Writing in November: Almost Over

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is almost over for another year, but we’re not done with it yet! If you’re looking for that final burst of tips and pep there is a lot of it out there both on and off the NaNoWriMo website and social media. Here, I’ve got just a few more tips/tricks to offer.

  • Listen to your body – Whether you’re ahead, behind, or on track it’s tempting to push through any pain in your body. I’ve been there several times. The biggest thing to keep in mind is listening to your body. Those pangs of pain you’re feeling in your back? It’s your body telling you to get up and stretch. Others have issues with their hands or legs. Try setting an extra alarm so you remember to get up and stretch. Don’t forget to get something to keep you hydrated while you stretch!
  • Blogs, blogs, blogs – One of my favorite things about this time of year is the blogs of writers. Chuck Wendig has a blog for writers all year long and every Friday he challenges with a prompt. John Scalzi wrote a NaNoWriMo specific post earlier this year that another EPL Staff member shared with me that I felt needed to be shared again here. Scalzi linked to Scott Westerfeld’s NaNoWriMo post as well. Click here for John Scalzi books at the library and here for Scott Westerfeld books at the library.
  • Word sprints/word wars – Can’t seem to motivate yourself to get those last few hundred words in for the night? Or can’t seem to motivate yourself to finish a boring scene? Try a word sprint/word war! Sometimes a playful competition with friends or other writers is just the thing to help you finish off that troublesome scene.
  • Going somewhere – From my personal experience it’s inevitable that there’s at least one person in your life or one person you come across who asks “why are you doing this?” or says “it won’t go anywhere”.  The truth behind this is it depends on you. If you put forth the effort to get it out there it CAN go somewhere. NaNoWriMo was nice enough to have a section where they list NaNoWriMo participants who have had a NaNoWriMo project published. No, you’re not seeing things, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen started out as a NaNoWriMo project and ended up as a movie! Click here for the list provided by NaNoWriMo. (Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a book written in a different style that is a great example if you’re writing something different or looking to read something different.)

Don’t forget, the library has an event Monday the 24th at 6:30 P.M. if you have questions or want to come and talk about writing or National Novel Writing Month! Click here for details.

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Throwback Thursday: Midwest Dairy in the John Martin Smith Collection

Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!

Milk, butter, cheese. Today we often pick these things up at the grocery store, but it wasn’t too long ago that they were brought to our front doorsteps by dairies, businesses that bought milk from local farmers, bottled it, and then delivered it to people’s homes. One such company was the Midwest Dairy of Auburn


In 1932, brothers Robert and Thaddeus Berkes left their delivery jobs at Auburn Dairy and started their own: Midwest Dairy. They set up their facilities at 305 E. First Street, and started off selling milk at 7 cents a quart. Times were tough, especially since not all of their customers paid their bills.

After a few years, Midwest ended up changing hands, first going to Wilbur Meyers (1937), and then to Vern Rockwell (1942). WWII brought changes as well—because of the fuel shortage, dairies had to cut back to every-other-day delivery, and because many men were off fighting, dairy farms were often short on hands to help bring in the milk.


The ’50s introduced changes in technology and another shift in ownership. Larry Osmun, who had joined Rockwell in 1952, bought the company, and in 1956, he started using a stainless steel tanker to handle bulk orders of milk. Midwest Dairy also remodeled, adding a second story to their facilities, and installing a high-temperature pasteurizer, which cut the pasteurization process from 30 minutes down to 15 seconds.


Gradually, the popularity of supermarkets and the decline in home deliveries brought about the demise of the small dairies. Midwest lasted until 1961, when it was purchased by Allen Dairy in Fort Wayne. The facility functioned as Allen’s Auburn branch until 1964.

To see more of the local dairy industry, click here and search “dairy.”

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Do you A-Door Your Library?

Eckhart A Door Your Library Picture

The Friends of Eckhart Public Library is taking registrations for the inaugural A-Door Your Library holiday decorating contest! A-Door Your Library is a new contest designed to spread holiday cheer while also raising money for events, services, and collections at Eckhart Public Library.

People can decorate their door or entryway for the contest. Then, from December 8-13, people can come to Eckhart Public Library to see photographs of each entry and vote for their favorite entries at the cost of 25 cents per vote. In addition, a panel of judges will choose their favorite entries. There will be a Judges’ Choice Winner and a People’s Choice Champ in each of four quadrants of Auburn, with the quadrant division lines at Seventh Street and Cedar Creek. Winners will be announced on December 15.

Each winner will receive recognition via a yard sign with a special 8×10 prize banner suitable for framing. All eight winners will also be entered into a drawing, with one of the winners also winning back their entry fee.

Entry into the contest is $5 for a door and $10 for an entryway. Registration runs through Wednesday, November 26 at 5 p.m. at the main building of Eckhart Public Library.

The Friends of the Eckhart Public Library are a non-profit organization whose enthusiastic support makes many special library programs possible. Friends help promote the library by sponsoring activities which encourage reading and broaden the user base of the library. Friends memberships start at $10 per year.


