Thursday, October 29, 2015

Help! Writer's Block

Margot Sullivan is a part-time reader's advisory and reference librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column as published in the October 29, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

     This past summer I vowed to begin writing a story that has been swirling around in my head for years!  I was on my favorite Maine island where creativity abounds with artists, writers, poets, and craft persons.  Since I just cannot seem to get going I asked some friends “when do you write?” and received a variety of answers. One poet starts her day with her coffee and just jots down anything that comes to mind. A children’s author sets aside some time each day but also admitted to having a book idea hanging around for years.  I even went to one session of a creative writing course in the library.    I actually started the story and reviewed some of the letters, photos, and clippings I might use! I did not write a whole lot but liked what I wrote. It is fiction, maybe a mystery, and takes place in Maine! But I have come to a complete halt.  I have not figured out how to go forward!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bewitched by the City of Salem

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the October 22, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

This past summer, Gerry and I were very happy guests at a wedding in Salem, Massachusetts. It was a gorgeous weekend. A large tent overlooked Hawthorne Cove and the Salem Harbor beyond to the east. The lucky couple hosted their wedding day reception at the House of Seven Gables The water sparkled with hundreds of sailboats. One of those boats was the venue of the actual marriage ceremony where the bride and groom tied a nautical knot in an intimate gathering of six.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cranberries: Fruit of the Bog

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the October 15, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Cranberries. They are an odd fruit, aren’t they? Essentially, they must be cooked, dried, or juiced to be palatable.

The berries grow on low evergreen shrubs that creep along the ground. Because they grow in bogs, they are often inaccessible to the wanderer. But they aren’t a berry that we often think about picking as we casually walk or hike New England trails. If we did, as a matter of fact, we’d be sorely disappointed. Even when their skins are richly red, and they are bursting with plumpness, they aren’t a very good snack. It’s interesting that such a tart, acidic, nearly-bitter, strangely-textured fruit could be one of America’s favorites.

That said – cranberries conjure thoughts of holidays, family and sweets. In their raw form, they adorn our wreaths and are strung on holiday trees. In their cooked form, they are America’s accompaniment to our Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. Juiced, they make up some pretty tasty concoctions like the delicious Scarlett O’Hara and a refreshing Cape Codder.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Best Books You've Never Read

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the October 8, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Scene: your coworker/friend/family member gushes on about how much they just loved this new bestseller. It was just the best book of the last decade and you absolutely have to read it – why haven’t you read it yet? You’re missing out!

Intrigued, you’re finally able lay your hands on a copy and after you’ve slogged your way through it, you wonder what all the hype was about. We’ve all had this experience of being disappointed by books on the bestseller list, books that are raved about by our coworkers/friends/family members, who we know to otherwise be of sound mind and good taste. This can even happen with award-winning books: these Award-Winners are apparently paragons of prose and literary theory, are radical in their choice of subject matter, but some of these titles really make you wonder how they could ever have won an award (“Catcher in the Rye,” I’m looking at you). You read them and just think, “Meh.”

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Dedicated Fan

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the October 1, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Recently I discovered a book that had been withdrawn from our library’s collection. Brady, Brady, Brady was written by Sherwood and Lloyd J. Schwartz, the co-producers of the hit television series The Brady Bunch. I grabbed it from the recycle bin—a found treasure. This was a piece of my childhood.

Along with many other kids growing up in the seventies, I was a dedicated fan of the show. After all who doesn’t remember the episode when Jan Brady cried out “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” having had enough of her sister being the center of attention? And I couldn’t have been the only girl who oo’ed and ahh’d over Greg Brady when he auditioned to be the singer Johnny Bravo, could I? {!--more-->
When my own kids were old enough, I checked out the Brady Bunch series from the library… and then (confession), I purchased a set of our own to have on hand. Turns out my girls loved the show. Granted they couldn’t relate to the “groovy” hairstyles and outfits, but the overarching themes resonated with a new generation.

All of this got me thinking about what it means to be a fan. Most of us have someone whom we admire, whether a sports figure or a singer, a politician (could happen) or a Hollywood star. Often we’re intrigued by those who are famous, or slightly “out of reach.” According to the dictionary however, a fan is “a person who is very enthusiastic about someone or something.” You could be a fan of your grandmother or your local librarian (hint, hint). It doesn’t have to be someone famous.