Archive for April, 2008

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a busy library student in need of a commute to videoconference classes must be in want of fast food. And it’s really starting to show.

No one warned me of that when I applied for library school. I didn’t think about how my hectic life would necessitate an awful lot of fast food purchases. I think I’ve eaten more fast food in the last two semesters than I’ve had in my life so far.

Okay, maybe not THAT much. Sometimes I bring a sandwich, but usually it’s easier to pick something up.

And I am SO sick of fast food it’s ridiculous.

Fortunately I’m almost done with the semester, and this is my last semester of commuting. After this it’s all online, which only requires me sitting on my… chair taking classes online. After May 9 I won’t be commuting anymore.

Hurrah, on so many levels.

In other news, I have to share this with you. I’ve been given an internship at the Newberry Library, in the American Indian collection! I go there once a week, and so far I’ve only worked on reorganizing their book collection into call number order (LOC) and reshelving them, but next I’ll be working on their collection of American Indian tribal newspapers. That’ll be fun, and it’ll keep me busy for months.

Hurrah, on so many levels.

That’s an update from me. One of these days I’ll start posting regularly again here, as soon as I’m able to take a breath. I’ve missed it! (Breathing AND posting.)

End of semester hair pulling

Posted: April 21, 2008 in Library School

Coming up to the end of the spring semester of grad school. It’s time all my major projects come due, so if you can remember how that was when you were in school you’ll know how hairy this time is.

The good news is I’m done with all but two assignments and one of them is halfway done. All that’s hanging over my head is a 5-6 page paper, which is no huge deal.

I’m not taking any courses this summer. I’m suffering from burnout plus that’s family vacation time. But the nose will be back to the grindstone come fall.

I’m not sure what I’m taking in the fall yet, but I’m so glad my days of commuting to videoconference classes will be done. It’s all online after this semester, something I vastly prefer. I like that I can submit assignments at my own pace in the online courses. If I finish things early I can submit them early. This semester I’m already done with my online course, having submitted the final assignment last week. That’s a load off!

But library school’s going very well. No complaints about it, but it’s darn hard fitting in homework with everything else. Ah, well. Once it’s done I’ll be glad I did it. That’s my consolation.

Congrats to Bill Loehfelm

Posted: April 8, 2008 in Hot Book News

From Publisher’s Weekly:

New Orleans Bartender Wins Amazon Breakthrough Award
By Lynn Andriani — Publishers Weekly, 4/7/2008 7:55:00 AM
The winner of the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award was announced today: Bill Loehfelm, author of Fresh Kills, a noir mystery about lower-middle-class life in Staten Island, home to the famous garbage dump Fresh Kills. Representatives from Penguin and Amazon made the announcement at a breakfast at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City this morning.

Loehfelm, who works as a bartender in New Orleans during the day and wrote Fresh Kills at night, won a $25,000 publishing contract with Penguin, which will publish the novel in late summer.

Russell Grandinetti, v-p of books for Amazon.com, said the contest received a tremendous response, and hit its cap of 5,000 submissions two weeks before the deadline. Submissions came from 18 countries and every state, and more than 30,000 Amazon.com customers downloaded excerpts of the submitted novels. In her introduction to the announcement of the winner, Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert said it was a “great joy to be part of an event that gives writers a rope of hope.”

Loehfelm echoed Gilbert’s sentiments about the difficulty for unknown writers to get published. He said that when he heard about the contest, he quickly decided to enter, since “there was nothing to lose.” Now that he has won, he said he hopes Amazon will hold the contest again next year.

The award was founded by Amazon in cooperation with Penguin and Hewlett-Packard.

The contest was free and open to unpublished authors in 20 countries who have English-language manuscripts. Amazon accepted 5,000 entries and assembled a panel of customers who had posted the most, and best, reviews on its site to serve as the judges for the first round. After the submissions were cut to 1,000, a team put together by PW gave a full review to each manuscript, and the review and excerpt were posted on Amazon, where customers could read, rate and review the offerings.

Penguin pared the 1,000 manuscripts down to 100 and those underwent “a full editorial review process,” said Penguin director of online sales and marketing Tim McCall. Once Penguin cut the submissions to 10, excerpts were again posted on the Amazon site where customers voted for the winner.

McCall said Penguin will release the book, “in the appropriate format,” and he hopes to have at least a galley of the book on hand at BEA.