In the interest of promoting the upcoming Carnival theme, I’m going to share tips over the next few days to get you in the mood. I’m also going to ask if some other blogs could mention it out there, especially the extension for submissions Tuesday, November 27th by 9:00 a.m. EST.
Oh, and in case you missed the original call, I’ll be hosting the November Carnival of Children’s Literature. Carnivals are simply collections of posts in a specific topic area (in this case Children’s Literature), pulled together by a host for easier reading. Since they can have a theme, I’ve decided to do something a little different, maybe even a bit of a stretch. For this month I want a tip as a reader, writer, illustrator, reviewer, publisher, or editor of children’s literature. I want a lesson learned from a teacher, librarian, author, or parent with regards to kids’ lit. It doesn’t have to be a post that you did in November or October, though you may consider tweaking and re-posting an older entry to use; you can pick a post from any point this year. If you have something from last year, polish that baby up and repost it. The deadline for submission was Saturday, November 24th, but in all honesty, I’m not going to be pulling this puppy together until Tuesday morning, so you have until then, and I’ll post the Carnival on Wednesday, November 28th. Well, Wednesday-ish. Send your links through my email (see the Email MotherReader! button) or the Carnival site and please indicate, if possible, whether the tip/trick/hint is more for reader, writer, illustrator, reviewer, publisher, editor, teacher, librarian, or parent. (Yes, I know that there is plenty of overlap, but it would save time for me in organizing the posts if the suggested category were included with your link.) I’d love to see some editors and publishers give us some ideas for getting a foot in the door. Some librarians share a special program that rocks. Some reviewers tell how to handle the mountain of books. Some authors address school visits or writer’s block. I know that we all have so much knowledge to share with each other, and I wanted to present one great big opportunity to do so.
One of the things that has worked for me as a book reviewer, is my technique for keeping notes on my books. Often at work, I’ll read a picture book that I don’t want to bring home to review. Or I’ll be returning a book and realize that I didn’t copy down that perfect quote from it. Now, I can’t blog at work and my notes are related to my librarian job as well. So what to do?
I’ve had success in composing an email to myself, writing my notes in there, and sending it. The notes are usually quick impressions, plots, quotes, or booktalking points. After sending them, I keep them in a folder on my email account. Sometimes I use them to review a book. Sometimes I use a few of them for a compilation post. Sometimes they remind me of the perfect booktalking point. Sometimes I don’t use the notes at all. But in any case, I’m able to let go of that book because I know that I wrote down some reminder of its existence. It also keeps the information accessible from home or work, as the notes can be relevant to both places. Anyway, it helps me, and maybe it will help you.
This trick taught me something else extremely important for a librarian who supervises computers for the public. We get kids who want to type something on Word and print it for class. They never seem to have a disc or flash drive, but they need to save it because their first session is ending or they might need to correct it. I tell them to send the document as an attachment in an email to themselves. Then in their second session, or if they do need to correct it after all, they can pull it up from their email. I saved countless school reports this way, and if your library has a similar setup with timed-out computer sessions, this may be a helpful tip for your library. (Before I realized this, I’d talk to three kids a week who would “save” documents to the desktop of the computer, not realizing that the documents would disappear as soon as their session was over. Heartbreaking.)