Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Salon: March 2, 2014

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.  

Today's Weather:  March certainly came in like a roaring lion this year!  We have a couple of inches of snow/ice on the ground with a couple more expected throughout the morning and afternoon.  The high today is seven (7) degrees!!  I am missing the consistently topical temperatures of St. Martin....

What's on the menu:  Since my husband has to be in Des Moines by 8:00am Monday morning, he left yesterday afternoon to avoid the hazardous weather.  It's just me and the dogs... and I don't cook much for us.  I made sure to have enough staples in the house to see me through Monday afternoon, but I anticipate some warm soup and a hot sandwich with several cups of steaming tea.

Highlights of the week:  Unfortunately the highlight - the memory that I won't soon forget - was having to replace everything on my hard drive; not a task I had anticipated this week.  It all started rather innocently.... my system was a little sluggish and I made an appointment with an Apple Genius.  I figured there was quite a bit of unnecessary "stuff" running in the background and they might be able to clean it up for me.  Just a little.... not a big deal.

The genius who ran the diagnostic test concluded that my "1's and 0's" were confused (whatever that means.. I don't speak binary code) and he recommended erasing the hard drive and starting over.  I expressed GREAT concern:  erasing the hard drive sounds like the equivalent of a major stroke to me.  He indicated that my time machine had completed a backup just two hour before, and there would be no problem.  Well, he was the expert, right?  So I agreed.

It was a relatively quick and easy operation.  I left the store with instructions of how to transfer the backed up files from my time machine and was told that everything would be exactly as it had been.  It should take a couple of hours.  Perfect.

Except - as the Apple Care representative told me in a ninety minute subsequent conversation - my time machine had a little "hiccup" and we eventually determined that I had to manually move all the files.  What he did not tell me ... and I eventually realized... is that not all files are backed up every day.  So I had to search through several folders to find everything that I think I need.

Needless to say... it was a tense, frustrating, L-O-N-G Friday afternoon.

Teaching Overview:  Brit Lit completed Pride and Prejudice and all scored well on the final exam.  We have now begun the read-arounds for their research papers.  This group of students have been leery of read-arounds in the past... not understanding the process that many minds make for positive improvements.  But I had a couple of English Comp students volunteer to come to this class to help them feel comfortable with the process.  It was WONDERFUL --- one of the rare teaching days when I left the classroom completely satisfied with the positive learning that took place.  We will continue with read-arounds this week until all students have had the opportunity to receive appropriate feedback.

Currently Reading:  As is my typical Mode of Operation, once I get an idea I run full-speed ahead.  I have developed a library list of about 15-20 books related to the craft and/or importance of writing personal stories/memoirs.  About half of those were currently available and they are now home ready for the next step.

Typically, I skim through the table of contents and read the first few pages.  If it seems to be a book that I know I will want to read in more depth, I will put in the "keep" pile.  If it is a book that I think might be too much review of what I have already read, I will put it in the "return" pile.  This process can be done rather quickly.

Next, I will begin to read the books from the "keep" pile and perhaps find one or two that I really enjoy and want to add them to my own personal library.  The remaining books I will read, take notes, and then return.

Today's weather is perfect for this kind of leisurely reading activity.

Writing Progress:  I commented to a good friend earlier this week that I "felt like a writer" today ... It wasn't that I wrote new material, but I focused my efforts on writerly activities.

I modified my Editorial Calendar, which I think will keep me focused not only on the micro tasks that need to be completed in a given week, but also on the macro view of maintaining and developing new projects for the future.

In addition, I received the edits and suggestions from one beta reader regarding my NaNoWriMo project.  I am now in the process of reviewing those suggestions and making a spreadsheet that summarizes those comments per chapter.  Later this week I hope to start the rewrite, with the goal of completing about two chapters per week.

I met with my writing coach, and she seems to think I have enough valid material to try writing a travel essay for publication.  Just typing that causes my palms to sweat, but it is an exciting challenge to pursue.

Stepping Stones Publications continues to be a focus for me as well.  I have created a website, a Facebook page, and a twitter account.  I managed to learn how to create a designated email, and I have ordered business cards.  Now I need to put flesh on the bones - especially with regards to the website.

Weekly Exercise:  UGH... need I say more?

Artist's Date:  I am having such fun with the creation of a new business, that I feel as though each day is an artist date; however, I know that I need to get outside the house and rejuvenate the other senses.  I did manage to take time Saturday afternoon to watch my favorite movie of all time:  You've Got Mail.  It was the perfect stress-reliever following the computer experience of the day before.

Craftiness:  I am excited that Stepping Stones Publications can incorporate a bit of craftiness as well.  Finding the perfect photo to coordinate with the meaningful story to create a lasting legacy has been my vision for a very long time.

Photography:  I did manage to select, edit, and upload about 125 cruise pictures to Flickr and then take advantage of a Shutterfly special to print those photos.  While digital photography is convenient to view and share with others, there is nothing quite like looking through a stack of pictures and reliving each moment.

What's on the Horizon:  More of the same... and I love it!  There are two more weeks of classes until spring break, so there will be a focus on preparing the students for that last push to the end; I will continue to read memoir writing books to help me identify key elements that I need and want to include to create my own writing style; and I will use my editorial calendar to keep me on task for developing the  website in order to make it a viable presence ... as well as revising my NaNo manuscript.  Busy... and it's all good!


  1. I love to see how your writing is developing. A writing coach! Plans for a travel essay! A website!


    Here's my Sunday Salon.

  2. A high of 7 degrees? That is just cruel. I won't tell you what our weather's like today.

  3. I want to hear more about how the exercise is going. :P
    I know how you're feeling on that front actually. The weather here isn't helping much...well, not really at all...with the motivation.

  4. I think your idea for your writing business is a splendid one. There's a huge need for editors, and money can be made editing people's memoirs. It would be far trickier for someone to edit fiction, unless editing only within the genre with which one is being/has been published. Or unless doing only line edits, rather than substantive editing. ...

    Anyway--full speed ahead on YOUR plan. I have great confidence in your abilities as a memoir editor.

  5. I love You Got Mail. Its one of my favorites to watch over and over. Good luck with your business and writing. So exciting.