Archive for the ‘#openbook’ Tag

Advice Well Received   2 comments

What Advice Has Stuck With You For A Long Time? And Who Gave You That Advice?
Did someone give you some great advice at a certain time in your life? Think back to that time and write down the advice as you remember it.

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So last week, I alluded to a period in my marriage that was not easy. I didn’t go into detail because I wanted to use it for this week’s blog hop article.

Image result for image of christian adviceBrad doesn’t make a secret that he’s a recovering alcoholic. We have a rule where we try not to bring up things from decades ago to shove in each other’s faces today, but I have to sort of do that to make this blog post make sense. I’m doing this with his permission.

Relapse happens with alcoholics, but recovery is not guaranteed. About 22 years ago, Brad went off the rails and I decided that for the sake of our daughter and myself, but also for Brad’s sake, he couldn’t be with us for a while. This coincided with the younger adults of our church choosing to dis-fellowship Brad until he straightened up. As a friend of ours put it, “If you show up at our door asking me to drive you to an AA meeting, I’m all in, but if it’s for anything else … don’t bother.” That might sound cruel, but Brad now credits those people as some of his best friends.

My choice to make an ultimatum (get help or lose us) came from advice I received at Alanon, but how I did it was entirely based on advice from my friend Theresa.

Theresa had been a missionary’s wife who discovered that her husband was sexually abusing their sons. By the time of my crisis, she’d been divorced from her husband for 25 years. She’d never remarried, which I had always assumed was because she had so many kids, but when my decision became public knowledge in the church, she came to me to give me some time-honored advice from a modern perspective.

I HATED that we were moving toward divorce (and at that time, it didn’t look like there would be another outcome). I knew that divorce outside of the exemption for desertion of a Christian spouse by a non-Christian spouse or adultery was not Biblically allowed. It bothered me that I was deliberately sinning. But Theresa explained things to me in a different way.

 7:10 To the married I give this command – not Ibut the Lord 8  – a wife should not divorce a husband 7:11 (but if she does, let her remain unmarriedor be reconciled to her husband), and a husband should not divorce his wife.  1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Take a really good look at that clause in verse 11. Theresa chose to remove herself and her children from a damaging situation. She divorced her creeper husband. More power to her. We should never seek divorce lightly. “Irreconcilable differences” is a trivial excuse to end a covenant relationship sealed before God, but some marriages are not salvageable for deeper reasons than he leaves the toilet seat up or he watches football all weekend. There are husbands who beat their wives (and women who abuse their husbands). There are spouses who gamble away every dime and others who drink it away. Alcohol shuts down important centers of the brain having to do with reliability, self-control and judgment. Brad was doing things that needed to stop and he just couldn’t see that through the amber haze he was shrouding his mind in. I needed to keep a roof over our daughter’s head and I couldn’t afford his habits any longer. I provided him with a way back to us before I closed the door on him. But it looked like he wasn’t going to take that lifeline and I felt guilty that I was disobeying God by divorcing my husband.

Image result for image of christian adviceAnd then Theresa showed me this one little clause and my perspective changed.

“If you leave (for a good reason), remain unmarried or be reconciled.”

When Theresa left her husband, she did so to protect her children. He remarried (and there’s tales to tell about that one), but Theresa never did. She understood that she was still bound by the covenant they had both made before God. She was certain that (we’ll call him) John was a Christian, so his remarriage didn’t absolve her of her covenantal responsibility. She remained unmarried as an act of honoring God’s standards.

God blessed her by the way. Jobs fell out of the sky for this woman and her younger children, who had escaped their father’s predations by her choices, turned out to be wonderfully committed Christians who married wonderfully committed Christians. Some of her older children worked through their issues and are adults to be proud of. She was a respected elder in our church and among Christians throughout the state. And, she was happy, surrounded by grandchildren, financially secure, knowing she had obeyed her God to the very best of her ability.

Of course, I was at the other end of that decision. Divorcing without committing a sin wasn’t my only object in view. I had made that choice in hopes of driving Brad to a healthy choice. Would I still be there if he made it? How long was I willing to wait?

