Though it's summer, I feel like I'm back in elementary school, since my days are filled with reading, writing and arithmetic. As I have for the past decade, I'm reading the selections of fellow members for two monthly book groups, as well as submissions for Not Your Mother's Book two upcoming anthologies, On Sharing Secrets and My First Time. Additionally, I'm reading descriptions of apartments for seniors in the Southern California Long Beach and Orange County areas, since I'm keeping a positive attitude that I'll sell my house here in Northeast Washington.
I'm continuing to write creative nonfiction for anthologies. Right now there's 90 books containing my stories on top the entertainment center. A few more are set to arrive any day, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?, Not Your Mother's Book...On Cats, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life and Dear Nana, a collection of stories about grandmothers. I've also received word that my stories are being considered for Not Your Mother's Book...On Working for a Living and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some other submissions, as well, including Not Your Mother's Book...On Sex and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness. I've even sent a new story for Chicken Soup for the Soul's Christmas 2015 book, ever hopeful, even though I've never had a story selected for their Christmas book series. Hoping to break 100 by year's end!
My article on the recent Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop appears in the summer issue of Uncle Jam, debuting at cartoonist and publisher Phil Yeh's booth at San Diego's Comic Con this weekend: http://issuu.com/wingedtiger/docs/unclejam104_issuu. This month Publishing Syndicate's free monthly Wow Principles online newsletter will feature my article on dialogue tags, a fun piece to research. (If you haven't signed up for this, do so now...there's over five years of archives worth browsing if you're a writer, or want to be.) https://www.publishingsyndicate.com/newsletters/wow_newsletter.html
Like other freelancers who are supplementing their fixed retirement incomes, I make a lists of income and outgo, and consider new sources of work-from-home, adding and subtracting and figuring where to splurge and where to cut back. My second term with the Washington State medical board (Medical Quality Assurance Commission) won't end until the close of August, so I'm still reading complaints about doctors and physician assistants. Additionally, I served as a federal grant reviewer for the Department of Education's Primary and Secondary School Counseling program at the beginning of summer, so spent a solid two weeks reviewing, analyzing, scoring and discussing grant applications. These two activities keep me professionally up-to-date on health and education trends, plus bring a little additional income to my retirement years.
I'm looking for new paying markets for writers, and have updated resumes for grant reviewers for other federal agencies, figuring I'll have more leeway in my schedule once I won't have the every-six-weeks trips to Olympia or Seattle for the medical commission. I remain hopeful that I'll sell the house and find a small apartment with no yard to tend to. That should save many more hours for reading and writing, and lessen the budget arithmetic.
I'm still California dreamin' and will be exploring housing possibilities, and hanging out with friends and relatives, this next week...and that should be something to write about!