Pure Promo Power Here

I decided to make a quick post promoting everything that I have going on, as well as one special event coming up in less than two weeks. Here we go:


First, I have a new presence on Substack. I have decided to start a Liegois Media branch there on that writer’s platform. You can see me there at the link below:

There is a Liegois Media page on Facebook, which reprints all the stuff you see here on WordPress and Substack, as well as any cool writing memes I run across on Facebook.

Also, there is a Liegois Media page on Twitter, for much of the same purpose as my Facebook page.

In the realm of upcoming events, there is a new one I mentioned just a bit ago. Here’s just a couple of reminders of what it’s about:

So, I and a whole group of Midwest writers will be at the Badger, Iowa city-wide garage sale and book fair beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, September 17. The location will be at the Badger Public Library, 211 1st Ave SE, Badger, IA.

Here’s a link to the event.

So, I will be headed there for an appearance and with copies of my book The Holy Fool. Hope to see you all out there.

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Badger Book Fair, Badger, Iowa

A Quick Discussion/Restatement of The Purpose Behind this Blog

Today, since I just got started posting on Substack, I decided to post what I considered to be a mission statement for what my intentions were for that blog. However, the longer I was writing, the more I realized much of what I was writing for Substack also matched my evolving intentions for this site, my blogging home base, so to speak.

With that in mind, I decided to post a slightly altered version of that post below. Consider it a revised mission statement for Liegois Media.


Essentially, what this will be about is writing – specifically, me talking about the art of writing and occasional bits of advice about writing, some of my own original work that aren’t blog posts, as well as my experiences with the craft and a hint of memoir as I recount my continued growth and progression as a writer in my own right1-2.

Let’s tackle each of those topics in turn, shall we? Just like they taught us in school (and I have been teaching everyone from junior high, high school, and junior college students over the past several years).


The Art of Writing

I think one of the biggest topics of this blog will obviously be about the art of writing. I have worked in professions that have a heavy emphasis on writing skills for more than 25 years. During that time, I have developed a few ideas about writing, how it should be done, what are the important elements of writing and how someone who wants to really improve their writing should concentrate on.

As reflected in this blog, this might, sometimes, involve posts where I discuss what could be called writing advice. More often, it will involve discussing my philosophy of writing, how this is evolved over time, and what it is now.

There are three things that I can comfortably say about myself as a writer. First, I can definitely say, that through a combination of a small innate talent, a strong desire to excel at expressing myself, and more than a few years of experience, that I am a very good writer. I also believe that since one lifetime is nowhere near enough time to learn everything about writing, I also still have a lot to learn and room to grow as a writer. But I have learned a bit, and I’ve grown a bit as well.

So, me discussing that philosophy and the various ways how I put it into practice will be a major part of this blog. I don’t think I would have wanted to become a teacher in the first place, for example, if I didn’t want to share that love of writing. And this place will be another way for me to do that.


My Work

It’s only natural that if this is going to be a blog about writing, that I would actually share some of this writing with you. By writing, I’m talking about stuff that’s not blatantly blogs, but other forms of writing.

Over the years, I’ve shared examples of short stories and essays on various subjects on this blog. About a decade ago, I got convinced to actually try my hand at poetry, with some results that were… satisfying, at least? Take some time and look around the “My Works” category if you want to see them.

I have not contemplated what a paid subscription to this blog might look like, and it will be a while before I think I can make that next step. However, maybe some of that work becomes exclusive content… I’ll have to think about it. Go ahead and check it out, though.


A Writer’s Progress

A good portion of this blog will be me recounting what I have been trying to do as a writer and the progress I have made up to this point. I started doing a little series entitled A Writer’s Biography where I looked back on my life and how I came to be fascinated with writing and fiction. That might wind up being a project in its own right, as I have been reviewing and examining the posts that I have written so far and I’ve now been toying with turning it into its own project. I never anticipated being one of those memoirists, but it appears that I’ve been doing it almost unintentionally. We’ll have to see where that goes.

I’ve also been discussing my efforts to get published in one form or another. Part of my dreams came true when I finally became a published novelist with my book The Holy Fool, but I’m wanting to move forward and write more stuff and put it before an audience. Right now, I am contemplating moving forward with the self-publishing route for several different reasons3. I’ll discuss that journey, as well as some of the things I experience as a writer online.

On this blog, one of the more frequent types of posts are my weekly writing journals, where I recount my weekly word counts and if I am meeting the daily quotas I’ve set for myself. I certainly will keep doing that on the WordPress blog, because I find that being publicly accountable for the writing I do helps me to keep self-motivated. Go ahead and check them out if you want a laugh some days.

