Sunday, July 16, 2017

Week in Review: July 16, 2017


How can it be that we are already in the middle of July?! I suppose Mom was right... the older we get, the faster time flies.

Reading:

Currently reading The Chaperone by Laura Moriarity. I decided to read this book first from the stack I showcased last week because...
1) I like the historical time period: New York City in the mid-1920s
2) I like books that fluidly flow back and forth between the story of the past and the narrative of the present
3) the author is a local Kansas girl

The story centers around two women from Wichita: fifteen-year-old Louise who wants to escape the boredom of the Midwest in order to find fame and fortune in the New York entertainment world... and Cora, the 30-something year old housewife who acts as the young lady's chaperone, but really desires to return to her roots and discover her hidden past.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week in Review: July 9, 2017


Summer has officially arrived. We are looking at temperatures in the 90s with triple-digit heat index. I can't complain though... I have a cool house and plenty of time to read and write.

Reading:

I will finish A Piece of The World by the end of today. The story is based on the Andrew Wyeth's 1948 painting, Christine's World. I've enjoyed this leisurely read after last week's high intensity read of Into the Water. I had hoped the story would focus more on the relationship between Christine and the artist rather than detailing her backstory, but I've enjoyed it nonetheless.

While I'm not sure which book I will pick up next, I'm comfortable in knowing I have plenty of choices.

June was a great book-bargain month. The local library held its annual book sale, where I scored a number of novels in my TBR pile in great condition.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Week in Review: July 2, 2017


I know it's been a while since I've participated in my favorite weekly meme... but I did not realize it had been nearly five months! How does time pass so quickly?!

My lack of participation does not mean a lack of reading or writing, which I will detail below.

Reading:

My GoodReads Challenge is well-ahead of schedule.

I set the goal to read a book-a-week, and currently, I've read 47 books. Now, many of these are Kindle Unlimited books on writing and self-publishing (more about that below...) and a few have focused on Middle-Grade historical fiction focusing on 19th immigrants (research for a new writing project). But I've also read several notable works of contemporary fiction.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Latest European Tour

2017 Group of 38 Travelers
Photo credit: D. Shiner
Last week I concluded my six-week series on how and why I lead student trips to Europe. I started the series about a month before I was to take my fourth tour: March 10-21, 2017.

Since I am (mostly) retired, this was probably the last time I will have the opportunity to introduce students to international travel. Of course, I would never refuse a request... but my contacts are dwindling, and perhaps it is time to pass the baton.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How I Nourish Myself While Traveling


Prior to the April Blogging Challenge, where I focused on Journaling A-Z, I wrote a six post series on Leading a Student Tour to Europe. This series coordinated with my fourth trip, where I took 38 students and adults on a whirlwind tour of London, Paris, Florence, Rome, and Sorrento. We traveled from March 10-21, 2017, and had a fantastic time!

This post will conclude that series and then segue into the highlights of each of the visited cities.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017: Wrap-Up

Well, that was a quick month! Anyone else feel the same?

The A-Z Blogging Challenge of 2017 has officially ended, and once again I am simultaneously relieved and disappointed.

While the pace of writing a blog post per day can be overwhelming, with a bit of forethought and pre-planning, it is doable. And crossing that finish line makes the effort all worthwhile!

In this wrap-up post, I thought I'd share what I love most about this challenge, a few tips I've learned along the way, some new friends I met this month, and my excitement to participate again in 2018.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Journaling: Z = ZZzzz

A bit of a stretch for the letter Z but hey... it's the last day of the challenge, and it works for today's topic: Dreams.

Journaling our dreams can take two distinct forms.

One way is to keep a notebook and pen by your bedside. As you transition out of REM sleep and vaguely recall a nighttime dream, jot down a few notes. Reading even unintelligible scribble the next morning may help you recall the dream in detail. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Journaling: Y = Yearly Word

For several years now I have participated in the Word of the Year movement.

The concept is fairly simple. Select one word you wish to focus on to help with personal and spiritual growth. Typically I try to choose a word that helps to combat or overcome certain deficiencies in my life.

Brainstorming which word has been the subject of many journaling sessions.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Journaling: X = eXercise

I've mentioned Julia Cameron before with regards to Morning Pages. Another routine she is adamant to maintain is the weekly walk

This is not the cardiovascular exercise walk to increase heart rate, but rather a long, slow meander to increase mental observation and emotional well-being.

When I go for these kinds of walks, I try to clear my head before heading out the door. I want the walk to inform my thoughts, not the other way around. I don’t set out with a pre-determined question I need to answer, or problem I need to resolve. Rather, I allow my mind to be free from life’s distractions so I can enjoy the peace and beauty of God’s creation.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Journaling: W = Wellness Wheel

The Wellness Wheel is not a new concept.

The idea is to review the various components of our lives - the roles we play and the work we do - and align them in perfect harmony. Everything is moderation would be the motto of the Wellness Wheel.
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