Friday Five: The Five Books I am Currently Reading

How many of you are avid readers?

If so, do you read only one book at a time? Or, are you like me and have a stack of books with dog-eared pages somewhere in the middle.2015-07-30 22.41.05

My nightstand is a constant reminder to read. I am often too tired, still, each night I go to bed and this is the last thing that I see.

Today’s Friday Five is my list of the books I am currently reading, in no particular order:

1. Maya Angelou: Poems

2. the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo

3. The Frequency of Souls by Mary Kay Zuravleff

4. Narrative Design by Madison Smartt Bell

5. People over Profit by Dale Partridge

As I look over my list, I am struck by the realization that only one of these books is fiction. My how things have changed. In the past, the majority of my reading was fiction. I miss the stories and may have to remedy this.

I am slowly making my way through this list and learning what I can. This may not even be my entire list but the five I am most likely to pick up when I have some time.

Reading is still one of my favorite pastimes.

Challenge: Comment with what you are currently reading, whether it is a single book or, perhaps, a top five.

Is The Writer Ready?

writer-605764_1280I’ve been writing for a while now. Outside of this blog, little of the writing I have done has reached any audience. I’ve just been putting words on the page. This writing practice has been good for me.

The only publishing I have done is through this blog, which means I have complete control over the content of each page. This control can be good and bad.

Writing and publishing blog posts is a good way to gain experience in putting my work “out there” for the world to see. Well, at least my little corner of it anyway. My anxiety about having others read my work is much lower than it has been.

Or, at least I thought it was.

I have a bunch of stories that I’ve written in the past several months, some are good and some not so much. I have thought a few of the stories could be publishable with a bit of work. However, I seldom go back and do that work. I have a pile of unfinished work which for the most part I am content to let be.

The issue is that I want to be a writer who is published. I do mean published in an actual place, not just my blog. In order to be published, I truly must send out my work and therein lies the problem.

I have little experience sending out work. I’ve sent some things out and have gotten rejections on all of it, deservedly so. Writing is one of those things that seems to need to “percolate” in order to reach that required level of doneness for the world to see. While some were good, I haven’t felt the stories were ready to be sent out.

Perhaps the writing isn’t the only issue. Perhaps the other question we need to ask is: Is the writer ready?

Recently I’ve been working with Katey Schultz, of Writer@Large on my flash fiction stories. Katey writes flash fiction among other things. Her book Flashes of War, a Military Writers Society of America 2013 Book of the Year, is a fantastic read.

For the month of July, each week has brought a new prompt with some fabulous feedback. I’ve enjoyed the experience of going outside my comfort zone with my writing.

This week, when I received my feedback from Katey I read what every writer wants to hear: “with a few changes this is ready to be sent out.” Thank you, Katey.

I appreciated these words because every writer needs the affirmations. However, these words have had unintended consequences; my anxiety has risen nearly to the point of paralysis.

I seem to have a block when it comes to the idea of sending my work out. I have gone so far as to begin looking for a market, but I haven’t completed the edits. The edits must be completed before I can do anything.

There is so much information out there about sending work in one hardly knows where to begin.

I don’t just send my work out. I like to take my time and do research. It doesn’t matter what topic I am discussing, my first step is to learn what I can about something. This is also my downfall. I can spend so much time reading that I never stop and do whatever it is I am learning about.

It’s time.

My goal is to send this piece out within a month. Please feel free to drop me a line to check up on this goal. Without accountability, I may never reach this one.

I am ready.

We Went to the Zoo

Our daughter and grandchildren live about three hours away and getting to see them very often can be difficult. We have long visits when we can, but it isn’t always feasible. We decided on a meeting in the middle to have a fun day trip.

About halfway between is the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square in Saginaw, Michigan. It’s not a large zoo and can be seen in just a couple of hours. They are a combination zoo of hands on and exhibits with a focus on preservation. It’s a good time for little ones with very short attention spans.

The zoo has a train and a carousel with a variety of animals, everything from local wildlife and farm animals to more exotic creatures like emu’s and kangaroos. Don’t forget the butterfly exhibit.

Feeding the Penguins

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African Tortoise

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“I’m just chillin, Memaw!”

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The goats like to be scratched behind their ears.

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“I like my new ride.”

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Love the eagle!

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My first Carousel ride!

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Pure joy!

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I would highly recommend a trip to the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square if you are in the middle of Michigan and need something to do for the day.  It’s inexpensive, close to home and can be done in a few hours. We finished up with lunch before heading back home.

Fabulous Day!!!!