Highlighted Blog #23 – Linda Covella

Love learning about your favorite authors? And want to know more about some great historical fiction novels for young adults? This is a wonderful blog filled with great author interviews and other goodies.

For the next few weeks, my guests for “10 Questions” will be historical fiction authors. This genre is one of my favorites. Generally, a novel is considered historical if it takes place at least 50 years ago. Under the historical fiction “umbrella,” you’ll find a variety of subgenres, including multi-period epic/saga, romance, mystery, adventure, westerns, […]

via 10 Questions with Author Gina Danna — Linda Covella, Author
  • For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Highlighted Blog #22 – Seriously Seeking Answers

Why? How is it that I believe what I believe? And is it right? The Seriously Seeking Answers blog is written by a woman who constantly questions her own beliefs, and I love that. But it’s not all seriousness. She also has fun animal pics and some recipes and other info.

The frost sadly zapped my annual flowers early this year. But as the saying goes, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” And the fall leaves, which seem to need a good freeze to get really colorful, are making up for the lost flowers. Here is the view from my kitchen window in the […]

via God’s fireworks — Seriously Seeking Answers
  • For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Highlighted Blog #21 – That Little Voice

I just love Radar. Pictures of that adorable dog and other animals draw me to this blog. The author is great with a camera and writes in response to various challenges. So interesting!

My contributions to Photo Challenge prompt ‘Ruling the Roost’ shows my new doglet Radar viewing his domain (he could be auditioning for ‘The King and I’) and a playmate attempting to figure out who is in charge, a neighborhood cat who rules from on high, and precious Chili, the doglet who shared my life for […]

via Ruling the Roost Photo Challenge — that little voice
  • For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Highlighted Blog #20 – A Mama’s View

This mom, homeschooler, writer has a very approachable writing style as she shares observations on life and addresses trending topics. Her writing is eclectic. Sometimes she covers daily life, other times she shares quotes and personal thoughts. It’s always interesting.

Special is an interesting word. It can mean something good or something bad. It can be seen as a compliment or as a way of describing something which you are not really sure of, not really sure if you think it’s good or bad. Every now and then I look at my life and have […]

via Special — A Momma’s View

  • For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.
Quote

Highlighted Blog #7 — Hannah Vanderpool

One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing all the different sites people create. Sometimes I’m helping someone with a site. Other times someone shows me a site as an example of what they are looking for, and still other times I chance across sites in the Reader. So I get to see tons of sites every day. Serious job perk.

Once in a while a site will jump out for me as this one did so I have to start following it. I love the writing style of this author, and the posts are well thought out, interesting reads that highlight areas of life to think about. The author is very relatable.

On her About page, the author writes:

I write fiction that explores the relationships we share with people we didn’t get to choose, and what happens when we try to live with (or without) them.
As a person of faith, I want to tell stories that are both honest about life as it is and hopeful about life as it can be. While they probe the painful realities of being human in a broken world, my novels aren’t the work of a cynic because I can’t afford to be one.

https://hannahvanderpoolbooks.com/

How can one not love that? Here’s a snippet of her latest post, shared from my Reader:

In an earlier post, I wrote about how I’m intentional about filling my creative well during the day, whether by noticing visual art at my local coffee shop, listening to podcasts on interesting topics, or reading a few pages of a novel before bed. It’s creative input, and it helps me stay connected to right-brain…

via Going Input-Free or How to Stay Creative and Sane — Hannah Vanderpool

* For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing  writing from some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Routines

Tools for Establishing Routines
animation calm down GIF by Chibird
Oh May it be So

My life is kind of getting away from me – lacking routines. You know the feeling? I bet most can relate. It’s a struggle balancing life, home, family, friends, work, play, faith, exercise, etc. Fortunately, one of the perks of being an Automattic employee is that we get time with a job coach if we want.

My Job Coach

After some video training I browsed through a list of coaches to see who might be a good fit for me based on their backgrounds and their summaries of their points of focus. For a start, I could meet any coach I wanted for a 15-minute video session to see how we interacted. Finally, I picked one to meet with for 10 sessions.

There was one who stood out to me. Sara. She’s a mom who enjoys salsa and who lived in Lisbon. Maybe that’s all what drew me. Plus she is just simply inspiring and focused on establishing peace. We met, and I immediately felt really confident working with her.

