So I haven’t posted on my blog in a couple of weeks. And here I thought that, once the History of the Renaissance was turned in, I’d be all bloggy again.

Actually, I feel weird. I’ve been focused on that manuscript for SO long that I’m feeling a little…gormless. Unfocused. Scattered. Clueless. In fish-mode. (You know, where you go a little to the left, and then a little to the right, and then a little to the left, and then you turn around and go back the way you came.)

So here’s what I’m going left and right and back and forth with.

I’m getting the second level of my middle-grade writing program, Writing With Skill, ready for the beta-testers.

I’m still finishing up the maps

and timelines

for the History of the Renaissance. That’s time-consuming and particular work. (You’ll notice the color-coding; don’t get excited, the final versions will be black-and-white, like those in the previous two volumes,

but the color-coding is a strategy that the good folks in Norton’s production department came up with to try to avoid a repeat of previous frustrations.)

I’m trying to decide which chapters need illustrations.

I’m finishing up the summer’s conferencing (on my way to the Society for Classical Learning, even as I type this). Still have a Texas conference to go.

Working on the next Peace Hill Press catalog, the one that we’ll launch in 2013.

Getting ready to can/freeze the eight zillion peaches that are about to come in. After several years of bad crops, we’re looking at a bumper harvest.

(Yes, this is better living through chemistry and, yes, I too feel ambivalent about it.)

Getting ready for the arrival of the sheep, most recently by adding a guardian donkey to the farm. This is Athena, named after the goddess of war. Which you would understand, if you saw her go after the dogs.

All of this is great stuff. It just feels so scattered. I don’t miss the pressure of always feeling behind, which I’ve lived with for the last year as the History of the Renaissance oozed farther and farther past its original deadline. But I miss the single focus I had when I was working on it.

Which is probably why I keep contemplating starting another Really Big Project…

Showing 13 comments
  • Jennifer

    I’m just another homeschooling mom that is very grateful for the work you do. My oldest will be thrilled you are working on the second level of Writing With Skill. I wont actually tell her that she may out pace you someday and her younger siblings may get to use them. She’d be crushed. Thank you.

  • Amy in NH

    ooh! What kind of sheep are you getting?

  • Sheila

    A donkey? How did you rate a donkey? I’ve always wanted one of those. No idea why. Now I have you and Martha Stewart to remind me of the fact, not to mention reminding me of how I pruned my peach so harshly it won’t fruit this year. Sigh. Want to trade tomato stories?

    Consider me one of your beta-testers. I have two grade 6’s. Eager grade 6’s. Fervent mother, too.

  • Nely

    I recently purchased Writing with Skill and am very impressed with the program. My son began it earlier this year (4th grade) and really enjoys working through the book. He did not like writing before and I could not find a good program for him. So I am very happy at how well he is writing now. Thank you, Susan, for your hard work. I look forward to purchasing the other levels as time moves on.

    Thanks again.

  • Christina

    “Really Big Project” in caps…does that mean you have something particular in mind? Keeping us in suspense!

  • Lucy

    I don’t know about you, but when I hear the call of the Really Big Project after having just finished a Really Big Project, it turns out to be the song of the Lorelei. (Shudder.) Run while you still can. 🙂

  • Heather

    So HAPPY you’re working on WWS! We are going to need it!!!

  • Sharlene

    So super excited that the next writing with skill is going to beta testing ! How do I get on the list? I would love to be part of the testing 😀

  • karensk

    Soooo looking forward to you coming to Houston for the conference!!! I’ve been telling as many new homeschoolers as I can to come out to your workshops, because they’re so awesome. 🙂

    So, how about a video clip of Athena going after the dogs? These are the kind of things I need in life.

  • MomsintheGarden

    I’m so glad to hear that you are going to be working on the next volume of WWS. My ds is finishing WWS 1 this week and we are looking forward to beta testing volume 2. Is there any chance that your next big project could be finishing all of the WWS volumes, then producing a writing program for the rhetoric stage? Your current approach and textbook choices are solid, but it would be wonderful to have a cohesive writing program for the college-bound high schooler.

    Will you think about it, please?

  • Susan

    You can be a beta tester by contacting my executive assistant Pattie Worth at executiveassistant AT

  • Sybil Cooper

    WOW I’m tired just reading all of that!!! On top of all the traveling you do! But I’m happy to hear that WWS2 will be in beta-testing soon. I hope Patty still has me on the list from when I emailed her about it. 😎 I can’t wait to get my hands on it. You right such solid programs, they are worth the wait!

  • Matt Colflesh

    Dr. Bauer,

    Regarding Really Big Projects – I remember you mentioned, on your blog, doing or planning to do a class with The Teaching Company. Is that a Really Big Project that is possibly up next or on hold for now? Any hints as to the planned content?

    Congratulations on the completion of your manuscript. I look forward to adding it to my library once it is published.

    Matt Colflesh

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