Rewind: December 2013

I ended up taking a rather extended break from blogging (at least here) and social media (personal, not professional) over the holidays. It was FANTASTIC.

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t reading—I’ve finished a lot of books in the past two weeks. I was writing, too—I just haven’t felt 100% motivated to do the final touches on a lot of posts I have sitting in drafts. A lot of what I had planned for the last couple weeks is still coming, just…later. And that’s okay. I’m not one to feel guilty about taking a break. I don’t force myself to keep to a blog schedule or publish a post before I think its ready.

Here’s what I did publish on the blog this month:

Over at YALSA’s The Hub, I had 2 posts:

The Morris Award is YALSA’s award for best young adult debut novel, and The Hub covers the books nominated leading up to the Youth Media Awards at ALA Midwinter. I think Carrie Mesrobian is fantastic, and I loved her book Sex & Violence. It’s a book that has stuck with me months after reading it. (You can read my review here, and Carrie’s guest post for Feminist Fridays here). Since they’ve been announced, I’ve been reading the other Morris Award nominees, and they are great, too.

I’m really into Banned Books Week, but I think it should be something we talk about all year rather than just one week at the end of September. When I started making a list of all the books that had been challenged this year, it sort of amazed me how many of them were written by/about people of color or explored violence against women. While I don’t have hard statistics (not even the ALA has the numbers on every banned/challenged book, and I don’t have access to their stats) but the instances I found overwhelming share one or both of these characteristics. I think there is a larger discussion in that, I just haven’t had time to delve into yet.

One of my previous posts for The Hub, my Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA Literature, has been a big hit on Tumblr, and ended up making their Year in Review top posts of 2013. I wrote a little bit about it here.

At the Library:

I was REALLY busy at work. I’m getting into the swing of things in my new position. It’s a lot of fun to buy ALL THE BOOKS (and music and DVDs and graphic novels). To no one’s surprise, it’s adding substantially to my to-be-read list as well as my to-watch and to-listen lists. Expect more movie and music related posts in 2014!

A good portion of my December (more hours than I care to count) were also spent working on this video with the social media team at the library. I somehow got it in my head that we could make a parody video starring cats inspired by this one based on The Hunger Games. We’ve been trying to generate more original content. Mister BS had the experience painting cardboard cut outs for cats already, so I didn’t think a video would be that much more challenging. We wrote a script and painted some sets. But it turns out filming cats is right up there with going to the moon in terms of difficulty. We ended up using all puppets and made this parody of A Christmas Carol, “A Catmas Carol.”

Though it’s a lot longer than we intended and not quite the way we envisioned it, I still think it’s pretty funny.

We also did a fun feature on holiday shopping for the library’s blog, and I got to do one on YA books (which ended up being a list of my favorite books from throughout the year) and local gifts (which ended up including a lot of things I bought for friends and family).

I also wrote about great audiobooks for family roadtrips and started a new series for the Teen Zone blog called “Around the World” featuring books set in different cities, starting with Prague.

I had two new Like –> Try –> Why –> graphics in December.

Like, Try, Why #13: Time Travel

Like, Try, Why #14: Contemporary Romance

In Real Life:

My little brother, who lives in LA, came home to visit with his fiancé. It snowed 6 inches the night of the annual White Elephant Holiday Party Mister BS and I always throw, and we ended up with 8 overnight guests in our tiny apartment.

I baked lots of cookies (and ate my fair share).

I made paper chains and cuddled with Spike the Kitten. It was his first Christmas, after all.

I had Feliz Navidad margaritas and watched my favorite Christmas movies (Batman Returns and A Nightmare Before Christmas…and Prancer and Love, Actually and White Christmas and Charlie Brown’s Christmas and The Grinch Stole Christmas and Holiday Inn and Elf and Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol  and The Family Stone and Home Alone….).

I wrapped presents with 6-inch ribbon curls.

I spent lots of time with my family, immediate and extended and adopted. It was lovely.

I also celebrated 7 years of marriage to Mister BS and went to see Quixotic Fusion at the Kauffman Center for New Year’s Eve. It was quite the party.

Overall, it was a great month to end a great year.

2014 is going to bring lots more excitement, here on the blog and in my real life. I look forward to sharing it with you!

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How was your holiday season? What are you looking forward to in the New Year?

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