Sign up for The JA Pitts Newsletter for upcoming events and special offers

Archive for June, 2010

Visiting schools

My god-daughter asked me to come to her classroom and talk about being a published author.  Her teacher is apparently excited by the event as well.  So tomorrow at 11am I’ll be going to visit an elementary school and discuss writing with a group of third graders.  How cool is that?

Life is amazing.

|

Another Black Blade Blues review

And not so much with the love this time.

Very thoughtful review.  Book just didn’t work for this reviewer, alas.

Can’t win ’em all. Just happy they took the time to give their honest opinion.

|

More reasons why I love librarians

I snurched this from some friends on Live Journal.

I got my Masters of Science in Library and Information Science way back in 1994 from the University of Kentucky.  I think this video is truly amazing.

|

Black Blade Blues reviewed over at BlogCritic

Wow. Went to tae kwon do tonight and didn’t die. Was a good class. Great to be back amongst my friends. I missed them.

On the novel front, I came home to a new book review over at Blogcritics.

Read what they have to say.

|

Guest Blog Post live. Mythos and Environment in Black Blade Blues.

John Ottinger over at Grasping the Wind has allowed me a chance to talk about Black Blade Blues. Check it out.

|

I love librarians

When I was a kid, I fell in love with the library.  My mother would take us over to this library near my grandparents when it first opened on Sundays, before we went over to Sunday dinner.  She’d let me wander around for a couple of hours.  I was in heaven.  Even at five years old, I knew it was a magical place.  Every one of those books held adventures I’d never be able to experience any other way.  My mother read to us — Robin Hood, Hardy Boys — adventure books that she thought boys would love.  I could fall into a book and leave this world completely.

The gate-keepers to this world of magic, of course, was the librarian.  They were stoic women who sat at these tall desks, with their glasses perched on their noses, or hanging around their necks on little chains.  I thought the chains were fascinating – shiny and exotic.  At five, I fell in love with the librarian.  She was an older woman with grey hair and her chained glasses.  She spoke in hushed whispers and could freeze a child with a look.  We tiptoed past her desk when going from one room of books to another, fearing her wrath.

I remember the first time I walked up to her with a stack of 30 books to check out.  She smiled at me sweetly, patted my hand and carefully explained that while I was certainly ambitious, the library had a policy of only allowing children to check out two books at a time.

I was quite upset, as you can imagine.  She said she’d find my mother and explain it to me, since I was not allowed to check out books on my own and she’d help me understand the reasoning for the rules.

I have a stubborn streak a mile wide, as my friends can attest to.  I told her I was not a little kid, and I was quite smart enough to understand the rules.  She smiled, said okay, and proceeded to explain that children tended to be forgetful with their books, and not read more than two a week.  If I took so many, it would be unfair to the other children.  She went on to say that she was sure I was a good reader, but that reading that many books in a week seemed a bit unreasonable for a child my age.

I didn’t know my mother was in the next row of books and heard this whole exchange, so this story was repeated a bit in our family.

I told the librarian I understood her reasons, but that I was an excellent reader and that the books would not likely last the week.  They were mostly Dr. Seuss and the like, board books for early readers.  She smiled again, but was not convinced, so I took a book from the top of the stack, stepped back away from her desk, and proceeded to read it aloud to her.

She was very sweet.  Helped me pronounce a word I stumbled on, and listened patiently while I read the entire book.  When I was done, she folded her hands on her desk and nodded.  “You are a fine reader,” she told me.  I can still hear her voice in my head forty years later.  “I think we can make an exception to the rule for you.”

My mother came up and they had a bit of a chat.  In the end, I was awarded with my very own library card, under the conditions I understood how very important a responsibility it was.  Then she waived the child rules in my case, putting a star sticker on my card to indicate to the other librarians that I was a privileged reader and could exceed the book limit.

I took home my 30 books and we went to my grand parents for Sunday dinner.  I read almost every one of those books that long afternoon, bound and determined to prove to that wonderful librarian that I was indeed worthy of her time and her trust in me as a star reader.

So, I have a special place in my heart for librarians.  They are the magic keepers — the guardians of wishes and adventures.  Go out and visit your library.  Take a moment to speak with the librarians and let them know how grateful you are for what they do.  They tend to be harried these days, overwhelmed with budget cuts and logistics.  But they also watch for those moments where they can open a new world for a child, or even an adult.

When was the last time you went to the library and walked along the rows of books, dragging your fingers along the spines and opened yourself to the possibilities?  When was the last time you felt the magic?

|

Morning at the gym.

Since my day job is making my evenings so unpredictable, I’m trying something new. I got up at 5am and hit the YMCA. 30 minutes on the elliptical, upper body work on the circuit and some good stretching. Now I’ve eaten, showered and am ready for the day job. One day, I’ll be back at Tae Kwon Do and everything.

But not today.

Maybe there’ll be writing tonight. Started outlining next book on Saturday.

|

Uruz

The wild ox; strength and power.

Ansuz

Creativity; words, music, and art.

Othala

The troll cross; wealth and prosperity.

Sowilo

The sun; energy, honor, guidance.

Fehu

Personally earned or lucky wealth and prosperity.

Jera

The harvest; patience and promise.

Raidho

The chariot; journey and travel.

Note: This is not the real book cover.