Apr 24

Not to Revise — That is the Answer

A friend of mine over at Forward Motion offered some sage advice. “The story is going to have your name on it forever,” she said. Thanks, Dawn! That is something I had kind of lost sight of in all my dithering and insecurity. It IS my story, and I have to take ownership of it. Any changes to it need to conform to my vision of the story.

I submitted it to a new market over the weekend. Unchanged. It will live and die on its own, as it should.

In other news, I got a good start on my ghost story. Some interesting developments cropped up along the way to 1,063 words. I think the whole business of it being set on another planet will have to go. That would not contribute anything to the story except as window dressing. It’s going to be a good story without all that getting in the way. Got to get back to work on that.

Moving day for the Library is officially set for May 8. Pray for us. It’s going to be real but not very much fun. The outcome will be well worth it, though.

Apr 04

The Adventure Commences

Shelving install commenced yesterday in the new Library. After much finagling, the shelving contractor and I finally got things arranged so the there will not be any black holes in the stacks.

The real problem is that the building contractor hung the lights the wrong way. The fixture are running parallel to the stacks. They should be running perpendicular to avoid having shadows. With stacks 7 feet tall and 36″ aisles, shadows can be a real problem. We will see how this works out. Hoping for the best.

Another problem is that the light fixtures are not evenly spaced. Some are 60″ apart, one was only 55″, another was 65″. That means that the aisles are not perfectly evenly spaced either. It’s only a difference of a couple of inches on a couple of the aisles, which is not a whole lot and is not really apparent to the eye, but still… Much unspoken cursing on my part. I don’t know what the shelving install crew said, I left before that started, but I can imagine.

The other problem is that the clearances from the walls and other furniture is already marginal. The shelving contractor managed to work out a scheme for moving the stacks a little bit to give us enough light, maintain their alignment, and still remain ADA-compliant. Thank You, Seth!

That crisis was averted, now we are waiting to see what other weirdness rears its ugly head. Open House is April 12, so anything that goes wrong needs to be resolved by then.

Moving date is still uncertain, but I am hoping for the first week in May.

Mar 22

What?

Are you kidding me? 6 weeks? It’s been 6 weeks since my last post? Where in the Hell have I been?

Busy is where I’ve been. Not much of an excuse, but there it is.

The garden has been keeping me occupied for much of the little free time I have. Cooking, shopping, and walking occupy more of it. It’s amazing how much time it takes to be healthy. Worth it, though. My blood sugars have never been better. I am also ten pounds lighter and one belt notch thinner. That keeps me going.

The worst part of that is that I have now reached the point where it is a struggle to keep going. I crave simple carbs. I don’t really want to go walking on my scheduled days. I don’t want to bother cooking healthy food. If I can just push on and get through this time, I will reach the point where all of this has become a habit, a routine. I look forward to that time.

Mostly, my time has been taken up by work. I am preparing to move a library, a daunting task in the best of times. Furniture and shelving are supposed to be installed in the new building next week. I suspect it will take a little longer than the vendors project just due to the sheer size of the project. 3 floors housing 4 separate nursing and allied health programs and a library. Yikes!

We don’t yet have a firm moving date and will have to be ready to go on a moment’s notice once everything is ready. Preliminary boxing of non-essentials has been done, and I hope we can move those into the storage room as time and furnishings installation permit. That will ease the burden a little bit.

This will be the third time I have moved a library. The one thing I have learned, much to my sorrow and dread, is that there is just no easy way to do this. Things will be in a mess no matter what. Lots of work before, during, and after the move.

Still, I am looking forward to this. We will have 3 times the floor space, 3 times the computers, three times the shelf space. After being cramped into a tiny space all these years, that will be a huge relief. We are also located just inside the building’s front door, a very good location indeed. Much to look forward to to carry us over the hard times to come.

