Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh, Joy! The Books Are Back



The Phoenix branch of our library system opened at ten Monday morning. I was sitting on the brick-enclosed flowerbed by the front door when the librarian arrived to unlock the door at two minutes til ten. I had not slept. I had tried, but it was no go. The day before a big event has always been one of my insomnia triggers.

I was sooooo tired last night. My muscles and joints are still trying to decide if they reeealy want to know each other that well.

My haul included 7 novels for Ed; 5 novels and 5 NF for me; and 4 DVD. Sound like a lot? Ha! Then you don't know me well. Take a look at my profile pic. That was me bringing back the last of the books on the last day the libraries were open last April 6th. About a month before that, I'd had to bring back three or four times that many in the week before they put a 30 item limit on each card. At the heighth of last winter/spring I topped 130 items on my card alone.

That wasn't typical though. 60-80 items on my card is more typical. I kinda went a bit crazy after news of the impending library closure. I had dozens of projects ongoing. I tried to bring as many as possible to adequate stopping places. I panicked. Instead of doing a dozen things well in the last four months, I did six dozen in slip-shod fashion. I stopped taking notes. I tried to become a sponge for the words but no matter which thing I was working on, anxiety about several of the others kept my mind distracted.

I'm hoping I've learned some lessons that will stick over the last seven months. I probably wouldn't have committed to 70 Days of Sweat if I'd still been a slave to library book due dates. I probably wouldn't have committed to posting daily to Joystory either. I do not want to loose the momentum of giving quality time to my writing. I want to bring the ratio of fiction to NF reading back towards half and half. Fiction, my first love, had slipped to less than 10% of my reading over the last decade.

I also learned during the Read-a-Thon October 20th that my reading speed has slipped to between 20 and 30 pages per hour. That is a large drop from the 50 page per hour rate I was at 7 years ago. I'm hoping that removal of a cataract in my right eye and new prescription glasses will allow me to bring that back up but until then, an adjustment of expectations is in order.

Somehow, I got confused today and spent most of the day thinking it was the last day of October and that NaNoWriMo kicked off at midnight. It wasn't until just before dinner this evening that I figured it out. This afternoon I had finally gone to the NaNo site and reactivated my account and updated my profile. I'd been putting it off because part of the task was to grab icon gifs off their site for display in my sidebar. It had been so long since I'd altered my sidebar, I'd forgotten how to do it. I also needed to change the image at the top of the sidebar, shaming Southern Oregon for the library closures. The one showing a jumbled pile of books with a red circle and slash over them.

There were several other things I changed on my sidebar. I spent the evening after dinner plugging away at it, learning how to add URL links to images that refer to their site instead of to blogger's photo id. Also, in reverse, to add an image to a link in a link list. I made a number of changes but there are still more to do. For one, I need to totally revamp my link lists. This evening I eliminated at least half of the links in 'Blogs I Haunt' because I hadn't visited for months or I knew the link was invalid. I need to add in the ones that have become regular haunts over the last year.

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