If you Missed Banned Books Week….

Yes, yes, you probably didn’t – you avid reader you.

And yes, I’m no longer, technically, a librarian – as of July, which is why one of my favorite ‘holiday weeks’ to celebrate and go all for – rather blew right past and here it is now, October.

But a recent chat with a follower of Kevin Brennan’s over at What The Hell? blog, reminded me “Hey!  It’s that time of year!  Yippee!  Banned Books Week!”

And over I went to the American Library Association site to see the theme, look and see what books got challenged this year and why -only to learn…

Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019)

Well, durn it! I rather let that most joyous and fun time of the year go whooshing right by me.

But the theme this year, is worthy of Tony the Tiger – it’s Grrrr—eat!

Just for fun, I looked to see where I was “Yup, I’ve read” checklist for the top 100

I have worked my way up to having read 51 out of 100 of the top classics – I think when I last reported on, I was at 22 or 32 – and that was a couple of years ago – however, I read a lot of the new books coming out and in non-fiction sphere? Some of them are challenged before they even hit the library shelves – LOL, so if I live long enough to see new stuff become classic, maybe I’ll be ahead of the game…

I digress…this is really about..

The Bill of Rights

My chat over yonder regarding the awesomeness of library cards and such, gave me the urge to share my love of the Library Bill of Rights – and tell you how, at least where I worked, we were actively encouraged to live it to the full and max, every day.

How? By searching to find information for people, by saving them time, by helping with tech products and tech skills so they could access information or apply for a job….

By sharing community contacts – introducing new-comers to groups, clubs or individuals they had things in common with…

A love of knitting or woodworking. Passion for writing or singing. Where in town to get someone to help with yard work? Is there anyone who repairs small engines? What’s the proper way to format a resume now?

How do I apply for this job online if I’ve never had an email address?

Libraries can and should be the hub of the community – where folks are free to assemble, find and share ideas, but most of all, to connect.

Yes, no matter where I go, or what I do, I am, a librarian at heart, I guess – funny thing is, I ended up there because so much of ‘it’ lined right up with what I valued, held important and saw as a priority if we humans are serious about cleaning up the messes we make and trying for better next time…

So, Luanne? This is for you… I give you (drum roll, please…)

The Library Bill Of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Rights AND Responsibilities

Our library here is small. We don’t have separate meeting rooms with doors that can close and sound proof walls.

The Mystery Book Club would meet on the same weekend morning that kids who were allowed some freedom to go play ‘games’ on the computer were there too –

Which meant everyone, whether in spirited discussion or trash talking each other over something going on in cyber world battle, rather realized, while we advocate freedom of expression and access and all – we are now, for the moment, right back to English Commons Law –

In other words – this is a shared, communal space. Yes we each have rights, but we share this space, and so, we show courtesy and respect for the others in that shared space.

It varies, from library to library and given the challenges of each neighborhood, the needs to be met and the resources available to meet those needs.

I will tell you this – more school work requires access to a computer and internet. There are children in this locale that do not have internet access OR cell phone service where they live. They go to school, come to the library to do their homework (instead of riding the bus home) and mom or dad pick them up on the way home from work.

That is NOT a day care service – it is providing access to needed things in order for one to get their education.

When I worked there, I didn’t say a whole lot about these things….

And I sure as heck didn’t blog and run my potty mouth (typing fingers?) when op-eds or news or articles came out about how Libraries were obsolete and why would you need one when you can just stream what you want? Poppycosh!

But now, that I’m once more just a library patron, I can mouth off all I want and the library world can shake their head and say,

“Well, what can you do? Our patrons love what we provide, and well, they do have freedom to express their love of us…even if we don’t quite agree with how they do it…”

(said no librarian, ever, but they might, if I’m part of the equation…)

My local librarian would never tell you, but I will….

Here’s the book list I’m working my way through, just now – I’ll get back to whipping out the banned/challenged classic list, someday, but this post really caught my eye and thus far, have enjoyed the ones I’ve ordered in from the library:

11 Forgotten Books of the 1920’s worth reading now

After that, I’m going to dive into Nietzsche’s works – he and his works/quotes keep coming on my radar from many fronts, so figured, might as well give it a try – 🙂

On the Gutenberg front…

No…not Project Gutenberg, though I love that too…I’ve found pamphlets from ladies groups in the 1800’s there, that have cool recipes and patterns in them!

