Archive for the ‘Presentations’ category

Intellectuals Love Pop Culture

February 14, 2016

I had a great learning experience at the 2016 Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) Conference thanks to scholarship funds. If I can’t find outside funds to attend this conference again next year, I would gladly pay my own way. I thought ARMA San Diego was the best conference I had been to until SWPACA. I love being around like minded intellectuals. There is really nothing like it. I do want a PhD someday.

I made it a point to keyword search the program (which was close to 150 pages) for the words archive(s), culture, history, and New Mexico. I focused my time at the conference on those sessions for the greater good. I love learning things to benefit both my knowledge and my agency. Everytime I could, I supported New Mexico professors and students by attending their presentations. There was so much great research presented during this conference. I also made a presentation there.

I did attend a small handful of sessions that were chosen because of personal interest. One was a session titled “Myth and Metaphor in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien,” which happened to be delivered by a University of New Mexico (UNM) professor. Another awesome presentation gave an analysis of “Penny Dreadful,” which I love, by a teacher from Texas. That session featured another presentation on the research of a UNM professor and student on violent video games and children. There was one on how Batman’s suit employs STEM!! Then there was one on fetishism and the villainess. You know I went to that one!!

The mission of SWPACA is “to promote an innovative and nontraditional academic movement in Humanities and Social Sciences and to celebrate America’s cultural heritages. To provide an outlet for scholars, writers, and others interested in popular/American culture, to share ideas in a professional atmosphere, and to increase awareness and improve public perceptions of America’s cultural traditions and diverse populations.”

Amazing…

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Dark Archivist Evolving

November 2, 2015
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••• "Evolving" a papercut by Val Rangel of Ch'osh Lichii Designs for Felicia •••

I recently made a presentation for work during my friend Val’s history class. It was one night in October and was my Tales of a Dark Archivist presentation. This class of students from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design was large. I’ve presented to her students before, but these ones really listened and actually engaged, which is awesome! They asked so many questions and I knew that by the end of class I had really won them over.

It was also so sweet of Val to give me a unique “thank you” papercut. She is such an amazing artist and I loved the design!! The symbology in this piece was perfect, perfect, perfect for me… just perfect!! This email I received from Val was great as well. I hope I’m getting better with age baby! She recognizes that I am always busy, but I do like it that way. No matter how busy I am… I always make time for people that I love.

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An Educational Trippy Trip to the Lone Star State

July 29, 2015
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•••Flight Out•••

Last week I went to a conference in Austin, Texas to make a presentation and accept a leadership award. I learned so much during the course of the week and networked with many people. I visited the beautiful capitol and the Texas State Archives while I was there. 

Austin is an interesting city to say the least, and I can see why they have the saying “keep Austin weird.” After 5 was always a trippy adventure… from the crazy street people, to the bat bridge, to good eats. I didn’t take photos of the weird stuff though!

Amongst a gazillion bars, there was one real gym. It was a Gold’s. I like having a few drinks occasionally, but a gazillion bars is a far cry from my cup of tea! In my off work/downtime, I had the most fun on Lake Travis on my last day there.

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•••Amazing Stonework Here•••

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•••TX Archives actually had up a NM Archives Poster and a View of the Capitol from my Hotel Room Window•••

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•••D Loooooved This Car and Lady Bird Lake•••

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•••Me and D on the Bat Bridge on Congress Street and Our Ride in an Electric Car•••

Crime Writing: Here is to a Killer Future

June 19, 2015

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Yeah… I would say crime writing is a viable option for me. I knew that before I worked and attended day one of “Finding Your Inner Sleuth.” It was a great day. I love learning and with every bit of knowledge I get, I feel more and more empowered. I want to be both a physical and intellectual monster! I’ll be Queen of Iron and Ink!!!

All of the presenters did a great job today! I had such a good day. My bosses keep pushing me to write a book, and I’m getting closer to jumping. I love that I have found my place in the world of writers. I fit in there like hand-n-glove. I learned some interesting things from Detective Mark Manary, Christine Barber, Dr. Irene Blea, Laura Sanchez, and Don Bullis.

