Buttontapper Challenge: Day 6

Start Doing – What are some things you want to start doing this year?

This had better be a short list since I already have more on my plate than I can handle. Thankfully, tomorrow’s topic is Stop Doing, which should be longer.

Taking up this challenge is an example of one thing I want to start doing–or more precisely to restart doing: write every day.

I got out of the habit of writing regularly last year. Instead, I set a reading goal and I let that get into the way. Even more disturbing:  I let the goal of reading a specific number of books replace reading specific books.

That gets to a second thing I want to start doing: be choosy about what I read.

I want to describe in one sentence why I plan to read each book and know that those around me won’t laugh at the reason.

That’s it. Making a list of things I plan to start doing is just too similar to making New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve already explained why I don’t do that.

photo credit: Hello I’m Nik

Ten Most Common Errors Made by Writers: #6

A Tense Moment: Word Context, Past & Present, another common error from writers, from SDW/EG member Larry Edwards.

Polishing Your Prose

From the Editor’s Eye
The 10 Most Common Errors Made by Writers
(And How to Fix Them)

The fifth of a ten-part series.

#6. A Tense Moment: Word Context, Past & Present

You and I are sitting at a bar, having a beer, and I tell you about an incident that occurred last week, while driving home from work: At a stop light, in the car next to me, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in ten years. Then, pointing out a little irony, I add that just yesterday I had thought of him and wondered what he’s up to these days.

You frown and say, yesterday? I’m confused. I don’t see the irony if you saw him a week ago. Don’t you mean you thought about him the day before you saw him at the stoplight? I do see the irony in that.


And I look at…

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Book Review: Police

Five StarsPolice, the tenth and final book in Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole detective series, tells of the Oslo Crime Squad’s search for a serial killer who is targeting them, specifically police or former police who were involved in the investigation of cases that were closed without being solved. The public are outraged at the lack of progress in the cases, though the police themselves have more reason to be concerned as some of their best have been killed. Making it even more complicated, the head of the Crime Squad is getting little cooperation from the newly appointed Chief of Police, who has his own secrets to keep hidden.

The best suspect for the crimes is presumed to have died, but as the twists come in every chapter, it isn’t certain; he may still be alive. And an anonymous patient in a coma, kept in a hospital room guarded by police day and night, is another villain from a previous Hole case, also thought to have died, whose existence serves up more threats.

Harry doesn’t make his appearance in this novel until more than 100 pages in. He has promised Rakel, the woman who captured his heart and whose life he had put in danger in the past, that he would no longer investigate cases. He traded his police status for a position as an instructor at the equivalent of Oslo’s Police Academy. He has promised Rakel he will never again put his detective skills ahead of the people in his life. He has made this promise before, but this time, he intends to keep it. That is, until it is clear he can no longer refuse the requests from his former colleagues. When one of those closest to him fell victim to the killer.

Police keeps the reader guessing all the way to the end. Nesbø offers up plenty of possible suspects as well a possible victims along the way. Even at the end, he poses questions about what is coming. Is Police really the last book in the series?

Police: A Harry Hole Novel (10) (Harry Hole Series)

Eight-Week Challenge: Week Five Results

week 5

How Am I Doing?

Hooray! I have much progress to report on this week.

As a reminder, here are my goals for the eight-week challenge:

  • eat more nutritious food with fewer empty calories,
  • spend one day a week reading the backlog of magazines sitting on the end table (changed to read an average of five magazines each week from the backlog), and
  • write at least 500 words per day for at least five days each week.

Healthy Eating

Two important events passed this week in addition to my meeting my goals for body mass index and improving my record for walking. First, I met with both a nutritionist and an endocrinologist regarding my current eating pattern and its impact on my health. The nutritionist confirmed that I’m making all the right choices in what to eat, but she recommended some tweaks to ensure that each meal is balanced. Second, my A1C and fasting blood sugar levels as tested this week were back within the desired target range.

Now I know my endocrinologist and I don’t agree entirely on what should follow that meeting. She was pleased with the results of my blood tests, but her recommendation is that I continue taking two medications that I believe are no longer needed because of the changes I have made in both diet and exercise. She says once a person is diagnosed as diabetic, that person is forever and after diabetic. I favor the opinion that diabetes offers and on-off switch, that changes in diet and exercise can switch the condition back off again.

Because I prefer following my vision, I will return to see her again in three months, during which time I plan not to take the two medications to see how the numbers look then.

Clearing Up the Backlog

Though it doesn’t show on the chart for week five’s progress, I have killed off the magazine backlog. Today I read the last of the 34 magazines in that pile. A couple of new issues have arrived this week and I am determined not to allow a backlog to reappear. I’ve also decided to send a few issues off to friends I believe will appreciate them as much as I did.


Though I missed one day, I met my goal of writing at least 500 words at least five days in the week. And that means it is time to increase my goal for the rest of the challenge. My new goal will be to write at least 750 words for at least five days in the week.

Three weeks left. Once again, thanks to Danielle for setting out this challenge.

Book Review: Call the Midwife

callthemidwifeJennifer Worth’s first volume of her trilogyFive Stars covers her transition from nurse at a regimented and hierarchical hospital to midwife in a convent where lay nurses work side-by-side with their cloistered, religious sisters in the docklands of the East End of London in the 1950s. She arrives at Nonnatus House convinced there is no God and suspicious of the motivation of the nuns with whom she lives and works. But through the telling of vignettes about the women she serves, the family members she meets through them, and her colleagues from Nonnatus, she comes to respect the nuns and their religious life, and even sees the hand of God acting in response to their prayers when everything she was taught in medical school would deny the possibility of the outcomes she sees.

I was familiar with Jenny Lee, the author; the three midwives she works with, Trixie, Cynthia, and Chummy; and the sisters at Nonnatus House, Sisters Julienne, Evangelina, and Monica Joan; through the PBS series of the same name. But I missed the earliest episodes and therefore much of the context of life near the London docks right after World War II. I felt as though I held the diaries of these women as I read each of the stories of new life in uncertain times. I am pleased by how true to the characters Jenny describes the PBS versions seem.

And I look forward to locating copies of the second and third volumes of the memoirs of Jennifer Worth.

  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Rep Mti edition (August 29, 2012)
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Women’s Studies, History, Great Britian, Biographies & Memoirs