Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Party in the Li-brar-ay

He's out of tune, bless his heart, but this parody video really cracks me up anyway. LOVE the dancing with the books and on the tables parts.

Makes me want to make a goofy video this year with my library assistants (aka library ninja).


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Apparently I'm on a kick lately---a preternatural mixed with historical fiction kick, and I am in LOVE with this new book.  I ran up to my school a couple of weeks ago and ---like a magical Christmas kind of moment--a new Junior Library Guild box was in the mail room.  Yippee!  I grabbed a couple that caught my eye---and how could this one NOT?  Look at the utter gorgeousness that is this book!  How lovely!  It called to me and begged me to read it first, and so I did.

The first in a trilogy which was originally published in Germany (forthcoming titles are Sapphire Blue & Emerald Green), revolves around 16-year-old Gwen, and her rather eccentric English family whose lineage carries a time-traveling gene. The family has expected cousin Charlotte (also 16) to be the next in line--the final time traveler of the destined twelve, and  has gone to great lengths to instruct her in everything from costuming to weaponry to etiquette in given time periods. Gwen, on the other hand, is the ordinary cousin.  She has lived practically her entire life in Charlotte's shadow, and now they are just waiting for her first time-shift to occur.  Everyone is on pins and needles and expecting it to happen at any moment.

As you might have guessed ---Charlotte is not the chosen one.  Gwen is given this gift--one she doesn't particularly want and is in no way prepared to deal with.  After trying to hide it, inevitably the truth becomes known and not only does Gwen now have little time to be instructed in the arts of  time travel, but she has to deal with the wrath of Charlotte and her mother, neither of whom wants to believe the truth.

And so the dreaded lessons begin---lessons to instruct and prepare her quickly for her new life--and her role in changing history.  Enter the villains, enter the maybe-villains, enter the oh-so-handsome Gideon--the dashing and arrogant time traveler she must work with to solve ancient  mysteries and locate particular objects, such as the all-important chronograph.

With loads of suspense, a tinge of romance, lovely villainous characters plucked from real history such as the Immortal Count--Comte St. Germain, toss in some sword and highwaymen action, this book is a fantastic adventure.

I adored it.  This is absolutely one of my favorite books of the summer, and perfect reading for those *all-too-rare-this-summer* rainy days where one feels like celebrating by curling up with a fantastic book in an over-sized comfy chair, tubby cat purring contentedly beside you, warm cookies in hand, and imagining yourself as part of this grand adventure.

Here's a book trailer I found done by the publisher, Macmillan:

and another that I deduce using my muy mal Espanol is from someone in Spain.  I think the style is interesting on this one:

one from Italy, too.  I feel so...intercontinental...right about now.

Read on, gentle readers; Read on.
Mrs. S.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Postcards from Camp

Oh my gosh--I can't believe I didn't post about this earlier....my Camp NaNoWriMo care package arrived last week!  I am in love. Check out all my goodies...
Postcards and a patch and the possibly the coolest pen EVER along with a notebook and some other groovy stuff, but the BEST thing is the wicked cool BOX it all came in!

Truly the coolest care package I've ever given myself.  ;)

Sadly, I'm a bit stalled out on the novel at this point.  Mostly I've been writing in this:

my little pink journal.

Oh, how I love my little pink journal.  It contains all my secrets.  
Well, maybe not ALL my secrets...
Okay, maybe not even secrets, really...(I mean, other than my weight, which is a deep, dark secret)....
But it does contain my daily info and journaling regarding my new true adventures in weight loss.  

Not so exciting as a novel you say?  Perhaps, I answer. 

Although when I can fit my hiney in a size 6 I will be pretty dang excited.  :)

Here's to continued success in my diet, my journaling, and to picking up the pace again on my novel writing!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mi familia...

Inez Martin, abt. 1909
My great-great aunt on my father's mother's side.  Sister to my paternal grandmother's mother, Bessie Mae.

