What I’ve been up to

I haven’t been as active in the last few weeks (all right, the last month) as usual.  Our family has been off having adventures.  We took a vacation to visit family, sent my husband off to School Administrator Camp*, enjoyed 3 weeks of summer camp for the kids, and spent time with various and sundry relatives here in town.  It’s been a flurry of activity, but now we’re settling in for a few more weeks of summer vacation.  I just hope my kids don’t go all Phineas and Ferb** on us in the back yard.

Naturally, among all the busyness, I’ve had some time to work with some terrific writers, helping proofread their manuscripts.  That’s been my favorite part of taking on volunteer work as a beta reader–meeting cool people and seeing writers develop their craft.  I think it’s been nearly a year since I first “met” author Adrian J. Smith (she’ll correct me if I’m wrong; I think she reads my blog occasionally).  As much as I loved her first book, I think she’s grown so much as a writer, and it’s been fun watching her skill develop.  I’ve since “met” and worked with three other authors with whom I have an ongoing working relationship.  It’s a diverse group of people, and I couldn’t be happier to know all of them.  I had the chance to work with most of them over my blogging break, and it was pure joy for me.

I didn’t spend much time on my own writing, but I did realize two important things.  First, I love blogging.  This is where I discovered how much I like to write.  I like to use my words to break down walls and talk about things that felt forbidden in some religious circles.  It’s not usually hard to take criticism, because the constructive kind makes me a better writer, and the destructive kind isn’t worth my time.  The second thing I realized is that as much as I like writing short fiction, I don’t want to publish it anywhere but free on my other blog.  I don’t want to pursue a book deal of any kind.  I simply don’t care.  Interestingly, for that reason, I find criticism harder to take.  I suppose I could examine that further, but right now, I’m too busy with other things.

None of my Big Revelations to myself will have much impact on what I do here.  I’m still going to stick around for a bit, stirring up trouble.  In fact, starting next week, I’m returning to my analysis of Fifty Shades.  I’m sure you’ll all be thrilled that you won’t have to read the second book, as I’m taking one for the team and doing it for you.  Hooray!

Meanwhile, I’m looking to you, fabulous readers, for some input.  What topics would you like to see here?  What do you want more of?  Would any of you like to guest post or link up on a particular subject?  I’m going to think about all of those things too, and perhaps together we can come up with some good stuff.  I wouldn’t be here typing this if it weren’t for all the good feedback and support I’ve had from those of you who read, like, comment, and share.  I owe you all big–here’s your chance to tell me what you’d like!

Posts may continue to be sporadic for now while I work on proofreading and a couple of other summer projects, including one called Keep the Kids from Getting Bored and Arguing All Day Til School Starts.  Despite that, I hope you’ll all keep following me wherever my bloggy adventures take me.

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*It’s not really called that.

**The one below sort of summarizes P&F, but the kids picked this as their favorite song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NldYcaMXUw I’m partial to “A-G-L-E-T.”

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