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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Comes Out This Friday!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I comes out this week. Are you as excited as we are?

If you haven’t had a chance to read the book, we have it available as a book, downloadable audiobook, and audiobook on CD!

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The Mystery Basket!

Win a Chance at the Mystery Basket!

In addition to making final bids at the Giving Thanks Silent Auction on Saturday, November 22, bidders will be able to enter to a chance to win a Mystery Basket ($100 approximate value). To enter adults (18+) must obtain a bidder number and place a bid between 2:00 and 4:30, p.m. that day. Refreshments will be served in the Close Community Room during that time.


Come in to bid and support this great library fundraiser.

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Bidders Wanted!

The Friends of the Library’s Giving Thanks auction, a fundraiser for Eckhart Public Library, is underway and there is still plenty of time to bid! Come in and bid before 5:00 pm Saturday, November 22 for a chance at one or more of the great baskets donated by local businesses and individuals.

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This Week at Eckhart Public Library: November 17-22


It’s November, which, at Eckhart Public Library, means it’s time for the Giving Thanks Basket Auction, sponsored by the Friends of Eckhart Public Library. You can bid on beautiful baskets all week, with the final day of bidding on November 22. If you big on November 22 between 2 and 4:30 p.m., you will also get entered to win a Mystery Basket worth approximately $100. Read more about the auction here.

You can also register for the A-Door Your Library decorating contest, also sponsored by the Friends. Decorate your door for the holidays and show how much you “A-Door” Eckhart Public Library at the same time! Register through November 26 to enter the contest. It’s just $5 for your door or $10 for your entryway to enter. Vote for the People’s Choice Champs at 25 cents per vote, December 8-13; judges will also choose winners. Revenues from the contest help the Friends of Eckhart Public Library support events, services, and collections at Eckhart Public Library.

Here’s what else is happening around the Eckhart Public Library Campus this week:

  • Neon Readers: This month the Neon Readers will be reading historical fiction. Each member will choose their own book to read. Then we will discuss the books we are reading and create some thankful trees. There will also be snacks. Monday, November 17, 5-7 p.m., Teen Library.
  • Lunch Bunch: Join other researchers and Willennar Genealogy Center staff to talk about family history, genealogy, and local history. Bring your brown bag lunch! Tuesday, November 18, noon to 1 p.m., Learning Lab at Willennar Genealogy Center.
  • Turn A Page with Anni: Discuss “How to Bake A Perfect Life” by Barbara O’Neal at this book club. Books are available at the Information Desk. Wednesday, November 19, noon to 1 p.m., JHG Room at Main Library.
  • John Bowers Film Night: Did you know that DeKalb County was home to a silent film star? Learn about the life and tragic death of Garrett native John Bowersox, better known as John Bowers, star of the silver screen during the silent era, and watch “Lorna Doone,” starring Bowers. Wear your silent film-era best and walk the red carpet! Wednesday, November 19, 5:30-8 p.m., Learning Lab at Willennar Genealogy Center.
  • ATLAS – Charlie’s Chapters: Students in kindergarten through second grade will be reading “Extra Yarn” by Mac Barnett. Students in grades 3-5 will finish reading “A Dog’s Life” by Ann M. Martin. Then both book club groups will make no-bake dog treats that will be donated to the DeKalb Humane Society in Butler. Thursday, November 20, 3-3:45 p.m., Children’s Department.
  • Knifty Knitters: Beginning and experienced knitters are welcome. Struggling with a problem pattern? Crocheters are also welcome to attend. Help is available from this group. Thursday, November 20, 6-7:45 p.m., Close Community Room at Main Library.
  • Book Signing – Magaret Hobson: Volume three of local author Margaret Hobson’s history of Indiana’s 44th Regiment is finished. Part 3 is an intimate, firsthand account in the citizen-soldiers’ uncensored words, including those offensive to our modern ear, drawn from letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, military reports, memoirs, and out-of-copyright books covering the Battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Stones River and Chickamauga. It then follows the soldiers into their Provost Marshal duties in Chattanooga. Hobson will sign books, which are $35 each. Saturday, November 22, 3-5 p.m., Willennar Genealogy Center.
  • National Novel Writing Month: Writers working on their novels during National Novel Writing Month can find a great writing space at Eckhart Public Library. Computers are available to cardholders; guest passes can be obtained for non-cardholders with a photo ID. Cardholders can also check out a laptop to use in the library. Or, anyone can bring their laptop, tablet, or other device and use the library’s campus-wide Wi-Fi! For more information about technology at Eckhart Public Library, speak with a staff member, call 925-2414 ext. 120, or email reference@epl.lib.in.us.
  • A Colonial Christmas Celebration: Girls in third grade and older can sign up now for an afternoon of food, crafts, and entertainment. Space is limited! Call the children’s department at 925-2414 ext. 320 to register. Saturday, December 6, 2-4 p.m.
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