If I was going to remain “unmarried”, I could wait until God gave me other instructions. I could still have friends and a life. I didn’t have to grieve or fret about being alone because my relationship with Jesus would fill the voids. I could accept God’s will for my life and live that life.

I didn’t have to adjust to long-term singleness. Brad entered sobriety several months later, although he chose for us to remain physically separated for several more months because he didn’t want to put our daughter through a roller coaster ride while he got his head screwed on straight again. It also gave us time to enact the other part of Theresa’s advice.

Forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation. It sucks when someone hurts you. It sucks more when you hold a grudge. It sucks for you more than it sucks for the person you’re angry at. Theresa never reconciled with John … more power to her … but she forgave him. She prayed for him. She wished him well. In the 1970s, there were no laws against what he’d done to their sons, but she did what she could to protect people from him. She managed to prevent at least one woman from marrying him by telling her about his past. Then he moved out of state and back in those days, it was impossible to intervene long distance. When she heard he remarried, she prayed for that woman and the children she was bringing into that marriage. She prayed every day for them, I suspect until her death just a few years ago. She never forgot, but she did forgive. She wasn’t bitter. Her daughters are friends of mine and they say that she taught them a great deal about what it takes to sustain a marriage that doesn’t have a sexual predator as a partner.

When Brad and I were working out how to reconcile, we discussed that forgiveness thing a lot. It’s not something either one of us grew up seeing modeled. His parents have been married five times between them. My mother would bring up decades-old hurts whenever she was mad. When two people get married, they have to deal with each other’s baggage. We rely on an old Amish tradition. When a person repents of sin in the Amish community, they have to do it in front of the whole community, but once they do it, there is a prohibition from ever bringing it up again. The Amish will actually discipline the person who breaks that rule. Brad and I try to practice that at all times … which still means occasionally having to bite our tongues. Every now and then one of us will say “You’re not being very Amish”, which serves to remind us that the past is dead and we need to leave it buried. That’s usually enough to make us laugh and knock it off.

Not only do we do this for those unfortunate months way back when, but we try to practice it as an ongoing discipline.

To boil Theresa’s advice down:

  • Remember, you two Christians made an unbreakable contract with God for your marriage. You can walk away legally, but God won’t. (This applies only to Christians married to Christians, btw.)
  • You can divorce, if you have a good reason, and provided you’re prepared to reconcile or remain single.
  • Regardless of the outcome, forgive. Don’t leave that anger hanging in your past so that it ruins your future. Forgiveness is not necessarily for the person who did wrong. It’s for you, so you don’t have to live with all that pain.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation. Because God created us to have free will, there are times when He can’t fix something that really needs fixing. Trust that He’ll be with you even when things don’t turn out the way that you want, and … because He’s there with you … you can be happy even when other people think you shouldn’t be.

Vagabond Writing   5 comments

How Do You Work While Traveling?
Many people work remote and travel with their work now. It really helps to see how others work and reach their goals while they’re traveling. Share your tips.

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Okay, I live in Alaska, where we are still in 3rd world status when it comes to connectivity, so working remote is different depending on where I am traveling.

Image result for image of a stenographer's notebookIf I’m traveling to Anchorage or the Lower 48, I bring my laptop and continue working like I always work … although I did stay at a friend’s house a while back who would not allow me to use his wi-fi. I still worked off-line and we went to Starbucks often enough that I could continue to do things on the Internet, just not on my own schedule. The cloud is very accessible these days and I also carry a thumb drive because it’s a lot harder to steal a thumb drive in my pocket than my laptop.

In reality, though, there are a lot of places I go where my laptop shouldn’t. It would just be a really stupid idea to take it camping, hiking, hunting, fishing or white-water rafting. The Alaska Marine Highway doesn’t have connectivity, but it also doesn’t have places to plug in. There are just a lot of places where I go that I can’t take my trusty writing tool.

