Updated: Oct 11, 2020
Welcome to our virtual café, where we'll chat about what I've been reading, writing, and doing over the past month. I invite you to have a seat, grab your inspirational beverage of choice, and join me in sharing a leisurely cup of caffeine for the soul.
What I'm Reading
I’m going to commit a most egregious confession in the world of literature. I watched the movie before reading the book. Shame on me. But I will admit, after I got a small peek into the world of the March sisters, I knew a 120-minute movie simply wouldn’t be enough.
Perhaps it was some sort of fate that I “stumbled” across this classic during the month of March. And maybe it’s my creative muse that nudged me toward reading this novel just as I was beginning to run up against a brick wall in the drafting of my own story. Who knows? The world works in mysterious ways that are sometimes both confusing and compelling.
The way Ms. Alcott combined so many varied story lines into a cohesive whole while also providing timeless wisdom in a most eloquent fashion is both captivating and inspiring.
Read my complete review for Little Women on Goodreads.
What I'm Writing
The past month has been challenging, for completely unexpected reasons. And while the situation we face together on a global scale could dampen our spirits (and it admittedly has done so for me on occasion), I have always found comfort in the solitary time spent with characters and stories, whether they’re of my own making or someone else’s.
And while it hasn’t been an overly productive thirty days on the writing front, I have made a concerted effort to navigate back toward Drew & Maria’s story when I find myself wandering too far from the path I wish to walk. It’s been therapeutic, even amidst the complicated emotions that both main characters have been forced to confront: integrity, self-doubt, and sense of purpose.
When looking back upon those topics I’ve explored through my fictional words, I suppose it’s provided a positive healing effect, not despite those emotions, but because of them. When we know there are others to share the burden we carry, it becomes easier to handle that sometimes overbearing weight.
And while reaching out to others is always a good idea, sometimes we need that quiet space by ourselves, in our minds, to process the chaos. And that’s when picking up a pen and paper (or your laptop) to lean on the power of words is a most valuable friend. Write on.
What I'm Doing
There’s not necessarily a lot of going happening over the past month, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of doing. It’s times like these that try our patience but also call upon the use of our creative spirit. To explore familiar things in different ways. To challenge our perception of what’s possible.
Tasks that were once simple and carefree now border on stressful. And it’s easy to be pulled under by that dark cloud of anxiety. But taking a deep breath (or even better, several consecutive deep breaths, over and over again), proves to be a most rewarding process.
With a teenage son on the brink of earning his driver’s license, the last several weeks have provided a perfect opportunity to get in the car and just… drive. For him to practice, yes, but also for all of us to practice some healthy exposure to the outside world. Not with any destination in mind, but just to soak in both the sun and the world around us, even if it’s only through the windshield.
Families frequently found enjoyment in the solace of a Sunday Drive. It reminds me of that quote from Cars about Route 66: “People didn’t travel on this road to make good time. They drove on it to have a good time.”
Now is a great time to hop off the interstate, in both a literal and metaphorical sense, and slow down to the speed of life. Simpler times beckon us to recall their positive influence.
It’s one thing to deal with unsteadiness while walking along a fence line three feet off the ground and quite another to do so between two buildings. In some sense, we’re being asked as a society to find the firm ground beneath our feet by traversing a tightrope between two skyscrapers in the middle of a storm. Yes, hyperbole is often a crutch for authors.
But still, the situation we find ourselves in, without any undue exaggeration, is truly unprecedented. And it can seem like we’re caught in a sticky web of confusion with no way out. But there is an avenue that places us back on stable ground. It’s called faith. And ironically, it’s the same thing we need while tiptoeing across that fence line. With the right perspective, light always finds a way to shine through.
Until next month, stay inspired! And, as always, I welcome a short (or long) email to say hi or share your thoughts on this month's final sip...
If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
~ African Proverb ~