Word Press Gutenberg

I’m behind on reading stack, between video tutorials on new tools, getting smarter/quicker/more adept at utilizing the options with the Gutenberg block system and…. (hey! Guess What?!? I’m writing this in the block editor right now. I won’t, however, show you all I learned recently, because, really, who wants that many colors and backgrounds behind the words that makes it harder to read?)

I will say this – I imagine here on the free blog version, I’m on the latest, greatest WordPress version – didn’t quickly find in the dashboard like I do on self-hosted sites – but on that side of the equation? I played around with block editor on WP v. 5.2.3 and so MUCH better than my early attempts in late 2018 to try out the beta/plug-in, etc.

In fact, I built a small site, in under 12 hours, even while learning the durn thing and getting my work flow into line with new options/different ways to access things – –

I’m excited about the future possibilities, now and since these later versions automatically adds a new paragraph block when I hit enter, instead of waiting for me to stop/add another paragraph block, well, okay – that was the biggee that really drove me crazy in early, early days –

So, there’s my weekly check-in. I know not when my own website will be up so I can invite you to view, sign up for my newsletter, and you can quit hearing about biz stuff here…

Right now? No website up for me and I have more work than I can keep up with – so why would I shoot myself in the foot by ramping up and looking for more customers!?!?

Anyhoo – happy weekend.

Catch ya on the flipside…

(Yes, Yes, the recipes – – I got in some different supplies and am ‘experimenting’ – I also got gifted some plums and all ready to make my own version of “Country Fermented Easy Small Wine” – so I’ll have to report on that whole project too….

I miss the library sometimes…but man am I LOVING being at home to get some food experiment started and being here to check on it during ‘stretch breaks’ from my computer – – IT IS AWESOME!!!)

Quotes – Masonobu Fukuoka

Quote – Part in series of putting updated theme/options for test drive – 🙂

Sowing Seeds in The Desert Bookcover

Gradually I came to realize that the process of saving the desert of the human heart and revegetating the actual desert is actually the same thing. Masonobu Fukuoka

In the end, it will require some courage and perhaps a leap of faith for people to abandon what they think they know. Masonobu Fukuoka

New Beginnings and…Heartbreak…

I recently was hired to work at my local library part-time.

Seriously, I’ve yet to find one thing that consumes me to the exclusion of all other possibilities –

(Yes, okay, okay, I will add the caveat of, “for any long-amount of time, for it could change tomorrow, next year or next second as I learn more about me, my world and navigate the whole “Why I’m here” conundrum –

I freely confess to being accused simultaneously of Procrastination, Stagnation and Life Motto of, “Oh, that was so two seconds ago!”

And just as frequently accused of “Dog with a Bone” tendencies, since I tend to remember history and past patterns – social, cultural, governmental, religious and personal.)

This Sunday Morning Spent…

Reading the American Library Association’s collected information for Banned Books Week – Information on our shared American history of Freedom of Speech and Changing Times, Current Trends, Perennial Trends, etc., etc., etc.

What I learned made me want to cry in frustration

For, you know…

Over the years, I have read many of the books contained on the Top 100 Banned & Frequently Challenged Books List, that, apparently, still make the damn top Most Wanted 100 List Every Year.

(Yes, I just cussed, online and outloud – be grateful I showed restraint and didn’t use the ‘f’ word…)

My thoughts turned to…

  • How very lucky I am to have been raised in a home full of books and by parents who loved to read,
  • To have been educated by teachers who saw the beauty and wisdom to be found in literature
  • To have had the support of  School and Public Librarians who didn’t ask why I wanted a book, but simply showed me how to find it in card catalogue/shelves,  or ordered it in for me from another library.

While there are so many books I still have on my “To Read List”…

(so many, in fact, I may not live long enough to read them all)

Today, I am carried back to my younger self  and I fully become aware, as I scanned the various lists compiled – and I ponder upon:

“Where would I be, just now, if I didn’t have this perspective in my brain to remember the story of?”

