You are viewing lectitans

< back | 0 - 20 |  
Kimberly [userpic]

Migrating to WordPress...

January 28th, 2011 (12:39 pm)

LiveJournal isn't really doing the things I want it to anymore, so I'm moving lectitans to a new home.

You can now find me at:
http://lectitans.kimberlyhirsh.com

You can subscribe to the new lectitans feed at:
http://lectitans.kimberlyhirsh.com/feed/

I won't be deleting this LiveJournal, but I have moved my old posts over there for the sake of continuity.  See you later!

Kimberly [userpic]

Books read in 2010

January 17th, 2011 (02:03 pm)

 1. Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1, Brian Lynch
2. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
3. Hooked on Murder, Betty Hechtman
4. That Was Then, This Is Now, S. E. Hinton
5. Rumblefish, S. E. Hinton
6. Tex, S. E. Hinton
7. Vampire Kisses, Ellen Schreiber
8. Brazen Careerist, Penelope Trunk
9. Emma, Jane Austen (Audiobook, re-read)
10. The Ghost Belonged to Me, Richard Peck
11. Are You in the House Alone? Richard Peck
12. Just a Minute! A Trickster Tale and Counting Book, Yuyi Morales
13. Chidi Only Likes Blue: An African Book of Colors, Ifeoma Onyefulu
14. Superhero ABC, Bob McLeod
15. Black Cat, Christopher Myers
16. Going North, Janice N. Harrington
17. Heat Wave, Richard Castle
18. Stan Lee: Creator of Spider-Man, Raymond H. Miller
19. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
20. Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, Kazu Kibuishi
21. Magic Knight Rayearth, Vol. 1, CLAMP.
22. Food Matters, Mark Bittman
22. Feathers, Jacqueline Woodson
23. Which Way Freedom? Joyce Hansen
24. She's All That! Poems About Girls, Belinda Hollyer (selector)
25. Creature Carnival, Marilyn Singer
26. Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, Marilyn Singer
27. Wind of a Thousand Tales, John Glore
28. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (begun in 2009)
29. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
30. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
31. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
32. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
33. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
34. Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky, Elphinstone Dayrell
35. We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success, Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, with Sharon Draper
36. Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith, Deborah Heiligman
37. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen (audibook; re-read)
38. Coraline, Neil Gaiman (graphic novel version)
39. Persuasion, Jane Austen (audiobook)
40. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen (audiobook)
41. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (audiobook, re-read)
42. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen (audiobook)
43. The Castle of Otranto, Horace Walpole

Kimberly [userpic]

Homeschool Giveaway: Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis

January 11th, 2011 (09:07 am)
Tags:

Author and blogger Tanita S. Davis has set up a contest exclusively for homeschoolers to win a copy of her book, Mare's War. Check it out!

Kimberly [userpic]

Alt History/Steampunk Cover Design Contest

November 12th, 2010 (07:04 pm)

Have you ever found that the cover of a book grossly misrepresented its contents, and that this misrepresentation seemed to keep the book from finding what would otherwise be its natural audience?  A bunch of bloggers have, which is why over at Bookshelves of Doom, Leila is sponsoring a cover design contest for Jenny Davidson's, Ysabeau Wilce's, and D. M. Cornish's works, all of which fit in this category.

Go check it out - you could win books!

The contest is part of a larger multi-blog celebration of overlooked and/or misrepresented alternate history and steampunk books which will take place the week of December 13th.  Keep an eye out for more info as that week gets closer!

Kimberly [userpic]

Books Read in 2010

November 11th, 2010 (02:22 pm)

1. Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1, Brian Lynch
2. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
3. Hooked on Murder, Betty Hechtman
4. That Was Then, This Is Now, S. E. Hinton
5. Rumblefish, S. E. Hinton
6. Tex, S. E. Hinton
7. Vampire Kisses, Ellen Schreiber
8. Brazen Careerist, Penelope Trunk
9. Emma, Jane Austen (Audiobook, re-read)
10. The Ghost Belonged to Me, Richard Peck
11. Are You in the House Alone?  Richard Peck
12. Just a Minute! A Trickster Tale and Counting Book, Yuyi Morales
13. Chidi Only Likes Blue: An African Book of Colors, Ifeoma Onyefulu
14. Superhero ABC, Bob McLeod
15. Black Cat, Christopher Myers
16. Going North, Janice N. Harrington
17. Heat Wave, Richard Castle
18. Stan Lee: Creator of Spider-Man, Raymond H. Miller
19. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
20. Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, Kazu Kibuishi
21. Magic Knight Rayearth, Vol. 1, CLAMP.
22. Food Matters, Mark Bittman
22. Feathers, Jacqueline Woodson
23. Which Way Freedom? Joyce Hansen
24. She's All That!  Poems About Girls, Belinda Hollyer (selector)
25. Creature Carnival, Marilyn Singer
26. Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, Marilyn Singer
27. Wind of a Thousand Tales, John Glore
28. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (begun in 2009)
29. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
30. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
31. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
32. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
33. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
34. Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky, Elphinstone Dayrell
35. We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success, Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, with Sharon Draper
36. Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith, Deborah Heiligman
37. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen (audibook; re-read)
38. Coraline, Neil Gaiman (graphic novel version)
39. Persuasion, Jane Austen (audiobook)
40. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen (audiobook)

Kimberly [userpic]

Non-fiction Monday Book Review: Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts

November 8th, 2010 (07:43 am)



This review was written for my children's literature class, so it addresses some concerns from a more professional perspective than many of my earlier reviews have.

Colman, P. (1997). Corpses, coffins, and crypts: A history of burial. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts demystifies a process which many children encounter for the first time in late elementary school: what happens to the body after a person dies. Penny Colman is an award-winning author of children’s non-fiction; while she is not an expert on burial practices, she is an expert on researching and presenting information.

This book, which will have a natural pull for spooky kids such as myself, is very straightforward in its approach. Colman first defines death and explains what exactly happens upon death. She then discusses various possibilities for what happens to a corpse, including medical uses, embalming, and creation. Next she discusses different containment options: urns, coffins, crypts, and mausoleums. She goes on to describe burial sites and celebrations, finishing with a discussion of death as portrayed in the arts and everyday life.

The book’s intended audience is readers age 9 - 12, although School Library Journal recommends it for grades 6 and up. I think it would appeal to an advanced 4th or 5th grader. The text is very clear. Colman frames her discussions of history and science with stories of her own experiences with death and those of her friends and acquaintances. This keeps the subject from being sterile, but does not sentimentalize. Colman draws on many disciplines, including anthropology and archaeology. Her information comes from a variety of sources, some as old as the Roman historian Herodotus and others as current as her own interviews with morticians. Images include photographs of burial sites and reproductions of paintings and engravings dealing with death. All of the images are in black and white. In most non-fiction texts I would consider this a detractor, but here I think the monochrome images suit the book’s somber subject matter.

The text provides both finding aids and additional material. A table of contents, chronology of burial customs, glossary, bibliography, and index are provided. Colman also includes a gazetteer of burial sites of famous people, a collection of interesting epitaphs, and an explanation of the symbolism of images commonly carved on gravestones.

Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts illuminates the burial process and illustrates how it is a common part of every person’s life. It is an interesting, warm, and respectful examination of customs across time. It may not appeal to a broad audience of middle grade readers, but it will interest and entertain some and comfort others.

Kimberly [userpic]

Books Read in 2010

October 14th, 2010 (05:03 pm)

1. Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1, Brian Lynch
2. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
3. Hooked on Murder, Betty Hechtman
4. That Was Then, This Is Now, S. E. Hinton
5. Rumblefish, S. E. Hinton
6. Tex, S. E. Hinton
7. Vampire Kisses, Ellen Schreiber
8. Brazen Careerist, Penelope Trunk
9. Emma, Jane Austen (Audiobook, re-read)
10. The Ghost Belonged to Me, Richard Peck
11. Are You in the House Alone?  Richard Peck
12. Just a Minute! A Trickster Tale and Counting Book, Yuyi Morales
13. Chidi Only Likes Blue: An African Book of Colors, Ifeoma Onyefulu
14. Superhero ABC, Bob McLeod
15. Black Cat, Christopher Myers
16. Going North, Janice N. Harrington
17. Heat Wave, Richard Castle
18. Stan Lee: Creator of Spider-Man, Raymond H. Miller
19. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
20. Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, Kazu Kibuishi
21. Magic Knight Rayearth, Vol. 1, CLAMP.
22. Food Matters, Mark Bittman
22. Feathers, Jacqueline Woodson
23. Which Way Freedom? Joyce Hansen
24. She's All That!  Poems About Girls, Belinda Hollyer (selector)
25. Creature Carnival, Marilyn Singer
26. Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, Marilyn Singer
27. Wind of a Thousand Tales, John Glore
28. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (begun in 2009)
29. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
30. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
31. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
32. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
33. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
34. Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky, Elphinstone Dayrell
35. We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success, Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, with Sharon Draper
36. Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith, Deborah Heiligman

