Quote: "I write to dream; to connect with other human beings; to record; to clarify; to visit the dead. I have a kind of primitive need to leave a mark on the world. Also, I have a need for money." Mary Karr
Write Every Day... I've taken a break from writing to do the work of the story-- digging into the characters, the plot, the setting, the research-- before I write another word. If I've learned anything from the other novels, it's that the best stories are the ones that have some work done on the front end. For me, at least, that is true.
My One Word... one definition for AFFIRM (my one word for this year) is "to state as fact, assert strongly and publicly." I've always felt like I couldn't "assert boldly and publicly" the things that I felt God had promised me. I tend to want to do damage control in case He doesn't come through. I'm like His pr person-- wanting to protect His reputation at all costs. So this whole concept of a bold and public faith is a unique challenge for this year in choosing this word. Perhaps you will see more of that in the months to come.
Listening To... my "Blue Nile" Pandora station. My love for Paul Buchanan's voice has been consistent since 1989
Sharing Stories... My TBR list is never-ending. I have so many stories I'm looking forward to. Most of them are books that aren't out yet--a little perk of doing She Reads is the advanced copies we receive to consider for selection, guest posts, etc. I am so excited about books coming out by Jane Green, Sarah Jio, Sarah Pekkanen, Elin Hildebrand, and Jojo Moyes.
In the past week I've read two upcoming stories that I really enjoyed for totally different reasons. These aren't available yet, but go ahead and put ABOVE by Isla Morley and HIDDEN by Catherine McKenzie in your queue.
As for my kids, my daughter (age 8) is enjoying WHATEVER AFTER, a series about a brother and sister who get sucked into fairy tales by a magic mirror in their basement.
Randomness... Last week was cancelled on account of snow. You may have heard that our area was affected by record snowfalls that had us snowed in for days. This is the south. We don't do snow well. Kids missed school and life pretty much ground to a halt. It was a lo-ot of family time in close quarters with no way to escape from each other and, while it was fun, it was not exactly a productive time for me, hence the quietness here on the ole blog. Pictures coming.
In The Kitchen... On my writing retreat a week ago I made a meal I'd made for friends before but never made for my family. As I was throwing it together in the kitchen of the lovely home we stayed in, I wondered why I'd never made it for the family before. Granted not all of my family loves shrimp, but many of them do. Some of them (my two oldest sons) LOVE it, as a matter of fact. So tonight I'm making the meal I made on the retreat. And for those who do not like shrimp, there are frozen chicken tenders. Here is a link to the recipe I'm using. It's so, so easy and so, so tasty. I'm serving it with roasted asparagus and an angel hair pasta dish that is basically garlic and tomatoes and olive oil tossed with angel hair. But it all just goes together so well-- lots of color and tastes on one plate. Needless to say I'm looking forward to dinner tonight!
Plans... This week is pretty low key (just the way I like it) til Thursday, when my best friend flies into town for a local book event and then is staying on with me. We will head down to Charleston SC to lead a writing workshop for the Lowcountry RWA on Saturday. Need I say that I'm looking forward to it?? Want to come? Here's info. If you want to be there, contact the folks at Lowcountry RWA and get your name in so they can plan for you for lunch. And drop me a line to let me know to look for you!
Loveliness... The snow last week was just beautiful. I would stand in front of the windows gazing out and whispering thank You. I wouldn't want it around forever, but our taste of it last week was perfect.
Photo of the Week... I couldn't go all out for Valentine's Day Friday like I like to because we were snowed in in the days prior to it. But I still was able to pull off a scaled back "red meal" (spaghetti and cherry 7Up) and whipped up a brownie pie served warm with ice cream for dessert. Because nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like chocolate. This was the table I created for our candlelit celebration. It made me happy just to see it. And it made me even happier to have the people I love best gathered around it.