From the Sunday Salon's original website: Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book.
Doesn't that sound heavenly --- that in our hectic lives we carve out a chunk of time to devote to reading and all things literary? While I plan to use this space for that purpose, I am also going to use this entry as a way to summarize the past seven days and preview the upcoming week.
Today's Weather: I do believe fall is here to stay: Sunny with a high of 71 today - rain comes tomorrow bringing even cooler temperatures. I LOVE it!
What's on the menu: In celebration of cooler temps and a winning Chief's team... I have the season's first pot of chili on the stove ready to tailgate in the comfort of our family room.
Highlights of the week: There were three highlights this week that are worthy of note...
- Des Moines Used Book Sale - held in the 4-H building of the Iowa State Fairgrounds, this is the largest book sale I have ever attended. We paid the $10 fee to shop a day early, and I am glad we did. This kept the crowds manageable, which was necessary for me as I am not sure I could handle the overwhelming selection otherwise. Both Geoff and I found several bargains, he focused on books about lawncare and home remodeling, while I focused on books about writing, travel and children's classics for Brynn. The sale is held twice a year and we will definitely return at the end of March for the spring version.
- Dewey's Read-athon - originally I thought we would be in Des Moines, so I did not intend to participate this year, but since we came home a day early, I decided to join in the fun. I read about five hours yesterday, focusing on historical fictional stories that will help me with my NaNoWriMo piece next month. I completed The Painted Girls and have less than one hundred pages to read in Dancing for Degas. I was reminded of another novel set in this time period, Claude and Camille that I have reserved at the library to review this week.
- Reconnected with a fellow writer - I took a risk and contacted a fellow writer I met this summer in the travel writing class I took at the University of Iowa. She lives in Des Moines and had expressed an interest in my fictional story idea. I emailed her about our plans to attend the Book Sale and she was thrilled to meet with me and discuss writing possibilities. We had a marvelous visit and we brainstormed some good ideas. I am hopeful that this will be a relationship we can continue for quite some time.
Teaching Overview: It was a good week. Brit Lit students performed well on the Beowulf final exam and English Comp students completed college scholarship essays. I am looking forward to a light week this week with NO grading ... and that is a good thing because I have too many personal interests to keep me busy.
Currently Reading: I finally completed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (yay!!) and wrote a brief review. I started the second book the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but as indicated above, I have also started reading some historical fiction in preparation for NaNoWriMo. I am just thrilled that I am finally making the time for novel reading... I didn't realize how much I missed it.
Writing Progress: While I did not write as much as I had hoped, I did create a detailed character worksheet after reading this blog post about the importance of falling in love with your fictional characters. I have probably completed about half of the worksheet for my protagonist and hope to do the same for the antagonist and two other significant characters. I feel like this is the first time in my life I am finally playing pretend - imagining and allowing myself to be carried away into a fictional world. While it is at times painstakingly difficult, I must admit that it is kinda fun.
Artist's Date: And again, I must confess that I did not do this. I am beginning to realize that I need to make some adjustments in my schedule that allow me to spend more time doing activities that are important to me, and less time doing activities that are within my comfort zone. More on this another time....
Craftiness: No crafts ... although I did read fiction which is at least something out of the ordinary for me. I think I need to review my Pinterest boards and find another greeting card to create to complete the Pin It and Do It challenge.
Photography: No time for photography either. I had great hopes of taking pictures on our outing to Des Moines, but alas, we spent too much time indoors looking at books and not enough time exploring the city. I am hoping that the cooler temperatures this week will encourage me to get out in my own neighborhood and shoot the autumnal changes.
What's on the Horizon: This will be a rather busy week for me. Parent/Teacher Conferences will take up a portion of my day on Wednesday; I hope to attend a writing critique group on Thursday evening to see if we are a good fit for one another; and there is a new Impressionism exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum that I would like to preview.
Busy... but all good stuff.