Unplugged

This week, I’m reading UNPLUGGED by Steve Antony during storytime. I’m taking a bit of a risk reading this book to a large group of kids. It’s filled with plenty of black and white illustrations, tiny little pictures in the middle of the book, and the general idea of computering looks more like something out of 1990 than 2018.  I’m not sure they’ll understand. And Blip–the main character–is a robot, I think. So, why is this robot attached to the computer all the time?  I’m not sure either. And I think it might be a stretch to explain it to kids raised on iPads.

But…

The point to the book is that Blip is chained to the computer all day. It’s fun, and she learns things, and gets to experience adventures and far away places. When the power goes out, she accidentally trips over the power cord and falls down the stairs and lands outside. Outside. That’s when she discovers colour…and grass, and birds, and friends.  It’s lovely, and I hope the lesson isn’t lost on the kids. Especially now that it’s spring. With the cold weather and snow (hopefully) mostly behind us, I’m hoping the kids will see that it’s nice to get outside and play and enjoy life.

It might be a better story to read to an individual child on your knee, where you can discuss the pictures and take time to really look at all the detail, but I’m hoping the bigger picture here will work. Wish me luck.

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Feeling Less Than Creative?

Starting this week, we’re taking registrations for our “Find Your Creative Self” program–a six-week session meant to help adults who are feeling less that creative. We meet for two hours a week and work through things that might be holding you back, as well as doing a variety of creative activities, and a few bits of homework to keep you inspired throughout the week.

Using the books THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron, BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert, and many other great creativity tomes, we’ll delve into the root of that dry spell. This isn’t like our adult craft nights—instead, it’s more like a therapy session, but we promise, it’ll be a LOT of fun, too!

Registration is a must, and this program will fill up fast. Call us to register at 257-2702, or drop by the library to sign up. It’s going to be a very educational spring!

Anne, Our Anne

If you’re Canadian, you have seen your fair share of Heritage Minutes. Usually accompanied by a sweeping soundtrack, the short clips played on CBC would tell about an important moment in Canadian history. Today, they’re still being made, but they’re so gorgeous now!

Here is the latest installment…a Heritage Minutes spot about Lucy Maud Montgomery, and her heroine Anne. You might have heard of her? She lived in Green Gables.

The spot highlights the beauty of PEI, and tells a little about ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, as well as Lucy Maud Montgomery herself. She almost didn’t publish ANNE, but persevered, even though she was told it would be too difficult as a woman to get published.

This series is a favourite of our former librarian, Janet. Every time one of the books crosses the library desk at work, we’re reminded how much she cherishes them.

Have you read the series? Do you have a favourite?

Local Authors Exposed!

Last Friday night, we had a fun event at our library–Local Authors Exposed. We invited four local authors and a fabulous moderator to join us for an evening of questions about publishing, writing, and creativity. It was really well attended and an enjoyable evening overall.

What did the authors teach us?

  • Never give up. Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t talented.
  • Every writer struggles. Just push through and you’ll find a way to do it.
  • Social media is important, and a great way to market books!

We could have stayed and listened for several more hours. But most of all, we learned that our community really loves authors. We’ll have to plan more events like this at the library in the future! (*We might even have something special coming up. Keep watching!)

Claudia Radmore tells us about ARCTIC TWILIGHT. It was fascinating to hear how she got this book deal. Can you believe it involved an open mic night?

Linda Seccaspina was a fantastic moderator. She had so much good information about publishing. How much did she saw the average author earned?? (Hint…it was less than $2000.)

 

Sandra Nikolai does social media for all her books..and must market for the US readers, so all of her books contain US spellings.

Would You Be This Brave?

I love this lead up:

It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet’s final frontier? There wouldn’t be another encounter with an unknown this magnificent until Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

Everyone wanted in on the adventure. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts begged to be taken along as mess boys, and newspapers across the globe covered the planning’s every stage. And then, the night before the expedition’s flagship set off, Billy Gawronski—a mischievous, first-generation New York City high schooler desperate to escape a dreary future in the family upholstery business—jumped into the Hudson River and snuck aboard.

Could he get away with it?

THE STOWAWAY : A YOUNG MAN’S EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE TO ANTARCTICA by Laurie Gwen Shapiro is the tale of Billy Gawronski’s daring hideaway on a ship bound for unexplored territory. The book takes the reader on the adventure, which ranges from New York City in the 20’s, to sultry Tahiti, all the way down to Antarctica where the adventure really begins. It was a time when hiding on a ship was possible, and the world still had secret places.

This book is in our new bin right now, and it’s been climbing some of the new lists out there. Read it now before everyone else wants to get their hands on it. Don’t we all need a little adventure in our lives?

A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA

YA and Middle Grade author Tahereh Mafi knows something about break dancing. You wouldn’t think it to look at her, but Iranian-American born Mafi spent much of her youth breaking dancing with her brothers. If you follow her on social media, she regrets not getting any photos from her teen years, but she willingly posts a new shot of her break dancing just a few weeks ago. And that’s as a new mom.

Mafi writes adventure for middle grade, with bits of magic and lots of fantasy. And her YA books are often dystopian–and always full of interesting characters and situations. So it seems out of sort to write a very different type of YA novel, to be titled A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA, coming out this fall. In it, she tells the story of Shirrin, an hijab-wearing Muslim teenager living in the year after 9/11, who struggles to find her identity as a young adult, but who is also living a new life of fear in the suspicious and confusing world after that tragic day in September. To make matters even more difficult, she falls in love with a white boy–something that only makes her stand out even more, and offers her a different view of the world through his eyes.

While she won’t say how the break dancing fits into this book, it’s her most autobiographical book to date, and she hopes it will show readers that people aren’t just what they appear to be on the outside. It might hit a new audience of readers, but her loyal fans (known as the Mafi Mafia) will probably tag right along, if only to learn a little more about their favourite author.

You can read the fascinating L.A. Times interview about Mafi and her new book right here.

Local Authors Exposed!

This week, we’re holding an exciting event at the library–Local Authors Exposed: The Truth about Publishing. Join us Friday, March 2 at 6:30pm for a mix and mingle with our authors, and stay for 7pm when the panel will get going.

If you’ve been thinking about writing a book, or are just interested in hearing more about the process, “Local Authors Exposed” is an evening you won’t want to miss. Our CP Library Writers decided they wanted to know a bit more about the next step after writing a book, and who better to ask than authors who have done it themselves! Our evening will include plenty of fun, and will talk specifically about Please bring questions and your own experiences!

Our “tell-all” panel includes: Joelle Hubner-McLean (author of the YA series CORVUS & ME), David Mulholland (author of historical fiction such as CHAUDIERE FALLS), Claudia Coutu Radmore (editor, author, and 2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist nominee and author of ARCTIC TWILIGHT), and mystery series author Sandra Nikolai (BROKEN TRUST). And moderating our panel will be local historian and author extraordinaire Linda Seccaspina. While their experiences are unique, and might not reflect every path toward publication, we hope you’ll enjoy hearing their thoughts.

Tickets are on sale now at the library for $5 each. All proceeds will go toward our Children’s Summer Literacy Program.