reading list

My Current Reading List

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and are feeling ready for the week ahead.

I’m ready for reading!

A few months ago, I mentioned that I would be doing exercises outlined in “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. However, I decided to put those exercises on hold for a while, since I have other major projects that need my attention. “The Artist’s Way” is a great complement to any routine that you may have, but I personally didn’t feel that it suited me well right now. I am looking forward to picking up these exercises in the near future, but for now, no “Artist’s Way” exercises for me right now.

Despite the fact that I’ve delayed my “Artist’s Way” exercises, I still want to do some reading! I really want to catch up on some of the many books I’ve been meaning to read, and since I’m not committed to any writing/reading exercises, now seemed like a perfect time to dive into the rest of my reading list.

One of my books for this month: Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie

My goal is to read three more books before the end of the month, and then move onto 3 or more books next month. My three books for this month are “Death Comes As The End” by Agatha Christie, “Infants of the Spring” by Wallace Thurman, and “More of This World or Maybe Another” by Barb Johnson. These books were the three that I picked up first, so there was no rhyme or reason to my selection, other than the fact that these had been on my reading list.

I’ve been eager to read this one: Infants of the Spring by Wallace Thurman

As I read these books, I’ll be adding them to my bookshelf in my entertainment room. I committed myself to only displaying books that I’ve actually read, so my bookshelf isn’t empty but I’m really looking forward to filling the shelves over the months to come. Let’s see if I can fill the shelves completely before the end of the year (I have my work cut out for me!)

Do you have any books that you’re enjoying currently, or that you recommend that I read? Let me know in the comments below!

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art · reading list

What I’m Reading Right Now

I’ve been reading a LOT recently. This has been a great time for me to get through my tremendous book list (which I’ve been mindful to NOT add to during this time). I’ve read several Agatha Christie novels that I’ve had for a long time, but now I want to get back to my first love: self-improvement/life-enhancement books.

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I started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron as a way to tap into my creativity and to consistently feel inspired. I began reading it in 2018, but I never got past the first few pages (I don’t think it was the right time to embark upon this journey: this was when I was trying to figure out the status of my health and my creativity wasn’t a priority). But now that I have a better handle on my physical health, now seemed like a good time to pick this book up again. I am seeking to access my creativity on new levels, and after reading the introduction and reviews of The Artist’s Way, I was convinced that this would be the perfect book to kick-start my creative endeavors.

The Artist’s Way takes would-be creatives through 12 weeks of exercises and guidance to set up a “framework” that encourages the pursuit of artistic endeavors. I’m in week 1 right now, and I’m excited to see where I’ll be at the end of the process.

Have any of you read The Artist’s Way? I’d love to hear about your experience with the book!

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art · life curation · reading list · relaxation

What I’ve Been Working On. . .

Let’s just take a moment to smile at the fact that we’ve made it to April. How blessed are we to see a new month and to know that things will only get better from here!

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I know that I’ve taken a couple of mini-hiatuses from the blog. As you all know, I’ve been nurturing my body after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year, but I haven’t allowed my diagnosis to stop me from pursuing my passions. At the beginning, this diagnosis felt like a hard stop: I had to relearn so many things and find a new normal.

I’ve had to adjust the pace at which I work toward my goals, but I am happy to report that, as I get better, I have more energy to work on the things that delight me. I still struggle with chronic pain, fatigue, and the mental fog that comes along with fibro, but those symptoms are not as pronounced as they used to be, which is such a blessing!

One of the biggest projects that has given me joy in the past year has been my publishing company, Bronze Butterfly Books. This precious project has allowed me to channel my creativity into designing beautiful notebooks and journals. I would love if you check out my website and let me know what you think.

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The bookstore is open!

I’ll have more special things coming from the book shop in the weeks to come. Thank you all for your continued love, support, and good vibes. Have a great day!

 

reading list

Book Review: Get It Done by Michael Mackintosh

Happy Friday, friends! Here’s the review I’ve been promising: it’s a good one, and I wanted to make sure that I did it justice.

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It’s been a while since I posted a book review, but trust me: I’ve been reading

I received a copy of Get It Done: The 21-Day Mind Hack System to Double Your Productivity and Finish What You Start by Michael Mackintosh from TCK Publishing a couple of months ago. One of the publisher’s author support specialists, Maria, was kind enough to provide me a copy after seeing my review of The War of Art. Maria’s assessment of my book preferences was spot on: Get It Done is the exactly the kind of book I enjoy reading. Thanks again, Maria and TCK Publishing!

Get It Done takes readers from being stuck, sluggish and uninspired to motivated, focused and unstoppable. If you’re suffering from any sort of delay in creating the life that you want, this book will help you knock through those challenges and achieve what you desire. It really is the “missing piece” of the puzzle for creatives.

