Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bat Cave Shenanigans For 2013

It's been a while since I've done a State Of The Bat Cave Address, and 2013 is shaping up to be a busy year for yours truly.  Here's a few of the things that will be occupying my life over the next 12 months:

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I was, once again, roped into helping with my library's annual literary event.  After five years of labor on the endeavor, I begged off in 2012 mostly because I really, really needed a break.  This turned out to be smart move on my part, since at the time of the begging off I had no idea I was about to be transferred.  I basically had to learn how to do my job again.  Same job, but more responsibilities = Wendy has to figure out how she's going to squeeze it all in without doing Jello shots at the reference desk.  It took me a good three months to stop driving myself crazy, and it took me a full twelve months to feel comfortably "in a groove." I have to be honest though, even my "groove" is a day-to-day thing.

However when planning began for 2013's event, I was once again roped in - which basically meant planning the romance panel.  Oh, and moderating said panel.  Which means, oh yeah I actually need to do "homework reading" and stuff.  The authors that will be featured on "my" romance panel this year are none other than Jill Sorenson, Anna Randol and Jillian Stone.  I think this is going to be a fabulous panel, and you can expect reviews for books by these authors in the coming months.  And hey - if you live in southern California, why not consider attending our event? The all-day affair will be Saturday, April 6 and costs $60.  Books will be sold separately on site, but cost does include a continental breakfast and lunch.

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RWA hasn't opened registration yet, but I'll be attending the conference in Atlanta this summer.  It's also looking like I'll be speaking at Librarians Day again this year - because everybody just loves to hear me blather on about various nonsense apparently.  Details are still be ironed out, but it looks like I'll be on a panel to discuss library programming and the romance genre - uh, see the above paragraphs to figure out what I'll be bringing to the table......

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In more RWA news, the Orange County chapter is reviving their Book Buyers Best contest for 2013.  This is a published authors contest, and I have been a first round judge in previous years - reading mostly category romance, historical romance and a smattering of romantic suspense.  This year, because obviously they have lost their collective minds, they asked me to be the "Top Pick Judge."  What does this mean?  Basically I read the finalists, the highest vote receivers, in each of the ten categories.  Then it's my job to pick the overall winner, or the Top Pick. 

My reading load will be hefty, but I'm really looking forward to it.  I tend to approach contest judging a little differently from reviewing.  These days my personal taste comes into reviewing books here at my blog.  If I'm burnt-out on BDSM, I'm going to say so in one of my reviews.  However even I can recognize when a BDSM plot is "done well" - and acknowledge whether or not a story is "done well" for a particular sub genre.  A lot of it boils down to execution, story construction etc.  I always tell people that it's a rare book that I loathe soooooo much that I would refuse to recommend it to anybody.  Dude, stick around books and reading long enough (especially fiction) and you quickly realize there's an audience for everything - no matter how warped you might think it is.

Look for me to talk about my judging experience, and hopefully the books I'll be reading, later in the year.  I'll likely resort to constructing some sort of "wrap up" post to go live well after OCCRWA makes their official announcement(s).

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The final task I would love to accomplish this year is to tackle my Mammoth TBR Pile From Hell.  This is going to take some work however, mostly in the form of pulling books, reading several pages, and then deciding whether it should stay or go.  I have no clue how I'm going to carve out time for this, when I'm going to have to spend a good chunk of this year reading books (yeah, see all the above paragraphs).  What it might boil down to is randomly pulling a few books every week and setting a deadline (Dear Wendy: look at these by date X).  This might turn out to be one of those best-laid-plans-of-mice-and-men dealies, but seriously, my TBR is beyond ridiculous.  My collection of category romance alone is enough to crush a small child in the event of a modest earthquake......

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So, what are your plans for 2013?  Anyone have any resolutions (reading or otherwise) they're working on?  Travel?  Fun?  More work?

7 comments:

  1. I wish I could come to one of your panels sometime. It always sounds so interesting.

    I've been thinking of weeding my TBR pile, too. My tastes have evolved. I need to admit that what intrigued me once no longer does. I like your idea of reading a few pages to see if you want to continue. I should try that.

    Finally, I want to be a better blogger. And I want to finish more quilts. The TBQ (to be quilted) mountain is seriously out of control.

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  2. I'd like to tackle some of my physical TBR pile, but that involves doing some not-so-stealth reading, since my 2yo is highly interested in what I'm reading on a regular basis if it is a real book...and wants to know why the lack of pictures.

    I'd also like to do a better job tracking. I know I did better than the official count of 30ish on Shelfari...but since I don't have a good practice of immediately tracking, it is as if it never happened.

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  3. Oh my gosh, I got tired just reading your list of things to do O_o. I'm also sure you're probably going to do awesome at them all. :D

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  4. Phyl: I've done weeding in the past - mostly using the back cover method. Read back cover, decide if it should stay or go. This was a good way to weed out category romances featuring tropes I had outgrown or was tired of. But I think I've gone as far as I can with that method, so now it's on to the "read a few pages" test.

    Rae: LOL! Now you've got me imagining romance novels with pictures. Even the tamer reads would be extra naughty :)

    Alys: I know. I'm insane. I have no idea how I'm going to get it all done.....

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  5. Hey, aim high and all that--I'm sure you'll do more than you think you can (particularly after putting it all down in black and white, as it were)

    Me, I just want to read more new stuff (aka, break the slump from hell), craft more regularly, and exercise regularly again.

    Even if the improvement in any/all of these were minimal I'd be thrilled (considering that right now I'm batting zero all around)

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  6. Like Alys, I got tired just reading your list. Apart from the usual get fit, lose weight, blah, blah, blah, I'm going to try to write something that's not a romance. I've had a couple of ideas on the back burner for ages, so 2013 is the time to see if they'll actually be worth cooking.

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  7. Wow, Wendy, you are going to be busy, busy!! Jeez. At least, a lot of those stuff, you've done before :) So you know the rope.

    I was hoping to go to the RWA in Atlanta this year... but looking back and forward, I don't think I'll be able to take the time off. What with the new job and a trip South for a wedding... Awwww. Perhaps I'll just wait till it comes back to NYC.

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