It seems like, on social media anyway, the generations are all at each other’s throats lately. The divisions between Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and beyond run deep. I know there are times I struggle to see things from my own mother’s perspective and she from mine.
After I finished writing Elusive Magic, which I absolutely consider to be an ode to Gen X women, I couldn’t help thinking about how my mother would respond to it. (I suspect it will not be her favorite of my books, but I could be wrong.) That led me to think about the fact that she has three daughters, and there isn’t a weak one among us. I think that says as much about her as it does about us. To have raised not one but three strong women speaks to her character.
And then I thought about my grandmother, with a third-grade education, married at 17. A mother to twins shortly after. She was so poor that by the time she had her third baby, she started losing teeth from lack of calcium. She grew up thinking her name was Norma Lee, only to find out well into adulthood it was actually Barbara Ann. How does something like that happen? Her mother wanted to name her Barbara Ann, her father wanted to name her Norma Lee. Mom was afraid of Dad, but also knew Dad couldn’t read. So, she said, “Sure honey, whatever you want” and then filled out the birth certificate the way she damn well pleased.
Maybe the seeds of my tenacity go back further than my mother.
One of my mom’s earliest memories was of my grandmother running to change out of shorts and into a skirt when Poppo showed up unexpectedly. (Poppo = the dad who couldn’t read and thought his daughter was named Norma Lee.) I could go into family lore about Poppo, but I won’t. They aren’t my stories to tell. Suffice it to say, Grandma had good reason to not let him see her breaking one of his rules. He was a hard man. But that didn’t stop her from trying, from pushing the boundaries of her world where she could.
I never met my grandma, not that I remember anyway. She died when I was one. She and I share middle names. I have her sewing kit on my nightstand. And I have her Bible, with a note in the front that says: Follow this, honey, and you’ll never go wrong.
I’ve always felt a connection to this woman. I do not know her, but I feel her spirit living on in me. The little boundaries she pushed turned my mother into the kind of woman who raised three girls alone (Daddy was in the Air Force, always off on TDY or just doing his own thing.) Once, a hurricane was descending on our stretch of Florida. She’d heard looting was bad on the evacuation routes, so she tucked an ax under her seat just to be sure she got her girls out safely.
My mother is absolutely the proper Southern lady who would tell her girls to fix their makeup and hide their crazy. But she’s also the kind of five-foot-tall warrior who would wield and ax to protect her babies.
The world these women lived in is not the world I live in. I cannot judge them anymore than I can judge my nieces, who live in a different world still. We are links in a chain reaching across the span of time, all the way back to Eve. The same chain, and yet each link so very different, subject to different environments, different stressors. So much so that it can be difficult to remember how connected one is to the other.
All we can do, as women, is our best. We can support each other. Mentor each other. Learn from one another. And, perhaps, show a little grace.
Elusive Magic: Now Available for Preorder
Some might call it a midlife crisis, but Josie Novak prefers to think of it as a midlife awakening.
With her relationship in shambles and her career floundering, Josie is at a crossroads. Enter fairy godmother aka best friend Brigitte, offering Josie a chance to make the dream of opening her own bar a reality.
But achieving dreams is not an easy thing, especially when you’re dating over forty and helping friends through the highs and lows of marriages, babies being born and babies leaving home, and all the other things life throws at this group of women as they navigate modern-day femininity.
Both heart-wrenchingly sad and laugh-out-loud funny, this forty-something coming of age story teaches Josie that being a woman might not be a fairy tale, but it is an elusive magic all its own.
I am struggling to adapt to life after COVID. I don’t mean the pandemic as a whole; I know that’s not over yet, however much we wish it to be. I mean my life after contracting COVID. There are the physical changes: my heart feels like someone is squeezing it most days, I get winded easily, and COVID brain fog is no joke. I’m honestly not sure I could keep up with being a full-time marketer again.
Beyond the physical changes in my body, my world has changed. My entire adult life, I’ve worked multiple jobs. For 22 years, I’ve also been mom to three boys, which meant there was always a bevy of things that needed done for them. There’s always been an insane schedule to keep, always a to-do list a mile long. Like any good American, I’ve been busy, busy, busy.
And now, not.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a myriad of things to do as I rebuild my writing career, build up my speaking engagements, and tend to my freelance clients. There are kids to shuttle until we can afford another car or two.
But it’s not the same.
Thirteen months ago, if I drank too much coffee and had to make an extra trip to the restroom, someone would comment. My days were packed with back-to-back meetings and I ate lunch at my desk to keep from falling behind.
