Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Just have not been feeling it, but this helps



This has been a hard school year for me. Besides the day to day of my job as school librarian, I have been trying to empty my mother's house since June that she lived in for 62 years. This has taken a lot out of me emotionally, and the act of sale is mid-January, so there is not much time left to finish it all. Also, the little aches and pains of aging are starting to catch up with me. I really need the two weeks off from school that starts on Saturday. 

As I was cleaning around my desk and filing some papers away today, I found this letter in the way back of my file cabinet. I don't remember the student or the year that she wrote this to me, but, boy, it has it put a smile on my face. Sometimes I forget the little things that I do have a huge impact on the students that I see everyday. To me this just helps reinforce that librarians do make a difference. 

If you click on the image of the letter, you can enlarge it to read
Bitmoji Image


I am going to take some time for myself over the holidays and also time to have fun with family friends. When I return to school in January, I am going to try and keep Sabrina's voice in my head so that I remember that what I do matters. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Virtual Visit with Author, Ashley Elston


It is always a great day when I have students visit with an author. I first met Ashley Elston at a state conference. Like me, she is from Louisiana. Her presentation to the roomful of librarians was hilarious, and I thought that my students would really enjoy talking to her. After the conference, we connected on Twitter, and I found out that she was happy to schedule a virtual visit with us. We agreed on a Monday in December during one of our regularly scheduled Bookmarked meetings. If I can schedule the author when the group is used to being in the library at that time, it is easier for the students to remember.



Ashley came to writing after she had her children. She explained that being a wedding photographer did not mesh well with being a mom with young children. She really did not know what she was getting into but just began writing. She has four published books, and a new one to be published in the fall of 2019. For this visit, we concentrated on talking about her two murder mysteries, This is our Story and The Lying Woods



Since she doesn't start writing with a detailed outline or a map of what is gong to happen, Elston finds that she is often surprised as to who the murderer turns out to be. She thinks this helps to make the story work well for her readers. I can say that of the four suspects in This is our Story, I could not figure out who had done it before she revealed it. No spoilers, but one of the twists in this story that took me by surprise was not in the original draft.



The students loved hearing how she came up with new ideas. She explained that she likes writing mysteries, but her next book, The Blind Dates, is a rom com. The story just came to her, and she went for it. I know after hearing her presentation at LLA this past March that she has a real comedic flair.


You can find more pictures and more information about the visit on the library website. The members of Bookmarked and I appreciate the time that Elston took to give us a peek into her writing process and motivation to write. Thank you, Ashley!!!




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