Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A to Z Challenge: S is for Sociology (and Susan Spann and "Stories Gathered at the Kitchen Table" by Anne Randolph)

Seven more posts after today. I'm counting down, and my motor is running down. And I still have the dreaded V , X, and Z to go. I'm going to cheat again. I can see it coming.

Featured Author:  Susan Spann

Susan is an attorney who does a lot of work for the literary community, so she was a natural to teach a master class in Copyright and Contracts for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference a couple of years ago.

She had also written a mystery featuring a ninja detective and a Portuguese priest in 16th century Japan. That novel, Claws of the Cat, was so good Susan immediately snagged an agent when she pitched the book at the conference. The second book in the Shinobi mystery series, Blade of the Samurai, releases in July.

Featured Book:  Stories Gathered at the Kitchen Table: A Collection of Women's Memoirs by Anne Randolph

I haven't read this one yet. I bought my copy at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference last month and placed it on my coffee table to encourage me to read a story each day.

Here's how the book is described at Anne's website:

"Bold women from Kitchen Table Writing share stories that led them to confidence to become business women, leaders, mothers, healers, and trendsetters. In the safe haven of Kitchen Table Writing, these young creators and seasoned innovators create life stories that empower and resonate with women across generations."

Kitchen Table Writing is the name of Anne's coaching program and courses.

Word of the Day:  Sociology

When I first went to college right after high school, my father and I had a major disagreement about my course of study. I wanted to go to Journalism school, and he insisted I choose something practical where I could make money...like law school. I compromised by agreeing to Business Administration.

I lasted two years, then left school to marry, work (in business/accounting/management), and have kids. When my youngest started kindergarten, I went back to college, this time focusing on only the things I wanted to study....subjects I thought would broaden my experience and make me a better writer...if I could ever find the time to write because I was still working in business/accounting/management and continued to do so most of my adult life until retirement.

My major was sociology, and my two minors were political science and natural resources. I know just enough in each field to help me research all the stuff I don't know.

Did you follow your father's advice when it came to school, work, and other life choices?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Law school doesn't sound like fun. I was fortunate my parents fully supported my college choices.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I was an English major and although most people probably don't think it was the most practical of degrees, looking back on it, I'm still glad I did it. :)

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - I think sociology is absolutely fascinating. And of course it's very useful for a writer. Stories are all about people's interactions after all. I don't blame you for your interest in the topic. Billy Joel has said, 'If you're not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.' I see the point in that...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pat - I was pretty useless at school and never got to Uni - my father wanted me to be a lawyer .. but not my style. I'm a latent developer I think ...

I'd love to study Sociology .. I'm about to do Geology and History and there are other courses I can take - so I'll see what's on offer. It's the University of the 3rd Age - where professionals put on courses - I gather ours is an academic section and I'd like that ..

Cheers - it's never too late to learn .. Hilary

Trisha F said...

Claws of a Cat sounds like a very intriguing read - a ninja detective in the 16th century? I'm in!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My parents had plans for us, be teachers or nurses, you'll always have a job and a profession. We all listened and it worked out but the youngest three of us found other careers too.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I didn't think law school sounded like fun either, Alex.

Madeline, I didn't want to study English because I hated having to dissect and analyze my favorite books.

I agree, Margot. I still read books in the field of sociology and psychology, especially when writing about people who commit crimes.

Hi Hilary -- We have a wonderful program in our area that offers classes to any age taught by professionals in the field. And continuing education is available at most colleges, too. I take a new course every now and then.

Trisha, Susan's first book was so good. I can't wait to read the 2nd.

It's not unusual to have two or more careers these days, Susan. As humans live longer and take better care of themselves, the opportunities keep expanding.

Crystal Collier said...

Goodness, I don't think my father gave me any advice about school. I tend to think he had that much confidence in my decision making abilities, but he did build a small savings for it, so no complaints here. Most education I've undertaken has been interest based, and I think that's totally the way to go. You get so much more out of it. =)

True Heroes from A to Z

Dean K Miller said...

Have we seen Susan before? Sounds familiar and I'm adding her book to my "to read" list now. Thanks.

College...well, yeah, no, um, direction wasn't there and lots going on then so I didn't get very far. But JR. College was where I took my first creative writing courses (3 in all). I guess something good came out of those wandering years.

Susan said...

Thanks so much for the lovely compliments and mention today, Pat!

Ironically, I did follow my father's footsteps to law school (and the academic in me loves the law, though I don't like fighting with people, which is why I chose a transactional route) - but my dad didn't exactly tell me to choose it. Instead, he advised me to pick something that would allow me to make a living and let me make my choices from there.

The irony, of course, is that I wanted to become a writer. Dad didn't object to that exactly, but he thought I should do something to pay the bills instead of gambling on writing straight off.

He didn't live to see my books in print, but he was supportive of my writing as well as my law practice, and I suspect he would be very proud to see the way I'm making them work together.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Crystal, my dad would have cut off my financing if I hadn't taken "practical" classes. When I went back to school later in life, I had to pay for it myself.

That creative writing course was a good choice, Dean. One wonders what prompted you to pick that one.

Hi Susan -- Your dad used the same argument mine did, and they were right, of course. I just ended up in business instead of law. Unfortunately, my dad passed away long before I began writing. I did dedicate my first published novel to him, though. Most of it was set on the farm where I grew up, and I think he would have like that.

Rhonda Blackhurst said...

My father wasn't either supportive or unsupportive of school...hmmm. I started out going to college with every intention of majoring in journalism and minoring in social work. After one year I quit and went to cosmetology school which led to managing a hair salon. When my youngest was in high school I got my paralegal degree. Talk about complete opposite ends of the spectrum. lol!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Sociology was my least favourite subject in college. Fortunately for me my parents supported my decision to study Psychology, Literature and Journalism in college.

Jan Morrison said...

My daddio wanted his children to love what they did, as he did. I was so fortunate to live my life somewhat backwards -first I had my family, starting at 18, then after working at many jobs, from logger to day care coordinator, I became a psychotherapist, training with some amazing teachers. I went to university at 40 and took a degree in lterature! I'm still a psychotherapist anda writer, an eexcellent combination. My daddio was a general who also liked to write. He was proud of me because I am kind. My mum wanted me to be a librarian! Ha!

simple girl..... said...

In our country i.e. India, this disagreement with parents to choose which subject one wants to pursue is a very common problem. But I was lucky. I chose my subject, made my decisions.. But even then I want to change track now and learn something new..