Friday, May 25, 2012

7 Quick Takes: crazy life rants! my catapult* magazine article! Bestseller Society!

--- 1 ---
This is the big weekend.  We're moving from a suburban neighborhood southwest Austin to a neighborhood just north of downtown Austin.  We're packing and --  my least favorite of all tasks -- cleaning the house behind us.  I always feel so disappointed to clean a house that I'm not going to live in anymore!  Of course, it's a kind gesture to the people moving into this place after us so I guess it's some form of hospitality or something, but still....

--- 2 ---
We're in a funny stage of life all the way around.  I feel like I've said that about 9,052 times in the past ten months.  It's just true -- what else can I say?  I'm living in a house full of people turning into adults like over night and it's weird to know how to parent them.  For example, our oldest son (age 20) is headed out for a week of training at the camp he'll be working at this summer.  He's got his own car, his own money.  He just took care of every detail to leave and so I wasn't sure what my role was to help him get ready.  I decided we could at least pray with him and wave good-bye.  Also, I did double-check his directions with him since he's driving deep into the hill country of Texas and his route takes him through small towns, major highways, canyons and straight into  the infamous Frio River/Road. 

It might be my imagination but I'm pretty sure I heard the tires squeal when he backed out of the driveway.  

--- 3 ---
Have I mentioned that we're also planning a graduation party for next weekend, a missions trip to a summer camp for at-risk kids for our 14-year-old daughter beginning next weekend, a missions trip to Guatemala for our 16-year-old daughter two weeks after that.  Also, that this week we're trying to complete work for Natalie's 8th grade year and Kendra's 10th grade year. My teaching skills look something like this right now:

Natalie yelling from the loft:  "I just finished all my 8th grade history!!"

Me yelling from my bedroom, empty packing boxes in hand "Woo Hoo!" and then hollering through the house "TELL ME 3 THINGS YOU LEARNED ABOUT MODERN CHINA, THE VIET NAM WAR AND THE WAR ON TERROR!!"  

And I mentioned that we're moving, right?

Now it's your turn to ask me what the &**# I'm doing typing on my blog.

--- 4 ---
Actually, I have an answer for that.  (other than plain old procrastination) I've begun the very early steps to move from hobby-writer to writer-writer.  This blog has been my writing incubator for six years and I'm hoping it will serve well as a launch pad for the other sorts of work I need to do to hone my authorly as well as published-authorly skills.  

I must admit I'm quite a bit skeptical about this whole business of platform-building that I'm told is required for today's author.  Every time I read an article or watch a training video about marketing my writing I feel like I can actually see Flannery O'Connor looked up at me from her writing desk long enough to roll her eyes in disgust.  And Wendell Berry is stabbing hay with his pitchfork in punctuated sighs of disappointment.  I'm told times have changed and this is how all this writing and publication stuff works now so I tell Flannery and Wendell to back off a minute so I can hear the other voices teaching me.  

For starters, I've signed up for the trial month for this new online writer's training forum/workshop:  Bestseller Society.  I began reading Mary DeMuth's non-fiction a couple of months ago so that when she advertised the debut of the website as a "writer's conference in a box" (and the free trial month) I figured this was the open door in front of me to take my first wobbly steps into critique and accountability.  

So far I'd recommend this site to any of you considering non-fiction or fiction writing for publication.  After you check out the site, let me know what you think!

--- 5 ---
I also started writing articles for the bi-weekly online catapult* magazine.  The newest issue, "Theme Song", released today.  You can find the issue here and my article "Lucky Song" here.  

You probably know how I feel about mixtapes so you can imagine how eager I am to read the issue!  

--- 6 ---
One of the homeschooling accomplishments I'm most happy about this year is the girls memorizing Matthew 5 (the Sermon on the Mount).  I thought it'd be fun to repost the audio stream of my favorite song written from that passage here for you today:

--- 7 ---
I'll leave you with my favorite photo from this week.  I know I already used it in yesterday's post but it makes me happy to look at it so I'm posting it again.

Did I mention that the most expensive item in this photo was the grocery-store geraniums?  I found the yellow planter at Good Will for about $3.  The apple-green rocking chair was sitting on the curb a few streets away back in February.  My parents were here at the time and I sort of batted my eyelashes at my dad (and Brian) and they drove down and plucked it right off the curb for me.  I don't think it's probably safe to sit in, but it's a happy-looking chair, don't you think?

Enjoy a fun and beauty-filled weekend!


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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