a gift certificate at a participating bookstore. Nice! Find out more here.

Minnesota Women's Press lists many events of interest to women. The online calendar gives brief descriptions with times and dates.

Hazel & Wren This duo says of their calendar "an all-inclusive, totally informational calendar of Minneapolis/St. Paul literary events" but it actually lists relatively few, but perhaps they are new and people haven't found them. The site has tons of book talk as well, so check it out.

Scout Me The site says it is in Beta but it lists many literary events in the Twin Cities. Use the search box to list your interest and locale.

Club Book Sponsored by MELSA (Metropolitan Libraries) this ongoing author series brings remarkable authors to Twin Cities area libraries.

MinnPost Author events are listed on the site's oddly named "Book Club Club" page.

Bookstore Events

Check the site for your local bookstore to see what is coming up. Three local bookstore with great lsitings are:

Magers & Quinn A surprising robust list of author events throughout the Twin Cities.

Red Balloon Bookshop A charming store that hosts children’s and young adult authors.

Wild Rumpus Children’s Book events with major authors in a tiny space.

News Sites

Television and Print Newspaper sites can have listings for author appearances. Some of the smaller and online only papers do a great job of publicizing local events. My favorite of these is the Patch Newspapers. They really have created a robust reflection of their communities online.

Minnesota Newspapers Online Looking for your own community newspaper and their events listings online? Visit the Minnesota Newspapers Online site to locate your paper.

CityPages Use the search box to get listings or visit the main calendar page.

Sun Newspapers Covering many suburbs, the Sun Newspapers are great about listing local events.
Thisweek Newspapers Sometimes literary events are buried in their not so easy to locate calendar, but always worth checking here.

KSTP On their events page "Things to do" choose Events Calendar then Talks and Readings from the "categories" at the left. Mostly bookstore news.

WCCO Literary & Books Events Heavy on Barnes & Noble events and Nook Classes but worth a peek.

Kare 11 Look under Community then Community Calendar, then category Talks and Readings (these news sites appear to be designed by the same entity.) Kare 11's site lists a variety of venues, not just bookstores.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Once Upon a Time: Skin Deep

What a fun Valentine's Day episode from our Twisted Fairy Folk. They manage to cram so much into an episode and yet end with some cliff hanger that makes you wish it were next week so you can get more of the story.

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales. It has both Belle and the Beast looking beyond what can be seen on the surface to reveal the person who can be loved below. There is love and sacrifice and ultimate redemption.

I was not pleased to see that the Once episode would feature Rumplestiltskin as the Beast (and not just because they are over-using his character which they are). I wasn't sure Emilie de Ravin would be able to be sweet, smart, loving Belle. She was smart and funny and quite wonderful.

Somehow, they pulled it off and added layers to both the Fairy Tale and Storybrook storylines. Mr Gold/Rumple managed to be both sympathetic and exceedingly villainous.

Speaking of Villainous, the Queen/Regina has reached a new low as a hissingly Evil character. Her ability to snare people when they're weak and turn them and use them for her vile plans...she is something of a mirror of Rumple and his ability to see "Desperate Souls".

Rumple makes deals and advises gleefully that magic has it's price with his Desperate Souls, and he often lets them know deals can be broken. He doesn't seem to gain anything immediately from his victims though he laughs wildly when the deals sour. He doesn't gain puppets as the Queen does (well except for the poor couple from the Jiminy Cricket episode).

Romance Storybrook style:

I liked the girls night out segment with Ashley/Cinderella getting a shot at her Happily Ever After with her Prince. Even if their happiness is temporary it seems like a bit of a crack in the Curse to have this interlude.

Mary Margaret is growing and changing from the simpering schoolmarm to a woman who is taking her future in her own hands. I think that Emma and Red and Ashley and even Henry are looking to her for support and advice and that is helping her to find her Inner Snow White.

David is a long way from finding his Inner Prince Charming. The waffling between Kathryn and Mary Margaret on his part is making him look weak and mindless and stupid. I don't buy that he feels sorry for Kathryn because she is so nice and he theoretically has obligations to her. We know he has no obligations to her, and when he fell in love with someone else, even though it be his True Love, he needed to pack up and get the heck out. We all would have some respect for him if he had done that, rather than appearing to be a weak, slimy, cheating pig. I don't know how they will redeem "David".

I hope Belle gets released from her prison and that she comes out swinging. I don't believe her being alive to Gold/Rumple's knowledge would ruin any plotlines, I think it would just further complicate everything because Belle would certainly not rush to the Beast after all she has been through.

We have to wonder in fact how and why Gold looks and sounds sooo different in Storybrook than he does in Fairy Tale Land. He must have had some interesting clauses in his deal with the Evil Queen.

A final thought: I would like our Operation Cobra participants Emma and Henry to have stopped in a doorway on the way out of the jail to overhear the Gold/Regina conversation. Plots inside of plots!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Metropolitan Council

The Twin Cities Metropolitan Council has long been a purveyor of fascinating facts about local cities. Their web site allows you to see how your town stacks up, and you can zoom in with an aerial view on their "make a map" page.

6 Words Minneapolis

Lord knows how I came upon it, but there is a blog called 6 Words Minneapolis that is gathering people's memoirs using only 6 words to sum things up. Here is mine: