Memoir Writing: Turning Your Life into Art (or Is it the Other Way Around?)

Monday January 11, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Huron High School English teacher and Love & Vodka:My Surreal Adventures in Ukraine author R.J. Fox will lead participants through the process of turning real life experiences—both profound and ordinary—into the art of creative non-fiction.

Learn how to mold your own life stories through such topics as story structure, dialogue, character development/arc, and how to infuse your writing with literary elements traditionally associated with fiction. Participants will apply the skills taught during the workshop through various prompts and activities designed to spark creativity, with the aim of mining material that can later be developed into various forms of memoir and creative non-fiction, from short essays to long-form works.

R.J. Fox is the award-winning writer of several short stories, plays, poems, and fifteen feature-length screenplays. He is also the writer and director of several award-winning short films. In addition his writing and film-making exploits — not to mention his talents as a saxophonist — Fox teaches English and Video Production in the Ann Arbor Public Schools where he uses his own dream of making movies to inspire his students to follow their own dreams. Fox has also worked in public relations at Ford Motor Company and as a newspaper reporter.

This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale at the event.

 

History Mysteries with Mystery Authors Carrie Bebris, Susanna Calkins, Anna Lee Huber, and Sam Thomas

Media Player

August 8, 2015 at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Mystery buffs will marvel at this panel of award-winning historical mystery authors, each with a brand new mystery book that has just been released!

Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop moderated this event, which will included opportunities for audience questions.

Panelists included:
• Award-winning author Carrie Bebris, author of the critically acclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery series (the further adventures of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters) is also a life member and regional coordinator of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Her seventh book in the Jane Austen-based series, The Suspicion At Sanditon, finds Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy have moved to Sanditon, the setting of Jane Austen’s final work. They have barely settled into their lodgings when they receive an unexpected dinner invitation from Lady Denham, one of the town’s most prominent residents. Thirteen guests assemble at Sanditon House—but their hostess never appears. The Darcys, like most of their fellow attendees, speculate that one of her ladyship’s would-be heirs has grown impatient … but then the guests start to vanish one by one.

• Susanna Calkins is the author of the award-winning Lucy Campion novels, which are set in 17th century London, a time period that gives Calkins the ability to write about both the plague and the Great Fire. Her main character, Lucy, began the series as a chambermaid, but in this third novel, The Masque of a Murderer, Lucy is working as a bookseller's apprentice, selling broadsides with her fellow apprentice on the streets of London. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate's daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The Quaker, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, has only a few hours to live and Lucy is unprepared for what he reveals to her — that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a mysterious secret he had uncovered.

• Anna Lee Huber is the award-winning and national bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mystery series, set in Scotland in the 1830’s. In A Study In Death, the fourth riveting mystery in the series, Lady Kiera Darby is commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, but is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband. When she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, the physician is called and Lord Drummond appears satisfied to rule her death natural. However, Kiera is convinced that poison is the culprit and intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death, no matter who stands in her way.

• Historian and teacher Sam Thomas is the author of the Bridget Hodgson series, set in 17th century York. All of the mysteries in the series focus on Bridget's work as a midwife. His latest novel, The Witch Hunter’s Tale, finds the Puritans scouring the British countryside for witches with often heartbreaking consequences. As women and children sicken and die, midwife Bridget Hodgson is pulled against her will into a full-scale witch-hunt that threatens to devour all in its path, guilty and innocent alike. As the trials begin, and the noose begins to tighten around her neck, Bridget must answer the question: How far will she go to protect the people she loves?

Length: 00:42:53
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


The Foundations of Self-Publishing

Thursday February 11, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Do you have a desire to write your own novel, but don't quite know where to get started? Local author Emlyn Chand is the founder and president of Novel Publicity, a company that provides marketing, editing, and design services for all authors, regardless of their paths to publication.

During this session she will provide insight into how to hone your writing craft, make writing a priority, navigate self-publishing, identify and promote your author brand, and stand out in a crowded market.

Emlyn has published fiction across multiple genres and writes for youth to adult audiences. Emlyn’s first novel, Farsighted, won the prestigious Writer’s Digest Self-Published Novel of the Year award in 2012 for the YA category. The majority of her books have been published under her pseudonym Emlyn Chand, but she has recently started releasing books in her legal name, Melissa Storm.

Summer Game 2015: Take Five!

WE DID IT! Summer Game 2015 is all over and we all (as far as I know, though I haven't really looked into this much) survived! Now it's time for all of us to take a much deserved rest, trying to retrain our brains to not perk up anytime someone mentions "points" or "friend codes" or "badges". But before we take five, we should probably take a minute to reflect on how INCREDIBLE this year's Summer Game was. And we all know things aren't truly amazing without numbers, so let's have a think about:

An UNSTOPPABLE 5,442 players played!
An UNBEATABLE 75,968 badges earned!!
An UNBELIEVABLE 353,488 codes redeemed!!!
An UNPOSSIBLE 128,649,387 points earned!!!!

