I am so glad to settling into a full week at home. Either I am getting old or set in my ways when it comes travel these days because it seems harder to recover. Yet, I still love the adventure of it. It’s one of those oxymorons of living, I usinneworleansguess. Craziness.

Speaking of craziness. I just penned a short note to my letter writing friend about how I manage to fall back asleep when I wake at 2 or 3 in the morning WIDE awake. How, even if I don’t get a lot of solid sleep, I at least rest…but I forgot to share one small roadblock to it being successful: that’s if JB is also awake….and, more importantly, if he’s gotten out of bed and gone downstairs to the den.

Then, no matter how much I try to fall back asleep, without him there warming the other half of the bed, I just can’t. Instead, my fear of missing out kicks in. I throw on a nightgown and robe, slip into my slippers, and wander downstairs, where I ask if he’s ready for me to start the coffee.

This morning, it was 3 AM when he got up and by 4 AM I had joined him. Except, yes, wait for it…it was time to “fall back” which means it was really 2 AM that he got up and I was up at 3.

I cooked breakfast at 6:30: peppers, onions, tomatoes, ham, and spinach sauteed with eggs.

I have to laugh…and I can also tell you that I am really feeling it now that evening is drawing near….

What I’m Writing (& How it Dovetails with Work)

Writing felt hard this week, but I think it was still the vacation tiredness. Well, that, and I am still avoiding my office in lieu of the living room couch. But I pushed through and finally eeked out a blog post about Fear…and got the newsletter pulled together.

I wrote a blog post here on Tuesday morning, the one place I am giving myself permission to be very imperfect.

And I stepped way outside my comfort zone this week and applied to attend Dani Shapiro’s Sirenland Writer’s Workshop, which required a Statement of Purpose and an Application Piece. Prevously published work was allowed for the application piece, so I submitted a heavily modified version of A Leap of Faith for Love.

My main writing project for 2016 is going to be the memoir and, if chosen (and if I decide to fork over the $$), is what I want to some feedback on.  A Leap of Faith is in the vein  and tone of my vision for the memoir, which has been outlined for a year now (that’s the outline below).  And I did a naked modification of the piece, more raw and vulnerable than the version I shared in Summer Love Notes, when I was focusing on love and not the vulnerable spaces.

IMG_20141104_093319It’s more scary than I can express to put my work out there in such a manner.

When it comes to my coaching practice, it’s moving along at a “normal” pace. Sex Kitten is out in the world as is Clearing Brain Clutter. I need to finish the final edits of Clearing Soul Clutter as well as take the time to edit Clutter Busting and The Advent Series. OH! And in addition to blog posts and newsletters, I also need to release a new (free) ebook for Subscribers…to close out the year and prepare for 2016.

Yet, with all that on my mind, the main focus for next week is The Book. The Blog Book, Create a Life You Love. I want to have it *in hand* before Thanksgiving, which means I need to buckle down.

What I’m Reading

I am sitting here without a fiction book in progress at the moment which has me thinking, gee, I don’t have anything to read, yet I’ve read quite a bit in the last couple of weeks…

Before we left for vacation, I finished my book club book,  The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty, and really enjoyed it. Book club was Tuesday and everyone loved it and it got us chatting about family secrets and undergarments after talking about Cora and her corset in the early days.  I also finished Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing by Nina Sankovitch, which has me thinking still about the letter writing process and what we are losing as a society with the shift away from paper to digital.

So, here is where I’m going to pull back the curtain on one of the issues rolling around in my head these days: keeping house. I can’t remember where I heard about Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson, but I was nodding my head as I read the first chapter about Mendelson’s “secret life”. She wrote about being part of a generation that was expected to work because being a housewife had no “value”…and that was my experience. Before I married, I had never cooked an entire meal, never washed a load of clothes, and never really learned to clean house beyond a little dusting or running a vacuum.  Though I’ve marked this book as “read”, I didn’t read every single line because she goes into such detail about every aspect of making a home. It’s a reference book, though, that I am needing for myself, so my search to purchase a good used copy is high on my list to find.

careerofevilMy vacation read was Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling).  I’ve enjoyed all of the Cormoran Strike books and Career of Evil did not disappoint. In fact, it was the best one yet. Yes, it’s very dark and twisted, but deliciously so. Then again, I have always been a fan of mystery and twisted stories that show the face of evil, yet, in the end, good triumphs.  It’s a real shame that Rowling unmasked and stripped of her anonymity because she obviously enjoyed the writing process as Galbraith..and wanted the books to be judged on their own and not compared to the Harry Potter books.

Speaking of twisted, the latest Patterson book, Murder House was also deliciously twisted. Like all Patterson’s novels, this was fast-paced. The heroine was realistically flawed (a cop with a drinking problem). It was “co-written” by David Ellis. After taking Patterson’s “Master Class” I know that means that Patterson wrote a detailed outline for each chapter, Ellis wrote from that outline to fill in all the dialog and details, and Patterson did a final edit. An efficient process which allows readers lots of Patterson books to choose from.

My new morning read (for now) is Rising Strong by Brené Brown. The coach in me feels obligated to read it, and I can only take a chapter or so at a time. It isn’t that it’s poorly written, it just makes me think about work and how to bring her research to doable tips for readers of my work blog. And since I am in the process of shifting my writing, that’s both good and bad.

I also have on my little reading table  The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr. I haven’t dug into it much yet, but it may become an alternative morning read… or it may become the book I long to read at lunch and before bed. I don’t know yet…. .

What We’re Eating

I was looking forward to amazing meals in New Orleans….and honestly was disappointed. ‘Nuff said about that part of our trip…..

Today, I did some marathon cooking.  I spent an hour in the kitchen and…

  • I prepared beef stew for the crock pot. Beef, tomatoes, onions, carrots, green beans, parsnips and corn.
  • halibut with veggies for lunch.We are on the edges of the Alaskan fishing season closing, so taking advantage of halibut as much as possible. I served it with a mix of peppers, onions, green beans, broccoli and spinach.
  • jumbo muffin sized quiches for weekday breakfasts, with breakfast sausage, peppers and spinach
  • jumbo muffin sized mini-meatloaf, made with a mix of ground chicken and beef and laced with grated zucchini and carrots as well as the usual meatloaf ingredients of onions, spices, and tomatoes. Instead of bread crumbs or crackers, I used oats.

The meatloaf and quiches will be tossed in the freezer…And the reason I did this marathon cooking was so that I can focus on WRITING and EDITING this week instead of getting distracted around making breakfast or lunches. Otherwise, I will distract myself with the NEED to find sustenance or head to the grocery store. It’s an easy way to procrastinate.

What I Am Obsessing Over

The letter writing is hitting all my buttons in a good way. I prefer paper over email and cannot imagine why we didn’t begin this sooner. I anxiously await each letter, savor it, savor it again, and then eagerly pen a response.

And on that note…the tiredness and the desire to move this evening forward are here. Make a little cornbread to accompany the beef stew and plan to be in bed by 9…