The Time is Now

Reading, writing, and puppies: the summer of ’19

While it’s been some time since I’ve written a post here, I am reading and writing many things! Here’s the latest on what I’ve been up to and where you can find me.

First, I was asked to take on new duties at my day job because my boss left to take another job. So I am now serving as the interim Collection Development Officer for UW-Madison Libraries. This is in addition to my regular position as the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian for the UW System. So to say my schedule has gotten busier would be an understatement. With time and discipline (what is that??), I am learning to juggle these new duties with the existing ones. While I enjoy the work, I hope that new people can be hired so that I will be off the hook by mid-spring (fingers crossed).

In addition to this, I am writing more. Everything I read says that if you want to be a writer you need to write, and write a lot. So this week, I started a daily writing practice in which I write for at least 30 minutes a day. Usually it’s more and I have written quite a bit this week. I’ve started publishing on Medium, so please check that out. Some of the pieces are recycled but I was excited when my new original piece, Shedding the sugar security blanket, was picked up by The Startup.

Photo of candy hearts


I still have my series, Feminist Know-It-All, on the Ms. Magazine website and it is so fun. Up to now, it’s been mostly lists of new Reads for the Rest of Us but it will be expanding soon. I recently conducted an interview with Melanie S. Hatter, author of the Kimbilio National Fiction Prize winning Malawi’s Sisters, and I hope this will be published as part of that column in the near future.

Ms Feminist Know It All column on Ms Magazine

The Time is Now ebook cover



I recently had a chapter published in an ebook entitled, The Time is Now: Feminist Leadership for a New Era. The book was compiled by the Global Network UNESCO Chairs on Gender and my chapter is “The role of libraries in the leadership development of women and girls around the world.” The book is available free online, so please take a look!



I was asked to write a book review for the Canadian Journal of History, which should be published by early spring, and I continue to contribute to Resources for Gender and Women’s Studies: A Feminist Review. I am also trying to work on my first book project, which is a history of the Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian at the UW. It’s been tough to make this a priority but that’s why I started a daily writing practice. My hope is to alternate projects each day to find time for all the things I want to write.

I continue to update my resource guide on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIW or MMIWG). It is consistently my most popular post on the site. Please share it widely!

Of course, I continue to read as much as I can. There’s never enough time to read all of the books I want to, though! Favorites this year include (so far, and in no particular order):


Noom 20 percent off discount link

I’ve also committed to improving my health. So this week, I started to detox from sugar and diet soda; you can read about it on The Startup. I’ve also increased my activity level and my intake of tea and water. I’ve joined Noom, which is helping tremendously with the psychology behind my existing habits. Click the link or image for a 20% discount!



I actually took a week off work to get started on all of this because I knew it would be challenging. It’s day four or five and the headaches have decreased significantly. I feel clearer and my mood has improved a bit. I am peeing all the time because of the increased water intake. I’ve lost two pounds and am feeling more motivated in general.


A dog and a puppy outdoors, by a small pink kiddie pool

Duo (top) and Grace


Above and beyond all this, there were a few other big things happening this summer. First, my son moved out into his first place. This is a big adjustment, but it’s been great. Second, my partner and I adopted a puppy. She is a boxer mix from our local humane society and her name is Grace. I don’t have to tell you that she is the sweetest, cutest, most cuddly girl ever. She’s brought a lot of joy into our lives since we lost our amazing dog, Duo, in June.




Photo of an Australian shepherd mix laying down in the sun

Beautiful boy, Duo

Photo of a boxer mix puppy sleeping with her tongue out

Gracie sleeping

Photo of a boxer mix puppy running with a Chuck-It in her mouth, ears flying in the wind behind her

Little girl Grace









So what have you been up to this summer? What have you been reading? What’s been your favorite book so far this year? Let me know in the comments below.

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January and February Wrap-Up and Updates

January and February Wrap-Up and Updates

Wow. Just wow, y’all.

There’s been a lot going on in my reading/writing/blogging life; hence few posts on here recently!

So here’s the most exciting thing:

It’s the header for my new column on the Ms. Magazine blog! I. am. dead. I love it so much. Many thanks to Carmen Rios for the design and for being an amazing editor and person!

So there’s one post up currently, my 2019 Reads for the Rest of Us. This is a list of the books by and for the rest of us that I am most excited about this year; check it out if you haven’t already. A new list will be coming each month. Carmen’s been super busy with the new Ms. website design — which also looks fantastic! — but March’s should be up any day now. SO very excited about this.

So now you will find some of my book reviews here as usual but also some on the Ms. blog. Follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with my writing.

More writing and quicker turnaround times have made it clear that I really need to re-work my schedule. Not sure what this looks like yet, so any of your organizational tips are welcomed! I have calendars and a spreadsheet for keeping my reviewing straight but not sure it’s all working… I might just need a little time to get used to it all. Or perhaps I need to stop binge-watching Project Runway?

Anyway, so here are my wrap-ups for January and February!

I set a reading goal of 50 books for 2019. I finished 2018 at 53 so I think I can do it.

So far this year, I have read six books:

I wrote:

And looking ahead…

I am reading:

I am writing:

  • April 2019 Reads for the Rest of Us for Ms. Magazine
  • Reviews for Tonic and Balm and God’s Will and Other Lies
  • Column about poetry for Ms. Magazine – April 2019

Challenge updates

It has been rough trying to get to my monthly wrap-up challenge and my classics reading list. Those will continue to be on hold while I put a new schedule in place.

