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
I always find it exciting to crease the spine on a paperback and embark upon a journey with an undiscovered author. It’s even better when you know inside the first couple pages you’ve found the literary equivalent of a new friend.
The parallel paths that Ms. Morgan crafts through her character’s lives reinforces an important human truth. Age, gender, social status, and financial well-being bear no influence on our similar needs and wants. We all yearn for to connect with others.
Perhaps the thing that surprised me most about this novel was the difference between how I expected it to wrap up, and the way it did. When you flip preconceived notions about what’s supposed to happen on their head, it sometimes causes reader anxiety. But when an author convinces you their ending is more fitting, you’ve opened yourself to learning something new.
That’s a special moment I encountered while exploring this virtual visit to the City of Lights. Read my complete review for One Summer in Paris on Goodreads.
What I'm Writing
While visiting with you last month, I was fleshing out details for each scene in my second Pigeon Grove series novel, Splendid Chaos. How quickly things change. As I was working through each part of Drew and Maria’s journey, I felt a gentle tug back toward the heart of the small town where this story lives. For anyone who has read Between the Lines, you might have already guessed where those roots have been planted: both inside and outside the walls of Fly Away Home, the beloved bed-and-breakfast at the end of Main Street. The influence of this dwelling and its owner has pulled my writing attention to a time thirty-plus years before Mason and Sophie’s story takes place.
Forced to deal with the premature death of her abusive mother, Claire Perkins runs from the emotions plaguing her and escapes to a quiet town, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With nothing but a desire to fade into the background, she slowly appreciates her deep-seated need to connect with others: a produce shop owner full of quirky facts, a niece she hasn’t seen in years because of a falling out with her brother, and a sketch artist whose troubled past intersects with Claire’s in serendipitous ways, if only she gives herself the chance to discover it. Fly Away Home is the prequel to my Pigeon Grove series. I’m about halfway through the first draft and hope to publish it by autumn, free for everyone who wishes to read it. If you’d like the opportunity to see it before anyone else, reply to this email and let me know. I’ll put your name at the top of the list when I contact members of my advance review team later this year.
What I'm Doing
Our family watches a small number of television shows together each week. There’s something about music that unites people. Whether it’s country, rock, pop, or a mix of everything, when a musician connects with a song, the audience feels that deep vibe.
As weeks passed during this competition, we each watched our favorites voted off, some earlier than others. Even though we no longer had our front-runners to cheer on, we still held onto the hope for a visit from the goose bump fairies. A performance that leaves you mesmerized with inspiring chills.
It happened in the season finale, from a contestant who did not advance to that point in the competition. I remember being transfixed as I listened to the duet performed by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon and Katy Perry. Google it. I promise it will not disappoint.
The thing I realized, and what I wanted to share, is that you need not win... to be a winner. We can each impart something significant upon those around us, no matter where we fall in our misguided comparison to other people. Be yourself, and you’ll be both the giver and receiver of those elusive goose bumps. And that’s a beautiful feeling.
The words we speak and hear are only a tiny fraction of the communication that happens in our life. Sure, body language and facial expressions reveal more of who we are and what we think. But there’s a piece hidden inside that only we know about. Silent thoughts sometimes convey the loudest message and lead us toward those things that need our attention the most. Listen closely, follow the path they lay, and be open to exploring new ways of seeing the world and people around you.
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...
Find out what your gift is and nurture it.
~ Katy Perry ~