Now, if I choose to eat my lunch in silence with my computer tucked away and my puppy asleep at my feet, I can. I even go to the bathroom whenever I have to pee, and nobody cares. Well, except the dogs, who wait outside the door for me. If I’ve had a stressful week and decide I want to take Thursday as my day off, I do.
My days are my own again.
All of this is good, but I still can’t quite shake the feeling that I’m in trouble. I’m missing something. I’ve forgotten to do something. I should be busy, busy, busy. I think for so many Americans, 2020 showed us how much we used our busy schedules to mask our pain. To avoid dealing with things we’d rather not.
On the flip side of that, I have word counts I have to make each day if I’m going to keep up with my publication schedule. Clients to take care of. Speaking engagements to polish. Corporate classes to deliver. There’s a list a mile long of things I need to do to better market my books.
But my brain just won’t behave. I struggle to focus, to clear the cobwebs. I’m reading more and more from researchers and others who are experiencing COVID brain fog. It’s very real and it’s debilitating. I truly cannot describe how much so. The simplest task sometimes feels insurmountable.
Last newsletter, I made a stupid mistake. I was certain I’d updated a link that I had not. More than once, I catch myself typing the wrong word, even though I know that I know the correct one. Frequently, I stop mid-sentence, no longer able to remember what I was saying. Everything is harder now. Compounding that, I move slower. I think slower. I am tired.
And I think many of us are struggling with the complete lack of routine. I tried to keep up with it for a while, to dress each day and hold a schedule, but somewhere along the way I just kind of stopped. And now time is the surreal construct and I struggle to meet deadlines and not miss meetings.
The added difficulties have given me a whole new appreciation for my number two son and all he went through after his accident. What I’m dealing with isn’t even close to what he overcame, and he did it with such grace and tenacity that I am compelled to live up to the standard he set.
I’m hoping warmer weather and more time outside will help. I try keeping myself on a schedule and to set more realistic goals for each day, knowing how easily I get overwhelmed now.
Here’s the thing: In many ways, COVID freed me. I was not happy but saw no way out of my hamster wheel. Now I’m out. I have a clear vision of the life I want to build for myself as I move into this new and unfamiliar phase of life that is dictated by me and not by children’s needs. I also find I care less—not about the things that matter, but about the things that don’t. Something that would have stressed me out 13 months ago isn’t even a blip now.
I started this post last week, and then today, I got my first vaccine dose. I drove three hours round trip, but it was worth it. I feel like a weight has been lifted. My entire outlook is different already. I have hope that the end of this ordeal is near. Before I got the shot, I knew the seemingly endless nature of COVID was messing with my head, but I didn't realize just how much until it lifted.
As miserable as the last year has been in so many ways, I am a better person today than I was a year ago. I am better poised to build a happy future rather than continue to watch the years slip by as I’m bound by the tyranny of the urgent.
If only I can manage to adjust to my new world and shake loose the fog that’s lingering over my brain. It's all good.
When my middle son was five, he wanted to join the circus. My response was to sign him up for circus school. It didn't surprise me to find out that he was a natural at trapeze—he'd been swinging from the rafter since he could crawl. What did surprise me was how good he was at balancing a peacock feather at the tip of his finger.
All of the chaotic energy that was my son stilled, focused on keeping that beautiful, fragile feather balanced precariously on his tiny finger. The slightest breeze or muscle twitch would send it—and him— careening wildly.
It's appropriate that this is the follow-up post to my post about chasing dreams. Because this is the reality of it: I feel like a five-year-old trying to balance a feather on the tip of my finger.
Part of it is simply balancing priorities like immediate income and long-term dream building. Part of it is being a single mom, in a pandemic. Having Covid brain certainly isn't helping things. And part of it is my ex-husband, whose recent shenanigans have reminded me why I'm happy to be divorced.
It's been a rough 10 days or so for my little clan, and I find myself struggling to keep the books, the freelance work, and parenting from toppling over. No small part of me wants to shut down, to sit in comfy pants and drink wine while playing Farmville and binging whatever. But I have this feeling deep in my gut that if I can just keep putting one foot in front of the other, things will be better soon.
I don't know why I'm sharing this with you, only that the image wouldn't leave me alone until I got it typed up. I think, perhaps, it's for the reader out there who is also struggling to keep it all balanced. You are not alone. There's a bunch of us careening around like uncoordinated five-year-olds, trying to focus our energy on keeping our lives in balance. Which is hard enough when the world isn't crumbling around you.
