Thursday, March 31, 2011

As I try to figure out where this blog's going to go... I've had the desire to blog regularly for a while again, but the problem is, where do I want this to go? I've been learning so much at school that I'd love to share and mull over here, in my little corner of the Internet. I still knit and miss sharing my WIPs with the few knitters that found their way over here (and alas, have probably given up on me by now). I love talking books - and since I'm about to start finally taking my kids' lit courses, this would be a good place to do it. And I love sharing news about my family, the original reason for creating this blog, but it would seem that I'm doing that over at Facebook. So where do I go? Do I keep on posting whatever enters my head at the time, and risk continuing to keep a scattershot blog? Or do I take this blog into a new direction and make it more in line for my career, where I can actually share links that I post with people in the profession and try to make a name for myself in the industry that I'd like to be part of one day? Facebook has been great for getting little stream of consciousness posts out there, and that's why I've ended up neglecting my poor little blog. Facebook just makes it so easy. But I do miss writing, which I can do at length here. In the meantime, I've been reading. Mostly for school, but I just reviewed a book for the clubs called The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma that is one of the best books I've read for the clubs yet. There's some Jack the Ripper, some H.G. Wells, some dubious time travel, and a storyline that's all over Victorian England and possibly, the 20th century - but you have to read it and find out for yourself. The narrator is great fun to read - you can see his shadowy figure sitting in a Queen Anne chair, tongue firmly planted in cheek as he guides you through the maze of time created in the book. I loved it and want to read more by him. Interestingly, I read one review that compared it to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, which I've been interested in reading (oh yes, it's joined "the night table pile"). Speaking of books, it's gotten so bad. Working in publishing is a blessing and a curse, especially when you work for a publisher that publishes TOO many good books. Bloomsbury publishes both kids' and adults' books, and since my desired field is kids' and tween lit, I'm in overload mode. Books to the left of me... books to the right of me... books in front of me... and with all the work I have for school this semester, it's like starving in a supermarket. More reviews to come as I read them. Sneak preview: I'm sneaking in time with This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Will Save the World by Marilyn Johnson. I quoted the author in my first grad school paper, back when this book was "coming out in 2010", so I had to get it. It's a good read so far, but I've had to renew it since I've only been able to get the first chapter down. More to come when I finish it. I was about to start talking about articles I've read for school, but I've got to work out. It's 11:25 and I cannot go to bed another night having gone back on my promise to drop at least 8 more pounds by Cutie's Communion. I was on a great ride for a while, but laziness, stress and another back incident sidelined me. My pants are comfortable again - they were loose. I can't go back now, this is the most progress I've seen since 2005. So off to the yoga mat I go. More to come.

Monday, March 28, 2011

In Which I Delve Further Into Tech-Nerddom. I've been enjoying Trendy Topics conferences lately. They're virtual conferences on using technology in libraries, and my SJSU student status allows me to attend for free. I've been learning so much from these panels and come away fired up to do something, anything, right now. It's so exciting to be this passionate about my soon-to-be career. Tonight, I finally sat in on the QR Codes conference - Quick Review codes, the little black and white pixelated cubes you see all over the place these days? You download an app, usually free, use your phone's camera to snap a pic, and if you have the proper app downloaded, you'll likely see anything from a company website to a trailer to a link to a video tutorial. By the end of the second panel, I'd downloaded six additional apps - I'd already had one on my phone when I wanted to see a Target ad about a month ago - and made my own QR code. Sadly, JumpScan isn't available for BlackBerry just yet, but for those of you who do have JumpScan, I present... me: I'll add more to the profile as I get more comfortable with the whole code process, but for now, it's a fun start.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Still here, honest!

I'm really trying to figure out the focus that I want for this blog and for my Twitter feed, so bear with me while I work it all out. And if you have any suggestions, please feel free to post them.

I sat in on a really interesting colloquia on making the most of my American Library Association membership the other day. When I started grad school, I joined the ALA figuring it would be the thing to do, only to let my membership lapse a year later because really, all I did was receive the magazine. I thought maybe it was too premature. I see now, with about a year and a half left to school, that associations are exactly what I need right now. I need to start getting involved and getting my name out there, and councils are the way to start. Dr. Haycock, the recently retired director of the SJSU SLIS program, talked about editing papers we'd written and submitting them for publication - so I'm definitely going to look into that.

I've started following more people on Twitter, and checking into it more often, to seew what's going on. I want to be more active on Twitter myself, but I'm still not sure, other than retweeting cool links that I see other people put up, what I should be Tweeting about. So I need some help there.

The semester is as hectic as I expected, but I am enjoying the classes. Historical Research is letting me finally enjoy the history classes I wanted to take as an undergrad but was too afraid that I wasn't smart enough to keep up with. I'm doing my research project on the Five Points area of New York (think Gangs of New York) - I know, right? Not Medieval England! I've got an annotated bibliography coming up due, and I feel fairly confident about it. What I've got the shakes over, though, is the historiographical essay that my professor suggests be 10,000 words. I swear I was hoping he'd added an extra zero, but no. In two weeks? Gulp.