Kimberly [userpic]

Book Review: Tales of the Cryptids

September 4th, 2010 (04:24 pm)

This review was written for my children's literature class, so it addresses some concerns from a more professional perspective than many of my earlier reviews have.

Halls, K. M., Spears, R. & Young, R. (2006). Tales of the cryptids: Mysterious creatures that may or may not exist. Plain City, OH: Darby Creek Publishing.

This book caught my eye with its clever title. When I pulled it down from the shelf, its cover, cleverly designed to mimic a sideshow advertisement, drew me in even further. Despite its whimsical appearance, the text contains a good bit of information about how science is used to prove or disprove the existence of mysterious creatures.

The authors of Tales of the Cryptids have no special experience that qualifies them to write on this topic; it is an area of personal interest for each of them. To supplement their own knowledge from personal studies, they have interviewed cryptozoologists, primatologists, paleoanthropologists, and geneticists. Because cryptozoology inherently studies creatures whose existence is difficult to prove, it’s hard to evaluate the factual accuracy of the text. An important part of the book is that the authors emphasize this very dilemma; they go to great lengths to explain that some of these animals have been proven hoaxes, some may or may not be real, and a very few have actually been proven to exist. The authors focus on the importance of scientific inquiry, describing the need for DNA, blood, and bone evidence to prove the existence of many of these creatures.

The book is designed to inform, entertain, and teach critical thinking. It states, “We hope you’ll have moments of doubt and wonder as you read over this book, because that’s the reaction any smart reader should have to a book of unsolved mysteries” (5). It lists its audience as readers ages 11 and up, but I believe it is accessible to readers as young as 8 or 9. It covers several different types of cryptids, presenting reports from both believers and skeptics. The book may inspire readers to take on their own inquiry process while trying to solve mysteries.

Information in the book is presented clearly, divided by type of creature (Bigfoot, sea monster, prehistoric, mammal). Each type of creature is introduced by a brief narrative passage which invites the reader to imagine she has encountered the creature herself. Each section has several subsections. Content includes profiles of specific cryptids, explanations of possible evidence, and interviews with scientists and with artists who portray these creatures in various media. Illustrated maps indicate names of similar cryptids in different regions. Illustrations consist of photos, sketches, and maps. The book includes a table of contents, a “cryptidictionary” which describes different cryptids and provides a “reaity index” indicating whether they are more likely to be a hoax or real, a bibliography, specific citations for interviews including locations and dates, a list of related websites, and an index.

Tales of the Cryptids discusses a high interest subject while maintaining the importance of scientific inquiry. Its structure, illustrations, thoroughness, finding aids, and extensive proof of careful research make it an excellent nonfiction book for readers in the middle grades.

Kimberly [userpic]

Book Review: Stan Lee

August 24th, 2010 (10:09 am)

This review was written for my children's literature class, so it addresses some concerns from a more professional perspective than many of my earlier reviews have.

Miller, R. H. (2006). Stan Lee: Creator of Spider-Man. Farmington Hills, MI: KidHaven Press.

Stan Lee: Creator of Spider-Man is part of the KidHaven Press Inventors and Creators series, a series which introduces the lives of famous people to middle grade readers (Grades 4 - 8). The author, Raymond H. Miller, has written over 50 children’s nonfiction titles on various topics. While he is not an accredited Stan Lee expert, his experience in writing this type of book lends him some authority. The text, published in 2006, covers Stan Lee’s life from his birth until the 2000s, with up-to-date information about his current work. It focuses primarily on his career; sections about his childhood slant heavily towards how his childhood experiences influenced that career.

