Monday Musings

Wow … Two months since my last post.

The last few months, my blog has devolved into mostly book reviews, and those are mostly of books I received advance copies of and committed to review. Which is great! I love receiving early releases, reading them, and sharing them with others. Especially when they’re from authors I’m going to snatch up and read anyway.

A couple of years ago, I did an overhaul of my blog. I received some good industry advice about what publishers and acquisitions people would look for when they considered my submitted fiction. They would visit my blog and evaluate if my posts were pertinent to my fiction and how many views I had, yada yada.

quote 130-3But let’s face it, no one–beyond my immediate family (any maybe not even they)–cares what I think about … anything. Not movies, not current events, not anything beyond book reviews.

I do have a few followers who like my thoughts about books. And I’m supremely grateful for every one of you!

But a curious thing happened when I changed the focus of my posts …

I lost interest.

So if I’m not interested, why would I expect anyone else to care??

Short answer: I wouldn’t.

So, I’m going back to my former format. But I’ll also retain elements of the new schedule.

Mondays: Monday Musings or Media Monday. Basically whatever I feel like talking about. I love movies and TV shows and podcasts and I like talking about them. Mondays were supposed to be about quilting, because I had a novel set in a quilt shop, but I complete only one or two quilts a year. It’s hard to blog weekly about that kind of production. 😉

Tuesday will still be Book Talk Tuesdays. Around May of last year, I decided 2018 would be devoted to catching up with favorite series I had lagged behind in. I did pretty well in that endeavor, so I’ll bring you all up to date as well.

Wednesdays will continue to be Wednesday Wanderings with tales of our travels or Woe! It’s Wednesday, when I talk about something personal, something I’m struggling with, something I don’t understand.

I will likely take off Thursdays, or will post an Author Spotlight on Thursdays.

Fridays will be devoted to food. Yes, Food Talk Fridays will be back. Restaurant reviews, recipes, whatever I feel like talking about.

Realistically, I know it’s January and I’m full of good intentions, and I may run out of champagne toast

steam and ideas by … ummm … May … but I’m hoping planning to be more consistent in 2019.

Here’s to good intentions! And even if I do less than perfectly with my posts, it’s okay. I’ll have improved, and that’s really all that matters.

 

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Monday Musings

About a year ago, I decided to shift this blog in a slightly different direction. Mondays went from talking about media (movies, television, podcasts, etc.) to mostly about quilting. But I quickly found out that being a quilter with limited projects done, I ran out of things that I felt were interesting enough to talk about. I kept book reviews on Book Talk Tuesdays. Wednesday’s became about travel. And Food Talk Friday went bye-bye. Sigh.

Wooden bowl with spa stones and candles on wooden  table, on flowers backgroundAfter some thought and talk, I’ve decided to do a course correction with the blog. Again.

Mondays will be Monday Musings. This may be about quilting or about art or crafting or media. Basically whatever I’m currently fascinated with. Tuesdays will continue to be book reviews (and I’ve got a great book up for tomorrow). Wednesday will be Wonderings or Wanderings. My thoughts and feelings about an issue or a travelogue of sorts. And since I’m still enjoying memories and pictures of our Ireland/UK trip in September, I have some material to keep posting weekly for quite a while.

Thursdays will stay either a day off or I may use it to spotlight an author, do a cover reveal, or post a second review if it just can’t wait until the following Tuesday.

Food Talk Friday will be back. Restaurant reviews, recipes, or food memories.

Please come back tomorrow for a review of the amazing new book, MRS. OSWALD CHAMBERS by Michelle Ule. You’ll be glad you did!

Monday Musings

So after a few weeks of being a lazy blogger, I’ve been thinking about how to change things up a bit. My struggle with blogging has always been how to make it relevant to readers.

Let’s face it: no one really cares what I think or do about a given issue. ask

I mean, my family cares (I hope), but the world at large? Not so much.

I’m not an expert on anything.

I raised kids. I kept the home. And there are plenty of others already blogging on those topics with far more impressive credentials than mine.

After talking with my agent last week (–will I ever get tired of saying that? I don’t think so–) I’ve decided to retool the blog a bit, to make it more reflective of the series I’m currently working on.

The Harts Leap books are set in a resort town just outside of Yosemite. This is an area I’m well acquainted with. There is a quilt shop there that has a fairly prominent role in the first book. I’ve done some quilting. There is also a hoarder. I don’t really know anything about this topic that would make me an expert, but I can do some research.

So, my tentative plan for the blog is:

creative people iconsMonday Musings: My personal thoughts

Book Talk Tuesday: Book reviews as before

Wednesday Wanderings: Thoughts on travel, particularly around Yosemite

Thursday: Occasional Author Spotlights and Cover Reveals, as before

Food Talk Friday: Recipes and Restaurants, as before

That’s my plan! And those are my thoughts for my first Monday Musings. Thanks for stopping by.

Is there anything in particular you’d be interested in hearing about? I’d love for some reader feedback!

 

 

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Waiting and waiting and wait…

This year’s holiday season is full of firsts.

We have a grandson due any minute as I write this (Sunday). He’ll likely make his appearance today, so by the time you read this, he’ll already be three days old. But yesterday was going to be his birthday, and we thought Friday might be it, and we thought … well, you get the idea.

