Since founding She Reads five years ago we have made every effort to wrap things up early in December. Part of this is our gift to you–who needs one more blog post to read during the busiest month of the year? But part of it is a gift to ourselves–a way to lay down our work so that we can turn heart and mind toward our families during Advent. And yet doing so feels very bittersweet. We spend eleven months of every year with you, our lovely readers and it’s hard to step away from this conversation about Story.
So this year we decided to something a bit different. We’re going to sign out for the year with the monthly post that we not only have the most fun writing, but the one that seems to be most popular with you: What We’re Into.
On the reading front I’ve been somewhat obsessed with two different series over the last few weeks. The first is Janet Evanovich’s series about hapless bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Here’s the truth: I’m really, Really, REALLY late to this series. I don’t even know when she published the first one. And I had no interest in reading the books until suddenly…I did. But it makes me laugh. And right now, while I’m knee deep in a deadline for my next book, you can’t put a price on laughter and joy and the simple fun of reading. Especially since I find it very difficult to read fiction while I’m writing it. But I tend to be okay if I read things that are very different from what I write. I can read one or two of these a week, at night, after we’ve put the kids to bed. This month they’ve helped me make the transition between “work mode” and “rest mode” much easier. And did I mention they make me laugh? Oh my gosh, I laugh so hard. And don’t be alarmed by the image block below. I’m only up to number eight.
Confession: I grew up reading primarily Science Fiction and Fantasy thanks to parents who adored those genres. I’ve read everything ever written by J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, and Lloyd Alexander. To this day high fantasy is like comfort food to me. I gobble it up when I’m tired or spent or otherwise needing a creative distraction. And while I have a rather strong fixation on Game of Thrones (though it’s taking me ages to read through them) I have a soft spot for YA fantasy. (Again, something I would never nor could ever write–my mind simply doesn’t work that way) So this last Saturday when I worked a shift at Parnassus Books here in Nashville for Indies First, and heard rave reviews about Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, I couldn’t help but grab a copy and dive in. I flew through book one, SHADOW AND BONE, in just a couple days and will start book two, SIEGE AND STORM, as soon as I hit publish on this post.
Reading is my first true love. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s cold outside. And my house is drafty. And I’m suffering from early onset middle age. So you know what I love most right now? Fleece lined leggings.
And last but not least, I am very much into Advent. It’s so hard to stay grounded in the holiness of this season when everything else is spinning so fast. But Advent matters. Christmas matters. And it matters tremendously that my husband and I teach these things to our boys. So we are trying to slow down. To breathe. We’re reading through an Advent book every evening (so we miss a night occasionally, we’re human and evenings are rough around here, and that’s okay). We are trying to make memories and give meaning to a month that has been co-opted by a vapid commercialism. Here are the Advent candles that my sister made last year. I still think they’re some of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen. Mason jars and twine. You can’t get simpler than that.
I’ve got a few links to share with you that I’ve been into this month:
At She Reads we already know that reading improves your life. Here’s scientific proof.
This post inspired me to start thinking about improving my writing life by setting goals and even making a visual representation of those goals. Even if you’re not a writer, there’s some good inspiration here.
I sent this post to all my children. It’s one that we should all read– how much are we really accomplishing with all the distractions around us?
I wrote a far more personal “What I’m Into” post over at my blog. If you’d like to check out what was going on in my life at my house this month, I invite you to stop by.
We have long said that story is the shortest distance to the human heart. This ten minute Ted Talk goes into more detail into why that is actually true. I highly recommend that you take a few minutes and watch. You won’t regret it.
And so my friends, we’ve come to the end of our regularly scheduled programming for 2014. This year flew by. We’re looking forward to a few weeks of silence but we will be back on Monday, January 5th to announce our Books of Winter. We’ve found four novels that we think you will absolutely love. 2015 is going to be an amazing year!
Until then, what are YOU into?