The book is clearly designed to provide an introduction to the life of one of the most famous writers in the history of comic books. The text is not overly complex, but it is not so simplistic as to bore or insult the intelligence of its intended audience. It does not present differing perspectives on Stan Lee’s life; it does, however, report conflicts objectively, simply stating the facts of situations like Lee’s lawsuit against Marvel rather than taking one side or the other in these matters.

The structure of the book is chronological; chapter titles and subtitles break up the text but do not reveal a great deal about the content that follows them. The book includes extensive reference aids, including a table of contents, a glossary, an index, endnotes which provide citations for quotes used in the text, a page of “For Further Exploration” recommendations, and photo credits. These serve as excellent examples for readers if they need to write biographical texts themselves.

Illustrations include photographs of Stan Lee in various situations, images of his influences (such as William Shakespeare) and experiences (such as chess, ping pong, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor), and scenes from movies based on his films. These are colorful with clear captions which add to the text’s meaning. There is one confusing illustration, a combined map of Manhattan Island and timeline which features characters from Stan Lee’s comic books. The text on this image, in comic-style bursts, is arranged in no discernible order.

Overall, this book is well-suited to its audience and purpose. The text is clear, the presentation is attractive, and it is a fine example of well-researched non-fiction.

Kimberly [userpic]

Books Read in 2010

August 12th, 2010 (10:31 am)

1. Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1, Brian Lynch
2. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
3. Hooked on Murder, Betty Hechtman
4. That Was Then, This Is Now, S. E. Hinton
5. Rumblefish, S. E. Hinton
6. Tex, S. E. Hinton
7. Vampire Kisses, Ellen Schreiber
8. Brazen Careerist, Penelope Trunk
9. Emma, Jane Austen (Audiobook, re-read)
10. The Ghost Belonged to Me, Richard Peck
11. Are You in the House Alone?  Richard Peck
12. Just a Minute! A Trickster Tale and Counting Book, Yuyi Morales
13. Chidi Only Likes Blue: An African Book of Colors, Ifeoma Onyefulu
14. Superhero ABC, Bob McLeod
15. Black Cat, Christopher Myers
16. Going North, Janice N. Harrington
17. Heat Wave, Richard Castle
18. Stan Lee: Creator of Spider-Man, Raymond H. Miller
19. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
20. Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, Kazu Kibuishi
21. Magic Knight Rayearth, Vol. 1, CLAMP.
22. Food Matters, Mark Bittman
22. Feathers, Jacqueline Woodson
23. Which Way Freedom? Joyce Hansen
24. She's All That!  Poems About Girls, Belinda Hollyer (selector)
25. Creature Carnival, Marilyn Singer
26. Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, Marilyn Singer
27. Wind of a Thousand Tales, John Glore
28. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (begun in 2009)
29. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Currently Reading
The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Pop Goes the Library: Using Pop Culture to Connect with Your Whole Community, Sophie Brookover and Elizabeth Burns

Kimberly [userpic]

Book Review: Black Cat

July 2nd, 2010 (12:05 pm)

This is another of the evaluations I wrote for my children's literature class.
---

Myers, C. (1999). Black cat. New York: Scholastic Press.

Christopher Myers’s Black Cat is a poetry picture book about a cat who roams the streets of New York. This book is appropriate for students throughout the elementary grades. Its rhythmic language and collage artwork appeal to a wide variety of ages. It introduces readers to poetic devices such as simile – “sauntering like rainwater down storm drains.” Its theme is the search for a home in a big city. The text has predictable elements. The invisible narrator often addresses the cat directly and rhythmically, with questions like “black cat, black cat, we want to know/where’s your home, where do you go?” This particular stanza is repeated throughout the book, providing a measure of predictability. While the vocabulary is simple enough for younger readers, the poetic language will engage readers who are beginning to develop metalinguistic awareness.

The collaged illustrations feature a black cat painted on photographs of areas in Harlem and Brooklyn. The cat is usually shown in the middle of motion. Each page or spread relates directly to the text on the page. The images juxtapose photographic realism, which matches the theme of finding a home in the streets of New York, with the more fantastical painted postures of the cat – including dunking itself through a basketball hoop – which suit the poetic language. 

The book is a large vertically-oriented hardcover with high quality pages. Endpapers feature photographs of parts of New York where the black cat might roam. Type is a bold sans-serif font, easy to read, in bright colors which vary to contrast with the colors in the illustrations. Sometimes the text is set directly on the picture and other times it is set on a black background. The pages are sturdily sewn into the book.

