Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites:All About Books

Happy Friday! It's been a while since I've done a Friday Favorites post so I figured I'd throw one together before heading in to work at the school today and link it up with Andrea... I don't have a lot to share today just a few things from this week...

1.) The Public Library
So, apparently I've been living under a rock for my whole adult life because I just got my library card this was my first time in a public library and to be honest I felt like a complete nincompoop walking up to the desk and saying something along the lines of ", yeah I've never been here before....I need a um....(I think I may have whispered this last part as if I was in the midst of a drug deal or something)....library card." I then proceeded to check out a stack of books and downloading the Overdrive App, leading me to...

2.) Overdrive
I downloaded Overdrive to my phone, added my library and immediately began browsing the available titles. You link to your library and can download e-books and audio books across devices and it is amazing! I ventured into the world of audio books for the first time - I've always been strictly a physical book reader (my poor Kindle is sitting neglected on my bookshelf as I type) but I have to say, the fact that I can listen to a book and clean (or sand the bare bathroom walls to get ready for paint) or run the snow blower on the driveway or while I'm laying in bed at night unable to fall asleep is pretty appealing to me.

3.) Bossypants by Tina Fey

My first audio book was Bossypants, by the always funny Tina Fey. This in a situation where I think I made the best choice opting for the audio book version because Tina fey does the reading. I laughed so much while listening to her tell her life (and career) a first foray into the world of audio books I think this was a great choice and I have holds on a few more that I am really looking forward to!

4.) Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Okay, I'll give you a little more than that. Lauren Graham has such a great narrative style (which is not at all a surprise). This novel is one that has been on my "To Be Read" list for a while and thanks to the library I finally got my hands on it. I'm about halfway through and already love the story (and the very subtle Gilmore Girls references); the story itself is compelling and complex and just plain fun.

I do have a few more books in my basket that I look forward to reading and an ever growing TBR list.

What are your favorite books? Do you have an opinion on audio books? Any thing I need to add to my TBR list? Let me know in the comments!!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Show & Tell: Organization

Happy Tuesday! I'm linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday and this week I'm sharing some organizational tips and tricks,

Here's the thing, I do not at all feel qualified to share organizational tips but I'm going to try my best. There are four main things that I use to keep myself organized...

1.) Spiral bound planner
2.) Wall calendar
3.) iOS Calendar in my phone.
4.) Notepad app


I usually start with my phone; if I'm at church or work, texting a friend or out and about it's easier to make a note in my notepad app with the basic information - date, time, location. Quick and easy.

From the notepad app I can click on the hyperlink that is created as soon as I enter a date and time and I'm redirected to my phone's calendar where I can create the event and set a reminder. The problem with creating the event in my phone is that once I do, I can't see it unless I'm deliberately opening the calendar app so this is when I start to write things down.

From the phone calendar I write the events on my monthly wall calendar that hangs beside my desk and also in my weekly planner.

This all may seem chaotic and unorganized but for important dates and events I like to have everything written down in several different places. When I pass by my calendar each day I can see if I have anything coming up, my phone sends me reminders, and my planner keeps me prepared.

School and Other Miscellaneous stuff....

For school I do things a little bit differently; because I take online courses I'm pretty much on my own in terms of assignments and class schedule. I can set the pace at which I complete assignments within the bounds of class due dates. So, at the beginning of each semester I print out the course syllabus and write EACH. and EVERY due date in my planner and on my wall calendar that way I am never surprised when a due date approaches.

I have a fabric storage cube (from Target) on the bottom of my bookcase, and this cube acts as a filing cabinet for me. In this little box I have all of the important information and paperwork that comes with being a college student.

Awesome storage bins! 

I have two more of these in another room in the house; one holds all of my various fabrics and scraps and the third one holds all paints and supplies. I love that these bins fit nicely on a bookshelf, or inside the storage bench in the office. 

Like I said, I'm certainly not qualified to be sharing organizational advice, other than to say - just do what works for you! No one knows you like you know you; you know what works best for yourself and your family and that's what you should stick to. 

Thanks for stopping by! 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday: Resolutions and Goals for 2015

Happy Tuesday morning friends! I'm linking up with Andrea today for a little Tuesday Show & Tell, and sharing my resolutions and goals for 2015, so lets get to it! 

1.) I know that it's cliche to do a "new year, new you" kind of resolution but that's where I'm going with number one: no soda for a year (and beyond). Several years ago I cut out soda completely and it was the best I've felt in a long time, so this year I'm resolving to drink mostly water with the occasional tea (iced and hot). 

2.) Blog more consistently - and thanks to Andrea and her Show and Tell series I think that might just happen! I plan on linking up for the Show and Tells that I am able to answer - this is one of those times where I feel weird knowing that I read a lot of these parenting blogs even though I'm not a parent...I found Andrea through Shay at Mix and Match Mama and have since fallen in love with both blogs. I love how deeply rooted they both are in their faith and I am so encouraged by their posts even though right now in this phase of my life I'm not a mom. I love the daily encouragement from these wonderful Godly woman! 

