Slice of Life Tuesday


Every Tuesday, “Two Writing Teachers” hosts their weekly writing challenge. It is a chance to share a slice of your life with a very supportive community.

Tomorrow is the first of October. Where has this month gone? I have accomplished a few things (submitted a first chapter for the SYTYCW challenge and  the “Easter Lilies” competition) but there is still so much to do.

Yesterday, i visited “Lost Coast Post“, the blog of Michelle Remy and was struck by her honest, powerful post. She has made a commitment to set a weekly schedule so that she could accomplish more. She found she was “splintering my time in the study too much, wandering from project to project or allowing other distractions to creep in.”

I definitely relate to that. I know I want to write and to write daily is the best advice. Yet, I am not consistent with that. I write as the mood hits – often at night.

Then I came across this quote on another blog:

The way we spend our time DEFINES who we are. by Jonathan Estrin (Are you Doing what you love? was the tagline!)

It really hit home – I spend too much time on the computer – on facebook, visiting blogs, on twitter. Yes, I am writing and even creating art but not regularly or consistently.

So – for October I want to commit to a regular routine of “butt in chair” – to write daily as well as create art.

There are a number of challenges in both writing and art this month that I will be taking part in:

*Chapter book writing course with Kami Kinard

*Round 4 of ROW80 begins Oct. 6

*a study of “Bird by Bird” by Ann Lamott is taking place on FB

*daily doodle at Art Therapist

*7 days of “PaperLove” from Oct 7-13

What are your plans for October??

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Jen at “Teach Mentor Texts” hosts a wonderful meme for sharing books read. Most days this past week I have read a book and have enjoyed them all.

My favourite was:

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff


What an incredible read. I absolutely loved this book and Albie. A good companion to “Wonder”

My Travelin’ Eye by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw


So enjoyed the story of Jenny Sue, who sees the world in such a delightful, unique way. A great book to share with children with eye problems or anyone who is considered “different” Artwork throughout the book is extraordinary.

Coyote’s New Suit by Thomas King and illustrated by Johnny Wales


Such a delightful tale told by Thomas King about Coyote and his new clothes. Quite funny as well.Really enjoyed this story.

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer


This was a Newbery Honor book in 1987 and it still resonates today. I was not prepared for the ending but did enjoy this book about Joel and Tommy and they decisions they must live with.

My Fall Reading List

    read down the house 001

I have seen this post on “My Fall Reading List” on a number of blogs (here and here for example.

At “Broke and Bookish”, there has been a huge response to their “Top Ten Books on Your Fall List” post.

On my Fall Intentions Vision board (check here), one goal I stated was to read more. But actually listing the books I want to commit to read is a good one.

For the next three months I need to clear more of my TBR pile. I had posted about the TBR challenge here and so far I have only read 4 of this list of 26! Yikes!

For fiction I plan to read:

The Hobbit by Tolkien (after all these years and even with the movies out, I still haven’t finished this book!)

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton (I have enjoyed her series – just fallen behind)

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (so enjoyed  the Kite Runner)

From the NF list:

On Writing by Stephen King

Life is a Verb by Patti Digh

Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss

There are so many other books that I want to read so here are an additional four to round out my list of 10 must reads for fall:

Take Joy by Jane Yolen

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (this is my newest buy – loved “The Rosie Project”)

Gabby by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

I hope to read many more fiction and non-fiction picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA novels as well.

What are you planning to read this fall?

Final check-in for Round 3 of ROW80


This is the final check-in for round 3. As I went through the goals I set way back in July, I realized that I had achieved a good number of goals, surpassed some and didn’t meet a few. But I am pleased overall with what I accomplished.I know I have more I want to accomplish but I see myself moving forward.

Here are the goals with my assessment of each following.

  1. Write daily, for at least I hour a day. I am less worried about the word count, as I am of actually writing.

I wrote more consistently this round, although my writing might have only been a blog post or doing revisions on a current project.

  1. Revise/edit/ 4 of my picture books. Submit one to an editor/agent.

I revised one story, although I made some changes to a couple more. I submitted my non-fiction story to three agents.

  1. Use the advice from editor Avril to revise/Finish  “Jacob’s Journey” (historical MG)

Avril suggested that I make this story a contemporary one and I am stuck on the direction to take. My heart says the time travel is the way I want to go, but my head says she is probably right. I am taking a chapter/MG book writing course in October so I will work on that then.

  1. Read 3 books on writing

I have read one

  1. Take one writing course 

I took pacing to Wow in August and Non-Fiction Archaeology this month.

I also took part in the “Teachers Write” that Kate Messner ran and the Kidlit “Summer School”. Both were free and had lots of great posts on writing and many prompts as well.

  1. Read at least 4 articles on writing a week

I read many more than 4 a week – so many great blogs and websites that share knowledge and ideas on writing.

  1. Complete first draft of current romance novel “Fired”

I have worked on this novel but not finished it.

 I took up a novella I had already startedand have almost finished it for a contest due the end of September (“Easter Lilies”). I am really excited about this one and have really enjoyed working on it. It will be done and submitted by Sept. 30th!