So many of the books I read during my childhood – how many humans are never trusted enough to even be exposed to?

Protection?  Tyranny?  Fear of Change? Why!?

And why doesn’t every child, young adult, adult get the Freedom envisioned by the Founding Fathers of America,

(which had to be clarified by the First Amendment to the Constitution of our Country, just to make sure, everyone got the message,

“You come here?  Things are going to be done and said that might make your blood boil, you are free to expose yourself to such information, gather and talk about it, if enough of you are showing up to discuss, we won’t make the media shut-up about reporting about it – we will protect them, whether they deserve it or not &  were responsible or not – Whether we agree with them or not…That’s who we wish to be…”)

(You do know my current views regarding mass media and social media, right? If not, well, travel through the archives, you’ll find frequent breadcrumbs to the trail of why is it so, are ya kidding, and we gotta do something about THIS!  Don’t we?  Why Not?)

I grew up surrounded

By family, teachers, librarians who took the time to share the context, history and concerns of the time/place in which the idea of a story was born and shared.

Was introduced to the circumstances, (societal and personal experience), which inspired a writer to take up their pen, examine their inner/outer worlds, and share.

Was trusted to take the perspective, ponder upon and choose –

Humankind’s History…

…is not found just in the pages of Scientifically proven, Academically Approved or Historically Accurate Deemed texts –

It’s also in Our Stories – Oral traditions, Published Works, Personal Shares.

The best of us, the worst of us, the times we got it right and the times we didn’t.   The stories of those who have cried  and stood alone

The times we cried, got mad and then stood together, with raising voice,

“We can, (must!) Be Better!”

Always, there are the first brave souls who dared to show us how bad it could get, or how wonderful it could be – if only…

Who were willing to say, “This is the World I Dream Of” – and put it out for all to see – no matter how it might be judged by history.

Such a fine, ever-changing line we humans walk – for better or worse –

While we try to find that balance between helping and harming.

We are Explorers – all of us, internal and external – and the call of what is/could be is never far from tempting us – whether our current surroundings make it easy or hard.

Happy Reading & Writing – 🙂

My Current List of  Banned/Challenged Classic Books Read

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • Ordinary People, Judith Guest
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  • Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  • The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  • Gone with The Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  • Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
  • Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
  • Cujo, Stephen King
  • Forever, Judy Blume
  • The Holy Bible 
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • Tiger Eyes, Judy Blume
  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  • Animal Farm, George Orwell
  • The Call of the Wild, Jack London
  • Ulysses, James Joyce
  • Blubber, Judy Blume
  • Go Ask Alice, Anonymous
  • Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean M. Auel
  • The Valley of Horses, Jean M. Auel
  • The Mammoth Hunters, Jean M. Auel
  • The Plains of Passage, Jean M. Auel
  • The Shelters of Stone, Jean M. Auel
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • 1984, George Orwell
  • A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kensey
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
  • Go Tell it on the Mountain, James Baldwin
  • The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Jungle, Upton Sinclair

Yes… I think Scarlett O’Hara was awesome

There are reasons why Scarlett O’Hara’s character is still a heroine and role-model for me.

For a myriad of reasons,  as I grow older, gain experience, etc., the list of ‘why fores’ just grows –

Here ya go!

Top 10+ Reasons…

…Why I re-read Gone with The Wind at least once a year and why, in face of all the ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ and outdated norms, etc., from that era of our history as a nation, I still am loyal to and hold on dear to Scarlett –

(Yes, with my heading of “Top 10+ Reasons…” I just broke about a gazillion online marketing, SEO, trending, grammatical, how-to-be-popular rules in online, writing and English teacher worlds – I like think Scarlett is be proud of me…)

