Decisions have been made!

In February I decided to lessen my online presence, and so, since I rarely post here anyway, I’m ending this blog.  I’ll leave it up for the next few months, but don’t expect me to post anything else.  By summer most of the content will be moved to my personal blog, Mind In Thrall, and I’ll have moved on to other things.  If you want to find me, you can find me there!

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Here’s the plan for 2016

Man, I am way behind.  I have 25 articles in queue, not one finished.  Ugh.  So here’s what I’m going to do: for 2016, I’m going to finish them, publish them, and get them out of my drafts.  In January, or at latest February, I’ll get the last of my Urshurak read-along series finished.  After that things will slow down, and my goal is to publish one book review and one library article a month.  I’m thinking about starting a new series of articles comparing different formats of the same story.  I got the idea when watching the Rurouni Kenshin live action films, which, of course, prompted me to rewatch the anime series.  Very different, those two, but also similar.  I’d like to analyze the differences here.  What do you think?

Oh, who am I kidding?  I don’t really care what anyone thinks, I’m going to do it anyway.  Probably.  So I hope any readers I pick up along the way enjoy it.

Expect my next installment of the Urshurak read-along sometime next week.  I hope you all have a good New Year’s celebration.  I’m making homemade crab rangoon and watching the Indian Jones trilogy (no, I don’t count the last movie as being part of the series, I’m picky that way) while sitting around in my pajamas.

Stay safe.  Have fun!

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Twists and Turns

So I quit the museum.  October 30th was my last day.  It was a surprisingly easy decision to make; the only really scary part is that I’m going to be so super broke until I get another gig.  So, so broke.  But it’s nothing I’ve not been through before.  I feel kind of bad, November is a big month for World War One, but I was so stressed and unhappy, so I know it was the right decision.

Between the museum and the library, I was averaging 42 hours of work per week, not including my commute time (add another 11 hours a week for that).  At least twice a week I’d work 11 hours with only one 30 minute break, and an hour when I’d be driving from one job to the other – sometimes, because of traffic, ending up at my library job with mere seconds to clock in and no time to rest.  It’s not been fun, and I felt like the spark of my life was slowly being smothered.  It made me cranky.

Since I made this decision I’ve been calmer, and have felt more in control of my life.  I’ve applied for five new jobs, though I don’t know if those will go anywhere.  I’ve got time again, which is amazing, so I’ve been catching up on sleep and reading, and starting projects that I should have started long, long ago.  It’s been nice.  Maybe the most important change I’ve noticed is that I actually want to do things again.  No more coming home and crashing, no more laying around in bed when I’m not at work.  I’ve already lost five pounds, started cleaning my room, finished two books (and almost a third), and cut my television consumption.  It’s nice.

The museum was a neat place to work, don’t get me wrong.  I discovered a real interest in WWI, and a much more nuanced view of history than I once had, but my job there had run it’s course.  It served no purpose other than a paycheck every two weeks.  If I was able to get a different position there, build my career, or something like that, it’d be different.  I’d have happily stayed on, but I was part time in the gift shop/ticketing, there was no room for growth.  Still, I’m honored to have worked there.

Now, though, I have time.  It’s kind of amazing.  I haven’t quite figured out what to do with it, and a lot of it will only last until I find something full time, but, for now, I have time.  So far I’ve only been catching up on some much needed relaxation.  I plan on posting more here, maybe picking back up on my Urshurak series, but probably not until December.  There are some other things I want to pursue first, my own studies: fiction and poetry writing, mythology (specifically, Celtic and Croatian myths), and I really want to start studying languages again (Mandarin Chinese, Irish, Croatian).  But, before I get into all that I plan on cleaning my house from top to bottom, painting my bedroom, and moving some furniture from the basement to the main living space and vice versa.  It’s all very exciting.

So, I’ll write again in December, and I plan on writing on writing on a regular schedule – maybe twice a month?  We’ll see.

Oh! and this Black Friday (11/27) will be only the second in 17 years that I don’t have to work.  I’m pretty thrilled about it.

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I will always be a librarian, but . . .

Yeah, I threw out all my maps, and have no idea where I’m going.

