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01 February 2017

Looking For Heroes In The Library | IWSG



The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's question prompt is:

"How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?"

Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here

Before we get to how I answered the question, I wanted to share our new website for >>Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life<<, the IWSG anthology in which my short story, The Silvering, will be published in. You can find it here. Pop by, check it out and follow along. We'll be adding new content to it in the run up to publication on May 2nd and afterwards.




****

I was relaxing in the cockpit of our sailboat one afternoon, reading a book on my Kindle and sipping on some iced tea, when I heard a loud thunk. I turned and saw a man wearing a blue spandex outfit standing on the deck. To be honest, it was a pretty unflattering outfit. Not that spandex really looks good on anyone, but a middle-aged man with a beer belly, now that's really not a good look.

He spun dramatically with his red cape swirling around him. Did I forget to mention he was wearing a cape? Yep, there was a cape. He also had the letter "H" emblazoned across his chest in silver sequins.

You have to give him points. He exuded confidence. In fact, I think his outfit gave him confidence. Perhaps I should rethink this whole spandex-cape-sequin thing. Maybe if I wore something like that I'd be more comfortable with public speaking.

He strode towards me and proclaimed loudly, "I am Hugo, your local community hero!"

"Local community hero. Hmm...I didn't know we had one of those," I said. "What exactly do you do? Use your super powers to rescue kittens from trees? Help little old ladies across the street? Bring chocolate chip cookies to those in need?"

"Uh, no. I don't do any of those kind of things," he stammered. "I help people when they're struggling with questions. Like what the population of Ray, North Dakota is and what's written on Carl Jung's tombstone."

"So, you're basically a reference librarian then?"

His shoulders slumped as he wrapped his cape around him with a sigh. "I guess."

"Not that there's anything wrong with reference librarians," I quickly added. "The world needs librarians. Especially those that are such snappy dressers, like you."

"Really? You think I'm a snappy dresser?" He smiled. "Maybe you have a question I can help you with?"

I put my sunglasses on. The sun was bouncing off of his sequins and blinding me. "Sure, I could use your help. Here's my question - how has being a writer changed my experience as a reader?"

"Oh, that's easy peasy. I bet you read more carefully now  and try to dissect how different writers structure their stories."

As he started to pace the deck animatedly, I noticed that he was wearing blue, spandex booties. Who knew you could get shoes made out of spandex?

While I was thinking about getting cowboy boots made out of spandex and sequins, he sat down next to me. "I bet you even look at how different writers explore the same theme."

"You're right!" I said. "How did you know that? That's what I was just doing. Reading a copy of the Hero Lost anthology on my Kindle to see how my co-authors explored the theme of lost heroes. Maybe you do have super powers after all."

"Well, I don't know about super powers, but I do know a thing or two about writers and readers, given my line of work as a superhero reference librarian." He peered over my shoulder at my Kindle. "That sounds like a great book."

"It's right up your alley. Maybe you should make sure the local library orders a copy."

"I'll be happy to do that ma'am." He pointed towards the horizon. "Now, I must be off. There are other people out there in desperate need of information."

"It was nice to meet you, Hugo. Thanks for the help." I watched him walk across the parking lot and get into a beat-up old minivan. I guess folks don't go into the superhero business for the money. I shouted after him, "Come back soon! Next time, I'll have some questions about chocolate chip cookies for you."

What questions would you ask your local superhero reference librarian? What makes someone a shero? Have you ever worn spandex?

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73 comments:

  1. Hasn't he learned yet that capes are a no-no? Oh dear... you may be waiting a while for those cookies ;)
    Fab post - as usual :) :)

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  2. Are you sure Hugo really knows the answer to a question directed at you? Maybe he is sharing what he thinks you want to hear? … Or what someone else has told him is expected?

    I'm not sure I'd trust a reference librarian in a cape that didn't bring cookies. ;)

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    1. Libraries should be required to have large jars of cookies at the entrance :-)

      Just in case you pop back by here, just wanted to let you know that I can't seem to make comments on your blog. Disqus issues and all that :-(

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  3. I bet a reference librarian would be a great hero to have! Now, will you be making chewy or crunchy chocolate chip cookies?

