Friday, January 21, 2011

My dog, Chi and the Golden Kite Honor (A Three Second Video)

Here's Chi taking a look at the Golden Kite Honor plaque. It came in the mail a few weeks ago, but my camera broke so this is the first chance I have at taking a pic. Both Chi and I agree, it's a very pretty plaque. I love the boldness of the blue and Chi seems to love it too. And of course, I'm thrilled to have this honor. 
                                   video

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Now I'm a Leo...


I'm a Virgo.  And I'm good with that. Virgos are helpful, practical and quiet. They analyze everything. A lot of writers are Virgos. The kidlit world is filled with them -- Jack Prelutsky, Roald Dahl, Mildred Taylor and Karen Hesse to name a few. I even share the same birthday with Leo Tolstoy.
Virgos like to write. I'm a writer. They also have a quest for knowledge and love of research that makes them well-suited for a careers as librarians. I'm a librarian too. I fit into the Virgo mold. Oh sure, there are some traits that I don't have. My organizational skills are not what they're supposed to be. But I'm comfortable with who the stars say I am.
Until this week, when there was an announcement...
According to the Minnesota Planetarium Society, the moon's gravitational pull has changed the alignment of the stars and planets. In the past 2000 years, things have shifted. Zodiac signs are off by as much as a month. And instead of twelve signs, there are thirteen.  
Now, instead of being a Virgo, I am a Leo.
A Leo??!!! There's nothing about me that's a Leo. Leos are bold, confident, and natural leaders. My younger brother, Robert, is a Leo. Or at least he was...Now he is a Cancer. 
When we were growing up, someone gave us plaques with our zodiac signs on it. Each plaque listed traits associated with that sign. We had them in our rooms for years.  I hung mine over my bed. Every night I read it. Virgos like to do research. They enjoy writing.
Now, I'm wondering, did I become a writer/librarian because of some astrological destiny or was it because of those words I repeated over and over again?
What if I was the one who was given the Leo plaque and the words "bold, confident, outgoing" hung over my bed? And every night, I read those words.   
As soon as I heard about the astrological shift, I looked at the Leo traits and dismissed them. My reaction was not unique. The news reports were filled with people shrugging off their new identities. Even if you don't buy into astrology, everyone thinks of themselves as having certain characteristics. And not having others. In an attempt to define who we are, we often think of ourselves as a certain type of person.   
Trying out new characteristics is kind of fun. It's nice to have something (like the Minnesota Planetarium Society) shake things up a bit.
Maybe I will be a Leo today.  And "outgoing and confident" will be part of my new identity. If I repeat it over and over again, who knows what will happen?
We all know that words are powerful. Maybe they're as powerful as the planets and the stars.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Year



For 2010 I wimped out and came up with a bunch of resolutions I was sure to keep. For 2011, I'm going to add a few more..perhaps throw in some that might take a little work.

So here goes...

1.  It's time to buy a new camera. If you looked back to my last year's New Year's blog post, you'll notice the exact same adorable picture of my dog, Chi.  My camera broke and I'm going to buy a new one. Yep. It's lame. I'm going for the low hanging fruit here. But you gotta start somewhere and the next two resolutions are harder. 

2. This year I'm going to finish things I start. For example, I'm actually going to apply the anti-wrinkle cream. Having an vast assortment of fancy jars jammed into a cabinet is not enough.  According to the manufacturer's instructions, for it have even have the slimmest chance of working you actually have to put the stuff on your face. 
And the same thing with all those green leafy vegetables. You don't get any points for going to the store, selecting the perfect greens, carting them home, stuffing them into your refrigerator, and then leaving them to turn limp, soggy and yucky. You should! You really should!  Just like you should get points for sitting in front of the TV and watching an exercise video (even if you are shoving popcorn into your mouth and curled up in a blanket). But alas...that is not the way.  You actually have to eat the veggies and do the exercise.
They say the last miles of a marathon are the most grueling. Those final steps are the hardest to take. Look, I'm not promising that I won't get blanketed up to watch another tai chi/martial arts video or find yet another unopened jar of some outrageously expensive magical face cream or discover some moldy gray green thing in the back of my refrigerator that began life as a lettuce leaf (if the last part of this sentence went into the too much information category, I apologize), but 2011 is the time to do more of the hard stuff and take those final steps.

3.  I'm a tea-drinking librarian who writes middle grade books and reads a lot. Sometimes, I'm way too attached to my comfort zone. It's time to chase down some fears. Meet new people. Have new experiences. Be reckless.  (FYI, my definition of reckless is pretty tame, but it's a start). Besides, I learned the hard way that playing it safe doesn't keep bad things from happening. It can, however, keep you far away from your dreams. Successful people take chances. Creative people take chances too. 

 If you're making resolutions, good luck with them. Have a happy, healthy 2011