Earlier this week, I applied for my first non-library position since before I started grad school.  I haven’t even interviewed for the position yet, and I don’t know whether I will, but this is kind of a big deal.  See, it’s been two years since I graduated, and over that time I’ve applied for just under 1000 library jobs – both full and part time.  I’ve had all of 5 interviews, and just under 1000 rejections.

It’s been hard.  Very hard, and I just can’t do it any longer.

I had an interview a few weeks ago for a reference librarian position at one of my local community colleges – I’m pretty sure I blew it, but I didn’t really want it because it required a Master’s degree, but it was a part time job with really crappy hours.  That’s not the point, though, the reason I’m telling you this is that I has a massive panic attack shortly after the interview, and spent most of the next several days alternating between sobbing and screaming, with some lovely hyperventilation in between.  I really didn’t want this job.  Yeah, part of it was the insult of a part time job that requires a Master’s degree, but the rest of it?  The rest of it was that I didn’t want to work in that library – I don’t want to work in that library.  I’m not sure I want to work in any library, now or ever again.

That thought hurts (my pride, mostly), because it means I basically wasted several years and about $30K pursuing a degree and career that I don’t need and am not pursuing.  Not any more.

Applying for this new job was something of an epiphany.  It’s nothing, just an office job, the Assistant Communications Coordinator at a local corporation (no, I’m not saying which one, I would like them to call me after all), but I felt better applying for this job than I have any of the library positions I applied for.  It interested me.  It’s something I could do, something I’d find challenging, and, I think, interesting.  I find that I am excited about this job in a way I haven’t been about any of the library jobs.  I’ve been excited about library locations, or surprisingly good pay offered, or something else incidental to the library job for which I’ve applied, but not for the job itself.  This office job?  I’m excited for the job itself.

A whole new realm of possibilities just opened up for me.

What does this mean for the future of this blog?  Well, it’ll undergo some changes.  I’m going to keep it, and the basic layout.  In truth, I’ll probably post more regularly.  Right now I’m scrambling with my two part time jobs: one at the library, the other at the museum.  Three days a week I work what are essentially 12 to 13 hour shifts – when you count the time it takes for me to drive from one job to the other and back home again.  I’m almost constantly exhausted, and I only have one day off a week, and that only became a regular thing at the start of this summer.  Before that, I would sometimes go as long as 3 months without a full day off work.  Yeah, I think I’ll be better able to maintain this blog once I have regular hours, days off, and the like.  Other than that?  I have some vague plans to rework or remove some pages, but no big changes in this blog’s content.

I’m going to be making some changes in my life though.  Wish me luck.

Moving on. New road, new adventure.

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Celebrate the Book! Post 4: Kansas Notable Books

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. Topeka, KS.

Fair Warning:  This is going to be a short post.  Mostly consisting of links.

In late May, if you recall, I attended the Celebrate the Book! conference hosted by the Topeak and Shawnee County Public Library.  To read more about my experience at the 2015 Celebrate the Book! library conference check out the following links:

After our lunchtime keynote speaker, Eric McHenry, we once again split into groups to attend smaller talks.  The talk I chose was “Kansas Notable Books.”

Continue reading

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Celebrate the Book! Part 5: The Big Read

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Topeka, KS.

Hey guys, it’s our last post in this series!  Let me tell you, I am happy to be done with it.  When I started this I expected one, maybe two posts out of Celebrate the Book!, not to be still writing about it over a month later.  Still, it was a good experience, and I would do it again in a heartbeat (both the conference and the excessive posts).

Previous posts in this series are:

The Big Read is a program put on by the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library where the goal is to get the entire community to read the same book.  It occurs every two years, mostly the librarians say because it takes that long to get the grant, the books, and the program organized.  The Big Read book for 2015 was True Grit by Charles Portis.

With a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the library was able to purchase 700 copies of the book, and arrange for a variety of events to take place in the month of February.  Check out TSCPL’s site to see what events they hosted for this program, and watch the book trailer done by teen readers below.

 

 

Next, we’ll continue with the Urshurak Reread and other various book reviews.

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Quick note

I’m listenIng to Alex Bledsoe’s The Hum and the Shiver in my car right now, and it’s freaking fabulous!  I’ll write a full post about it soon – when I finish it.  For now, though, I highly, highly recommend it.

-Amber

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