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 looked through my list of books on Goodreads and realized how long it’s been since I read my first Lauren Denton book. Three years. And shortly thereafter, I quickly remembered just how much I enjoyed her immersive writing style and character connection.
With the level of chaos present this year, hurricane season and beyond, this title hopped into my hands with relative ease. The deep storyline, familial connections, and pursuit of what tugs at our heart the most makes this a compelling novel that stirred me into motion. And I guarantee it won’t be three years, or even three months, before I pick up my next book by this gifted author.
Read my complete review for Hurricane Season on Goodreads.
What I'm Writing
All my ducks are in a row, and being that thought pertains to my latest novel in Pigeon Grove, a town filled with avian influences, I’m hoping it’s a good sign. My manuscript is with my editor, the back cover synopsis has been completed, and I’m working with my talented cover artist, Lucy Rhodes, on the cover art for Drew & Maria’s story.
I recently watched a Hallmark movie, Bottled with Love, that stars Andrew Walker and Bethany Joy Lenz. If you get a chance, watch it. It’s well worth it. Without giving too much away, it has a You’ve Got Mail vibe to it.
Anyhow, I’m getting sidetracked. Andrew Walker is my casting choice for Drew in this story, and his character exudes exactly the demeanor I imagined for Mr. Stratton in this story. And incidentally, his last name is a nod to the inspiring fall weather I experienced in Vermont while coming up with the idea for this novel, not coincidentally, on Stratton Mountain.
If you have friends who you think might enjoy the Pigeon Grove series, I invite you to welcome them into our community too. There's always another seat available in our virtual café.
What I'm Doing
It’s never too early to begin thinking about the next big thing, right? And in my case, it’s an idea for my next novel in Pigeon Grove. It doesn’t have a name yet, or even a definitive theme, but I’m pretty certain it will center around the characters of Samantha Charles and Luca Moretti, two mainstays in my Pigeon Grove novels thus far. But as life often teaches us, things may change, we’ll see.
It happened three years ago. Ironically, it was the same year I had forgotten about The Hideaway by Lauren Denton, I made my way to a movie theater, by myself, to watch this musical movie, La La Land.
I went in with zero expectations and emerged from the theater a changed person. The music, the characters, and the immersive story included a coming-of-age story on the adult level mixed with a jovial whimsy reminiscent of Mary Poppins. In short, it was captivating.
It wasn’t a happily-ever-after story, but it helped me see things from a different perspective. I began to appreciate what it means to pursue one’s dreams and the sacrifices we make along the way. Are they worth it? And how do we figure out what those most important things are to us, especially when they seem to shift and morph with occurrences in our daily life?
So, honest to goodness, when I began writing these last few paragraphs, I really didn’t have a clue what my next Pigeon Grove novel was going to be about. But now, I wonder. Maybe I do already know more about its storyline than I think.
Do these questions resonate with you? Are these things you think about? They seem to be universal and lifelong thoughts that transcend age or any other perceived social separator. Go… read a book, watch a movie, get inspired, create, and stay tuned for more rambling thoughts from yours truly on where our next shared literary adventure may take us.
As someone who continues being extremely careful given our complicated and challenging social circumstances, this thought makes me anxious. A simple smile, holding the door open for another person, sharing a cup of coffee together. All these things become infinitely more difficult to carry out responsibly, because we have a mask on or are remaining socially distant in the name of safety.
Part of me wonders if the unease I’ve been experiencing over the past several months is due to an inability to connect with others outside our inner circle of family and friends. But I’m reminded that, while some of the simple kindnesses we’re used to embracing are not necessarily feasible right now, there are others that provide the same opportunity: a phone call, a text, an email, a handwritten letter.
The ability to connect with others in this day and age might require a bit more creativity, but the soul still seeks that soft pillow to rest upon, and there are an infinite number of ways to continue spreading kindness and love.
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...
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
~ Mark Twain ~