157. On the Newbery Ballot!

I’m on the ballot to be on the 2019 Newbery Committee!

And you know what? However it turns out, that’s a very cool thing!

I was on the ballot three years ago, and missed the cut-off by 15 votes. But I’m glad now that I’ve tried again.

I was thinking of things in my life that I didn’t get the first time I tried. It took me three tries to get accepted to the William Morris Book Evaluation Seminar in 2012. It took me three tries to get to be a Cybils judge. And I applied for a job I didn’t get before I got chosen to work for Fairfax County Public Library.

I really hope it won’t take me three tries to get on the Newbery committee. I hope it will only take two tries.

But I’m happy about the possibility. And I’m happy that I tried for it again.

And honestly? This is a better time in my life. Being on the Newbery Committee, when you really need to spend every spare minute reading — for a year — would make having an Empty Nest an asset rather than something to be sad about. (Though I for one won’t mind if Murphy’s Law kicks in and I meet someone first. But if I don’t, my life will be easier.)

And did I mention I’m happy for the possibility? It just cheers me up if I start feeling down… for any reason at all.

148. Library Programs

I didn’t post about it at the time, but last week I did two new library programs, and they went great! And that just makes me happy. First, we did a Computer Deconstruction program — kids took apart computers and other electronics. We’d done this before — but under the auspices of TechShop. Except for the last time, when they didn’t show up as scheduled. So this time, we ran it ourselves. We collected the electronics and bought some tiny screwdrivers and went at it! The kids had a great time!

The next day, we did our first Breakout EDU program — We’d bought a set of locks and a box, and looked on their website for an escape room type program to do with them. We did “Attack of the Locks” with a Star Wars theme. We let in a lot of kids — and they had a great time.

And I was so happy to get to bring these great programs to the kids.

134. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Spokesperson!

I’m on TV!

On Monday, I was holding a kick-off for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, and our local station, Channel 16, wanted to do a feature, since it’s a new initiative for the library system.

I was nervous about it.  I was making up the program.  I thought I’d read a couple books, then sign the parents up while the others read to their kids or the kids played with toys.  But I wasn’t absolutely sure that was going to work.

On Sunday, I was reading in Champagne for the Soul, by Mike Mason, and I read the sentence, “What are you allowing to get between you and your joy?” I immediately thought how I was stressed out about the program the next day.

And then I thought, Why not just enjoy it?  Why should I be stressed?  I know it won’t go perfectly smoothly, and I know I will stumble over my words in spots or think of better things I could have said.  And I am truly excited about this program, encouraging parents to read with their kids.  So it’s not a stretch at all to enjoy it.

What I didn’t realize — I’d have a professional editor preparing the clip.  Yes, I stumbled over my words.  Yes, it took several times of them asking me questions.  But in the finished version, all that’s taken out, and it sounds like I know what I’m talking about!  Best of all, they did a great job filming the kids and parents in the program more than filming me.

I’m very happy with how this turned out, and so happy to be a spokesperson for such a great program!

129. Reading on Waterside Inn’s Balcony


I’m on a Personal Reading Retreat!

When I found out I get to be a Cybils judge this year for Young Adult Speculative Fiction, I was daunted by all the reading I’m going to need to do.  When I talked with my coworkers about it, it occurred to me that I should just get *away* and read.

So — I booked two nights at Waterside Inn in Chincoteague!  And I took Monday off work.  It did take me 4 hours to get here, but I listened to an audiobook on the way.

But now the plan is to read and read and read.

I got here just in time to see the sun going down from the balcony.  There’s a view of the bay, and it’s going to be a perfect place to read!

I’m going to try to finish my first book tonight.

But what a lovely place to do it!

128. Reading on my Balcony

Okay, I’m blessed because I get to read!  I’m going to be repeating that for a bit.

I did notice that now I really <em>need</em> to read — the danger is that it becomes a chore and I start getting stressed out about getting it done.

So this weekend I reminded myself that I so love doing this!

And I finished a 600-page book and read most of that book out on my balcony on a glorious weekend.

This is the life!  I am blessed.

127. My Own Personal 48-Hour Book Challenge

This weekend started for me last Thursday.  I had two days off, then worked a day, then had two days off.  (This was because I worked 6 days in a row the previous week.)  So — I scheduled my own personal 48-Hour Book Challenge.  I managed to read and blog for 31 hours and 40 minutes out of the 48!  And it was just a lovely thing to do!

I got a great head start on Cybils judging.  And I had a lovely time.

125. Becky’s Visit!

My sister Becky visited this past weekend, at the end of a conference she attended in DC.

We had dinner together, she went to church with me, we roamed around DC, and then roamed around Manassas Battlefield Park.

And did lots and lots of talking.

I’m so blessed to have my sister — and so blessed to have a chance to spend time with her.

124. A Cybils Judge!

Hooray!  I’m a first round judge for the Cybil Awards in the category of Young Adult Speculative Fiction!

I’ve been a Cybils judge four times before, but this is the first time for this category.  I’ve done Middle Grade Speculative Fiction and Fiction Picture Books.  This will be a LOT of reading!

The cool thing about that:  For three months, I need to feel guilty when I’m not reading instead of the other way around!

Another cool thing:  This is going to be much easier since I’m single and have an Empty Nest.  So it’s a *good* thing about those two things!  Yay!