Saturday, 24 November 2007

Novermber 28, 2007 Hobbies and Holidays

I often hear people complain of being bored and my first thoughts are “what are their hobbies?” and “do they have any hobbies?” Those with an abundance of hobbies are more concerned with a lack of available time than with boredom. A good hobby can become all consuming and may even help to financially support a family in tough financial climates. When I was young and my father couldn't find work in his field he did minor renovations for people in the neighbourhood. Had he not had excellent carpentry skills the time between jobs would have been far more challenging, both financially and psychologically. And there are so many hobbies out there, but I personally have a preference for something that entertains and leaves me with a finished product. As such I knit, quilt, bead, sew, do needlework and am learning to spin! As the holiday season approaches these hobbies stand me in good stead to have gifts ready for my family and friends.

A few months ago, my family was in a craft shop and the non-crafty one said “I can't believe they already have stuff for Christmas out!” Yet to me that seemed perfectly normal, if you do any sort of craft, be it needlework, woodworking, stained glass or any of the myriad of other crafts out there you know that considering the time involved you have to start early. If things are to be completed by the holiday season careful planning is in order and ideas presented in August have a far better chance of being made than those that tempt us in November. In fact, the later they surface in November the more likely they are to be delegated to the “well, maybe next year” pile. A pile which may mysteriously disappear as others “clean up” the house.

While there is the time sensitive nature of projects around this time of year, there's also the dream that “while I'm on holiday I'll have time to do _______________.” I know, I fall in to this category of thinking and truly believe that over the holiday I'll have lots of time to finish some WIPs (Works in Progress) and start (and complete) some great new projects. I think the key here (and I'm really trying to believe this) is to enjoy the time you have.

Whether you're ready to find a new love or rekindle an old one the library has a wide variety of titles for hobbyists and crafters of all stripes. And if you don't have time to complete a project sometimes it's nice to read fiction that encompasses your hobby. The following is just a tiny part of our collection for hobbyists and crafters. Unfortunately there is not enough room to give a feeling of the full breadth of our collection.

For the woodworker:
Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Using Woodworking Tools by Lonnie Bird
Furniture You Can Build: Projects to Hone Your Skills by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk
Wreck the Halls: A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery by Sarah Graves
Canadian Home Workshop (magazine)
Wood (magazine)

For the needlecrafter:
Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas
2001 Cross stitch Designs: The Essential Reference Book
Leslie Linsley's New Weekend Quilts: 25 Quick and Easy Quilting Projects You Can Complete in a Weekend
Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
Vogue Knitting (magazine)
McCall's Quilting (magazine)

We also have materials on such a variety of topics as stained glass (e.g. Stained Glass Exploring New Techniques and New Materials), scrapbooking (Scrapbook Tips & Techniques), sewing (Sew Basic: 34 Essential Skills for Sewing with Confidence), and so many more. Please come in and get creating!

Ruth Hamlin-Douglas, Children's and Youth Services Librarian at the Brodie Resource Library –

Monday, 19 November 2007

November 18, 2007 Poetry

Were you one of the many who experienced an” act of poetry” during Random Acts of Poetry week Oct 1 – 7? I was! What a talented “construction crew” we had this year! I’ve always marveled at those individuals who had the gift of rhyming words. But it seems nowadays the words don’t even have to rhyme anymore. Poetry has come a long, long way. There has been a resurgence in the attention paid to poetry especially amongst the youth as they “rap” their way to stardom – have you ever listened to the words of some of the songs on the pop chart? Some - not all - certainly have a way with words that is quite remarkable. Take the lyrics to the BareNaked Ladies song “Pinch Me” – “Try to scream but it only comes out as a yawn, when ya Try to see the world beyond your front door. Take your time cos the way I rhyme's gonna make you smile, when ya Realise that with a guy my size it might take a while, just to Try to figure out what all this is for….I could hide out under there, I just made you say 'underwear'” . My kids just loved that final line – having fun with words is what these lyrics are all about. When you have that realization you form a whole new appreciation for the “new music”. Poetry isn’t just Shakespeare and iambic pentameter; it isn’t just rhyming words or alliteration. We now have E-poetry, Slam poetry, Spoken word or performance poetry. The list is endless. It seems anything can be turned into a poem.

Keeping up with this jivin’ new world, the library held a Grade 8 poetry contest in conjunction with this year’s Random Acts of Poetry. On November 26 at 7 pm at the Brodie Library Fireside Reading room, we will be hearing from this year’s winners. Please join us for a literary evening and some refreshments. If you missed your “random act of poetry”, the construction crew will also be on hand to share some of their poetry.

What is E-Poetry?

“Digital poetry (also referred to as E-poetry, short for electronic poetry) refers to a wide range of approaches to poetry at all have in common prominent and crucial use of computers. Whether a work is poetry or visual art or music or programming is sometimes not clear, but we expect an intense engagement with language in poetical works.” Wikipedia

I don’t get what “Spoken Word” is – do you just read your poem out loud?

Spoken word involves more than reading your poems out load. It has a performance element to it, and often music or sound. There is even the Canadian Spoken Wordlympics. The 2008 Festival of Spoken Word which holds the Wordlympics is set to be held in Calgary.

Does Slam poetry involve any physical contact?

