Sunday Lowdown #14

Employment Stuff

While I am no longer the production manager at the theatre, I have been hired as a freelance writer for the theatre. My project is to read all of the scripts for the 2020 season (and the first two months of 2021) and write a hook sentence, brief synopsis, and extended synopsis for every show.

I also had an interview at the main branch of the public library to be a materials handler, a job that I’ve wanted for quite some time but no one believes because it doesn’t mach my education and experience. ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š After reading my honest, open cover letter, the materials handler manager interviewed me, and I think it went well. I should hear back soon.

This Week in Reading: Finished Books

Winds of Change by Mercedes Lackey is the sophomore novel in THE MAGE WINDS trilogy. While there are two B-plots that I didn’t care for, the setting and characterization are better in this novel than in the previous. The end makes me want to read the last novel in the trilogy, but is not a cliffhanger. Review will be posted Monday for #ReadingValdemar.

One of the scripts for work: since the 2020 season is not released yet, I can’t name the plays (in case any theatre people read this blog). While it’s a funny show, I wish it had more women in the cast. ๐ŸŽญ

This Week in Reading: Books in Progress

In a few days, I should finish A Detroit Anthology, edited by Anna Clark. The collection has essays, poetry, and photos. I don’t think anything is fiction? Each piece gives a different perspective of Detroiters: black, white, Muslim, Italian, Jewish, old, young, male, female. Granted, there are pieces by men, but I chose to include the collection on Grab the Lapels because it is edited by a woman. ๐ŸŒ‡

Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo started out just a wee bit confusing, mostly because it jumps in right where it left off in Fat Angie. I’m settling back into the narrator’s style of hyphenating things that don’t make sense to Angie, such as “Jake, holding-not-holding hands with Stacy Ann. . .” when their fingers keep grazing. I re-learning to love Angie.

My husband and I are nearing the end of Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell, another book made in Michigan. After her father is killed and her mother abandons her, Margo leaves high school and tries to make her living on the river and off the grid, taking lovers and making unlikely friends as learns how to live. ๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™€๏ธ

Things are going VERY slowly with Trainspotting, as I try to catch up on my reading schedule for Grab the Lapels and integrate the new reading/writing project for the theatre into my day. I read a bit here and there. ๐Ÿš‡๐Ÿ’‰

I said I would just get started on Forward by Abby Wambach โšฝโšฝโšฝ and I did, just a little. I’m not as far into some of the books as I would like to be, but as it turns out, breaking up with your job takes a lot of brain space, so I’m behind on my reading. To cheer myself up, I used a bunch of emojis in this post. LOL.

Next Week in Reading:

The second play of the 2020 season is a title already released because it’s part of a ten-year commitment to produce the plays in August Wilson’s The Pittsburgh Cycle or The Century Cycle. Each play is about a decade of African American experience in the U.S. Gem of the Ocean, set 1900-1910, is up first. In it, Citizen Barlow enters the home of the 285-year-old Aunt Ester who guides him on a spiritual journey to the City of Bones. I need to read six other plays before next Sunday, including the musical West Side Story, which is another 2020 title that’s already been released. Other than these six plays, I’ll keep reading my books in progress. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ˜

Books I Obtained This Week:

I got a couple more books with birthday money sent from my lovely sister-in-law and her family. ๐ŸŽ An American Radical: A Political Prisoner in My Own Country by Susan Rosenberg. Raised on New York City’s Upper West Side, Rosenberg had been politically active since high school, involved in the black liberation movement and protesting repressive U.S. policies around the world and here at home. At twenty-nine, she was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. While unloading the U-Haul at a storage facility, Rosenberg was arrested and sentenced to an unprecedented 58 years for possession of weapons and explosives.

Also, I bought Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir by Janice Erlbaum. At fifteen, sick of her unbearable and increasingly dangerous home life, Janice Erlbaum walked out of her familyโ€™s Brooklyn apartment and didnโ€™t look back. From her first frightening night at a shelter, Janice knew she was in over her head. She was beaten up, shaken down, and nearly stabbed by a pregnant girl. But it was still better than living at home.

