Little Free Library

What if you could have a tiny library on your own front lawn? Share your books and (hopefully) get new books to read from neighbours and passersby? Would you build it and hope they come along?

Little Free Library enthusiasts are encouraged to build their own designs, or they can easily follow instructions for the classic Little Free Library kit on the group’s website. The website also…

Source: Little Free Library: Tiny House-Shaped Boxes Let You Take a Book or Leave One | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Little Free Library – Go to the source for more ideas.

Writer from Another Planet

What would you write to a writer from another planet? Assume they can translate our language; they still won’t know our culture.
typebugI’d write to them about typewriters. The history of how typewriters were invented, how they were used (for business, letter writing and typewriter art too). I’d show how typewriters evolved into word processing with computers. I’d write about the old vintage typewriters becoming obsolete and forgotten.

I’d like writers from another planet to know about the technology of writing and how it changes our style of writing.

The way we were able to publish, improved from the days when books were hand written and drawn. Also, the loss of illustrations and other old fashioned techniques from the days of hand written books created with older techniques of bookbinding.

I think it would be important for writers from another planet to see our history of how we write and how it changed. I’d want them to see the value in our printed words, beyond the words themselves.

Art source: Toonpool

Writing in Spite of it All

Since the dawn of the ebook I have bought several of them, had a lot given to me for free but I’ve yet to actually read any one of them all the way through. My brother got me an ereader for Christmas (2013) but even with that I have not gotten into an ebook.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned, or just old. I like a book I can take with me everywhere, one that doesn’t need a battery to be read and can take being bashed around in my purse, under the groceries I’m carrying home in the shopping bag and so on. I think technology is going to have another big shift soon. People are going to realize they are paying for a cell phone they don’t need because texting is really just a more expensive way to send an email. This will change publishing again. I’m not sure how but I don’t think books and writing will ever be lost to us, in whatever format.

As far as having to promote and sell your own books. I don’t think this is all bad. As a web publisher I’m DIY, other than using WordPress and paying a web host, those standard things, I don’t have help. I often wish I did. But, I don’t make enough to pay anyone a living wage.

Publishing is like a doughnut. There is all the icing and cake stuff around the edges – everyone makes it seem so simple and even glamorous. But when you get into it you are alone in the doughnut hole. It’s not easy being DIY. I’ve proved that to myself endlessly. I’m not successful and I won’t be making any trips to Paris (unless I write it for myself).I got burned out two years ago and I’m on the upside of self recovery.

I can’t not write and I can’t stop feeling I have a persistent need to teach the world. So, I keep on publishing, the web is good for that. I can almost afford to keep writing while paying the bills with a real job.

Everyone has their own unhappiness, I’ve picked mine. Not everyone can say that.

via Love and Noir in the Time of Ebooks « ASCII by Jason Scott.

A 5-Step Plan to Become Seriously Influential Online

This post about building authority online is good for beginning bloggers but also those who have burnt out and want to try again. Do try again. Don’t expect instant success.

Step 1: Narrow your focus.

Step 2: Stop reading just blog posts.

Step 3: Write authoritative articles.

  • Answer specific questions.
  • Quote other authorities in your industry.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a contrarian view.
  • Use stats and detailed case studies to add substance.
  • Repeat your ideas.

Step 4: Build an Audience.

Step 5: Build a Fan Club.

Real authorities solve their audience’s problems. Consistently. Repeatedly.

That’s why people listen to them. And spread their ideas.

via –No Authority Yet? Here’s a 5-Step Plan to Become Seriously Influential Online – Enchanting Marketing.

If you start with the first three steps you’re on the right track. Work on building an audience and fans once you have a body of work to present to them. It’s not true that once you build it they will come. You do have to reach out there and let people know you are there. Too much information overload with repetitive and sub-standard content has created a lot of stuff no one wants to read. So, you do need to shine your own light to help people find you and show them you actually have something worth the visit to your site.

Narrowing your focus or deciding on a niche is not as easy as it seems. I have so much I want to find out more about and then so much to share once I do get information and resources. I end up being all over the place when it comes to my niche and focus. There is also the problem of spreading yourself too thin and burning out. So, getting and keeping a focus early on is good for your site, your authority and yourself. It gives you authority and keeps it all sustainable.

