I want to read and learn all I can, write thoughtfully and truthfully, live according to reason and ever more mature wisdom, and savor every wonderful little gift of life.
Here’s another “Mind Cleanup” post for you!
For some reason, on May 8th, there were a bunch of super fun posts on my Reader, including these ones (I know, it’s taken me this long to tell you about them; you may have seen some of them by now anyway):
Two great posts promoting a non-stressed-out lifestyle, which is something I always need and want more of:
ISA Student Blog: “The Art of Living: 5 Spanish Secrets to Well-being”
The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally: “Day 858: A dozen ways to melt away your stress”
Gorgeous, calming photos (I, too, love trees!):
A New Life Wandering: “Trees Around the World”
A fun, clever idea with funny results:
I’ve been eating up the Haley Randolph mystery series by Dorothy Howell; so far I’ve read Handbags and Homicide and Purses and Poison. The books are so well-written and fun that they just fly—it felt like I blinked and then I was reading the last page of Purses and Poison! And the main character’s lazy attitude, which I long for (I have the opposite tendency), inspires me to stress less and take it easy more.
I’m finally getting to Sam Harris’s books (I’ve been meaning to forever); I’m almost done with his tiny book Free Will. For anyone out there who knows and cares about this, I agree with Sam Harris on the issue of free will, meaning that I believe there’s no such thing. I had already come to that conclusion before I read this book, actually; I wasn’t really sure where Harris stood until now. I guess now a good challenge would be to read books that promote the opposing positions! Also, I may do my own layperson-language post about free will sometime. Honestly, I think Sam Harris is too concise with this book, which is written for a general audience; if I hadn’t already studied a good bit of philosophy and personally lived with the concept of determinism, he might have lost me at a few places.
Other books I’m currently reading, at various stages and paces, include Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor, Picadilly Jim by P.G. Wodehouse, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith, The Clocks by Agatha Christie, and The Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. There are more, too, but I’ll stop there. You know I like to keep a bunch of books going at once!
I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief that I finally finished the big ghostwriting job I’d been working on for months—to write a book about dental sales for a client who hired me via Elance. I think it’s a pretty decent book, if I do say so myself! (I’m sure I’ll let you know when it’s published.) I charged way too little $ for the time it took me to write this book, but it was a great learning experience. Mainly I learned that I never want to do that again. Now I know: work-for-hire freelance writing is DEFINITELY not for me. The only client I have left now is a local non-profit (Drug and Alcohol Presentations, Inc.) for whom I’ll continue writing blog posts for the time being.
After a breather, I’m hoping to get back to one or both of the children’s novels I’ve been plotting for a while.
Meanwhile, I’ve been doing the “Story a Day in May” challenge, as I said, and it’s been incredibly fun and inspiring. I’ve missed several days here and there, but I’ve written a total of 15 new stories since the day I started (though a few of them aren’t complete—but I do know where they’re headed!). When I think about the official challenge ending and all the stories I still want to write, I feel sad—so I think I’ll just keep on trying to write a new story every day indefinitely, until something changes.
So far, I’ve written a mix of children’s stories (mostly middle-grade, but there’s one picture-book story and one YA story so far as well) and adult-level short stories, which range from serious to silly. For example, some of my stories’ working titles are “Kendra and the Swim Meet Prank,” “Katie and the Purple Cat” (that’s the picture book), “Eric Peagle Tells What Happened in Therapy Group,” “Her Own Path,” “Home Is Where the Humor Is,” and “Under the Stars.” I might share some of them here at some point, but that will require not only rewriting and editing first but also deciding that they’re good enough to put on my blog, but not good enough to submit to an actual publication. So, we’ll see!
Three cheers for blogging, reading, and writing!