What He Said

Remember when I said my college prof remarked that my tone in response to the reading material was “dry?” By the time this class is over, I will have read thousands of pages of articles and written 53 papers. FIFTY-THREE. I thought I’d share a little of the reading I’m required to write about. Can’t imagine why my response would be, ahem, dry…

As an example, a unitary or integrationist view of culture focuses on an orientation to organization-wide consensus, consistency in cultural artifacts, and little if any cultural ambiguity. The differentiated view of organizational culture seeks subcultural consensus, maybe exhibit some consistency in cultural artifacts, and tends to channel ambiguity outside of the main subculture. The view of organizational culture as fragmented reflects the challenges of achieving cultural consensus and exhibits a high level of acknowledgement and acceptance of cultural ambiguity.

If I get out of this class without becoming a violent drug-addict, I will consider it a holy miracle.

Source: Library Trends, Vol. 53: 1, 2004

I’m Not That Type of Girl

As mentioned I’m on longer in the classroom, but instead working as a junior high librarian.
Lots of perks.
Lots of adjustments.

I have a white board over my circulation desk that welcomes the kids to the library and says what I’m reading or have finished reading.
Last week it said:
Ms. Jones is reading Wonder.
Ms. Jones just read Between Shades of Gray.

And I noticed I got some funny looks.
Finally. On Friday two different teachers approached me to basically say, “So, uh, you’re telling everyone you’ve read 50 Shades of Gray?”
Wait. No.
They were not alone in their belief. Pretty much everyone thought I was making pervy book recommendations.
Between Shades of Gray is about Russian during and after WWII.
50 Shades of Gray is about things that would embarrass a Playboy Playmate.

I’m now reading Wallflower in Bloom by the author of Must Love Dogs.
What are you reading?

I Can’t Stop Watching This Video

I love that.
I also love that Castle is back on tonight!!!


So I’m taking a college management class, and there is a lot of work.
Last week I had to write about six 1-3 page papers summarizing various articles on the evolution of management, as well as the timeline of the creation of the library system. 
I got the papers back today.
My professor said, “Your tone is a little dry. If you’d put some life into your transitions, you could be a good writer.”

On Facebook and Twitter last month we talked about common words we dislike for no real reason.
I have a whole list. How do you know you have a really good friend? When you have some of the same words on the list few know you’re even keeping.
I have never used the word “delicious.” I hate that one. I have no idea why. I’ve never heard anyone in my family say it either, so it must be on their list.
I also hate the word “kiddos.” You hear that a lot as a teacher. It makes me cringe.
“Emotions.” That word is dead to me.

What about you? Any every day words that are on your “ick” list?

How It Is


Winner of Friday’s Mackinac Island drawing has been contacted. Melanie and Cara thank you for playing!

Taps microphone.
“Is this thing on? Helleww?”

WHERE have you guys been? I’ve been waiting around here ALL summer by myself.
I took an extended blog break obviously. I appreciate the emails and messages sent my way checking on me.
All is and was fine. I had a wonderful summer, and I hope you did as well.
I went to Panama, toured the rain forest, spent the day with an indigenous tribe who doesn’t believe in underpants, took some day trips, swam, sunned, read, spent time with my family.

As mentioned before my break, I’m on Twitter and Facebook multiple times a day, every day.
I like those two venues. You should join me there.
Many of you have blogs and will relate when I say a blog post takes me about an hour to create. When I blog three times a week, that’s three hours a week.
Twitter and FB take me seconds, and I feel like I say all I’ve got to say in more digestible bites.

It’s said that to maintain traffic and get an impact, the minimum number of times you must blog is 3x a week or it’s useless. I’m about to become useless.
I love my blog friends and family. You guys make me smile on a regular basis, and many of us have become genuine friends. Or at least the kind of friends who wave at each other as we pass one another in the social media hallways.

A couple years ago, God asked me to really make some changes. To simplify. To reprioritize. To let some things go. To clutch some things and people even tighter.
To spend more time with family and be in the moment.
To go on an outing and be present, versus watching it from behind a camera lens or with thoughts of a blog or a book.
To write when it made me happy. To not write when it didn’t.
To write to a form that made me happy. To not write to a form that did not.
To change the things that I’d been griping about for years or quit my complaining.
To change my perspective of my abilities by changing by perspective of God’s abilities.
To value time and happiness over money and goal, expectations, and check-lists.
To make some changes in my health.
To be kinder to myself and others.
To shut my mouth more when I normally do not. To open it more when I’m usually quiet.
To be aware of the little things.
To turn down some of the noise.

