Best Day!

IMG_0570Yesterday was an amazing day! I woke up to a world lightly dusted with sparkling snow. As a Mainer, I almost felt like I was back home. Just a little bit. That alone automatically should’ve made yesterday perfect, but wait…there’s more.

The times when my kiddo is gone can be tough. I have found that staying busy is best and it keeps me productive. Let’s face it, there’s always plenty of “life” to do on the weekends. So this weekend was no different.

Except that it was.

Yesterday I decided to let “life” just sit and chill for a moment while I took the time to do what I wanted to do. Shocking, I know. But if I want to make a career out of writing, and believe me I really, really do, then that means that my regular life will have to sit and stay quiet for small moments while I struggle and squirm in my writing chair.

I admit that I stayed in my PJs all day, not completely unheard of, and sat with my manuscript and worked on my book for about six hours total. That’s six hours of time spent in the world I created and talking with my characters as I cleaned up the story. Six hours! That never happens!

Sure, I took small breaks to change over the laundry. And then there was the dog.

IMG_0636This dog right here.

Who can focus with these eyes watching and pleading? This ball of fur wanted nothing more than to be outside in the snow before it melted away. I forced her to come in periodically because it was 20 degrees out and she is arthritic. When she was ready to return to the arctic temps, she let me know.

IMG_0629Enjoying the blizzard.

So, life did sneak in a few times. Overall, I am extremely proud of myself for shooing it away and staying focused on my book. And I realized that I really, really do want to do this full-time. It was the first day in a long time that ended with me feeling proud and content.

Status update: I’m over half-way with my edits/revisions. Soon I’ll be ready to hand it over to some readers for feedback.

In the meantime, I’m going to practice pausing moments in life while I figure this stuff out.

Happy writing to all of my writing friends! We can do this!

Books That Got Me Through June…

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Thank you to Blake Couch for The Wayward Pines trilogy. Those three books got me through my dog’s stressful CCL surgery and the initial recovery. And now I get to experience the creepy town all over again as I catch up on the TV series. Nothing can top the written words, though. Mr. Crouch has a way of providing just enough detail to keep the story vivid and moving along. Just what I like! RUN was a Kindle Daily Deal the other day so I snagged it. I can’t wait to read more by this fabulous author!

Jojo Moyes has become one of my newest favorite authors. It started with The Girl You Left Behind, which is something I never would’ve picked up on my own, but was highly recommended by several friends. I’m so glad I tried something different because I discovered another great writer. Next, I read Me Before You, which definitely gave me something to think about. One Plus One was a slower read for me, but really picked up about halfway through. I’m glad I stuck it out because it’s a feel good story. Life is tough and full of bumps and challenges no matter our circumstance, but I really liked how she wrapped everything up at the end. It gives one hope that things will work out. If we don’t have hope, then what’s the point?

The parenting books are pretty self explanatory. We’ve struck the “Terrible Twos” in my house and I’m humble enough to accept all the advice I can get to support my little independent, curious, strong willed guy. It’s Ok NOT To Share really made me think about how we push our kids to do some uncomfortable things that we ourselves would never think to do. I would never force someone to let me have their iPhone just because I wanted it and felt it was my turn all under the guise of “sharing” <insert sappy music>. Good grief! I highly recommend this title for some down-to-earth parenting reminders to keep things in perspective. Dobson was a tough read and I honestly skimmed most of it. It was hard for me to take someone seriously, when giving parenting advice, after he admitted to using a belt to discipline his dog. That was hard to swallow. I did find a couple of nuggets, but overall this book wasn’t for me because I personally don’t use corporal punishment. Setting Limits for the Strong Willed Child was my favorite of the three. I loved the real world examples (although he reused some scenarios and just changed the child’s age) and the reminder to be consistent and firm. There wasn’t anything new for me in this book as I use much of this approach in my own classroom, but somehow I forget to use it at home, so the reminders were appreciated.

I made it to page 67 of The Gargoyle and had to abandon the story. I hate it when that happens! When I commit to a book and invest a chunk of time, I want to go all the way. Alas, I could not with this book. It just didn’t strike a chord with me.

The War of Art was for the artist in me because somewhere, deep down long forgotten, she still exists. Beneath the role of Mommy, teacher, dog mom/nurse, bill payer, and all the other stuff that comes first, there’s a piece of me still there longing to shine and not be forgotten. Reviving this blog is a small step in digging her out again. #smallsteps

I’ve kicked off July with some great titles! One book I’ll probably never make it through but we’ll see. I’ve got a couple of horror books to chill the spine and of course Blake Crouch’s RUN.

Happy reading, Friends!