DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

creativity

Aug 12 2009

The Art of The Book Trailer

by Jnai W


I’d only been browsing the Internet in search of news, blog ideas and the latest Web sensation when I stumbled upon a book trailer for The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom. Not only am I really interested in reading this book now but I’m also intrigued by the idea of the book trailer.

While this strikes me as novel (and strikes my bookish brother, who’s reading this over my shoulder, as slightly blasphemous), book trailers have been growing in popularity for a few years now.  There are some great websites such as bookscreening.com and cosproductions.com that feature teaser trailers for books of most genres.  There is even information online about creating your own book trailers. Whether you’re trying to whet the appetite of a finicky teenage reader or browsing the Web for your own next great read, book trailers just seem like an innovative and creative way to spread the word about good books.


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Dunwoody Library’s summer Teen Digital Photography Contest is over and the results are in! The nearly thirty photos received by teens ages 13-17 years old were judged by staff on creativity and originality. Teens took pictures of a variety of subjects and the results were very impressive, making it a hard contest to judge! In the end, these were the top three photos chosen:

First place goes to 17 year old Lauren Wray’s Where Sky Meets Sky.

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Second place goes to 14 year old Caroline Melton’s Through the Hole in the Leaf.

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Third place goes to 16 year old Kevin Guebert and his entry, Floating in an Ocean.

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Great job to all the teens who participated! You can view all of the entries on DeKalb County Public Library’s Flickr page.

Many thanks to the Friends of the Dunwoody Library for making this contest possible.

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Jun 3 2009

It’s a Wonderful Writing Life

by Jnai W

Summer is in full swing and many of us are planning fun and creative ways to enjoy the season. Whether one is embarking on the vacation of a lifetime, plotting a relaxing, economical “staycation” (check out Amanda‘s blog post for great ideas on the subject) or planning to Be Creative @ the Library with the little ones (DCPL plug: check!) summer is the perfect time to allow one’s imagination to run wild.

My creative outlet of choice is writing (big surprise!) and I’ve just picked up a wonderful little book on the subject called The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. It’s a slender read–111 pages that go by in a flash–full of passages on the thrills and challenges of following one’s muse. The Writing Life touches various aspects of the writer’s task such as finding inspiration, the physical work of writing and even what it feels like when an idea goes awry or doesn’t develop in the way that one hopes.  This is a book about writing but I think it can apply to any endeavor of one’s creativity or passion. So follow your hearts, be creative and, if you’ve got some time, pick up this enjoyable, bestselling book at the Library.

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don\'t throw it awayAre you looking for inventive and resourceful ways to save money? Perhaps you’ve resolved to be “greener” and more environmentally friendly this year. If any of these apply to you, there is a great book here at DCPL that could help you along that path. Don’t Throw It Out: Recycle, Renew and Reuse To Make Things Last (Rodale) is a treasure trove of ideas combining two of my favorite things: being economical and being creative.

This book offers numerous tips and ideas for conserving common household items and getting the most out of your appliances, furniture and gadgets. Do you have an old nightstand that’s becoming an eyesore? Why not turn it into a hideway/sleeping spot for your cat?  Perhaps you can salvage an old nightstand or end table by decoupaging it with pressed flowers (I’m not that crafty but it sounds like a great idea).  Page 84 of this book lists six great ways to repurpose your old dresser drawers, including yet another sleeping spot for your cat (pets make out like bandits when it comes to reusing old items!).

One of the main reasons that I like this book is that not only is it informative but it’s also kind of inspirational. Reading about how to turn a vinyl LP into a wall clock (!) made me really start thinking of ways that I can make the most out of the stuff that I’ve got lying around the house. Each item–whether it’s an old work boot, a stack of worn-out CDs or an out-of-commission baby crib–can be given a new purpose or function. And during cash-strapped times such as these it’s a nice reminder to look at the things we have with an open mind and a little imagination.

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Three Silhouetted Long Haired Women Wearing Colorful And Fashionable Clothes And Taking Long Strides While Shopping In A MallI know that there is still time before January 1, but I’ve been contemplating my goals and aspirations for the New Year. There are lots of things I’d like to accomplish–furnishing and decorating my apartment (dare to dream!), making a final decision about librarian’s school, learning to sew, etc.–but in an effort to not overwhelm myself I’ve decided to start small. It’s a fairly light-hearted goal but it’s a starting point.

I’m going to start dressing better.

It’s silly but maybe not, really. I’ve been a grown-up now for at least 10 years (even though no one over the age of 25 should ever use the words “grown-up”) so perhaps it’s time I started dressing like one. I’ve been perusing the fashion magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle for ideas (stop by DCPL to check them out if your budget’s tight–also see Amanda’s blog post!). All of this fashion research leaves me wondering what it would be like to dress like some sort of professional person. I bet it would be awesome!

If you’re looking for style inspiration there are still other options besides the aforementioned overpriced, advertorial-heavy “fashion books” (seriously, don’t buy them unless you like using money as confetti!) . Look no further than the Library for great books on dressing well, looking classy and celebrating life.

Some intriguing titles here at DCPL include:

The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou (Gotham): Here is an enjoyable book by a stylist to the stars (Salma Hayek! Oprah Winfrey! Eva Longoria!). He offers useful tips on how to make the most of your figure and body type.

Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding The Style That’s Right For Your Body by Stacy London & Clinton Kelly (Three Rivers Press): The hosts of TLC’s What Not To Wear offer a well-illustrated, light-hearted and surprisingly thorough how-to guide for style-impaired women of all sizes. One minor quip I had with this book, however, is the authors’ overuse of the words “curvy” and “extra curvy” to describe women of average size and up. Is “full-figured” politically incorrect now?

Style is Not A Size: Looking and Feeling Great In The Body You Have by Hara Estroff Marano (Bantam Books): Initially I was put off by the cover model of this book: beautiful but decked out in a Bill Cosby sweater, baggy red knit pants & moderate-to-severe 80s makeup and accessories. But this book offers great insight into the definition of style vs. fashion. It’s a good reminder that style has nothing to do with the number on the clothes tag. You may have to tussle for this one, though: there are only 2 copies of it in the system.

The Beauty of Color by Iman (Putnam): Gorgeous, glamorous Iman’s book offers great illustrations and beauty tips on cosmetics and color, which is great for the makeup-phobic such as myself.

Off The Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men and The Women Who Love Them by Carson Kressley (Dutton): Here’s a little something for the men in search of style or for women who need a little reinforcement when saying something like “Honey, those pants are too baggy.” Everyone from a Bravo TV show should write a style book! I haven’t read Tim Gunn’s book yet but the Library has it for anyone who’s interested.

What's Your Body Type?The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your BodyFront Cover

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