A new school year happened at the library each September as well. Parents brought their children in to get library cards and to check out materials. I began a new year of library programming and book buying. For many years, I subscribed to PM, Publishers Marketplace, in order to track the deals made between agents and editors. This was a personal subscription (not paid for by the library). I used to track YA and MG sales. Then I tracked only YA. A year ago, I started tracking Inspirational sales.
Today, I unsubscribed from PM. It was costing something like $350/year, and that's money I plan to spend on entering RWA contests instead. Changing Seasons ...
I also used to look forward to Publishers Weekly Fall and Spring Children's Announcements. As a librarian, I printed this 150-page, single-spaced list, using it as the starting point of my book purchases. Lucky me, I got to buy about $60,000 worth of children's materials each year.
It was such a joy to see the books when they came into the library, to handle them, to read the back covers, the cover flaps, the first pages, and then when they were processed, to see them sitting on the New Book shelves. I was thrilled to be a Reader's Advisor, giving parents and teens information about new books and old favorites.
I was able to read every single picture book I ordered, to see if it had Storytime possibilities, as well as to be informed about trends. It was impossible to read more than a sampling of everything else I purchased, though I dearly wanted to.
Now, I haven't looked at the Publishers Weekly announcements for an entire year and, believe it or not, I have been in a library only three times--not to check out books, but only to talk to former co-workers. Changing Seasons ...
But I continue to buy books for myself ... way too many of them.
These are my petunias as they look today, still flowering mightily, but so rangy and overgrown, at the end of summer.
The picture at left was taken a month ago, when summer was at its peak, and so were the petunias.
During the past couple of weeks, I was feeling like my rangy petunias. Summer got away from me. Until harvest, we were on the go a lot, including a milestone, week-long airplane adventure to Saskatchewan.
After that I managed to write the first 50 pages of a new manuscript, which I'm calling THE PERFECT WIFE. I also entered an old, YA manuscript in four RWA contests. Entering contests is surprisingly time consuming.
Then I spent a week preparing the 50 pages of THE PERFECT WIFE for a RWA contest.
While doing all that, my office became so piled up with unorganized stuff that last Saturday, I cried UNCLE!
So I organized stacks of loose books, notebooks and papers. As well, I stripped the office to the bone of unnecessary books. I took five boxes of books to the basement and put them on shelves there.
My office is now lean and mean. I've rolled up my sleeves, so to speak, and am ready to start writing seriously again, beginning on Monday. I want to start seeing daily progress.
So, what are the things in the bags on the hangers? That's what I've been doing all day every day for the past five days. (Apart from five excursions out of the house for necessary shopping, and my daughter and her three kids having a sleepover here on Tuesday.) Over the years, I've never used picture frames on any of my scrapbook layouts, but only mats.
Lately, I've missed not using frames. So I combed through all of my patterned paper that had either a small pattern or a faint pattern (something that would make the picture "pop" rather than dominate it) and found a couple hundred pages that qualified.
From there, I printed a transparent frame onto each page (some pages being large enough for two frames), rough-cut the frames, bonded each one to cardstock (using Yes! paste), and then further trimmed the frames and sorted them by color. I didn't count, but I'm guessing I have around 300 frames, and they are absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to start using them in my layouts.
What is the Changing Season about this? It's that a year has passed since my retirement, and I am finally bringing my love for scrapbooking front and center into my life. There was a ton of things that needed to be completed, that first year. Much of it was accomplished. Enough that I can now pull Scrapbooking toward me, and spend a little time at it each day.
How are your priorities changing, now that we're moving into a new season?