Thursday, 30 July 2015

Revolution (Resolution) - Mid Year Check In - Part 1

It's official...we're now more than half way into 2015.   It's time for me to check in (and own up) to how I'm doing on my resolutions so far.

Use my writing to help inspire more memories with Molly and Jack including monthly one on one "dates" with the minions
In late spring I had a great date day with Jack where he tried sushi for the very first time, we went to Woodbine Fantasy Fun Fair to check out the rides and we visited a friend's newborn baby (Jack is pretty crazy about babies).  Chris has taken each minion on a baseball game date, individually, where they both had a blast. I haven't managed another date with the kids in quite some time, but I am planning something with Molly later this month.  I have been able to use my writing to bond with the kids a lot this year, but with the weather being great, I must admit I've been spending more of my downtime enjoying the backyard or local parks with the kids instead of writing, and I'm enjoying every minute of it!

 Jackie Reaching for the stars.

Read More in 2015 (Goal of 30 books total), including at least 5 Classics that I've never read Before.

I've read 5 books since my last check in, including one classic.  Again, if anyone has any book recommendations I would love to hear them!

The Poisoners Handbook by Deborah Blum - A thrilling historical read about the first forensic scientists and their quest for truth among the world of arsenic, prohibition related poisonings because of home brewing and many brands of  suspicious deaths all set in New York City nearly a century ago. Probably the best read of the spring.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - After I finished reading Wild, an acquaintance recommended I read a lighter take on a life changing journey into the deep dark woods. This book is about that friend you've been buddies with for as long as you can remember.  The one who is a giant f@&k up, but somehow charming enough that you can't help but forgive them, again and again.  Imagine being in your forties, twenty years after a disastrous backpacking trip to Europe and going with them on a hike of the Appalachian Trail. It's immediately apparent that documenting the antics makes for a far better story than living the actual experiences.  Bryson's long time frenemie Katz had me laughing out loud.  Bryson's dry wit and ability to make fun of himself was key to making this book work (one of his main reasons to tackle the trail was to "be manly" and "less of a cupcake").  I have added the book about the above-mentioned, ill advised trip to Europe, Neither Here Nor There to my reading list.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - Violet and Finch are the main characters in this charming, yet sad young adult novel.  This book breaks some wonderful boundaries and stereotypes about what it's like to live and love someone through sadness, depression, grief and fear.  A good tween introduction to tragic and relatable heroes.

I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster - Another entertaining series of essays by Lancaster narrating her journey to self-improvement, this time tackling her bucket list.  A good light read, but not her best work.  If you've never read her work before I recommend starting from the beginning with Bitter is the New Black before you read her later non-fiction.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - A literary classic exploring an insiders view into psychosis.  I must admit that I kept wanting to love this book more then I did.  I think that this book, like my experience with Catcher in the Rye was read at the wrong time in my life and I didn't get as much out of it as I could have had I read it in my teens or twenties.

Get better at Promoting my Writing and get Published in Seven New Places This Year.
I had a second publication lead that never formulated in the spring and have had another one in the works over the past few weeks that I hope will materialize into something great.  Fingers crossed.  Beyond that I need to focus more effort and time promoting myself and my writing .  If anyone knows any websites, blogs or magazines where my writing would be a good fit, please let me know.

To view my full list of 2015 resolutions click here.  To see how I did earlier this year click here and here.

To see how I did with my 2014 resolutions (and more mini book reviews) click here.

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