The book is broken into three parts: Part 1 addresses the mental hacks that are needed before embarking on your creative venture; Part 2 explains the process of achieving your goal in 21 days; and Part 3 offers templates and support tools for accomplishing your goals. These three sections work harmoniously to support readers through their creative journey.

My favorite chapter was Chapter 10: Do It Now. This chapter really emphasized the urgency of doing our work right now, instead of waiting for tomorrow. Truly, tomorrow isn’t promised to us: the longer we wait, the more we risk never seeing our dreams materialized.

In Chapter 10, Mackintosh wrote, “In short, sooner or later, you’ll lose your chance to get your message out and share your gifts.” Ouch. I don’t want a life where I didn’t share my gifts or where I regret never connecting with the people that I was meant to help. The fact that I have been procrastinating is a hard pill to swallow but it’s what I needed to hear to give me the sense of urgency I need to get started on my projects now.

Mackintosh’s program outlined in Part 2 leaves no stone unturned: it gives clear guidance on how to set up a 21-day goal challenge that is guaranteed to succeed. I was really impressed with the strategies provided in this section. I’ve read a lot of great self-help, motivation, and goal-setting books, and I can honestly say that I learned some brand new ways to create accountability structures that work. I’m excited to start a 21 day challenge in January (yes, I’ll be writing about it on this blog!)

My overall review is that this is an excellent read that does a great job of addressing the reasons why we delay in accomplishing our goals, helps us to break through those barriers, and provides an effective structure for accomplishing goals in record time. I can’t recommend it enough! Make sure you get your copy of Get It Done, and watch your dreams start coming true! If you’d like more information about TCK Publishing, please click here. If you have problems with clicking the link, then type the following into your browser: https://www.tckpublishing.com/.

life curation · reading list

What I’m Currently Reading

Happy Saturday! The post is arriving a little later today because I didn’t have much time to write: I was out running errands and the time got away from me!

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I’m popping in quickly to share what I’m reading right now as well as what I’ll be reading through the month of January. Of course, I’m still rereading Write It Down, Make It Happen by Dr. Henriette Anne Klauser. You’ll recall this title from numerous posts on this blog, but most recently I talked about it on this one. I love the book so well that I have both the hardback copy as well as the Kindle version of it. I’m also going to read her books With Pen In Hand and Put Your Heart On PaperI’m kind of surprised that I hadn’t thought to read her other works earlier, but inspiration nudged me to buy them, so I listened and I’m eager for what I’ll learn while reading them.

Additionally, I’m going to read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I’m really interested on how I can best tap into my creativity. I’m hoping that the book will help me on this creativity journey that I’m embarking on in the upcoming year.

I have a book review coming up next week, so look out for that. I’m always reading something, so there’s no shortage of reviews coming your way!

I hope you all had a beautiful Saturday, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

life curation · reading list

2019 Planning – For The Sake of Writing

Today, I’m babysitting a few of my favorite munchkins, so today’s post will have to be a brief one. They’re keeping me busy today LOL!

I’m making my 2019 plans and I realized that I really want to do a writer’s workshop/retreat. I haven’t ever done anything like that before, so I’m eager to give it a whirl. I think my writing would benefit from a vacation/trip dedicated to it. I know that my writing is better when I am in a different environment, so a retreat seems like a natural choice.

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I did a quick search on Google and found this list of 37 (yes, 37!) writers retreats that occurred in 2018. I figure that these will be the same in 2019 as well; at very minimum, most of these retreats are probably recurring. I also found this list with 8 more retreats (I only saw one retreat that was a duplicate from the list of 37). The 40+ retreats on these lists have a lot of options at different price points, and all of them are centered around creating better writers.

If any of you’ve done one of the retreats listed, please tell me all about it in the comments below! Also, if you know of a different retreat that isn’t on either of the lists, PLEASE tell me all about it! I’m still deciding which one would be best for me, and I could use some input for anyone that knows more about them.

Enjoy your Sunday (I know that I am!) and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

reading list

My Latest Book Purchases

Oh, I hope you didn’t think that *just* because the monthly reading list is on hiatus that I had stopped buying books . . . I am an incurable bibliophile. I refuse to give up the habit. So yes, I’m still buying as many books as my heart desires, and I do so unapologetically.

I figured that I’d share some of the books I’ve purchased recently. At least one of these will be going on my cruise with me, because I love reading while I’m sitting poolside. So long as I can get a chair in a good spot, I’ll be enjoying a book while getting some sun.

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First up is Joy Every Day: You Daily Mood Tracker by Esmee Rotmans. This adorable journal captures your intentions for the week and has spaces for you to keep track of your daily moods. I love that each week has slightly different writing prompts to keep it from getting monotonous. It also has lots of stickers, and who doesn’t love stickers?

