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
A dusty stationery shop filled with soft writing paper, fountain pens, and volumes of poetry that serve as a haven for young love. Yep, I’m all in.
Mix that euphoric setting with a touch of history and culture from a part of the world I have yet to visit, and this was the perfect way to virtually travel halfway across the globe to a different time and place. Tehran, Iran in the 1950s.
While this novel won’t be one of those coveted favorites on my shelf, the overarching message I received after finishing the final page was well worth the investment of my time.
Read my complete review for The Stationery Shop on Goodreads.
What I'm Writing
I can see that finish line just peeking over the horizon. At the time these thoughts spill from my fingertips, I have over 105,000 words penned for the next novel in my Pigeon Grove series, Splendid Chaos.
With only three planned chapters remaining before the completion of my first draft, they also might be the most difficult ones to write. Fully capturing that strong emotional tie between the characters and bringing everyone to their final moment of recognition is simultaneously exciting and terrifying.
As an author and human being, I want to bring that feeling of immersion with as much intensity as possible. I want you, the reader, to be there as the characters instead of reading about them.
Thank you, to everyone who has followed along on my latest author journey and helped me with words of encouragement. I hope you’re as excited to read Drew & Maria’s story as I am to share it with you!
If all works out as planned—after editing and cover design—I’m tentatively hoping for a late fall release of Splendid Chaos. So, stay tuned! In future months, I’ll begin rolling out invitations for those of you who would like to become a member of my advance release review team.
What I'm Doing
Adapting to this new normal has been challenging in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve become so accustomed to the sound of the air conditioning outside our window, the smell of the sprinklers from our yard, and the repetitive routine of coffee, work, dinner, TV, bed. It has almost made me numb.
But something happened the other day. My teenage son is getting close to taking his driving test, and we try to find time each day to get out and just drive. It helps him practice the necessary skills while giving both of us an opportunity to decompress and get out of the house, quite literally.
We found ourselves driving through a local wildlife management area, complete with hiking trails. Stopping on the side of the dirt road, we closed the door to our car. And for the first time in forever, the silence was… deafening.
There were no neighbors, no music, no lawnmowers or pressure washers. The absence of sound was breathtaking. As we shuffled along the quiet trail beneath cloudy skies, the distant call from a whippoorwill and great horned owl caused both my son and I to stop in our tracks.
The simple beauty of things sometimes escapes us. But being away from them for a while, and having the opportunity to rediscover them for what feels like the first time, it reminds me just how wonderful and beneficial a walk in the woods can be. For the body, mind, and soul.
I know why I like living in Florida. It’s not because of the sunshine. And I’m certain it’s not because of the heat (or another word beginning with the same letter that has an entire 5-month season dedicated to it). I will not speak its name.
What I love about living in Florida is being near water. After all that’s occurred over the past several months, I recently found the time to take a walk on the beach (in a social distancing appropriate way). To watch, listen to, and feel the power of the ocean was both relaxing and inspiring.
And when I come back home, crack open the porch door and hear our waterfall trickling into our backyard pond, it carries a softer but no less powerful sentiment.
Movement is motivating. It gets things done. But every so often, it’s the opposite that serves us even better. To sit still, capture a moment in time, and reflect upon its message. One is loud, the other is quiet, but both are caffeine for the soul.
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...
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
~ Rumi ~