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I’m looking forward to working in Albuquerque again tomorrow! I wanted to share some of the photos from today and a few of the more interesting things I learned. Here is to a killer future of crime writing!!!

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Interesting things about Detective Mark Manary:

å He went into homicide work because he is the survivor of an unsolved cold case. In 1989, his father was murdered.

å His career in law enforcement started as a military cop with the Air Force.

√• He went to a Handwriting Analysis School, where he “learned so much about writing and the use of words.” 💜’ed that!!

å He is President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP- Albuquerque Lodge#1).

å He had to read and look at data for six months straight to get up to speed on the West Mesa murder cases.

√• His first step as lead in the 118th West Mesa Murders Task Force was to secure the records room. He allowed only two keys. 💜’ed that!!!

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Interesting things about Author Christine Barber:

√• She is an amazingly smart woman, former journalist/editor, and friend who I have known for years. 💜 her!!!

å She took the show hands down today!!!

å Her current research into the West Mesa murders will likely give Detective Mark Manary great tips.

√• She is working with an anthropologist who is using scientific techniques to conduct soil analysis for potential West Mesa murder burial sites. 💜’ed that!!!

√• As part of her research for her new book “Rules of Survival,” she has completely emerged herself into the world of sex workers in Albuquerque.

√• She is now publishing the “Bad Guy List.” It is a freaky scary, but informative printout which highlights Albuquerque’s criminal activity.

√• She knows a lot more than anyone I know about serial killers, sex acts, what they cost, who is involved, and the dark fate of Albuquerque’s sex workers.

√• I met Christine years ago… not as an archivist, but as a writer. I invited her to the archives to conduct research for her book “When the Devil Doesn’t Show.” That book is about David Parker Ray, the “Toy-Box Killer” from Mountainair, New Mexico. He was a suspected serial killer. Though no bodies have ever been found, Ray is said to have murdered at least 60 people between Arizona and New Mexico. Together, Christine and I uncovered possible burial locations on mining property owned by Ray.

Presenting for the Homeland

March 1, 2015
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•••On the 19th I made a presentation on behalf of ARMA. The presentation was given to staff members from the NM Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management during a "brown bag noon hour." It was fun. I had a tour of the facilities and networked with some interesting people. One of the men in the audience was getting flack for eating chicken for "breakfast, lunch and dinner." He shrugged off the comments from his coworkers and freaked out when I asked "what are you training today?"•••

A Celebration of Literature

February 8, 2015

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I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Meridith Machen. When I met her, we spent a good amount of time talking about writing. We knew many of the same people, though we had never met. Machen has Ph.D. in English from UNM. She is also the founder of Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe (LVSF), and is the former Assistant Vice President of the Santa Fe Community College. She had many good contacts and ideas to share with me. I’m not sure how she finds time to be the President of the League of Women Voters? She’s a great role model and as it turns out, a wonderful woman to network with.

When I met Dr. Machen, she invited me to an anniversary celebration for the LVSF. That was just in conversation, but after asking for my contact information, she actually contacted me. She suggested I attend a Santa Fe Reads event and then she sent a separate message suggesting I contact an editor she knows to publish my poetry. I was surprised that such a busy woman made time for me. I actually felt honored. She is well known here. Her efforts with regard to education and helping illiterate people change their lives is widely respected.

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••Email from Dr. Machen as she begins expanding my network.••

When I walked in, I immediately saw Dr. Machen and I apologized for being in gym attire. The first words out of her mouth were “did you know that E.A. Mares passed away?” I told her I had heard and that it was very sad. The man with unbelievable talents should have been around longer. It is always a sad time when a poetic soul is lost. E.A. Mares was known as “Tony.” He was a Professor Emeritus of English with UNM. I think the most touching moment of today was when another author (who I really like) read a Mares poem.

The full house was welcomed with a proclamation issued by Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales. Today was officially “Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe 30th Anniversary Day!” I was saddened to learn that almost 50% of New Mexico residents are illiterate. What? That was hard to believe, but this group would know the numbers because they are trying to change that.

