I’m getting this in right under the wire. With less than two hours for the link with with Leigh, I figured I’d put in my last-ditch effort to get ‘er done.
July has been primarily about WRITING. THE. BOOK. And I did (although I also still am.) My goal was to reach my intended word count by August 1, and on August 1 I was sitting in my favorite café in Santa Fe, NM, drinking jasmine tea and pushing over the finish line. Beautifully poetic, because Santa Fe (and the Glen Workshop) is where the seeds of this book were first planted deep within me. I still have a few (two, actually) chapters left to flesh out, but it looks like I’m on track to get a spit-and-polished manuscript to my very patient InterVarsity Press editors on October 1 (the official deadline.) Hallelujah!
Because I’ve been focused on writing, things like reading, watching television or hanging out with real human beings hasn’t happened all that much, so what I’m into this month is primarily going to be… well… writing. And Scrivener. And eating cupcakes.
And a few other things…
Read and Reading:
Well, one of the only things I read this month was my owns words—and a few blogs here and there. Book nerd fail. Writer win.
I did read Marie Howe’s The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, which is a lovely collection of poems that kept me sane during my prose-heavy season. I’m also reading her chapbook What The Living Do for my book club this month.
I’m also working my way through At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Prayer in Ordinary Time which is a truly lovely compilation of Scripture, poetry and book excerpts for Ordinary Time.
On My Nightstand:
I’ve got a ton of books stacked up, ready to read (or return, sadly, to the library unread.)
The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul With Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Paintner. I’ve read this before, but I’m about to go through it again with a writer’s group in an online course (Story201) and I’m looking forward to dipping in again.
The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language by Natalie Goldberg. This has come recommended by several people recently, so I’m eager to read it.
An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling. I’m looking forward to this book by a colleague.
Darkness Sticks to Everything by Tom Hennen. Poetry recommended by one of my favorite contemporary poets, John Blase.
The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp. An oldy but a goody—and one I haven’t read yet.
Eve’s Striptease by Julia Kasdorf. I missed her at the Glen this year, but I’m happy to have her poetry nearby.
Mars Being Red by Marvin Bell. Another poetry collection recommended by a friend. I need more poetry in my life right now.
Conversations With Denise Levertov edited by Jewel Spears Brooker. A gem I found at Eighth Day Books and couldn’t leave behind.
Bad Religion: How We Became A Nation of Heretics by Ross Douthat. Every year, I ask Warren Farha of Eighth Day which book from the past year MUST I read. This is one of two he recommended this year. Jeweled by David Rhodes (a new novel) was his second recommendation.
Finding God in a Bag of Groceries by Laura Lapins Willis. One of the sad things about being focused on writing is that I don’t get to read my friends books the MINUTE they come out. Looking forward to dipping into Laura’s work.
The Courage to Create by Rollo May. I may have a theme going on here.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion—still, yes. I’ll get to it
TV & Movies:
I’ve been keeping up (or catching up, via DVR) on Next Food Network Star (go, Damaris!) and So You Think You Can Dance (which got fascinatingly odd last night). My husband had the flu for nearly two weeks, so he lay on the couch and watched back to back episodes of Dr. Who, which I tried to ignore him by means of a noise cancelling headset and loud cello music. I was, inevitably, drawn in, so now after late night writing binges I top off my sleep-deprivation with an episode or two myself. We’re still mid-David Tennant, so I’m waaay behind on the current Dr. Who drama. At the same time, I kind of like dipping into this oeuvre slowly and with intention, rather than snarfing it all down at once, like I did Call the Midwife.
Not much new here. Mostly dancing around to my writing anthem, Brave, and listening to classical cello. I know I should be into the new Civil Wars album, but I’m not. I may be a late adopter, or I may just be done with their drama.
Words, Words, Words:
I’m over 59,000 words on the manuscript, which feels SO GOOD. There will be more words this month, along with a lot of reading on the topic. I have a stack of as-yet-unlisted-for-you books that I’m reading as research, and I’m going to step back into those in August.
On My Blog & Elsewhere:
The blog has been fairly quiet in July, due to the aforementioned writing. I wrote over at A Beautiful Mess on Savoring the Sameness this summer, and bled out a vulnerable piece about step-mothering and creativity over at Elora Nicole‘s called How Do You Answer?
Things I Love:
- Red velvet cupcakes from Chef Sugar’s.
- My friend Preston getting confirmed… and engaged!
- This awesome site that graphs whacky theological realities. I mean, I geeked out. It’s awesome. For example:
- Lentil, the French Bulldog that was born with facial deformations, was rescued by a woman who believed he should have a chance to live, and became a beacon of hope for children suffering from all sorts of facial deformations everywhere. Plus, LENTIL.
- Being almost… almost done.
- My friend Anne being here to visit (technically August, but whatever.)
- Daily prayer, art journaling and remembering.
- Spiritual direction—as always and ever, I am so deeply humbled by the stories I get to witness.
So, how about you? How was your July? What are you into? What are you up to?
I’m linking up with the wordsmistress Leigh Kramer. Join us, if you’re so inclined!