  1. She was raised/educated/instructed her entire childhood, on how to properly take her place in the reality of her local community and culture- a reality that would soon be toppled and become obsolete given the sweeping changes globally & nationally, in regards to human rights, economics, political systems, etc., etc. ( I could go on, but I won’t….)
  2. She managed, against steep peer-pressure odds, to question the beliefs so ingrained into her from her earliest memories.  She chose to ask, “Does that apply, now?   Is it beneficial now?  Does it work, now?”
  3. The Personal Traits that got her into the most trouble growing up, were the very things that saved her bacon (and others) when the sh*t hit the fan – She met any timid, overly-cautious, “oh-my-what-will-the-neighbors-say” admonitions with a resounding, “God’s Nightgown!  Don’t You See…” (Note – I never latched onto God’s Nightgown, though I do use it occasionally – I like to call my ‘heavy conversations’ a CTJ meeting – and maybe, someday, I’ll tell you what that stands for…)
  4. She was very honest – not just with her own judgments of what she observed in others around her, but also with herself, even when she didn’t like what she saw.
  5. She didn’t suffer fools lightly, if at all – but was even more put out when she realized she, herself, had been a fool…and then vowed to not make that mistake again….
  6. If she couldn’t find a solution, right away, she put it aside, ‘I’ll think about that tomorrow –  if I think about it now, I’ll just drive myself crazy.”  She perfected the art of focusing on what she could do something about and letting the rest slide, until either she had to do something, or the answer came to her – – Might I add that Einstein and Edison, to name two, were masters at this same approach….?
  7. She had strong loyalty, even to those she secretly had thoughts about, “Why the heck am I taking them on too? I don’t even know what to do for myself….Why should I be responsible for them, as well?”  But she did what she felt was her responsibility – and didn’t wait for any one else to appreciate or reward the effort, even when she smarted under criticism, from the very people she had fed, housed, clothed….
  8. She was a realist and when she messed up – she realized it – sometimes soon – sometimes later.   And felt remorse.  (She taught me the difference between remorse and regret)
  9. She was willing to listen to others who said things that made her blood boil, or she thought were too good to be true, “Well, in your circumstances, what else would you have done?  You’re not sorry you got did what you did, you’re just sorry you got caught.”  or “Darling, you are so smart, and making a success of your business, other people are just jealous.”   Even when she lived for the day to tell Rhett to go to Halifax and to throw in Melanie’s face how very disillusioned, childish and weak she thought Melanie was – she choked it back, best as she could – gave credit where credit was due – and listened, because an inner honesty always reminded her… she was guilty of less-than-sterling-intents or  disillusioned world view, as well…
  10. She kept her promises, even when she was sorry she had ever made them.
  11. She never gave up, even when she was so weary, hungry and couldn’t see any realistic ideas or hope on the horizon.

But You Should Also Know:

  1. My grandfather, a Kentucky tobacco farmer, stayed up at night to finish only one book other than the reading the Bible – it was Gone with the Wind – good enough for him, good enough for me.
  2. My history buff dad said Margaret Mitchell did a very good job of portraying the Southern Confederacy and Southern civilian perspective of the Civil War without inaccurately portraying the history of  battles – again, good enough for me.
  3. My mom, given her Southern Ohio status and accent was dubbed a “Yankee” at one time in her history – but don’t let the voice/accent fool ya – she epitomizes the grace and steel of a Southern Lady.
  4. My dad, also the philosopher, pointed out there are all kinds of people in the world, and I think Gone With the Wind characters did a good job of representing each of them:
    1. Those who see the changes coming and adjust.
    2. Those who see the changes coming, do their duty, even when they realize they may be on the wrong side and when it’s over, there may not be a place for them anymore in the new reality.
    3. Those who understand changes are coming, but hold on tight to the belief that at root, mankind is good and it will all turn out okay and love never changes.
    4. Those who hold the line for firm values & set standards high, but know how to adjust expectations, with some grumbling, with some compromise, but without surrendering that which they hold dear,  when they realize closely defended boundary lines are in need of re-mapping.
    5. Those who insist doing things the old, proper way and steadfastly ignore how things are changing until they are either run-over by the changes or can no longer find anyone else to buy into their version of reality.
    6. Those who just sit by and wait – for the good ole days to be restored – for someone else to take care of it all…and them…. etc.

GWTW Fans – Let’s Have Some Fun….

I was originally going to add the characters I think personified the very generalized humankind stereotypes above – but why should I have all the fun or deprive anyone of sharing their perspective/favorites?