The event sold out. Luckily, my ticket was on will call. Unfortunately, my boss Anne didn’t make it to the event, but her contribution was still publicly recognized. The other authors who offered readings and thoughts were Sallie Bingham, Natalie Goldberg, Valerie Plame Wilson (the former CIA agent), and John Nichols. The moderator was Mary Charlotte, host of Santa Fe Radio Café. This was an extraordinary panel of people. My two favorites…hands down were Nichols and Goldberg. They were both funny and witty. I discovered that Plame Wilson is still very green in the world of writing, though her career with the CIA is undoubtedly interesting. 

Today I had a well rounded look at how these people became writers. That was the best part of the panel discussion. The words and personalities of Nichols and Goldberg really resonated with me. As writers, they make a real difference out there. Following are a few quotes and thoughts I jotted down today.

“We [writers] are always at work.”
•••John Nichols

“Everything in life is interconnected.”
•••Natalie Goldberg

John Nichols talked about being in remedial reading as child. Now he is a famous author.

John Nichols honored a fellow writer when he talked about the loss of E.A. Mares. Nichols choked up when he read a poem about the death of Tony’s 20 year old daughter. I cried too. It was very touching.

John Nichols called New Mexico a “cultural mezcla.”

John Nichols talked about loving all genres of music and types of writing because Flaubert said a writer “should know everything.”

“First you read to them when they are one, and then two, and then three and four and… well then you just threaten them.”
•••John Nichols (giggling when talking about children reading books in a media saturated world)

Natalie Goldberg talked about the importance of penmanship, how it is disappearing from the curriculum, and teaching penmanship to young people.

Natalie talked about not having books in her house when she was little. She says this contributed to her need to express herself and eventually become a writer.

“Literature will prevail and it will make people hunger for it.”
•••Natalie Goldberg

Brawn and Brains

October 14, 2014

Yesterday (it’s after midnight) was a very busy day off for me! I hit the gym early for a long chest workout and cardio. I felt good and strong in there today. From there, I hit Whole Foods.

Then I prepared for a presentation I made to Southwest History students at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. It is always good to be back on my old campus. The presentation focused on the use of primary source documents for research and of course…all things historically dark.

When I came home, I worked on the Hillerman Conference program. I must say it is polishing up nicely! I’m tired and ready for bed now. It has been a long, taxing day of brawn and brains.

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~The great thing about text messages is fast feedback. I was glad to hear that the students found my presentation interesting.~

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~Presentation at the SFUAD on 10.13.2014.~

Learning About Cathouses

May 4, 2014

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*****From left to right: Laura Gonzales and Felicia Lujan~ NMHU campus~ and images of Laura’s slides.*****

On May 2, I attended the 2014 New Mexico History Conference. I had a good day and had the chance to network with many interesting people. The conference was in Las Vegas, New Mexico. This is a beautiful, quaint little town with a rich history. The sessions, a book fair and lunch were held on the campus of New Mexico Highlands University.

The best session I attended was “Women, Wives and Weapons: Everyday Realities of Life.” The session was comprised of two presentations which were complete opposites. The second was about “pious and submissive” army wives, but I preferred the first which was about the cats that scratched service men. I don’t believe in piety. I took a photo with Laura Gonzales who presented “Caves, Cribs and Cathouses: How Frontier Prostitution Helped Build the West.” Gonzales presented a flawless and extremely interesting paper.

This presentation explored the topic of “prostitution in frontier communities during the 19th century with special attention to prostitution in and around Fort Union.” My maternal line hails from Mora, so this particular fort plays a prominent role in my family history. Gonzales called these women the “scantily clad daisies of the frontier,” and she talked about the women of bordellos, brothels, dance halls and the streets. I loved the photos she used in her slides. Her presentation highlighted the social hierarchy of “crib walkers” and “street women.”