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  4. Nope, I've never worn spandex, but maybe some tights back in the day. Black ones since I was all gothy and stuff. I'm getting distracted by all this cookie talk.

    Excellent excerpt! :)

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    1. Tights are awesome. They hide all of the cookies one eats that somehow show up on one's thighs :-)

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  5. You have some really unique visitors. I'm not wearing spandex to save my life though.

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    1. I bet your wife is breathing a sigh of relief that you won't be sporting spandex anytime soon :-)

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  6. Hehe, such a fun post! Quite a cast of characters visits you on your boat. I think I'm a better reader for being a writer but I do tend to get lost in the mechanics and structure of a story instead of just allowing myself to read for the sake of reading.
    Being a reference librarian would be my dream job! But I ain't wearing spandex for anyone 😜. Great post!

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    1. My sister is a library person. It sounds like the best job ever. I'm a bit jealous of her :-)

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  7. LOL I always love your little stories. Congratulations on getting into the anthology btw, that's awesome!

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  8. Congrats on your entry being chosen! I can't think of the last time I wore spandex. Whew.

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    1. Thanks so much Jennifer! It's might be a good thing that you can't remember when you last wore spandex :-)

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  9. That was hysterical. I was wondering for a second if he was your husband. LOL. Probably should mention it wasn't for his sake. I belong to the La Cruz writers group and most of them live on sailboats. I'll be sure to steer them in your direction.

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    1. It took a while before I could stop laughing at the thought of my hubby in a spandex superhero outfit :-) Thanks for thinking of me with your La Cruz writers group. How cool that most of them live on boats.

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  10. Now I'm thinking about a cape. Or maybe something more like the robes in Harry Potter. Maybe that will make my writing more magical. :)

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    1. It's about time that capes and robes made a fashion comeback :-)

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  11. LOL! I love it. See, if I could do the costume thing for a local appearance, it would totally be a time period ball gown from my series based in the last 1700's.

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    1. Oh, now that would be a fabulous outfit!! I would love to get all dressed up in one of those ball gowns with a fabulous updo to match.

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  12. I am pretty sure I would be terrified of Hugo but I do like his answers. I love my local reference librarians because they invite me to do events. Picturing them in spandex is not a pleasant thought. Have I worn it? Maybe in the 80's lol

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    1. Hugo is actually quite a gentle soul. I think if you met him, you wouldn't be terrified one bit :-)

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  13. I thoroughly enjoyed The Silvering when I read it as an admin. Very clever, well-written, and perfect use of the theme. :) Congrats!

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    1. Oh, wow! Thanks so much Chrys for your kind words!!

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  14. All libraries should carry the book!

    I have some leggings that could be considered spandex, although they are actually nylon.

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    1. My mom requested that her library get the anthology. Moms, you've got to love them :-)

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  15. I don't think I've worn spandex in years! (But I have worn it.) I love your little tidbits on your blog. I'm looking forward to reading your story in Hero Lost!

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    1. Aww...thanks so much Loni! You made my day with your comment :-)

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  16. Hooray for reference librarians! As for wearing spandex, it's pretty much a rite of passage for women.

    Here's my February IWSG post: Stephanie Scott How I Read Now

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    1. Reference librarians are wonderful! Spandex makes getting into some garments possible. I'm secretly a big fan of the stuff.

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  17. Love the idea behind the library scene. Do yoga pants count in the spandex department?
    Danger, Love, and Mystery

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    1. Whoever invented yoga pants was a genius. I could live in them!

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  18. I thought Hero Lost was not going to be published until May? How did you get a hold of it already? The perks of a winner? :-) It looks like many writers have a similar answer to this month's question! Sometimes I wish I could go back to enjoying just reading a good book, instead of analyzing it. :-)

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. Little bit of creative license there. I haven't seen a copy yet and I'm dying to read my co-authors stories.

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  19. This is hilarious. Spandex. Nope. I have some tight leggings and lycra workout pants though.

