Monday Memo – 5 Things I’ve been up to.

Hello! Have you missed me?  I am back in the saddle, ready to rock and roll, got the wind in my sails, and all that. I am excited about April’s A-Z Challenge.  Are you taking part?  26 days of alphabetical blogging fun for April. See link on the right. Without further ado, I give you my 5 Things for the Week:

1. Reading – This past week I was deeply under the weather and grateful that the kids were all on Spring Break. Poor kids, they didn’t get to go anywhere during their vacation.  But, I got a whole lot of much needed resting and reading done. This week I read INVINCIBLE SUMMER (e-galley) by Hannah Moskowitz, THE ETERNAL ONES by Kirsten Miller and a few chapters of HOW THEY CROAKED by Georgia Bragg.  The latter is a hilarious and informative book for kids about “the awful ends of the awfully famous”  I’ve learned a few things and my 10 year old is going to love this book.  I urge you to check it out.  In progress on my Kindle: THE HATING GAME by Talli Roland and in print: NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer.

2. Listening – I am a HUGE fan of audio books. I look forward to listening to many books after I have read the text version. Sometimes the unabridged audio can be like the perfect movie made from a book.  This week I am listening to NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman, also read by Neil Gaiman. What a fabulous treat!  I also listened to A STUDY IN EMERALD by the same author which he also narrated in the audio and I have to say he really does a fantastic job of it. Confession: I like to close my eyes and pretend he is sitting next to me actually reading just for me.

3. Writing – I discovered something interesting about my writing this week that might make me sound like a bit of a maroon because it was really simple. I want to share because it did help me see how ridiculous it was to get stuck where I was. I was muddling through this scene in my story because, you know, it was what happened next to my MC. While the event (a funeral) might be rather large and all-encompassing in a real life situation, it is not that important to the story. I battled with it, writing it and introducing a load of characters who arrived for it, trying so hard to weave this event into the story so my MC can be impacted deeply by it later… only to realize that if I skipped over it completely and started back up AFTER these events, the story moves much more smoothly and the impact becomes that much more powerful because we now reflect on some of it through the MC’s thoughts instead of watching it unfold “real time”. So, I learned that sometimes it’s okay to jump forward over events, even if they are a big deal to the MC, but not necessarily to the story. Yeah, I can be a bit slow sometimes.  But seriously, do you ever find yourself so engrossed in your writing that you get lost in the writing like that?
 

4. Researching – My current WIP is about witches. In doing some of my research I came across this book that approached the subject of witchcraft by reviewing the records of witch trials through the centuries and aligning these trials with the political and legal movements of the day. It is amazing to see how witchcraft went from being a normal facet of the fabric of life in society to something very dark and sinister. How people suspected of witchcraft were persecuted using amazing methods, and how the religious system intermingled with the legal system through the ages to really make a mess of it. What a crazy world! 

5. Grateful – I was talking to a friend recently about the chaos and health worries that continue to loom in Japan. Like so many of us, I continue to be weighed down heavily by it all. It is so bizarre that life continues to move on. And it is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the crisis when it is so far away from here. (I am in Colorado, USA)  It is strange to think about what these people are facing: grief and loss and hardship and worry over their heath that is in very serious risk, and our thoughts are on summer vacation plans. I am here booking my two son’s birthday parties at the local party place and there are pregnant women drinking radioactive water in Japan. Please pray for Japan.  Give if you can.

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