Category Archives: Writing

Poetry from the Subway: Patrick Philips, Heaven

I was riding the subway the other day and looked up to find this poem on one of the boards. Normally ads decorate the subway cars, but this was just a poem. Not that I ascribe to the sentiments in the poem, but I did think that this was an interesting way to look at what the afterlife might be like.

Patrick Philips, Heaven

It will be the past

and we’ll live there together.(2014 -04-05 063

Not as it was to live

but as it is remembered.

It will be the past

we’ll all go back together.

Everyone we ever loved

and lost, and must remember.

It will be the past

And it will last forever. Continue reading

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Busy, Busy

I’ve been busy these last few weeks.

ACRLNY-Logo-Rectangle2Today, I talked to the Academic Librarians’ Writing/Research Group about how to find ideas to write about. The notes I used were from a 2010 talk a colleague of mine from New York University gave to the ACRL/NY New Librarians Discussion Group (NLDG) when I was the chair. I was his “poster child” in his five steps of getting a work published. My colleague has said that he ought to write-up his points in an article, and I could not agree more.

It seems to have gone very well; there was a lot of questions and answers from all over the room. I met some very interesting people who need a little help in getting their publications out. This group, originally under the aegis of the NLDG and the Mentoring Program, was established as an ad hoc committee in the afternoon by the president of ACRL/NY, on its way to becoming a regular group in the organization.

Jacob Odell House (Historical Society of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown) (2013-03-15 001)Last night, I went to a Board of Trustees meeting of the Historical Society Inc., Serving Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown. It was held in the Washington Irving Memorial Chapter, which is in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. After the new trustees were elected, a news writer spoke on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. I was against the new bridge, but I had misinformation. There’s was less dredging of the Hudson River than I thought, the bridge will have express bus lanes, it has sensors around the work site to protect the endangered sturgeon, and the bridge is built to carry two sets of train tracks that can be added in the future. Even the design doesn’t disgust me as much. The bridge is guaranteed to last 100 years.

And I continue to work on the Charles Rockwell papers at the historical society. I only do this a few hours a week, so progress is slow, but the papers are getting organized.

On April 24th, I was on a panel at the NLDG event, “Demystifying the Hiring Process.” Three other colleagues from other institutions were on the panel and we were asked questions by the moderator. Questions were also taken from the audience. This was another good talk that was well-attended, and I think people took away some ideas about how academic libraries do their hiring.

PSC-CUNY logoIn mid-April, I was awarded a PSC-CUNY grant to buy a Mac Air computer. I will need this to do research on Greco-Roman libraries built in the early 20th century and compare the structures to their ancient predecessors. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get the equipment until after July 1 as this is when the grant begins. Still, I am eager to begin working on my web site. Because I need to know Omeka and geographical software for my job, I will probably use Omeka for the content, and I will be looking at different software for geographical locations.

Like I said, busy, busy, busy.

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NaNoWriMo: 30 days, 50,000 words?–Nope

Writiing-Closeup of Keys of Remington TypewriterIt’s not going to happen.

I realized this after I finished the first chapter. The outline that I had was not good; it had been written years ago and did not incorporate ideas I had for the characters that had evolved in the last few years. Also, the way the book starts doesn’t work. Where I have the book beginning is a problem, but this has always been a problem. This is why I’ve never been able to finish it.

At least I know now.

I know what National Novel Writing Month is supposed to be for: writing your novel in 30 days. However, the creative writing process doesn’t always work on a time schedule. If one has a very good outline that is fleshed out and all that needs to be done is to actually write the novel, then NaNoWriMo works. If you are like me and you have a lot of background work to do before you can even start your novel, then NaNoWriMo doesn’t work. However, I would not abandon the idea.

What NaNoWriMo did for me was to bring me back to an idea I had for a novel that I really hadn’t thought about in years. Any initiative that encourages people to write is a good thing. I also like the idea of having a support network to fall back on, which NaNoWriMo sets up when you join.

Will I do it again next year? Possibly.

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30 Days, 30 Posts: NaBloPoMo is Here?

This headline is how I was introduced to NaBloPoMo by WordPress today when I signed in. It was misleading.

Writing-Fountain Pen writing on PaperI had heard of  NaNoWriMo from Karen Ringen, one of the people at Whimsies, and when I went to the web site it all came back to me. Karen mentioned this to me last year when I was on sabbatical, but two things kept me from even trying to do it: Hurricane Sandy, and the death of a colleague. I didn’t have power for nearly two weeks, and I was very depressed. Last November was not a good time to try and start writing anything.

If I’m going to write a novel, I’m certainly not going to do it on a blog. I can’t imagine a worse place to try and write a novel than a blog. (Writing 50,000 words in a blog was suggested by WordPress in their blurb about NaBloPoMo.) I give kudos to anyone brave (or crazy) enough to try–and I’m sure there have already been some.

Also, my Greece: 2013 blog is 53,750 words alone. This was written from February through July. I’ve already done my duty to blog-land for this year, and this isn’t even counting my current blogs. Therefore, NaBloPoMo does not interest me. However, NaNoWriMo–the original writing idea–is.

That said, I once tried to write a science fiction novel when I was a teenager and got well over 100 handwritten pages before I foolishly started editing what I had written before I finished writing it. This is a no-no, and I got so dispondent that I stopped writing. I tried once or twice over the next several years, but it never went anywhere. My first attempt was the furthest I had gotten.

I like the idea of having a national novel writing month, although I’m not so sure Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season is best, but apparently people have had a lot of success. (Besides, Thanksgiving is late this year.)

Either handwritten or by computer, just DO IT!

Either handwritten or by computer, just DO IT!

In academia, faculty are expected to write articles (and sometimes books) and do research in whatever their area of specialization is. I’ve got some ideas I’m working on, and I’m still doing some research. Still, it might be fun to try and take up the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days–well, 28 days.

I am going to try and write that sci fi novel. This means that I have to write about 1,786 words a day by December 1st. Piece of cake? I’d  be a fool to say it was. I have an old outline of the novel that I wrote several years after my first attempt, and I will have to dig it out. (It was written in long hand, although I may well have transferred it to a Word file a few years ago. I’ll have to look.)

Anyone else want to try their hand at creative writing on a schedule?

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