Posted in Reading, World War II

Stuck at Home because of Social Distancing? Check out what I’ve been Reading!

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of hard work, writing, and the Corona Virus.  It has been a week of first times, let me tell you.

My kids are off school for the next three weeks, a month if you consider the fact that spring break is the first full week of April. I’m also working from home indefinitely. Strange times, for sure.

While I’m practicing my social distancing, I’m working on my story. I’m excited to say, I’ve reached the end. An end that I’m happy with, for the moment. You know how we writers are. LOL! 😉

Since I’m spending the majority of my time at home. I plan on doing more reading and I thought all of you might be interested in my list of favorite books in case you have some extra time on your hands.  I’ve read these books in the last year and I really enjoyed them. So, without any further ado, here they are:

 

 

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

Winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Fiction

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

 

The Nightingale

 

Audie Award, Fiction, 2016

In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.

France, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

 

 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel

 

Number-one New York Times best-seller and the perfect holiday gift.

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

“Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!” (Reese Witherspoon)

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart. 

 

 

The Ragged Edge of Night

For fans of All the Light We Cannot SeeBeneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale comes an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about extraordinary hope, redemption, and one man’s search for light during the darkest times of World War II.

 

 

Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

 

A haunting debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation.

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet….

So begins the story in this exquisite debut novel about a Chinese American family living in a small town in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue – in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’ case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family, Hannah, who observes far more than anyone realizes – and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping pause-resister and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

 

Little Fires Everywhere

 

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

The runaway New York Times best seller!

Named a Best Book of the Year by:

People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, Book of the Month, Paste, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more!

“I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting.” (Jodi Picoult)

“To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.” (Reese Witherspoon)

“I am loving Little Fires Everywhere. Maybe my favorite novel I’ve read this year.” (John Green)

From the best-selling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads to the colors of the houses to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter, Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants – all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town – and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

Perfect for book clubs! Visit celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.

 

Before We Were Yours: A Novel

 

THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT – A New York TimesUSA TodayWall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Best Seller

For listeners of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart…based on a notorious true-life scandal.”

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge – until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents – but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals – in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country – Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Publishers Weekly‘s #3 Longest-Running Best Seller of 2017

Winner of the Southern Book Prize

If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection

“A [story] of a family lost and found…a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.”(People)

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year…. Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.” (Parade)

 

The Orphan's Tale: A Novel

 

New York Times best seller!

“Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants will embrace this novel. ” (Library Journal)

“Secrets, lies, treachery, and passion…. I read this novel in a headlong rush.” (Christina Baker Kline, number one New York Times best-selling author of Orphan Train)

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival 

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another – or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

 

Gone Girl: A Novel

 

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times best seller Gillian Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unpausable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl‘s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media – as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents – the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter – but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

 

11-22-63: A Novel

 

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King – who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer – takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away: a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life – like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963 – turning on a dime.

Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession – to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world – of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading, eventually of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful – and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

 

So, there you have it, ten incredible books to keep you busy during this period of social distancing. I’m always on the look out for a great story, so if you have any recommendations, leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Reading, reviews

My Thoughts on 11/22/63

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. We’re in the middle of an ice storm right now. It was supposed to be much worse than it is, and I’m glad it’s not as bad as it was originally predicted. I’m crossing my fingers that we don’t lose power.

I’ve been busy dealing with sick kids after the holidays, so I haven’t had a lot of time for writing or exercising. So, I’ve got to get back on track with both of those goals.

But enough about that. Today, I want talk about what I’ve been reading. I finally finished Stephen King’s 11/23/83. I enjoyed it. The time travel element was a nice spin and I enjoyed the relationship between George and Sadie. Did it answer the burning question, ‘did Oswald work alone?’

 

 

One of the Ten Best Books of The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Now a miniseries from Hulu starring James Franco

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

My Thoughts:

Like I said before, I loved the relationship between George and Sadie. King has a way of creating believable characters. He has a way of showing them as flawed and strong at the same time, but enough about that. Did the story answer the question, ‘did Oswald work alone?’

