Family, Fidelia Hall, Libraries, Life, Music, Titusville, PA, Video Games

2017 Year In Review

PAST YEARS: 20162015, 2014, 2013

First and foremost, love and happiness and positivity from all of us to you.


The collective masses seemed to have had a miserable 2016 but for some reason I felt like I was spared. But oh wait! Quickly around the corner came 2017 and with it came what I imagine to be the baggage, pain, and confusion most everyone else had felt in 2016.

It was a long year. I doubted myself a lot I spent a lot of this year confused about my place in all of this. I looked around at the world, both what surrounds me in the community where I live and what surrounds me everywhere else, and I just felt so lost and tired. At the core of all of this what I realized was that I just don’t feel the connection I had felt to the world that I had felt before. All of this is OK. Things change, people grow, and learning is a big part of the process we all go through during our time here on earth. It was a long year full of some tough moments, but instead of letting it get me down too much I’ve decided to adopt the idea that 2017 was a year of learning and growth. These two things are never tidy. They’re messy but the end result is always positive. That’s how I’m heading into 2018: with the thought that I did some hard work in the previous year and that in the new year that work will pay off.

Now that all of that has been said, here’s some stuff I did and some stuff I enjoyed in 2017:

  • Spent as much of my time awake with the amazing Aero, Finn, and Haley.
  • Continued to work on rehabbing Fidelia Hall. The plan with the space is now this: we will be moving into the downstairs space in early 2018. That space has heat and is in the process of having some electrical work done as well as rehabbing the bathroom and kitchen. The upstairs space (the chapel) will be getting a heating system installed starting on December 26 2017. Once we move over to that space, we will figure out what to do with the house. We envisioned Fidelia Hall as a community space, but have refocused and decided that it’s now more of a space for our family and our closest friends.
  • I recorded and released two albums: Either Way I’m Fine and Prozac Is The Dam & I Am The Dynamite
  • I finished my second full year as a library director. I’ve been doing this for 30 months now. I really enjoy it.
  • I listened to a lot of music and I wish I could keep better track of it, but Apple Music hasn’t done any kind of year in review recap like Spotify did this year. I hope they do that soon. I do know that as my father and I worked on Fidelia Hall we really enjoyed listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown 1970’s edition every Saturday.
  • My most played video game was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was also my favorite game this year, with Super Mario Odyssey coming in at a close second. I played a lot more Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp than I expected to play. And I finally got into Picross…The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross was the one that did it for me.

Love to you and all of those that you care about this holiday season from me!


What Is And What Should Never Be

2014 was the year I slowed down a lot. As I slowed down I noticed something: the world still moves really quickly. It presents me with an interesting dilemma. How can I live in a world that is so out of touch with what I truly believe at my core? 2015 should be an interesting year where the answer to the question that I asked will slowly show itself to me.

Libraries and librarians have been good to me. 2014 was a year that I got to do some amazing things in the library where I work and with the greater library community. I traveled a lot and shared joy and enthusiasm with the library community. Along the way I learned so much from the people that I was visiting.

In 2014, I also kept on having this thought: everyone hits a wall at some point in their lives where they know it’s time to move on from what they’re doing and try something new. Some people just burst through that wall and keep on keepin’ on. 2014 has shown me that I can’t be that person. I’ve known for a bit of time that there’s some kind of change stirring inside of me.  Putting everything in their right place took some soul searching, but now I think I’ve reached a good point.

Justin Hoenke and Justin The Librarian are no longer the same person. Once they were intertwined. I was him and he was me all everything connected in the middle. It was good for that moment in time. But Justin Hoenke the person took some steps in 2014 that rendered this Justin The Librarian persona, well, no longer that important in the great grand scheme of things. But life isn’t just so cut and dry. You don’t disconnect and move on. The process of change is long and drawn out. 2014 was the year where I noticed that there was an imbalance in my life. 2015 will be the year where I go about overcoming that imbalance. I don’t know what’s to come. It’ll be a neat adventure.

And if I say to you tomorrow. Take my hand, child, come with me.
It’s to a castle I will take you, where what’s to be, they say will be.

Books, Libraries

On writing a book

Maybe I should write a graphic novel?

About 6 months ago, myself and a very close colleague of mine signed a contract to write a book for a publisher (of course, all names are being withheld because this is my own view and not any other party’s view).  When our proposal was first accepted, I was jazzed.  I wanted to sing the praises to the world!  I AM WRITING A BOOK!  FINALLY, MY LIFE IS VALID!  PEOPLE CAN ADD ME TO THEIR LIBRARY ON LIBRARYTHING!  I dug deep into writing the book.  Me, my laptop, and Google Docs became great friends.  I thought about nothing other than my topic (which I’m withholding as well because, well, you’ll read this post and see why).

And then I just stopped writing.  Cold turkey.  Here’s what got to me.

  • It’s a book and it’s 2011.  It’ll be published and out of date by the time it hits stores (do those exist anymore?).
  • Can’t it be a blog?  Should it be a graphic novel?  What about an instruction video game?  Or maybe a short movie?
  • Can it be something that transcends a book?  Can it be a living, mutating, always growing document? (also, see above)
  • I’m terribly sorry, but I want this book to be hilarious and informative.  I’m so afraid that it’ll all be edited out and it’ll be boring.
  • Money: Am I selling out by writing a book that others will have to pay for?  Aren’t ideas free?  Isn’t that the reason I started blogging in the first place.
  • I ran out of things to say…and I’m like 40,000 too short of a book.  Can’t it be a library novella?  A grand PDF?  I don’t want it to be all filler and no killer.
  • Sources and citing: That kind of stuff bores me.  Eli Neiburger and Beth Gallaway have already written awesome books full of grand ideas that you should just buy anyways (I mean it!).  What if I just had a chapter in the book that said YOU SHOULD READ THESE BOOKS BECAUSE THEY HAVE AN INSANE AMOUNT OF GOOD IDEAS IN THEM.
  • I want the chapter names to be in all caps.
  • I want the cover to have video game 8Bit representations of the authors riding a unicorn and have the color scheme be rainbow.  We would also have life meters on the cover.

Now, keep in mind, all of these worries are in my head and nothing has been confirmed/rejected/denied by the publishers (who, by the way, have been nothing but amazing and nice).

So what do you think?  Have you wrote a book?  What has been your experience?  If you haven’t, what would you say to perhaps purchasing a book full of stuff that came out of my head and was printed?  Would you buy it or should I just keep blogging and sharing ideas like they were meant to be shared (FREE!)?  Am I a sellout?