But keep going. Put one foot in front of the other. Pick the most important thing and do it, then the next. And cut yourself some slack. Life is hard and you're doing better than you think you are.
I had intended for my next post to be about how fabulous my forties have been, but then I got COVID, lost my job, and spent two of my darkest months since, well, this time last year when my lovely boyfriend ditched me during a cancer scare. During that time, I’ve done a lot of thinking. A LOT. And, while I will eventually get to my #FabulousForties series (because I have some very cool guests lined up), the truth is a bit more complicated. It often is. And, because this is how my brain works, right now I’m pretty fixated on beauty, so we're gonna head down that rabbit hole for a bit.
I went into 2020 needing to lose 20 pounds or so to be at my “ideal” weight. I left it needing to lose closer to 50 pounds. My struggle started long before COVID lockdowns, and I suspect it has more to do with stress and hormones than being home. In fact, I want to sidetrack for just a bit to go on record as saying I absolutely loathe the meme about “Now that I’ve lived through a plague, I understand why Renaissance paintings are full of fat women laying on couches.” It doesn’t make me giggle even a little. My entire life, I’ve looked at those paintings and told myself that had I lived in another time, I would have been beautiful. That even in my time, there is a beauty to my curves. That stupid meme makes it clear how the rest of society sees it, though.
And the thing about being heavier than society dictates as acceptable: People make assumptions about you. I literally had a date ask me once if I’d ever considered dieting. The saddest part is, it wasn’t my last date with him. It should have been, but I'm rather used to men making comments about my size and, at the time, I was still clinging to some home that my person might be out there somewhere.
“I just want you to know, I like the way you look. Don’t be self conscious about your size,” was the closest any of the men in my life have come to complimenting me. Actually, two different men said that one. Like they were embarrassed to be attracted to me. I was a size 10 or 12 at the time, for reference. Curves. Flat stomach. Toned arms. What the actual hell, guys?
Before COVID, I was eating 1300 calories a day and working out at the gym an hour a day, five or six days a week. I did this for two months and I GAINED weight. Before you say “muscle weighs more than fat…” My jeans were tighter, not looser. My shape did not change for the better in any way.
When lockdowns hit in March, I walked 5 miles a day. No change. Then I got incredibly sick (for the second time since January). The COVID test came back negative, but it took forever to recover and my lungs never did tolerate 5 mile walks again. I’d worked back up to two miles by July, when I got sick again.
Somewhere during all of this, I was gaining weight. I now have one pair of jeans that fits. My arms, my stomach--they disgust me. I have to give myself nearly daily reminders to love this body and all she’s been through.
Probably about August, I was talking to a health coach in Australia who wanted me to come work for her. In effort to learn more about what she did, I signed up for her eating challenges and threw myself into the incredibly strict dietary changes she recommended for the women she worked with. The easiest way to describe it is Paleo on steroids. For more than three months, I cut all dairy, gluten, and sugar from my diet. No white rice or potatoes. I ate more vegetables than I had in my life. I paid attention to the balance of nutrients on my plate. I moved my body more. I told myself my body had been good to me, it was time I give her the attention she needed. In time, things would right themselves.
Nothing. Not one pound gone.
This particular health coach was adamant that women shouldn’t count calories, they should focus on nutrition, so I tried it her way for the first month or so. When it hadn’t seen results, I downloaded an app and counted every morsel that passed my lips, even the oils used to prepare the foods. Most days, the app yelled at me for not eating enough because I’d come in under 1,000 calories and have to add more.
Before I’d undertaken this diet change, I was eating the wrong kinds of foods (poor people food, which is never healthy), but my weight has never been about overeating, despite what people assume when they look at me. Most days, I eat maybe two meals.
Even though I’d had a resounding lack of success with my own foray into the health coach’s suggested lifestyle, I went to work for her and left the safety of my corporate job behind. That job was causing me immense amounts of stress, which I was guessing to be the root of my stubborn weight gain.
It was a bit of a gamble that would leave me without health insurance for a month, but by this point, I was desperate to get away from the toxic atmosphere, so I took the leap.
And instantly came down with COVID. I mean instantly. The new job told me to take as long as I needed to heal. Unpaid, of course. Two weeks later, they notified me they were scrapping the project they’d hired me for.
