Lessons learned from reading a short story a day

When the library closed for the pandemic on March 13th and I contemplated the altered days ahead, I had a revelation. I decided that I would tackle a goal I had long held–to read more short stories.

Every year I feel hard pressed to read enough of the newly-published fiction and nonfiction to feel grounded in my work as a readers’ advisor. Not to mention all of the older books I also keep meaning to get to, or that I hear about from colleagues and patrons. I used to think that I didn’t have time for short stories or that I preferred novels. Where did that idea come from?

Yes, short stories can slow you down. You have to make space for the world a short story creates, and each story, even in one collection or anthology, has a different pace, tone, cadence, and perspective that you are thrown into. Short stories are the gems of literature–they can be rough cut or burnished, but each story offers a prism through which you will discover a new voice, perspective, or world. When I thought that I did not like short stories or did not have time for them I was wrong, and I was missing out. Continue reading “Lessons learned from reading a short story a day”

New Year Resolutions: Exercise in the Time of Covid

Coming to you from the cyberpunk dystopia that will not end, a series of New Year’s Resolution-themed posts, because the only way out is through.

My fellow apocalypse-sters, you and I both know the importance of exercise. It keeps your meat sack in working condition, helps you sleep better, gives you energy, and can even boost your mood, which we all need these days, so desperately.

Remember when we used to go walking at the mall with friends? Or logging an hour on the elliptical at Planet Fitness? When we could learn Tai Chi in the park? Or maybe you’re like me and never did any of that?? Because exercise is hard to make yourself do under the best of circumstances and these are not even mildly okay circumstances. I don’t know about you, but my body is trying to become one with my couch these days, so I’m willing to try something.

If you, like myself, have hit rock bottom fitness-wise, you’ll be glad to know that SPL has a lot of online exercise videos through Kanopy, Hoopla, and the lesser known Access Video. Exercise videos are great – you just follow whatever the people on your screen are doing until you collapse into a sweaty heap, zero brain work involved. You can do Pilates Essentials, Bollywood Burn, or Dance and Be Fit. Find out what Jeanette is blasting next, may her body rest in pieces. You could even transform your entire actual life with yoga, according to Dashama Konah Gordon. This last one isn’t exactly an exercise video, but I couldn’t sleep at night unless I shared this Super Swordfighting Series for how to do cool movie sword fights. I think that would transform my life. Continue reading “New Year Resolutions: Exercise in the Time of Covid”

New Years Resolution: Read More Books!

Coming to you from the cyberpunk dystopia that really needs to end, pleasepleaseplease, a series of New Year’s Resolution themed posts because the only way out is through.

So, you’ve decided to read more for your New Year’s resolution. Excellent choice! Books are good for you, can help you learn a new skill, and are the perfect distraction from :gestures at literally everything:.

You (read: me) may have resolved in previous years to read more and failed, but this year will be different! We will NOT repeat the mistakes of yesteryear. This year we’re making a Plan! Of! Attack!!!

Step 1: Resolve to read more. Congrats, we already did it, I’m so proud of us!

Step 2: Decide on your goal. How many books Continue reading “New Years Resolution: Read More Books!”

Goal Setting for 2021

Throughout this past year and a half of _______?, I have realized one thing. This one short life we are given could be lost at any time. Time is so short! How does one even clarify how to make the best use of the time we have left? Illuminating this forced me to narrow my search. What was I looking for, was it time management, happiness, or self-actualization? Did I need to be Awestruck to be a fulfilled person? Developing a sense of wonder seemed to tick all the boxes. But it didn’t feel quite what I was looking for. I searched around the subject fields, and voila! Goal setting! It fulfilled a sense of what will matter for the next minutiae of time.

Looking through the list I gathered, Goal Setting by Susan B. Wilson seemed the obvious choice, as it had a workbook format. From the introduction, I liked the quote from Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning – about how people in concentration camps who visualized their goals for living were thus able to withstand the tortures of their circumstances. Moving on to explaining what effective goals are I thought I was on the right track! But, by looking through the digital book appeared it was more work oriented. That is just one area of life.

Visualizing goals seemed like a good method, and lo and behold, there Continue reading “Goal Setting for 2021”

It’s New Year’s – let’s make a booj!

Coming to you from the cyberpunk dystopia that may some day in fact end, a series of New Year’s Resolution themed posts: because the only way out is through.

For those not in the know, a bullet journal is basically an agenda/to do list/journal/tracker that you create yourself with, in its most no-frills form, just a pen and a notebook. Since its introduction to the world in 2013, bullet journals have become hugely popular, enough to merit the coveted New-Year’s-Resolution-Line-Item title.

In his New York Times bestselling book The Bullet Journal Method, founder Ryder Carroll shows readers how to use his system for “time management, goal setting, and intentional living.” His online examples show bare bones Daily, Monthly, and Future Logs, Index, and Collections and, with Ryder’s rapid-logging style, doesn’t waste a single drop of ink on anything more. If that sounds awesome because you seek minimalism in your agenda-like experience, this is the community for you. If you yearn for more, gentle reader, pray continue. Continue reading “It’s New Year’s – let’s make a booj!”