I’m on the blogging struggle bus today.
And it’s going ninety-five miles per hour down a busy, car-packed high way.
And the interior of the bus is filled with everything I loathe: insecurity, worry, doubt, infertility, poor body image, food allergies (I miss cheese, dammit), and a load of other crap.
Some days writing comes so stupidly easy. The words flow, the ideas are fresh and exciting, and I get lost at my keyboard knowing that I’m on to something great. Or I think so, at least.
Other days, I can’t remember shit. My vocabulary is equivalent to that of my two-year-old niece and nephew. “Auntie come too.” “Ma, goldfish.” And every sentence is like pulling teeth.
So that’s where I’m at today. Pulling teeth and craving cake.
But, even though I don’t have much to offer you lovely readers today, I will gift you with some things. Some awesome things.
Okidoke, here we go...
A book update
I’ve been participating in a writing program called NanoWrimo this month in which writers all over the world strive to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I took a month-long hiatus from writing while my dad was sick, and since then I have needed a swift kick in the ass to get me geared up for book 2. And it has worked! Besides today, I have been writing every day and feeling really excited about this second book. My first novel is still out with publishers and I am hoping to hear more from an interested party end of this week, beginning of next. Keep your fingers, toes, entire bodies crossed for me pleaseeee.
A music update
You guys, TAYLOR SWIFT’S NEW ALBUM IS THE ABSOLUTE TITS. Jimmy and I did some fall decluttering this weekend and the poor, sweet man listened to the album on repeat for two days via our JBL speaker. But, sorry babe, long hair don’t care, that woman is a music writing genius. BOOM.
A clothes update
A reading update
Two great books I’ve got going right now.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.
Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.
Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.
We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.
I’m enjoying both fiction and non-fiction right now. Am I the only person who reads multiple books at once?
A shopping update
Did anyone hit up the Hearth & Hand collection at Target this month? Joanna and Chip Gaines released a new line for Target, and honestly, I don’t think there’s anything those two do that is wrong. It’s a bit different look from their regular Magnolia products—more modern farmhouse than good ‘ol fashioned farmhouse—I left Jimmy at home and took myself on a little shopping date. Christmas décor, house wares, lovely bags, oh my! The free coffee, treats, and flowers on opening day were also a nice treat! What did you all purchase? Did you like the line?
That’s about all the updates I have for now. More fun fall recipes and goodies to share in the coming weeks. I LOVE the Thanksgiving and Christmas season and can’t wait to share it with everyone!
One last thing… besides loving all the new songs on Taylor’s Reputation, this is my other favorite song right now. Enjoy!
Until next time,
P.S. One of my dear friends lost her mother last week. Please lift her up in comforting thoughts and prayers. I, and our entire friend group, would do anything to erase her pain. Just know, you are loved!