Those kinds of numbers are every kind of UN imaginable! So UNIMAGINABLE, I guess!!

While we're taking five, let's also talk about how this year's Summer Game was Summer Game 5! After 5 years of Summer Game, was it BIGGER THAN EVER? Since that 5 is a nice round number, let's compare this year to Summer Game 2011: 1.5x the number of players! 2.3x the number of badges! 4.5x the number of codes! 2.9x the number of points!

SO YEAH, BIGGER!!! But now we have to ask ourselves...can it be BIGGER YET? I'll answer for us all with a resounding, "Sure. I mean, probably. Probably yes." (Ahem, sorry, my internal caps lock might be a little worn out by this point in the summer.) I meant "TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY HECK YEAH! WE'RE COMING FOR YOU, 2016!"

BUT WHAT TO DO UNTIL THEN?! Well, how about you take another five:
-Download of the Day, a chance to learn about all of the great things AADL has for download, score points, and score even more points by solving a clue and finding the download a week early on the Lowdown of the Day
-Points-O-Matic, a chance to help us figure out which reviews are helpful and which are not with a click of your mouse and to help make our amazing old newspapers more searchable by entering text from hundred-year-old pages
-Streets Quest, a game that takes you to many of the historic streets panels around town and teaches you the history of the city around you
-Treasure Quest, the most mind-boggling of our games that the will have you decoding and deciphering your way through the catalog
-That's only four, huh? Weird. You'd think there'd be a fifth game that I'd mention here, what with the whole "take five" theme. I dunno, like a WHOLE NEW GAME or something. Huh.

For those of you with Summer Game points left, don't forget that the SUMMER GAME SHOP STAYS OPEN UNTIL MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14! Keep your eyes on play.aadl.org for news about the restocking of popular items! And don't worry if you don't get to spend all of your points, the Shop will re-open in 2016 with all-new items and your points will still be just as good for spending!

So after five years, it seems like everyone is STILL HAVING A GREAT TIME playing the Summer Game! And that's great news for us, because WE ARE STILL HAVING A GREAT TIME MAKING IT! And the players who are having fun are what makes the Summer Game worth making, so:

THANKS FOR MAKING ALL OF THIS WORTH IT!
THANKS FOR MAKING THE GAME A FAIR AND FUN EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYBODY!
THANKS FOR HELPING EACH OTHER OUT IN THE COMMENTS!
THANKS FOR ALL OF THE TAGS, REVIEWS, AND RATINGS YOU'VE ADDED!
and THANKS FOR BEING AWESOME!

but mostly

THANKS FOR PLAYING!!!

Badge Drop #12: The FINAL Four!


WHOA. Summer Gamers, it seems like just yesterday we were kicking off our SG shenanigans, slipping on our flip-flops and looking ahead at a nice, long summertime full of sun, fun, reading, watching, CODES and, (of course!) BADGES.

But — EEEK! — those early days FLEW right by as we all got fully immersed in Kids Read Comics, Summer Fest, the LEGO Contest and reading, watching and listening!

So now we're at Badge Drop #12, with just under FOUR days (the rest of today, Saturday, Sunday and Monday — until MIDNIGHT) left to EARN TONS OF POINTS and collect ALL THE BADGES YOU POSSIBLY CAN!

If you CAUGHT BADGE FEVER long ago, and have been been working away at each series, today's Badge Drop is ESPECIALLY exciting for YOU. WHY, you ask? Well, because it rewards you for things YOU'VE ALREADY DONE! Pretty cool, eh? So, if you've already visited ALL of the branches, you'll ALREADY have the BRANCH MASTER EXPLORER! If you've been BEARY GOOD at keeping up, you'll have the MASTER OF BEAREMONIES badge! Likewise, if you've hunted down all the LEGO around town, you're a MASTER LEGO QUESTER. Whoohoo! And of course, there are still a few more days to become MASTER OF THE BADGE-I-VERSE!

Don't worry quite yet about spending all those points you've been wracking up — THE SHOP will remain open until Monday, September 14. Beyond that, you'll have until the end of October to pick up your orders.

2015 Badge Drop #12



Oh! And we LOVE bringing Summer Gamers together, so don't miss our wrap-party, the — SUMMER GAME 2015 GAME OVER GALA — this coming Monday (8/31), from 6-8 pm in the Downtown Library Lobby. SEE YOU THERE?

Oh, and AS ALWAYS, whether we get to see you in person Monday or not... THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Badge Drop #11: T-Minus 10 and Counting


Time for Badge Drop #11! Those of you who have been in the Summer Game...uh, game for a while know that there is something awesome and terrible about Badge Drop #11: it is the last of the drops with original badges. Just to clue those of you who don't know in (or to remind those of you who didn't spend the months of September to May biting your nails and peeking between the curtains waiting for your obsession to start up again), the final badge drop (that'll be #12 for those of you keeping track at home) consists of Master Badges, awarded to those select few who have managed to complete all badges in given series (or given subsets of those badges)! So that's great, right? You can start knocking off those series and feeling like you've accomplished something. But now for the terrible part: Badge Drop #11 also mean THERE ARE ONLY 10 DAYS LEFT OF SUMMER GAME 2015!!! So if you look at the Badges page and see a sea of ghosted out badge images, you've got a lot of work to do!

Oh, and before I forget: IT'S STILL SUMMER GAME SHOP MADNESS WEEK! Today we've got a couple of perfect additions for your AADL Ultrapremium Embroidered Logo Messenger: AMAZING LUNCH PODS, available in radish orange or chargrilled lime! That's right, when you are hitting the town to collect ALL THOSE CODES for the LEGO Quest, Arbor Explorer, and PowerArt! badges, you'll now have everything you need: Sip-top Bottle, Microdrivers, Pocket Stitchery, Mug and Beans, and now something to pack your lunch in!!! It seems like that bag is getting pretty full, so surely that must be all the shop items for this year, right? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! Stay tuned next week for 2 MORE BRAND-NEW ITEMS TO HIT THE SHOP!

What do you say, should we get to the badges? For this badge drop we've got a plethora of Amazing Animals, a foolish samurai warrior, the world's greatest detective, and some delicious word origins! We've also got the final badge honoring our friend Jan and the end of Arbor Explorer! Let's badge it!

2015 Badge Drop #11



With the end of Summer Game 2015 only 10 days away, now seems like a good time to take stock of how far we've come this summer:
5,285 PLAYERS playing!
59,747 BADGES earned!!
293,435 CODES redeemed!!!
101,145,081 POINTS awarded!!!!

That last number is 101 million. Like a million times 101. THAT IS AN ASTOUNDINGLY GINORMOUS NUMBER!!! Sorry to shout, but seriously 101 million? You guys are something else. But not you've got a decision to make. You (this is, again, the collective you, not you personally) have topped 100 million points for the first time in Summer Game history! Does it seem like a good time to retire? Hang up your Summer Game hat (collective hat), which I'm picturing sort of a beret but instead of just being black it is a big badge, and call it quits? OR DO YOU ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES (collective sleeves), DIVE BACK IN, AND START WORKING TO BLOW 101 MILLION POINTS OUT OF THE WATER?!

I think we all know the answer. But better get to it. Your 10 days starts...NOW!

Oh, and in case I didn't mention it, THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Badge Drop #10: Summer Game Gets FRIENDLIER THAN EVER!


Well, HELLO FRIENDS!

Our fabulous new FRIEND CODE FEATURE just dropped a few days ago and already this week’s Summer Game has gotten so FRIENDLY it’s a little bit NUTS. Never before has the comment section seen such a CRAZY assortment of SEEMINGLY RANDOM WORDS AND NUMBERS.

So to match that running theme, here’s a SEEMINGLY RANDOM assortment of AWESOME BADGE AWESOMENESS:

2015 Badge Drop #10


This week we’ve got THREE different Gutsy Girls, THREE ever-more-exciting ARBOR EXPLORER BADGES chock full of RIVETING RIVER ART, and TWO mysterious mystery badges (because ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH) with a massive overload of FAMOUS BEARS, 90’s KID STARS, MAGICAL MAPS and everything else piled on top like a really good plate of BADGE NACHOS.

With only TWO WEEKS LEFT in the Summer Game it’s time to really GET THE LEAD OUT and EXPLORE YOUR LIBRARY like there ain’t no tomorrow!

But we wouldn’t just drop these badges and leave you to it, NO WAY. We’re also excited to announce a veritable TIDAL WAVE of AADL-LOGO COVERED THINGS that will be rolling into the Summer Game shop over the next week. So for those of you stocking up on points like it’s the END TIMES, stay tuned because there are MORE PRIZES on the way!

Until next week, FRIENDS, FOLLOWERS, and EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, and of course….

THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Badge Drop #9: I-Spy, Canoes and Civic Selfies!


WHEW! This last week involved a WHOLE LOTTA LEGO! Our (little plastic yellow) heads are STILL SPINNING from all of the excitement of yesterday's 10TH ANNUAL LEGO CONTEST!

