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Let’s Hear it for the Girls! Books, Women and the Olympics

Let’s Hear it for the Girls!
Books, Women and the Olympics

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If you love the Olympics as much as we do around here, you’re probably glued to your TV set! When you’re not watching the Olympics, maybe you are reading about the Olympics? There are so many great athletes to learn about it’s hard to know where to begin.  Let’s hear it for the girl! Many female athletes have made history over the years and while Rio has just gotten started, let’s look back and see what women have made it into a book.

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Serena Williams. She’s amazing and definitely has done things her way. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, either. She’s unconventional. I like it.

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Hope Solo. She’s the gal you’ll love to hate. She’s probably one of the best goalies in the world but who would want to room with someone who has a reputation of domestic abuse? It’s a tough life for sure, but she keeps winning.

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Gabby Douglas. America’s newest sweetheart proves that pint size people pack a punch on and off the field. She’s so sweet and her story is so inspirational you can’t help but cheer for her.

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Dara Torres isn’t competing in Rio this year but she shouldn’t have to. At the Beijing Olympics she won a medal. Well, ok a few. She’s won 12 medals in all. She was 41. You’re right girl, age IS just a number.

So if you’re looking for encouragement, why not pick up a book about one of these ladies? I’m sure you’ll be motivated to win. Or to at least get off the couch.

Let’s hear it for the girls! Who’s your fave Olympic athlete this year?

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information Young Adult

SCORE!! I tracked down Pick your Plot author Dan Keidl and tortured him until he agreed to an interview !

Ok so maybe tortured is a wee too strong a word, but when I realized my error in not interviewing gentlemanly Dan Keidl who co authored Armageddon: Pick Your Plot with AJ Lauer, I decided to make amends.

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 Here’s what Danno had to say…

UNCONVENTIONAL LIBRARIAN:  Welcome to our interview! Let’s get started. Do you drink coffee?

DK: I dooooo, but I only had it for the first time a couple years ago. Now I love to drink it socially but I don’t have it on my own. I guess I missed out on acquiring it as a habit?

UL.  It’s never too late to pick up a bad habit. Do you like donuts or cookies? Do you dunk?

DK: Yes. Oh wait, do you mean one or the other? I guess… donuts. Or really warm cookies. I like ’em when they’re soft, you see, and I’m not intimidated by the prospect of getting donut/cookie crumbs all over everything if necessary.

DK: I can safely say I HAVE dunked a cookie and a donut into coffee in my life, but I haven’t had a lot of time to practice that particular skill. On the other hand, I am a pro at dunking cookies in milk. You know how some rare, uncannily lucky people are skilled at making a smores marshmallow perfectly golden tender without igniting it or anything? I’m like that, but with dunking cookies. Do they give out awards for that sort of thing?

UL: Why yes, Dan. Yes they do.

Voila!

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CONGRATULATIONS!  Now tell us, how did your book get started?

DK; Let’s see, it was the year of the Mayan Apocalypse, 2012, and I was brainstorming a good theme for my annual themed birthday bash. I settled on Choose Your Own Armageddon as the tongue-in-cheek concept, and in a foolhardy display of hubris decided that the right party favor for such an event would be an interactive fiction book based on that idea. AJ generously agreed to be enlisted and we wrote furiously for two weeks in order to have it bound on time. And when I say furiously, I mean passionately, disciplinedly, and often deliriously past the point of reason into the wee hours of the morning. I believe the cover art came about at roughly 3am on the last day before I had to get them printed and to the bindery? Altogether it was a feat I am still proud of and thankful for to this day. 

UL: Wow. That is some feat. What else have you written?

DK: I… ha ha, does being occasionally clever on Twitter (@dankeidl) count? AJ and I are collaborating on another adventurous interactive fiction novel which will knock your socks off. And the world ends less often, in this next one. I’ll make a point of letting you know when that’s coming out. Just thinking about it makes me grin.

UL:  Great. I love the idea of the world ending less often. If you could have any superpower what would it be?

DK: All right, I want to make this a little serious because I’ve given this a ton of thought of course, as I think most people have. When it comes right down to it, the real limiting factor that keeps me from doing everything I could imagine wanting to do in life is risk assessment. I’d really like to be able to make a difference in disaster areas, disease-ravaged areas, warzones: the places where humanity is really suffering and really, truly, needs help. But I can’t go there without a significant risk of suffering the same fate myself.

So the clearest superpower to have would be the ability to heal and recover from injury, like Wolverine from X-Men. I don’t even need the claws and grafted adamantine skeleton. Although I wouldn’t turn down looking like Hugh Jackman.

And if I had to pick a useless superpower? I would take the ability to control orange juice and make it do whatever I wanted. Put ’em together and my super-name would be, uh… Zesty Wolverine?