That’s all the time I’ve got for now. Follow the blog, my social media, and Ms. Magazine for future updates! Thanks for all of your continued support! 

August 2018 WrapUp

Reading Wrap Up for August 2018

Here’s my reading wrap up for August! First, I am planning on stepping up my reading for the remainder of the year; we’ll see if I can reach my goals. 

I have joined The Classics Club and created a list of classics – of course – written by womxn, BIWOC, GNC, etc. to read but it means I need to complete two more books each month to stay on track! Check out my list. I start reading my first two selections this month.

So here’s my bookish August!

I read:

I listened to one audiobook:

  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – Didn’t post a review on my site but LOVED it.

I wrote four book reviews for my site:

I also had two reviews published in the latest Resources for Gender and Women’s Studies: A Feminist Review (v. 39, no. 1):

I posted:

This month I watched HBO’s Sharp Objects which – do I have to tell you?! – is AMAZING. Partway through I was wondering why I didn’t read the book first! I had read Gone Girl and didn’t love it, that’s why. But I have since heard that Sharp Objects was better than Gone Girl. Oh well, you can’t read ’em all.

Reading Wrap Up for August included the show Sharp Objects

Me wondering why I didn’t read Sharp Objects before watching the show.

August’s Book Haul:

That’s the reading wrap up for August – here’s a look ahead to September!

Books in Progress:


TBW (To Be Written):

What are your September reading and writing plans?? See you next month for another reading wrap up!

reading Wrap Up monthly wrap up image


This post is part of the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction!



This post contains affiliate links. I write what I want.

Monthly Wrap-Up June18

June Wrap-Up

I cannot believe it’s already July! The summer is flying by and I wanted to take a minute to look back and reflect upon what I’ve read, listened to, and wrote last month.

In June:

All this while watching countless hours of FIFA World Cup matches! Seriously all but like three of the games…



I was unable to travel anywhere in June but did have a blast at LGBT Night with the Milwaukee Brewers!

IN OTHER NEWS: I have published my first academic journal article! It’s based on my doctoral research and is entitled “The Evolving Role of Public Libraries in South Africa in Addressing Information Poverty: A Historical Context.” It’s published in the journal Library Management (volume 39, numbers 6/7); if you’d like a copy, please let me know!

For the last two weeks, I have been really sick with whatever flu or cold is going around and it knocked me on my ass! I am finally getting back on my feet and so hope to be adding new content to the site more regularly now.

Here’s a look ahead to July!

How was your June? Were you able to get some R&R? Did you read or travel or ?? What are you looking forward to in July?





This post is part of the Monthly Wrap-Up Link-Up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction!




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eNseleni Library

What I’m Writing – 25 June 2018

So this is a new type of post for me: writing about what I’m writing!

I’m excited about some upcoming projects and thought I’d use this as a way to share the news but also flesh out some thoughts. It always helps me to share new ideas (verbally or in writing) and get feedback, so feel free to share any you may have!

I’ve always loved the research process and enjoy writing. Being a librarian in the academic institutions that I have, I haven’t had the requirement of writing to support tenure or for any other reason, really. Despite this, it’s always been a goal of mine to achieve my doctorate, to research, and to publish.

As a “non-traditional” undergrad and grad student (read: I was a single mom, working full time while in school), I didn’t have time to pursue writing and publishing like some other students. But I was able to dive into the research process when I began working on my doctorate in 2009.

This was such a challenging process and I devoted any time I had to it until its completion in 2016. During this time, I wasn’t researching or writing anything besides this dissertation about public libraries in South Africa.

eNseleni Library

A boy uses his local library in eNseleni, South Africa. (Photo by Karla J. Strand)

It’s been a couple of years and aside from newsletter articles and book reviews, I haven’t published much until recently. This summer, I was able to have an article based on my doctoral work published in Library Management journal. This is technically my first peer-reviewed article accepted in an academic journal and a big accomplishment for me!

Since then, looking for new writing projects has paid off and I am happy to share that I have signed a contract with Litwin Books/Library Juice Press! Part of the “Series on Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies,” my book will be edited by Emily Drabinski. It is tentatively scheduled for publication in 2020 and will be about the history of the Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian at the University of Wisconsin, where I am currently the librarian.

The office has a wonderful history; one that demonstrates the power of women working together to affect change. I have four decades of office files and archives to sift through for the book, as well as a couple of previously published chapters that briefly cover highlights up to about 1990 or so. I’m excited to dive into research, reading, and writing on a focused project again.

GWSL Office files

Files in my office. (Photo by Karla J. Strand)

I’ve also gotten approval to submit a full draft essay for possible inclusion in an ebook focused on feminist leadership. My contribution will examine the role of libraries in the leadership development and empowerment of women, the initiatives some libraries are already undertaking to meet these goals, and the importance of libraries in addressing the gender imbalances of the current era. While there’s still a chance it might not be accepted, this is my summer writing project and I figure if it isn’t accepted for this ebook, I can submit it for publication elsewhere.

So that’s what I am up to on the writing front! Subsequent posts will be used to flesh out some ideas, share resources, and try out some themes. Until then, I welcome any feedback and would love to hear about your writing!

I’d like to write more and encourage more discussion on my posts, so to that end, I am joining the 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge for the remainder of the year! This challenge is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight. For this challenge, I aim to post a new discussion post each month from now on (so this would have me at Level 1) and I hope you will participate!

So let’s discuss!



Do you like to research and write? Are you an academic, independent scholar, fiction or poetry writer? Do you write for work or fun? Would you love to publish a book someday? What are your writing projects this summer?

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