By this point, I was a single mother with little savings, no health insurance (because I could no longer pay the premium on the new plan), too sick to walk to the bathroom, let alone work. My breathing was shallow and my heart felt like someone was squeezing it. I distinctly remember the night I went to bed, certain I would not wake up in the morning. I did my best to get right with God and put it in His hands.
I did wake up and eventually mend, but it was the longest month of my life. I’d been cautious of COVID before, now I truly fear it.
The thing about COVID is you feel too horrible to eat. You have to force yourself, and then only if someone brings it to you. My sister was sick while I was and lost five pounds. Want to guess how much I lost? None. Of course.
There is another meme that does amuse me. I went searching for it and found it sprang from a Tweet. I giggle snort every time I come across it because I feel its truth to my very bones.
My boys and I left my marriage with nothing. No car, no furniture. We had little more than the clothes on our back. The house we moved into was over a hundred years old and had no insulation. (A friend once told me "I can literally see the sun coming through the side of your house.)
I worked three jobs to repair my credit from my marriage and pull us up out of that. There’s another story there, one I may eventually get around to telling, but for the purpose of today, I’ll simply say that I am proud of how far we’ve come. I worked hard to provide them with a nice house, nice things, and a comfortable life. All by myself.
And now, with one fateful decision and a bit of crap luck, it’s all in danger. I used my savings up getting us through the first month. Friends kept us alive the second. A fierce job market and holidays mean I’m now peering into an abyss, unsure where month three will come from. My boys are unsure. The reality is that we will be going our separate ways soon; my empty nest thrust upon me all at once and much sooner than planned because of this whole mess.
What does all of this have to do with an article that has thus far lamented weight?
It’s changed how I look in the mirror. My eyes are sunken, the circles under them pronounced. I see the wrinkles I could ignore before. Any beauty I had in my youth seeped out of me during the long months of this COVID nightmare. Some days, I tell myself I will be healthy again. I will build a life for myself that will help my body find its balance and I will be healthy and strong and I will feel beautiful again, even if the men of the world don’t see it.
I was raised to believe I needed to be beautiful to attract a man, was told I needed one by my side. For whatever the reason, men don’t find me attractive and the ones that do only cause me pain. But what I’ve come to realize is that my beauty is for me, not them. Even now, if I stand up straight, I can see that I still have killer curves. They please me. I have pretty hair that’s long and soft, and I love the way it waves.(And I'm really digging this henna rinse that's turned it fiery red.) I love my eyes and how they change color with my mood. I have feminine hands with pretty fingernails and I love the shape of my feet.
As I looked back through old photos, trying to find one to put with this post, I was struck by the fact that my weight has fluctuated throughout the years, but the core of who I was did not. I have grown, changed, learned. I have lived and laughed and loved. (Pardon the cliché) But I was always more beautiful than I felt at the time or gave myself credit for. Even in the times when I carried more weight.
Because I am more than the sum of my waistline and more than the number of men who desire me.
I am a woman who raised three beautiful sons, mostly alone. Sons that have become competent, compassionate men. I have written and published twelve novels with millions of readers all around the world. I have held my own in board rooms where I was the only woman and negotiated multi-million dollar deals with globally recognized brands. I tried on the Super Bowl ring!
I taught school children and Sunday school. Mentored youth and sat on the floor with young girls while they cried. I worked up the courage to sing in front of a live audience. I’ve been in plays and given speeches. Fought against human trafficking. Been in parades and backstage at one of the largest music festivals in the country.
I learned to live off the land. I create gardens that are beautiful and can nourish my family. I learned the forgotten art of herbals and how to make butter from scratch. I’ve raised chickens and goats and ducks. Rescued horses. Rode turnback in a herd of bison for the president of the National Cutting Horse Association. Sat in a goat barn with my favorite doe licking my forehead while she labored. Brought a stillborn kitten back to life. She's actually curled up next to me purring at the moment, come to think of it.
These arms I so loathe have held babies, built fences, and fixed water heaters. They’ve wrangled alpacas. These hands have painted--walls and canvas--to fill my world with color.
My beauty, whatever that might be, does not have to be appreciated by others to exist. And if it is so easily erased by my weight fluctuating during a few particularly hellish years of my life, then it most definitely was not appreciated to begin with.
One of my sisters said something pretty brilliant yesterday: When food is scarce, the beauty standard is to be fat. When food is plentiful, the standard is to be thin. Pretty much whatever is opposite of natural women at the time.
I haven’t researched the historical accuracy of that, but it sounds about right.