Through her research, Gonzales discovered that these women “enjoyed mobility” afforded to them by working in military posts and mining camps. Many have found that Fort Union was “the hub” of prostitution at that time. Some of this was due to “the scarcity of women.” She called the women available to military men “shady ladies” and “soiled doves.” Gonzales said that many “legitimately employed laundresses” were also “engaging in prostitution.” Seeing several blueprints of these forts indeed confirms that the laundress quarters were often directly across from those of commanding officers. Coincidence? I think not.

I found Laura’s presentation much more intriguing than “Trials and Triumphs on the Western Frontier: Army Officers’ Wives 1850-1890” by Mary Ann Kerstetter and Martha McCaffrey. Though the army wives presentation was interesting, it was a stark contrast to that of Gonzales. I felt that her presentation was much closer to reality. I complimented her for a great job. I like it when people break out of the historical box! She called her presentation “risqué,” which I loved!!

If a scholar, historian or genealogist can keep me thinking when I leave that room, I’m always impressed. I came away thinking…some people just like to think that they are “pious.” It makes them feel better about being a flawed human I guess? With enough practice, men and women get good at hiding the shade and smiling a pious smile because nobody is pristine…not even a white dove!!!

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*****From left to right: Charlie’s Spic and Span~ (Oh yeah) I met Charlie~ delish looking sweets (no I didn’t eat any)~ Our Lady of Sorrows Church~ Kermit Hill and company.*****

Knowledge Hog

May 21, 2013

Here is a link to a super interesting article I read tonight by Drew Boyd. I had some convo today with a couple of my friends about a knowledge hog. The article provides a well informed take on what hinders and fosters knowledge sharing. It’s titled The Golden Rule of Creativity and it’s worth the read. Following are a few quotes I liked.

“Innovation is a team sport~ groups produce better results than the lone genius.”

“Reputation is what matters.”

“You have to be seen as someone who gives and shares information with others, and has a reputation for returning the favor when others give to you.”

Spirit, Heart and Mind: An Interview with Miguél A. Tórrez

April 15, 2013

Aristotle once said “if you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.” I believe that the great Greek philosopher intentionally excluded “its end” when he said this. History has no end, therefore, there are constant developments. This quote could not ring more truthful for a lover of family history. There is something about knowing where we came from that makes us feel complete. When it comes to the art of research, there is a genealogist who grew up in Ranchitos that is making major contributions to our history. This man has a passion for traditional and scientific research, which makes him a well-rounded historian.

I have known Miguél Tórrez for many years. The first time I met him he was feverishly working on his genealogy with his small boys by his side. He has been interested in history since he was just a boy, but in his early 20s he was seemingly smitten by the history of those who came before him. This was just a few years after Miguél graduated from Española Valley High School. Growing up in Ranchitos, New Mexico, Miguél was near the historic Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo). At that time he couldn’t imagine that several years later his maternal line would be genetically connected to this type of ancestry. He says “current data tells us that approximately 80-85% of all New Mexicans with colonial roots have Native American roots on their maternal lineage (mtDNA).”

The final week I collected photographs from Miguél for his feature piece he was preparing for Holy Week. His spiritual devotion bears the deep roots of tradition. As a genealogist, learning about traditions and even practicing tradition will foster a clear understanding of what shaped our people. Miguél believes that “knowing oneself through culture and language fosters a sense of pride” and this belief is evident when you hear him lecture. I asked him why he felt that our traditions were important and he said “no matter what culture a person belongs to everyone’s culture is important because it gives people an identity.”

Santo_Niño_in_Espinosa_Colorado_by_DeSautel

~~Santo Niño in Espinosa, Colorado by DeSautel~~

By now I’m sure that Miguél has a family tree which extends further than I can imagine. He has done so much work and he is always willing to help others in need, which is admirable. Many people who don’t understand the breadth of family history are unaware of the vast collection of surnames they can be connected to. Miguél says that “just two generations back we can see our extended relations.” Between his grandparents and great grandparents he can claim the Torres, Romero, Madrid, Roybal, Rodriguez, Martinez, Medina and Trujillo surnames. He is proud to have discovered that some of his relatives were involved in very important historical events such as the Apache Campaigns and the Rio Arriba rebellion of 1837.

