5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Importance of Life-long Learning

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
Our topic this month is “School Days/School Daze” however, all of the Genre-istas are free to write whatever they want as long as it is at a PG-13 rating level (we do have young people who follow us)!

Since I no longer deal with School Days nor am I in a School Daze, I won’t regale you with old stories from my past when I was in a daze getting children ready for those first days of school.

Instead a bit of a spin-off from that topic “Life-Long Learning.”

While I do not seek another college degree or, at least not at this time, some type of Certificate of Achievement, I do watch webinars, read craft books and a truly great way to learn craft is by reading the books of other authors.

I love my covers!
Although the Original Sacred Women’s Circle series is complete as the seven heroines now each have their own book, the secondary characters in those books are lining up to be seen and heard.

Currently I’m just over 40K words into the first draft of Dr. Mark Parker’s Story. If you’ve read Lily, you met Mark. He is an orthopedic doctor and Lily has known him professionally for several years. They have a warm trusting friendship.

You also have met Ethan, the young physically abused boy that Mark sees in the Emergency Department. Something about Ethan speaks to Mark’s heart and he talks to Lily about how he can protect this little one from further abuse.

So how does writing this story fit in with being a life long learner? I’ve some research to do on what happens when bone doesn’t heal right. What is the process to “fix” it? When I worked in child protective services I learned that badly healed breaks could be re-broken, reset and heal correctly. However learning of it and actually knowing how that happens are two different things.

While I don’t need to recount the actual procedure, I can’t imagine Mark not explaining what was going to happen to both the child and her mama. And in fiction, the only way a character can explain a medical procedure is if the author knows the salient details.

Life-long learning is a critical factor in the publishing business. There’s something to learn in the actual process of writing: creating believable characters; describing setting so the reader is “there”; realistic dialogue are just a few. On top of the craft of writing, there’s new ways to upload and market and promote books being rolled out, if not every day then at least several times a year.

One of the traits I’m most grateful for is I was already a dedicated life-long learner before I put on my Indie Author hat.

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you. Go to and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

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Sarah Raplee said...

According to recent research, continuing to learn new skills and information keeps our brains healthy as we age. Silver lining to all the research authors have to do and all the new skills we must learn.

I'm glad you are writing Mark's story. I really liked him in your first book, Lily!

Diana McCollum said...

Great on starting Mark's story! He was a good secondary character in Lily.
Wonderful post on life long learning. I know I feel happy when I'm learning something new. and as Sarah said, it's good for our brains!! Great post!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. I've read some of those findings that also say keeping the brain healthy by learning new skills can help reduce or slow down dementia. Since I have two long time friends with that diagnosis, I'm all for keeping my brain active.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Diana. I liked Mark also. Just think of all the new things we've learned on this publishing journey! Lots of technical skills as well as the research we need for our stories.