But that doesn’t stop me. All I need to write is a spiral-bound stenographer’s pad and a pen. Those are almost always in my backpack as I hike into the woods. I take it with me when I’m going somewhere without connectivity. I usually carry one with me even when I travel in the Lower 48 because sometimes we have odd friends with issues about wi-fi. I can write anywhere with my steno notebook and pen. What I lose in efficiency by having to transcribe into the computer later I sometimes offset by the burst of creativity that writing long-hand affords me.

Sometimes the simplest approach is the best.

Weekly Treadmill   5 comments

June 5, 2017 – How Do You Schedule Your Work Week?

Walk your audience through how to schedule their work week productively. As humans, we always want to know how to get more done in a week. If you have anything that has helped you schedule your time throughout the week, put that into the post.

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Walk your audience through how to schedule their work week productively. As humans, we always want to know how to get more done in a week. If you have anything that has helped you schedule your time throughout the week, put that into the post.

Image result for image of disorganized organizer bookI have lots of moving pieces to my life. How to keep it all scheduled is a challenge. I used to work in the social work field where everybody carries around a Dayminder that could be used to bludgeon a mugger to death in an emergency. If they lost their Dayminder, my coworkers would lose their minds, which is really not attractive in mental health professionals.

Rather than be obsessive, I have different methods for keeping myself organized depending on what part of my life I am dealing with at the moment. That way, I don’t feel like I’m working when I’m writing (which is supposed to be fun, right?).

My money job takes up the largest portion of my waking life … like it does for most of us. Gotta eat to live, gotta work to eat. It pays for everything else.

I have very few hard and fast rules about writing. The big one is – I write something every day. It might just be a sentence, but I strive for 1000 words. That doesn’t always happen on paper because it’s hard to write a 1000 words while hiking a mountain and avoiding grizzly bears. But if my hands are otherwise occupied in other activities, my mind still writes.

Of course, at some point, I have to sit my butt in the chair, put my hands on the keyboard and write. Sometimes I crank out way more than 1,000 words to make up for my extra-extra-curricular activities.

When I get home from work, it is family time. I’ve usually stopped at the gym (at least three times a week) and I start making dinner as soon as I get there. Mondays are almost always a “down” night. I watch television with my husband (the 18-year-old finds our taste in entertainment … perplexing). I will still try to get a little bit of writing done after the movie is over and before I go to bed, but I accept this as a concession to a contented marriage.

Tuesdays are a workout night and so I get home a little later. I am really into simple real-food meals and my parents were restaurant people, so I have all sorts of tricks for getting dinner on the table quickly or easily. Tuesdays are often one of my easy nights where I slid a casserole into the oven and manage 45 minutes to an hour. After dinner, I usually spend an hour with my husband … and sometimes the teenager. And then I try to put in another hour writing. With the longer days of summer here in Alaska, I’m putting in two or more now.

Wednesday is workout night because its also my son’s night to rock-climb. I pick him up after my workout and we’re doing driving lessons right now, so Brad slides something I’ve preassembled into the oven. The extent of his non-breakfast cooking skills is setting time and temperature. I can maybe get an hour of writing in on Wednesdays.

I also work out on Thursdays, get home, make dinner, get in two or three hours of writing. Thursday is the one evening Brad leaves me alone because he is doing his own thing.

Friday nights we mock PBS and BBC, which can also be considered research, so I don’t usually write on Friday nights.

I make up for that Saturday morning and then in the evening, unless we’re doing something fun.

Sunday afternoon is often spent writing.

I also use lunch hours and long car drives to write in my head. And all that time on the rotary machine … yeah, you guessed it.

Maybe you see a pattern. I don’t deny myself fun activities, but any time I’m not talking with another human being or doing math, I can and will write … in my head or on the computer. I treat writing like I would a second job. I strive for 15-20 hours a week and about 8000 words a week. Some weeks I do more, some weeks I do less, and I refuse to freak myself out over that. If I publish at least one book a year, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal, but I’d rather write a good book than a rushed book, so ….

