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
Every compelling book begins with a question in the author’s mind. Even if the reader doesn’t know what it is. And the way that question is turned around and inspected from every angle has the potential to make for an undeniably powerful reading experience.
I picked up this book, virtually on my Nook, after the nationwide lockdown prevented me from visiting my local B&N.
Where do you see yourself in five years? That was the question.
And while it didn’t necessarily hook me, it did intrigue me. And the story that followed did the rest. So much so that I’m seriously considering also adding the print version of this book to my shelf.
Read my complete review for In Five Years on Goodreads.
What I'm Writing
Meet my vision for Nikki Braddock: the antagonist. Every story needs one. The person or entity who niggles their way into the life of the protagonist to wreak havoc. And while my work-in-progress, Splendid Chaos, has a few co-antagonists, Nikki is the one who stands out above the rest.
As an author, it’s sometimes difficult to continue throwing your protagonist under the bus. But it’s a necessary evil to put them in situations that help them realize the truth, about themselves as well as the world around them. That’s exactly what Nikki does for both Drew and Maria in their story.
And I’ll make a guilty confession. It’s been fun. To write someone different. Someone who has a peculiar edginess to her personality. Nikki has ulterior motives and she may not be the most altruistic person in the world, but she has her reasons for doing what she does. And even when those personal ideals don’t align with ours as a reader, being able to empathize with an opposing perspective is healthy, whether reading a fictional book or interacting in real life.
Over two-thirds of the way through the first draft in my manuscript, I’m looking forward to catching sight of that finish line. As I approach the 90,000 word mark, it’s most definitely been a marathon and not a sprint, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to share Drew and Maria’s story with you.
What I'm Doing
There hasn’t been much of an opportunity to gallivant around the country (or town, for that matter) over the past couple months. But that doesn’t mean I don’t travel in other ways. I’ve taken some time to escape from the four walls of my home through a few Hallmark Channel Movies. And I watched one of my favorites in a while last month: Just My Type.
I’m a sucker for romantic movies. Throw in ones that involve authors or writers and they’re pretty much a must see for me. So, needless to say, and at the risk of becoming too punny given the image above, I was hooked.
Go boldly in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagine.
They’re such cliched words. We’ve all probably heard them at least once in our lives, and maybe so many times that we’ve become numb to them. But that’s where the power of story comes into the picture.
When you have that message delivered in a fresh, compelling, and heartwarming way, it has the power to sink in and make a tangible difference. It’s probably not coincidence that chapters for my current novel began flowing onto the page after watching this one. I won’t spoil the story line for you. But, if you’re a writer, or if you might be looking for some healthy feel-good inspiration during this time of isolation, schedule this movie from Hallmark on your DVR and grab a bowl of popcorn. It’s worth it.
I don’t like to dawdle about. When I know where I want to go, I do my best to find my way there, straightaway. Whether it’s a physical or metaphorical journey, I’m on the lookout for the most direct path to my destination. And sometimes, the harder I try to force myself into that straight line approach, the slower I go. It’s agonizingly frustrating and crippling. It feels as though I’m moving backwards at times, when in reality, I’m just meandering. It’s not until I pan out and see the bigger picture that it becomes clear. I’m still making forward progress, only in a direction that may not be in a straight line toward my destination. And that’s okay. To borrow my thoughts from my most recent social media post: A river knows the ocean waits for it, if only it keeps flowing. We only need to keep moving and have faith the currents of life will carry us where we’re meant to go.
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...
No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
~ Heraclitus ~