Hello Again, Writing World!

After a long hiatus from my blog, I’m happy to finally sit down and write a new post! A nice, shiny new blog post all for myself (and you, of course!).

I won’t bore you with all the longwinded details, but I’ve been handling some ongoing medical issues that have added a bit of stress. On top of those problems, I also sprained my ankle hiking in Uwharrie National Forest a few weeks back. Just as that was healing, I caught COVID and was “housebound” for a while. So here I am, no longer contagious (hooray) but still a bit congested and with tastebuds that can’t tell pickles from carrots.

Needless to say, it’s been a difficult past few months.

Yet I’m back to it, thanks to my amazing support group (husband, friends, family), therapy, and lots of ginger tea 🫖.

So now that I’m out and about, what’s new in my world of writing and reading?

Still hard at work on my cozy mystery

I’m spending a few minutes on my story each day. Often, that means writing just a couple hundred words in a notebook before bed, but I’ll take it! Alex is keeping me accountable to doing this, while I’m reminding him to read a chapter of his book. (Yes, I know you’re impressed with our wildly exciting lives.)

But have I mentioned how much fun cozy mysteries are to write? I’m having a blast escaping into my quaint little fictional town of Pine Mills, North Carolina. My main character, Lindsay, has a background in botany. This nature connection means I get to research lots of information about flowers and other plants, all while setting the scene for … murder.

I’m about 45,000 words in and keep planning to set aside a weekend to devote entirely to my book. Crossing my fingers June will be a little calmer than the past couple of months, and I can actually make this writing weekend a possibility.

Books, books, and more books!

I’m also working on starting a mystery book club in my town. This group was formed partly out of a desire to meet new people and partly to get me reading more. We’re reading Still Life by Louise Penny this month. This will be the first novel I’ve read by the author, but I’ve heard great things about it. The story is a murder mystery that takes place in Quebec. I’ve needed a break from my current surroundings, so a faraway setting sounds fantastic. (Now, I’ve just got to schedule time to read!)

Speaking of reading, I was contacted by Reedsy to apply for being a reviewer and was approved. You can follow my upcoming reviews here if you’re interested. I’m excited to get my hands on new books and spread the word about new authors. I’ve had fun reviewing with NetGalley, so I figured I’d expand my bookshelf.

Getting ready for the coming weeks

It may seem counterintuitive, but every time I come out of a period of sickness, chaos, etc., I usually feel more refreshed and energized. I’m simply grateful to be back to operating at 100%. The coming weeks look brighter, and I welcome the opportunity to get back into my regular writing and reading routine. 💖

What’s new in your world of writing (and reading)? Have you had a difficult time writing lately? Share your tips and stories in the comments. I love hearing from readers!

4 thoughts on “Hello Again, Writing World!”

  1. I borrowed a few books for myself from the local library a couple of weeks ago- first time in years! Usually I just borrow books for my kids. I’m also working through a little online writing course, trying to figure out how to write a children’s story with poetry,endearing characters and originality. How do you get started? I have a number of fledgling ideas but perfectionism / commitment to too many other structures tasks seems to be holding me back. I feel that I can’t sit for hours and write when I don’t know if it will go anywhere, while my housework and kids’ needs await.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats on taking part in the online writing course! That’s great you’re dedicating time to your writing. I can *definitely* relate to your barriers regarding perfectionism and housework (I don’t have any children, however, although we have some needy pets!). A few things that have worked for me:

      – Create an outline. (I used to be so opposed to planning out my writing, but for bigger projects, it helps me stay focused. If I feel that nagging perfectionism kicking in, I just move on to expanding another section of my outline until that voice settles down. I hardly write my stories/essays chronologically anymore!)
      – Do my housework like I want to. (A clean, organized house is incredibly important to my mental health. I grew up in a chaotic/unhealthy home, so this is something I take very seriously as an adult. If an undone household task is bothering me, I go ahead and do it, even if that means putting off writing. I end up being in a better headspace after cleaning, and then I feel comfortable to write.)
      – Schedule my writing in. (I live by my planner. I’ve learned to schedule in time for my writing. Doing so reminds me it’s just as important as my paid work or household chores. You (and anyone else reading this) are welcome to join these online writing sessions I organize through The Sanford Book Club (https://www.meetup.com/meetup-group-ubyrcwae/). We’re a free, informal group that chats for a few minutes and then mutes ourselves to spend an hour and a half or so writing. We usually have a few people join each session).

      Good luck on your children’s book! You’re always welcome to bounce ideas off of me if that’s helpful. Of course, your kids and their friends would likely be more than happy to give you feedback on your ideas!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thankyou so much for the advice. It sounds sensible to me. I do appreciate a calm clean space but it’s taking a while- so much went on this past year with recurrent illness and losing Dad early November ‘21. The past few weeks I have really improved as the weather has too, and I hope to make progress in making all of the living spaces homey again.
        What day do you meet for the book club? I’m in Australia so I’m not sure about time zones etc

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sorry to hear about your sickness and father’s passing. I’m sure it can be difficult to get anything done in those times, but hopefully the weather keeps on helping :).

        And our writing sessions are somewhat sporadic. We typically meet on Sundays at 11:00 AM EDT (same as New York), but in honor of NaNoWriMo, I’ve scheduled a bunch of sessions throughout November. There are some I have scheduled for 7:00 PM EDT, which might be a bit better for Australian time!

        Liked by 1 person

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