The colorful collages and text, as well as the poetic language, capture the energy of a lively city. This picture book’s rhythmic language and distinctive style of illustration might capture the interest of a variety of elementary-aged readers.

Kimberly [userpic]

Book Review: Going North

July 1st, 2010 (03:11 pm)

For my children's literature class, we write evaluations of the books we read.  I thought I'd share mine here.  These will illustrate some teacherly/librarian concerns which don't come out as much in my reviews of YA lit.

---
Harrington, J. N. (2004). Going north. New York: Melanie Kroupa Books.

Going North is the semi-autobiographical story of an African American family’s move from Alabama to Nebraska in the early 1960s. The story is told from the perspective of Jessie, a young girl who is reluctant to leave the home she loves. She is both anxious and optimistic about the prospect of a new life in the North.

This book is appropriate for readers in grades 3 – 5, who are beginning to move away from egocentrism and beginning to be able to see things from others’ perspectives. It is set in the segregated South of the 1960s. This is conveyed both in text, with statements like, “Can’t stop just anywhere./Only the Negro stations,/only the Negro stores,” and with images of the African American family staying in their car at a gas station while a white family’s car is serviced by a white attendant. Jessie, the narrator, is the only character who is very well developed. Because she is telling the story, we get a sense of her own fears and hopes. Despite its focus on racial tensions, the book manages to avoid stereotypical portrayals. 

The rich language conveys powerful images such as “I wish my toes were roots./I’d grow into a pin oak and never go away.” The language uses literal descriptions, onomatopoeia, and metaphor. Phrases such as “good luck,” with the first word in the phrase in larger print than the second, imitate the sounds of tires on a road. The themes of memory and movement are conveyed through the misty quality of the oil painting illustrations and the multiple perspectives of the yellow station wagon as it heads north. Jessie’s concerns, such as whether she will like her new home and if she will have much in common with the children there, are common to many children as they move to a new city.

The book is large and horizontal, so readers who are still struggling with fine motor skills can handle it quite readily. Endpapers with maps of the region the characters travel add to the sense of place in the story. The jacket design shows the family in its yellow station wagon. The title text and author attribution are in fonts which follow a curving line, adding to the book’s sense of movement. Inside, the text is printed with plenty of space around it so that the eye is easily drawn to it. The paper is high quality, glossy, and the binding is sewn together sturdily. At the end of the book, Ms. Harrington provides an author’s note explaining how the story reflects her own experience as a child moving from Alabama to Nebraska.

Going North is an excellent book to introduce middle grade children to issues of segregation and to provide them with a connection to the lives of children from earlier time periods as they learn that some experiences, such as anxiety about going to a new place, are universal across time.

Kimberly [userpic]

My First ALA Annual

June 17th, 2010 (01:42 pm)
Tags:

I'm very excited to be attending ALA for the first time next week.  I'm trying to plan out my days.  I'd love to know if you're going to be there.

And most importantly, if you're going to be at KidLit Drink Night.  Because I'm still undecided on that and I need to RSVP by Sunday.

Kimberly [userpic]

The Generosity of the Internet: Smoothies, Streamys Nominees, Felicia Day, Leo Babauta & Tim Gipson

June 9th, 2010 (08:40 am)

Again, I quote Maureen Johnson's Manifesto:
Make stuff for the internet that matters to you, even if it seems stupid. Do it because it’s good and feels important. Put up more cat pictures. Make more songs. Show your doodles. Give things away and take things that are free. Look at what other people are doing, not to compete, imitate, or compare . . . but because you enjoy looking at the things other people make.

On Monday I went to the thrift store with elfstar18.  She asked me what I'd been doing this summer.  (She's been working, going to school, deconstructing and reconstructing clothes, and dressing up pretty for a con, among other things.)  I was stumped.  I feel like I've been doing a lot but it feels now like not as much - making cupcakes, crocheting hats, playing Dungeons and Dragons, straightening up my home office, decluttering...  For some reason I didn't think to say any of that and instead said "I've been watching a lot of web series, you know...  I'm telling myself it's research."  Because I do want to write, produce, and direct a web series, ever.  And I feel like the pacing in a web series is fairly unique.  After reading Maureen's manifesto and the comments, it occurred to me that I'd been learning a lot from free content people were just giving away on the internet.  So I thought I'd share with you some of what that content is.

