Read The Biggest Lie You've Ever Been Told | Puttylike by Emilie WapnickEmilie Wapnick (Puttylike)
If you've ever agonized over the question "what am I going to be when I grow up?", then this post is for you.

Instead of asking “what is my one true calling in life?”, ask “what are the many things I would like to experience before I die?”

Yes. This.

Read Ira Glass's Commencement Speech at the Columbia Journalism School Graduation - This American Life (This American Life)
The Columbia University School of Journalism asked Ira Glass to speak at their commencement and gave him an award for “singular journalistic performance.”
I love commencement speeches as a genre. I wasn’t remotely inspired by the one at my own college graduation and when I watch or read others, I like to pretend they’re for me  Because isn’t every day the commencement of something?

I read Ira Glass’s rather than listening to it, and found myself highlighting a lot  so I thought I’d share my favorite bits here.

You just have to get in there and make stuff and try things and push yourself hard and that’s the only way to find your way.

Glass is talking here about what to do when you’re lost and can’t figure out what you want to be doing. Multipotentialites can get paralyzed by possibilities. Perfectionists sometimes think they have to fully learn to do a thing before they can actually do it. But Glass has words that multipotentialite perfectionists (have you figured out yet that I am one?) need to hear: you learn the thing by doing it, and to find out if the thing is in fact one of your things, you have to pick it and try it.

It can take a long time to be as good as you want to be. And be kind to yourself, during that period. And work hard.

I ran into this a lot in improv, but I think it happens everywhere: you see the work of experts and are frustrated that your novice work isn’t good enough. I would watch people who had been improvising for 10, 11, 12, more years, and they would do what looked like magic, and I would think, “Why can’t I do that?” I started thinking this way when I had only been doing it for a year and a half. (Ira Glass has a great quote that expands on this idea.)

…the more idealistic your mission, the more cunning you have to employ to get people to engage with what you have to say.

This resonated with me immensely.

Everything will be better if you’re out for your own pleasure. Noticing what you’re actually truly interested in … and curious about … and making your work about that.

One of my core beliefs is that people do their best work when they care. Work you don’t care about won’t be good, no matter how important or meaningful it might be more generally. Find what lights you up right now (because it might change over time) and use that to change the world. And when it stops lighting you up, move on to the next thing.

Don’t wait. Make the stuff you want to make now. No excuses. Don’t wait for the perfect job or whatever. Don’t wait. Don’t wait. Don’t wait… Don’t wait. You have everything you need. Don’t wait.

Don’t wait.

Read First Look At Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (cbr.com)
When I learned Noelle Stevenson was showrunning a She-Ra reboot, I was psyched. I haven’t read Lumberjanes or Nimona yet, but her Avengers fan art and D&D tweets are top-notch. I was super into She-Ra as a kid, and I love that this new one is called She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

I’m on board with modern girl culture, at least as it’s manifesting in animation and comic books. I was talking to another parent recently who said she’d been afraid to let her daughter watch My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, but was pleasantly surprised by how feminist it was.

I recommended she look into DC SuperHero Girls and see if she would feel okay sharing that with her daughter, because I think it has a similar vibe.

And I need to read the “new” Jem and the Holograms comic, I know.

I love that the stories I’m seeing about girls and young women in these media place the girls at the center and let them have their own adventures. Romance tends to be sidelined. The girls are dealing with identity development and relationship building. Each of these properties has characters who are so different from each other in their interests and personalities. We’re seeing that there’s no one right way to be a girl or a woman, and I love that. The other thing I love is how they take colors and art styles that are coded feminine and use them to communicate that you don’t have to choose between strength and femininity, and that there are many different ways to be strong.

I’m sure none of them is perfect and I know that they are vehicles for selling toys, but I’m still excited about them.

I would buy that She-Ra poster and hang it on my office wall.

(By the way, DC SuperHero Girls creator Shea Fontana is going to be at ALA Annual and you can bet I’ll be at her session. DC SuperHero Girls is an incredibly accessible way to get to know the DC universe and figure out which characters appeal to you. I say this as an inveterate Marvel loyalist.)

