Friday, September 19, 2014

My Writing Update

My writing life is slow but steady. When I came home from the summer SCBWI conference, I realized I needed to do a lot more work on my new book. I decided to put off my original plan of submitting it before Will is born, and will take more time on it to make it the best it can be before I submit it. I attended a writers workshop last weekend that gave me some more inspiration, and I've been doing some in-depth revisions.

I've become good friends with a fellow mom and writer. Her youngest son is Westly's age, so we get them together for play dates and she and I talk about writing. We've also been meeting at Starbucks on the weekends to bounce ideas off each other. It's been so refreshing to make a friend who not only is a mom like me, but also is a writer. And she's serious about it like me in that she carves our time to write, is attending writer's workshops, and makes writing a priority.

Also an author friend of mine, who has written many middle-grade and YA books and has taught many workshops including one at the SCBWI conference, has offered to be my 'Beta-reader'. A Beta-reader is someone who reads your entire manuscript as if it were a book, and gives general feedback about the plot, etc. They don't make edits, but rather suggestions. This author offered to read my new book, which is a huge God-send, as I've been really needing some professional feedback. I'm looking forward to her help.

Plans for Sherlock Academy are still in development with the publisher who wants to take it over. They're in the middle of drawing up contracts, and are still hoping for a Christmas release. We'll see!

I feel the urgency to write as much as I can before baby Will comes in November. It's a good deadline to have in mind!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Redoing the Manor

We've been making some changed to our house for our growing family. One thing we've always loved about our house is there are lots of options. We rearranged and repurposed a few of our rooms.

First change was turning the front dining room/play room into our family/TV room. It's turned out to be quite the cozy living space.

Then we turned the back family room into our dining room/homeschool space

Lastly we turned the guest room/office into Westly's new room with a 'big boy' bed. Baby Will is going to move into Westly's old room, which is still set up as a nursery.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Homeschool Preschool

Now that Michael is back to school, Westly has been doing preschool--at home! We've decided for now that we'll keep him home, especially this year as there are only a few more months of just "he and me" time before Baby Will comes. I've planned out preschool lessons/activities for the whole school year, ranging from art projects, baking/cooking lessons, workbook exercises, and extra fun activities. We're both enjoying it a lot!

Bead stringing: great for fine motor skills 

Westly loves to bake! Here we made banana bread

W is for Westly: learning the letters in his name with the sweet fun of Fruit Loops

Westly drew this 'monster'

Lady Bug Counting: again Fruit Loops make everything more fun

Every Tuesday morning we go to our local library for story time. This week was National Teddy Bear day, so Westly got to bring Reggy Bear along for the fun.

Westly is a gamer. He would much rather play board, card, and athletic games than play with toys.

Here's our little preschool corner in our dining room.