June 4, 2013

As a kid, I spent hours at the local library. My mom took us every week and as soon as we got home from our trips, I’d hide in a basement room and read entire books in one sitting. My mom was always reading and taught us to love the adventures we could find in books. She was a teacher and an elementary school librarian for years. For her funeral, I decided to compile a book list of the books she used to read to us–the books I remember her loving. My siblings contributed. I am happy to report my mom read Corduroy, The Little House and Drummerhof to all eight of us.

So books and reading have always been a big part of my life. Along with that, each summer I loved the local library reading challenges. Read 100 books, get a candy bar!!! Read every day for an hour, get a certificate!!! Read on a topic all summer and create a poster, get to pick out your own book!!! I may sound sarcastic but I really really did love them. Now my kids get to do the challenges and I’m equally excited for them. As they were signing up and checking out books, I decided that I wanted to do one too. The library has one for adults that I might try but I also want one geared toward my own writing goals.

So I came up with this awesome title for myself:  SUMMER 2013 TOTALLY RAD CHALLENGE!!!! I think it’s totally rad. My challenge will have three parts and will change weekly:

A reading challenge. Because my attention span is about two minutes long, this week I will read at least one essay from Brevity. This is an online creative non-fiction journal that I like for a few reasons. 1. all the essays have to be under 750 words. Writing beautiful things with few words is a important skill to have. it’s good to see strong examples 2. the topics are varied. I need a lot of variation these days. 3. I like reading personal essay/memoir and I want to write it. So at least one essay every day for a week.

A writing challenge. I haven’t been able to write anything really since the baby and my mom. For this week, I am going to try to sit down for fifteen minutes (at least) a day. It’s more than nothing. I’m also not going to be sad if nothing productive comes from it. If I can do this all week, next week’s challenge may get more challenging. If not, I may go down to five minutes.

A fun challenge. I want to get some magic going on around here. So this week’s fun challenge is a. get in a swimming pool (AHHHHHH!!!) and b. see how many flips in a row I can do underwater. I used to do this at DT pool every summer and I think I could do about seven. We’ll see if I can beat it. Or even come close.

So do you want to join me? you can do the same challenges or come up with your own. You can post them in the comments for the week and we’ll see how we do. Next week we’ll update and come up with new ones. I want to read essays, short stories, maybe a book or two this summer. I want to start small with my writing and then hopefully get in a groove and maybe get a new novel really really going. And I want to have lots and lots of fun. If I keep up with the challenges all summer I’m going to have an end of summer bash! Where there will be candy bars, certificates and books! Do it with me.

love you all and love to Carol who is without internet as she moves into her fancy new house.


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