I read more than one from my TBR pile this month, which means I am catching up. Yay me! Click here to read about my accomplishments.
I did not finish reading a memoir from the library this month, but I am well ahead in this challenge. I am part way through reading one too.
I continue to write. I am also revising my first novel (approximately 90 000 words!), which I worked on with a writing partner.
I limited my social media.
I read 5 creative nonfiction essays per week. These are my favourites:
“A police officer is not the best person to help someone in psychosis” by Rebeccah Love
I know someone who is in this position, and this essay sheds some light on what she goes through.
“Sometimes I feel like an undercover black woman” by Eilidh McAllister
McAllister is biracial but looks caucasian.
“Personally, I am going to try to initiate the hard conversations when racist undercurrents are felt and be OK with being uncomfortable. Because if we have those dialogues, we can move forward. We all have biases to break, so let’s help one another do that.”
“The self-imposed stress of being in the gifted class nearly killed me” by Anastasia Blosser
My daughter isn’t in a full time gifted program, as the principal of her school did not believe in sending any of her students to that program, and when I read this essay it makes me reconsider if the principal wasn’t wise in keeping her in the part time program. For example, I am shocked to read that the students would compete with each other to be the unhealthiest in order to achieve the highest grades.
Wise words from Blosser: “Positive growth doesn’t focus on running back, on obsessing over what could have been. It’s about growing and moving forward, accepting what happened and learning how to fix it. Well-being doesn’t always mean making the right decisions, it’s about realizing a pattern of unhealthy behaviour and lovingly helping yourself change. It’s a learning curve I’ll master some day, but a class I’ll never graduate from.”
“Lunatic” by Sarah Blackstock
This is a powerful and moving essay you can listen to as read by Blackstock about how her mentally ill mother was treated including being given the label of lunatic and a series of medications, the effects on the family, and the eventual deadly consequences.
“The wonderful lessons that pain can teach you” by Glenna Fraumeni
“Through enduring painful experiences – whether it be sepsis or other physical or mental-health challenges – you gain a new perspective. You realize that you can, in fact, be stopped in your tracks. That you don’t have a say in everything. And with the treatment and tapering of excruciating pain comes the realization that idleness and existing in a state of neutral calm can be a beautiful thing. We don’t need to always be numbing the in-between moments with distractions.”
“How I baked my way to good mental health” by Keri Ferencz
Ferencz stops baking—and doing a lot of other things—after being made to felt that she must be perfect at it, but then one day realizes that her baking—and other things in life—doesn’t have to be perfect
Bonus: “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell
This 1936 essay is recommended by Mary Karr in her book “The Art of Memoir”.
Orwell writes about not wanting to shoot an elephant but finds that he must do so due to pressure, and also writes about how he hates his role in the British empire and how he is hated in turn.
I read 5 picture books per week. These are my favourites:
“Together We Grow” by Susan Vaught; illustrated by Kelly Murphy
In this rhyming book, a fox seeking shelter from a thunderstorm is initially turned away from a barnful of animals until a duckling connects all the creatures.
“The Barnabus Project” by The Fan Brothers
Barnabus is not a Perfect Pet but instead is a Failed Project. When he hears he is going to be recycled he and the other failures attempt to escape.
“Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell” by Selina Alko
Joni Mitchell’s musical journey—how she painted with words—is movingly written in this picture book biography.
“Remarkably You” by Pat Zietlow Miller; illustrated by Patrice Barton
This rhyming picture book encourages kids to be themselves.
“I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree” by Jean E. Pendziwol; illustrated by Nathalie Dion
This beautiful poem illustrates how hope in autumn brings flowers in the spring.
I attended a few online writer events.
Five Tips for Writing Through a Tough Time with Nadia L. Hohn
A mini workshop from Eden Mills Writers’ Festival (EMWF)
“The Barnabus Project” with Devin Fan
A book launch of the picture book hosted by EMWF.
Art and Healing (EMWF)
Christa Couture, Lorna Crozier, David A. Robertson, and Emily Urquhart talk about their books and life. The event was hosted by Susan G. Cole.
This is the most touching of all the EMWF webinars I have sat through.
I spent at least one hour a week working on one of my many guided journals.
I blogged one time a week.
I wrote about 10 objects for my “Cabinet of Curiosities” object diary.
New this month is “Weekly Treasure”. Read last week’s blog post to learn all about it.
Shoe’s Sunday Stories
@Copyright 2020 Linda Schueler