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Next, I purchased Diversifying Diplomacy: My Journey from Roxbury to Dakar by Harriet Lee Elam-Thomas. This lovely woman was a diplomat with the US State Department for over 40 years (!) and she chronicles her journey from life in the US to worldwide woman of power. This one will be in my carry-on when I go on my cruise: I can’t wait to read it!

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I also purchased The Perfume Garden: A Novel  by Kate Lord Brown from a recent trip to the Dollar Tree. For the record, don’t sleep on the Dollar Tree’s books: sometimes they have some really good stuff hiding on their shelves! Anyway, this book is the story of a perfumer who is going through a trying time in her life and the journey that unfolds after she travels to a home purchased by her recently deceased mother. I’m saving this one for my next 3-day weekend, when I’ll have the time and energy to really savor it.

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Finally, I got The Me Journal: A Questionnaire Keepsake by Shane Windham. This beautiful books captures details about your life and preferences for all time. I love that I could gift this to someone that I love and they could hold onto it for sentimental purposes. I also like that it’s a way to recall little details about yourself. Funny enough, I think this would be useful for someone that feels “lost” and out of touch with himself/herself: the combination of light questions and probing ones is a good way to remember who you once were and who you want to be going forward.

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Those are the books I’ve gotten recently. I hope you’re inspired to pick up a juicy book to read today!

life curation · reading list

Reading List Temporarily on Hiatus . . .

Happy Saturday, beloveds! As you all know, I’m gearing up to start regularly producing content on my YouTube channel and, as a result, there will be a few changes to the blog.

For now, I’ll be putting the reading list posts on a bit of a hiatus. I’m still reading – a lot – but I’m going to save my reviews for the really special books that cross my path. That way, I’m focusing on creating content that I’m truly excited about, and I believe that enthusiasm will be contagious.

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Other than that tidbit, I’m doing a lot of writing today (I’m updating my word count once I finish up for the day) so I can make a real impact on my 365k words goal. I’m glad that I’m making progress, but I’m being gentle with myself because I know I’ll see the most impact in the fall, when I go on vacation (which is always a good time to write) and when NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writers Month – rolls around.

After I finish my writing, I’m going out. I deserve a treat! I hope you all get to treat yourselves to something nice today, as well.

Take care, and enjoy your Saturday!

reading list

Reading List: August’s Book

Happy Friday, darlings! I hope you’ve got an exciting weekend planned or, if relaxation is what you need, I hope that you’ve planned some time to chill out and restore yourself.

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It’s time for August’s book!

I tossed around a few options for this month, because I was unsure whether I wanted (yet another) book focused on self improvement or something completely different. However, while looking through a few of my stacks of books, I came across one that I hadn’t read yet and was eager to finally dig into.

August’s book is Elizabeth Takes Off by Elizabeth Taylor. I don’t think I’ve read a celebrity’s autobiography in years, so this will be very different from my norm. I love Elizabeth Taylor (remember I did a post about her nearly a year ago?) so when I purchased this book, it was because I wanted the secret to her crazy-tiny waistline. Yeah, it’s superficial, but if she’s giving out the secrets, I want to be the first in line, with my pen in hand.

When I glanced through the book, I recalled that this is, indeed, a book about her diet, but it’s also a discussion about her personal life and career, so it should be a well-balanced, fascinating read. I’m looking forward to reading this one!

reading list

Book Review: Your Life By Design By Curtis R. Estes

I had to schedule this book review a little later this month, because I had a really hard time making it through this book for the purpose of reviewing it. You’ll understand a bit later why writing this review was challenging.

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The book I selected to read during the month of June was Your Life by Design by Curtis R. Estes. I’ve had this book for several years but never managed to read it – until now. The book is a series of exercises and examples designed to help the reader examine current patterns and choices. After examining the present, the reader is gently lead through the process of creating and executing a new vision – a vision that reflects the reader’s closely held values and desires.

In short, this is a workbook that requires thoughtfulness and time as you complete the exercises. That, by default, makes it a difficult book to “review”, since there are actions required from the reader in order to get the most out of the text and I sincerely feel that these exercises should not be “rushed”.

This book contains many fantastic tips for examining lifestyle balance and harmony. I’m a fan of how this book emphasizes looking at your life and determining how much joy you derive from your activities. For instance, I was intrigued by Estes’ personal calendar, that not only listed out his activities for the day but also assigned an emotional score to each activity (identifying how happy or unhappy he was about completing that particular task) as well as a list of the day’s overall goals and the expenditures required for the day. This holistic view of the day really helps to put individual activities into perspective.

All that being said, I HIGHLY recommend the book for anyone trying to create new patterns and a clearer vision for his or her life. The steps are great for creating the kind of changes that will nurture and boost behaviors that contribute to a quality lifestyle. I thoroughly enjoyed this workbook. In fact, I liked it so well that I decided that I would be going through the exercises, individually, in the fall of this year.