So we have our first grandson, our first December grandchild, our first Christmas while Dave’s been working again, so we have a Christmas break like teachers and students. He’s also been remodeling our bathroom. But each day, each week, other urgent things take his attention. He’s looking forward to this break to finish that project.

Being on baby alert means making all plans with a big question mark. It means my gifts should be wrapped by now (they aren’t) and all my baking should be done (it isn’t).

But who cares?? There’s a new baby coming to town!

Woe! It’s Wednesday: The Only Thing to Fear …

Last week I got to enjoy a little vacation away with my daughter and her two daughters. We drove to Carlsbad, California and visited Legoland and the beach and the hotel pool.

At Legoland, I sat on a bench and watched my three-year-old granddaughter run around Duplo Town, AKA Pre-schooler’s Heaven. There were various play “houses,” scattered around the area. A barn. A grocery store. A jail. A fire house. The all had a lower level with some sort of educational game (push buttons to hear animal noises, for example) and an upper level reached via stairs and with a slide to return to ground level.

Grand-daughter loved the whole area, but she refused to use any of the slides. I had to hold her hand while she came downstairs, a little salmon coming downstream against all the other kids eager to get to the top and ride the slide down.

poleThe firehouse playhouse had a pole the kids could grasp and slide down. The drop was only a few feet and parents were always nearby to help if the descent didn’t go as planned. With her refusal to even slide, I knew there was no worry my Precious Girl would attempt the pole.

A young man about seven or eight years old did though. He grabbed the pole in the classic grip, one leg curled around the cylinder, the other leg still safely on the solid floor.

“Come on,” his mother urged. “You came down it twice already.”

“I can’t,” he wailed.

Mom rolled her eyes. “Just come on, we’re going to eat lunch.”

At this point, I was needed to help someone down the stairs, so I moved away. A minute later, I returned in time to see the young man in tears leaving the area with his mother. “I can’t believe you wouldn’t just ride the pole,” she said.

He gripped both his arms. “I hate my fear of heights!”

Mom sighed. “You don’t have a fear of heights, Silas. You’ve done it before. You just didn’t want to do it this time.”

Then they were gone.

MICHELLE'S PIC'S  WA. DC 099

 

Then it occurred to me.

I tend to think of myself as a fearful person.

But for a fraidy cat, I’ve done some pretty brave things.

 

I’ve:

  • ridden a bike down a mountain
  • ziplined
  • snorkeled in the middle of the ocean
  • scuba dived
  • driven a Segway around a major city’s downtown area
  • ridden a horse
  • seen a two-headed rattlesnake
  • shot and reloaded my own gun
  • written several novels
  • driven alone into really, really bad areas
  • ridden BART at midnight in San Francisco
  • lost a parent

For almost all of those, I was scared spitless.

But I did them.

And I survived.

So I guess it’s not the fear that stops me from doing/attempting scary things.

I do them anyway. In spite of the fear.

I believe one of these days both that young man clutching the pole and my grand-daughter will figure out how to stop letting their fears keep them from enjoying the trip down the slide or the pole.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: And Have I Got Woe…

Our family is undergoing an extreme season right now. It’s too soon and not my story to share, but suffice it to say we’re all reeling and scrambling to find our footing in our new ‘normal.’

I didn’t post yesterday for Book Talk Tuesday because I haven’t finished anything in the last week and I didn’t have time to sit down and blog.

But even though we’re in crisis mode, real life doesn’t stop.

I have a freelance job to work on. I have my own stuff ready to be edited and proofed. The dust bunnies are snickering at me.

Last week, I left the house for what turned out to be a few days and I locked the cat out of the bathroom with his litter box.

Twice.

The first time, someone else found him in front of the bathroom with his little legs crossed and opened the door for him.

The second time …  He had a backup plan and used the kitchen rugs instead. Considerate of him, no?

By the way, this is the cat with the broken leg and a limp who climbs trees and runs faster than Mavis Beacon types.

I’ve never understood that John Lennon quote: Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

Until now.

Now, I get it. And I don’t like it.

Not even a little bit.

I made my plan.

We should stick to it.

Or … I could take a lesson from the cat: Have a backup plan if things don’t go the way I expect.

When we left him in the house without access to his box, he made do.

Not in the way I would have preferred, but you know what? He did good. I didn’t have a mess to clean up in the living room. The rugs are easily washed and replaced.

Turns out the crippled cat is pretty good at making do.

Perhaps we can all learn a lesson:

When life throws a curve ball, just keep swinging at the fastball?

    Or …

Keep a kitchen rug handy?

I don’t know. I just know we don’t have a choice sometimes.

So we keep swimming.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: New Year, New Goals

 

I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do often find a verse or a word and try to live out the spirit of it.

So far this year though, I’m only hearing crickets.

The last two years my word was fearless. I don’t know that I’m more or less fearful than I was in 2012 but having that word at the edge of my consciousness did help a few times when I was faced with uncomfortable situations. And I get the sense that I’m about as fearless now as I’ll ever be.

So, it’s time to focus on something else I want to be better at.

Whatever it ends up being, I know one thing already:

I need to be intentional about it.

It’s the vague goals that I fail to meet.

So, time to take a day or two, pray, read and think.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What are they?