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Wotcher, Potter fans!

Oh my goodness, the twentieth anniversary of the first Harry Potter book – published on June 26, 1997 – is almost here. June 26, that's this coming Monday!

I did manage to write a fic in honor of the date (which I'll post on Monday), despite an intense month of deadlines and stuff, plus now being knocked out by some kind of awful respiratory illness. I'd wanted to do more rallying of "who else wants to write twentieth anniversary fics and all post them on that day??" ...but, yeah, see above re: work + illness.

BUT, if anyone else wants to write something anniversary-ish, even a drabble, I can attest to how satisfying and momentous it feels. :-)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Meanwhile, Holmestice is wrapping up and the RS Games are kicking off, so for a moment my two main fandoms are overlapping. Aw. Fandom is nice.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today was my last day of work for this school year. (Sort of... I've been out sick for days, so I wasn't there to catch most of that year-end feeling. I shouldn't really have gone in today, either, but it was the last day and I needed to get my things and tie up some loose ends.)

I took out SO MANY BOOKS from our library for the summer...


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The all-day book talk about the best recent YA was indeed excellent! Hats off to anyone who can talk for 7 hours about books and make it fun. :-) I heard about a ton of books, of course, but also she presented various fun resources for teachers and librarians. One of my favorites was Recovering the Classics, a project that encourages people to make (and sell!) beautiful, creative book covers for classic literature, instead of the drab covers they tend to get shoved into. (Re-covering...get it? Pun??) So basically, fanart, but cool to see it celebrated and promoted in a mainstream context. And omigosh, so beautiful.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm not on Tumblr, but I occasionally visit, and there I recently stumbled across the suggestion that "The first line of almost any story can be improved by making sure the second line is, 'And then the murders began.'" (via copperbadge)

Excellent! This is great to do with any classic book, of course, but also fun to do with your own stories. Here are a few of mine:

Sirius' jaw dropped. And then the murders began.

Watching Dover disappear into the fog behind the ferry rail, Remus felt some constriction deep in his chest ease, just a fraction, for the first time since the news had reached him. And then the murders began.

Tosh flashed that disarming little smile Jack was quickly learning to associate with a stroke of even more brilliance than usual on her part. And then the murders began.

And the terribly appropriate...

“Which is more powerful, do you think, love or magic?” Albus asked, bending a leafy bough out of the way as he followed Gellert through the sun-dappled woods that dotted the hills outside Godric’s Hollow. And then the murders began.

It's fun! Dooooo iiiiiiiit.


May. 2nd, 2017 09:04 am
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Have you ever been in a room with 35 quietly studying students, 35 teenagers just barely managing to rein in their innate need to be squirrelly and giggly and rambunctious, and despite all odds turning that energy towards independently focusing on schoolwork instead... When out of nowhere one of them falls off a chair?

A whole morning's entertainment in that!

(Especially when he stands up, half sheepish, half proud, holding the now-detached chair back in his hand and announces in response to everyone's exclamations of concern, "...Yeah, I'm good.")
I was thinking yesterday that I need an icon for writing, since that's one of the things I talk about most. (I actually made one for books, when I set up here on Dreamwidth, though so far I've forgotten to use it; but I don't have one for writing.) Now I think I also need one for "teenagers are great and they amuse me." 
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Today's the one-year anniversary of when I started at the school library where I now work, and my colleague the Awesome Librarian gave me a present: temporary "literary tattoos" of Sherlock Holmes quotes. Because he's awesome.

He said it was actually a goofy impulse buy, because he and his wife were recently at the local bookstore, running around and buying lots of little presents for people they know, behaving like kids in a candy store, except, you know, with books and bookish things (how to spot a librarian...) And he wasn't sure when he should give my present to me – until I mentioned that today was the anniversary of my start date, and he decided that between that, and it also being about halfway between the time of Krampus (he just discovered this German/Austrian/etc. demonic "bad cop" counterpart to jolly old St. Nick and is kind of obsessed with the whole idea) and then Chanukah coming up in late December this year...  So he printed off a little greeting card showing Krampus stuffing terrified children into a basket, and gave me the Sherlock Holmes temporary literary tattoos tucked inside that. :-)
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Also, continuing with this trend of setting personal records I can't possibly hope to match in the future, I just finished my 50th book of this year – and it's not even the end of May yet! (Last year's 50th book milestone was reached in late August, I see by looking back at my "books"-tagged entries from last year...)

This year's book #50 was "Raymie Nightingale" by Kate Dicamillo, another sweet, charming, by-turns-funny-by-turns-sad childhood tale from Dicamillo set in small-town central Florida. (Like her "Because of Winn-Dixie," which I read last year and loved.) The story told is deceptively simple, but with real-life heart-break swirling just under the surface. Man, there are some really good middle-grade authors out there. Kate Dicamillo and Rebecca Stead, they've both really got me sold on this whole middle grade thing! (I LOVED Rebecca Stead's "Goodbye Stranger.") Both of those books I listened to as audiobooks, which made them extra charming.

Though, it's a bit arbitrary to define which book clocks in as exactly the 50th, because I'm doing that thing again where I accidentally ended up reading 5 books at once (literally). There are just so many books I want to read! And so little time, and I want to squeeze them all in! I keep going to the public library to return books, and then accidentally taking out a bunch more books instead. It's sort of a compulsion...  :-P

Currently reading:

• Haruki Murakami's massive (1000 pages!!) "1Q84," for my real life/brickspace book club. I was resistant to this book for a while because it looked so long and self-involvedly dense, but it's actually really not – it's very engaging. But it is indeed long.

• Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles," for the [ profile] online_bookclub. Ah, Ray Bradbury, you're so quirky and charming.

• "A Study in Charlotte" by Brittany Cavallaro – this is the latest in the world's many, many Holmes & Watson updates, and I had no idea what to expect, but my goodness, it's good! I find myself grinning while reading this book, that's how delightful these modern iterations of Holmes ("Charlotte" Holmes) and Watson ("Jamie" Watson) are.

Plus I have this alarmingly large stack of audiobooks out from the library – there's that whole compulsively-checking-books-out thing. And another book by Rebecca Solnit (Iceland AND feminism! she's my perfect storm!) and another Shirley Jackson novel (so brilliant, so brilliant. I've also been reading some of her short stories, augh, so brilliant). And I'm actually leaving the country – for the whole summer – in three weeks, and there's no way I can read all this before I go...

Operation Read All The Books, go!

(I set up a little "what I'm reading" book stand on my desk in the library where I work; the other day a student asked me, "...Do you finish books really fast? Because it seems like what book is here changes every couple days.")


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September 2017



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