I cannot control what the world appreciates. I cannot control their memes or pettiness or how shallow their depth. I can only control myself. My depth and what I appreciate.
And it’s past time for me to appreciate that the sum of me is so much more than the number on the scale or the size of my jeans.
I have an addiction. It’s nothing as seedy or interesting as drugs, alcohol, or sex. It’s DragonVale, a game I loaded on my phone sometime in April. My boys suggested it because they know what I sucker I was for Zoo Tycoon and Farmville. They weren’t wrong — I love that goofy game. Perhaps a bit too much.
As soon as I loaded it, I began racing through the levels. I can spend hours arranging and rearranging my islands. I have a spreadsheet to keep track of my dragons and the right breeding combinations for dragons I want. Yes, a spreadsheet. Like I said, I have issues.
It’s understandable. There is so much about my world I can’t control. My health, my job, the global pandemic. I can’t seem to get traction on any of my goals — thanks to the big three mentioned above. But in DragonVale, I can actually achieve things. I reach goals. And the dragons are cute.
Seems harmless enough. But as I fall further behind on the million-and-one things I could or should be doing because I’m tapping my phone screen, a passage comes to mind. In it, one demon is teaching another how to keep man from living his purpose.
“As the uneasiness and reluctance to face it cut him off more and more from all real happiness, and as habit renders the pleasures the vanity and excitement and flippancy at once less pleasant and harder to forgo...you will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract his wandering attention. You no longer need a good book, which he really likes, to keep him from his prayers or his work or his sleep; a column of advertisements in yesterday's paper will do. You can make him waste his time not only in conversation he enjoys with people whom he likes, but also in conversations with those he cares nothing about, on subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at last he may say...'I now see that I spent most my life doing in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
We live in a world of dead fires: social media, streaming services, dating sites, video games… this list goes on. None of these things are bad in and of themselves, but they’re dangerous nonetheless. It’s all-too-easy to get sucked into them and lose days, weeks, months. We get hooked on these sites thanks to the dopamine hit they give, and the effect is that we are literally rewiring our brains. They impact our peace, relationships, and ability to find contentment. These are all reasons I generally stay off social media, I left dating sites, and (pre-covid) limit myself to one television show in the evening.
Stuck in my house and too sick to do much else, I kinda left the one show rule in the dust. But it wasn’t until Dragonvale got its hooks in me that I found myself staring into a dead fire when I should be writing.
Now that I've recognized the problem, I’m going to try limiting myself, seeing if I can have the restraint to only check in a couple times a day and for up to half an hour a time. Because the goofy game really does seem to help me deal with all the rest. But I suspect that, like most addictions, I’m eventually going to have to quit cold turkey because the benefits aren’t worth the cost.
For me, it’s DragonVale. For someone else I love, it’s checking news sites. For another, it’s SnapChat streaks. The world is littered with dead fires. And I can’t help but wonder what we could do if we stopped staring into nothingness.
Right now, the Internet is awash with extroverts climbing the walls amidst social distancing. My poor sisters are jonesing for people. Per usual, I feel like a bit of an oddball because, in many ways, I think I’m less lonely here in the heart of isolation.
Being a single mom is a lonely gig. I often find myself on the outside of the acceptable groups, a bit adrift from the rest of humanity. I don’t get invited to social functions that are largely for couples. I work too many hours to be deeply involved in parent groups at the boys’ school. I’ve never been much of a bar hopper, but I’m especially not now that I’m solidly in my 40s.
Usually, I’m working full-time outside the house and trying to juggle everyone’s competing activity schedules, so I'm too busy to notice it as much, but it also keeps me too busy to reach out to make connections with people. I join things like Meet-Ups, trying to find groups of like-minded people, but I’m invariably too broke and too tired to attend the events.
The truth is, I have friends - wonderful friends - who have their own spouses and children and lives. We are all just so terribly, painfully busy these days.
Pretty much overnight, Covid cleared my calendar, along with the rest of the world’s. But we humans are social creatures; we didn’t let it stop us for long.
There have been a lot of things I’ve seen in the past month that have left me scratching my head, wondering if I will ever understand humanity. But there have been many beautiful moments of people reaching out and finding ways to connect and support one another as we get through this period of isolation together.
Almost immediately, I was added to a local group galvanizing as a community to keep people informed and help people find the resources they needed. Then other Facebook groups like Heart Hunters and What Do You See From Your Window? #StayAtHome popped up, creating a sense of solidarity with others practicing social distancing around the globe.
