Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Salon: November 10, 2013

It has been a very busy week … but I am grateful to have made it to another Sunday Salon.

Today's Weather:  A beautiful fall day, with sunny skies and a high near sixty.  However, they are predicting a major cold front moving through tomorrow night with lows in the 20s, highs in the 30s, and a chance of SNOW!!  I am certain I will be stoking the first fire in the fireplace this week.

What's on the menu:  nothing much… my husband will leave this afternoon for a solid week of travel, and I tend not to cook when he is away.  Today is probably some leftover roasted chicken with a slice of french baguette and perhaps a bit of bruschetta and mozzarella cheese.  One of my favorite "go-to" dinners.

Highlights of the week:  Hands down - the writing conference sponsored by Heartland of America Christian Writers' Network.  This was my first writing conference and it truly exceeded all my expectations.

The conference started Thursday evening with a brief introduction of the editors/publishers in attendance, as well as the Key Note address by Angela Hunt.  At that point I knew I had to take every breakout session she offered!  She is a prolific author with a wealth of expertise that she delivers in a professional, entertaining manner.  Her three classes included:  The Plot Skeleton, Point of View, and Creating Extraordinary Characters.  If interested, she has written short books on these subjects, plus four others - and you can find more information here.

The day began at 9:00am on Friday and aside from a one hour lunch, we were basically in sessions until 5:00pm:  two in the morning and then four in the afternoon.  Saturday's schedule was similar, except there were only three course offerings in the afternoon to allow time for the closing ceremony.

The registration fee included eleven breakouts plus a FREE ten minute critique session with one of the editors/publishers.  For an addition $40 - participants could have a twenty minute in-depth critique of their manuscript.  I am too new to writing to take advantage of these offerings this year, but I have challenged myself to have something prepared to share next November.

While the conference definitely cut into my NaNo writing time, it was most definitely worth the time and expense.

Teaching Overview:  Brit Lit completed the medieval unit - culminating with final drafts of Knightly Tales and taking the final exam.  This week I will introduce Shakespeare and we will begin acting Macbeth -- a great way to end the semester.

English Comp continues to workshop narrative essays.  Thursday's class was such fun!  A student read her story and after working through the plot issues, we discussed the title.  It was delightful to hear the suggestions, each coming from a different perspective.  In five minutes we developed six or more viable titles - and it truly showcased the value of brainstorming as well as "two or more heads are certainly better than one."

Currently Reading:  Quite frankly, the week was too busy to read, and NaNo should take up my available time this coming week.  However, I have nearly fifty library books in my nook, ranging from children's picture books to YA fiction to non-fiction books on writing that I hope to delve into shortly.

Writing Progress:  the good news is that I did indeed make progress on the NaNoWriMo project.  I have completed four chapters and written a total of 11, 565 words.  The bad news is I am behind…. the writing convention was a priority and prevented me from focusing on this project.  However, with my husband out-of-town and school work kept to a minimum,  I am hopeful that I can catch up on word-count by this time next week.

Artist's Date:  no time for a designated artist date, but I do think the writing convention should count for artistic inspiration… don't you?

Craftiness:  *sigh…. no craftiness.  However, there is a scrapbook retreat scheduled for November 22-23, so I am hopeful that I will be able to report something at that time.

Photography:  I have not yet missed a day of the 365 project (that is good for me… even though it is only day nine).  I decided to focus on the themes of Gratitude, Thanksgiving, Blessings, and/or My Favorite Things for at least a portion of the month of November.  The mosaic to the left includes the first nine pictures I have taken.  If interested, I am blogging about this photography project on the dedicated blog: My Spiritual Journey through Photography.

What's on the Horizon:  It will be another busy week, but not as chaotic as this past week.  The highlight will be a library presentation by Chris Baty, the initiator of NaNoWriMo several years ago.

Besides school, visiting a writing critique group, and a hair cut… the bulk of the week will be focused on catching up on the NaNo project and writing a minimum of 2,000 words each day.

I wish you all a great week, and for those affected by this upcoming winter blast, I wish you warmth and a good read while snuggled in a blanket next to the fire.


  1. Wow! Lots of exciting things. I'd definitely count the conference as an Artist's Date -- I always find them so inspiring.

    Good luck on you NaNo writing this week!

    Joy's Book Blog

  2. Wow, a great week... especially the writer's conference!

  3. I love your photography blog. The conference sounds like it was well worth the time spent. You are by nature such a prolific writer; I have no doubt you will catch up on your NaNo project next week. Good luck!