MLA Misc

When I did that Jeopardy game with my classes a few weeks ago, they all pronounced “Misc” as “Misk.” Now I can’t look at that word without thinking “Misk for 300.”

Anyway, I’m in Hyannis (a town down on Cape Cod – my first time on the Cape) for the MLA conference. Right off the bat, I must say this is no TLA. Texas has one of the biggest state library conferences (shocking, yes?) and I was just completely blown away by the scope and size of the conference last year. MLA is. . . much smaller. Like, less than 10% of the size of TLA.

But it’s been terrific. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, although I’m ready to get home to my own bed and regular food again.

Some highlights:

Cory Doctorow (author of Little Brother, among other things) spoke yesterday about copyright. Listen, I know you want to fall asleep just reading that last sentence, but it was truly fascinating. The new frontier of digital books means you don’t always have a physical copy and the copyright laws mean you don’t control your purchase. Amazon can reach into your Kindle and take back a book you purchased. Licensing agreements tell you what specific products you can USE your purchase on. Cory Doctorow is a big believer that authors should not sell out for small royalties at the cost of losing control of their property. Oh, it was awesome. Are you all asleep?

There was a really great panel yesterday about how libraries can serve homeschooling patrons. They had excellent suggestions about books to read and programs to run, and it was just FUN. I love homeschooling.

Last night, at a dinner, when we were talking about Texas and how much I liked living there, a woman told me very seriously that I should be sure to not move back to Texas until I have had all my children, because (and this is an EXACT quote), “They let babies die in Texas.” And then she just stared at me, as if to make sure I took in the gravity of the situation.

Right now, I’m in a session with BBC Audiobooks, with a narrator talking about the process of recording audiobooks. I don’t need to tell you how cool that is. The narrator said people ask if you can make a small fortune doing it and she said she always replies, “Yes, if you start with a large fortune.”

It really is fascinating to hear about the monetary and technical details of making those audiobooks, especially since I listen to so many of them.


I’m just glad to be here; it’s been a lovely week. Also, I had two beds. All to myself. Sadly, I only could figure out how to sleep in one at a time.

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  1. Well Geezaloo! I wish someone would have told me they let babies die in Texas! I went to Texas TO HAVE babies… seriously, it's practically all that I did there. Glad we made it out unscathed!

  2. who presented on homeschooling? was it someone named adrienne from new york?

    i went to a homeschooling program at pla…amazing!

    (if it was adrienne, i'll have to give you a link to her blog, too).

  3. I am fascinated by audiobooks and the whole process of making them. From my limited research, it seems like you've got to have an acting background to pursue narration. That nipped my career as an audiobook reader right in the bud.

    (How do you pronounce "misc"? "Miss"? Have I been mispronouncing it my whole life?)

  4. I am madly in love with the idea of homeschooling, but I won't be doing it (unless, of course, my child has some kind of special need.) I very much idealize what I'd spend my time doing with the kids and in practice we'd be having fruit loops for math (circles!) and watching Super WHY! to learn to read.

  5. haha…that last thing you said made me giggle because I often think the the same thing when in a hotel room with 2 beds for myself…sometimes I feel like I need to be far and sleep in one on the first night and then switch to the other the second night.

    Also…the beware of Texas is hilarious…and it is probably more hilarious in my head due to the image I have of the lady and the deep southern drawl in which I imagine her speaking in.

    And have I ever mentioned how jealous I am that you go to these conferences…I think I would be in complete heaven to do exactly what you do…so how come I don't? hmmm…have to figure that one out.

  6. When I saw the word "copyright" my eyes did glaze over a bit, but since I think every aspect of these conferences is fascinating, I kept reading (and was glad I did).

  7. Oh gosh, intellectual property is super interesting. I loved learning about the four main types of rights associated with one publication and how you can sell certain rights while you keep others (the actual print vs. content vs. titles…).
    Actually, I think when I learned about it I found it boring, but now I find myself noticing it everywhere! Okay… so yes… you have one person who think it's cool you got to go to that session. Hehe

  8. I am not only not sleeping…I am wide awake with envy! Glad you are having (have had?) fun! Sounds awesome!!!!!

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