Morning Meanderings… Up Close and Personal With Lorna Landvik

Recently at the Book Expo I was talking with my roommate (Beth Fish Reads and yes I like saying she is my roommate lol)  and we were talking about how much we used to blog…  she had said, “You used to put up two posts a day!”

She was right, I did.  For the longest time I would do a Morning Meanderings… and then something; bookish review, author meet up … in the  afternoon.  At the time… it flowed well… now it is funny to think how the heck did I do that?????

At this time, I have enough footage to do it…. I am behind (WAY BEHIND!) on reviews.  I have much to share about bookish things and by golly I am going to keep talking about those great Expo books.  So we shall see…  😉

Lorna Landvik was at the Brainerd Public Library yesterday.  She is not only an amazing author, funny funny lady, and our MC for Wine and Words… she is also someone I am pleased to call friend.

Lorna was at the Brainerd Public Library for our Brown Bag Author Event. Every Monday through the summer we have an author from noon to one.  I was initially going to skip this weeks as I was up to my ears in working on the Books Burgers and Brews discussion for last night, but once I checked the schedule and remembered it was Lorna I had to go.

Lorna packed the house.  Our events usually bring in around 45 – 60….  Lorna had 104 in the room.  I counted twice.




Lorna’s new book is Once In A Blue Moon Lodge.  The follow-up to Patty Jane’s House Of Curl.  The book sounds amazing!

Morning Meanderings… L3 Summit…. Libraries, Libraries, Libraries

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Good morning!

I keep thinking that it would be fun to have a little thing here at Book Journey that if you see me mention libraries or the word library in a post you win something…

Then I thought…. well that is just crazy.  I talk about libraries ALL THE TIME.  😉

Today I am at the L3 Summit in St Paul Minnesota.  This is pretty cool.  About 4 years ago I was involved in a study with two of our Librarians that involved two-day work shops in ST Paul for four different dates within a year to learn more about strengthening our Libraries, and how we can help each other grow.  It was a great program and I learned a lot.  In fact, Wine and Words came out of this training.

They worked with Minnesota libraries when I was involved – a mix of large libraries, and small.  Then after Minnesota they took this program to Wisconsin.   And then this last year, they worked with South Dakota.  Now, at this Summit is a mix of the three years,all three states, inviting back those that made the most progress with the program.  I am honored to be a part of this.

So today is a day of connecting and sharing our success with our libraries and our programs.  I am excited to hear what the others have done as well.  I brought along a few Wine and Words brochures as well as tickets – cause hey – you never know 😉

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Last night they had a dinner which was nice.  I came back to my hotel room and wanted a little something so thought I would check and see if they had a little snack area.  I figured there are times that it makes sense to pay $5 for something sweet.  😉  I found in a cupboard in the room the jack pot…. and yes, I paid $6 for a small jar of Dark Chocolate Toffee Pistachios.  They had me at toffee…. lol

I will be back to talk about the books of BEA and the expo itself…. just let the last few days get away from me 🙂

 

 

 

Morning Meanderings… It’s All A Bit Crazy

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*Deep Breath*

Today I wanted to share the pictures of the bench that was dedicated to my son at the Brainerd Public Library.  It is one of those things that I am a little surprised I have not already posted the pics (I did post the prep of the area pics but never the finished area).  And then as I plan to write this post the tears start rolling.

How my life has changed these past 5 months…

It is in all honesty quite surreal and surely requires a reality check from time to time.  How can this all be real?  How can 5 months ago I had this vibrant amazing kid in my life and we were making plans and hanging out and then…

this.

Now I have benefits, and Color Runs, and tree plantings and ribbon cuttings…

and a very very broken heart.

However, this is not what this post is about.  Well it is and it isn’t.

If you can put a shed of light over this tragedy I am trying to live through…  what I am posting here is a spark of life and love and well….  here it is.

A brief background story to the bench if you do not know it…. when my son died in a car accident this past April the book blogging community took a stand and wanted to do something to honor my love for books and the library and my great love for my son. Money was raised quickly for this project, bloggers and publishers, and authors, all came together to make this happen. 