If you missed it, don't fret — this week you can get deep into the LEGO side of the Summer Game in the comfort of your VERY OWN HOME by taking a close look at your 2015 Summer Reading Game Card for Kids. The brand new I-Spybrary badge will have you rhyming your way through a careful card examination!

Speaking of SPYING, we've got a badge that involves the CIA! Well, OK, in this case CIA ACTUALLY stands for "Canoe Imagine Art" project, NOT the secret spy agency. But you have to admit that's a catchy acronym, right? Beat the heat by Galluping over to the river to see some artwork! Or, if rollin' on (or near) the river isn't quite your thing, you can still get out and about to snap a civic selfie — it's part of the Self Actualization badge!

2015 Badge Drop #9


Does early August heat have you feeling LISTLESS? We have your cure — become a Super, Mega, Giga, Ultra or SUPREME List Master! Or, if that's not really the right way to cool off, we also have FANS! OK, OK, they may not be the breezy kind, but we're willing to bet that they're still pretty cool. Know what else is cool, dawg? Find out through the 90s-lovin' HOT DAWG badge!

Hmmm... what more can we offer? Well, the AUGUST RUSH of NEW SHOP ITEMS is beginning, with TWO amazing new items today:



And next week we're planning a veritable TORRENT of amazing new shop items you've never seen before... so use your points wisely, and for now — stay hot, stay cool and as always...

THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Badge Drop #8: Dropping Like a Ton of Bricks


IT'S HERE, EVERYBODY! This is the week the whole summer (and Summer Game) has been BUILDING to! The pieces are finally SET! NEXT THURSDAY: THE 10th ANNUAL LEGO CONTEST!!! So to celebrate, we've got a ton of LEGO-y goodness for you in this week's badge drop:

-the opening of the Staff LEGO Exhibit in the Downtown Library, featuring a special set of codes and a badge to go with it!
-all-new LEGO exhibits at Vault of Midnight and Literati!
-the reveal of the Bannerama badge, held over until this moment because THE BANNERS ARE FINALLY UP ON THE DOWNTOWN LIBRARY!

Let's go to the badges!

2015 Badge Drop #8



In addition to all of that amazing LEGO-ness, we've got a bunch of your favorites: Berenstain Bears, Bob's Burgers, TV detectives, Norse mythology, Nancy Drew, explorers--WHEW! I'm out of breath just listing it, wait to you get to them all! What else do we have in store? Check it out:

-the final two POWER ART badges of the year! Now's your chance to walk a few BLOCKS Downtown to collect them all at once!
-the release of the Comment Master series, which earns you points just for speaking your mind on any post or page on aadl.org!
-AND an AWESOME chance to see democracy in action, help collect data about election results, and make some mondo points with the Pollcat badge!

Don't get so wrapped up in all of that democracy that you forget to make a great LEGO project to submit to the LEGO Contest! Drop off for projects is 9-3 at Kensington Court with public viewing open at 6 and awards handed out at 8pm! Check out the event listing for more details and START BUILDING!!! Come show us what a STUD (or STUDette) you are!

Remember: nothing, not heat, nor CONSTRUCTION, not ANYTHING can stop the Summer Game! THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Badge Drop #7: Summer Game is really HEATING UP!


It's JULY guys, and in true Summer form it's getting hotter and hotter out. Like, where's-my-sunscreen, where're-my-pool-floaties, HOLY-COW-THAT-SIDEWALK-IS-HOT sort of heat. But Summer time's got nothing on the SUMMER GAME because, we assure you, things are JUST heating up! The amount of SCORING, SEARCHING, and CODE-COLLECTING you've all been doing has really lit a fire under us!

We thought you might need PROOF, so here it is!

2015 Badge Drop #7



LOOK! PIPING HOT BADGES!

This week we've got LEGENDS, LORE, and LIARS--and with their on-fire-pants situation, well, it doesn't get much HOTTER than that! We also have a FANTASTIC Player's Pick badge made by Kathy D, so ENORMOUS thanks to her! Not to mention, we're dropping our REVIEW MASTER BADGES, for those of you BLAZING through the catalog and OPINIONING LIKE YOU'VE NEVER OPINIONED BEFORE.

We've also got a badge about 2 and a half MILLION gallons of HOT MOLASSES running rampant through city streets, so when that Ann Arbor humidity starts driving you NUTS, just think--it could always be worse!

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! We've got 2 BRAND NEW ITEMS in the Summer Game Shop... with more fabulous items yet to come! Check them out:



So, as you're wandering around HOT on the trail of Summer Game codes, BURNING the midnight oil looking through the catalog, or just sitting very still in front of a fan to keep from COMBUSTING, keep in mind that the Summer Game is braving the heat with you!

THANKS FOR PLAYING!

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