Saturday, December 08, 2007

Book Paradise

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The Homosassa Public Library celebrated its Grand Opening on Friday, December 7, 2007. This branch marks the latest addition to the Citrus County Library System.

Loretta Rogers and I were two "local authors" present at the event, which included addresses given by state and local officials and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Our keynote speaker was Florida Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning. CCLIB director Flossie Benton Rogers organized the event, which also owes much to the library staff and to Friends of the Library of Homosassa Florida, Inc.

More on the event follows....

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This shot faces toward the main entrance. The author table where Loretta and I spoke with attendees is located at foreground right. The ceremony got underway about an hour after I took this picture.

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The library includes a cafe space and vending machines. Beyond the tables is the community room entrance.

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Above: The learning center/computer room.

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Above: Entrance to the children's room. More children's room photos follow.

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The garden sculptures on the grounds are a gift from The Sugarmill Woods Civic Association, in honor of Paul "Skip" Christensen, president of the association from 2001-2004 and 2006-2007. The grand opening ceremony was held in the tent.

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Each person attending received a pen, program book, and commemorative mouse pad.

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Above: The Korean War Veterans Foundation Honor Guard awaits the start of the grand opening ceremony.

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Keynote speaker, Florida Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning

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Director Flossie Benton Rogers gives the Closing Remarks. Photos of all the speakers and more from the library can be seen in this photoset.

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Above: The ribbon cutting ceremony. Our ribbon cutter was Joyce Valentino, Chairwoman of the Board of County Commissioners, shown directly to the right of the scissors.

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Shown at left: Jim Ehlers, CCLIB's Communications Facilitator and our Master of Ceremonies. At right is State Senator Charles Dean. (The man in the center wasn't one of the speakers, but he looks familiar.)

Loretta and I had been here on November 16 for the library's "Write-In." That event was a sequel to the NaNoWriMo kickoff we had done, along with Belea Keeney, back on October 26. As we had done in October, we spoke on craft and answered questions. In addition, we provided critiques for NaNoWriMo participants at the "Write-In."

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The November 16 event took place in the Community Room (above), which here has been made ready for the serving of refreshments following the opening ceremony. One NaNoWriMo participant, Barbara Gardner (pictured in the group shot, below, standing second from right), received her certificate for having written a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November 2007. Her certificate was on display at the library during the Grand Opening.

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The Homosassa Beacon, part of the Citrus County Chronicle newspapers, published this brief article and photo from the November 16 event. (More legible in the large view.) Loretta (standing third from left) gave me (standing fourth from left) this photocopy. She also gave me a set of sunburst-shaped gold stickers imprinted with the words, "Autographed By Local Author," which I had the opportunity to use at the Grand Opening event.

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Loretta's romantic western/time travel novella Isabelle and the Outlaw will be released as an e-book by The Wild Rose Press on December 12. Winner of the Garden Gate Contest, Cactus Rose Category, Isabelle and the Outlaw out-competed approximately 5,000 other entries. Loretta's time-to-deadline from when she learned about the contest was ten days.

As Loretta put it, she and I have gone from being "critique partners" to being "book-signing buddies."

Following the ceremony, refreshments were served in the Community Room.

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Above: Homosassa Library Branch Manager and Reference Services Manager Susan Mutschler.

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According to this newsletter, the Friends of the Library of Homosassa Florida, Inc. raised:

  • $8,552.98 from its November 2006 book sale. (At press, the November 2007 book sale had not yet occurred.)

  • Over $18,000 from its Reading Garden pavers program.

  • $50,000 for the library's children's collection, raised from book sales over the 15 years that the Friends of the Homosassa Library has been in existence.

  • On Saturday I'll be at another Grand Opening, this time at the Art Center of Citrus County. Normally we have a holiday luncheon, but this year we're combining it with a chance to display our newly-renovated Arts & Education Building to the membership. Next month we'll hold an Open House that will be free to the general public, where I and other instructors, group leaders, etc., will be on hand to answer questions, display our wares, and (we hope) sign people up. My creative writing course starts up three days after the Open House. I was advertising both at the Homosassa event.

    In other news, I recently learned that the entry I submitted to The Sam's Dot Publishing Drabble Contest will be published in February.

    I learned back in September that a "drabble" is, "a very short story containing exactly 100 more, no less. Its title is limited to 15 words, no more." That info and news of the contest came to me on September 29, the day before the deadline. The contest theme -- and the theme of Issue #10 of The Drabbler, where my piece "Identity Theft" will appear, was "Haunted Spaceports."

    My article, "The Many Shades of Dark Poetry," appears in Poets' Forum Magazine 19(2), along with my prose poem, "Getting the Last Laugh." The poem follows my mother's double quatrain, "Lab Technician," which she literally wrote on her death bed in 1982. My poem "After the Standoff" appears as an example of a Spoon River Poem, accompanying Madelyn Eastlund's article on the form, "All, All Are Sleeping on the Hill":

    The Many Shades of Dark Poetry

    The text is legible in the large view.

    I am in the process of changing my Amazon link (the change is in place, below), having learned that this Amazon link comes via the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America Circulating Book Plan: "Any books you buy from Amazon after taking one of these links will send a few pennies to the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund, too."

    Very cool.

    Covenant, the first volume in the Deviations Series, is available from Aisling Press, and from AbeBooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Territory,,, Powell's Books, and Target. The Deviations page has additional details.


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