Now I’m almost half-way through our sessions, and I have to tell you it’s amazing. I’m not overwhelmed with info from her (she definitely guides me, but at my own pace so I’m not lost in the currents of life). Sara suggests little tweaks that make me so much more productive and helps me see where to focus as I establish routines. She also gives me resources to study to become a better human in general.

So that’s been happening, plus some travel for the company’s meetup, during which I learned soooooooooooo much. After the Grand Meetup (GM), I attended  Rochester WordCamp and learned even more. So many thoughts. So much to write about.

Routines

But first, I had to get organized. ‘cuz I’m like that. I sorted arenas of my life into categories, made myself some new Trello lists (while looking into Asana), updated my calendars, cleaned out my Simplenote lists and updated my tags, and now I’m ready to write, by golly! There’s even a list of thoughts and topics from my last few weeks I want to write about.

Not all of it will be here — some will be on my Inspired by and Thankful For blog, and some will be for internal work documents, and some will be communications with family and friends, but I have scheduled time for daily addressing my own mind-dump needs.

I’m really looking forward to this new routine, and am feeling a bit less scattered already.

Museums

I think I might become a museum junkie. I’ve been researching the treasures of Massachusetts and have found some incredible deals. Back in my other post, I talked about the importance of being back in the art corridor for my artist husband, but the actual reality of it is pretty fantastic.

After spending a few decades in the boondocks, where large art museums were a long drive from me, the proximity is a treat. We had different, natural art in those years, and believe me I met many artists (musicians, performers, masters in kitchen arts, etc) who are amazing, but I did not have easy access large places one can stroll through on a rainy day.

For a few weeks, we researched — read tons of pamphlets, hit web sites and talked with locals and tourists. Then we took the plunge and purchased season passes for the Berkshire Museum and for Mass MoCA. This gives us all sorts of opportunities to see lots of exhibits and artistic styles as well as to attend performances and go to openings and other activities. My favorite part of our plan is that the Berkshire Museum membership came with reciprocal passes to over 1,000 institutions (art and science) across the US. Even Utah 😉 (that’s where the majority of my kids live).

img_6689

One of my favorite parts of the passes is that we can go back any time we want this year, so we don’t have to feel rushed. If we only want to pop in for an hour, that’s okay.

I love the inspiration one derives from a museum visit. And I also love the human connection — the vibe of appreciation from other gallery viewers. The paintings and educational tidbits on the plaques link me to the past and spark my imagination in a way I haven’t felt in a while. I mean, really, did you even know that some snakes change their sleep cycles from diurnal to nocturnal? I never knew this before. I’m certain there is a children’s story in there somewhere.

Imagination officially ignited. This is good stuff.

AFK and Blogging

Well, technically I’m not afk if I’m blogging, but I am away from keyboard for work-related customer-support-type stuff. This was going to be an interesting time off, I thought as I headed into my 11-day break. It was one of the first vacations I had in a super long time that had no real agenda. And best of all, I was not feeling like I needed a break.

Now that I’m a few days into the relaxation time, I’m realizing I might not have listened to my body well recently. Twice now, I have slept almost 12 hrs at night, even after taking naps. I didn’t know I was quite capable of such sleep.

tired jet lag GIF

When I’m not sleeping, I’m reading, or yakking with visiting friends or hiking or shopping or watching movies. I’m also honing my CSS skills for fun, taking a Treehouse courses. And I’m indulging in writing time.

Did you know that I have fodder for blog posts that are a year old? How embarrassing. Over the next few days you will probably see me writing about a few past events that were year-highlights for me.

One of the things I love best is how it takes one down memory lane so you can re-live pivotal moments in life. And it’s handy when you want to share these events with people.

In the past two months I found myself using the resource a few times. Once I was trying to explain the beauty of the iceburgs on Lake Ontario, especially as they break up. Then I remembered I had blogged about it, and could easily share the images. Then one day Hudi asked me about my recipe for bread, and Mollie asked for my recipe for yogurt. That one was hidden in my recipe for sour cream, but it’s in there.

And sometimes it’s just for sharing goofy family stories. Hudi mentioned they had a Henry in their apartment, and Chris and I knew what he was talking about, but Mollie didn’t. We caught her up on the basic idea of Henry, but linking her to a record of the account while it was fresh in our brains really gave her more understanding.

I love blogging. And this week while I’m still afk, I am also indulging on reading other people’s blogs from my Reader. I’m off to do that now.