For my birthday last year, a girlfriend treated me to the Cake Bake Shop. For those of you who’ve been there, you know that this restaurant is an over the top culinary experience that tickles your senses – all of them! The visit was filled with yummy food, delicious drinks, crystal and marble and unicorns and glitter. Lots and lots of glitter! Your cake is baked with edible glitter so that a slice sparkles as it catches the light from overhead chandeliers. Your drink glass is dusted with it, as well, so that a “Cheers!” takes on its own shine. As the birthday girl, I even had the option to be sprinkled myself. And let me tell you, I was all about that! 🙂
There is something about glitter that lights my core… in a variety of ways. It takes any experience and ratchets it up on the fun meter. There are very few things that do that for me, but the Gal’s Guide Library is one of them. And this past weekend, we definitely pegged the fun meter at Gal’s Guide!
But let me back up a bit as this experience took some set-up. At the beginning of July, Gal’s Guide had the opportunity to participate at InConjunction, a fan-run science fiction convention in Indy. We hosted a vendor booth, and our executive director, Dr. Leah Leach, led several breakout sessions and panels on topics like Star Wars, pirates, and Frankenstein. Through our vendor booth, we were able to visit with old friends and make new ones. There was even a large, lovable Viking doling out what could be considered the best hugs ever. What a blast!
As Director of Community Outreach for Gal’s Guide, I took the opportunity to wander around the vendor exhibition room. I chatted with many local authors, publishers, and other folks who like to spread joy through books and reading. I reached out to several of them after the convention to start conversations about how we could partner over our shared goals.
As a followup to that initial networking effort, on Saturday, 7/23, Leah and I had a zoom call with Dead Fish Books, a micropress, getting to know them and one of their authors, Elizabeth Davis. Afterward, we hosted Cat Cardwell, Bookstore Program Director at Indy Reads, and her husband, Tom, for a visit.
During both engagements, Leah was able to share the history of Gal’s Guide Library – the idea of which sprang from a regular meetup of gals who convened in Leah’s living room. We were able to tell the story of how we opened just days before the pandemic shut us down in March of 2020. We also revealed how we were still able to grow the library during the pandemic as we received many donations from folks who, while sequestered at home, cleaned out closets and bookshelves.
We shared the mission of Gal’s Guide which is to illuminate stories of women in history. Some of the stories are under told, under published, or under circulated. Our goal is to eradicate those issues by giving a home to books that are by and about women. A forever home.
Sharing the story of Gal’s Guide never gets old. And sharing it with similarly-minded people like Elizabeth, Cat, and Tom is so rewarding. They were interested and easily invested in our efforts and what we could do together.
Their stories were fabulous as well. We learned about a mother/daughter writing duo who also started their own publishing company with an inaugural anthology hitting shelves this year. See the synergies there? And Indy Reads – another not for profit organization who builds literacy, English language, and job readiness skills for adults and families. Yes, synergies all around! Please and thank you!
And the laughter was off the hook when Cat and Tom were in the library! Tom has a great British accent and an inability to use one of our sticker dispensers. So, yeah, we gave him a pretty hard time, but he took it like a champ and chuckled along with us!
So, Saturday was a good day! It was one of those afternoons where Leah and I tipped our proverbial hats to one another for a fun job well done! I left “the office” feeling as if I had once again been covered with a healthy dusting of glitter, and I was breathing it in – deeply and with purpose. I felt like I was walking on air – and sparkling all the while!
Why am I telling you all of this? If you haven’t been in to visit with us at the library, you really should stop by. I guarantee it will fill your day with love, light, and laughter – it’s like glitter for your soul!
Now – Go Be You!