Wednesday, May 25, 2011

School's Out Next Week!

Ding dong, the school bell stops ringing this week.  Woo hoo!  I remember how thrilled I always felt when school was over for the summer.  To me, summer meant sleeping in, going to the pool, biking, hiking and reading away many a summer afternoon while relaxing in the hammock.  But as much as I looked forward to summer vacations from school, I also ended up getting bored.  I’d get too sunburned at the pool, it’d be too hot to ride my bike, and usually the abundance of bugs and snakes discouraged me from hiking.  Even as much as I loved reading, a few weeks after school was out for the summer, I’d start whining for something different and fun to do.
Then I grew up, had a family of my own and guess what?  Come summer, I’d get to hear the same refrain that I used as a kid, “There’s nothing to do!” 
Well, that’s not going to be a problem at the Haltom City Public Library and their 2011 Summer Reading Program. Tuesday nights, starting June 7, will be Family Movie Night at the library.  Showtime will be 6:30 p.m.  Thursdays, starting June 2, will be Teen Time with topics on writing, poetry, photography and even a poetry slam open mike session.  Creative teen time starts at 2:00 p.m. And on Fridays, starting this week at 2:00 p.m., OMG, there will be a different special guest every Friday to entertain all the young-at-hearts! Nope, no way anyone can be bored this summer.  And what’s the best of all—there will be books, books and more books to choose from for lazy summer day reading. 
Yes, it’s going to be a cool summer at the Haltom City Public Library thanks to Chesapeake Energy, Friends of the HC Public Library, N. TX. Regional Library System, Texas State Library & Archives, and the hard-working but fun loving Haltom City librarians.  Check the city’s website for details or pick up a flier the next time that you are at the library.  I might even sneak away from work myself for one or two of the fun activities but don’t tell anyone. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You’ve Written It – What’s Next?

You’ve written your short story or your poem to enter into the Library’s 11th Annual Writing Contest.  You worked hard on it, even putting your heart and soul into your written work.  You’ve checked it twice and then again for any misspelled words (never trust Spellcheck) and grammatical errors.  You send it into the contest in time to meet the May 31, 2011 deadline.  You’ve done the best you can and you want your hard work to win a prize.  But what do the judges want?
The judges for the library contest take their work very seriously too.  They know how hard writing a good short story or a poem can be.  Every entry is read by the judges.  Last year there were over 300 entries.  That’s a lot of reading!  So what makes a short story or poem become a winning one?  The story or poem that hooks the judge’s interest right away.  The one that touches the judge in some way by making the reader smile or chuckle, become teary-eyed or sigh.  One that makes the reader care what happens next.
After the judges read all the entries, they meet to discuss and review their favorite selections.  The judges can be passionate about the pieces of work that touched them and they will even argue a bit (but always in a friendly way) about why their favorite piece of work should win.  And even if only one judge really, really loves a short story or poem, that piece of work will probably win honorable mention or fourth place. 
Every writer wants his or her piece to be a winner.  And the short story or poem that you have written and entered into the contest is a winner.  It’s a piece of art that only you could have created with your words and hard work.   Not everyone can do that so be proud of yourself and your writing.  We are.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Library Blog Mistress Reading....

For those of us old enough to know Shirley MacLaine:   the movie star legend, best-selling author, and philosopher who is out-spoken and a bit of a kook with a wry sense of humor.  Wouldn’t you like to sit down and eavesdrop on her conversations?  Listen to her confessions of Hollywood romances and what she really thinks about  the old Hollywood when it was still glamorous, the Rat Pack, Robert Mitchell, Elizabeth Taylor, Fidel Castro, aging, UFO’s and reincarnations?  Wouldn’t you like to know why she’s not over vanity but is trying, why she can’t remember if she’s over memory loss and why she is over the gallows of fame, rude people and people who repeat themselves?  Well, if you read her latest book, I’m Over All That and Other Confessions, the # 11 nonfiction book on the New York Times list, you might feel just a tab bit guilty for eavesdropping but you’ll love every minute of it.   I just finished it and I did. 

I've now started reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.   I saw the movie trailer and knew I wanted to see it.  After all, it's about a circus and who isn't intrigued by the big tents, exotic animals and carneys?  But I'm someone who prefers to read the book first, then go see the movie.  The book is not going to be a disappointment, I can tell.  I was hooked before the end of the second page with the "Disaster March".  It’s going to be a fast-pace, action-packed ride I can tell.  And judging from the movie reviews, I’ll get to enjoy the experience again.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This is National Pet Week

Most of us know and remember that Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday, May 8th.  But did you know that this week, May 1-7th,  is National Pet Week?  Petie, one of my two adorable rescue dogs, wants to remind you that when you go shopping for Mother Day’s, to please pick up a special little treat for your pet as well. 
Per the website:,  “the American Veterinary Medical Association is celebrating the 30th anniversary of National Pet Week. Over the years, everyone from Bill Clinton, as governor of Arkansas to Miss America, Dr. Debbye Turner has celebrated National Pet Week. Veterinary clinics across America have hosted everything from fun runs, dog washes and most unusual pet contests during the first full week of May since National Pet Week launched in 1981. National Pet Week is a week of education, fun, and a focal point for celebration in the community.”
While we do not suggest that you surprise your mother (a major no-no) with a puppy or a kitten for Mother’s Day, we do hope that when your family is ready for a new furry member of the family, you will consider adopting your new best friend from the Haltom City Animal Services or another animal rescue organization. 
If you decide to adopt a dog, Petie recommends that you check out these books and DVD’s from the Haltom Public Library to help your new dog adapt into your family.
Dogs all-in-one for dummies (Book)
Cesar’s rules: your way to train a well-behaved dog (book)
The World of Dogs (Instructional DVD)
If you decide to adopt a cat or kitten, then Petie says you’re on your own since he claims they are untrainable (his word, not mine). But I’m willing to bet that you will be able to find a book or DVD at the Haltom City Public Library on how to co-exist with them. Just ask one of the friendly librarians to help you find the book, DVD or article on how you and your furry pet can live in harmony.