This was another challenging month for me with a lot of soul searching, but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Here are my results:
Read 24 books this year for the Mount TBR 2021 challenge.
“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben
In my third attempt to read this book, I finally succeeded! I don’t know why I didn’t finish the first two times, because it really is a wonderful book. Perhaps I just got distracted? Anyway, to read more about my impressions of the book, see the entry below.
Read 12 nature related books this year to enhance my horticultural therapy study.
“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben
This quote sums up the book and the feeling that you will leave with after reading it:
“When you know that trees experience pain and have memories and that tree parents live together with their children, then you no longer can just chop them down and disrupt their lives with large machines.”
I believe the book should be required reading material in school.
Apparently also there is a related movie.
Read 12 books that are either memoir, poetry, or soul books.
“World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Written by a poet, Nezhukumatathil weaves her story into observations of nature. A delightful read!
“And so, I ask: When is the last time you danced like a superb bird of paradise? I mean, when was the last time you really cut a rug, and did you mosh, bust a move, cavort, frisk, frolic, skip, prance, romp, gambol, jig, bound, leap, jump, spring, bob, hop, trip, or bounce?”
“It is this way with wonder: it takes a bit of patience, and it takes putting yourself in the right place at the right time. It requires that we be curious enough to forgo our small distractions in order to find the world.”
“Three Simple Lines: A Writer’s Pilgrimage into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku” by Natalie Goldberg
I started this when I was on vacation in July and finished it upon returning home. Part history, part travelogue, I really enjoyed journeying along with Goldberg. The book motivated me to write several haikus about what happened on my vacation, and I wrote them in the book, so the book has become a keepsake.
“The Comfort Book” by Matt Haig
I loved this book so much that I bought it after I read my library copy. So much deliciousness here!
“…one of the most common feelings among people was the feeling of not fitting in among people. The comfort, then, is the weird truth that in one sense we have most in common with others when we feel awkward and alone. Isolation is as universal as it gets.”
“I used to worry about fitting in until I realized the reason I didn’t fit in was because I didn’t want to.”
Work on my writing 15 minutes a day.
Read related literature to my novel writing.
No, I didn’t do this.
Analyze two creative nonfiction essays per month. These are the two that I analyzed:
“My greatest pandemic discovery has been finding the wild in the city” by Andrea Curtis
What I like about this essay:
“We’ve also slipped down the side of steep embankments, threaded our way over boulders, passed ancient washed-out bridges, dodged storm water outtake pipes, graffitied underpasses and fjorded frozen streams.”
‘In his beautiful book about walking called The Old Ways, the British naturalist Robert Macfarlane calls unofficial urban paths, the ones trodden but not formally marked “desire lines.”’
-A thoughtful takeaway
“Hearing the voices from my family’s past 50 years later felt like coming home again” by Gayle Belsher
A couple of discoveries:
-The essay starts with a few facts.
-The essay mentions how the author’s journey links to the pandemic, which I am seeing is a common topic now in creative nonfiction essays.
Overall I am starting to see patterns, and I am going to try such techniques as peppering facts in my creative nonfiction essays.
Analyze what I like about two picture books per month.
These are the two that I analyzed:
“This Pretty Planet” by Tom Chapin and John Forster; illustrated by Lee White
The book is based on a song, so it’s not a surprise that the text is musical. Short and sometimes rhyming text make it easy on the ear; the illustrations also make it easy on the eye.
“You’re a garden
You’re a harbour
You’re a holy place.”
“Peace” by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul; illustrated by Esteli Meza
What I liked:
-beautiful and creative rhyming pairs, such as correctly/directly
-peace explained in a child friendly way: “Peace is pronouncing your friend’s name correctly
-animals are featured in the pictures, and the author’s note explains how peace also affects animals
Submit one story to a contest per season.
Not a good month: I got five rejections. However, I am planning on repurposing two of those stories.
Attend one writing webinar per month. (flexible)
I didn’t do this.
Work on one lesson of a writing course per month. (flexible)
I’ve been working my way through a course about marketing writing.
Attend a writing group session per week. (flexible)
I have dropped out of one of my critique groups due to scheduling conflicts. However, I still continue meeting with my first critique partner weekly.
Blog at least twice a month.
I’ve completed this task.
I wrote four!
100 day challenge
Read two chapters of a book a day. This works well for me, and I will continue it.
Shoe’s Seeds & Stories
@Copyright 2021 Linda Schueler
You’ve kept busy. I enjoy reading the essays you link – these ones were very interesting. 5 rejections means lots of writing! Congrats at putting yourself out there. You will be published, I have no doubt.