UL: Zesty Wolverine?  I like it! As for your serious superpower? I dig it. Totally. What makes you happy?

DK; Stories. Storytelling, and discussing and examining challenges, problems, the human condition more generally using fictional narrative like books and games. Also Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

UL:”X” never, ever marks the spot. (raising eyebrows) Wrapping up now, anything else you want to tell us?

DL: I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to get to know you a little, Pam, and I appreciate your interest in our book.  Kids at home: Don’t forget to spend some real time figuring out what you’re passionate about, stick with it and follow through. Accomplishing things takes work, but succeeding against adversity is a feeling you will never forget. Don’t forget to share your struggle and your success!

UL: Great advice for the kiddos. Also brush your teeth and clean your room.

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Grammarly is My Home Girl


Free & Quick Proofreading from Grammarly!
Let’s face it. Everyone has a bestie. She’s your road dawg. The girl who holds your hand when you trip over your too high heels (that your mother told you not to wear); the nurse who holds your hair back when you’ve had too much cake and your praising the porcelain god; the warrior who will fight for the last sparkly thing for you at the Trunk sale; the Abbott to your Costello; the partner in crime who drives the bike while you egg the house of your enemy; the Monica to your Rachel.

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You get my point, right? Everyone has a bestie. The silent partner. The one who is always there for you; your Home Girl. Your Be Hive (Hey Beyonce).

That’s how I feel about Grammarly. Grammarly is there for me. When I need it and when I don’t. To be sure, I have lots of experience and degrees n stuff, but sometimes I need a backup plan. I need someone to check my work when my mama isn’t available.

You know how you’re writing that critical blog post or term paper and it’s 11:35pm and there’s no one around to proof your work? Grammarly your Home Girl is there.

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You know how you’ve written your first online book for sale on Amazon? Grammarly will help you edit the manuscript when your eyes are bloodshot and bleary from reading the same friggin fraggin words all over again. That’s right lil Homeslice; way back when, Grammarly helped me edit my book.

Boom Pow. Easy.

Get you some Grammarly today. Click any one of the links and see what Grammarly can do for you.

 

 

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Easy Zombie Makeup for Halloween

I know I know, it’s a few days before Halloween and you still don’t know what you want to dress as.  Why not go as a zombie? Zombies can wear practically ANYTHING and the make up is easy.  Watch my video as I show you how to do make an easy zombie face for Halloween.

Whaddaya think?

Easy peasy lemon squeezy right?

Now get out there, make your zombie face and tag me on Twitter @Pamlovesbooks so I can see your zombieliciousness!

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Stop All the Clocks…W.H. Auden’s Funeral Poem

Friends, Pammy Pam had a busy weekend. A beloved relative died and I traveled to my second hometown of Austin, Texas to celebrate her homegoing and her life. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, funerals can either be sad or happy.  My initial reaction upon hearing of my dear cousin’s passing was one of sadness.  I found this poem by W.H. Auden to describe my feelings well.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. 

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

 

You might be familiar with this poem from Four Weddings and a Funeral.  After the funeral services, however,  we participated in a balloon release to signify releasing our grief.

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It was a beautiful and moving end to an emotional weekend. What unique ways have you said goodbye to loved ones?

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information Young Adult

Exclusive Interview Cheryl Rainfield of #StainedBook @samijolien @CherylRainfield

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STAINED Book Launch and Blog Tour

Friends I am SO excited to be part of my Bestie Cheryl Rainfield’s new book tour!

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Priscilla Queen of the Desert

If you’ve been around here long enough, you’ll know I love music.  I also love musical theater, and while I may not get any of the words right, I love to sing along to my old faves and meet new favorites.

That’s where Priscilla Queen of the Desert comes along.  Priscilla is a new(ish) Broadway musical that is now on tour across the country.  If you love Too Wong Foo, or Glee or anything  in that genre then you might like Priscilla.  There is also a lavish movie, with lots of glam, pink feather boas, makeup, and DIVA DRAMA, who doesn’t love that?

Click on the picture to get your seats today!

Priscilla Queen of the Desert

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MLP’s Main Line Private & Independent School Expo

I support an organization that is near and dear to my heart: Main Line Parent Magazine.  MLP provides resources for parents from exercise classes to art to educational information.  I’ve worked with this group many times (I was even a MODEL) and support everything they do.

This weekend MLP is hosting a private and independent school expo.  If you’re in the market for a new school, you should attend this event.  It will be well organized and great fun, I’m sure.  Want more information? Of course you do! Please keep reading!

On Sunday, October 21, 2012 from 1:00 to 4:00PM, Main Line Parent will host the Main Line Private & Independent School Expo at Radnor Valley Country Club (555 Sproul Road, Villanova PA). This event, which is designed specifically for families who value education and high quality service providers, will showcase a variety of programs — special needs, gifted, traditional, Montessori, Waldorf, art/science/music-focused enrichment for children and boarding school as well — to educate parents about how to find the right programs for their children.

