The Flotsam and Jetsam of Life
Marybeth: This month I’ve been into what a lot of moms are into– wrapping up the school year. I finished my teaching commitment, celebrated my third child’s graduation and senior prom, cheered when my fourth child got her driver’s permit, and schlepped children back and forth to nightly swim practices as our neighborhood league got back into full swing. I celebrated a birthday, Mother’s Day, and the opening of our neighborhood pool–always one of the highlights of my year!
Ariel: And speaking of Mother’s Day, I got to participate in one of my favorite traditions: leaving all the children with my husband and going with my mother and sister for an all-day movie marathon. Because of show times and several movies being sold out we were only able to watch two instead of three but I very much enjoyed The Avengers and Woman in Gold. Apart from that, I got all the boys out of school and though I tried, I still failed to have a decent plan in place before summer break began. But the onset of summer vacation has created a new and unexpected tradition: my 10-year-old has decided to take a picture of the sunset for me every evening. Mostly I suspect he just wants to play with my phone. But still, the results have been rather stunning.
Book Launch Parties!
Marybeth: I attended my friend Kim Wright’s launch party for her book The Canterbury Sisters. It was a garden party theme and I was able to snap some photos in the beautiful garden. (Speaking of gardens, I’ve been really into long walks almost daily, usually armed with my camera so I can snap trees, flowers, clouds, creeks, etc. that I pass as I walk.)
Ariel: I had the amazing privilege of co-hosting the launch of my dear friend JT Ellison’s new novel, What Lies Behind. It’s such a great novel and we had such a fabulous time at Parnassus Books. The writing community in Nashville is supportive and engaged and I am blessed to be a part of it.
Marybeth: I’ve been faithfully writing my 1000 words (most) every day. And I love this advice from Annie Dillard:
Ariel: I finished a novel and began my edits so I am currently knee deep in story guts. It’s a good thing I like this part of the process otherwise I would despair. Editing is like pulling a loose thread on a sweater. Change one thing and everything else unravels.
Marybeth: my husband and I caught the finale of The Blacklist, binged on the second season of Broadchurch (thought it was even better than the first), and we are tuning into the new shows Aquarius on NBC and Wayward Pines on Fox. I also finally saw Still Alice,but didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. Another thing I’ve been into is a show called The Big Interview with Dan Rather on the AXS channel. I’ve watched interviews with Lindsey Buckingham, Annie Lennox, Josh Groban, Kenny Rogers, Trisha Yearwood, and Paul Haggis. These creative people never fail to inspire me.
Ariel: not much to report here. I’m halfway through this season of The Blacklist but I can’t finish until Hulu Plus decides to stream the remaining episodes. My husband and I started watching House of Cards and I realize why everyone raves about it (the brilliance lies in the fact that Kevin Spacey makes you, the viewer, a co-conspirator in his machinations) but to be honest I didn’t have the heart to keep going after about eight episodes. They’re all just such terrible people. At some point this summer I’ll spend a day with two good friends and binge watch the second half of Outlander (I don’t have Starz). It’s quite different than the book in some regards but I think they’ve made a brilliant adaptation and my respect for what Diana Gabaldon has created has only grown.
Marybeth: Annie Lennox’s rendition of Downtown Lights originally done by my all-time favorite group– The Blue Nile– has been on repeat play for me. And I’ve been listening to Brandon Flowers’ new album The Desired Effect and Toad the Wet Sprocket’s New Constellation while I walk.
Ariel: honestly, I’m still listening to my go-to Mumford and Sons Pandora station. I keep it on when I’m cleaning or folding laundry or working on my computer. But I am rather in love with my workout playlist because it has everyone from Pink to Fun to Survivor (I mean really, what good is a playlist without Eye of the Tiger?)
Marybeth: Of course I’ve been reading! At She Reads we’re always reading ahead– so that means right now I’m reading books to consider for fall selection. I won’t say what those books are (gotta keep you in suspense!) but I will say I’ve been listening to Laura Lane McNeal’s Dollbaby and Natalie Baszile’s Queen Sugar on audio after meeting both of them at the South Carolina Book Fest this month. But honestly, I’d be thrilled if I could spend my entire summer reading in this spot:
Ariel: now that I’ve finished my Hindenburg novel I can read for fun again. And I can read in my genre. I’ve been hoarding books for a year and have more than I can count on my to-read pile. In particular I’m looking forward to diving into Dead Wake by Erik Larson, At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen, A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger, Circling the Sun by Paula McClain, and I’ve been saving Jasper Fforde’s entire Thursday Next series for this summer.
Your turn, what have YOU been into this month?