Stepping Stones Blog

Sunday Salon: April 27, 2014

We have experienced some lovely spring temperatures this week, but are now preparing for extreme storms this afternoon:  typical of the bipolar weather personality of the Midwest.


MG books on my TBR list

MG books on my TBR list

Reading:  Kudos to all those who participated in Dewey’s Read-athon yesterday!  I have not participated in a number of years, but hope to rectify that this fall.  I was certainly cheering you in spirit, however.

Unfortunately I did not read much at all this week.  The sudden death of my sweet dog kept me out-of-sorts, and daily appointments nearly every afternoon and evening significantly reduced my free time.  I hope to do better this week.

My reading goals remain the same:  to read one MG book per week and one travel article per day.  I am about half way through skimming the book, Home Sweet Anywhere, (it is an easy, fun read) and have collected about six MG books from the local library.  While my intentions are good, my follow-through is lacking.

Writing:  My lack of focus also carried over to writing.  I should have written a rough draft for the anthology article, but that did not happen.  I managed to brainstorm a possible angle, and I did consider which events should be included and which ones should not.  I completed the preparation phase.  It is now time to put butt in chair and write.  Hopefully I can discipline myself enough this week to put daily distractions aside and complete this goal.

I did have the pleasure, however, of attending a writing seminar yesterday (which is why I did not participate in the read-athon).  I am a member of HACWN (Heartland of America Christian Writers Network) and they sponsored a “Super Saturday” event with the prolific author and speaker, Angela Hunt.

I first heard Angela speak at a conference in November, and was impressed – not only by her knowledge of the craft, but also her teaching style.  She is relaxed and informal, sharing her heart and her passion, but also quite professional and a well-spring of useful information that can be taken home and immediately implemented.

She teaches from her series of short, focused books:  Writing Lessons from the  Front

She also spent about thirty minutes discussing the ever-changing world of publishing, stating that “It has never been more difficult to GET PUBLISHED, but it has also never been easier to BE PUBLISHED”

I hope to write a review of this valuable seminar this week for my Writing Wednesday post.

Blogging:  While I was rather distracted in other areas of life, I did maintain my blogging goal:

  • Travel Tuesday – where my “Dreams Come True” theme continued as I shared my 2011 solo trip to Paris.
  • Writing Wednesday – where I outlined my 2-notebook system for life story
  • Photo Friday -where I discussed the difference between a photograph and a snapshot

Online Discoveries:  Finally, I want to share a new-to-me website that I found this week:  Better Novel Project. Christine uses the blog to demonstrate how she deconstructs YA novels to help write her own.  Analyzing Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight, she takes notes on “index cards” to organize the stories into a narrative framework that can be duplicated by others.

I love how she uses this decidedly “left-brained” activity to help her create.  This gives me hope, as well as the structure I need, to help my writing dream also become a reality.

The next two weeks will be the final push towards the end of school, graduation, and retirement.  It will be a blur of activity, but I hope to maintain reading and writing focus as well.

I wish you all a pleasant week that is filled with glorious springtime weather as well as enough free time for literary pursuits.



  1. readerbuzz

    A book a week can be a daunting goal, I think. And the loss of a beloved dog must be hard.

  2. joyweesemoll

    We’ve been under a severe thunderstorm watch since early afternoon. It keeps looking dark and threatening and the wind picks up and I think we’re going to get something — then it all brightens up again without a drop of rain. We’ll see!

    Sorry for the loss of your dog and how discombobulating that is. Take care of yourself at this time.

  3. cathyensley

    I’ll bet you’re excited to retire. It’s truly a momentous event! From here on out, you will own your time. Can’t think of a greater freedom.

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