Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reading and Writing

It's still Saturday. I just got back from City Hall. I think the key to this new job is going to be not waiting until the last minute to get everything done. If I can make lists of what need to be done and then go up periodically throughout the week, I think it will be more manageable. I gave myself a time limit of an hour and half and then put down my pen and came home.

I've been doing a lot of reading this past week. For Christmas, the in-laws gave me a 2 book set I had asked for. It's the "Marta's Legacy" set by Francine Rivers. Incidentally, they are the first Francine Rivers book that I have ever owned, even though I have read everything she has written. They were not disappointing in the least! I love, love, love Francine Rivers! I have decided that once I have collected all my Erma Bombeck books, I'm going to start collecting Francine's, too. I may need some more book shelves.

Then, Wednesday, my good friend Jenny gave me this book called "K is for Keeps." It was written and self-published by a Debbie Long Spicer, who was Jenny's sister's roommate in college. I am loving it! It's actually a set of blog posts bound into a book. The author and her husband are missionaries to Botswana and while there in 2001, they adopted a brain-injured infant. Oh, it is so good. I am just so taken with the absolute joy that this mother takes in her daughter. In recent years, I have become so convicted that I need to find that kind of joy more easily in raising Ben. At times the difficulty of being his mother and the grief at his condition has caused me to overlook the joy that is Ben.

A couple of months ago Jenny gave me a magazine that she had for some reason - I don't know why she ended up with it. But it's an adoption magazine put out by Bethany services. I found so many helpful articles in it. I finally looked up the subscription price on-line the other day and found out that the magazine is free! It come out quarterly. So I subscribed and my next issue arrived this past week! I am looking forward to going through that.

I renewed my Our Iowa magazine a few weeks ago after my subscription had lapsed. I was reading the latest issue the other night and to my dismay, discovered that the Checkerboard restaurant in Pleasantville was the featured Iowa "mom and pop" restaurant of that issue. We love the Checkerboard, so it's not a big deal, right? Wrong! I wrote an article about the Checkerboard 2 years ago and Our Iowa indicated to me that they were interested in using it but were waiting for the "right" opportunity. Well, they apparently found the right opportunity, but they published a piece written by somebody else! Grrr....

I am getting my writing "bug" back, though. The only writing I did this fall was for my Jewels of Encouragement website and these blogs here. I took a complete break from FaithWriters. I just had too much going on. Plus, the topics were a bit off the wall and I didn't have time to think my way around some of them. But, the old desire is slowly coming back. Last night I wrote my latest piece for Jewels. It's due next Tuesday. I still have some fine-tuning to do on that. I then looked up the latest FW topic. It's "commitment." Wow - that's so broad that I almost don't know what to do with it! I'll see what I can do.

And then last night I was printing off all my writing from 2011. There are two non-computer-literate ladies at church that always want to read what I write. From time to time they ask for copies, so that's what I was doing. I paused to re-read some of my writing and it just made the urge stronger. I need to write! This year, my goal is to write more non-FW stories, though. The biggest nugget I walked away from the August conference was the fact that I need to be building a "platform" of periodical articles. I have my Christian Writers Market Guide and I just need to be picking magazines and writing articles for them. In many ways, writing is a numbers game. The more articles you get out there, the more you'll have published. Of course, some will be rejected. I guess, in a lot of ways, it's like being a salesman. You have to make a whole lot of contacts in order to sell a few things.

All right. Time to step away from the writing and go do some "real" work! I'll be back.

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