According to the story, he did and the afterward in the book seems to lean that way as well. I wish there were a more concrete answer to that question, but I think you’ll have to do your own research to find an answer that satisfies you.

The story was told in fresh Stephen King style, and I liked it so much, I picked up another Stephen King book. So, this is what I’m reading now in between writing jaunts, work, and family. 😊

 

 

The Outsider: A Novel by [King, Stephen]

Soon to be an HBO limited series starring Ben Mendelsohn!

Evil has many faces…maybe even yours in this #1 New York Times bestseller from master storyteller Stephen King.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is discovered in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens—Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying details begin to emerge, King’s story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

 

I’m excited about this story. It looks really good and what better time to read than during an ice storm, right?

How about you? What are you reading? Do you have any recommendations for me? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in books

What I’m Reading

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Here we are the weekend before Christmas. I hope you have your shopping done. I do, but I haven’t wrapped anything yet. 😊

Saving that for Christmas Eve. 😉

But enough about that, I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been reading in between moments of busyness. It’s a very busy time of year, so I haven’t gotten very far into it, but it is very good. It’s so good in fact, it should be a movie. I’ll give you more of a run down when I finish it.

 

 

 

One of the Ten Best Books of The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Now a miniseries from Hulu starring James Franco

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

My Thoughts:

So far, I’m totally into this story. I wish I could take a couple of days and just devour it. It’s that good. If you’re looking for a book to just disappear into, this one is for you.  I’ll write a review on it when I finish it. 🙂

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks so much for reading my blog and giving me all the support you’ve given me all year!

 

Posted in Writing

Confessions of a Recovering Pantser

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and I finally finished a scene I’ve been working on. I’m getting closer to the end of my story. It’s been hard trying to balance writing, work, and family, but I’m managing, but enough about that.

Today I want to talk about writing. I haven’t spoken about it in a long time because I’ve been busy trying to get my story down. It’s a huge undertaking to write a novel. You have to get the characters down and then the setting and plot. I used to write by the seat of my pants, but this last story I plotted out, and even though it takes longer by plotting, I do find my story is better, and there is less editing. This story has taken me a couple of years to write. I’ve written it over a couple of times and it’s better each time because practice makes perfect, right?

Photo on VisualHunt

Being a Pantser, affords the writer a lot of freedom. Plotting, I’ve found, makes you rein in that wildness inside yourself and forces you to move in a direction. Sometimes, I miss my pantsing style. It was so free and easy, but when I look at my story after plotting it out and I realize it is the way to go.

So, for me to master the art of plotting, I had to study it first. So, I purchased the craft book, “Story Engineering,” by Larry Brooks. I recommend it to all of you aspiring writers out there. It takes you step by step through the plotting process and makes sense of your story.  I wish I had read this before I started writing, but live and learn, right?

 

 

The vast majority of writers begin the storytelling process with only a partial understanding where to begin. Some labor their entire lives without ever learning that successful stories are as dependent upon good engineering as they are artistry. But the truth is, unless you are master of the form, function and criteria of successful storytelling, sitting down and pounding out a first draft without planning is an ineffective way to begin.

Story Engineering starts with the criteria and the architecture of storytelling, the engineering and design of a story–and uses it as the basis for narrative. The greatest potential of any story is found in the way six specific aspects of storytelling combine and empower each other on the page. When rendered artfully, they become a sum in excess of their parts.

You’ll learn to wrap your head around the big pictures of storytelling at a professional level through a new approach that shows how to combine these six core competencies which include:

• Four elemental competencies of concept, character, theme, and story structure (plot)
• Two executional competencies of scene construction and writing voice

The true magic of storytelling happens when these six core competencies work together in perfect harmony. And the best part? Anyone can do

 

I also purchased Steven King’s book, “On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft.” This book encouraged me to keep writing. You need to write as often as possible. You need to practice, practice, practice.  That’s what I took away from his book. He gives practical advice in his memoir and gives me hope that I may eventually reach that New York Bestselling Author status I’m striving for.

