happy days

More exciting days!

The weather has been lovely–so much so that I got busy and set up the lounge chair and lawn chairs in the backyard, have been working in the garden, have taken walks to the park with the grandkidlings, and have had several meals at our little outdoor bistro set, as well as doing lots of reading and writing out there.  We’ve been having car trouble–but it’s the perfect excuse to do lots more walkabouts 🙂 This past weekend my sister visited from BC’s lower mainland, and we went to a lovely wedding reception for a cousin’s son and his new wife. They married in winter–but saved the celebration for a wonderful spring weekend, perfect for a family reunion. We also enjoyed Penticton’s award-winning Farmer’s Market and Downtown Community Market. And I must have caught a bit of spring fever, because I took the plunge and got my first tattoo! Then Sunday was hubby and my 34th wedding anniversary.

I’ve tuned into more webinars, including one on SEO.  And I’ve done some notetaking on books I’ve been reading about writing short stories and freelance writing.

I’ve also read The Sin of Certainty by Peter Enns–which I can really relate to. Now I’m wanting to take a look at his other books.

And I paid my annual fees today for BC’s Teacher Regulation Branch, so I’m all set for another year (2016-2017) of tutoring.

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It’s been an amazing month!

me at Writers FestivalIt really has been an amazing month … which does explain my unexpected absence from here 🙂 Anyway…

I was invited to help out at the amazing Okanagan Valley Writers’ Festival here in Penticton April 8, 9, and 10. I got to meet so many wonderful writers, publishers, lyricists, editors … take in some excellent workshops and panel discussions … eat fabulous food all weekend–you’ll definitely want to check out the website and Facebook page, and make your plans to attend the 2017 Festival. If you’d like to check out a few pictures of the Festival, check out these snapshots on my Penticton Pedestrian site. Oh, that’s me on the right in the picture!

I also attended the CHEC BC Convention in Kelowna on April 29-30, representing (along with 4 other great women) the BC Home Learners Association, of which I am a board member.  I got to meet home learners of all stripes from BC, Alberta, and beyond. British Columbia has some of the most flexible home learning laws there are anyway, and it was really awesome to share the different options with people interested in homeschooling, and to particularly explain the “registered” Section 12/13 option which gives great freedom to parents to design learning that really works for their children.

I’ve attended several live webinars, such as ones on Children’s Book Illustration and on Selling Books to Libraries.

I’ve been reading some amazing posts, articles, e-books and short courses such as “Audience from Scratch,”  Jane Friedman’s 2016 publishing chart, “How to Start Blogging” by Jane F., “9 Mistakes Memoir Writers Make,” “Take ‘You’ Out of Your Fiction,” “Contracts 101, The Grant of Rights Clause,” “Know and Find Your Audience,” “How to Start a Goodreads Profile,” “Become a Motivational Speaker,” “Pricing Strategies,” “8 Steps to Creating an Awesome Intro to Your Book,” “Business Planning Questions to Ask,” “Create a Start Here Blog Page,” “Facebook Pages for Authors,” “Become a Better Faith Blogger,” “Creating Space: The Case For Everyday Creativity,” “Create Content for Your Online Course,” “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Better Book Descriptions,” “The Learn In Public Workbook,” “How Much Does it Cost to Publish a Book?”–now that’s a pretty eclectic list, don’t you think? I love learning!

I’ve been preparing for my upcoming email newsletter, taking a MailChimp video course on SkillShare, and studying at least 15 articles, e-books and short courses on email lists and creating e-books for email lists.

I attended a meeting where the new BC education curriculum was introduced–with a particular emphasis on how it will affect DL home learning programs.

I’ve read several books, including Writing Articles That Sell, Writing for Cash, and Writing the Short Story 

Of course, I have continued my regular tutoring, and added a new secondary school student (and quickly brushing up my rusty linear relations skills!). I also did a lot of editing in the past month, including a non-fiction book related to helping university grads find jobs, as well as editing for the 2016 anthology for the upcoming annual BC Youth Writers Camp at Okanagan College in Penticton in July.

I’ve gone out for lunch and picnics with writer friends–and yesterday I attended a meeting of a new writers group in Kelowna. It was great to hear their plans and meet amazing writers of all kinds. A new writers group has also started in Oliver/Osoyoos, just south of here. Of course we have a great group of writers here in Penticton as well. Okanagan writers are really getting together, supporting and encouraging each other, and learning together.

My daughter’s new job is keeping her super busy, so we’ve also had the chance to spend extra time with our grandkids–lots of trips to the park, blowing bubbles out in the front yard, picnics … keeping young! Meanwhile our old car has broken down, so we’re doing lots of walking while we look for a new set of wheels: good exercise in beautiful sunny Okanagan weather.

Oh, and I attended the AGM for the Okanagan Archive Trust Society. In the past I’ve edited articles for their magazine, “Archivos,” and have even started writing articles for it. I love history! Anyway, now I’m on their board as well 🙂

For Mother’s Day, I got some great new reading material from my kids and grandkids, so I think I’ll take a break now, and do some bedtime reading. Cheers!

So what do you think? Can I be forgiven for disappearing from here for a month or so? I hope so!