Reading just blog posts for our information and sources for interviews does limit us. Don’t forget there is a lot you can do offline, contact local people directly, read books from before the Internet and find information which hasn’t made it out of print books yet. Build a history of information with various sources – that is the area to grow and evolve and find contacts in which will also give you knowledge to share.

Writing articles we tend to fall into standard post formats and get comfortable there. Evolve with post style to have variety in your niche. Read about other post formats and when you read other blogs look at what they do and think about your own reactions to it. What kind of posts work best for you as a reader in your niche? Use this research about post style when you write your own blog.

Squatting to Go

This post tells us we should squat instead of sit. It may be healthier and probably a better idea for someone having trouble with their bowels/ digestion. I don’t see it becoming popular though.

I’ve never gone camping without modern things like plumbing. I do think about people who live homeless, people from thousands of years ago too. All those people who never had access to modern indoor plumbing… I’m sure they all squatted and used various leaves to clean up afterwards.

One of the interesting things about TV, movies, books (fiction in general) is how the basic things we do every day are not written about. How many times have you gotten a great idea while sitting in the bathroom? It’s a private time but also a time people solve problems, plan the day, etc.

How would you write a bathroom scene (without making it trashy)?

A German author has rocked the nation with new theories on how to defecate – and we’ll all have to start learning again from the bottom

Source: Think you know how to poo? You’ve been doing it wrong all your life – Mirror Online

I’d Pick Viking

Through a strange set of circumstances, you are being forced to spend the rest of your life as a… Spartan, Viking, Knight or Roman. Which do you choose? Why? What will your life be life? What’s daily life like? Would you enjoy it?

writing prompts — my 28 most tried and true writing prompts.

I’d pick Viking, mainly because they had a better attitude towards women. When people think of Spartans, knights, Vikings or Romans they tend to think of men, fighting men. But, most of the people living in those days were not men, or fighting men. What do you know about the ordinary lives of people in history? Most fiction is written from the perspective of people who had power and resources, not those who lived and died without making it into history books. The great unknown.

Pay with a Poem

What is a poem worth? As authors around the world despair of making a living, a company based in Vienna has finally come up with a definitive answer: one cup of coffee.

Julius Meinl, a coffee-roasting company founded in 1862, is marking Unesco’s World Poetry Day with a promotion in 1,100 cafes, bars and restaurants across 23 countries mostly in continental Europe but including the UK, the US and Australia, offering a dose of caffeine to any customer who hands over one of their own poems.

via Pay with a poem: cafes around the world to exchange coffee for poetry | Books | The Guardian.

World Poetry Day is today (March 21st).

Don’t Apologize for Reading

Jade Walker posted a quote I really liked today:

“[D]on’t ever apologize to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologize to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read…” –Neil Gaiman

Working in a Library at a University

I like looking at job requirements in the communications industry. This one was posted for a university in Ontario, a non-student position.

Requirements:
•Grade 12 diploma
•Recent college or university graduate (asset)
•One, up to two years, in a related public-service position;
•Demonstrated proficiency in typing and in the use of a computer;
•Ability to deal with the public in a courteous and professional manner;
•Ability to work fluently, orally and in writing, in both official languages, French and English.

Job description:
This position exists to facilitate the circulation of materials, including their loan, return, shelving and stack maintenance.
•Participate in all circulation functions involving the serving of patrons at the circulation desk, such as charging and discharging library materials, assigning a due date to loaned items, returning loans, shelving materials, registering patrons and issuing replacement bar codes while maintaining confidentiality;
•Collect and record various fines and monies;
•Issue photo ID cards (new, reprint or lost cards);
•Assist library users;
•Perform search requests for missing books by verifying call numbers and inventory status;
•Ensure proper shelving of materials;
•Maintain shelving of books, locate miss-shelved material and shift or relocate material;
•Participate in seasonal or special projects such as inventory, weeding and security;
•Perform other duties directly related to this position as assigned.

Only One Way to Read

“There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag — and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are 20 or 30 will open doors for you when you are 40 or 50 — and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.” –Doris Lessing

Via Jade Walker on Facebook.