Sunday, October 18, 2020

Royal Palm Literary Awards 2020: Award Ceremony

Having submitted a Finalist in the category of Short Nonfiction: Article or Blog, with "Seven Reasons NOT to Invade Iran" from my You Might Notice a Trend political blog, I waited and watched last night's Royal Palm Literary Awards via online presentation (hi, pandemic!) for the results.

Which was this:

They haven't published the full list of winners - which covers Fiction and Nonfiction, Poetry, Published and Unpublished works - but I'll update this site with a link when I can.

This is a good, nice feeling. For a writer, there is some satisfaction when you get a work printed even when it's self-published like on a blog because there's the enjoyment of having committed the writing to paper (so to speak) and put it out there for entertainment or enlightenment or both. There is a lot of satisfaction (well, depending on how much of a perfectionist the writer is) when any work is lauded by peers.

Thank you, Royal Palm judges. I know it's tricky to give accolades to politically-tinged writing, and I am grateful you are wise enough to be open-minded to judge a work on its quality.

Now, back to blogging! (writes op-ed about how gun nut militias are ruining PT Cruiser's reputation as a cool retro car) ...What?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Bartow Library Status September 2020

I need to announce that the library where I work opened to Curbside level service today.

What this means is:

  1. Patrons cannot enter the library (yet). Our computers and study rooms/meeting rooms are unavailable.
  2. Patrons CAN call to place library items on Hold for Pickup outside the library door. We will have a cart set up where they can retrieve the items when they call us to say when they are there. We have a driveway at the door so they can just pull up like drive-thru.
  3. Patrons can send us requests to print and copy materials, and also scan and fax documents to other locations. We would have to pickup their items to copy and return them via that doorway cart. We will charge for copies and for faxing (scanning is free, yay Internet).
  4. Patrons may not be able to browse our New Fiction/Non-Fiction shelves, but we provide notebooks of current release information left at the doorway cart so they can see what's available and call us to request those titles for Curbside.

It's not a full opening, but given the risks of indoor spread of COVID, this is the safest we can be while giving our Bartow community more support than we've been able the last five months.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Going Online With Library Patrons

 The problem with the ongoing pandemic - how it restricts the availability of indoor locations, the problems of cleaning contact surfaces that include TABLES and STUDY ROOMS as well as KEYBOARDS and MICE of our public computers - is how to make the library effective for our patrons when our patrons can't come in.

One thing we are doing at Bartow Library has been creating online videos and activity links. We did a lot of Online Storytime readings for our youth literacy and read-along families. Our librarian in charge of the book discussions has been using Zoom since May and has been gaining more chat members.

She's also involved in teaching our exercise and Tai Chi classes, so she's asked us to make and present a YouTube video to share with the class enrollees she still has signed up.

So I just wanted to share that here as well, try to get the word out, and let any library users know your public library near you should be doing similar things you can follow!

Keep an eye out for more stuff!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

International CAT Day 2020

I have been reminded on Twitter that today is International Cat Day.

So with that, I give you ALL THE CATS!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Still Wondering About Muses

I never did find out if there was a Muse rental service out there to get me inspired during my writing efforts...

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Update on Royal Palm Literary Award Submission 2020

I've previously reported I reached the Semi-Finalist status for a Royal Palm Literary Award in the Non-Fiction Blogging category, and I am happy to report that I received word today that it's now a FINALIST in that category!

The article "Seven Reasons NOT To Invade Iran" qualifies now to reach First, Second or Third Place. However, not guaranteed: I learned a few years back that there can be more than three Finalists in most categories, so I have to remain optimistic but guarded this time.

Still and all, good news, keeps me motivated, what what. Back to writing!

(Naps on a Saturday during a thunderstorm) ...dammit...

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Caturday July 4

How my cats decide who gets to be in the sunroom and who gets to fold the laundry.

Ocean gets the day off and Mal gotta work it.

Happy 4th of July, America!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Camp NaNoWriMo for July 2020

Plans are made.

Plots are frayed.

Snacks are out-laid.

Rhymes are hard.


I shall keep all informed this time. I really want to get a novel done, really truly madly deeply.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

FWA Royal Palm Update June 2020: Semifinalist Status

Notified today that in the Non-Fiction / Blogging category, my political article "Seven Reasons NOT to Invade Iran" made it to the Semifinals.

This is a good step from last year, when a submission or three then didn't even get any reply notification other than questions about my link formatting. I figured then I had improperly submitted the attempts, that's on me, my bad. This means that the formatting I did THIS year worked proper. Properly!

If you recall the previous attempts, what I have to wait on now is the Finalist decision (the grading gets tougher) and if I make that I'll get the invite to the awards / banquet (IF the association is holding a conference this year, given the uptick in pandemic cases I doubt October will be safe..).

Wish me luck, peeps.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Anybody Good With Zazzle?

Hola, peeps. I gave up on Cafe Press as a place to market Witty Librarian merch - the coffee mugs kept getting cracked in shipment - so I'm switching over to Zazzle to see if things are better over there.

So um, I uploaded my Witty quote banner to the site and got it attached to a coffee mug and... well, now I'm trying to figure out how to transfer that banner JPG onto other items like mousepads, t-shirts, and SUVs.

Anyone got any tips on that? The instructions all keep saying I need to transfer to a Template format but it's not giving me the ability to upload to Template. Unless I missed a step somewhere...