Miguél has tracked military service on his paternal (Torres) line back to Cristoabl de Torres who was born in 1641. He seems to appreciate the fact that a grandfather named Juan “loved to tell stories about his grandparents and all of his relatives.” This grandfather was born in 1915 and had extended family from Chimayó to Cordova, New Mexico. “As a child I was given a visual of life in the 1920s with his stories of travels he and his father would take on horseback and wagon to communities such as Mora where they would travel to sell their produce,” he said. Though his grandfather practiced oral history, Miguél has now harnessed the power of documentary evidence and genetic studies.

3 generations of Torres

~~Three Generations of Torres Y-DNA~~

Miguél is currently in charge of about 100 paternal lineage (Y-DNA) kits. He collaborates regularly Angel Cervantes, the New Mexico DNA Project Coordinator/Group Administrator. This DNA project includes “the colonial expeditions of New Mexico by the Spanish in 1598 and 1693, by the Mexicans in 1821, and by the Americans in 1848.” This weekend Miguél will make a presentation titled “The Espinosa DNA Quest.” On Saturday (April 20, 2013) he will deliver a lecture at the Albuquerque Main Library (501 Copper SW~ Albuquerque, New Mexico) on the discovery of the Y-DNA genetic code of the Nicolás de Espinosa lineage (which includes 18th century branches of that clan). The presentation will run from 10:30~12:00 and is sure to be captivating.

When I asked Miguél what he wanted people to remember about him 200 years from now he said “I hope that the work I am doing will produce results that are worthy of scholarly articles and will serve as a worthy reference thus having historical relevance. As a young man I hope that I will have many successful years in doing so and that many generations will remember my name as having been a valid contributor to the preservation of New Mexican history and culture.” I guess as lovers of history we couldn’t ask for more than that right? Here is to one amazing man making a positive contribution to our communities and to the future through history.

Among the Gifted

April 2, 2013

I was very honored to be asked to develop a design to promote the 2013 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference. This is my second promotional design for WORDHARVEST. The first one I designed was for the Hillerman Prize. Over the last week, I worked to complete a flyer for Anne Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg.

Anne and Jean founded WORDHARVEST 11 years ago, which is “devoted to the art and craft of writing.” WORDHARVEST sponsors the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference. I can’t wait to continue learning from these well known authors, and maybe one famous scriptwriter that I have never met. Anne and Jean have put together a fabulous array of gifted writers. This year, the conference will feature Anne Hillerman, James McGrath Morris, Kirk Ellis, Craig Johnson, David Morrell, Margaret Coel, Christine Barber, Linda Jacobs, Steve Havill, and many others!!

It would be awesome to talk with James McGrath Morris. He is the author of Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power. As a former journalist, I have to read that book and get a special autograph from McGrath Morris. Joseph Pulitzer was a “media baron” who settled in St. Louis. The baron “transformed American journalism into a medium of mass consumption and immense influence.” How can I not read a book about the rise (and arguably the fall) of a champion of the Democratic Party? The media powerhouse is said to have “used his influence to advance a progressive political agenda and his power to fight those who opposed him.”

I would also love to meet the Emmy award winning screenwriter/producer Kirk Ellis. Ellis was the writer and the co~executive producer of John Adams (the HBO mini~series). He is also working on Blood and Thunder, which is an epic drama about Kit Carson and the Navajo Wars. In 2009, Ellis agreed to work on the adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway book Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir by A. E. Hotchner. You know I have to meet him right?! I adore Hemingway. Ellis also worked on the TV mini~series Into the West: Hell on Wheels and Anne Frank: The Whole Story.

I really can’t wait! Here is the design I came up with for the conference. It is sure to be a great!

