Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Task It Tuesday - Mar 19


Originally created by The Geeky Blogger, Task It Tuesday is a weekly meme to help you--and me--get things done. The challenge is to post a task or list of tasks you want to complete before next Tuesday. These tasks can help you with your blogging life, reading life, personal or professional life.

Welcome back to Tuesday. Things are looking a bit brighter than they were yesterday. I'm sure with each passing day that tough decision I made this weekend will get easier. Knowing it was coming distracted me all week, so I didn't accomplish as much as I should. Here's what was on my list for last week:

  • Daily Bible reading  - DONE
  • Stick to my 5-5-5-5 plan for reaching out to more people: 5 calls, 5 texts, 5 emails and 5 handwritten notes every day - Did a lot of this, but didn't put it in my tracker
  • Exercise Saturday - Didn't happen, but need to find a way to make it happen
  • Draft query letter for Clever Tom  - Ended up focusing on other writing. 
  • Participate in the Flourish Writers Conference  - Not as much as I wanted, but I have the all access pass to watch the videos afterwards (need to add making time for this on my list)
  • Clean my office -  Shaping up nicely. All the boxes of books have been hauled out. I've created a pile of books to give to the library for their annual book sale coming up. Working on my closet.
Now to think about what should be on the list for this week.

  • Daily Bible reading  On track
  • Stick to my 5-5-5-5 plan for reaching out to more people: 5 calls, 5 texts, 5 emails and 5 handwritten notes every day. 
  • Time block my calendar 
  • Exercise Saturday
  • Read The Walker on the Cape
  • Clean office closet
  • Schedule haircut and color DONE

Monday, March 18, 2019

Mailbox Monday - Mar 18



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

How does time pass so quickly? We are already back to Monday again. My week was filled with work, family, and other things. Sunday was a bit of a downer. You can read about it here if you like.

My mailbox held two exciting books for me.


Hopefully I'll have some time to craft that query letter and submit to some agents. I used to own the second edition of the resource below, but wanted to get a more recent version. 


That's it for me. What did your mailbox look like?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Brokenhearted


(stock photo I used for VBS one year)


This was one of the hardest weekends in a long time. After weeks of going back and forth, and a great deal of prayer, I left my church. Out of respect for people there, I won't go into great detail, but it became obvious over the last few months that it was time to find a new place to worship.

My heart is broken. We got married in that church. Our daughters grew up there. We've made so many good friends in the twenty years we worshiped there. I never thought this day would come. I've served on the Church Council for over a decade and held different leadership roles. I simply can't believe I won't be walking through those doors next weekend.

As brokenhearted as I am, it was the right decision. We must all be true to ourselves. We must stand up for what we believe. We must pray for God's direction and listen to what He says, even when it's hard.

Please pray for me, my friends. Please also pray for the church I left behind, that they will continue to seek God's will for their little church.




Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Task it Tuesday - Mar 12


Originally created by The Geeky Blogger, Task It Tuesday is a weekly meme to help you--and me--get things done. The challenge is to post a task or list of tasks you want to complete before next Tuesday. These tasks can help you with your blogging life, reading life, personal or professional life.

I'm late in getting this posted  because I've been tied up with meetings. There truly isn't anything pleasant about pre-planning a loved one's funeral (never mind pre-planning two); though the gentleman at the funeral parlor did the best he could to lighten a heavy task.

At least the day ended on a fine note--the Lil' Diva's final choral concert. Can't believe she is bound for college next year.


Lil' Diva's Spring Choral Concert (white sweater and black skirt)

She's deciding between an all woman's college with smaller class sizes and a co-ed university with larger classes. Either way, she will probably stay at home for a while. 


On to other things. Here is how last week ended up:

  • Daily Bible reading DONE
  • Stick to my 5-5-5-5 plan for reaching out to more people: 5 calls, 5 texts, 5 emails and 5 handwritten notes every day. Better than the previous week
  • Time block my calendar DONE
  • Exercise Monday and Saturday Missed both days
  • Find an agent to which to submit Clever Tom Researched a couple
  • Participate in Women in Publishing Summit I've watched some of the videos, but also bought the All Access Pass so I can catch up on what I missed
  • Finish reading The Morning Mind DONE

What does this week look like? A total mess. We were gone all weekend, so I didn't even time block my calendar yet. Will probably end up winging it considering my schedule. 
  • Daily Bible reading
  • Stick to my 5-5-5-5 plan for reaching out to more people: 5 calls, 5 texts, 5 emails and 5 handwritten notes every day
  • Exercise Saturday
  • Draft query letter for Clever Tom
  • Participate in the Flourish Writers Conference
  • Clean my office
I think that's all I can even think about considering my work schedule. What is on your to-do list this week? Anything you particularly want to tackle? 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Mailbox Monday - March 11



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

It's Monday. Is there snow where you are? Gosh, I just want it all to go away so I can plan out my garden and see some birds.