In terms of how I keep my writing organized … I keep my research on the same drive I keep my writing. I want to be able to refer to it without a lot of effort. Sometimes, I will append it to the end of the draft novel, so I can easily go there and grab phrases or refresh my mother. I love Microsoft’s Sticky Notes program because I can leave layers of notes and deadlines on the desktop. As I accomplish items, I delete the sticky note until slowly, I begin to reveal the photo undernearth. That way I reward myself for milestones. I am experimenting with One Note, so I may have a new method for organization soon.

These days, when I start a book, I set a date for having the draft done and for potential publication. These are not set in stone, but by giving myself a deadline, I find I am better able to keep moving along rather than just dawdling as I write.

The biggest productivity booster I can recommend, though, is to set “office hours” when you don’t play on the Internet or with video games. Schedule it as writing time. Don’t scream at your kids when they interrupt you, but let the family know that these are designated hours, during which time your writing is the priority. My husband and son know that if they walk into the bedroom and I have earphones on, it’s probably best to exit the way they came without talking.

I’m sure people who write full-time have better methods than I do. I have to fit my writing in around my other life and that means I need to be flexible and not too obsessive about schedules.

 

 

Posted June 5, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Worldview in a Nutshell   7 comments

This week’s Open Book Blog Hop topic is “What’s Your Motto For Life?”

What words of wisdom do you live by? Use those as inspiration for sections and flesh out a post that shares your philosophy.

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I don’t have just one motto for life. Like most intelligent people, I’m way more complex than a single motto. I think everybody is, actually. So I have seven mottoes I subscribe to … today. Not that my philosophy changes a lot or anything, but God could teach me something new next week and these mottoes would just become interesting historical artifacts.

What If … Wasn’t. That leaves me with what-is.

“What If … Wasn’t” is actually the title of a novel I’m working on, but in examining it, I realize it is part of a life philosophy I’ve had for a long time. It may possibly be attached to an AA slogan – no regrets, no apologies – and it definitely comes from the 2 Corinthian passage about the church forgiving the sinner and never bringing the sin up again. The thought shows up in several of my writings.

So what does it mean? We can’t fix the past, so why do we cry over it? It’s okay the mourn, but not for too long. At some point you have to deal with what is happening right now. Don’t get so focused on “what if” that you aren’t dealing with “what is.”

Image result for image of not regretting the past

Winter is Coming

Yeah, that’s the Stark family motto, but it’s also an Alaska mantra. Winter is always coming. Summer is just starting. Can winter be far away? I have lived through years where summer and winter were less than three months apart. You have to be prepared for it here or you won’t survive. But it’s also a great motto for life because there are so many things that go wrong that would be completely avoidable if we just prepared for them. The financial crisis of 2008 was horrible for a lot of people. Brad and I almost didn’t notice because we were … gasp … debt free. We didn’t have a lot of money in the bank, but we had food in the freezer and on the shelves. Preparation is a good thing.

Related imageI am able to do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Life’s hard and we struggle because the world is bent, but if God’s given me a task to do, I can do it because He will walk with me. It’s important to realize the role of God in all of this. There are many tasks and quite a lot of them are worthy, but God doesn’t give us every task in the world. He gives us each what He believes we can handle. So, sometimes, if I seem to stumble and fall, it may be that I have undertaken a task that God has not given me to do … or that I am trying to do it on my own, without His guidance.

It’s important for me to consult God before I do things and recognize that there’s a lot I have done that I would not have been able to do without God’s strength. No person is an island and we shouldn’t pretend that we are.

I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

Robert Heinlein said it, but I agree with it. We live in a time when it is fashionable to “blame the other guy” for just about everything we do.  If I have a moral failing, well, it’s my parents’ fault. My neighbor “made me angry”, therefore I’m “not guilty” of whatever I did in response. I’ve been “abused.” I’m “misunderstood.” It’s “not fair.”

I don’t buy into that cultural milieu. I am the one responsible for my own actions. Conversely, you’re the one responsible for your own actions.