Leave a comment – take your stab at sub-items 1-6 on people types – add in what other personality types you believe to be missing from my top 6 list and why I’m a dweeb for missing THAT nugget of wisdom…  Feel free to add in which character(s) personifies it  – etc.

(Yes, I could have made a handy dandy poll or survey, but ya know what?  The online world is flooded with shallow, easy to generalize type things for a 2.5 second attention span world – I’m interested in the good stuff and good stuff always has just a few more layers than can be worked through in a nan0-second of clicking – I don’t care what the survey experts say – stats never give me the whole story I want to hear and learn…..) 😛

It’s just for fun, but recently ran across another blogger who I love their work AND turns out they are a GWTW fan too!  So, instead of putting a blog post in my own comments section as a reply – here is the full (Monty) Scarlett/GWTW – – Thanks Fiona for commenting & connecting!  🙂

And if you want to know the reasons  I am so happy to make a connection with Fiona, check out her blog full of so many topics dear to my heart – nope, ain’t gonna spend the time to type out what all her blog covers or what subjects we chatted about in both her and my comment sections – suffice it to say, if you like my posts on food, community, the ripple effects of daily choices, you’ll want to add her to your follow list to!

 

Self-Publishing’s Row to Hoe

I’ve been having a nice chat with Francis Guenette regarding the long road of stigma and criticism to be overcome by the self-published author, individually and as a group.

The chat reminded me of my son…

and his passionate support of Indie Bands from 2004-2008.

His reasons for the ‘why’ of it all made sense.

He was a guitarist and composer with his own dreams…

But he knew he could contribute to the Indie Band’s place in the world just by being a fan.

  • He spent his dollars on their merchandise instead of elsewhere.
  • He shared his love of their music with anyone who would stand still and listen.
  • He posted status reports at MySpace and pics of him and some Indie Band’s lead guitarist with their arms draped over the shoulder of each other, in camaraderie, during an intermission at last night’s show.

He, too, was playing a part in giving the Indie Bands their step-up in a world that still scoffed at these ‘no-record-label’ losers…

You see, at heart, we are a trendy, industrious, go-get-em culture –

Nothing gets a new-fangled way of doing things out of the gate faster than throwing some support dollars at it and passionate fans who ain’t scared to speak up…

If one or two self-published authors are dragging down a 5 or 6 figure income per year and one got a publishing deal/movie deal after she self-published – not quite good enough yet –

The local Library Collection Manager, the CEO of that ginormous publishing company and the Big Newspaper Book Critic will all just scoff and admit,

“Maybe those few, but they are the exception – most of those folks are losers who weren’t good enough to land a publishing deal.”

Nope, we gotta support each other –

I worked in a Library for awhile last year and I used to be a member of two book-clubs.

3 times a month I would sit with a group of people who eagerly shared the latest greatest, browsed the book-of-the-month catalog to pick their next title, etc., etc.

When I had to read the same book everyone else read, I managed to trigger some heated debates about how the author, while obviously well-researching the time in history she chose to place her story in, threw in too many characters and didn’t develop any of them enough and just how does she continue to be on the bestseller list for this okay-but-could-be-much-better stuff?

I quit one book club because it became apparent there were a lot of her fans in the club and I would be signing up to read at least 6 titles of her drivel every year….

When I was allowed to share my own pick, which only had to meet topic/era/genre criteria for the month…

They would listen politely to my report, then ask,

“Who was that author again?  I’ve never heard of them.”

And every…stinking…time I answered,

“You can Google it – you can find their blog here, their website here and their Amazon Author page is here – they are self-published….”

The reply came,

“Oh..(insert snooty look) one of those….”

…and the tablet waiting for the Google search word to be entered, was laid down, with definitive, though unspoken,

“Shall we move on?”

thump.

Granted

I’ve always hung around with folks older than me.   When I was 13, my preferred circle was 18 or more – When I was 21, my best friend was 42 – in my 30’s, the gals I liked best among my co-workers were in their 50s and getting ready to retire –

For the most part, my circle now includes those in their 70s or 80s – who have all worked diligently to learn to operate the Kindle some offspring or grandchild gifted them, but still hold on to the cherished notion that self-publishing is for those who aren’t good enough for the ‘real book’ world….