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    1. I have to confess - I have some leggings and workout pants too :-)

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  20. Nice story. Love your librarian in a cape! What a concept!

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    1. Can't you just picture walking into your local library and seeing all the librarians in capes with the letter "L" emblazoned on them?

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  21. I have a visual on your caped hero and I'm having trouble getting the image out of my head. Yikes.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Yeah, me too and he's haunting my dreams and not in a good way :-)

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  22. No wonder your entry triumphed if real heroes visit your boat. My problem.....................I've never worn spandex. Looking forward to anthology.

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    1. Maybe wearing spandex is the key to succeeding at writing contests :-) I'm going to have to start wearing some more often.

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  23. You had me going there. I though you had a visit from an overweight Superman. No such luck, eh?

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    1. You never know. On our boat, anything can happen, even a visit fro man overweight Superman :-)

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  24. In an age of ignorance and strife, librarians are real-life heroes :).

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  25. Fun how the release is working. So exciting! I've never seen a reference librarian in spandex.

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    1. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing?

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  26. A superhero reference librarian sounds useful, but only if he brings those cookies! This did make me think of this TV movie I watched a few years ago called The Librarian, he was the Indiana Jones of the library, lol :)

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  27. No to Spandex but I love your creative post!

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  28. Before children I thought firemen were heroes and now I know better. Wearing spandex was also before children. I don't miss it much. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Children change everything, even our spandex wearing habits :-)

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  29. I anticipate story time in your IWSG posts all month! I'm never disappointed. Though, there was a moment I wasn't sure cookies were going to make an appearance. This is why one should always read to the end. Also, did you know I was once a reference librarian? I may have worn spandex once as well.

    Are you ever able to read without dissecting the writing, the themes, approach? Maybe I'm always doing that these days and just think I'm reading for pure pleasure.

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    1. Oh no, so much pressure now, Ryan, to produce something entertaining each month :-) I guess I'm going to have to work cookies into next month's post. Maybe something about the awesome ones that Aldi sells.

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  30. Congrats on being in the anthology. Thanks for sharing the website I had not seen it yet. Very nice. Happy IWSG Day
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Thanks so much Juneta for your kind words and for checking out the website.

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  31. I love your stories! YOu always have a different take on the question of the month. Your "hero" is right on target about how we look at how different writers explore the same topic. I hadn't thought of that for my post, but I guess I do that unconsciously.

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    1. If by a "different take" you mean a "weird take" on each month's question, you'd be right :-)

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  32. congrats on being in the anthology, that's a BIG deal. Admitting, that I wore spandex, and a cape for Halloween, only a couple of years ago. (It makes a great costume, comfortable to move in and not too awkward or expensive ;) )

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    1. Okay, I'm going to assume this is Jaye commenting, in which case I bet you looked awesome in spandex, especially if you were sporting your blue hair at the time. If this is Dan, then I'm sure you looked great too :-)

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  33. Wow Ellen! Dazzling post. Hmmm...I think I would ask the library superhero if I could have him electronically
    Submit a best read book once a month to my kindle....spandex? Yes. I actually taught aerobics for 15 years and yoga too. When I took my training course they required lots of spandex so the class could see the way a body moves. It was humbling but I got over my fear of standing in front of crowds...lol

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    1. Good on you for standing up in front of people wearing spandex :-)

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  34. Very entertaining! Now I really want to read your story in the anthology. Have a great Friday!

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  35. Thanks for the entertainment!!

    The Silvering was such a refreshing story. I was intrigued by that particular society and its rules...so unusual and a different kind of magic.

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    1. Oh wow, thanks so much for your kind words about "The Silvering" :-)

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  36. Well of course I have to super-endorse this post being a librarian and all that. I always knew Librarians were superheroes and boos their superpower. I'm just sad that our current regime doesn't seem to agree with me.

    It's a well known fact that Librarians run on gin and cake, though they might know a bit about chocolate chip cookies too.

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    1. Books not boos! But I expect you worked that out.

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    2. Librarians are definitely super heroes. We should all go visit our local library and gift our local librarians with gin, cake and cookies :-)

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