You don’t get what you wish for; you get what you work for.

Image result for image of hardworking ballerinaThis meme was posted on the wall of my daughter’s dance studio and it showed a ballerina on point, sweat running down her neck. I couldn’t find that picture, but you get the point.

It doesn’t matter what our goals are in life … wishing doesn’t make them happen. You have to put in the hard work.  Ray Bradbury suggested would-be writers to write a short story every week for a year because it’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row. You also learn a lot from doing it over and over again, even if you fail to make the goal. Every time you fail, you learn what not to do and that puts you that much closer to learning what to do.

Today, perfection is not an option. What a relief!

There’s only been one perfect person in history and I’m not Him. Thank God … literally! I’m serious about this. Life would be so much easier for … well, everybody … if we’d give up this notion that perfection is achievable. We can be the very best person we can be, but we’ll never be perfect and we  ought to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to try and accomplish the unachievable.

Society without opt-outs is servitude.

Image result for image of voluntaryismYes, I’m a libertarian and I believe in voluntaryism. That’s where I am not forced to go along with the agendas of others just because there are more of them than there are me. We are extremely pleased with ourselves as a country that we have abolished slavery, but the truth is, we haven’t. We’ve just transformed it. Many people in this culture would rather be doing other things than paying taxes and getting prepared to die, but our belief that it’s okay to force others to join in our causes prevents them from being free to pursue their own interests. Who am I to decide that my societal causes are more important than theirs? And, the same goes the other way.

So, there you have it … my mottos for life … and I suspect long-time readers of this blog are not surprised by this.

Posted May 29, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Road Trippin’ the Blue Highways   10 comments

This week’s blog hop topic is – “What Is Your Bucket List?”  What kinds of things do you want to do before you kick the bucket? Dream big. Life is full of exciting things to do.

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So the last time the blog hop visited this topic, this is what I had to say about it. https://aurorawatcherak.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/theres-a-hole-in-my-bucket/

I haven’t really changed my mind about living my ordinary life rather than trying to fill a bucket list. We’re still debt-adverse, so we have to save for trips. I still have a job and Brad still has his business and  we still live in a state most people come to to scratch it off their bucket list.

We weren’t able to drive the Tanana Road last year because a forest fire delayed construction the year before, but we’re talking about doing it this summer.

I still itch to drive the “blue highways” of the United States, especially along the northern states. My daughter Bri, the gypsy bluegrass musician, might be willing to act as my guide in this since she’s been on a lot of them.

We all know Route 66 because of Grapes of Wrath and a television show, bu there are others out there. One is Route 20, which I’ve been studying for Transformation Project (how exactly do you get across the United States when the major transportation hub cities have been nuked and the military has shut down the interstates for their own use?). My fictional town of Emmaus is just off I70, but this route paralleling I90 is really pretty cool.

Route 20 bridgeI would start at Boston on the 4th of July and watch the fireworks over the Harbor. As you move west from there, parts of the Route 20 follows the path of the old Boston Post Road, which used to carry mail between Boston and New York City in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was also the route Henry Knox dragged the Ft. Ticondaroga cannons to Boston. Through its easternmost section, Route 20 passes through a number of “frozen in time” small towns whose Main Streets haven’t changed much since the 1950s.  We might visit Old Sturbridge Village again since we’ll be so close. The typography of Western Massachusetts promises windy routes that would invite us to slow down and take our time.

I’m looking forward to the photographic opportunities of New York State’s Finger Lakes Region. It’s named after 11 lakes, formed by glaciers thousands of years ago, which provide the setting for all sorts of activities and scenic views.

Image result for gary indiana picturesWe would have to stop in the Sandusky area because this is an important region for my mother’s tribe and also because I have an alternative historical fiction short story that I want to develop into a full length novel and so wandering around in the area would be a good way to get a feel for it.

I love historic architecture and small town ambiance, so would definitely slow down for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I might even take part in a geocaching expedition. Then we would enter a belt of heavily-industrialized cities like Gary, Indiana, and Chigago’s South Side. I’m equally certain there’d be a different sort, but equally compelling opportunity for photographs.

