So We Came to February

I closed out January with five stitches in my thumb (first time getting stitches– first visit to the emergency room). Surely, I can do better in February.

Reading

Sharp object encounters aside, January was a pretty good month. I managed to read quite a bit more1. Listening to the audiobook versions of S&S and MP during commute and workout time helped me take in a little Austen on the days I didn’t have sit-down-and-read time. I’m determined to finish all of Jane Austen’s major novels by the end of this month (I will likely put off reading Northanger Abbey and Lady Susan until a later date). I will keep reading the Pern series (I’m about a quarter of the way into Dragonquest now). I currently have Fables checked out from the library and will start that once I’ve finished Emma. I’ve been poking around for some staple sci-fi titles and have compiled two or three recommendations, which I will probably start in March. Right now I’m reading The Woman in White (via DailyLit RSS, which I just reactivated after a week hiatus), Emma, and Dragonquest. I have good reading variety this month, each title enjoyable in different ways.

And Writing

I hardly blogged in January and I don’t have any creative or academic writing to show for my time off. I was at first excited to see that Laurie Halse Anderson is urging everyone to have a Blog-Free February but then figured that it’s less daunting for me to pop on and ramble a bit here instead of sitting down and composing something formally. So I’m going to take a pass on BFF this year (although BFF would be an awesome pairing with BEDA, if Blog Every Day in April becomes an annual phenomenon). Better to keep all writing channels open. I’m intrigued by the call from LISNews for essays relating to libraries or librarianship. I’ve been recording ideas, links and news items regarding a number of library topics for months but haven’t had the kick in the butt to make something material of it. I don’t have to submit something but writing up a few pieces on different topics might be a good exercise.

And Life

Reassessing finances prompted me taking more part-time work. I rearranged my IU schedule to accommodate additional hours at Avers. Last week was an adjustment period. I was far more worn out after my workout sessions last week but I felt more like myself after yesterday’s session. And, as it was much easier getting up at 5:30 this morning than it was last week, I think my body is finally realizing that I’m not shorting it on sleep (I started going to bed earlier but, for whatever reason, I still felt exhausted when the alarm went off). This week (and possibly next) will be the test: getting up a 5:30, working at the library, working an additional 20 some hours at Avers, and maintaining my current workout and diet routine. We’ll see how it goes.

Once I’m sure that I’m in possession of the proper quantities of sleep, calories, and sanity, I will start focusing on weight loss again. I plateaued in January, in spite of continued diet and exercise. I’m honestly not discouraged that I haven’t kept losing. If nothing else, this proves that I can maintain a goal weight if I stick to the habits I’ve relearned.

Right. Now that I’ve gotten that housekeeping post of out my system, on to more interesting thngs.


1. Books read in January:

  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Those Left Behind (Serenity ; v. 1) by Joss Whedon

200

Puddles is 200- posts that is, quite young by web standards. A babe!

When I realized that the 200th post loomed near, I wondered how best to usher in the terrible two’s. A retrospective? Ugh, lame, that’s what archives are for. An introspective account of the usefulness of blogs as self-therapy? Gag. Cake? Candles? No, I’m going to let this one slip quietly by. Let this post be merely a milestone.

Happy 200th PIP.

BEDA Wrap-up

My final BEDA. I have to say I’m glad it’s over. I like the exercise of writing every day but I do not like the idea of having to PUBLISH these daily scribbles for the world to see. My writing this month has been crap. I’m not capable of being ‘on’ all of the time. I’m sure you can flip through posts and tell when I am writing passionately about a topic. I write better. It’s interesting. If I’m not interested in what I’m writing, there is no way in hell anyone else will be.

From a content standpoint, BEDA was a fail. Meh. However, I’ve gotten very good at banging out posts. It doesn’t take me nearly as long as it did before- it takes me about half of the time it used to take. The increased expediency in blogging has probably been the biggest gain for me. On the other hand, I know that this rush to get something- ANYTHING- blogged before midnight has bombed the quality of writing. I guess there’s a give and take there.

Another positive (or negative, if looked at another way) result from BEDA is that I’m reevaluating the focus of Puddles. Am I writing for me? My family? Friends? Colleagues? Complete strangers? I previously pondered whether or not I needed a professional blog for all of my library-related ramblings. On the other hand, a dedicated library blog probably won’t be updated as often. Besides, taking on a professional blog means providing content that is useful. Most of the time, I’m merely blathering on about a problem or something that’s bugging me. My library-focused posts are rarely researched in depth. Some aren’t even thought through very well- they may be rants. I think if I had the added pressure, I would end up avoiding posting to a Library blog altogether.