While the Main Line Private and Independent School Expo is the first of its kind, it was planned on the heels of a very successful Main Line Early Childhood Education Fair, which Main Line Parent hosted this spring in Wayne. Whether you’re looking to get your foot in the door early or actively searching for the right education options now, this event is essential for families of the Main Line and Philadelphia’s western suburbs with children entering preschool through grade 12. The Expo will help parents find the right program for their children by allowing them to explore different types of schools, educational philosophies and special programs. Attendees will leave the Expo more aware of private and independent schools (and open house opportunities), the admissions process, financial planning, scholarship information, tax credits and more.

Families should register for the Expo as a unit, specifying how many members plan to attend (the event as a whole and the specific seminars, listed under “ticket information”). And, though the event is free, a $5 donation or a children’s book donation for Reach Out and Read will be requested at the door.

You never know where the Unconventional Librarian will turn up, so be sure to attend this event!

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Make the world a better place for kids. Call to Action.

An Unconventional rarely makes any kind of political connections but I feel as if i would be remiss if I didn’t highlight a few important issues. I believe this world can be better for kids; hence my subtitle, building pluralism one book at a time.  A pluralistic world is good for ALL kids regardless of color, ethnicity, ability or disability, gender, affiliation, etc etc etc.

      

That said, here are a few things important to me this weekend (and forever, really):

  • Banned books: books should not be banned, kids need to read about situations of all kinds.  Information wants to be free.  Children need to be exposed to the differences in our world that make us special/unique; not hide from them. Take action and fight against banned books.  Follow my blog all week long for great banned books.
  • Bullying.  I’m sad that there is bullying in this world and most of it is aimed at CHILDREN.  If you’ve ever been bullied you’ll understand.  If you have kids, your heart will ache if your child is bullied.  Take action like my friend Amy is doing at Lady Reader’s Bookstuff.  Maybe you’ll even find a list of bullying resources for kids, written by someone you know..?
  • Contacting your legislator.  Why is this important? Because having worked for an important political figure many years ago I can tell you that listening to constituents is IMPORTANT.  Were it not for constituents, there would be no political servant.  What should you contact your legislator about? Today it’s this: SB 1115, the Special Education Funding Reform legislation.  Why? Because Special Education funding is important.  Special Education kids have EDUCATIONAL needs that deserve to be met; just like yours and mine do.

My friend, Lisa, is a hard core Special Education advocate.  She’s made it easy for you to contact your legislator.  First, here’s her blog, go show here some BIG love over at A Day in Our Shoes.

Second, send this letter (insert the legislator’s name in the blank):

Dear___________,

My family and I live in your district and have been watching the progress of SB 1115, the Special Education Funding Reform legislation. As I read the votes online, I see that it has been passed unanimously four times since March. As we both know, in June this bill was hijacked by legislators that wanted to pass the Charter School Reform, and now this bill is at risk of not passing.

I’d like to point out that many children with disabilities cannot  have their needs served appropriately in a charter school; they are not welcomed there. It is unfair to lump the two issues together, especially when one issue does not have full support. SB 1115 has been in the works for over five years and must be passed in October or the hard work must begin again. Since it passed unanimously several times prior to the Charter School legislation being attached, it is obvious that it is supported and there is no reason for it to not go through and become law. Please make it a priority to work with your fellow lawmakers to get this passed through, even if it means disassembling the bill and removing the Charter School provisions if a consensus cannot be reached.

SB 1115 does not ask for additional funding-it merely takes existing funding and distributes it fairly. This can only benefit all of Pennsylvania’s students. The Charter School legislation issue is an important one. However, that needs to be worked out on their own time, not on the backs of Pennsylvania’s children with disabilities, some of our most vulnerable citizens.

Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

How do I know to whom to send the letter?  Lisa has helped you out. Here’s the link. Enter your street address and then it will tell you who represents you.  Here’s mine:

Then what? Click on the LINK to their name.  It shows you a photo of your legislator and how to contact them: phone, email, fax, facebook, twitter, youtube, etc.  USE THEM. To be sure, you probably won’t get to speak to the representative personally, but rest assured you will get attention from someone in that office; they have an office or home address in your neighborhood; they care about what you think.

Guess who’ll be getting a word from An Unconventional Librarian?

What about you? Will you take action to make the world a better place for kids?

Need help? Email me, It’s what librarians do!

 

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Welcome to my New Pamshire visitors!

I just noticed that New Hampshire is showing Unconventional Librarian a whole lotta love.  Not sure why, but I love to get LOVE! To thank you all for visiting, I’m officially renaming your state New Pamshire.  And here’s some pics I found on the Googles of the beautiful New Pamshire.

Thanks for the Love Salem New Pamshire!