As we pass into Iowa and Nebraska, we would find the flat, wide-open spaces that are a necessary element of a classic American road trip.

school bus on Loop RoadI’ve been to Wyoming before, but I know certainly that I didn’t truly see it completely before, so I would love to go there again. Our trips have never allowed a visit to Yellowstone National Park. We’d probably have to break from Route 20 for a slight detour to really take in Montana — birthplace of my mother and my daughter’s avowed “favorite state”. Then we’d head on to Boise, the otherworldly landscapes of Craters of the Moon National Monument and the beautiful Lost River Range.

I’ll be wishing there was more time to explore, I’m sure. Although I’ve been to Idaho before, it has always been on the big highways with little time to explore off the beaten track. I want to change that.

Image result for image of lost river rangeRoute 20 crosses the Cascades and the Oregon High Desert before moving though the remote Central Coast Range and the Willamette Valley.

We would definitely plan to camp most of the trip. Being used to the rough backcountry of Alaska, we’d keep our load light with a regular passenger car and a tent. My daughter has apparently become quite acqainted with off-the-beaten track camping locations. This would allow us more time to really take in the scenary rather than just feeding the motel chain beast.

We’d pack a lot of picnics, but if we can find any classic diners, I’m there … I swear. Daughter of a diner waitress, here! Gotta brake for pie!

#bloghop, #openbook, #roadtrip, #usroute20

Posted May 22, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Seeking Inspiration   6 comments

This week’s blog hop topic is “What inspires you, and why do those things inspire you?

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Inspiration surrounds us. All you need do is open your eyes and your imagination and let it in. Inspiration comes from the words of your favorite author to the leaves blowing across your path on your morning commute.

Image result for image of inspirationSometimes it’s hard to see the muse while you’re living your daily life. My husband Brad wonders how I can spend my workday planted in front of a computer screen writing for other people and then come home and write my own stories. And, I can’t really explain what’s going on in my head while I’m doing the mundane parts of my job and my standard life. Exactly what is it about filing or data entry that gets the creative juices flowing?

Inspiration is innate — intimate — to a writer, I believe. I know there are people who do their best thinking while lying awake in the middle of the night, but I do mine in that margin between when I lie down and when I go to sleep. It’s about a half-hour where I can daydream without interruption and those are often times spent at the inspiration well. I’ve trained myself to remember so I write down what I learn later.

I find inspiration in the everyday. I’m fascinated by relationships – happy ones, complicated ones, weird ones, even painful ones. My writing is often an attempt to dissect the meaning behind an event or to describe a particular feeling or emotion.

I’m inspired by things I face and work through in my daily life. The news is a constant source of inspiration for my apocalyptic series Transformation Project. Sometimes when I’m reading or watching television or doing research, ideas will fall on fertile imaginative soil and slowly a story will spring forth, again while I’m doing something completely unrelated to “being creative.” My most recent book, the novelette Hullabaloo on Main Street was inspired by a Washington Post article about how Democrats in Wisconsin were shocked that their neighbors had voted for Donald Trump, but when I opened my imagination to it, I overheard dozens of conversations by people from both sides of the aisle. Yes, I’m inspired by eavesdropping too. Connor’s observation about how his conservative and liberal neighbors asking for help differently is actually inspired by a liberal coworker’s observation about that dynamic.

Living in Alaska is a powerful inspiration. Long walks just through my neighborhood brings me in contact with nature right on the edge of a vast wilderness. I see colors that I want to describe, smell fragrances that want to be put on paper, watch my neighbors do things that just must be captured in word pictures.

I’m inspired by investigating my life — taking it apart at the seams and seeing what’s inside. How did I become who I am? How did someone who shared their story with me become who they are? I look beneath the surface of this visible reality and find places that are more felt than seen.

The creative process itself brings me to a place where I am often in that world and the process itself is inspiring. The act of having to type words slows me down and connects me to emotions, places and characters in a way where I feel what they feel, see, hear, etc.