 

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

So, there you have it, two craft books I’d recommend. What craft books have made an impact on your writing? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Health, Writing

Is it Worth it?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after almost two months of non-writing. Today, I finally broke the trend and did some editing of one of my stories. I’m back in the saddle again and it feels good. Whenever, I go through these stages of non-writing, I always read because I love to, and when I’m suffering from a little burn out, reading is always my “go to” activity. There’s nothing more comforting on a cold, rainy day than a good book. Am I right, or am I right?

Photo on Visualhunt.com

But enough about that. When I first started this post, I was going to give you a good list of some of the books I’ve been reading, but then inspiration hit, and I’ve decided to write about something else. I’ll do the book one later. 😉

 

Today, I’d like to talk about sacrifices. I know it’s not really a pleasant subject, but one that I feel has to be addressed. You see, all the great writers, artists, and athletes made sacrifices to get where they are now. They sacrificed time with their families and loved ones to practice and create. That shows grit and initiative and that’s great. I’m sure they don’t regret their success. However, I wonder if they ever ask themselves if it was worth it?

Photo credit: The U.S. Army on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

At first glance, you may think I’m crazy for having such a thought, but it’s out there now, so let’s run with it.

Was their success worth their sacrifice?

It’s a good question and I wish I had someone like Michael Jordan or Stephen King around to ask. I’m sure they would say yes, but it’s something I struggle with. Because we all would love to have that kind of success, but the time away from family is hard to take sometimes. So, every time I sit down to write, I ask myself, can I indulge my passion at this time? Am I neglecting my family’s needs? Because let’s face it, I’m not going to get these moments back. So, there are times when I put the computer away and hang out with my family, watching a silly movie or watch my youngest play tennis. It’s a conscious choice during these moments to put my writing on the back burner and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s worth it.

Photo credit: sdobie on VisualHunt.com /CC BY-NC

So, whenever you’re feeling bad because you’re not putting as much effort into your writing or you just need to take a break. Stop yourself. Because moments with your family can disappear in an instant and you might not ever get them back and my motto is live without regret.

 

So, do I regret not spending time writing the last two months? Well, there are moments when I think I should be further along in my story than what I am, but then I look at the fact that I was sick, so I had to take care of myself. Then I look at the tennis matches I got to watch and see the joy on my youngest’s face when he would see me show up at his tennis game and the sacrifice was worth it. I don’t regret it.

Photo on Visualhunt

Yes, it’ll take me longer to get to that bestseller’s list but that’s okay. I’ll have enjoyed the journey to get there much more because I didn’t miss any important steps along the way.

So, when you see other authors getting an agent or hitting the bestseller’s list and you feel like you’re missing out, just think of it as it’s their time to shine. It’s not yours yet. You’re still working on being a great mom and being there for your kids. You’ll get your moment when it’s your time.

Photo on Visualhunt

So, relax and enjoy your journey. Enjoy all the steps along the way. It’ll make the destination that much sweeter!

Thanks for reading my post today! How do you feel? Are you enjoying your journey? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Slice of LIfe

A Case of Paronychia: A Slice of Life Post

 

 

slice of life_individual

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you! I’m back with another Slice of Life Post, and today I’m talking about Paronychia. I’ve never heard of this condition until last week, but let me tell you it is not fun.

I’ve been trying to get back into shape this summer, so I’ve been running. I started out running three miles and then adding more each week. I was up to five miles when Paronychia struck.

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This is not my toe, but my toe did look similar to this.

I had just completed an awesome five mile run. I had that runner’s high that you get when you’re done. I could have run another five miles that’s how good I felt. But I didn’t because I didn’t want to overdo it. This summer has been very hot and humid, and it’d be real easy for me to give myself heat stroke or something.

 

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This is me after my five mile run, doing the Bolt move. I can’t quite pull it off like he was able to. 🙂

After my run,  I came home and cleaned up. When I finally sat down, I noticed the nail on my big toe seemed bent at a weird angle. I got out the clippers and prepared to cut it.That’s when I noticed that it was a little swollen and tender. Something wasn’t right.

I continued clipping my nail and when I was done, I sat back and examined my toe. That’s when I noticed a clear liquid oozing out from under my nail. This threw me for a loop. I kept pressing on the nail until the clear liquid stopped flowing out. Then I went to bed. I figured a good night sleep would cure it.

