Follow by Email

Friday, March 1, 2013

Literary Pursuits - March 2013

I have a tendency to start projects and then, well, not finish them.  It happens with crafts, books I'm reading, and writing projects.  Since crafting is not a priority right now, my quilt, the kids' bedroom curtains, Naomi's dress, my sweater, and my latest afghan shall continue to languish in silent anonymity.

But I want to have better accountability with my reading and writing projects, and public humiliation seems as good a way as any to achieve that.

So as a (more or less) monthly feature of this blog, I'm going to post an update about my various literary pursuits.

First off, reading.  It's been quite a while since I've only had one book going at a time.  Currently I'm reading four-ish books (you'll understand the -ish when you get to it on the list).  Most of this information is also on Goodreads, but I've decided to post it here, too.

1.  How the Other Half Lives by Jacob A. Riis:  First published in 1890 (yes, that's eighteen-ninety--I didn't transpose my numbers there) Riis chronicles his experiences in the tenement neighborhoods of New York.  I love sociology and picked up this book eagerly, but while it's been informative (disturbingly so) it's also been a bit of a slog.  I started reading it last summer, and I'm still working on it.  Almost done, though.  Currently on page 232.  Hopefully this book will not appear on next month's installment of Literary Pursuits.

2.  Ingathering: The Complete People Stories by Zenna Henderson:  Recommended by my husband, this science fiction book has an interesting premise and is very well-written.  However the chapters were originally independently published serials, and reading them one after the other is a bit tedious.  It's a long book (571 pages) so I may be here for a while.  I'm currently on page 217.

3.  Ethics by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:  I might have been a little premature picking up this one.  I'm reading it partly because I've always wanted to, and partly because I'm planning to edit and publish a bible study I wrote several years ago based on themes in Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship.  I believe there's no such thing as too much Bonhoeffer, so I'm reading Ethics before I re-read Cost of Discipleship in an effort to better get into Bonhoeffer's thinking.  It's very dense, but brilliant.  I'm currently on page 41, though I haven't picked it up in over a month.

4.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:  A favorite I've read several times.  I keep a library of classics on my Android so I'm never caught someplace without something to read, but my reading of a book this way is sporadic at best.  Hard to say what page I'm on since phone versions are so variable, but I can say with confidence that I'm in chapter 12.

-ish.  The Gospel According to Luke and The Acts of the Apostles:  I'm trying to put a bible study I wrote last year into a format I can publish through Quiet Publications, and that's requiring me to go back and rework some of the lessons.  Originally I had Luke-Acts as a single lesson, which was way too long.  However separating them into two separate lessons has enabled me to expand my treatment of each slightly, so I'm rereading these two books to figure out how best to do that.  (It's an -ish because they're part of the bible, which I'm not currently reading in its entirety.  Or you could consider them two separate books in a single bound anthology.  Or you could consider them one book in two volumes.  Numbering it -ish was just easier!)

Now for what I'm writing.

1.  Quiet Devotions:  Last time I started Quiet Devotions, I only had six in the vault.  With a daily publication schedule, I soon began to struggle to keep up.  I fought stubbornly and kept it going for nearly ten months before I had to admit defeat.  I plan to relaunch Quiet Devotions on Pentecost Sunday (May 19) and have been trying to write a few each week (minimum seven, preferably ten--I usually fall short).  Currently I have 58 in the vault (up through July 15).  Each month I'll indicate the number written since I last reported.

2.  Gospel Agendas Bible Study:  This is my reason for rereading Luke and Acts.  I've completed the introduction, Session One, and Session Two.  I'm currently expanding Sessions Three and Four.

3.  Novel:  I'm going to be vague on the details of this one until it's closer to being finished.  My official word count is at 6,051, plus some handwritten pages in my travel notebook.

4.  Memoir:  This will chronicle my faith journey and ministry.  Working title: Failed Pastor.  You get the picture.  Anyway, current word count is 6,461.

5.  Quiet Publications Misc:  I'm not working on anything this moment (other than the bible study), but I've recently published an article and two book reviews on Quiet Publications.  I hope to continue doing that sort of thing on a somewhat regular basis.

6.  Blog:  Looking at my posts since the beginning of the year I see that I've been cheating by doing mostly memes or promotions for Quiet Publications.  I'm in the process of revamping this blog (hence the new look), and it will soon have another new look, and a new address.  But more on that later.  In any case, it's time to start getting back here again a little more often, and letting all my adoring fans (go ahead and roll your eyes--I just did) know what's going on with me.  This post you're reading now is a good start.

So those are my literary pursuits as they stand now.  What are you reading or writing?


  1. I know restarting and refocusing helped me get started again, and I hope you find the enjoyment in the writing that I have found. Ethics is worth the effort, although you are right it is a more challenging read than Discipleship or Life Together.

  2. I've only read Life Together once, and that was thirteen years ago. Probably a good idea to pick it up again. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. These days I struggle to keep one book on the brain, I'm STILL working on The Bourne Deception and I started that months ago. But now I have a book in the queue written by one of my women writer friends out here in Phoenix called Words Falling Like Water and I'm really anxious to dive into it so Bourne needs to wrap up this week. The sad fact for me is that right now (actually since all my health crap came about back in November) I've been less inclined to read OR write. I've blogged some (but like you mostly meme type stuff), done some guest posting and minimal poetry editing but as far as working on my next novella or anything of substance it has been a very dull winter. Maybe in spring my thought buds will bloom with the flowers. Good luck with everything here, it's a hefty list but one at a time and a little here & there and we'll be reading all your publications in what feels like no time!

  4. Thanks Jenn. Sorry to hear your health problems are affecting your writing (and reading) but I completely understand. It's taken me two days to comment on your comment because I lost some prime writing time on Wednesday to a migraine, and again yesterday to sheer exhaustion. I ended up lying on the couch catching up on some CSI New York in my DVR queue during the kids' quiet time rather than getting things done.

    Hope you feel better, and take care of yourself!