Most of them have a college degree – or a Masters – a few also hold a PhD….

To my way of thinking, they’ve been corrupted by the whole Academic Snobbery Worldview just a tad too much…

To their way of thinking, I’m just a young whippersnapper who will eventually see the error of dipping my toe into the cesspool of second-raters –

I’m out to prove them wrong –

They’re content to simply wait for Time to show me the error of my ways – because everyone, but me, already knows

**********

You Didn’t Know I was a Self-Published Author?!?

I am.

I frequently hit the blue “Publish” button here at Bally Bin… at my client’s websites – what other proof is needed?

I’m also, at times, the following:

  • Press Release Agent
  • Fundraiser Copywriter
  • Political Campaign Web Communications Director
  • Technical Writer
  • Efficiency Expert
  • Staff Trainer
  • Policy and/or Standard Operating Procedure Manual Developer

Am I Officially Any of those Things?

Nope – not to the eyes of many in the world.

And to those who are are wriggling in their seats, fingers itching to hit the comments section and tell me why I’m wrong to use their label – how I don’t have their education, experience, public kudos and acknowledgement, etc. etc.

Two Words –

So – What?

I know I am each of these because:

  • I often get stopped on the street to hear about how happy folks are with the easier to navigate, more up-to-date info on the local website.
  • I watch staff members excitedly race to see who can clear out their email inbox of 1,562 messages the fastest, now they know how to label/archive stuff – and laugh when they discover they actually only have 3 things in their “To-Do” folder.
  • In the past month, 3 fundraisers and 2 charity drives were very successful and I received a “Thanks so much for all your help!” missive
  • I was informed the brother of the running-for-Sheriff candidate called, from out of state and said, “Hey! looking over your website – it’s great and it sounds just like you, but I know you suck as a writer – what gives?  How are you doing this?!?”
  • I’ve left behind me a trail of, ‘here’s how I streamlined myself out of this job” and “here’s how to do this” missives in neat, little organized training binders over the last 20 years…that I’m sometimes contacted for the original digital copy, because they are ready to go ‘paperless’ now…and lost their copy – or screwed up the Table of Contents formatting –

All I have to be is good enough, for what is needed, now and either know how or can do faster than someone else who needed it done yesterday.

I learn more, gain more experience, try out new things – every day –

Does that make me an expert in the eyes of the world?

No, but it fills a need, that people pay for, just the same.

Back to the Original Point

I consider myself part of the self-published author community – whether others think so or not – so, it’s my job to support the community:

  • I’ll brave the sighs, eye-rolls, etc., and continue on attempting to educate others who are holding on to old/misinformed opinions.
  • I purchase self-published works all the time – and don’t whine and cry when I ended up with a stinker – I have a change jar if I need it before the end of the month.
  • I support the independent business community whenever I can, however I can – through purchasing, blogging about, linking to, or introducing two folks I think might be just what the other one needs to each other.

So there ya go – what are you waiting for?

Is the cover you designed for your book better than your story?

Offer to ramp up the awful cover of that indie author you love in exchange for some feedback on how to fix your innards –

Inform your book club buddies that what the visiting author said regarding, “You have to have a publisher” isn’t really true – introduce them to the wonderful grassroots world of the self-published community and why it’s oh-so-much-better.

Start calling your local Library Reference section, once a week, for information on how to self-publish – or about the tools to do so –  or to locate a copy of your favorite Indie Author’s latest book –  just put a weekly reminder in, say Wednesdays, at 9am – have your kid, your best friend and your mom pick another day/time of the week.

Guaranteed, it won’t take long before that librarian is saying at the monthly staff meeting,

“You know – I really think we need to start investigating this self-publishing thingee – I’ve gotten over 150 calls, just this past week – it’s a real and growing need in the community”

The library world may be suffering some growing pains while emerging from stuffiness – BUT they are all about meeting community needs….

It’s a #1 item in their mission statement – 🙂

And who do you think is trying to find their way past what the Big Boys want to charge them for offering an eBook section for their patrons?

