Monthly Archives: October 2009

Name that pumpkin

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No time to write much now; the state library conference is this week, and many months ago I apparently thought it would be a good idea to present not one but two programs. Obviously I was delusional. Soon, I promise, I will write more, with topics to include

  1. My program presentation on Women’s Nonfiction
  2. My program presentation on a brilliant new approach to classifying graphic novels in a public library
  3. This new yoga class that I like. (New to me, I mean. I think the style of yoga has been around for something like five thousand years.)

In the meantime, I invite you to play a fun game called Who Carved Which Pumpkin? Here are the rules:

  1. Look at the two different pumpkins pictured below. One of them is a kitty cat pumpkin. The other I am choosing to call Scary Demonic Pumpkin.
  2. Guess which person carved which! There are two people to choose from: me, and my ex-felon ex-con boyfriend.
  3. No fair cheating!

Ready? Let’s play Who Carved Which Pumpkin? !!!!

Here is the kitty cat pumpkin.

Here is the scary demon pumpkin.

Here is the even scarier demon pumpkin, rendered thusly by my shaky camera hand. (What can I say? I was scared.)

Scary demon pumpkin and kitty cat pumpkin share an uneasy truce.Survival prospects for kitty don’t look good.


Exclusive rare author photo! Details below!

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Here’s a picture from Saturday night:

I am not going to specifically identify the individuals in the photo, but I can tell you that the people include me, some colleagues, one colleague’s very small child, and one boyfriend. You can have fun guessing which people are which! To get you started, here is one clue: the infant is not one of the people who works at the library. (He is too young.) Not pictured is my left earring, because the infant tried to eat it. The infant, incidentally, may appear to be desperately trying to remove himself from my arms, but I assure you that he quite likes me, and that the effect was generated by a funny camera angle.

Saturday night was my book release party. There was a nice turnout, with various librarians, librarian spouses and/or lovers, and librarian children. We ate at a local Mexican restaurant which, in addition to having pretty decent food, serves its beer in glass boots. Unfortunately you can’t really see the beer-in-boot effect in this particular photo, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to publicly post any other photos from the evening, because for some reason I look weird or misshapen or otherwise unpresentable in all of the other images. Must have been a trick camera the photographer was using.

The book, by the way, really does physically exist: I have some sitting in a box here in the living room, directly underneath a kitty. That was very kind of my publisher to send a cat toy along with the author copies. I should drop them a thank-you note for the thoughtfulness.

I’m sure you’ve already ordered your copy—or copies, rather. If they haven’t been delivered yet, I beg you not to despair: you can borrow one from your local library. If your local library hasn’t acquired its copies yet, gently remind them to get on the ball. You do pay tax dollars to support their collections, so it is in your interests to make sure they are spending those dollars in a prudent manner, i.e., by purchasing several copies of my text. According to, four libraries currently own copies—but there are more than 16,000 public libraries in the United States, so we have a ways to go. Academic libraries would benefit from owning my text, too, though at present zero of the 3,617 academic libraries in the country own it.

I will be speaking on the book’s topic (that’d be Women’s Nonfiction, for those of you following along at home) at the state library conference coming up in less than two weeks. It transpires that I have not yet actually started preparing for my presentation, so if you don’t hear from me soon that may be why. It also transpires that the fantasy chapter I’d thought I’d finished turns out not to be finished at all, so that’d be the other reason for my lack of activity here—that, and dealing with all the publicity and the talk shows and the screaming fans and so forth that comes with being a published author.

Onomatopoeia, wouldn’t wanna be ya

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“Cacophony,” we decided at work the other day, was an onomatopoetic word, though whether “onomatopoetic” is a word was never conclusively determined.

“Of course it is,” I said, with a wee bit of derision in my voice. “Everybody knows that.” (I had to sound confident, since I was the one who’d used it. The trick to making up words and to pronouncing unfamiliar names is to sound self-assured. This has saved me more than once when playing Scrabble.)

Coincidentally, a few days later I opened the latest Kevin Smith graphic novel, titled Batman: Cacophony. Now I love Kevin Smith’s films, and I loved his Green Arrow books, but the Batman attempt disappointed. The story was kind of weak, and there was very little humor. The whole point of Kevin Smith’s existence is to be funny, so I don’t know what he was thinking, attempting a Batman book. Batman spends his time being serious and glum. It’d do him a world of good to slip on a banana peel, but the closest thing to a gag in the book came when Batman put on a fake mustache—and without a giant rubber nose and glasses to go with it, I just don’t see the point.

I’m looking forward to a new Neil Gaiman Batman book, though, which I might read this afternoon. (I’m home sick nursing a head cold.) I can tell you one book I will not be reading today, however. That book is Women’s Nonfiction: A Guide to Reading Interests, by Jessica Zellers, i.e., me.

I will not be reading it because my author copies have not arrived. My editor got her copy over a week ago. My mother got her copy, purchased from Amazon, yesterday. My copies, however, are apparently being deliver by mule– slow, arthritic, mentally challenged mule.

“I’ll get you a copy for Christmas if you still need one,” my mother offered. Who needs Kevin Smith for humor when you’ve got relatives like that?

Mom read through the intro last night and then called me back. “I like how it reads,” she said. “It’s not stilted.”

There. My first review. My book is “not stilted.” This does not quite qualify as “glowing praise,” especially coming from my mother, who should be lavishing it with hyperbole (“as important to Western Civilization as Plato’s Republic” would do) but it’s a start.

By the way, I apologize for slacking off on the blog lately. Writer’s block, doncha know. Most likely I will be inspired to write again when the mule-express shambles its way here. For now I’m going to tkae a nap to try to throw off this cold.