Monday, February 25, 2019

Writing Day

Mary Bowman-Kruhm and I did a writing day yesterday. She had come to visit her daughter in Los Angeles and I drove up to write with her.  
We completely revised our picture book, again. Then went out to dinner at a restaurant on the beach - The Chart House. Wonderful day.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Confession - I am dyslexic

There was a discussion of learning disabilities on Facebook this morning which reminded me of this:

Like quite a few people, I am dyslexic. Slightly. My first grade teacher discovered this when I could NOT spell 'the' correctly. I'd look at the word and write down teh. Nobody had a name for this problem nor did they know how to handle it in the 1950s. So I muddled along.  
Believe it or not, I became a writer and a Librarian.  
Now, imagine this. I look at the catalog to find the Dewey decimal number of the book(s) a patron needs and I write it down. Halfway to the bookshelves, I check the scrap paper where I wrote it and I discover that, of course, I have reversed the numbers. At this point, I fake it. Since by this time I have most of the Dewey areas memorized, I simply keep on heading to the Sports section, or whatever, and find the book for the person. (and make another mental note to self that I really, really need to double-check what I wrote down Before walking the person to the bookshelves.)   
p.s. Spellcheck has saved me many times since it was invented, but there's no spellcheck for Dewey decimal numbers.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

How can you afford to live in southern California?

A friend asked how I could afford to live in southern California.  Here's my answer:
worked full time, wrote part-time, saved every spare penny I could. 
I raised 3 kids, grew food in a half acre garden, shoveled 200 foot five feet wide brick walkway out to the drive way where we had to shovel around 3 cars and shovel room for the cars to back out and shovel the driveway fifteen feet uphill to the road so we could drive out. Oh, and I forgot that we heated with a woodstove for part of the house, so there was all that carrying wood inside and carting ashes outside. The ashes were good to sprinkle on that uphill driveway so that we actually could drive out to the road.
I earned a pension, retired from my job, am now also receiving part of my husband's pension, plus the few pennies that social security gives me. My writing income these days pays for a few weeks of groceries. I eat salad a lot. 
Jobs here pay more, but, as you noticed, expenses are more so yes, my daughters who live here do complain about living expenses.
I also live in a very small condo - two bedrooms - and I use what should be the dining room as my office.
That's how I afford it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Memories of snow storms past:
It was always interesting that I would manage to get to work after a snowstorm - me who lived the farthest away from the branch - and some of those who lived closer never showed up. This happened when I worked at BCPL as well as when I worked for HCPL. 
It was lucky that we librarians at HCPL had been given a bit of clerical training, because the rule was that the branch had to have at least one person with knowledge of basic check-out there before the branch could open. So many times one year it was just Helen Evans and me. We'd take turns working each desk. 
And then there was the branch manager who yelled at me several times about not having a cell phone. (cell phones were new and expensive at that time, and she was the only one that had one) When she called my house, I was either outside shoveling the driveway so that I could get to work, or else I was creeping my way to work over ice or snow. She marked me down for not calling into work to let them -her- know I'd be late. (Sometime thereafter, she was the one who was fired, not me.)

But this year - I suggest you stay home. It seems to be a Snowmageddon year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Happy Chinese New Year

Gong hei fat choy (Cantonese) or Kung Hei Fat Choi
Gong xi fa cai (Mandarin)
or, as I used to say, probably wrongly, in the 1990s -
Gung Ho Fat Hey. 
Congratulations and be prosperous
Anyway - Happy Chinese New Year.
It was the year of the Dog and now begins the year of the pig.
Google has a nice GIF about it, today.

And so does Sandra Boynton.
And here is Simon's Cat's version:

Saturday, February 2, 2019

It's Time

But it's so cold.
Will they even be able to find  PunxsutawneyPhil  under all that snow?

Friday, February 1, 2019

eXtreme cross-overs

My friend, Mary Peterson, calls the picture books in her school library - Everybody Books.  Mostly because a lot of them appeal to all ages. (And here you thought that E in the library catalog and on picture book labels stood for EASY book.)

Now, author Christine Kohler has written a blog post about them.  She calls them
eXtreme cross-overs.
Check out the blog post here.
She says, "The rich illustrations make them like coffee table books."