~Designed by Felicia Lujan~

~Designed by Felicia Lujan~

A Digital Preservation Powerhouse

December 6, 2012

digital preservation

Wow~ what an amazing presentation just made by the inspiring “digital pioneer” Martha Anderson. Ms. Anderson is a powerhouse with the Library of Congress who will be retiring in a few weeks. I am sure she will still be active in my realm because she is so passionate about what she does. In a December 4, 2012 article on a Library of Congress blog, Mike Ashenfelder referred to Ms. Anderson as a woman “who is one of the driving forces behind American Memory,” the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA). Mr. Ashenfelder is right about this woman having “an effect on most people she comes in contact with,” when you “watch her work a room at a conference.” I plan on writing more about her presentation when I return to New Mexico. Following are a few of her most powerful quotes and a great proverb she noted.

When spiders unite, they can take down a lion.”
~African Proverb

Never underestimate a community who is dedicated to a cause, works together, shows support, and learns from one another.”
~Martha Anderson, Library of Congress

When a bunch of spiders get together, they are seen as a coherent whole.”
~Martha Anderson, Library of Congress

Metadata is currency. It is touched more than you think and it is a living thing.”
~Martha Anderson, Library of Congress

There is a lot of stuff endangered while we wait for the perfect access.”
~Martha Anderson, Library of Congress

State of the Digital Union

December 4, 2012

State of the Digital Union Presentation by Doug Robinson~ Executive Director of the NASCIO

There is a full house for the opening session of the 2012 Best Practices Exchange here in Annapolis. Representation has come from archives, libraries and information offices all over the country and a few from over sea. Doug Robinson is the Executive Director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. He is delivering a well informed paper titled State of the Digital Union: Balancing Legacy and Innovation.

Some of the issues mentioned by Mr. Robinson include: technology environments; attracting and retaining professionals; state CIO priorities; disaster planning and recovery; cyber security; hacktivism; tech trends; budgets; cloud computing and adoption; social media; digital archiving; IT consolidation; content management; wireless subscribers; data traffic; smartphone users; and text messaging.

I am a little worried about seeing archives and document management as number 10 on his “priority list,” but at least he has it on the list! Here is his priority list at a glance.

1~ cloud computing
2~ mobile workforce technologies
3~ virtualization
4~ legacy applications
5~ identity and access management
6~ enterprise resource planning
7~ security enhancement
8~ networking
9~ business intelligence and analytics
10~ archives

Hillerman Conference Afterthoughts

November 13, 2012

~Betsy and Felicia~

Saturday night I attended the final event of the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference. There was a closing dinner with an awards ceremony. The conference was wonderful. If there are any writers out there who are looking for new venues to network, develop skills, and explore creativity, I would highly recommend this conference. I kept thinking that some of my friends should really be there. This year the conference was held from November 8-10. It was indeed awesome. As always, I learned so much. The conference secured attendance from 10 states and 25 towns. There were also two people here from Canada. I was amazed because one of the attendees from Canada must have purchased at least 50 books during the course of the conference!

~Felicia Lujan and
Author Rob Kresge
(Former CIA Analyst)~

This year I really had the chance to get to know more about some people I met last year. I did enjoy learning more about Jean Schaumberg, Laureen Pepersack, Jenn, and George Watson. I worked closely with all of them over the course of the conference. I also spent some quality chat time with: Betsy Randolph (author, state trooper/spokeswoman of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol); Rob Kresge (award-winning author, former CIA analyst); Wolf Schneider (movie unit publicist and writer/editor); and David Morrell (award-winning author, co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization). I learned something special from all of these people.

~Author/State Trooper/Spokeswoman of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Betsy Randolph talks about her new book Tokens of the Liars. Her mother Joyce is listening proudly.~

~Author Peter Joseph of New York
and his new book Boozy Brunch~

There was a vast amount of information covered each day. My writing is improving every year because of this conference. Following are some quotes, and interesting or useful things I learned this year.

~~~ David Morrell revealed that Marilyn Monroe was indeed a very smart woman. He has studied her as a “cultural icon.” I learned that she was “somewhat of a poet.” I didn’t know that. Now I want to track down her poetry. He told me that she was an orphan at an early age (which I knew). I wondered if this may be why he is interested in her? Morrell was also an orphan.

