I got back from Las Vegas last week to do my very first professional mini-presentation at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference (all the thanks in the whole world to Mango Languages for that!), and next week I’ll be ferrying up to Martha’s Vineyard to spend a week in the sun with my brothers from another mother and give a toast at one of their weddings! For an introvert who dislikes traveling, I have to admit – I couldn’t be more thrilled if I tried!

June has been and July will be two of the busiest and most fulfilling months of my life so far – I am so full of and surrounded by love and positivity and happiness on all sides. This is, of course, typically where my innate sense of guilt and worst-case-scenario thinking sets in and I start worrying about when the other shoe will drop, but I’m fighting against it as much as I can.

Our Summer Reading kick-off party went phenomenally, if I do say so myself. I was expecting maybe 20 kids, but we got more like 80, which is beyond awesome. We’ve signed up well over 115 for the program, and five have already turned in their completed work and are starting to work on their second sheets!

All the junk that people say about working with kids, particularly city kids, being some of the most rewarding work you’ll do is scarily accurate. They make me so happy and proud every day. I’m exhausted when I go home every night, but it’s always worth it to see an otherwise pretty stoic, soft-spoken teenage boy beam when I fuss over what an amazing job he did with his reading. On the less touchy-feely side, it’s also totally worth it when you’re able to find a gem of poetry like this:

“Roses are red, violets are blue
But I get sick just thinking of you
Laying in my bed, drinking some milk
And sucking on juice.”

The day after the party, I jetted off to Vegas to hang out in the Mango Languages booth, which was a dream come true on its own. I’ve been as in love with Mango as much as one can be with any company ever since I was hired as the Project Assistant for AskRI back in 2012, and they’ve been part of my elevator pitch for the whole Statewide Reference and Resource Center since day one. So to then have this amazing opportunity to spend time with some of my favorite people from the company and also get positive feedback from them was pinch-worthy on more than a few occasions. Like, I don’t think I can do this justice in writing, so I’ll just give you a short list of my favorite companies/people/things and you can draw your own conclusions: Ben & Jerry’s, The Colbert Report, Mango Languages, and Jenny Lawson.

Basically it’s just all very Garth and Wayne meeting Alice Cooper on my end.

While there, I gave my first professional presentation, entitled “Everything I Know About PR, I Learned in a Bar: An Introverted Promo Girl’s Guide to Marketing for Everyone.” One of my first slides explained that my presentation would hinge upon the importance of self confidence, extroversion, making personal connections, and smiling, but that I personally struggle with the following things: self confidence, extroversion, remembering names, and I suffer from Bitchy Resting Face.

It went over well, but there are approximately one thousand things I wish I had done differently and (with any luck) I’ll be able to do differently in the future should this partnership with Mango continue.

Oh, and during the Mango- and Treehouse--hosted after party in support of Every Library, I had a few too many margaritas and got myself in front of Kyle Cassidy’s camera so I believe that’s also going to land me a spot in the Alexandria Still Burns photo project, too.

Tomorrow’s a beach day, and hopefully a day that will catch me up with Chelsea again so I can pitch a few campaign ideas at her and see how she feels about them. Two involve beer, one of those two involves linguistics, and a separate one involves a double entendre, but that’s all I can say for meow.


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