Friday, May 8, 2020

You Say It's My Birthday: Yeah Actually It's a 50th Birthday

Having gone from this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

And... that's not all the photos of my 50 years - there's one or two from my college days I can't find at the moment, some from my days in Pasco Libraries, and a few more - but this gives you an idea how long it took for me to get a good beard going and then how quickly it went grey.


As for all the stuff I'd like to do for a birthday present to myself, the one thing I want to do is travel and see more of the world... but now is not a good time to do that. (sigh)

So in the meantime, here's cake:

Also, still trying to write a story or two. Or twelve. And get a damned novel finished. And...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

National Library Week 2020

This would have been - April 19 through April 25 - National Library Week.

Sadly, we are in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that has closed down our library to the public. We need to promote Social Distancing to reduce the risks of spreading the infection (and this virus is proving very easy to catch).

What I can do from here is to encourage everyone to keep reading through any of the ebook services our libraries subscribe to. Bartow for example has an Overdrive account, so you can either use the direct URL on your desktop/laptop to visit and plug in your library barcode and PIN numbers, or install the Overdrive Libby app on your tablet/smartphone and login through there.

We're also sharing connections to various FREE ebook and online resources that have made themselves available to the public during this pandemic, the link to which is on our library website and through THIS particular link (the URL is so messy you're better off just clicking the link I made).

I wish we were doing our library services directly to the public, but right now safety and health ought to be our priorities. So I do hope everyone is doing well.

We can always do our Library Week next year.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Submitting To 2020's Royal Palm Literary Awards

Just to note as a member of the Florida Writers Association, I can submit currently written works for consideration with the Royal Palm awards.

Right now, I've put in two blog articles from my political ranting site, which hopefully may impress with insight, wisdom, and the appropriate use of various curse words (I *said* it was political ranting, dammit).

I may yet have an unpublished short story to submit for the April deadline, so we'll see how that goes.

Good luck to ye all, by the by, who are writing and getting away with it.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Current Status of Bartow Public Library March 2020

With all that is happening in the world right now, one thing we need to do in Florida and the United States is to stay at home and avoid public places. A public library is as public as you can get, so my city of Bartow's library was ordered closed to the public back on March 17th. Sorry I haven't mentioned it until now.

(Staff is still coming to work because there are off-desk tasks we still need to perform to keep the library functioning. Until such time that the city orders us home if the COVID-19 outbreak gets any worse)

We still have a number of online resources available through our library webpage at and we're trying to encourage people to use our Overdrive eBook access.

As for my previous workplaces Pasco County ( ) and Broward County ( ) they're closed to the public until further notice, too.

Stay healthy, everybody!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

It's Saint Patrick's Day 2020 And You Know What THAT Means!


(fails to dye Mal's hair in green)

I am now covered in many scars ow ow ow ow ow ow.

Verra Well. Videos of my favorite Irish-themed movie, The Quiet Man!


Saturday, February 29, 2020

Caturday Leap Day 2020

Every four years is an extra day, February 29th, and this year it falls on a Caturday!!!

Right Mal?

Krazy Kat is too busy rolling to care.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

It's Super Bowl Sunday! Also Known as Mal's BIRTHDAY

To anyone out there who adopted River, Simon, Zoey, Jayne, and Inara, this is their birthdays too and I hope they are doing well!

Just not as crazy as this panfurr.

The cupcake sadly is not cat-friendly, but I will let Mal know how tasty it is OMNOMNOM.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Caturday With Mal February 2020

This is a big birthday weekend for Mal the Krazy Kat, but for now he's content sitting on the recliner bopping me in the face with his frickin tail.

Tomorrow should be a slightly crazier day, what what.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

This Morning

I have to go in for surgery to scoop out a growth on my Pituitary Gland.

So, in possibly a bad idea of tempting fate, I offer you this.

Offer up all the Unitarian prayers you got, fellow librarians and writers.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Writing Motivation for Short Stories

There are a few simple tricks:

1) Write something simple. A short story doesn't require a lot of details or characters or sweeping Big Ideas to captivate a reader. Just write, something with a beginning, an event, and an end.

2) Write something for your character. You may, in your lifetime, invent a person that you think is cool and/or witty and/or fun to be with. So, give that character a moment in time to be all that. Hopefully other people will read it and like your character too.

3) Write something that gets an idea from thought to paper. Don't let the idea stay bottled up in your head. Commit to paper. Read it with your own eyes, and find the language to make that idea flourish.

5) Stay consistent.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Plans for 2020 As a Librarian and a Writer

Just a brief list of things I need to do this new decade.

Cancel my publications with Xlibris and reprint the short story collection in an updated work with newer stories and better editing. In this regards I need to finish two stories - one needs editing and one needs writing - to round off the collection.
Finish an extra story or two for submission to a particular online press that has certain story requirements. More on when I get those done.
Finish the NaNo novel from this past November 2019 because of the unfinished projects floating around in my head its one I feel best about getting done.

Take care of ongoing paperwork and responsibilities at my library, obviously. :)
But also get things prepared and ready for hopefully a new City Librarian (director) to take over operations
Once that's settled, get back into my reference librarian and tech assistance outreach.
Provide assistance to the FLA Scholarships committee I am currently assigned to. It's a big responsibility.

Cope with a major surgery later this month.

So... well, the days are packed aren't they?