Updated: Oct 11
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
Most times, it’s something about the title of a book that pulls me into the story. There’s an implied question, an ironic twist, or poetic nature to it that piques my curiosity. Nothing about this book’s front cover did that for me. But am I ever glad that I picked it up and read it.
From the opening chapter, everything about the lives of the two major characters, Monique and Evelyn, completely captivated me. Even before all the tension and drama unfolds, I was immersed inside their lives, feeling and living their emotions with convincing clarity.
Spoiler alert: I may have just found a new favorite author.
Read my complete review for The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo on Goodreads.
What I'm Writing
To be honest, I should temporarily change the title of this section to What I’m Editing.
After ten months of brainstorming, plotting, drafting, and doing my best to deal with the worldly chaos surrounding us, I have officially completed the first draft of my next novel in the Pigeon Grove series, Splendid Chaos. I won’t lie. This was a tough story for me to finish, because of the emotional plight of the characters and the parallel struggles that are happening around us in the world today.
But it was all worth it. And I can’t wait to share Drew and Maria’s story with you.
As I dive into the editing phase of this project, I’m working to polish the prose and strengthen the dialogue before passing it off to my professional editor before publication.
Many thanks once again, to all my wonderful community members who have encouraged me and nudged me along the path toward this next milestone as a part of my author journey. I seriously would not have been able to do it without you, and it’s why I do it… to connect with each one of you through the words and emotions of what I hope will be a timeless love story.
What I'm Doing
Sometimes you just need to get away. To an unfamiliar place, with new scenery and a fresh perspective. Once Florida lifted the stay-at-home orders (and before the recent uptick in cases), our family planned a two-night stay in a local state park cabin.
Unfortunately, park personnel removed one of those nights from our reservation to insure extra cleaning time between each check-out and check-in. While it was disappointing, we would not allow this minor setback to affect our mood, or enjoyment of the overnight getaway.
The evening was splendid and challenging. After blue cheese infused burgers on the outside grill (in the rain), we hopped from store to store (four in total) to find a bundle of firewood for our long-awaited campfire. After failing to light the wet wood with a lighter that ran out of fuel, our determination would not waver. One more trip to the corner gas station netted us an extra lighter alongside a bag of instant-light charcoal. Hey, one needs to adapt to the situation, right?
And let me tell you, the s’mores we toasted over that blazing fire? I have never tasted better.
It was the unexpected that helped us appreciate the evening, while also making it so much more enjoyable. And in more than one way. While driving through the park, my son piped up and said, “Let’s turn here.” We navigated down a winding road, saw five deer playing with each other as dusk settled upon us, and ended up parked on the shore of Lake Louisa.
We watched the sunset morph and change with each passing second. Every new moment was more splendid than the last. Yeah, that. It was another unexpected part of our overnight adventure.
Mother Nature has a way of sharing her message with quiet wisdom. But gosh is it beautiful, don’t you think?
I think back to our family’s night at the Florida State Park.
Those unwelcome obstacles might have tempted us to shun them for diminishing the original plan we had in our mind. But we didn’t attempt the impossible. We didn’t try to swallow the sun whole. We adapted, and because of that choice, the evening become more enjoyable than we originally expected it could be.
It might not be easy, but there’s always a way to find joy and happiness. And the universe is here to help us, even if it means changing things, if only we give it permission to do so.
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...
The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.
~ Oprah Winfrey ~