Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Favorite Things

Every few months I do a list of my current favorite things. Here we go...

Sherlock Season 3
Caramel Flan Latte at Starbucks
Leopard flats
Essie nail polish
Sharp cheddar
Westly's play room (converted dining room)
Art with second graders
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Conversation heart candies
Target gift card
Call the Midwife
Chapter 1 of my book
Baby niece Margot
Hit List musical soundtrack from SMASH season 2
Cozy blankets
Texting with Erin
Susie's wedding plans
Weather app

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hold On

I'm a huge BBC viewer. My top favorite shows are British: Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Call the Midwife, Miss Marple...

I appreciate these shows because they are all about quality instead of quantity. Downton and Call the Midwife typically have only 9 episodes per season (each episode running 45 min), Sherlock has only 3 episodes, and Miss Marple has 3-4 episodes per season (both 90 min per episode). While it is frustrating to have so few episodes to binge-watch and have to wait a whole year for more, I appreciate the proper anticipation it builds and the forced lesson in patience.

There is so much instant-gratification in our lives (microwave, VIA coffee, YouTube, Netflix, etc.), it's refreshing to come across some things that defy that, and make us wait. The BBC shows do that.

And writers, who make you wait an average of a year for the next book in the series.

There's something healthy about that.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rah! Rah! Rah!

Once I've completed a working draft of a book and have read through it several times, tweaking things here and there, I reach a point when I need outside input. I get stuck in my own head, and need some fresh eyes. My dear husband is such a good sport, and he allows me to read my book to him. We lay in bed after West is down for the night, me with my laptop and he with a notepad. I read and he listens and jots down comments/questions/suggestions.

It took me some time when we were first married to feel courageous enough to share my work with him (or anyone). But once I did, my life changed. If it wasn't for Michael, I never would have published Sherlock Academy, or attended any writer workshops or conferences, or dared to believe my writing was worth something.

I've learned how vital it is to have a cheer-leader for your creativity, your passions, and your life. I urge you to find one if you haven't.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Resolution for 2014

I've been spending the last few weeks thinking up a New Year's resolution for 2014. I finally came up with one: take Westly on at least one nature outing a month. 
The last week of Christmas vacation we went to the Pismo Dunes to see the monarch butterflies who stop there on their migration. We ended up taking a nature walk to the dunes. As I was enjoying the outdoors and thinking how therapeutic it was and how much West was enjoying it, my resolution came to me.

The next week my friend Erin and her son came along with us on a return trip to the Pismo Dunes, as our official nature outing for January. 

I'm looking forward to this year's resolution!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Spontaneous Trip to Disneyland

This week was the last week of Michael's holiday vacation. On a whim we decided to go to Disneyland. We had the best time ever.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

For Erin


It makes us fools, it makes us heroes, it makes us weep, it makes us rejoice.

Some may say it’s a choice to hope in something or someone. I beg to differ. I believe it’s an instinct. Even the most guarded cynic (though he would never admit it) can’t help but feel a teeny spark of hope when the need arises, no matter how many pails of water he tosses to try to extinguish it.

And no matter how many times we are disappointed, ridiculed, or told otherwise…

No matter how hard the blow may be, or how long it may take us to recover, or how painful the wounds are as they heal…

We always act on instinct. We can’t help it. We find a way.

Yet again.

We hope. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

I Did It!

I kept my New Year's Resolution for 2013 and memorized the Proverbs 31 Woman passage (Prov. 31:10-31). I have always struggled with memorizing scripture, and I really wanted to do so for 2013. My mom suggested I memorize a complete passage, adding a few verses a month. So I divided up Prov. 31 by 12 months and amazingly was able to memorize the passage! And I may have had my life changed a little on the way.

Every year I make one resolution to keep, and it's always one that can be quantified per month. One year I resolved to read a book a month. Another year I resolved to do one artsy/crafty project a month. The cool thing is that by the time I get through a year, that resolution becomes a life-style. So years later I still try to read a book a month, do artsy/crafty projects, and memorize scripture.

I'm still brainstorming and praying about which resolution to make for 2014. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Farewell 2013

How on earth is it already a new year? I was just getting used to 2013! It was a good year for me. Here's a quick recap:

Feb: we took Westly to Disneyland for the first time, and bought him his first Mickey ears. He fell in love. 

March: My sister-in-law and niece came home with West and I and stayed the week with us. 

April: West turned 2! And his speaking took off, as did his love for sports

May: my sister came home for a visit from Belize. 

June: I took my first trip away from West to attend a friend's wedding down south. Had a great time with my mom and family. We also took a little trip to Carmel with Michael's parents.

July: we took a Shaw family vacation to Tahoe and had the time of our lives

August: I attended the SCBWI international conference in LA, where I was inspired, educated, and enthralled. Here I am with YA author Jay Asher. I came back, my life changed for the better.

September: I finished and released the last book in my Sherlock Academy series. I bittersweet event, for sure. I also started my new book.

October: we went back to Disneyland.

West also really got into Halloween this year.

November: we enjoyed the season, committed to teaching Westly's Sunday School class at church, and got a great surprise when my sister Noelle unexpectedly flew home from Belize for Thanksgiving. 

December: we decked our halls, hosted Christmas dinner, visited my family down south, fought off the stomach bug, and hosted an Oreo-tasting party for New Year's Eve.