Caught Between Reading & Writing: January Reads

Caught Between Reading & Writing: January Reads

For most of 2014, I didn’t read. It’s sad, I know. For someone who used to read a book a day, the busyness of last year turned me into a text/email/internet/blog addict. And somehow the joy of selecting, reading, and losing myself in a good book became…well, lost.

Thankfully in December I got caught by the reading bug and read four wonderfully awesome books:

Divergent by Veronica RothInsurgent by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica RothWhat I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

I’ve set a 2015 intention to read a book a week, and to keep me on track, I’ve joined the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. If you’re a member of Goodreads, or plan to become one, I hope you’ll join the challenge.

And if you choose not to, that’s okay. You can join me right here and help me on my 2015 reading journey by sharing the books you’re reading (or have read or plan to read).

So this month, I’ve chosen:

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertBurned Too Hot by Ann Voss Peterson

Stillwater Rising by Steena HolmesThe Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Happy reading!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas-Tree-2014The Christmas tree is up, the house decorated with Santas, and last weekend I baked till I dropped. 🙂

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost at the end of another year. And now, after all of the mini family emergencies that seemed to consume 2014, I’m excited for 2015.

The current WIP is almost done. Yes, this time for real! The oldest son gave me a deadline of December 23…or he threatened to take away my much loved MacBook Air for an entire month. Gosh, without my computer I might have to resort to clearing the dust bunnies out of the house!

Needless to say, I’ve been madly typing away on the book, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ll have the ALMOST final draft done by the 23rd…although he says we’ll discuss the consequences of not quite meeting the deadline. When he comes home on the 25th, I may have to pad lock the notebook to my ankle.

Christmas-Santa-2014Hey, it’s all okay and I’m looking forward to starting a new story by the end of January. You see, the other night after supper, I sat down to choose my Word-of-the-Year (something I learned from my amazing life coach, Christine Kane) and PROLIFIC is 2015’s word. One of the questions on the Word-of-the-Year worksheet requires me to list 10 things that this word will help me create or manifest or attract. And at the top of my list was “I will have created strategies to stimulate ideas”.

And boom-bang, the next morning I woke up with an amazing story idea…or at least the opening chapter, which is usually what my Muses give me to work with, right before they dump me and tell me to go figure out the rest of the book by myself. 🙂

So until 2015, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. Happy reading!

Duck Shenanigans, Snow, and Reading Material…

Apr15, 2014 snow

While some—or many, or maybe all!!!—of you are experiencing the wonderful delights of spring, we’re getting snow again. It’s beautiful, of course. Big white fluffy flakes that will hopefully not accumulate overnight. I’m ready to put my shorts on, not my snow boots and winter jacket and toque.

And even though it’s chilly out there, hovering around the freezing temps, in the last week, the geese have arrived. And this morning, our ducks are on the pond, swimming along the edges where the ice has melted, picking their way across the still frozen middle—or iceberg as I joyfully refer to one of the last remnants of our winter.

Our mother duck is far braver than daddy duck, and has ventured onto the thin layer of ice which was water yesterday, but overnight has developed a thin crust of ice. We watch her fall through the paper thin ice, then she sits there and stares at her husband as though she expects him to venture out and rescue her. He doesn’t. Apparently he has more common sense than his female counterpart.

Eventually she manages to crawl back onto the ice, breaks through again, then finally finds a spot that will hold her minuscule weight long enough for her to waddle over to the open water where she spends some time swimming with her mate. But soon they wander out of the water and disappear, searching, I imagine, for a safe spot to nest.

I want to tell them there are no safe spots, except for maybe in our shop. There’s predators all around…that nasty cat who caught our mother duck last year and nearly made a meal of her, foxes and coyotes and believe it or not, a cougar, too.

So while I watch our wildlife settle back onto the acreage, and wait for the warm temps to arrive, I’ve lined up my reading material:

The Memory Child by Steena Holmes

A Numbers Game by Tracy Solheim

Don't Let Go by Sharla Lovelace

The Memory Child by Steena Holmes

The Numbers Game by Tracy Solheim

Don’t Let Go by Sharla Lovelace

How about you? Is your part of the world warm or cold? What book(s) are you reading right now? Have you entered the Authors In Bloom bloghop (last day is April 16, 2014!)?

Happy Easter!

NOTE: Originally posted to the Women Unplugged blog.

A LITTLE YOGA BREAK

maya-fiennesI love yoga. I love the flexibility, the deep breathing, and the peace it brings me. For the hour I practice the poses, my mind is focused on the singular task of performing the routines, which helps enhance my focus when I’m at the computer working.

A couple of years ago, I discovered Maya Fiennes Maya Fiennes book, Yoga for Real Life, and her Kundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVD, and these quickly became part of my exercise program. Maya teaches Kundalini Yoga which “awakens awareness”. It is the oldest form of yoga and uses meditative focus, breath work, and chanting.

Recently I found this DVD available on YouTube, along with a couple of other cool features from this yoga teacher. Turn on your sound and enjoy the background music. It’s written and performed by Maya, who is also a classical pianist and performer. This program runs about sixty minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THX9jKPEMGs

However, if you want a quick routine to energize you, Maya also offers something different, a free style five minute routine that will totally get you moving and make you smile. If you don’t have time to check out the other links, make sure you check out this one because it’s super cool and fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI0q1nG7BN4

Or if you just want to lie back and relax, here is one of her songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V05RKa1ohf4

Visit Maya’s website where you can learn more about Kundalini yoga.

Have you ever considered doing yoga or meditation? What about the practices appeals or doesn’t appeal to you?

Note: This was originally posted on March 26, 2014 at the Women Unplugged site.

Winter Wonderland

Last week, our snow melted. I know, weird, huh?

For anyone familiar with winter on the Canadian prairies, you know that once the snow arrives, the cold white flakes stick around till the following spring…which if we’re lucky occurs in late March. And if we’re not so fortunate, it might stick around till late May or early June.

Anyway, back to last week…

First snowfall of 2013

First snowfall of 2013

For two days, the snow melted and it felt like spring. And let me tell you, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—better than being able to walk outside without a toque, mitts, heavy winter coat, and boots.

I spent those two days with a snow shovel in my hands, chipping the ice off the driveway, and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my head. And then the clouds moved back in and it began to snow again.

Now we have another foot or more of the white stuff.

Sure, it’s pretty, especially with the glow of Christmas lights shining through a dusting of newly fallen snow. Or on a frosty, sunny morning when we wake to trees covered in hoar frost and the entire landscape glitters.

But today, as I’m digging out from the latest snowfall, the temperature is dropping, the wind is blowing, and my back is sore. And it somehow feels more like a life sentence than it does a beautiful wonder of nature.

In my next life, I’m putting in a request for Hawaiian parents. 🙂

Before I go, I’d like to wish everyone an early happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be on a little vacation, someplace where there is no snow or snow shovels or toques or mitts. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Do you get snow in your part of the world? What’s your favorite thing about the winter season? And for those of you who have never experienced the beauty of a winter wonderland, if you were to wake up to a fresh snowfall, what’s the first thing you would do?

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

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