This week I went on a reading adventure. Last Sunday, I submitted my first chapter draft to my class and am awaiting feedback from my peer readers. At the same time, I read three other classmate’s first chapter(s). First up was a story of an older woman who had emigrated from Cuba. The next one was set in anywhere USA, offering a graphic and disturbing story of the date rape of a young woman. The final one was a mix between Indiana Jones and ET, with an archeologist and her nephew exploring cave paintings in India. Each one was very good. I am impressed with the creative ideas of my classmates and can envision stories extending beyond their first chapters. I hope I provided honest and helpful feedback for each of them, and that the three reviewing my work will do the same.
I also had time to finish two books on my bedside table. I’ll be sorry to miss my Norfolk book club this week to discuss, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane: A Novel, by Lisa See. Our club had read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Ms. See a few years ago and I remembered it was a great read about young women in China. The Tea Girl is also about a young woman, set in the rural provinces of China’s rich tea-producing region. I enjoyed learning about this part of the world and an industry I had no idea was so vast and critical to the economy and livelihoods of millions of Chinese families. My only complaint was the ending. Too tied up with a pretty bow for my taste.
The second book looks like one of my old college textbooks. Notes in the margins, pages turned down. Work It: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in Business is written by one of my old Radio Disney colleagues, Carrie Kerpen. What an amazing job she has done. From junior sales executive at RD, to owning and running her own social media agency with her husband Dave in New York City, to authoring a very helpful and inspiring handbook for women in business. Oh yeah – and she has three kids between the ages of 3 and 14. I don’t know how she does it all. She was an inspiration for me to start writing. And, even this late into my own career, I noted several tips and strategies I can use. A young woman starting out in her career will find the advice in #WorkIt invaluable.
This week I pack up my notebooks, paper and electronic, as we head south. I figured out how to save everything to a cloud account for back up so I should be good to take this show on the road, and keep it going. I’ll be back next week, seaside/poolside.
PS. I am still looking for folks to review my first chapter. PM or email me if you’d like a copy.