I’m Nobody! Who are you? a collection of poems by Emily Dickinson: I scored this gem at a swap party on Monday and can’t wait to dig into it. โœ๏ธ

34 comments

  1. I’d be curious as to how that Dickinson book is edited: which poems they include, what order, etc. Since it’s published by Scholastic, I’m guessing it’s a greatest hits collection, which would certainly be a better introduction to her work than, say, throwing the whole Franklin collection at a student. But since it’s titled after a particular poem of hers, maybe there’s some thematic link between all the poems they’ve selected? Hope you have fun with it!

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  2. I absolutely love what I’ve read of August Wilson’s plays. They are mostly only available as reference copies in our library system but I make a point of periodically visiting for long enough to sit with them and take in all the brilliant characterization. Enjoy your dramatic reading!

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  3. I hope you hear from the library soon and that it’s good news. Sometimes emojis are just the perfect way to express yourself. I sometimes feel disappointed when I’m replying on my computer because I can’t add a little emoji at the end to get my point across ๐Ÿ˜‰ I own a little Emily Dickinson poetry book and I always mean to pick it up, but I haven’t. Also wishing you lots of luck with your new theatre role. Hope you have a lovely week! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

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    • Thank you for stopping by, Alicia! I think about you every so often and wonder how you’re doing. You’ve gone on hiatus, changed your blog’s look, and joined a new Latinx book club, so I get the impression you are e-restless (no idea what you do IRL!). I’m waiting sooooooo impatiently for the library to get back to me! ACK! And I hate that when I get turned down for a job, I get this form letter that says, “Thanks for applying. We’re not offering you a job.” Last time I got one of those letters, I called the HR department and asked for advice on how to improve my application only to learn that they didn’t hire anyone; they made someone already an employee full time.

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  4. I love that you and your husband read aloud together! My husband and I used to do that when we were dating but it’s been awhile since we read a book together. I might have to reintroduce it!

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    • Knowing that we are going to share a book at the end of the night adds a great rhythm to your day that doesn’t include anyone else (children, for example) and is time for just the two of you. Then, when you’re done reading for the night, your brain is ready for bed because that’s part of the pattern. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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  5. Exciting news about the writing and library jobs! Wishing you all the best and hoping you hear from the main branch soon. An American Radical seems really interesting – I find activist’s memoirs usually make for compelling reads, especially if they intertwine history with the author’s life story.

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    • I read Assata, and apparently this women was part of the group that helped Assata bust out of prison, so I’m excited to see how their stories differ. I’m also itching to know how a person gets to a point where she’s riding in a vehicle full of explosives. What did society to do make her so mad? I shall find out.

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  6. Ooooo good luck regarding the job! I currently sub in the school district where my children attend school, but I keep my eyes peeled for any part time job openings in our library district. I’d love to be a youth services librarian, which is my dream job, but in certain districts you need to have a master’s degree in library science. If I can get a part time job, they offer tuition reimbursement which I would utilize to work towards a library science degree.

    Does Abby Wambach have two books? I swore you already read her book & reviewed it…

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    • OMG, Amanda, there is literally a position for youth services librarian open at the library right by my apartment! But you definitely need a masters in library science. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a librarian that didn’t have such a degree. Abby Wambach does have two books now (one JUST came out), but I’ve talked about her plenty because she’s such a stellar athlete. She’s done loads for women getting recognition in sports, too.

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  7. Congratulations on your new new position, and fingers crossed for the library one too! Those all sound so fabulous and up your alley.

    What do you prefer, reading scripts/plays or books? I find reading plays a really fun exercise actually…

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  8. Wow, a lot of stuff to read! I admire your ability to read plays, something I find difficult – having been involved in production, I expect you can see it all happening in your mind’s eye.

