Sunday, August 14, 2016

Week in Review: August 14, 2016

For many here in the Midwest, the first day of school is quickly approaching. Normally I would be caught up in excited anticipation, but this year, I fully embrace retirement.

On a somewhat related note... Did I hear McDonald's will start offering Pumpkin Spice lattes at the end of the month?! As much as I long for cooler temperatures, I'm not quite ready for fall. How about you?
This was not a big reading week. I anticipate next week will be better.

I did begin a new book, however: The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. It remains on my nightstand, and I am faithful to read a couple of chapters each night. It is not a mystery, but cozy none-the-less.

This is another re-read for me. I am methodically reading the first book in each promising series so I can learn how the author develops characters in subsequent books. So far, I am enjoying this book as much as I remembered. I am a bit surprised how much backstory the author divulges in the beginning, but I don't think it hinders the flow.

I didn't actually write much this week, but I'm ready to dive in tomorrow.

As I mentioned in last week's post, I sent out the first half of my work-in-progress to seven beta readers. I have now heard from five  of them, and I think I know where to revise and how to proceed.

Interestingly... two of the seven volunteered that the story reminds them of The Magic Tree House series. This is significant. If I were to describe my vision for this novel series, it would be to offer fans  of  Mary Pope Osborne a viable alternative for the older reader.

In addition, one of the 5th grade readers shared how she would like to become the protagonist and time travel to Paris. It is thrilling to think students can actually relate to my fictional character in a positive way.

What I lacked in reading and writing consistency, I made up for in blogging.

Today is National __________ Day
This week on Stepping Stones Publications I highlighted:
  • Monday, August, 8: Frozen Custard
  • Tuesday, August 9: Book Lovers
  • Wednesday, August 10: Spoil Your Dog
  • Thursday, August 11: Play in the Sand
  • Friday, August 12: Vinyl Record Day
  • Saturday, August 13: (I missed.... but I would have showcased Left-Handers)
  • Sunday, August 14: Creamsicle

Other Activities:
So what have I been doing if not reading or writing?

After procrastinating for two years, I have finally organized my LightRoom photo catalog by adding keywords to all my pictures.

This proved to be a rather monumental task, as I had uploaded pictures from 2005 through 2016. While they were already sorted by month and year... I want to easily find photos on a particular topic.

For example, I take a lot of nature photos and someday hope to compile my favorites into a book that also includes scripture and personal essays. I want to type in the appropriate keyword, let's say "daisy" and with the click of a button, only pictures that match that description pop up.

I am SO relieved to have the project done - and I now hope to make this step a part of my regular workflow routine.

I may not participate in the back-to-school hoopla this week, but I do plan to participate in academic activities - a bit of reading, writing, but probably not arithmetic. How about you?


  1. I'm trying to summon up some back to school energy so that I make good progress on my writing, organizing, and health projects.

    1. I'm struggling with the energy as well. I love that you are also including a focus on health projects. I need to do the same!

  2. I am so glad I am out of the school loop these days. It starts on Tuesday here.

    1. I think most students go back on Wednesday here. But I will continue with everyday routine :D

  3. I love the Magic Tree House series. What a compliment! Osborne does lots of things I like: boy and girl protagonists; action; humor. Good luck to you with your book.

    Here's my Sunday Salon!

    1. Well... I do have boy/girl protagonist and hopefully there is enough action for this age group. As for the humor... not sure that is one of my strengths :)

  4. Your exercise of re-reading to analyze character and plot development in a series is brilliant! Such dissecting projects are exacty what I've been doing for 2 classes now! It will help you immensely!

    Love that you have a group of Beta readers too. Do you also have a writers f2f group?

    1. Wish you lived closer, Laura - I would love to pick your brain about dissecting novels to learn how craft story :)

      I continue to experiment with face-to-face groups. I have one that I like, but they most focus on edits and I am still at the revision phase.

      Are you a part of a group?

  5. Hi Molly!
    I have to say what an accomplishment on your photo organization! I am so terrible with labeling my photos. I just don't have the patience. But when I need to find something, being organized would make it so much easier.

    Congratulations on the great and positive feedback on your writing! It must really be satisfying and uplifting!

    Have a great week!

    1. Well... I put off the photo organization for about 2+ years, so I really don't have the patience either :) But it got to the point that I wasting too much time trying to find a single photo.

  6. Enjoy retirement with books and lots of other fun things!

  7. Wow. Back to school already? So soon. We start on September 1st. But do I read here that you are retired? Is this your first year off?

    1. Actually, I officially retired in 2014 but... I led a group of students on an overseas trip the following year and then last year I taught a writing course. It's taken me a while to actually claim this stage of life, but I LOVE it now :)

  8. Arghhhhh. Once my books are organized, I'm going to tackle my photos -- 2008 up to now. If nothing else, I should delete the blurry ones!

    1. I understand the pain! I have a pretty decent workflow for uploading photos that includes deleting the blurry ones but unfortunately did not include adding keywords :)


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