Recent Posts

The book Grad School Life: Surviving and Thriving Beyond Coursework and Research by Jacqueline M. Kory-Westlund, standing up on a bookshelf with a stack of more copies behind. The cover shows a piles of papers behind the title, with a small potted plant on top of one stack, and the bottom half of the page covered in blue as if underwater

PUBLICATION DAY: Grad School Life: Surviving and Thriving Beyond Coursework and Research

Publishing a book can be a long road—but here we are at the destination! Read about my book: How to thrive in graduate school while keeping a healthy personal life!
a pile of five notebooks

Journaling to Set and Achieve Writing Goals

When I was a foil fencer, I kept a meticulous journal to track progress, practice, and goals. Now, here's how I'm applying what I learned to writing.
book cover for Grad School Life: Surviving and Thriving Beyond Coursework and Research by Jacqueline M. Kory-Westlund. It shows a piles of papers behind the title, with a small potted plant on top of one stack, and the bottom half of the page covered in blue as if underwater

Book Update #5: Grad School Life: Publication Day is March 19, 2024 + Cover Reveal

Exciting news: I have a book cover and pub date! Plus, details on the rest of the book production process, receiving page proofs, and figuring out book promotion.
great horned owl in flight over a meadow of flowers

3 Years Blogging: Why Write a Blog? How Do You Balance Blogging with Life?

Time flies like an owl! Here's why I continue to write a blog, and why—even when scaling back to fit blogging better in my life—it's still worth it.
a snail crawling over a rock

Switching the Blog Schedule to Biweekly

With all the other projects I'm working on, this blog will be taking a backseat. I'll still be writing here, just a little less often!
tags: blog work writing
the little blue engine that could pulling the train of toys over the mountain

Book Update #4: Chugging Through Copyediting

How is a book edited and produced? Here what's happening with my book on the slow road to publication.
the cover of the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, featuring little people running around a stylized red hamster wheel on a constrasting yellow background

Book Review: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Habits are the backbone of daily life. How do you form new habits and create better habits? In this book, Duhigg explains how habits work—for individuals, organizations, and societies.
tags: books habits work
Jacqueline wearing a red dress smiling and holding a robot the size of a large pumpkin; the robot is fuzzy and red with blue stripes and blue plastic around its black and blue face

How I Built A Career From Strengths and Interests—And How Your Kids Can, Too

What will your kids do when they grow up? Who will they be? And how can you help them? The key: People build lives and careers out of what they love, not what they hate.
a book with its pages fanned out in the air reting atop three other thick volumes that are also open

Book Update #3: Revisions Complete, Entering Production!

I'm inching my book from idea to final product! Here's what the review and revision process was like, and my next steps as the book moves into production.
four young women leaping up in the air with their arms stretched out like stars, on a beach with glassy water in the background

How Autonomy Will Help You Flourish

Most people don't have enough autonomy. They feel controlled, like they don't have much choice in how their life goes. Here's why that matters and how you can get more autonomy—and a better life.
Cover of the book Smart Brevity by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz

Book Review: Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz

No one reads, but everyone skims. How do you write shorter and smarter to reach your audience? This book shares the secret.
colored pencils with nice sharp points, staggered in a line at an angle, pointing to the top right

How to Be More Creative

Being creative can give you an edge, help you solve problems, express yourselef, and accomplish more. Plus, it's fun. Here are three ways to be more creative, today.
the cover of the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Book Review: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

'People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.' This fast-paced marketing and business book will help you better understand and brand yourself and your company. What is your WHY?
five martial artists in dramatic lighting, each kicking or jumping or holding up fists

How to Level Up At Anything: Using Science to Approach Mastery

When you're not improving in your skills or craft, you're miserable. We all need a sense of progression and competence in our work. Here's how to efficiently improve—using intentional practice and outside input.
a row of old leather books on a shelf

How Do You Write and Publish a Nonfiction Book?

Drawing from a recent panel discussion held by the Ronin Institute on book publishing, I answer questions about how to develop ideas, find an agent and publisher, and what the whole publishing process is like.
the face of an analog clock

How to Procrastinate Less by Increasing Your Motivation and Decreasing Temptations

We all procrastinate. It's a problem, because then we're not doing the things we know we ought to do. By using the science of motivation and self-discipline, we can learn to procrastinate less and get more done!
Jacqueline smiling, wearing glasses and a tshirt saying I <3 my, holding a blue dragonbot robot in front of a stripy background at the MIT Media Lab

How Do You Decide What Projects to Work On as a Scholar?

How do you know you're working on the right projects and not wasting your time? Here are ways to know whether you've taken on the right work, and ways to improve daily task management, too.
big green leaves on a thin branch in dappled sunlight

What Does it Mean to be a Scholar?

Drawing on the insights of a Ronin Institute Women IG+ discussion, I explore what ties us researchers and writers together. What makes a scholar a scholar? Is it a title, or a state of mind?
purple jacaranda flower blossoms fallen on a brick walkway, scattered, wet from rain; green trees blurred in the background

How Women Scholars Manage Stress, Goals, and Self-Care—and How You Can, Too!

Is stress from work and life inevitable? How do you reframe goals and success? What do you do when decisions are mutually exclusive and mutually desirable?
a rock cairn of angular stones with a river blurred in the background

Productivity and Balance as a Parent: Challenges, Ideals, and Strategies

Balancing work with family life presents unique challenges for mothers and primary caregivers. How do we do our research, writing, and other work while also giving enough time and attention to our families?
the cover of the book Is Graduate School Really for You? by Amanda I. Seligman, featuring a road splitting left and right with the title in a big yellow street sign above, and a person looking out of a stopped red car on the right road

Book Review: Is Graduate School Really for You? The Whos, Whats, Hows, and Whys of Pursuing a Master's or Ph.D. by Amanda I. Seligman

A practical, informative question-and-answer book about the culture, expectations, and experiences of graduate school.
Four furry robots sitting around a wooden table inset with a tablet. From left to right, a red dragonbot, a blue dragonbot, a teddy bear robot, and a green dragonbot.

Why I Went to Graduate School

Ten years ago, I started grad school at the MIT Media Lab. Why'd I attend? Because it was going to be fun. Here's how I made that decision, and why you should consider the fun factor in your own decision-making.
a fancy pen resting on a lined spiral bound notebook

Book Update #2 (A Complete Manuscript!)

I've finished the first draft of my book on thriving in grad school while staying healthy and happy! Read about my writing process and the next steps: Feedback, reviews, and revisions.
old and worn stone steps hidden in dense vegetation

The Incremental Method to Achieving Long-term Goals and Getting Things Done

There's always that one weird trick, right? Here's the method you need to write a novel, get in shape, and accomplish your long-term goals!

Join our community!

Did you know a group of owls is called a parliament?

About

We're Jacqueline and Randy, a blogging duo with backgrounds in tech, robots, art, and writing, now raising our family in northern Idaho.

Our goal is to encourage deliberate choices, individual responsibility, and lifelong curiosity by sharing stories about our adventures in living, loving, and learning.

Learn more about us.


Connect:

whoo@deliberateowl.com

Start here

Curious about our life and journey? Here are some good places to start reading:

Jacqueline and Randy leaning their heads together smiling at the camera

A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community

A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.
Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.