Tag Archives: Florida

When a New Library Opens

Barbara Vey -- January 16th, 2014

-1

Fort Myers, Florida opened a brand spanking new library and I had an opportunity to visit it.  With all the talk of paperless libraries, this was a book lovers dream come true.

Large, wide open spaces with lots of windows makes everything bright and cheery.  Big rooms have glass walls and huge signs designate Kids Zone and Teen Scene.  Light fixtures hang low enough that every title is easily readable.  Wide aisles make it easy for more than one person to peruse the shelves.
.

.
-4The Kids Zone has a collection of over 50,800 items, 19 computers and a story time room with puppet stage.  There’s seating available for all ages and sizes.  Teen Scene is set aside for the tween and teen patrons.  There are over 16,000 items with over 4,700 graphic novels.  Along with the 12 individuals computers, 6 of them are set up for collaboration.  The area features bistro style high and low tables and a gaming area with monitor, seating and systems.  It is especially set up with speakers that keep the sound in the confined area.

Teen gaming area and the sound stays in the area

Teen gaming area and the sound stays in the area

The first floor offers adults 25 computers with 27 additional ones on the second floor.  The A-V area includes over 19,000 DVDs, 2,000 music CDs and 3,000 audio books.  The entire second floor for adults has a reading lounge and an outdoor reading deck.  They will soon be opening a Genealogy Room.

Attached to the library is a large plaza area that can be viewed from both floors of the library.  Plan are in place to add a food court.

Voter Registration

Voter Registration

When I visited, the library was bustling with people browsing, using the computers, taking advantage of the study rooms, and just relaxing looking out over the plaza.  There were volunteers helping everyone get where they needed to be and a voter registration stand set up.  And I was there during a quiet period.

The only draw back I saw was the limited parking.  My thoughts always go to the disabled and how they can access a place.  Once inside, it was perfect, but getting there to begin with is a little tough.

One thing apparent was the pride the citizen have in their new library and the sense of community I saw there.  I know it’s the kind of place I could hang out in all day.

Bottom Line: A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

January in Florida

Barbara Vey -- December 18th, 2012

Yes, I’m finally becoming a snowbird.  Well, a semi-snowbird.  I’ll be spending the month of January in Florida, basking in the sunshine and warming my bones while family and friends are shoveling out their driveways.  And I don’t even feel bad about it.  I deserve it.

.

.

But I won’t only be lying around on the beach.  I plan to meet with as many authors, librarians and booksellers as I can.  I’ve already made lunch plans with author D.C. Stanfa and the Florida RWA have asked me to speak at their monthly meeting.  If anyone else is interested in getting together, please email me at barbaravey@gmail.com and I’ll try to work it in.

What Should I Read Next?

What Should I Read Next?

 

I also plan on reading….A LOT!!  So, if there’s a book that just must be read, please let me know.  I’m making a list now and I’d be happy to consider it.  Suggest one you read and loved or one you wrote or one your friend wrote.  Just make sure it’s a good book with a good story.  That’s all I ask.  Oh, and I don’t care for non-fiction, so stick to the make-believe stuff.

.

.

Bottom Line:  Let the suggestions begin!

Spacecoast Authors of Romance

Barbara Vey -- February 1st, 2012
Spacecoast Board at Dinner

Lara Santiago, Kristen Painter, Pat Dengate, Roxanne St. Claire, Leigh Duncan, Sandy Moffet, Maria Geraci at Dinner

You have no idea how thrilled I was to be asked to do a workshop for the Spacecoast Romance Writers in Orlando…in January.  I’m from Wisconsin for crying out loud and this is a dream come true.  Blue skies, brilliant sunshine, 80 degree weather.  I left cold, gray Wisconsin to land in cool, gray Orlando.  I didn’t care.  I left my 50 pound winter coat at home and felt free.  The sun would come out soon.

 

What I discovered was that I didn’t need the sun.  This tremendous group of writers radiate the warmth I was seeking.  The board took me out to dinner and we spent hours laughing and talking books, business, family and fun.  Turned out the waitress was a huge romance fan (I had to ask her what she read, after all).  Taking a page from my books on being prepared, author Leigh Duncan had two of her books handy to sign.  The waitress was ecstatic promising to share with her sisters and daughter while she ran off to brag to her fellow workers about her good fortune.

 

Before

Before

After

After

 

 

.

Just as a side note, I did get a pedicure with Kristen Painter.  The woman taking care of me said in broken English, “Wax eyebrows.”  I said no because you can’t even see my eyebrows, they are so light.  But she said, “Too bushy!”  Now I did state on my birthday blog that this would be the year I try new things, so I had my eyebrows waxed for the first and last times.  After she was done she had nerve enough to say, “Now we do hair on lip.”  I told her I liked my hairy lip.  Can you tell any difference?  Eyebrows were never a big thing with me.

 

Spacecoast Officers

Spacecoast Officers

Saturday’s workshop was amazing.  The large group meets in a library (so appropriate) and starts off with good news of new sales, new status (PRO and PAN), new agents and new members.  The support system is delightful to watch as everyone rallies to help each other through tough times while cheering on the successes.  I have found this a constant in the RWA chapters I have visited.

 

When it got to be my turn to speak, I was so energized by the group that the time just flew by.  We tackled the tough questions surrounding social media, dispelling the fears, making Facebook and Twitter a safe and fun place for authors and their readers to connect.  Staying positive was the mantra of the day and several promised to jump into the deep end and give them a try.  I’m happy to report that I’ve seen many members communicating on Facebook and Twitter since.

Spacecoast Chapter

Spacecoast Chapter

 

My best advice is to be yourself and do what you’re comfortable doing.  If you are unsure or nervous in anyway, it will show and for all that is holy, do not just keep repeating, “BUY MY BOOK!”  You will alienate more than you can imagine.

 

After a lovely lunch, I’m happy to say that I won’t be returning to the frozen tundra for another week.  I’m now in Ft. Myers, Florida, just soaking up the rays.

 

Bottom Line:  Really authors, carry one (or more) of your books.  You never know when you’ll meet a potential reader.

 

Giveaways

 

From Kristen Painter:  My “advice for writers” post is live and I’m giving away a copy of Blood Rights. The giveaway runs through the end of the week.