  1. Take part in at least  two weekly writing/reading challenges:  “It’s Monday. What Are You reading.”, “Slice of Life Tuesday” or “30 Words Thursday”

I was pretty consistent with writing at least 2 posts a week, sometimes three.

  1. Continue to read MG, YA and picture books.

I have been reading a variety of these throughout this round and enjoying the reading.

10.Post Sunday and Wednesday at ROW80

I ended up just posting most Sundays and this worked for me.


I am looking forward to the next round starting October 6. I have challenged myself to be a sponsor next round.

Slice of Life Tuesday


Slice of Life Tuesday is a weekly writing challenge posted at “Two Writing Teachers”. There is a very supportive community there as well – join in the fun.

I am entering new territory. Last week my daughter got engaged, wo I will soon be the mother of the bride.

I have been a bride twice, twenty years apart. Both times I paid for and planned the weddings.

Now, my daughter begins to plan for her wedding next June.

They are planning in earnest already. They quickly found out though that there were no venues available on a Saturday from March through September. It means they will probably get married on a  Friday and possibly at a Niagara winery.

She has already asked me to go with her to look for her wedding dress next week. I am honoured. She wants me to walk her down the aisle – another honour. For my first wedding, my mother walked me down the aisle as my father had died ten years before. For my second wedding, my daughter was my maid of honour and my 2 sons walked me down the aisle. My husband’s  three children and grandchildren were involved as well.

So now I have some planning to do myself and look at my obligations and what I’d like to do for my daughter and her fiancé.

ROW 80 Sunday Check-In


It is time for the weekly check-in at ROW80. This past week I was able to achieve a number of goals, although would have preferred to have achieved more.

I did some work on my writing courses but am still behind.

I wrote one more chapter but still have one to go on my novella. I have been editing as well, and have had a retired teacher friend critique it. That has been quite helpful.

I have decided not to enter the SYTYCW contest with harlequin. I have too much to finish with that novel and the focus has been on the novella. I have been enjoying that whole process..

I  am writing in some way every day, whether it is a blog post or a journal entry or on the novella..

I have been reading a number pf picture books as well as MG novels.

This week I plan to:

-stick to a regular writing routine – I find this has been the hardest to achieve!

-finish my novella and continue revisions on it. I also have to complete the synopsis as well for the contest.

-work on revisions to my picture book scripts

-work to catch up on my writing courses

-continue reading picture books, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as more MG novels

30 Words Thursday


Scotland’s decision today to separate or not has been weighing on my mind.It reminds me of the separatist movement in Quebec that sought to have Quebec it’s own country, separate from Canada.

My father was born in Scotland and I have been there once, the year after he died. I loved the country. But to me, it is part of Great Britain.

They will make their own decision, just as Quebec did. I wish them well, whatever their decision.

These thoughts inspired my poem today:


Yes – No

Stay or go

A  referendum

To decide the future

Of this proud country.

Glasgow, Edinburgh

Isle of Sky

Bagpipes, kilts

What sights I’ve seen

Home of my ancestors.

Slice of Life Tuesday


“Two Writing Teachers” hosts a wonderful weekly writing challenge – Slice of Life Tuesday. It offers a chance to focus on a small slice of your life, and share it in a supportive writing community.

I was cleaning out the top shelf of my bedroom closet yesterday and I ended up covering the bed with bags and bags of stuff. I found many things that I had either forgotten I had or was looking for and couldn’t find.

I found:

-a bag of small notebooks that I had planned to give to one of my classes -now I am retired!

-a bag of Valentine heart candies to use for a math unit at school – from 2012 – now in composting

-old purses – several now to go to Goodwill

-stuffies – more for Goodwill

-a bag of Valentine gifts for my hubby – will have to wait til next Feb. 14th

Yes, it was good to reorganize the shelf, but it made me sad (and mad!) to think so many things got lost and were never used when they should have been.

I resolve to:

-keep that shelf tidy

-update my gift notebook and keep track of all the gifts I have, for all holidays, not just Christmas

-keep on with more decluttering! I have joined a 52 week reorganizing your house cahllenge (CHaOS) and am actually thinking it may work! (a right brain woman is running it!)

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday so join in the fun and share what you are reading with the community at “Teach Mentor Texts“.

Here’s a few of the picture books I’ve read over the last week.

Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess.


A special book, one that I really enjoyed. It is written as a prayer, originally for his goddaughter.

Tessa’s Tip-Tapping Toes by Carolyn Crimi  and illustrated by Marsha Gray Carrington


Tessa can’t help but tap dance. Love the language throughout the book. A charming book.

Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by K. G. Campbell


What will happen when a real bear crashes a tea party? A charming book.

Waynetta and the Cornstalk by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by  Diane Greenseid


This is a Texas fairy tale, based on “Jack and the Beanstalk”. The language was definitely western and even the giant’s “fie-fi-fo-fum’s speech was altered. Children will enjoy it; I found it just okay.