At any rate, I’m thankful for the BEDA experience. Writing a little everyday is something to strive for but I certainly won’t be publishing EVERYTHING, like I had to for BEDA. I also learned that yes, I can take 45 minutes out of every day to write.  It’s not impossible like I previously thought. It just took a kick in the ass. Thanks Maureen!

Stop and Smell the Flowers

If the announcement that I will be starting a new position didn’t tip you off, you might be able to deduce as much from my sudden rash of library-related posts. Over the last two weeks, my brain has been switched into overdrive. This is all well and good but I’m beginning to think that maybe these library-related posts belong somewhere else. I am really, REALLY hesitant to ask Tim to do yet ANOTHER WP install. I know that he says it’s easy but I am aware that I’m eating up resources. On the other hand, I’m afraid that I’m boring people with shop talk. Puddles was always meant to be a personal blog. I’ll think on this a bit more. In the meantime, even though I have tons of libraries thoughts at this very moment, I’m holding off and providing you, dear reader, with something truer to Puddles posts of past (hows THAT for alliteration).

First, the weather was AMAZING today. So beautiful. I decided that the hibiscus I recently bought could tolerate the 15 minute walk to the bus so I schlepped it into work. The hibiscus is currently in a 6″ pot and is quite bushy. The roots may be a bit compacted though, as the plant looks like it is pushing itself out of the pot a little. I have a 10″ (maybe 12″?) pot to transfer it to. In addition, I bought a pair of still-small bougainvillea on Monday at May’s Greenhouse. Tim was very nice to humor me for this excursion. For a moment, I could see that he was very tempted to walk out of there with a $100+ bonsai : ). I will have to snap some pictures. Both plants are blooming (the hibiscus is red, the bougainvillea is orange) and I *think* the artificial light at my desk will suit them. If not, I’m fairly certain they will like my new south-facing window desk, which I’ll probably move into next week.

In other news, Russell just started rehearsals on Duck Soup for the Merry MAC Players of Martinsville. I often blame Russell for evening distractions that prevent me from getting things done. Even though it’s really not his fault. Well, now I don’t have that excuse. I should look at budgeting my evenings better.

BEDA 01: A Beginning of Sorts

Today marks the beginning of BEDA, Blog Every Day April, spearheaded by YA author Maureen Johnson (#BEDA for those following along on Twitter). I’m join in, seeing as I’ve been terrible about blogging consistently. Can’t promise where my post will appear (I’m primary author on two blogs and an admin on three others), but I will try to pump out one post each day on one of these blogs. The easiest way to follow along is by following me on Twitter, where I’ll post links to my #BEDA posts. If you don’t want to join Twitter, you can follow my account using RSS (see my posts here and here for more info on RSS).

Here. We. Go.

Regency Era Zombie Hordes

Elizabeth lifted her skirt, disregarding modesty, and delivered a swift kick to the creature’s head.
Elizabeth lifted her skirt, disregarding modesty, and delivered a swift kick to the creature’s head.

The previously blogged about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is due out… nowish. I’ve seen different release dates but Amazon is reporting that they’ll have more in-stock on April 6th.  Here is a sampling of the first three chapters of the novel.

I like what I’ve read from the preview. I may need to keep a copy of Austen’s work handy while I read this. I’m curious to see how much Grahame-Smith embellishes (or not, as one reviewer complained) Austen’s original. It’d be nice if he tweaked the language in between the Zombie. Mayhen. Scenes. Hey, if you’re going to frell with a classic you might as well DO it.

I read a rumor that the publisher, Quirk Books, is considering similar adaptations of public domain works. I’m now considering other classic mash-ups I’d like to see. I’m also seriously considering trying my hand at one as a writing exercise. Oh the possibilities… A short story would be a reasonable length. I’m afraid I’d never find time to finish a novel length adaptation. Hmm…

Post from Pan

Testing WordPress for iPhone app. I can post to multiple blogs either on or offline with my iTouch (Pan). There doesn’t appear to be a way to include hyperlinked text, so I’ll write out the HTML here. Ah, the app saw that I was inputting a link and gave me a helper. It appears that it supports some HTML.

I’m trying this out with a saved photo. There doesn’t appear to be a way to format the photo or add a caption or alt tag. I’ve left the default ‘resize’ photo option on, to see what that does.

A lot of the bells and whistles that make WordPress really fun to use are missing but, for quick on-the-go blogging, this seems like a very capable tool.