My family started game nights via Zoom and the HouseParty App, and I saw nieces and nephews I haven’t seen in years because we’re scattered across the country.
Patrick Stewart started reading us A Sonnet a Day. John Krasinski started sharing Some Good News, even hosting a prom for 2020 seniors. Every morning for the past week, I’ve tuned in to Travis Linville’s live stream along with others from around the world, forming what’s been dubbed “the morning crew.”
When a Final Fantasy gamer died of COVID-19, the community honored her with an online funeral procession in what was truly a beautiful moment.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, except to say that this week has been unsettling for me with all of the strife over when and how to end social distancing. I have opinions on the subject, but they’re just that, opinions. I’m not a scientist and what I think really doesn’t matter. I’ll go back to my office when I’m told to because I have kids to feed.
BUT, whenever I start to get too upset by the venom people are spewing at each other because they feel out of control in this crazy situation, I stop and think about all of the stuff above. I think about all of the people who reached out to check on me and the boys. I think about the store manager at work who created a giant sign that read "We will be okay" in the fence at one of our Iowa locations. I think about the way the entire world, or at least a good portion of it, pressed the pause button and joined together for even this one moment.
As with all things, I’m inching my way through this crisis, hopeful yet pragmatic. Thankful for where I am in this particular moment but aware that circumstances change. Mindful of those around me who are suffering.
Wherever you are tonight, I hope you are well, and I hope you’ve found a tribe to weather this storm with. And if you need a friend, I'm just an email or message away.
Ya’ll, I’m not going to sugar coat it: I have a crush. After the damage the last couple of guys did to my heart and ego, I’d begun to resign myself to being an asexual romance writer, so it feels like a wondrous thing to have a schoolgirl crush, even if it’s on a man I’ve never met.
One of my favorite things about living in Buffalo was the Old Home Place Concert Series. So when they took this month’s concert online because of Covid-19, I was pretty excited about attending. Eight musicians sang two songs each from their home. One was friend and favorite musician Lyal Strickland, but the other seven were new to me, including Travis Linville.
If there is a Mrs. Linville, I will apologize now but that man is adorable and I have been listening to his music pretty much non-stop since Thursday night. I’m fairly certain I need to meet him in person when the world resumes.
I watched Miss Austen Regrets this week - it struck a chord with me on so many levels. I know my inability to finish a novel these past few years is as tied to my regrets as it is to my busyness. The movie, the music, the COVID-inspired isolation, it all seems to be converging to help me embrace where I am in life, who I am.
Whether it’s to my benefit or detriment, I can’t say, but I’m a romantic. I am a writer. (I also miss my farm. I miss my chickens and goats and long walks in the woods with my dogs, but that’s for another day.)
Since I was a teenager, I relegated my novels to hobby because I needed to do something “practical.” I am not a practical person and I am making myself miserable trying to be. I’m an observer and a dreamer and I’m happiest when I let the words tumble from my brain onto the page. I think it’s time I own that, fully, and actively work toward putting it back in the center of my world.
When my kids were growing up, I relegated my desire for romantic love to my books because my children were my world. They needed me to focus on them. When they were old enough for me to try to find my person, the antics that ensued were worthy of a novel - a bit comedy, a bit tragedy. (That book is coming, eventually.) But, not gonna lie, I think the endeavor nearly broke me. He nearly broke me.
I’ve done a lot of healing these past months. A lot of thinking. A bit of writing. The ideas are back now. I’m dreaming books again. I wake up and furiously write down everything I can remember so it’s there when I need a new book idea.
I have three nearly-finished novels that I’ve painstakingly chipped away at FOR YEARS. So naturally, when I dreamed the inspiration for Violet Sky, I set them aside and dove head first into it. At the moment, I am completely and utterly in love with the characters in this book. They’re in my head all the time. I enjoy thinking about them, who they are, what their story is.
As non-sequitur as it seems, stumbling across Travis Linville’s music feels like it’s all oddly a part of whatever transformation is happening to me right now. So I am going to wake up early on a Saturday morning to catch his 8 am Facebook Live because--seriously--dude’s adorable. And then I’m going to spend the day listening to his music on Spotify while I immerse myself in the world I’m creating with Violet Sky, and I’m going to enjoy the writing process. I’m not going to worry about word counts or publication schedules or any of the myriad of practical things I could or should worry about.
I’m simply going to be a girl who owns her regrets, smiles a bit over having a crush at 42, and is happiest surrounded by the words tumbling out of her brain.
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