On the writing front, there is just not a whole lot to report. I have received 2 very complimentary rejections, which keeps my hopes up. I have also submitted 2 stories (the same ones) to new markets. I am involved in revisions on 2 other stories for submission sometime in the near future. Other than that, I am playing the waiting game with those stories already in submission. That’s hard on the nerves, but a necessary part of the writing life. Composing new stories is on hold until I have some little bit of extra brain function to devote to that.

All in all, the continuing theme in my life at this point is one of hope and looking forward. After the long dark times, this is a joy.

Jan 09

Made It!

I made it through my first week without destroying anything! I feel better about this now.

My schedule has been rough, as I have been having to cover both day and evening shifts. That will ease up once the new Evening Reference Librarian is completely trained. She is making excellent progress, and I anticipate reverting to my normal schedule on Wednesday. That will quite a relief. The caffeine overdoses and lack of sleep are taking a toll on my old body.

I don’t know whether it is the combination of caffeine and adrenaline or what, but I am feeling a lot better mentally. Almost hypomanic. Whatever it is, I’ll take it. This is far better than depression. I just have to keep the impulsiveness under control. That is something I can handle.

Welcome to 2010! May it be a great year for all of us.

Dec 21

Short-timer

Two weeks from today I start my new job. I look forward to great responsibility and even greater opportunities.

I spent 2 days shadowing (and interrogating) the current Librarian, and I feel somewhat less nervous about things. There are still some things that I won’t know about until they come up, I am sure. Those things will work themselves out when the time comes. I just hope the time is not January 2010. I already have too much to do for that month.

The new Evening Reference Librarian starts on January 4, as well. I think we got us a good one. She is certainly enthusiastic about the job, which counts for a lot, in my book. I am making some plans for the Library that will need that kind of energy.

On the old job, I am down to about 4 working days, by the time we get around all the holidays and our third furlough day. I think I’m going to make it. I made good progress on a lot of fronts today, and that makes me hopeful that I can get out of there without leaving very much hanging.

For more good news, check today’s date. Happy Winter Solstice, everyone! Things will get brighter from here on.

Nov 25

Enforced Idleness

I am on furlough today as a result of state budget woes. This is the second of three furlough days this quarter. We will “get” another on December 31.

I am also starting to get a little nervous. I realized over the weekend how close January has gotten. With the day off today and holidays Thursday and Friday (on Friday we celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday, if you can believe that. It’s an official holiday in Georgia), all of a sudden I will be in December with a lot of stuff to do to get ready for my transfer and more days off at the end of the month. Maybe nervous energy will carry me through.

I don’t think I have mentioned my impending transfer here. I am going to be the Librarian at another campus closer to home. 10 miles rather than 30. a 15-minute commute as opposed to close to an hour. And I will be the head honcho. A little scary, but I am looking forward to it.

January 4th will be my first day in my new position. I will be getting off to an interesting start as I train both myself and a new Evening Reference Librarian at the same time. I am not used to 14-hour days anymore. I guess I better get used to them, though. That’s part of the price of being a boss.

We will be interviewing applicants for the Evening Reference Librarian position next Friday. I am hoping for at least one good candidate. It’s so hard to tell from applications, cover letters, and resumes. Personality is all-important for people working in close proximity in a small library. Fingers crossed.

I have spent some time today re-writing a short story. I am pleased to discover how much fun I have had doing that. I always get very worried when I am down. The possibility of losing interest in writing completely scares me. It’s something that is an important part of my life, and I really don’t want to lose it.

All-in-all a good day. I need more of these. Here’s hoping…

Nov 13

…And we’re back!

Anybody who was checking the blog over the last few days would have noticed some pretty weird happenings over here. I had a little trouble with DNS settings and a previous version of things.

But I’m feeling much better now.

I did get some good news last week. I am transferring to the local campus to be the Librarian there. That will save me about 30 minutes commute each way and a ton of gas. I am really looking forward to that.

The depression is still hanging on, but that news helps take a little of the bite out of it. Something else to be hopeful about.