1. Smoothie Handbook I've been having a smoothie for breakfast every day for weeks now.  It's excellent - I get in two or three servings of fruit first thing in my day, it feels kind of like drinking a milkshake, and they're so sweet that I've found myself searching out other sugary treats much less often than I used to do.  (Fruit Smoothie > Snickers bar, if we're talking about nutritional value.)  Most recently, the smoothies have been from recipes provided by DaNae Johnson in a free ebook she gives away on her Smoothie Handbook website.  The site also has a lot of information about what smoothies need to work and the benefits of particular smoothie ingredients, as well as advice on buying the best blender and vegetable gardening tips.

2. In my quest to learn more about how a web series should look, I went to The Streamys website and started to check out their 2009 nominees.  Some of you are probably familiar with Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog and The Guild, but I was amazed by the variety and quality of production that is out there.  I just want to throw out names and descriptions for a few I've really enjoyed:

After Judgement is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi about the people who are left behind once rapture happens. It has great acting, excellent production values, and most importantly excellent writing. I watched a promo for it and immediately wanted to know more about that world.

Backyard FX provides instruction videos on how to achieve professional looking effects with a budget of $50 or less.  I had a lot of fun watching How to Build a Jet Pack.

3. Because I do want to be a writer-director-producer on any web series I might create, I decided Felicia Day, who is exactly that for The Guild, would be a good source of inspiration.  I went to her website looking to see if she had done any how-tos and found an excellent post about the resources she uses for writing.  Thanks to her recommendations I've got 3 used books coming my way and the intention of working harder at being a writer.

4. Felicia (I feel like we're on a first name basis, even though we've never met or even communicated really) reminded me about some productivity blogs I used to read regularly, and I've been spending a lot of time reading Zen Habits, which is Leo Babauta's blog.  Leo writes not only about productivity but also about simplifying your life and there is an amazing amount of content there.  You could probably spend the rest of your life just reading his blog posts.  And that doesn't even include his books, some of which he's put in "beta" form on the internet.

5. For almost two years, my dishwasher has spewed crap onto my "clean" dishes, which means that at least 50% of our dishes have to be re-rinsed by hand.  Yesterday when unloading the dishwasher I noticed there was some standing water in the bottom of it, so I went online and found this how to video for unclogging the dishwasher drain, provided by Tim Gipson, a home repair specialist.  This is what he does for a living, and he's giving it away on the internet.  Which is good for me because he lives in Tennessee and it would take a long time for him to get here to help me out.  So, thanks, Tim.  I think my dishwasher might actually wash dishes now.

How many times a day do you benefit from content people have provided free on the internet?

Kimberly [userpic]

Maureen's manifesto and my consumption

June 9th, 2010 (08:03 am)
Tags:

Hi there.  Via Gwenda, I found my way to Maureen's manifesto.  Do read the post itself but I quote the most important part below.

The internet is made of people. People matter. This includes you. Stop trying to sell everything about yourself to everyone. Don’t just hammer away and repeat and talk at people—talk TO people. It’s organic. Make stuff for the internet that matters to you, even if it seems stupid. Do it because it’s good and feels important. Put up more cat pictures. Make more songs. Show your doodles. Give things away and take things that are free. Look at what other people are doing, not to compete, imitate, or compare . . . but because you enjoy looking at the things other people make. Don’t shove yourself into that tiny, airless box called a brand—tiny, airless boxes are for trinkets and dead people.

In the comments, kathleen duey said:
I learned how to de-seed pomegranites on YouTube today. Thanks, guy from Arizona who put it up. I have wrestled with pomegranites all my life and now I won’t. I really, really appreciate it.

And that got me thinking about the "mission" of lectitans.  I started this as a way to share my feelings about books I read.  I have lots of blogs other places - kimberlyhirsh.com is my online business card as it were and I use that as a blog on occasion, kibathediva.net has been most recently a craft blog which I'm not calling a lifestyle blog and focusing on the "new domesticity," mimula is about my adventures in theatre, both as performer and audience member (performer most recently), and then Whedoncraft (not udpated for nearly a year - I need to get on that, seriously) is for pointing readers to things other people make when they're inspired by Joss Whedon.