    “a job that Iโ€™ve wanted for quite some time but no one believes because it doesnโ€™t mach my education and experience.” – this happens so much in libraries and it’s infuriating. I really, really wanted to be a cataloguer, and I got turned down for one position because I was “too lively” and in my interview for the one I got, they went on and on about how routine and tedious it was and I was all “Yes, this is what I WANT!” and I got that job and THEN they wouldn’t believe I didn’t want to go for promotion to manager (and then they deskilled the role and i left). So I hope they see through their short-sightedness and you get the job.

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    • Oh, wow, Liz! That story gives me some hope, in a weird way. I mean, I guess I thought this was a me issue, but it sounds like interviewers just aren’t listening sometimes. I really DON’T want to be a manager. My anxiety actually makes me a really, really good manager, but then I’m thinking about work all the time, which affects my life in every other facet. My husband was saying that the idea of shelving books is his nightmare, and all I could think was how calming it would be.

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  9. I think you’re very brave to discuss job hunting in real time. You put/one puts so much into each application that it’s difficult to admit to yourself let alone to the outside world that it didn’t come off. It’s years (decades) since I let myself in for that particular roller coaster.

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    • To be honest, I’ve never had a job that required me to interview against other candidates. When I was teaching, the question was, “What assignments did you teach in the past?” and then I told them and was hired. Even the production manager job didn’t have a true interview. It was a “can you do it?” conversation and I said “yes.” Thanks for your comment, Bill. You seeing me as brave makes me feel brave.

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      • A Detroit Anthology, sounds good and I’m glad we will be seeing and hearing more about it on GTL.

        I think emojis can be a good thing and I like seeing them this week…the soccer balls and the mask are my favorite.

        The books you’ve added to your library sound interesting, especially Girlbomb! OMG, what Erlbaum experienced on her first night at the shelter is better than living at home? That’s devastating to imagine so look forward to hearing from you when you read this one.

        I love book swap parties. I had one a few years ago and thought it was a lot of fun.

        I have Fences by August Wilson waiting for me and I based in what you’ve said about Gem of the Ocean sounds like one I need to pick up too.

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        • If you want the full August Wilson experience, read the 10 plays in order from oldest to newest, which would mean you start with Gem of the Ocean. Also, check out the film version of Fences, which was excellent and a challenge to the emotions.

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  10. I love the emojis! Do you blog on a phone or iPad or something? I have no idea how to insert emojis in my blog outside of that format, which is not conducive for my writing. But if I could? I’d have emojis EVERYWHERE. I am addicted.

    Ooooh, I’m Nobody! Who are you? sounds incredible! I haven’t read much Dickenson, but I’ve seen The Belle of Amherst quite a few times. It’s not a common play, but I love it. Have you seen or read it?

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    • I’ve never even heard of The Belle of Amherst! I’ve gotten a few other new books lately and can’t decide if I should adjust my reading schedule. Each month, I’m supposed to read the newest and oldest book in my personal pile, but I got wacky and planned my daily reading through the end of the year (this was all one night when I could not sleep and was still working at the theatre). If I stick to my newest/oldest rule, I’ll have to fix a huge spreadsheet.

      For emojis, just use https://emojipedia.org and look up the emoji you want. Then, you copy and paste it! ๐Ÿ’•

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    • Does your TBR include library books, books you own, or both?

      I know you’ve said you’re against creating a timeline for your reading, but I wonder if it would give you a tiny push to get you to read more (IF you want to read more; you certainly don’t have to!). People have exercise buddies for the same reason: accountability.

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      • It’s both.

        Ha ha… you’re sweet to ask. Lately my focus for reading has been poor in general… too much playing on my phone, yoga at night, son getting to bed later, movies I want to watch, etc. I appreciate the thought, though. I’m still reading, just at a slower pace. And that’s okay – it’s taken me a while to realize that. I don’t have to try and keep up with anyone.

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