Lazy Days and Saturdays Always Make Me Smile

In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we often forget to take time for ourselves. At least, I know I do. I’m not complaining. I love my life! I’m a wife, mother, RahRah (grandmother), middle school teacher, and an aspiring author. However, after an especially difficult week, I came home on Friday completely exhausted. So, I declared Saturday an official Lazy Day.

Mountain Man and I got up and went to the local diner for breakfast. Then a couple of hours later we drove to an arts/crafts place that I’d been wanting to visit. It’s an old textile mill that’s been turned into artists studios of all kinds….jewelry, pottery, painting, etc. We spent a couple of hours just wandering around, looking. We saw ink pens made out of shell casings from bullets shot during one of the World Wars, a clothing store with clothes from the 1940s, countless numbers of beautifully painted canvases, and other odds and ends like soaps, candles, cookies, etc. Then we visited the specialty tea store that was located on the first floor, and oh my, the tea was fabulous! I bought two different ones to take home with me: Sassafras Strawberry and Briar Patch Blend (a blackberry, blueberry, raspberry blend).

After all the walking, I realized my Lazy Day hadn’t been too successful. I had enjoyed my morning, but I was tired. Mountain Man suggested we stop by Panera Bread for lunch and then go home and rest. So, that’s what we did.

img_2008

Panera Bread, Piper & Leaf tea, and my Mountain Man…Life is Good!

After a delicious lunch, we went home where Mountian Man took a nap (then walked to the holler to see how dry the waterfall is since we’re in a drought) while I read a book off my tbr pile.

We are in desperate need of rain.

A fuzzy blanket and a good book make for a wonderful lazy afternoon!

Advertisements

Embrace Your Individuality

Tags

One of the best pieces of advice I received prior to attending the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference in Nashville a couple of weeks ago was to find something unique about myself and embrace it. The premise behind this advice was that embracing your individuality helps you stand out from the crowd and be remembered.

When I told Mountain Man about the advice, he quickly helped me pinpoint the quirky part of my personality that needed to be embraced. And that is how I became the proud owner of a pair of silver metallic Converse! (I added a glitter ribbon for extra pizzaz.)

img_1783

Why Converse? Well, several years ago, I had surgery on my right foot (twice). As a result, most shoes that I wore caused my feet to hurt and my legs to cramp during the night. Since I was on my feet all day (I teach middle school), I had to find a solution fast! Then I realized my feet didn’t hurt on casual Fridays when I wore my Converse. So, I started wearing Converse to school every day…I now own, nine pairs (navy blue, light blue, denim, black, white, red, pink, purple, and my new silver ones).

Of course, seventh and eighth graders think it’s cool that their teacher wears Converse shoes with dresses, but what would my writing peers think?

After two weeks of searching for a pair of dressy shoes that I could walk in without twisting my ankle (or worse breaking my neck), I embraced Mountain Man’s suggestion and ordered the silver, metallic sneakers.

img_1830

I was happily surprised to find two “sole-sisters” at the conference, authors Jamie Jo Wright and Sara Ella .

left to right: With the lovely Sara Ella at the ACFW Gala, with the talented Jamie Jo Wright after her “How To Build A Platform When You’re A Nobody” class, Sara Ella and I showing off our shoes, and my “not so tired” feet at the end of a very busy day  🙂

It turns out, embracing my individuality at conference was the best thing I could have done. My shoes sparked more than one conversation with fellow attendees, and I was a lot more comfortable being “me” than I would have been trying to be someone I’m not.

So, go out into the world and be yourself! Embrace your individuality, and be uniquely you!

 

The Life of an Ambivert

For years, I’ve told people that I’m an extroverted introvert, and they’ve always looked at me like I was c-r-a-z-y! Well, it looks like I’m not crazy after all. It seems there is a new personality type called ambivert.

According to dictionary.com, the definition is as follows:

[am-bi-vurt]
noun, Psychology.

one whose personality type is intermediate between extrovert and introvert.

I was blessed to have the privilege of spending the last five days at the ACFW writers’ conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the ins and outs of writing and publishing, meet agents and editors, and a chance to finally meet online friends in person.
It was exhilarating!
For the first two days…
Then it was exhausting!
Until I took a timeout in my room, alone, with my feet up…
rest_and_converse

New School Year, FitBit Charge HR, and Making Time to Write

fitbit_sleeptracker

Mountain Man has been trying to convince me to get a Fitbit for over a year, but I didn’t want one until my daughter, my younger sister, and my niece-in-law all got one and started competing to see who could walk the most steps in a day. Being a very competitive person, I wanted to join in on the fun. I went and bought the Fitbit Charge HR this past Sunday night (the night before the 2016-2017 school year began).

I didn’t realize that the sleep tracker feature of the Charge HR would become more interesting to me than the concept of competing to get the most steps. (I’ve said many times in the past twenty years that there is no tired like start-of-the-school-year-teacher-tired…okay, in all fairness, new-mommy-tired does compare to start-of-the-school-year-tired, but unless you’re Michelle Duggar, you’re not likely to experience that tired feeling as many times as a teacher who teaches 20+ years.) As you can see, last night (Friday night) I was asleep well before 8:00 p.m. and I slept for over nine hours! I only woke up once, but I was restless twenty-six times.

This has gotten me to thinking about how I’ve beaten myself up for the past three school years (since I started seeking publication) when my writing productivity has dropped dramatically the first few weeks of the school year. This new sleep tracker has given me insight into the reason behind my feeling of exhaustion. Now, I just need to figure out how to reduce the number of “awake/restless” episodes each night. Then maybe, my writing won’t suffer as much.

In the meantime, I’m thankful for Saturday writing days.

With Friends Like These…

I can’t believe that my summer break is almost over! The 2016-2017 school year begins one week from tomorrow. Where has my summer gone?

I had such grand plans to complete revisions on both of my manuscripts that have revision requests from editors, start a new manuscript, read at least two of the writing craft books sitting on my bookcase, and meet with a writer friend for a writing retreat.

Of these things, I’ve only completed one. Now, before you give me a hard time, you need to know that I have completed about half of the revisions on one of my manuscripts (after having to go back and undo some of the changes I made earlier in the summer because I didn’t like the direction the story was going) and ordered three more craft books to go on my bookcase (why is there not enough time in the day to write, and read, and take care of the thousand and one daily household chores?). The one thing I did accomplish was arranging a writing retreat with friends.

Honestly, if I’d been told at the beginning of summer that I had to pick one item on my list and it would be the only thing I completed all summer, I hope I would have had enough sense to pick the writing retreat. It was exactly what I needed to motivate me and get me back-on-track with my writing.

1stAnnualWritingRetreat

I don’t know how I was blessed with writing friends like these, but to have a friend who would fly (seven hours with layovers and delays) to meet me for two nights/three days to brainstorm/motivate/encourage, another friend who would drive forty-five minutes just to meet us, and an author friend who would graciously open her home to us for lunch and then take time out of her day the next day to meet us for dinner to discuss writing was beyond anything I could have hoped for. I was so blessed by my time with each of these three women. They encouraged me and prayed for me and my writing journey. I went home recharged and ready to tackle my revisions. As the saying goes, Life is Good!