What I’ve learned is that the best days are ahead, I don’t have to have the answers to take a step in a new direction, my butt hates sitting, too much free time makes me nuts, I’m desperate to make amends with the snow gods, and Say Yes to the Dress is a really good show.

This summer I left teaching and took a job in my district at a junior high as a librarian. I’m back to working full-time, I’ve returned to grad school for a third degree, and I picked up a paint brush and can of Benjamin Moore for the first time in two years.
None of that was in my play book.
Except the painting part.

I’ve had a lot of emails and messages asking when the next book will be out.
I’m not sure.
I’m just not in any rush.

We’re all writing a story. With how we spend our seconds, minutes, hours, and days.
I want mine to be a good one.
And I’m wishing that for you as well.

See you next week.

“Does anybody ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?”
“The saints and the poets. They do some.”

Our Town

Mackinac Island Giveaway

Mackinac Island. It’s a magical place that allows you to step back in time from the moment you first step off the ferry. Authors Cara Putman and Melanie Dobson have teamed up for a tour of the island, now and then. Comment at each stop for a chance to win a copy of one of their books set on Mackinac Island. You’ll find the list of stops here. Share the tour on twitter, Facebook, pinterest and other places, and you’ll gain extra entries for the grand prize of a copy of each of their books and a 5 slice box of Murdick’s Fudge, straight from Mackinac Island. Just be sure to email Cara at cara@caraputman.com, so she can record your entries. The Grand Prize winner will be selected August 27, 2012.
One of the most recognizable sights on the island is the Grand Hotel. From the ferry, you can see the long, white expanse of the hotel before other buildings and landmarks come into view.  Our first visit to the Island we stayed at the Grand because my husband attended a conference there. It maintains the aura it’s had since the late 1800s – a place where certain expectations are met so that the experience is magical. After 6:30 p.m., guests are expected to be in evening wear or asked to return to their rooms and change. The five-course dinner is included in most stays and is an experience. Everything from the geranium scented lotions to the pool, where an Esther Williams movie was filmed in 1947, reminds you that you are staying at a special place with a special history.
The historic Grand Hotel is just as grand today as it was in the 1800s when visitors came for weeks or even months at a time to hear the hotel’s renowned orchestra play on the world’s longest summer porch. More than a hundred years later, it remains the world’s longest summer porch. The hotel employs a historian so when I was there, I learned about the history through his wonderful presentation and then enjoyed an amazing five-course dinner that evening. Where else can you arrive at an elegant hotel by carriage and eat whitefish baked in black truffle broth while enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Huron? It truly was magical.

A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island: Join attorney Alanna Stone as she returns home despite her determination to never set foot on Mackinac Island again. Once again in close proximity to Jonathan Covington, her first love, she vows to protect her privacy and her heart from the man who still makes her pulse race. But when her worst fears are realized and history repeats itself—landing her in the midst of a murder investigation—Jonathan may be her only hope. Will they be able to lay aside the past and let God heal their hearts, or will reconciliation come too late?  Read the first chapter here.

Love Finds You on Mackinac Island:
As the Gilded Age comes to a close, Elena Bissette’s family has lost most of its fortune. The Bissettes still own a home on fashionable Mackinac Island, and they spend summers there in hopes of introducing Elena to a wealthy suitor. Quickly tiring of the extravagant balls at the Grand Hotel, she spends her days walking along the island’s rugged coastline. There she meets Chase, a handsome laborer who invites her to watch the ships from an abandoned lighthouse. The two begin to meet there in secret, hoping to solve a mystery buried in the pages of a tattered diary. As Elena falls in love with Chase, her mother relentlessly contrives to introduce her to Chester Darrington, the island’s most eligible bachelor. Marriage to the elusive millionaire would solve the Bissettes’ financial woes, and Elena is torn between duty and love. Read the first chapter here.

To get in the running for your choice of the Mackinac books, leave a comment and tell us where you’d go for a vacation if the Vacation Fairy gave you the time and money.