Stepping Stones Blog

Sunday Salon: May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend is a time set aside to honor all those who bravely fought for the freedom and liberty that we enjoy in America today.  I am beyond grateful for their sacrifice.

It is also the unofficial mark of the beginning of summer.  The city pools are now open (although the cool, damp weather will prevent many from attending) and family picnics are in full swing.  Our girls will be joining us this evening for an informal cookout of hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken accompanied by pasta salad as well as tomato/cucumber salad, and then we will finish with homemade banana splits for dessert. YUMM….

Reading:  I spent the majority of the week organizing nine years of teaching material into appropriate spaces.  Most of it ended at HalfPrice Books.  I then organized genres according to my writing interests… and now I have a basket of Memoirs, a basket of Travel anthologies, a basket of books on Writing, and a box of Middle Grade fiction.

As Stephen King tells us, writers must not only write a lot, they must be willing to read a lot.  And that is what I plan to do.  Now that my nook is organized and I do not feel so cramped, I plan to set aside at least two hours a day to read. Books I have selected to read first include:

  • Memoir:  An American Childhood by Annie Dillard (it is on every list of top memoirs to read)
  • Travel:  The Way of the Traveler:  Making Every trip a Journey into Self-Discovery by Joseph Dispenza (I found this at a used book sale and hope that it helps me focus my own travel ideas)
  • Writing:  The Story Within by Laura Oliver (I began reading this library book last week, but quickly realized I wanted this for my own personal collection.  My copy should arrive Tuesday)
  • Middle Grade:  Junonia by Kevin Henkes (a library book – I don’t remember how I discovered it, but a beach setting sounds perfect for the start of summer vacation)

Hopefully next week I will have at least one (perhaps more) reviews to post.

rough draft of my daily routine

Writing:  My new writing routine will be implemented on Tuesday.  I have set the goal to write 12 hours a week.  My OCD tendencies led me to create a schedule that would focus on a different genre each day.  For example, Mondays are set aside to work on Memoir; Tuesdays will be devoted to Travel Essays; and Thursdays will be devoted to the Middle Grade NaNoWriMo piece.  I am sure that the schedule will require some tweaking over the next few weeks, but it is a good starting point.

Blogging:  another consistent week of blogging.  I am hoping this is becoming a habit.

  • Travel Tuesday:  where I shared my ambivalent feelings towards GPS systems
  • Writing Wednesday: where I completed the series of posts regarding Angela Hunt’s writing seminar.  This post focused on traditional vs self-publishing.
  • Photo Friday:  where I document our recent trip to the strawberry patch and the transformation of just-picked berries into delicious desserts.

Artist Date:  While technically an artist date is supposed to be taken solo, I consider the strawberry event to be my date for the week.  After berry picking, my youngest and I traveled to the Westport area and had a lovely brunch at the Corner Restaurant, my current “favorite” breakfast spot.  Mandy enjoyed a smoked salmon salad, and I thoroughly enjoyed the BLT + A&E (avocado and fried egg) on sourdough bread.  We then took a walk around the area and scout out the eclectic shops and other dining establishments.  I have added several to the list for future dates.

Other News:  In my weekly internet surfing this week I checked out this recommended site:  Medium, which essentially encourages everyone to share their stories, essays or manifestos in one location.  My dream of marrying a single picture to a 1,000 word essay can be realized using this site, and I love how the posts can be added to collections of similar interest.  I think for me… it is an opportunity to take certain blog post ideas to the next level.

Have you used Medium?  IF so, I would love to hear your comments and reviews.

I hope the weather is cooperating for your holiday weekend and that lazy, hazy summer days are in your future.



  1. readerbuzz

    As usual, you are so terribly ambitious. They say it is good to set high goals.

    I hope you will find a way to join in for Armchair BEA. I’ve signed up for it many times, but I’ve never participated and I think I’ve missed out. I’m planning my posts for the week now and I hope to visit many blogs each day. Just for this week, I’m setting aside my reading in order to fully participate in blogging.

  2. Paul

    The Corner was my favorite for YEARS under the old management. Lindsay and I went countless times on Dad/Daughter mornings and it holds an ultra special place in my heart. When they closed, I took the small, hand written and framed sign that had forever been in the men’s bathroom; “Dont flush the brown paper towels….” Why that, I have no idea.
    All that said, let your GPS REroute you; venture on down to 18th Street and try on YJ’s Snack Bar; you won’t be disappointed. We’ve gone there for years now. Owned by local artist and all round cool guy, David Ford, it’s the perfect hang out. Small, may hold 15 people and had sidewalk seating.
    Do it!

  3. cathyensley

    What a lovely weekly schedule. It looks very relaxing! Except for all of the exercising/walking, although strolling would be relaxing. And I’m envious that you only need 6.5 hours sleep.

    I’m a great one for figuring out the perfect schedule, but seldom following it. I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.

  4. booknaround

    It’s amazing how refreshing and rejuvenating it is to get everything organized and in its place, isn’t it? Good luck with your schedule, your reading, and writing in the coming weeks!

  5. You have a lovely blog.

    ENJOY summer!! I retired from teaching two years ago. It is summer all year round. 🙂


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