I have a lot of times when I get overwhelmed thinking about updating one or the other of these, or I think of something but am not sure where to put it.  I think I've found a new grounding, sort of.  Work/school stuff will go at kimberlyhirsh.com; kibathediva.net will be all about anything I produce (cupcakes, hats, a web series?), and lectitans will be about what media I consume.

The subtitle for lectitans is "reading eagerly and often," but we use "read" to mean things other than books.  So I'll be going with that interpretation of the word.  My next post will be all about what I've been reading lately.  I want to thank the people who put free things on the internet, where I can then learn from them.

Kimberly [userpic]

48hbc postponed until Wednesday-Thursday?

June 6th, 2010 (09:56 am)

So there's no way I'm getting time logged in for the 48 hour book challenge proper, but I've been longing for a break from myself (I was sick for a week and felt guilty about not doing housework the whole time).  I'm going to try doing my own 48 hour book challenge from 10 am Wednesday to 10 am Friday.  We'll see how it goes.

Kimberly [userpic]

My 48 hours postponed, probably.

June 4th, 2010 (05:54 pm)

My sister and husband are living with a broken air conditioner right now, and with temperatures poised to be in the 90s and up, and the inside of their home tending to be hotter than outdoors, I'm going to be hosting them for much of the next few days.  I like them very much, and so I'd like to be a good host, which probably means spending time with them, as opposed to ignoring them while I read books, so while I'll officially sign on tomorrow morning when I get up, I don't anticipate getting many hours of reading done.

Kimberly [userpic]

Booking Through Thursday: Short Stories vs. Novels

June 3rd, 2010 (11:04 am)

Which do you prefer? Short stories? Or full-length novels?

I like both, but which I'm inclined to read depends on my mood.  I generally gravitate towards novels - because they take less time, if you can believe it.  By that, I mean that they're usually divided into chapters, and in my experience, a short story is longer than a chapter of a novel.  So if I'm riding the bus and want to read, I'm more likely to finish a chapter than a whole short story.  But each has its place, and I think some of the best writing has been done in short stories.  Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor spring to mind, but there are many others as well.

What about you?

Kimberly [userpic]

48 Hour Book Challenge: It's almost time!

June 2nd, 2010 (12:49 pm)

For the past couple of years, MotherReader's 48 hour book challenge has signified the start of summer for me.  Now that I'm back in academia instead of K-12, I actually feel as though a third of my summer has passed me by.  This is the start of the rest of the summer, this time.  It runs from 7 am Friday to 7 am Monday, and you choose a 48 hour block within that window of time to do your reading.  I'll be running 7 am Saturday to 7 am Monday.  What will I be reading?

By Richard Peck: Are You in the House Alone?, Father Figure, Ghosts I Have Been, Remembering the Good Times
By Patricia McCormack: Cut, Sold
By Jacqueline Wilson: The Illustrated Mum
By Robin McKinley: The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown
By Gail Carson Levine: The Two Princesses of Bamarre
By Azar Nafisi: Reading Lolita in Tehran
By Holly Black: Ironside
By Christopher Golden: The Ferryman
By Herbie Brennan: Faerie Wars
By Meg Rosoff: How I Live Now
By Susan Beth Pfeffer: Life As We Knew It
By Catherine Gilbert Murdock: Dairy Queen, The Off-Season
By Sarah Miller: Miss Spitfire: Reaching Hellen Keller
By Laurie Halse Anderson: Fever 1793
By Shannon Hale: Book of a Thousand Days
By Kirby Larson: Hattie Big Sky
By Russell Freedman: The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marion Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
By Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Do I expect to read all 24 of those in that time?  No, but it's always good to have some extra books lying around in case you're not in the right headspace for one of the ones you pick up.

Will you be joining me in the challenge?



Kimberly [userpic]

Books Read in 2010

May 27th, 2010 (04:08 pm)

1. Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1, Brian Lynch
2. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
3. Hooked on Murder, Betty Hechtman
4. That Was Then, This Is Now, S. E. Hinton
5. Rumblefish, S. E. Hinton
6. Tex, S. E. Hinton
7. Vampire Kisses, Ellen Schreiber
8. Brazen Careerist, Penelope Trunk

< back | 0 - 20 |