3.) Read more. I read quite a bit but with school and work and writing....and more excuses that I could give you but won't, I didn't read nearly as much this year as I would have liked. With the start of my winter semester today I had the opportunity to look over the course calendar and this class has a fairly lite work load which is WONDERFUL! I've got two books started right now, Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See and Stephen W. Sears' Gettysburg.

I am absolutely loving both right now! 

4.) Finally, I resolve to take the leap that I've been so scared of for so long and Just put my book out there, finally push the button and publish! I have about five chapters left to edit, then the changes need to be made in the actual manuscript and then I will be ready. I think my own fear and insecurity is what's been holding my back and I've been passing it off as 'procrastination' but that is all going to change! New year, New year can mean more than getting healthier for me it also means letting go of anxiety and insecurity and this is step one in doing that. Have a sneak peek....

It's really scary knowing that in a few weeks this book will go from being an idea in my head and words on a computer screen to something that the general public - strangers - can hold in their hand and read...and review...and critique...but I need to forget about that and just get it finished! 

Happy New Year dear readers, thank you for sticking with this little blog even when it seems like I've given up!

Blessings to you all this new year, 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Help! I've fallen...

...into the (seemingly) never-ending pit that is EDITING...and REVISING...and REWRITING...and STARTING A NEW PROJECT......!!!!

Okay, so let me break that down for you.

Editing/Revising/Rewriting - Books one and two of the Love and Baseball Series: The Unwritten Rules and Stealing Home. Now technically I'm still writing book two, Stealing Home, but I am in the pre-production stages with The Unwritten Rules. Hopefully I will have The Unwritten Rules ready to go in January but I will keep you posted because my intended release date was a month ago...oops.

Starting a new project....I am still planning a third book for Love and Baseball however I am going to take a short break between books two and three to tackle an entirely new a very new-to-me genre. I've always been a big history buff - thanks in large part to my dad - and one area of history that I have always been fascinated by and have studied quite extensively from middle school and beyond is the civil war. I've been planning a historical fiction novel almost since NaNoWriMo ended last month - I have a notebook full of research and don't even get me started on the desktop sticky notes (you know the ones on a Windows PC): I have them color coded for each book I'm writing - Green for Love and Baseball books 1-3, yellow for the Civil War novel that still has no title, and pink for random thoughts for other possible desktop is a hot mess, but a color coded one : )

I've finished reading The Ripple Affair - expect a full review soon....but between now and the time I post a review go check it won't regret it - call it a stocking stuffer!

Thank you readers, for sticking with me even when I take super long annoying breaks from blogging. My fall semester is finally over, my books are (finally) winding down, and I have a nice little break between now and January to work on blogging consistently and finally publishing.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A 50,000 Word Sprint

Twenty eight days ago I began to write a story - a sequel to my first novel (still being edited), a story that deals with loss, heartbreak, sadness, and family issues among other goal when I started out was to have 50,000 words written by November 30.

There were several days when I was so discouraged, so insecure about my writing that I wanted to give up - just walk away with an unfinished story, I'd done it once before so why not now. When the story got to tough for me to take, the content too intense - too heartbreaking - I stood up and walked away, made a cup of tea and sat back down on the floor to continue writing.

I am not the kind of writer that can be confined to a chair and a desk - I can't shut myself in a room and expect myself to be productive - I have to write in the middle of chaos. On the living room floor with the dog running around me, writing in a notebook in the middle of the frozen foods section at the grocery store because ideas hit at the strangest times. Making notes during dress rehearsal of a concert because of something someone said that stuck in my mind.

I met my goal of 50,000 words but my story is far from over....I still have a good 10-15 thousand left to write. I still have a lot of story to tell...and I can't wait to tell it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Art Assignment: Off

My ideas of art have been challenged and tested thanks in large part to PBS and The Art Assignment. in this episode the art is coming from screens that are turned off, screens telling the story...take a look...

I chose to participate in this one (and didn't delete the photos!!!) 

I watched this one on my iPad one night before going to bed and in the morning I woke up, checked some e-mails, and tossed the iPad on my bed...

I ended up picking it up to clean the screen but loved this angle that I caught. It's almost as if I'm looking through a window....I love some of the responses that include cracked and dirty screens, selfies in the screen that is turned off. I have to admit that my first thought with this assignment was "how is this art" but my idea was challenged with the fact that it really does tell a story depending on how you compose your shot, how you choose to adjust your light, adjust your screen...I love that this series has really made me look at art in a different way. 

Art was something that I never excelled at in school - I have several drawings and clay figures that will attest to that. I like that this is teaching people like me that art is something that we are all capable of. It has been fun for me to take a look at art in a new way and to make art in a new way. 

Come back on Saturday for another art post...I've got a great one planned! 

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's November....

...and that means that it is officially National Novel Writing Month! I will be starting my second novel today and hopefully a month from now I will be telling you that I hit my 50,000 word goal, have a sequel that is ready to edit and that my first novel is on a best seller list finally published. So, here's to November, here's to's to Pinterest being a good distraction when writer's block hits!

Happy NaNoWriMo!