As far as when you will see posts here, I think I can guarantee that I can put out new content on at least a bi-weekly basis or weekly basis. I am leaning towards Saturdays being my publishing/posting days, although I will likely start putting those posts together in the proceeding days. Also, there will be some bonus posts I make here that will be “archive” material from my WordPress blog.

I think I have covered most everything regarding what this blog will look like in the weeks and months to come. I would like eventually have monthly discussion threads with readers, and I will plan to do the first one later this month. Keep posted here as to exactly when that will be3.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the time to come. Take care, everyone.


Footnotes:

  1. I have to say that’s a pretty nice little thesis statement I whipped up. It would be worth at least an A- in one of my Composition 1 classes.
  2. (Also, after using Substack, I have to say that I really love how it has a really good format to set up footnotes. As some previous readers of this blog might have noticed, I’ve begun to get more addicted to putting footnotes in my posts than David Foster Wallace.)
  3. I was aiming this at my Substack readers, but I might look at how I might set up something like that here on WordPress, as well.

A Quick Promo Post…

So, a while ago, I got an invitation from Tambo Jones, a librarian in Badger, Iowa, for me to come on out to a city-wide garage sale and book fair. She had gotten my name from one of my fellow writers in Des Moines, Maggie Rivers, to come on down to the festivities.

Here’s a link to the event.

So, I will be headed there for an appearance and with copies of my book The Holy Fool. Festivities are expected to start at 8 a.m. and will continue throughout the morning. I may be listening to Premier League soccer occasionally on my Sirius XM radio, but I am looking forward to getting out and meeting people. I also know one of my friends and fellow authors Darrel Day is expected to be there, too.

The location will be at:

Badger Public Library
211 1st Ave SE
Badger, IA 50516

I hope to see you there, if you can make it.

Writing Journal 1 September 2022: A bit rubbish this week

It was not a week to brag about as I began my first week of teaching classes (which are pretty much all language arts classes).

Not yet sure about the grading workload, but I will work to make sure that I try to get through it with as less stress as possible. One advantage I have is that I’m not having to deal with any of the high level of paperwork that you have to get through as a special education teacher. I don’t necessarily mind not having to do that, but I did appreciate the chance to use my writing abilities to put together some decent individual education plans (IEPs) for my students.

Again, last week was not a horrible writing week – I had at least one not as good as the start of the month – but its not where I want it to be or expect of myself. At this point any week where I don’t write over 4,000 words is going to be a bit of a disappointment to me. And that’s a good feeling to have. There have been so many times over my life where I would just be satisfied with not getting anything done. The new demanding me is more satisfying. I still haven’t gotten as far as I’d like, but I can see the growth in what I am producing ever so slowly.

Anyway, enough of that. Here’s the stats; feel free to check out my first post on Substack – there’ll be more to come along with more here.

Writing statistics for the week ending 27 August 2022:
+3,159 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 60 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 4 of 7 days.

I’m On Substack – Come Check It Out

Well, I promised I was going to do it, so I finally did. I’m at https://jasonliegoisauthor.substack.com. I’d love it if you might want to check me out there.

My first post will be a bit of an introduction, but I plan on cross-posting many items from here to the Substack blog, both current and “classic” posts I think might have some interest.

See you there.

Writing Journal 24 August 2022: Staying steady as the school year starts

As of this writing, it’s been two days since I got back together with the students from my school district and returned to full-time language arts teaching for the first time in 10 years. Strange times ahead, and I hope good ones ahead as well.

Not much to chat about other than that. The writing week went well. I had a quick announcement about going live on Substack Friday. I’ll post a link later on that day to that post.

The past week was… solid, not spectacular, but I’ll take that any time especially as I start getting ready for school. Take care, everyone, and yourselves as well.

Writing statistics for the week ending 20 August 2022:
+4,592 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 60 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

An Announcement Regarding a New Project

Hi, everyone,

Just wanted to let you know (as you might have suspected), I am going to start posting on Substack as well as here on WordPress. I am in the process of writing my initial welcome post on Substack and it will go live on Friday.

I will post a link to that post and my Substack site by Friday evening. Many of the articles that will be or have been posted here will be cross-posted to Substack. I think it’s a great way to reach more readers, especially fellow writers.

I’m really looking forward to it. See you then.

Substack: A Sequel

I usually don’t include short notes like this on the blog, but I did want to share something related to a review of the writing site Substack I shared here a few weeks back.

One of the things that I mentioned in that review was while I found the frequently asked questions pages quite helpful (the company terms them the “Writer’s Resource” pages) to be quite helpful, of course they were never going to have every single answer I was looking for. Also, it’s always tricky to try and use the right keywords to get the exact advice you want. Substack has regular office hours, but those are during the midday and especially with the school year coming up, it’s difficult to me to make those hours.

