03 Aug What I’m Into: July 2017
I’m so happy! Now that the website is finished I can link up with Leigh Kramer again for “What I’m Into!” Yay! I really did miss it. I need these lighthearted breaks from more soulful posts, like the one I wrote last week.
What We’ve Been Reading . . .
I didn’t post in June, but I have to mention this novel by little-known author David Parmelee. The Sea is a Thief is a story of love and loss set in one of my favorite time periods—the United States Civil War. It’s also set in one of my favorite places in the world—Chincoteague, Virginia. I was afraid my expectations were too high, but this book delivered. It was a great read!
I also read The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. To help with the book I’m writing, I’ve been trying to immerse myself in the early 1800’s, when slavery was legal in the United States. Chevalier is best known for her novel Girl with a Pearl Earring. The Last Runaway was helpful with aforementioned immersion, but the plot and character development were rather unimpressive.
I listened to Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins. I keep forgetting I’m not an auditory learner and then I go and listen to nonfiction audio books. I liked a lot of the messages in Real Artists Don’t Starve, but since I’m not an auditory learner I can’t remember most of them. One thing I do remember is feeling rather forlorn when he said artists need a community to thrive. I was almost thinking I should have gone ahead and moved to Manhattan as I wanted to at age 22, but then I realized I do have a community of artists around me. More on that below.
I’m reading The Indian in the Cupboard to the bigger kids. One of the best things about parenting is getting to re-read favorites from my childhood. It’s certainly no Chronicles of Narnia, be we’re enjoying this one!
What We’ve Been Watching . . .
The big kids are finally old enough to watch The Lord of the Rings and I am thrilled because I’ve been wanting to re-watch it for a while. I couldn’t justify taking the time for that by myself, but now it’s family time! We watched the first two movies and the third will be soon to follow I’m sure. The only problem is, now I want to read the books again! How will I fit that in?
I’m almost embarrassed to admit those fleeting moments when I turn on the television by myself, I have been watching Party of Five. Usually it’s when I’m folding laundry. Maybe I want to relive the 90’s. Maybe I want to see Matthew Fox (who plays Jack Shepard on Lost) again, even though he has that weird floppy, wavy hairstyle going on. Maybe I just need a better show to watch. I can’t afford to get sucked into another show right now, though. I need to finish writing my book! Which brings me to . . .
What We’ve Been Doing . . .
I said it in one of my live Facebook posts. This summer has been nonstop from the very beginning, when we pulled the kids out of school a few days early so we could fly to California to visit two of my brothers. July was just as full and lots of fun!
My oldest brother (I have a lot of brothers) came to visit with his family for the Fourth of July week. That means we spent every day over at my parents’ house, swimming and boating on the lake.
July 4th also happened to be the day my new website went live. Now I’m learning how to use it. I am beyond thrilled with the way it turned out! Let me remind you, if you haven’t already done so, to scroll to the bottom of this page and sign up for my newsletter. Once you confirm your email address, you’ll receive the first chapter of the book I’m writing. Also, I plan to send out the first newsletter within a week!
After my brother and his family headed home, we had one week of normalcy before I attended the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. Every year, I am blown away that rural northeastern Pennsylvania holds such an excellent writers conference. It’s definitely one of the smaller ones, but I hear over and over from fellow conferees that they like it better than other conferences. Attendees have many opportunities to connect with each other and with faculty. This year I made some great connections and as a result, I’m pushing myself to finish my book by the end of August. It’s not easy, but I will persevere!
Also, one day at lunch I sat with a woman from another area and she casually pointed out that it must be so nice that the Scranton area has a community of writers. In her area, she can’t find many writers to meet with for accountability and support. Let me tell you, Jeff Goins’ words about needing a community of artists popped into my head. This woman’s passing comment parted the clouds and let the sun shine through!
I do have a community of writers around me after all! I could almost hear angels singing.
We ended July by going on a camping trip with our church family last weekend. It was just the thing I needed to pull me away from the computer and phone for a couple days. The kids fished with Todd. We all went canoeing and kayaking. I swam with my water babies and played corn hole for the first time in years!
I plan to write 30,000 words in August. We already have a lot of other plans made for the month, though. I’m praying I can focus and be efficient when I have writing time so I can enjoy the rest of life, too.
All work and no play makes Alison crazy anyway!
I hope your July was sunny and bright.