Read an incomplete collection of #wordmetrics from my recent rewrites by Wil WheatonWil Wheaton (WIL WHEATON dot NET)
Before I get into this post, I want to thank everyone who has sent me feedback about my speech to NAMI. I never know how these things are going to go over, and I never know if what I had in my head…
I love reading about other creative people’s processes, especially writers, so this look inside Wil Wheaton’s head as he revises his first novel is my kind of deal. (Add on top of that my near lifelong crush on Wil Wheaton and just… yeah.)

And it inspired me. I’ve been chipping away at my comprehensive examination package, a giant literature review and a milestone in my doctoral progress, slowly but slowly for a very long time. I started while I was still technically doing coursework in the fall, and spent the whole spring semester on it as well. And I expect to be done in December, because I expect it to take me as long as they will allow. (#thanksparenthood #gradstudentmomlife) But I have really been struggling to feel like I made progress.

So starting tomorrow, I’ll take a page from Wil’s book and actively blog each day about the progress I’ve made. I’ll begin with a report about my progress since August, and then add a little bit each day. I’ll be dropping all that stuff in a category called “What Kimberly Wrote” (nothing there yet). It will be everything that counts as part of my writing process, not just getting words out.

The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts Cover
Read The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts: The Library and the Young Adult by Margaret A. Edwards
Finished 05/09/2018.

This is a (perhaps the) foundational work on young adult library services. I disagree with Edwards in a few places, mostly due to her being a product of her time. Writing before the advent of true YA literature as she did, she tends to consider books for teens as a step on the way to more mature reading, rather than an end in itself. And she also suggests that librarians shouldn’t sponsor clubs that aren’t book clubs. (She doesn’t look too highly on book clubs themselves, either.) Whereas I think there is a wide range of activities that a teen librarian can sponsor and still be within the library mission. Still, Edwards has a lot of good to offer even those of us who already have a degree in and experience with YA librarianship. Some choice gems:

    • You’ve got to read books if you’re going to recommend them to teens. And you can do this by squeezing in reading in all those little moments. For myself, I’m trying to read at all the times when, for the past several years (since I got a smart phone, basically) that I would check my phone. Bye, Facebook. Hello, Stuff for the Teenage and the things you recommend.
    • There are some basic tools that it’s easy to forget about in our tech-saturated world, but that doesn’t mean they’re not valuable: having teens recommend books to each other, giving book talks, making book lists.
    • Treat teens with respect.
    • Remember that in a few years, teens will be voters.
    • Meet readers where they are.
    • Be friendly and helpful.
    • Librarians are not police officers.
    • Librarians need to get out of the library and connect with the community.
    • Many librarians are in the business of customer service, not technical service.
    • Treat your patrons as guests at a party.
    • Focus on people rather than systems.
Read The Librarians Who Moonlight as Artists: A Roundtable Discussion by Natalie BaurNatalie Baur (Literary Hub)
Because even (starving) artists need to eat, I ignored my creative instincts for a very long time in order to devote myself to building a career as a professional librarian and archivist...
Occasionally, Google gets it right when it suggests articles for me, and all of its creepy data mining was very successful when it recommended this to me. Librarians who are committed to doing good work but also make art? Hello, my people.

Today I finished reading The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, a foundational text on young adult librarianship written by Margaret A. Edwards, the fairy godmother of YA (more on that in another post), and she suggests that in addition to doing their regular work and making plenty of time to read, librarians must have another interest: gardening, amateur theatrics, something. And here these librarians are  doing that very thing

It’s interesting to me that none of them are performers, and that none of them serve children. I suspect many youth services librarians are musicians, dancers, actors, or comedians. (I’m all of these!) I would love to talk to youth services librarians about their art and its relationship to their work

Can you recommend anybody?

Watched Hear Aaron Tveit’s ‘Come What May’ Before Moulin Rouge! Musical Premieres in Boston | Playbill from Playbill
The full cast is set for the stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film, beginning in Boston June 27.

