book reviews / Goals / workshops / Writing activities

Happy New Year 2017 update

My Christmas holidays really did turn out to be more of a “holiday” than I expected as I came down with a major cold, vertigo, and some pretty wicked back pain. So I ended up doing a lot of enforced relaxing.

I did quite a bit of colouring on postcards I got last Christmas (2015); I’d done about half of them when I broke my arm in July, so this enforced holiday seemed like a good time to get started again. Yes, my arm and fingers are healing, though I still color “outside the lines” a bit 🙂 Other relaxation activities included hanging out with family, sorting through my 2016 digital photos and deciding which ones to keep, sorting out Pokemon cards for my grandson (brought back memories of doing the same for my son 20 years ago or so), mega cleanup of my email in- and out-boxes, start using my computer Intuos art tablet again….

… and planning for 2017. I got a large hardcover scrapbook from the dollar store for $4.00 (what a deal!) and started using it to sort out my ideas and goals and dreams for the new year. My overall plan is to take all that learning I did in 2016 (with my 1/2 year of enforced removal from using my right arm, which meant minimal writing and other activities, and a perfect excuse to STUDY in 2016 on lots of topics I’d been wishing to explore), and turn it into real life DOING in 2017! This WILL be the year I publish at least one (any maybe 2 or 3) books! Yes!

I also had some good discussion with Jane from the Shatford Centre, and by early January the plans for two sets of workshops had come together. Check them out:
STEPS: Creative Writing for Youth
Tutor Training for Parents

To get into the 2017 “doing” mood, especially writing, I started writing mini-stories, articles, and anecdotes in the comments on people’s Facebook pages. I also finally (in early January) got busy and wrote my better-late-than-never 2016 Christmas letter. I started up again with my “Haida Gwaii Bridges” document for which I’d written about 45,000 words in the first half of 2016 and then had to set aside after I broke my arm. I’ve added another 5,000 or so words to it so far. And I’ve organised my “Summerland stories” (which also went on hold when I broke my arm), and have started writing more of those as well.

My son gave me a $100 gift card from Coles (also good for Chapters/Indigo), and I still had about $35 left on gift cards from my birthday, so I was delighted to order some books–for inspiration, not just learning! I am into memoir writing now, so the books I’ve been choosing are from that genre. At the moment, I have nearly finished the first read-through (there’ll be repeat read-throughs for sure: this book is amazing; the writing is truly beautiful) of Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby. If you haven’t read it yet, you must!

My tutoring students didn’t start until January 16 due to various unexpected occurrences, so I had an extra week of holidays–good chance to really feel better and to get going on my writing. I’ve also spent some time with clients on topics like finding literary agents and writing children’s books. I’ve done some editing as well, and am helping with the planning and advertising of the 2017 Okanagan Valley Writers’ Festival .

And tonight will be our Okanagan-South Writers’ League (OWL) first meeting of 2017!

Happy New Year 2017!

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