Your local library is your best friend – and you are theirs – even if they don’t know it yet…

While you’re at it, take one of your wholesale-cost-to-you copies of your book down to your local library, find out which librarian is in charge of the book club that is relevant to you/your topic/your experience and offer to do a ‘Guest Local Author’ visit, at their convenience – and donate a copy of your book to their collection.

(Don’t forget to include your local School Librarian either, if your genre fits their collection – They love to stock their shelves despite having a small budget AND have local guests who share how it’s done)

🙂

Let’s See…What Else….

Oh yes, we’re just going to side-step the whole corrupted self-published label all together –

Kneel Down –

Yes, it’s a sword, don’t worry, it’s not a real one….

“For your service to the writing and reading realm, I bestow upon you the title,

Sir/Lady Indie Author”

What are you waiting for?

Check out the original post “Go Ahead – Take a Chance on a Self-Published Author” and then,

Don’t you have a call/trip to the library on your to-do list?

Acknowledgements: This post inspired by Indie Author Francis Guenette

And What do You Think?

I’m buried in finishing Inheritances.   The 12 or more hour long writing days may be getting to me.

The “print button” for beta reader benefit has not been yet pushed as I re-read the entire manuscript and realize things I thought I had included, I had actually written on my blog or in my journal – and had not included in the ever-growing manuscript.

As ever more information is being added, I’m starting to have niggles of self-doubt –

For you see, the original manuscript contained short journal entries, to set the stage for the sharing of what I’ve discovered during my journey of grieving.    As I add items, I’m finding it necessary to include some of the longer journal entries, to adequately portray my perspective at the time, or the coping choices I was making, in order for the following text to have any, well, context.

My niggling of doubt inner critic is going something like this:

“Who would want to read this?   People are looking for options and answers, not just another sob story.”

And so, I ask you, dear WordPress Community, what do you prefer?   Do you like knowing what’s really going on behind the scenes, or would you rather just hear about the lessons learned and the gifts received without the personal stories these realizations were borne in?

Thanks for any/all suggestions, opinions and “Stop procrastinating and finish the damn thing, already” comments, in advance!

😀

Perfectionism, Procrastination and WTH

This past spring and summer brought me experiences I felt deserved inclusion in my book, Inheritances, and my recent illness has placed me in front of my computer more hours than time spent outdoors on landscaping activities.  October 1st was to be end of landscaping/gardening and the beginning of writing, reading, website and crafts season.

I’m ahead of schedule, it seems.

I admit to being stuck.   As I add the new thoughts to the existing manuscript – I re-read the old and think, “Why on earth did I think this book needed published?”

A question I’ve asked a thousand times over the past 7 years.

**********

My years spent as a so-called efficiency expert (my real job was to find efficient ways to collect and disseminate data – a database builder with a glorified title) taught me one huge and important lesson:

I have monumental issues with ‘Scope Slippage.”

If you’re not familiar with this term, I’ll give you an example:

“Tamrah, go on over to Unit D and fix them up with a tool to more efficiently report on what they do.”

An hour or three days pass

“So, Tamrah, how’s it going?  Any idea on when you’ll have them up and running?”

“Yes, most likely next week.  However, I have discovered that Units A, B & C actually have already collected 97% of the data that Unit D is responsible for reporting – they are not collecting their data in a manner that is easy to share, so I’m building their tools, so they can electronically share the data with Unit D and all they’ll then need is a way to add their two cents to the data.”

“Fabulous, keep me posted.”

Another hour or week passes

“Tamrah, where are we at on the tool for Unit D?”

“Coming along nicely – I found out that if we added in a couple of fields to collect a few other stats, we could greatly cut down on the work needing to be performed by Units F, H & I.   I’m implementing that and building the tool to receive the data for the affected Units.  We should be ready to go by next week.”

Twenty minutes later, in the bosses office

“Honestly, Richard, the whole damn show, Unit A through Unit ZZ needs to all be in one grande database.   I can map the entire thing for you and it is the most efficient way to approach this – the $$ saved will ginormous and with cooperation, it can be built quickly.”

“Sure, I hear you.  But there is not budget for that and, can you please, please, just build the tool for Unit D?”