It didn’t. I woke up with a swollen toe and more oozing. That’s when my hubby got involved. He took a look at it and claimed I had Paronychia, and my toe had to be amputated. When he left the bathroom to get the meat cleaver,  I took the opportunity to jump in the shower.

Photo credit: Ryan Christopher VanWilliams – NYC via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

He returned with the cleaver in hand, I told him I had to get to work so the amputation would have to wait until later that night.  He bought that excuse, put the cleaver down, and went to work. I know he was getting the cleaver out of love…but maybe he didn’t need to love me so much… you know. 🙂

On a side note: I did ask my hubby if Misery was his favorite movie. He’s always saying he’s my Number One Fan. (Bites nails) But it isn’t, so we’re all good. 🙂 He is a Stephen King fan, though…. (chews nails and paces).

Photo credit: AZRainman via Visual Hunt / CC BY

After my shower, I got dressed for work and quickly hid the meat cleaver. There was going to be no amputation because of a little toe infection, and that’s what it was. An infection of the cuticle around my toe.

I’ve never had this before, and my toe swelled up so I couldn’t wear shoes. I had to drain it each day.(I also soaked my toe in hydrogen peroxide) That clear fluid never turned to pus like the hubs said it would, though. This is important because he thinks he’s right about everything. And he usually is, which is an annoying idiosyncrasy. But hey, we’ve all got them, right. 🙂

It took about a week, but the swelling has finally gone down and the oozing has stopped. The nail looks a little bruised, but for the most part it’s fine.

Why am I sharing this with all of you? To let you know if your hubby says you have Paronychia and wants to perform an amputation. It is NOT necessary. You can save your toe. You just have to wait it out, or go to the doctor and get some antibiotics. This has been a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT. 🙂

So, has your husband ever wanted to perform emergency surgery for you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

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Ask Away Friday with Mrs. Tee!

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! Today I’m working with Mrs. Tee on Ask Away Friday. 🙂 She sent me these questions to answer and I sent her some questions that I’d like her to answer and we’re posting this information on our respective blogs. So below are her questions with my answers and her’s are available here!

http://mrsteelovelifelaughter.com/

 

You list The Nancy Drew series as one of your first encounters with mysteries. I use to read every one…I know this may be hard but what was your favorite one?

Ohh. Hard question. I would have to say “The Secret of the Old Clock” mainly because that’s the only one that I remember.

 

As an avid reader and lover of books I can’t wait to introduce some of my favorites to my Kiddies. What books have you shared with your children from your own childhood?

I have two boys and they’re nine and seven. So, I’m still working on them, but some of the ones I’ve shared are Hardy Boys, The Boxcar Children, and Encyclopedia Brown. They’re interested in my books though, so when they get a little older I’m sure they’ll be reading the Super Spies.

 

Do you see any signs of your writing skills in your children?

My youngest seems to enjoy creating stories. When he was home sick one day from school, he wrote a thirty two page story about Tornadoes. I was pretty impressed. 🙂

 

When you have a day just for YOU what is your favorite thing to do?

Read!

Pick 3 words to describe yourself that start with these letters: S, P and L.

S is for spontaneous. I love to be spontaneous and just pick up and go sometimes!

P is for perfectionist. I can be a perfectionist in my writing.

L is for Laughter. I love to laugh and have fun, especially with my boys.

 

 

If you could meet any author in the world (living or deceased) who would it be and why?

It would be a toss-up between Harper Lee and Stephen King. Harper Lee because I’d love to find out why she only published one book. And Stephen King because I’d love to find out where he gets his ideas from.

Would you rather …

Receive $10,000 in Cash or Gift Cards?

$10,000 in cash

Would you rather…

Have a rewind or pause button for your life?

Hmmm…good question. Probably pause, so I could push it when I need to slow down and make a major decision.

Thanks for reading my post today! Don’t forget to stop by Mrs. Tee’s and check out her answers to the questions I gave her!

Here’s the link! http://mrsteelovelifelaughter.com/