Sunday Salon: June 1, 2014
A GREAT first week of summer. Great weather – Good productivity – Established routines.
Teaching: Last March I applied to become a member of our school’s Board of Directors. I attended an interview/meeting in late April, and have been waiting patiently to learn my fate. Late Friday afternoon I received a formal invitation to join – and I am thrilled!
While I was mentally ready to retire from the classroom, I was not yet ready to leave education entirely. This is a way for me to continue to be a part of a school that I dearly love, albeit in a different capacity.
I will be serving a three-year term, and I look forward to this new role which will fit beautifully with my writing life.
Reading: The good news is that I completed two books this week; I don’t remember the last time I did that. The bad news is that I only read about half as much as I had hoped. Perhaps my goal is too lofty, or perhaps I have yet to discipline myself to this new routine. I will continue to tweak the schedule as needed, but for now, I will strive to average 3-4 books per week. This week’s selection includes:
- Memoir: An American Childhood by Annie Dillard (the same as last week – I never opened it)
- Travel: Without Reservations: Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach (I had hoped to publish a previous review, but since I couldn’t find it… I thought a re-read was in order)
- Writing: The Story Within by Laura Oliver (I actually started this library book last week, but quickly knew I had to own it myself. Now that I have received it, I plan to devour its wisdom this week)
- Middle Grade: either Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein or The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Randall Wright
Writing: I love to write, truly I do. But sometimes I wonder if I enjoy reading about a writer’s life rather than living it. Case in point… I know that writers write. I know that it requires putting butt in chair and banging out the words one sentence – one paragraph – one page at a time. I know this process must become a daily routine and not based on how I am feeling or whether I am inspired. Inspiration comes when we show up to the page.
And yet… I secretly tell myself that this process is good for those who already know their niche … who have a particular project in mind. I am still in search of a direction. And so, I reason, I must have the project before I can implement the process.
Hogwash! Every time I write, I glean insight. It might not be a direction for a project, and it may not be worthy of sharing with others… but I learn something about myself and my relationship with the world. And that is not only worthwhile, but I do believe it will take me one step closer to finding my purpose.
So… I am going to stop rationalizing my stubborn ways and adopt the sage advice of others. I am going to sit down for a minimum of ten minutes every single day and write. I am excited to see what comes of this new practice.
For several years I maintained a book blog, Molly Cozy Book Nook, where I would frequently write book reviews of various genres and interests. I enjoyed the book blogging community and have missed that constant interaction. Since I now plan to read on a regular basis, I thought I would also return to writing reviews – more for my benefit, as I often forget the details and enjoy re-reading my initial thoughts.
I will post all book reviews on Saturday (the Saturday Review), and provide links here in the blog summary.
- Travel Tuesday: where I view this phase of life as my new adventure.
- Writing Wednesday: where I discuss my definition of “success” in order to face my fear of writing.
- Photo Friday: where I discuss my fondness for doors – both literally and metaphorically
- Saturday Review: Middle Grade fiction: Junonia and Travel Writing: The Way of the Traveler
Artist Date: There was no formal artist date this week. I focused my attention on 10,000 steps, blog posts, and reading. I did consider a trip to a local Artist Fair, but in the end decided that a relaxed day at home was better than a frustrating day of parking and fighting crowds.
I will do better this week.
Exercise: Inspired by Joy’s Reader’s Workouts post, I resurrected the fitbit this week with the intention of maintaining a 10,000 steps/day regimen: Difficult? no. Disciplined? YES. A writer’s life is a rather sedentary existence, and I can easily become engrossed in a project and not get up from my desk for hours. Because of this, I have learned I need to be purposeful with my step count.
For now, I strive to walk in the early morning, before it is too hot, approximately 2.75 miles which results in about 5,300 steps. It is nice to start the day with half the steps completed. I hope to increase this morning walk to a 5k (3.1 miles).
I then make sure to take the dog for an evening walk, which is about 1.5 miles and another 2,500 steps. The remaining steps can easily be acquired doing daily activities.
We have been blessed with nice weather this week, so keeping to the schedule has been easy. I hope that I am disciplined enough to use the treadmill when the weather does not cooperate.
Surfing the Net: I’m not sure if this will be a regular feature, but it seems that I am constantly finding new sites of interest to me, and I thought perhaps they might be of interest to others. A few of my favorites this week include:
- Wattpad – a social network for readers/writers. How did I NOT know about this earlier?!
- Writer Unboxed – a great resource for writing tips, and the friendliest Facebook group I have ever witnessed.
- The Courage 2 Create – an absolute treasure trove of writing advice for the novice as well as the more advanced. The link takes you to the “Get Me Started Writing” page of useful links.
I wish you all a great week of reading, writing, and relaxing.
- Posted in: Sunday Salon