This example is what some people dub perfectionism – enough never being enough.

Or procrastination – finding something new to do to avoid doing something you already signed up for.

I dub it the height of laziness – why do something twice or multiple times, when, with a little thought, planning and up-front work, you can save hours of labor later?  I know how to track Return on Investment – I can spend hours on designing something that will be easy to maintain, later….if I ever finish it…

**********

Inheritances started as a way to communicate the gifts we receive when a loved one is terminally ill.   The blessing of knowing time is limited and grabbing all the time we can, while we can.   I started writing it as my dad battled first lung, then brain cancer.

It was a small project and quickly completed.   Then my oldest son died. Quickly and unexpectedly from bacterial meningitis.

And I thought about how different the grieving process was for me between the two.  And added those thoughts to the manuscript.

Then my marriage and financial health started slipping away – I lost work, husband and home in a short time – I recognized the signs of grieving and realized how grieving takes place anytime we lose something from our daily routines…

Into the manuscript the ideas, coping mechanisms and gifts went.

Then, feeling as if I had lost nearly everything, I had a stroke and lost much of what I thought of as me.

And though I did not write for more than a year, post-stroke, my brain pondered upon the new lessons I was learning, knowing they, too, must be included.

See?  Scope Slippage.

**********

Nothing in my book is new – people have been grieving ever since we learned to love and form attachments.  We all, to a certain degree, carry the scars of our losses, the wisdom gained from those trials and we trod on, doing the best we can with what we’ve got and where we’re at.  Why on earth would anyone need to read about it?

I spent two hours on the phone recently, with one who is a designated beta reader- who has yet to read a single page of the manuscript.

And another 30 minutes or so today.

We talk often on a myriad of subjects, but quite some time has been spent recently discussing the reasons I’m resisting printing it out and delivering the manuscript for perusal.

I know it is not because of perfectionism – this beta reader happens to be one of the most well-adjusted folks I know, whose opinion of my work, whatever it may be,  I will accept – good or bad.

I have no fear of delivering what I deem to be a final draft and my reader declaring, “worst first draft, outline or idea I’ve ever laid eyes on.”

Not because that may not happen, but because I know I will be enriched by the experience no matter what the verdict.

So scratch fear of criticism, failure or less-than-perfectionism from the list of whys.

**********

I’m well known for my procrastinating ways – I always have a myriad of projects in some stage of completion.   Soon, I will pull out the quilt I started 3 years ago in the attempt to have it ready for Christmas gifting this year.

There are those in my circle who will tell you I never finish what I start.  This is categorically untrue.  I finish everything I start – sometimes decades after I started, and sometimes, finishing is accomplished by, “This project no longer contains any functionality for my happiness nor does it add to my daily routine.  It does not benefit anyone else, and will not detract from anything if let go.  therefore, letting it go is finishing it.”

I am a master at letting go.

To this end, I will admit, I’m not letting go of Inheritances, and cannot see ever doing so, though I’m sure I will go through the entire “Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?” test many more  times before birthing my creation to the public.

And so, procrastination seems a no-go, as well.

**********

The past few years have taught me that if I’m resisting, there is probably a very good reason for doing so.   Case in point, I resisted getting out and pulling weeds from an area this past spring – always finding something else I’d rather be doing, all while the litany of “just get out there and get ‘er done” played through my head.

Thank heavens I did not listen to my own internal nag, for into the weed pile would have gone the seedlings of wild poppies that I would not have recognized as being something I wanted to keep, rather than throw away.

This is just one example in a lifetime of many that have proved waiting (or procrastinating, if you insist) often pays off for me – the deepest troubles I’ve found myself in over the years were the times I pushed to ‘make it happen’ because “I Should” rather than I Must because I simply must.

So here I sit, doing my part by self-analyzing my reasons for resisting hitting the ‘Print’ button and delivering it to another set of eyes.

If I cannot, soon,  come up with a character flaw to explain my resistance, I shall wait, for obviously something else is going on.

Or I might not – maybe I’ll quit editing, print out the pages and deliver them.   Just to see what happens.

Maybe, just maybe, that which is needed to become un-stuck is only a beta read away…