I’m inspired by challenges. When I reach a point in a book’s narrative where things are hard, I love the feeling of finding the just-right turn of a phrase that solves my characters problems … or drives them forward to face those problems. Don’t we just wish our own lives were that easy?

(Note – not really. I’m pretty mean to my characters and I would not want anyone to treat me that way.)

Although the sources of my creativity are many, back of it rests the one main foundation of my life … my faith. I find literary themes and ways of addressing problems on the page in the words of my Savior. I learn ways of seeing things that are different from what is “normal” because of the tenets of my faith. Writing fiction somehow draws me closer to God and allows me to not only say, but sometimes realize insights through my characters that I’d feel awkward and foolish saying myself.

Inspiration comes in many forms and myriad sources. It’s kind of cliche to say that inspiration is everywhere, but I get my best moments with my muse when I’m filing paperwork or scrubbing the tub, so I think that “everywhere” is about right.

#openbook, #bloghop, #mondayblogs, #amwriting

 

Posted May 15, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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What’s on My Kindle?   6 comments

Do You Have A Reading List For The Year? What is it and why?

 

Let’s start with the fact that I don’t have a Kindle. I still prefer to read books that have that paper and ink aroma to them. Amazon might make more ebook sales if they attached an aroma therapy app to the books. But I do read some non-fiction and ebooks that lack physical copies on my laptop.

But I do read some non-fiction and ebooks that lack physical copies on my laptop.

So, what’s on my reading list for 2017? I will dispense with the bits and pieces I read as research for novels and blog posts. You have other things to do today than read about my reading list and that’s just too big of a library.

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In 2017, I’ve already read North to Alaska, a history of Alaska Statehood by my former editor, Dermot Cole, and Ravi Zacharias’ Jesus Among Other Gods (this is a re-read).

I’m currently finishing Mockingjay, third book in the Hunger Games trilogy.

If George RR Martin comes out with another book in the Song of Fire & Ice series, I’ll read that. It’s not that I love Martin, but having come so far in the series, I want to know how the stupid story ends.

Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer“, third book in the Stormlight Saga, comes out in November. I’ll pick it up as soon as it’s available, because I love this series, but November is kind of late in 2017 to make the list.

Image resultI am having another go at Terry Brooks’ Shanara Chronicles. I couldn’t get into them in the past, but the television series has made me think I’m being unfair, so I bought The Elfstones of Shanara because that was available at Barnes & Noble, not realizing that The Sword of Shanara comes first. (Could it be that I couldn’t get into this series because I tried to read them out of order? Distinct possibility). I will read that before I read Elfstones. I just picked it up at the bookstore a few days ago. That’s a huge series, so that could easily overlap into 2018 … assuming I can even get into the first book because I’ve failed to connect with his story in the past.

I’m also trying to read Kate Elliott’s “Black Wolves” series, but might not get to it until 2018. Kate Elliott is a favorite author, though not all of her series get my attention.

Over on the non-fiction side, I’m planning to read Frederic Bastiat’s Economic Sophisms and Henry Hazlitt’s The Foundations of Morality, but I am currently reading Lawrence W. Reed’s Great Myths of the Great Depression. Expect to see some blog posts on that in the near future. I also pulled out On Walden Pond the other day and am thinking it would be a great time to renew my acquaintance with Thoreau.

I also found a couple of Agatha Christie books at the used book store a while back. I’ve been trying to write a mystery and it might help to really get into the mindset.

And then there are all the books my writer friends ask me to read and sometimes review.

My reading list is not set in stone. I revise my goals depending on all sorts of variables. For now, though, these are what I hope to read this year.

REVISION: I should also add that I get a lot of indie requests and I belong to an author’s cooperative publisher, so I will definitely be reading some indie books this year, including folks from this blog hop. I am notoriously glacial at reviewing, so I don’t like to list people who covet my reviews on their toes so to speak while I take months to post a review. I owe too many authors reviews now without making promises for 2017.

 

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