~~~Rob Kresge told me that he and any other person who has worked or works for the CIA has to run any manuscripts by the CIA Publications Review Board. This has to be done prior to publishing anything if the story is set anytime after 1947 (the year the CIA was born). Apparently this is to make sure no “secrets” get out.

~~~Anne Hillerman delivered a touching presentation about her father titled Adventures with Tony Hillerman. There were two quotes I really liked. Anne said “writing is like love~ don’t hold anything back.” She also said “don’t trust anyone who doesn’t watch the sunset.”

~~~Bill O’Hanlon delivered a presentation on e-books and e-publishing. He is a psychotherapist who has been featured on Oprah. From O’Hanlon I learned that there are over 1 billion Kindle devices in reader’s hands. He said that the Hunger Games book sold at a 4 to 1 ratio e-book/print, and that e-book readers read and buy more books. These two statistics were interesting~ in 2010 there was not one self-published e-book in the Kindle/Amazon.com top 100 list and in 2011 there were 18 self-published e-books on that list.

~~~Peter Joseph delivered a presentation on traditional publishing. When I saw the “sample author questionnaire” he passed out I just about fainted. Some questions on the sample included: citizenship; hobbies; most unusual job you have ever had; website/blog URLs and traffic numbers; information about how you are inspired; and the names and/or occupations of family members, if newsworthy or relevant.

It was a great conference. Hopefully I will be able to participate from here on out. I do hope that this one will stay running strong.

Virtually Pop Your Top

July 24, 2012

A virtual collection of electronic records which can be sorted using your fingers and a touch screen the size of a movie screen. The data can also be manipulated in various ways to improve collection control. This image was taken at the 2012 E-Records Forum in Austin, Texas. An Open House at the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Visualization Lab was apparently a “highlight” of the forum.


As promised, it is time to mention the most interesting person I had the chance to talk with at the NAGARA/CoSA Conference in Santa Fe last week. I guess when you ask the right questions “they” will come! By they I mean the smart people… 🙂 After one of the sessions, Mark Conrad an Archives Specialist working with the Applied Research Division (Office of Information Services) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approached me. He said “aren’t you the one asking about open source solutions?” But of course I was the one! I was so excited to here that NARA is going there!!! I also had the chance to attend a session titled ISO 16363 Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories. The session was delivered by Mark and Technology Specialists from Kentucky. This “Archives Specialist” slash technical guru immediately started rattling off a list of tools and projects that I should take a closer look at. Using his tricked out iPad he started prompting his screen to pop my top. Mark works in the Center for Advanced Systems and Technologies (NCAST). In his position with NARA, he works with computer scientists and engineers from all over the world “to leverage new theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques to advance the lifecycle of electronic records.” Part of the mission of his division includes looking into “emerging technologies.” I must say I about did a back flip when Mark pulled up images of a Visualization Lab in the works. Simply mind blowing! There it was— a virtual filing cabinet. As an archivist, I would be able to process or arrange and describe electronic records by using my fingers and a touch screen. Yes- a touch screen- a virtual system used to arrange collections and sort data- with color codes and all. The volume of records in a particular series is proportional to the amount of data within a particular sector of the collection. In January of 2011, the web administrator of NARAtions: The Blog of the United States National Archives interviewed Mark Conrad. She asked him what he was working on and he said “with the assistance of 17 student interns, I am collaborating on a number of projects. For example, many of the students are currently loading large numbers of files into a testbed that is being used by the computer scientists working on the CI-BER project. The purpose of the project is to provide insights into the management of very large data collections. As the number of files and bytes in a collection goes up some of the systems used to manage the collection break down. This project will help us to identify some of the bottlenecks and look for better ways to build systems that don’t break down as the volume picks up.” He also said he was working with the “Department of Energy, NIST, Naval Sea Systems Command, Army Research Lab, and other Federal Agencies on ways to share information about current and emerging practices for managing and preserving engineering data for as long as it is needed.” Sometimes I am glad that I ask a grippa questions— if I didn’t care about open source solutions, I would have never met one of the most interesting archivists with a technical background ever.


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