And I’m trying to get up the nerve and energy to try to write something new. You never know. It might turn out to be something other than shit. We’ll see.

Jun 17

Still Kicking

Hi, y’all!

I am so sorry about the long silence. It’s far too easy to get into the habit of not doing something and to let it slide for far, far too long.

I have some things to post about in the next few days. The thing that finally got me up off my ass, though, is what happened this morning at work.

I think I mentioned some time back (and I’m too lazy to go find that post) that I was working on developing a Disaster Response and Recovery Plan for the library where I work. Well, the Director and I finally got it finished (and posted on the Web, if anyone cares to look: follow this link, and it is the fourth entry from the top of the list). This morning, at our quarterly Professional Development Day, the Vice President of Academic Affairs had some VERY nice things to say about it.

Even more exciting, the Chair of our Emergency Management program forwarded the plan to a Major Government Institution (I’m not sure if I should really say who in public), and they told her they were interested in using our plan as a template for developing a disaster plan for their own internal library. Very cool!

Occasionally, hard work does get recognized.

Next on the agenda, as far as posting goes, is a few thoughts about a recent trip my father, one of my brothers, and I took to Virginia. A very interesting trip that sparked a lot of thoughts. It may take me a few days to get back into the habit, but I’m trying.

Oct 13

Some Better, Some Worse

What’s better:

We finally got somebody hired to fill our empty position. He starts Wednesday. It will take a while to get him trained, but at least there is light at the end of this tunnel.

Walk-in traffic at the library is easing up a little bit. Now that everybody pretty much knows their way around campus, we get a breather until assignments start coming due.

I get Columbus Day off today! Hooray for gummint institutions!

What’s worse:

I did seven one-hour library orientations last week. Brain-fry is the blue-plate special. I have four two-hour sessions this week. Two on Tuesday and two on Wednesday. Flip me over and poke me with a spatula, I’m almost done.

My short story is at a standstill. See above comments about brain-fry.

And life goes on. Next week will be better.

Oct 05

Busy Week

Fall Quarter started Wednesday. We have a record enrollment and a short staff by one position. One position may not sound like much to most people, but we only have 2 full-time and 4 part-time positions. To be missing 25% of our part-time help is a major blow at a busy time like this. I am TIRED!!

To top off the week, I attended the Crossroads Writers’ Conference in Macon. The featured guests were Joshilyn Jackson and Ad Hudler, both of whom were both immensely entertaining and very informative.

Jackson led a panel entitled “The Girl Who Stopped Writing: Breaking Blocks”. She claims to not believe in writer’s block, but we got to peer into the writing process of a best-selling novelist and pick her brain about whatever we had questions about. That was cool.

In addition, she gave one of the pre-conference presentations: “Quilting a Novel: How the Pieces of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming Came Together”. She discussed writing her latest book, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (damn fine novel, by the way), and displayed a quilt that an art quilter (Pamela Allen) made for her that mirrors in many ways the quilt that the main character in TGWSS makes. That was plain fascinating.

Hudler Led two panels: “She drove a Camaro and dyed her hair blond: Choosing details that bring your characters to life” and “Secrets of the writer’s life: Agent-hunting, soul-searching, cocktail drinking, & tips on finding writing time in your very-busy life”. The first included an interactive exercise in building a character from scratch that was a fun learning experience. The second workshop was just a free-wheeling discussion of any and all aspects of the writer’s life.

In addition, I got to spend a day hobnobbing with my fellow wizards and meeting new people. This was the first year of this con, and it was a major success. Though it centered around literary fiction, that was fine with me, since a lot of my stories tend toward that category. I am hoping for many happy returns for this event.

Finally, the moderator of my online crit group issued a challenge to us to write a short story in October based on a photograph that she gave us a link to. That promises to be fun.

This has been one of those weeks that I both am glad it’s done and wish it could continue.