Friday, April 18, 2008

authors are (great) people too

(Neglected to publish this post, so it's about a two weeks old: written April 8th.)

I spent last week hobnobbing with the guest authors at our SLIS- & de Grummond-sponsored Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival: Pat Mora, Vicki Cobb, Gerald Hausman, James Ransome, Loris Lesynski, Will Weaver (and Kimberly Willis Holt was also a guest author, but I didn't get to spend time with her). I also had the opportunity to get to know men and women in that children's literature arena of librarianship, as well as interacting with SLIS staff and faculty in social and informal settings. I was on the go for three full days (and crashed hard over the weekend), but it was such fun. Beside the introductions for Vicki and Gerald, I mostly just "stuck like glue" and made sure they were where they should be when they should be, and just generally escorted them for the festival. I felt more like my *real* self than I have for a long time -- not that I understand why, but there it is.

I suppose that many people, attending a gathering of writers, get bitten by the bug to write, or if they already have been bitten, find themselves scratching furiously anew. I remember hating to write as a young person. What we had to write as assignments was rarely fun, even if the teacher tried to make it fun. Somewhere along the way, however, I began to enjoy the process. (Although I still fight tooth-and-nail to get assignments written on time!)

By the end of our trip last May to Tibet, I had an idea brewing for a book. I've shared the idea with a few people, and was pleasantly surprised when talking with two of the authors mentioned above that the idea was well-received. Of course, getting published is extremely difficult and highly competitive, and at this point, I simply want to get the idea out of my head, and onto paper! Ideally, it would be part of my master's project, but I'm still a L-O-N-G way from having all those details settled.

I *was* looking forward to a summer off from classes. It would be the first since 2004 (and also different in that for the first time in three years I am not doing an international study trip). However, I was *not* looking forward to having to take my last 3-hour course at the same time I would be writing my master's project next spring!

Ah, well . . . such is life . . . the professor from whom I took a mini-session course over the semester break last December will be teaching a graduate-level, full-summer course after all, so I've asked to be registered.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

saving time, saving money

So, it is not only my dad's birthday, but Tax Day,too. Guess which one I have on more than one occasion forgotten??

I decided to save myself the $14.95 e-filing charge, and file paper copies of our taxes. I had to print the returns at the college computer lab because something's screwy with our printer = $.60 (which would have been $1.20 on the library printers). Didn't mind that expense . . . but then I had forgotten to run to the campus P.O. for stamps, so I had to get some here in town.

Of course, our P.O. closes at 4:30 pm weekdays, even on Tax Day. S'ok, except there is no longer a stamp machine inside. One mini-mart and two grocery stores later and I still hadn't found stamps. Now, you would think the grocery stores (the mini-mart doesn't sell them) would lay in an extra supply of stamps today. Surely this is not the first time they have been out before 5PM.

Found a stamp vending machine at another gas-mart. TWO DOLLARS & FIFTY CENTS for four stamps (retail value = $1.64).

I feel like I gave it 'a lick and a promise' as my mom used to say; that I probably didn't get as large a refund to which we are entitled. But, they are done, and in the mail . . . and I remembered to call my Dad, too.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!