Slam poetry just refers to poetry competitions and usually does not involve any physical contact. This type of forum for poetry has gained popularity in recent years. Toronto and Ottawa both have annual poetry slams. It involves more spoken word or performance poetry. Check out for more information on the Ottawa group, and for information on the Toronto group.

Where do you find “concrete poetry”?

Concrete poetry is not found on concrete like a hopscotch squares. It is not a form of graffiti. Rather, it refers to the shape of the words and is also known as “visual poetry”. Concrete poems “ use typeface, word arrangement, spacing, special characters, and color to dramatize the words’ meaning by the way they look.” It is not a new phenomenon. An early example is from Herbert’s "Easter Wings", in which the overall typography of the poem is in the shape of its subject. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland contains a similar effect in the form of the mouse's "Tale," which is in the shape of a tail. Wikipedia

Barb Philp, Head of Adult Services

Sunday, 4 November 2007

November 4th, 2007 Year of the Author

If I had to describe 2007, to me it was the year of the author. On a personal note, it was a sad year, with the loss of a family member in the fall of 2006. It was a year of getting through all the little anniversaries and adjusting to a new life. It was as if someone knew I needed some sunshine in my days and brought me the chance to see and hear three authors I admire.

William Thomas

From the moment I heard that author, columnist and humorist William
Thomas was coming to the library, I knew I had to be there. I've been reading his column in Pets Magazine for years and I've read most of his books. On May 9 my husband and I were part of a small audience in the auditorium of the Waverley Resource Library, that were fortunate enough to hear him. He said he doesn't actually do a reading, instead he sat on the corner of a table and just talked. He was warm and terribly funny. It was like reading one of his books. I actually spoke to him after and told him what a thrill it was to hear him. There is only one of his books that I haven't read. His newest book out is The Cat Rules (Everything, Including The Dog!). It's about life with Weggie, the hockey playing cat. It's a follow up to his best selling book The Dog Rules (Damn Near Everything). Hmm – I guess this tells you which animal is really the one in control. His animal stories are hilarious and will touch the heart of any pet lover. He also has a book about the humorous side of life with his elderly mother, that I enjoyed, called Margaret And Me. For hilarious travel stories be sure to read Never Hitchhike On The Road Less Travelled. At the library, he spoke of some of his travel escapades, and they were even funnier to hear in person. This was his second visit to the library. If he ever returns, treat yourself and attend. I'm sure you'll leave with a smile on your face. We carry most of his books at the library.

Mark Cullen
May was a busy month for visits by authors. When my sister asked if I'd like to attend a talk by a well known gardener, I said I would if it was David Tarrant or Mark Cullen. Well, it was Mark Cullen. On May 25 I sat in a packed room at the Italian Cultural Centre to hear him. I think he said there were over 600 people in the audience. He was funny and very interesting. It was fun to listen to a famous voice I'd only ever heard on a radio show. He showed photos of his garden, well known Canadian gardens and gardens he visited on a trip to England. The photos were breathtaking. It was a treat for your senses. Afterward I went home, looked around the yard, and said, this doesn't quite compare. But – you can dream. His books are a perfect choice if you're sitting at home this winter on a dark thirty below Celsius evening, just trying to stay warm. You can open up a book and transport yourself to a warm sunny day in a lush garden. Who knows, maybe that night you'll even dream about summer. The library carries several titles by him, such as Mark Cullen's Ontario Gardening: How To Get The Most From Your Garden With Canada's Bestselling Gardening Expert. And if you're spending your winter planning a new garden for the spring, Mark can help with Canadian Garden Design: Ideas and Inspirations For Your Garden.

Lorna Landvik
Early October lead me to the accidental discovery that one of my favourite authors would be appearing in Duluth, Minnesota during my vacation. A few phone calls later, I was registered for a dinner with Lorna Landvik and I could scarcely contain my excitement. The last time I was this excited was in the early 1980's, when cast members from the soap opera, Another World came to Keskus. I had a wonderful evening. I sat with perfect strangers, members of a Duluth book club and had a great time. Lorna was gracious, funny and unfortunately, even sick to her stomach. I've enjoyed every book by her. From the moment a library staff member recommended Patty Jane's House Of Curl, I was hooked. I borrowed some of her other titles from out of town through our Interlibrary Loan service. It's a great service. I don't know what I'd do without it. I then submitted suggestions to purchase all of her titles, and I've read them all. I finished reading her new book The View From Mount Joy, just two days before I realized she'd be in Duluth. October 11 saw me eager to join Lorna for a chicken caesar salad and hear her read from her book, and answer questions. The library carries all of Lorna's books. Her latest The View From Mount Joy follows Joe Andreson through the years, starting with his move to Minneapolis as a high school senior. Joe has a crush on one of the most popular girls, Kristi Casey, a cheerleader. They stay in touch over the years, as Joe becomes a grocer and Kristi becomes a televangelist. They both go on to meet other people, but their lives stay entwined.

Now you see why I called this the year of the author. I feel as if
someone was watching out for me and trying to cheer me up in an absolutely amazing way. To see just one of these authors would have been exciting, but to have the chance to hear all three, was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It brings to mind a sheet of stickers I bought this fall. One of them says Give Thanks For Simple Blessings. Right now, I feel blessed.

Karen Craib, Library Technician