Bestiary Reviews & Writing

Bestiary: the Best of the Inaugural Demi-Decade of A cappella Zoo was recently reviewed –and look! There’s a very nice mention of Robert Sullivan’s story “Popper’s Choice. I work with Robert: Hooray Robert! Plus, I also have a story in Bestiary. Double hooray!

There are more positive and enthusiatic reviews encouraging you to buy this issue at The Future Fire, Brain Ripples, and Sabotage Reviews.

In other writing and personal news, I submitted a story today. Submitting a story isn’t amazing or anything but I hadn’t done so since 2011. I can’t believe how much time I went without writing, so sending in my story this morning seemed like a Big Deal. But that was my only story, which means it’s time to write other stories and get back into the crazy cycle of story submissions, acceptances, and rejections. Thank goodness for Duotrope.

Don’t Breathe On Me

There’s never a nice way to say to a patron (or anyone, really), “Please don’t exhale. Or sigh. Or open your mouth in any way.” I usually don’t care too much and hold in my breath until they leave. Whew. But there have been several incidents this past week where I really, really, really wanted to say something.

1. Coughing: Germs is germs. Apparently some people didn’t go to Head Start, preschool, or day care because they never learned to cough into the crook of their elbow. Instead they cough openly and freely as they rummage through the DVD cart or just as they pass through the A/V room spreading their spittle and pieces of lung tissue into the air. Hey, lady — it’s okay to pause and cover your mouth when you feel like you have to cough. Gross is gross.

2. Halitosis. Drink some water, dude! People with death in their mouths talk the most. Maybe that’s why they have stinky breath. They chat and laugh and the mouth isn’t closed enough to salivate. (I’m not a scientist or expert on bad breath but I like to make up stories that seem like real answers.) Anyone can get halitosis, by the way. I understand that and maybe no one has told them about the odor. When I get a patron with halitosis (I try to keep track of who has what), I don’t breathe and only squeak out a mild “Thank you,” or “You’re welcome,” or force out a wheezy laugh if they make a joke as the oxygen levels in my lungs drop.

3. SIGH! Some folks have vigorous sighs. They BREATHE OUT WITH GUSTO! I believe they enjoy exhaling, having their breath — smelly or not — flip up my bangs, rustle papers on the desk, pushing the essence of their being into my personal bubble. It seems like such a rude thing to do: “SIIIIIIIGH” “WHOOOOSH.” Once in a while they really do have a reason for such powerful exhalations, but mostly it’s just habit. “I am alive and proving it by breathing forcefully on anything and everything once I stop moving. Here I go to the check out desk. Here I am at the desk.” *pause* “Whooooooosh!” These are the patrons who always take me by surprise.

To be fair, I have to admit that I once came to work with Cheerios breath. Yeah, you know what I mean! In the fifth grade, I accidentally grabbed a recorder that belonged to my best friend. She had cereal for breakfast, Cheerios, and hadn’t brushed her teeth. I breathed in and out the taste and odor of oat cereal mixed with milk mingled with eau de stale plastic. She almost got hit over the head with that stinkin’ faux flute. It ruined the simple pleasures of recorders and challenged our friendship. Then everything changed in sixth grade: we moved on to a real flute (her) and a clarinet (me). We parted ways by the end of that year.

How To Be A Good Patron [Summer Edition]

It’s summer at the library! This is one of my favorite seasons: the kids (of all ages) who participate in our programs, the new patrons, and the excitement of summer break and summer activities. We have great patrons who love and respect the library. Even so, a few, only a few and only sometimes, can use some extra tips and reminders.

Ok! Here we go! Five ways you can be better summertime library patron:

1. Don’t carry materials under your sweaty armpits. Think about it. No one likes handling DVDs or paperbacks covered in human juices.

2. Don’t bring giant sodas in plastic cups with flimsy lids into the library. Danger! Danger!

3. Vacations are fun, aren’t they? Be careful that you don’t leave your library materials on a plane; they never come back, even though our info is marked on the book, and you’ll have to pay for it. Oh, and make sure to shake the sand that’s between the pages of those great summer reads. :)

4. Put your shoes back on. I love walking barefoot too, but it really is a health and safety issue. You don’t want your little toes run over by a runaway library cart.

5. Come on in and enjoy our air conditioning. Read a book, listen to music, use the computers, chat with library staff. Get away from the heat for a few minutes or even a few hours. It’s your library, use it!

This [Past] Week’s Five Things

So. This is a week late. Five things I like, which I meant to share last week. Here ya go!

1. This bit on The Secret by Dave Chappelle. Every person with depression or another chronic illness agrees.

2. Last weekend, I had the great luck to play Game & Wario. I haven’t laughed so hard in a while. If you haven’t played any Wario Ware games before, it’s a series of Nintendo games in which Wario has taken over. His minions create a variety of mini-games, which you can play individually or with multiple players. The games, the art work, the pace, and music are crazy, fast-paced, and so much fun. It’s too bad game reviewers like to hate on Nintendo and can’t decide if this like this game or not. Just admit it! It’s fun! And fun is good!

Here's one of the minigames, Shutter. Different scenarios, five different characters you need to find and take a photo of in 3 minutes.

Here’s one of the minigames, Shutter. Different scenarios, five different characters you need to find and take a photo of in 3 minutes.

3. Doctors who help. I have some really great doctors. I’d be dead without them!

4. Mild temperatures. Not too hot, not too cold. I can wear a lightweight cardigan or blazer, no socks, while walking around feeling cool and comfortable. Huh. I think I just described Sonny Crockett.

5. Star Trek Voyager. B’elanna Torres! Be my friend! Haha.

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