I still can not write this or talk about this without tearing up… what an outpouring of love during the hardest part of my entire life. 

Two members of our friends group Dawn and Sherri spoke at the ribbon cutting
Two members of our friends group Dawn and Sherri spoke at the ribbon cutting.

 

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There was a nice gathering of people for the ribbon cutting… friends, family, and community.

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Justin's bench.
Justin’s bench.

 

 

And the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library group contributed $10,000 to add in 4 more benches and a picnic table to the area for people to enjoy.

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Thank you to every one who contributed.  Coming through the way the book community did at such a time as this was such a gift to myself and my family.  This heart felt generosity will not be forgotten.

(This post will be linked to Saturday Snapshot, where people share their stories through pictures).

Saturday Snapshot…. It’s Happening.

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Well I certainly did not plan on being MIA this past week here, but I see my last post was a week ago.  A week on heavy library activity and we are down to the wire planning for Wine and Words.  Lots of busy volunteers out there making the final steps happen.  This week I worked on the table brochure, seating arrangements with my friend Sue, lots of email communications, sponsor information, phone calls, ticket sales, communications to our venue, and tomorrow myself and the Co-Chair Gail will hopefully take care of the final silent auction items which we are planning on a good 4-6 hours at the library doing that.

Whew.

Anyhoo…

This week at the Brainerd Public Library a lot of things were happening fast.

  1.  We got the word that the cement people were coming to lay out the plan for the benches and give the bid.
  2. The Library Director and I went and layed out the plan for the benches and where they would go.
  3.  When they came the bid was a good one and they said they would be able to do the job on Friday.  (Yesterday)
  4. Friday!!!!
  5. We hit “go mode” and bought materials to put stone around two of the trees in the area the benches would go to add a nice park feel to the area.
  6. I dug up hostas from my own gardens because I loved the symbolism of having the plants being from our home where my son’s bench was going to be placed.
  7. Thursday we were able to work on it a little bit in the morning and then we were rained out.
  8. Friday morning we finished the hosta project (including a bonus space because we had extra stones) and the cement people did their thing.
  9. The benches will go in early this next week.

A little background on the benches for those of you who are not familiar with my story of the past 4 months…. when my 24 year old son was killed in a car accident in April of this year, the book community did an AMAZING thing.  A group of bookish friends who I have connected with through here, started up a bench fund so a bench could be placed at our local library in memory of my son.

My heart… runneth over.

This bench led to the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library moving forward on something we had talked about over the last couple of years, and that was putting some nice outdoor benches outside the Library.  The Friends, on top of what the book community started with Justin’s bench, tossed in an additional $10,000 so we could add a bench on both sides of Justin’s as well as an octagon picnic table, a heavy duty garbage can, and two more benches for the Children’s outdoor area of the library.

I will post pictures once the benches are in place.  I have seen Justin’s bench and it is BEAUTIFUL.

book journey, Sheila DeChantal, Justin DeChantal, Brainerd Public LIbrary
The two trees that we planted the hostas around.
Mckay Concrete, DeChantal, Book Journey, Brainerd Public LIbrary
Preparing for the benches
Brainerd Public Library, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal
Prepping the Children’s Area ( we had planned on two benches but changed our mind and had them prep for 4. We will order two more benches.
Brainerd Public LIbrary, Book Journey
The moving of “Ben” the old bench that has sat in the bench planning area since the library was moved to this location.
Brainerd Public LIbrary, Book Journey.
“Ben’s” new home in the employee area of the library next to a picnic table. It looks as though he was meant to be there.
Brainerd Public Library
Jolene the library director working on the third “bonus” hosta bed.
Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal. Justin DeChantal, Brainerd Public Library
The cement going in. It was crazy cool. I wanted to get my tent and stay overnight there so no one touched it while it hardened.
Brainerd Public Library, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal
Childrens area cement prep for the benches to go in this next week.

As you can imagine, this whole project has been bitter sweet.  I love being a part of it and digging my hands into the dirt knowing that this will become a place where people will sit and read, and talk, and enjoy.  For those of you who contributed to making this happen… I can not thank you enough.  Even now, 4 months in I still cry every day.  This bench… this project means so much.

Thank you.