I cried a little watching this. I adore Moulin Rouge. It shaped my aesthetic more than anything had since Beetlejuice. I saw it with W. It came out when we had been together about three years  and were in that phase of our relationship that clingy homebodies like me love: early deep familiarity. There are many other beautiful phases of a romance (in my experience, there’s nothing like watching your partner parent to make you fall in love all over again), but I have an extra soft spot for that one, and Moulin Rouge as a whole and “Come What May” in particular will always hold a wistful beauty for me. Cost means I’ll wait for this one to go on tour  but I am so looking forward to a soundtrack full of Broadway stars singing these songs.

Finished reading this early this morning. It does so many things so well. It is a good introduction to restorative justice. It takes on the school-to-prison pipeline. It discusses disparate sentencing. Again, highly recommend.
Reading this book in the car while the toddler naps. I started this book on Monday. It’s a very engaging read. It uses second person effectively to pop the reader right into the middle action. It includes what seems to me to be a straightforward and sensitive handling of gender identity, especially non-binary gender identity. Not finished yet, but so far, highly recommended.
I’ve been awaiting this book since it was announced. Now it’s here and I’m going to devour it! I’ve neglected true self-care most of my life. In the months before I got pregnant, I was finally taking better care of myself. But since M. was born, I have once again let it slide. I’ve claimed it in little ways here and there, but it’s time to devote myself to it more fully for a while. I’m doing the prep work now and starting the actual 21-day program May 14. Let me know if you want to join me and we can do daily check-ins. (If there’s a bunch of us, we can even maybe do a GroupMe!) #pcosdiva #pcos #bookstagram #amreading
Favorited PRE ORDER (Etsy)
PRE ORDER for one(1) Roll Like a Girl enamel pin! Each pin is made from hard enamel and metal. Product specifications are as follows: 1.25 at widest measurement Rubber clutch includes 2.5X3 backing card Glitter dice detail Purple and teal pins have silver plating, yellow and black
If you got me one of these, it would arrive just in time for my birthday in mid-July! I like the teal one. $12
Read PopSugar Stole Influencers’ Instagrams — Along With Their Profits (Racked)
The lifestyle website stripped bloggers’ affiliate links from their posts and added the site’s own.
This has me thinking about the dangers of algorithms and the role of social media silos in the blogging economy. I have been watching hobby blogs become businesses for about 15 years. Affiliate links have always been one of the top ways to monetize a blog or website, but I think social media has changed how that traffic moves. (I haven’t paid as close attention to this sphere in the past 5 years or so but I’m sort of always a little bit aware of it.)

I’m thinking about the relationship between this phenomenon and the IndieWeb, of course. The thing is that all of the bloggers quoted in the article have their own domain names and seem to run their own independent blogs, but clearly get a lot of traffic from Instagram. Publishing on your own site and syndicating on Instagram wouldn’t protect you from this kind of content scraping. The way this affiliate economy seems to work, telling these creators to just wean themselves off Instagram seems like telling them to stop having their primary source of income.

If I were in a position to give them advice (as, say, a librarian whose job it is to advise young people on smart practices for information creation and dissemination), I’m not sure what advice I’d give them.

This has illuminated for me several issues I want to research/revisit, though:

  • The current state of affiliate marketing
  • The difference between a blogger and an influencer
  • The relationship between an influencer’s blog and social media presence (Is their content being syndicated or do they publish different things in each venue?)

My friend who is a fifth grade teacher told me that all her students are already YouTubers and expect to monetize their content and support themselves full-time. Once of the bloggers quoted in this Racked article, Nita of Next with Nita, finished law school and then moved to LA “to pursue [her] dream as an influencer.” (She has over 210,000 Instagram followers. I can’t imagine telling her to just quit Instagram would be good advice.)

Those jobs that didn’t exist yet that those of us who were teaching 10 or 15 years ago were preparing kids for? Influencer is one of them. YouTuber is one of them. Educators and technologists need to think about how to talk to youth about their creations, how they are monetized, and who gets to monetize them.

This blew my mind. I narrowly managed to avoid falling down a rabbit hole looking for thinkpieces on deepfake, which is truly some cyberpunk dystopian stuff.
I love this! I have long dreamed of being a children’s entertainer and I love the idea of librarians writing songs for other librarians and parents to listen to with kids. M. and I will be listening to this today!

Was watching Silicon Valley S5E3 and Richard started waxing poetic about redecentralizing the internet and users owning their data and I got all 😍.