I've had three closings since February 28 and I am gearing up for some listings, so we decided to take a quick trip to Cape Cod for some R&R. The Lil' Princess is still on school vacation and the Lil' Diva took half a day Friday.



It was nice to get away. I didn't even bring my laptop. Theo loved the beach, even though it was cool.



My mailbox was empty, but since we were away I got a chance to do some reading.



I am also reading this devotional for Lent, which started Wednesday. As an aside, did  you hear about the teacher who forced a student to remove his ashes that he got for Ash Wednesday? Sounds like the teacher didn't realize how important they are to Catholics. 



That's it from my neck of the woods. Hope you have a great week. Please share what your mailbox looked like.







Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Guest Blogger: Hank Quense, Author of Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids




Writing a story is a tough job, especially for a kid. There’s all that stuff about characters and setting they have to remember. And then there’s the plot. How is a kid supposed to figure that one out?

I’ve written a number of novels and I’ve had over forty short stories published in magazines, anthologies and web sites. So I know firsthand about these difficulties. Over time and after a lot of false starts, I developed a process that allows me to approach a new story in an organized manner. Once I had this process I found it eliminated many of the dead ends I had previously run into.

A few years ago the Valley Middle School in Oakland NJ asked if I would visit the school and talk to their seventh graders. On visits like this, authors usually talk about their books and read scenes from them. I hate reading scenes! I find it boring and I’m sure I bore the audience with my monotonous voice. Instead of torturing the kids this way, I decided to show them how I use my process to create a short story. The slide talk worked like this: I gave them the overall story idea, one that they would want to write. After that, I used a handout with a series of text boxes with questions to have the kids come up with ideas on characters, setting and plot. Finally, I broke the story up into six scenes and showed the kids how to use the text box ideas to write each scene. The talk was wildly successful.

4: New Project
Besides the Valley Middle School, I’ve given this talk in libraries and expanded the concept to include two more story ideas. While I love doing this, my talks are geographically limited. To remove this limitation, I used these three talks as the basis for the ebook called Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids. Using the advanced technical capabilities of ebooks, the book has graphics, audio and video clips embedded into it. The videos show the text boxes and coach the kids on how to develop ideas for the basic story elements: characters, setting and plot. Each story has a final video clip showing the kids which text boxes to use in each scene.

Finally, there is a set of blank worksheets the kids can use to develop stories on their own.

The suggested audience for the ebook is 4th to 7th graders.

This is not an ordinary ebook: it’s interactive and that presents some problems. Not all e-readers can open the epub and mobi versions of this book. Apple computers and IOS devices can open the epub version if they have the free iBook app installed. Some Nooks also can open it. You can open the epub on a PC computer if the computer has Adobe Digital Edition app installed. You can download this free app here: https://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html

The mobi edition will only work on the more recent Kindle Fire tablets.

Other Kindle tablets will not be able to deal with the audio and video clips.

The ebook is available on iBooks at https://apple.co/2CJYDjN and Kindle at https://amzn.to/2RnU5Yo.

This website has more information and a demo story your child can try out: https://padlet.com/hanque/a7zx74mjcgrg

Getting a book published is always a great feeling, but this one felt not just great, but also fulfilling.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Task It Tuesday - Mar 5


Originally created by The Geeky Blogger, Task It Tuesday is a weekly meme to help you--and me--get things done. The challenge is to post a task or list of tasks you want to complete before next Tuesday. These tasks can help you with your blogging life, reading life, personal or professional life.

Welcome to Tuesday. I'm actually scheduling this ahead of time as I prepare to sit and listen to some previously recorded panels from the Women in Publishing Summit. I made myself a promise this year that I would do more writing. I set my goals in January, but I didn't talk about or share this one; mainly because I knew I had aggressive real estate goals and still wanted a life. While I don't beat myself up over goals I don't meet, they do niggle me a bit. I'm happy to say that I'm making more progress than expected.

Switching gears, let's talk about last week's to-do list.
  • Daily Bible reading DONE
  • Stick to my 5-5-5-5 plan for reaching out to more people: 5 calls, 5 texts, 5 emails and 5 handwritten notes every day. Made good progress, but still not every day
  • Time block my calendar   I went back and recreated this all on Saturday. Not supposed to be the way that works.
  • Exercise Friday and Saturday  Ha! Ha! Ha!
  • Create a marketing proposal.  Almost done. This isn't something urgent because they aren't ready yet.
  • Find an agent to which to submit Clever Tom  Collected names and researching.
  • Participate in #FaithPitch DONE
Not a bad week overall. Here is what this week looks like:

  • Daily Bible reading On track
  • Stick to my 5-5-5-5 plan for reaching out to more people: 5 calls, 5 texts, 5 emails and 5 handwritten notes every day. Day behind
  • Time block my calendar DONE
  • Exercise Monday and Saturday Missed Monday
  • Find an agent to which to submit Clever Tom
  • Participate in Women in Publishing Summit
  • Finish reading The Morning Mind
Are you putting together a to-do list this week? What does your week look like?