I read this online and thought, how appropriate, hence the title of this post.
How have you been doing in the first month of 2022? Hanging in there, I hope. I’m doing the best I can, taking care of things within my control, letting go of other items.
Our house is so much quieter and less glittery and green now that the holiday decorations are gone. There is no more spicy chocolate champurrado permeating the air or steamy corn scented aroma from the tamale pot. No more shiny ornaments for the cats to bat and chase. Now they gaze longingly at the corner of the living room.
I won’t ask whether your new year resolutions are still alive on this last day of January, but hey, each day is new, and we can start again. My daily walk and beginner’s Yoga became a three times a week stroll and twice a week YouTube yoga session.
However, my word for the year “Within” has stayed with me. It’s a word of intention and purpose I’ll focus on as much as possible throughout the year. I love this site that helped me pick the word.
When I reflect on this word, I remember to go ‘within’ to write, meditate, sit in the backyard, pray or eat slower. This works for me because I have a daily desire for quiet and being alone in my thoughts. The quiet time helps to balance out everyday life.
The cold weather (even for Southern California) makes me want to read more than usual. Many of you have real winters, maybe too much winter if you’re undergoing the bomb cyclone on the Northeast and East Coast of the US.
I’ve already spent my gift card on Barnes and Noble. I went on a mini-spree of books, especially in the buy one, get one 50% off section. I haven’t read them all but added them to my ever-growing TBR list. I read e-ARC’s on NetGalley for free, in exchange for an honest review, and also Prime Reads, so I have plenty of reading material.
Two five-star books I’d recommend are:
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson– Two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past. This journey of discovery takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake. This is an amazing read with stunning insight and prose. The cast is multi-racial, with different age ranges, periods, and locations, and still, the author tightly weaves events reflecting a history of a family and best friends.
West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge-Woodrow Wilson Nickel, age 105, feels his life ebbing away. But when he learns giraffes are going extinct, he finds himself recalling the unforgettable experience he cannot take to his grave.
It’s 1938. The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe, and world-weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. What follows is a twelve-day road trip in a custom truck to deliver Southern California’s first giraffes to the San Diego Zoo.
This month, I focused on another revision of my debut novel and resuscitated an old NaNoWriMo novel.
My mother can’t believe how long it takes to publish a book after signing a contract. She reminds me she may not be around in June 2023 when the novel debuts. She’s legally blind so reading my typed manuscript proved very difficult and time-consuming, but she read the first couple of chapters.
Speaking about writing. I’m amazed at how much people share for free on YouTube or their sites.
A couple of favorites this month:
Michele Berger’s The Practice of Creativity offered a mini-training on submission strategies. I appreciate a teacher like her who speaks slower and checks for understanding with her audience. Check out her page, she may offer it again.
Author’s Guild YouTube sessions on writing, marketing, and publishing.
Tomorrow is February. I leave you with a couple of funny posts in honor of Valentine’s Day.