However, I did manage to make it to one of those “writer’s hours” chat about a week ago, and I got a great response from a writer by the name of Jackie Dana, who runs a page on Substack called Unseen St. Louis and also contributes to another couple of Substack pages as well. She answered a couple of questions I had about the platform, including what would the best options be for cross-posting from WordPress to Substack. (The short answer is, publish in WordPress, copy and paste into Substack, and there shouldn’t be too much of an issue except for maybe a couple of formatting issues.) Also, I got invited to join a Substack Writer’s forum, so I can start wandering around there at odd hours if I need some other advice.

The short story is, I’m going to look at putting together my first official Substack post soon. After that, I will continue to cross-post from her to there, and perhaps add a few older articles occasionally to Substack as well. I’ll let you know here when that goes “live,” so to speak.

I always am trying to take care that I’m doing my research before jumping into a new writing endeavor. However, I think at a certain point, the best policy is for me to plow ahead and see what happens.

So, I guess I’ll see you later here and at Substack (as well as the other places; just check out the sidebar lol).

Writing Journal 17 August 2022: Contemplating the start of the school year

I’ve got just a day before I go back to school for in-service and less than a week before I’m in front of kids. It will be the first time in about a decade that I will be a full-time language arts teacher (rather than primarily a special education teacher or a journalist). I am a bit nervous at the challenge. For example, I will be teaching middle school again along with my high school students. However, I do like the district and if there is one place I would be comfortable enough teaching a full language arts schedule, it would be this place. We will see. I will miss my special education students, although I am likely to see some of them next year in regular classes.

As for last week’s writing, if every week were this productive, I would be quite happy. I’m hoping that I will be able to keep up the pace and have a great last third of the year to make the goals I set at the start of the year of at least 200,000 words and making my daily quota at least 70 percent of the time. So far, so good.

Here’s the numbers. Take care everyone.

Writing statistics for the week ending 13 August 2022:
+5,898 words written.
Days writing: 7 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

Assessing Summer 2022, or Did I Waste My Vacation This Year?

The question – or usually a statement – I’ve heard people make regarding teaching is “it must be wonderful to have that free time during the summers.”

I have to admit that it is good to have that vacation time. Even during the best of times, a school year for teachers is the mental equivalent of running a marathon. After it’s over, you need recovery time mentally and to some extent physically.

However, I also feel (at least, I have felt this way for the past several years teaching) that I have all this time to myself, and there is this internal pressure that I “make good use of it,” so to speak. There were times these past few months where I felt that I was not doing that effectively. For example, May-June of 2021 was a blank time for me, to be honest. But that made sense in retrospect because I was contemplating not even returning to teaching, so I was a bit unsure of my IRL status for a while.

However, when I look back on what happened this summer, there were a bit more positives than negatives when it came down to it. Let’s review.

Negatives

I think that there were a lot of times when I found myself just sitting and either watching television or staring at my phone. As I have chronicled in this space before, entropy and sitting still is my natural level. It takes me a lot longer to get bored with hanging out at home than many other people. Could I have spent more time writing instead of watching soccer, Formula 1, and Australian Rules Football, watching YouTube to catch people’s movie reviews (especially bad movies), and what Jim Cornette thinks about the current world of wrestling, or using Minecraft to build a digital castle? Well, probably I could have.

I also am a little disappointed in myself that I am not farther along on my route to self-publishing than I wanted to be at this point. (That will be its own post a bit later.) I am further than I was, and I am starting to get a handle on what things I need to take care of before I jump into this. It might take time, but I also want to make sure than I am getting things right.

Positives

My overall writing productivity has not been bad during the summer months. So far, I am definitely ahead of where I was at the same time last year, which was definitely a down time for me.

I believe that I have make at least a little more effort to take care of myself than I have in years past. Even though my weight is not where I would like it to be, I have made the effort to walk nearly every day for the past couple months. That’s something that I didn’t really do on a consistent basis before, but now I am. I was never comfortable with the gym or other stuff, but I have been comfortable going on a walk along some relatively level sidewalks and I feel good after getting them done, especially in the hot summer sun. I definitely will keep up with it during the school year.

I’ve been able to get out and do things that I have not had the chance to do for a long time. I managed to get away with my wife to Duluth, Minnesota, for a few days and it was a fantastic experience. I got to go down to Kansas City for the day and watch the US men’s soccer team for the first time in my life after more than 20 years of fandom.

Also, I’ve gotten more active on this site and trying to write more blogs and content here than in the past. I didn’t actually write a new post every weekend, but I did do it on plenty of them – including this one. And after some brainstorming, I have quite a few other ideas for blog posts to come.

It’s not been a bad summer. Shame it has to come to a close.