Literary Pursuits – October 2017

It’s been two years since the last time I did a Literary Pursuits post (and two weeks since the last time I posted to my weekly blog, but we won’t talk about that). I won’t try to cover that entire time, though. I’ll just focus on the last month, which has been busy!

What I’m Reading

Not much, to be honest. Nearly all of my book reading has been for the kids. I’ve been working my way through the entire Harry Potter series as their bedtime story, and we’re now on the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Spencer’s already read ahead and has finished the book (twice), but knows better than to ruin it for Naomi. They both love the series. Naomi was Hermione for Halloween.

In the car we’ve been listening to the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer on audiobook. The series started off well with Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy. A twelve year old street urchin from London disguises herself as a boy and is taken on as ship’s boy aboard a Royal Navy ship. The kids and I both loved her antics and spunk, and I loved the fact that it’s set in the early 1800s, so there’s a lot of history to discuss. The series remained decent through the fourth book, but began to go downhill by the fifth. Among other problems, there’s a lot of sex. We’re currently in the tenth book, Viva Jacquelina! Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away, and even though she’s still technically a virgin (barely), Meyer hasn’t been shy about describing the situations that tempted or threatened her. Last book we even had to endure banter about penis size. I’m hoping a lot of this is going over the kids’ heads, but I’m not counting on it. Oh well. They still love it, and we only have two more books to go.

As part of our unit on the Civil War, I assigned Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn’t Tell You About the Civil War by Steve Sheinkin. I found it funny, engaging, and informative, but the kids didn’t. I had to quiz them after each chapter to make sure they actually read it.

For my own reading I’ve been trying to make it through The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, but I’m finding it a challenge. That’s a pity, because the description seemed promising and the futuristic dystopian world he created is fantastic, but the story is a real drag. I’ll finish it, but only because I’m stubborn.

On my phone as part of my devotional reading I have Selected Writings by Hildegard of Bingen. I didn’t like her writings the first time I attempted them, but I have a better appreciation of them now that I have a better understanding of her historical context.

I also subscribe to two magazines. You know, the old fashioned kind that are made out of paper and actually mailed to you? One is Writers Digest and the other is The Christian Century. I’m on the current issue of Writers Digest and I’m running one issue behind on The Christian Century. Oh well.

What I’m Writing

I’ve been a little more successful here. For the past month I’ve been focusing on editing, rewriting, formatting, and printing my first book through Quiet Publications. I mentioned it here a few weeks ago. It’s called Luther’s Catechism: A Modern Reflection and it’s now available for purchase (hint hint!). I’m still trying to set up QuietPublications.com as an ecommerce site, but that’s all new territory for me and it’s slow going. In the meantime the book is available at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, MA, in-store and online.

 

I’m also doing final edits on my novel. I’ve received feedback from a few beta readers, which was incredibly helpful. Once I’m done with this round I’ll start querying agents.

That’s about it for October. What have you been reading and/or writing? Please share in the comments!


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