Monday, April 20, 2009

Productive Days

I have one more post to make on King Asa. At least I think I do. Right now I can't find the notes on what the last post was to be about. But I need a break from that, so today I'll just make a general progress-of-life type post.

Late last week and the weekend were productive days, for writing and for other things. I worked hard on my Good King, Bad King study for our Life Group. Right now it's only two classes, on the life of King Asa, who is both the good and bad king. I'm going to teach it a couple of Sundays in May while we wait for our new quarterly study to arrive. This will be a good Bible study, and I plan someday to expand it into eight to ten lessons, maybe even more. However, the amount of research I did for this tells me this may have to wait until retirement.

Friday night Lynda got it in her head to try to find a couple of books we've never been able to find since we moved to Bella Vista from Bentonville in 2002. Our basement has lots of boxes, but very few we haven't gone through. Friday evening we went through those, didn't find the missing books, but found other things we had forgotten about. Some of it could easily be discarded, as it related to employment at places where we are not now employed. Other was simply mis-boxed, and could be easily taken to other, similar things. We found several boxes with not a whole lot in them. We consolidated some of this, the entire process concluding Saturday evening. The end result is our "stuff" stuffed in the basement is less than before, though we have much more similar work to do.

My genealogy work continues, and I'm trying to find a way to do a little bit at a time. Normally when I get the genealogy bug, it consumes me and I become a basket case. Not so at the moment. I am slowly going through the life of Peter Cheney, son of John Cheney of Newbury Massachusetts. He lived 1638-1696, and is Lynda's gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandfather. My document of events in his life is up to five pages (with source footnotes), and I feel good about it.

Writing wise, I have posted six times about the life of King Asa of Judah, and three times at The Senescent Man blog about the Baby Boomers, and why I call them the Candy Store Generation. I have one more post to make in that series. Also this weekend I completed a sonnet, one that has been buzzing around in my head for a couple of years, which finally gelled Friday night and was finished by Saturday afternoon. This morning I posted it for critique at Absolute Write.

Reading wise, I kept up with my Bible reading, and with pleasure reading in the two books of letters, one Tolkien's and one C.S. Lewis'. They are different style letters. The selected ones in the Tolkien book are mainly about his writing and publishing. The Lord of the Ring is heavily discussed. I'm at the point where he had just finished the book and is weighing two options for publishing. The CSL selected letters are on Christianity, letters to various Christian friends, or people considering Christianity. They are denser than Tolkien's, and I find I have to have absolute silence to read and comprehend them. Tolkien's I can read while the television is on.

The other big item is: I have my first freelancing writing assignment! Last Thursday I went to Barnes & Noble after work in search of a certain book I wanted to buy and give to someone. It was not available, though another, similar book was and I got that. Then I went to the magazine racks to look for a couple of mags to research and see if I can write articles for them. One of them, Internet Genealogy, I discovered at Borders in Overland Park last month. I read then it while drinking a large house blend, mainly for my love of the subject.

Then, last week it hit me that maybe I could write something for that mag. So I got a copy, read it in the coffee shop while drinking a large house blend, and took notes and began to think of what I could write about. The on-line database I've been using to research Peter Cheney is at a site that genealogical researchers might not expect, so that seemed a good place to start. Thursday night (actually Friday morning about 4 AM) I couldn't sleep. Got up at 5 AM and drafted a query letter to Internet Genealogy proposing that article. I sent it via e-mail on my noon hour on Friday, went for my noon walk, came back to my desk and had a reply from the editor: yes, write the article.

This will be for pay--not huge pay, but certainly enough to make the work worthwhile. This will be for platform building--not a great platform, but something to show editors and agents. This will be to demonstrate that my writing is good enough to be published. We'll see.

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