 You know, I DO love to read and review books, but that isn't nearly all of me.  Even of my "librarian-ish" side.  One of my main hobbies/interests over the past couple years has been genealogy.  Yes, research.

For the record, I've always been fascinated by our family history.  I can remember having such fun as a kid looking through old family photos and hearing stories from the past.  I decided last year to finally get serious about tracking information down and joined ancestry.com.

Now, here's the thing about ancestry.com and many other sharing genealogy sites---just like wikis there can be a lot of flawed information running amok out there.  So, this is my starting point, and I get tons of great info there, all of which I either currently am, or have plans to verify through documentation found outside the site.
This is also my "storage area" for my family tree.  I really love this site, and I've learned a TON about my extended family.

The images from those who came before me speak to me.  I wonder who they were (beyond just names and dates) and what they dreamed.  Were they satisfied with their lives?  What was it like to live through the various wars and depressions and immigrating to the United States leaving all you knew behind? What was it like for the Native American sides ?  I'll never know all the answers to my questions, but I am beginning to learn a bit about some of these great-greats of mine.

And as I learn about them, I learn about me.  It sounds a bit crazy, but it's true.  For example, I've learned I'm made of strong and sturdy stuff.  These family members of mine lived through difficulties I can't even imagine.  This helps me when I'm exhausted and cross and feel like throwing in the towel. (I have found it especially helpful this summer to think of them---- living with no air conditioning and no running water while wearing those impossibly hot layers of clothing and tending to a dozen children---I quit whining pretty fast when I ponder this image!)

Virtually everything I "know" about my relatives in this image I've had to make up in my own head by reading what little information I do know.  My great-grandmother on this side died way before I ever came along---my great-grandfather, too.  My grandmother told lots of stories about her growing up years, but not much about her folks details.  I think it was hard for her to talk about her mother---she loved her immensely and Bessie's death of cancer was difficult.   Inexplicably, I feel the loss of these members of my very own family.  We share bloodlines and yet I know only names and dates, really.

Thank goodness for the photos. I am so grateful for them--and there's no way I would have access to them without ancestry.com.

If you are interested in genealogy I suggest you give it a whirl!  Be warned--you might, like me, find that it's addictive!

Birdie, Frank and Inez Martin

Saturday, July 16, 2011

freshening up a bit

I decided to give my blog a bit of a new look---add some sparkle, as it were.  I'm hoping you love it as much as I do!

It's a work in progress, I realize.  I only have scraps of time here and there that I can devote to my stuff---other than family and work.  Sometimes that gets me a bit down---yes, I suppose I'm selfish that way, but when I can make good use of that time it makes it a little better.  :)

In searching for cute backgrounds I came across Hot Bliggity Blog.  And then I found some super-de-dooper-do cute blinkies and buttons at The Cutest Blog on the Block.  Go check 'em out if you need a bit of a mood-lifter.  It's almost---almost as good as a pedicure!

And, nope...they didn't pay me to say these nice things, I just happen to be a fan.

Read on, gentle readers; read on.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Camp NaNoWriMo!

Am so excited about the very first ever Camp NaNoWriMo!  While I have made valiant attempts over the past couple of years to participate during the original November National Novel Writing Month, November just doesn't seem to work out for me all that well.  The past few years I've been furiously reading the final books for the Lone Star list, plus I actually work in November.  

When I saw that Camp was being offered in July, I knew I had to sign up---to at least give it a shot. Two camping sessions will be offered---one in July, and one in August, but again...the whole work thing comes to play in August, so I'm thinking July is my best bet.  

Today is the official start.  I got so excited I ordered a camp care package---for myself! Who could resist, I ask you?  I'm so excited to be at summer camp!

So here's the dealio...I need to actually figure out what I'm gonna write about.  It's not that I don't have ideas---oh, I have ideas alright.  I just need to actually pick one and go with it.  Run amok with my writing.  Let the characters take me where they will.  Enjoy the ride and finish this thing.  

Will you join me?