Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Closing down March. Moving to April!

March ended with a few firsts. Our first foray south -- a road trip to Redmond, Oregon, to see dear friends, after a year of staying at home. Fully vaccinated, we drove south through Tri-Cities, down along the Columbia Gorge, and then through the rolling hills to a week away. How good it was to have conversations with our friends, to share memories of trips from long ago, to discover several new restaurants together (all safely masked), and to try new recipes -- see below!

One highlight: a drive out to Smith Rock to admire the view:

Another highlight, watching the deer parade so calmly through the garden out back, as if they were at home.

Maybe I'm like you -- not always ready to cook every single night. Here's an inspiration: Top a simple cheese Freschetta pizza with your own combination of sliced yellow pepper, artichoke hearts, ham slices, chunks of fresh pear, and chevre! Thank you, Jamie.

Now about the writing. March brought slow progress on Island Wife, that story about what's next for Moira and Dylan that's about 60% drafted. But, to borrow a Southern phrase, 'bless its heart,' March is nearly over. Camp NaNoWriMo posted an April writing challenge, and I'm in. Goal? 15,000 words in one month. Are you with me?

I'm hoping the month ahead will be filled with light each day -- for us all!

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

IWSG March: Thinking Ahead . . . to Spring!

The first Wednesday of every month is . . . officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) day. We may write a post in response to this month's question. Or, we may write about our writing struggles, doubts, or triumphs. We hope to offer encouragement to other writers -- and we visit each other and comment. Why not, join in? Inspired by Alex Cavanaugh, the founder of IWSG, we persevere! 

IWSG's March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

A very tough question for me this month. 

Perhaps like some of you, I've been fighting off depression. Some days are harder than others. So, if I'm talking just about my reading, right now, I'm reading purely for escape, roughly 20 books a month. I'll read pretty much anything in historical fiction, romantic suspense, mysteries, adventure, science fiction, or thrillers, whether cozy or erotic (if the story is too erotic, I skip pages!). 

What I hope to find is a story that takes me entirely away from our present world -- the news, political or pandemic; disasters, environmental or personal. Immersing myself in the world of that amazing, spunky heroine or hero who really does make a difference gives me a little break and inspires me to tackle another day, to cherish those I love, and to find the courage to write my own stories.

Speaking of writing, I want to ask: What can we do every day to nurture our writing? Some say routine. Yes, I can agree. Discipline and structure help. Sometimes, though, we can be inspired by what others create, whether by song, or a painting, or a poem.  Sometimes we need to just listen or look and recognize that very human desire to share something of beauty. 

A few days ago, a writer friend sent me a link to her son's latest song. I felt like I was sitting in his living room, with Andrew just across from me, singing, reminding me that creativity takes many forms -- and can nurture us and inspire us.  

I hope you have a very good month ahead -- one full of opportunity and good health, strength to face down challenges, and time for writing.

Here's Andrew Mason with his song, Prayer for the Weary Traveler


Consider accepting IWSG's Challenge! Why not post a response to this month's question on your blog and take a moment to visit other IWSG writers, over 160 of us, to find out what we're up to this month. 

Thanks especially go to this month's co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!