I am posting this to Saturday Snaphot, where people all over the world can add pictures of what is happening in their lives. 

Morning Meanderings… A Day Of Library Friends

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Good morning!  Wow.  *yawn* *stretch*

What a day.

Yesterday I went to my first Minnesota Library Association of Friends meeting in St Paul Minnesota.  That involved me being ready and out of the house by 7 am and at the meeting shiny and ready to go by 10 am.

The Association supports the friends groups of Minnesota.  By being a part of this board I am ale to have a voice in how we support our friends groups.  I really am excited to be a part of it.

 

Then….

2:10 pm and I am out the door and heading for home.  In the house by 4:30 pm, time to organize my notes, heat my sandwiches and out the door again for our Annual Friends Meeting.  I was very excited with the turn out.  We had a wonderful year.  Our Spring book sale was a record-breaking sale.  This year we plan on it being another awesome sale.  We are actually for the first time ever moving the sale off site into a building a friend of mine owns for more space.  I am super excited about the sale!

We will have our first children’s sale this year, our third Wine and Words… so much going on!  🙂

I feel energized and have much to do today to update our website, continue my author search for Wine and Words, and work on a few things for Camp Benedict too.

Yesterday I finished up two audio books (with the drive time), Girl On The Train and Afterworlds.

and as long as I am rambling here, three books that I am planning to read have release dates today.  Keep an eye out for:

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Saturday Snapshot: Minnesota Library Association Conference

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This Past week I had the pleasure of attending the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference in Mankato Minnesota. I went, representing the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library, 4 Librarians from our Library attended as well.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and joined the rest of the Brainerd Group for what was called Parlor Games.  A series of fun games from 6:30 – 9 pm.  A mix of Balderdash, Apples to Apples, and a fun team game where we split the 90-some people in the room into two groups and we had to follow a series of clues to complete a task.  It was fun!

Parlor Games!
Parlor Games!

 

On Thursday, along with hour-long sessions for the Librarians to choose from, there was an additional amount of sessions that were Friends Of The Library related.  I had a list of choices for each hour, and spent my first hour of the day at the Library Friends Idea exchange.  I picked up ideas there like a 5k, scholarship offering for seniors, character events for children, and more.

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I spent the second hour of my day in the same room listening to the author of Beyond Book Sales, Susan Dowd, speak about the things the Friends groups can do to raise finds beyond the books.  How to build membership, how to be listed in a will…

 

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At 11:15 I went to a different room, a room where I would be speaking.  Our local event that started in 2013 was up for an award for Best New Friends Event.  This was exciting!  I was up against a group who added on to their children’s area at their library and a Great Gatsby Event that raised $47,000.  I was sure Gatsby had it.  There would be two runner ups that would receive $250 each, and then the winner, who would receive the plaque and a thousand dollar check for their friends.

Each of us had ten minutes to talk about our project.  In the end…

Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library took Best Project!  I could not believe it!

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Holy Smokes batman!!!!

The day then went to lunch where Tod Bol,the creator of Little Free Libraries spoke.  It was really interesting to hear how this wave of little book exchanges have popped up all over the world!  I did not realize Tod was from Wisconsin.

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After lunch, Laurel from our Library spoke on Social Media and her talk was very interesting!  After listening to her, I have some work to do. 🙂

All in all, a great couple of days hanging out in a Bookish World, just the way I like it 😉

 

I am adding this to Saturday Snapshot.  Please check out what others are posting in pictures this Saturday.  I am off to work with bees this morning and then home to work on my house… tomorrow, starts another adventure 😉

You Choose My Next Read and You Win the Book!

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Fall book sale is over so it is that time again!  Here I will show you the books that I picked up at the sale.  In the comments – tell me which of these books you would love to read.  On Friday I will choose a winner using random.org and that is the book I will read this weekend and mail it out next week to the winner.

It’s fun… and two of us get to read something good!  🙂

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Click to see a larger picture and the titles of the first few on the left

 

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Click to see a larger picture

*Note the only ones not up for grab is the one standing to the left of the top pic, hat is a copy of Little Women and I wish to keep that one and The Great Gatsby book to be added to my classic collection.