reading list

Reading List: December’s Book

I had originally planned to just pick up my October book selection and finish that one, but I believe in following inspiration and I was not inspired to finish up Mae West’s story this month. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love Mae’s story, and I am excited to finish it. But I felt that the last month of the year deserved something . . . different.

Instead, I decided to read something that would set the perfect tone for the upcoming year. So I selected “The Best Year of Your Life” by Debbie Ford. I read it many years ago but I feel that now is a good time to reread it, especially since I intend to make 2018 the best year of my life.

You can thank Debbie for the terms like the “shadow self” and its counterpart, the “light chaser” (many people also use this term interchangeably with “lightworker”). I haven’t read her most famous book, “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” but who knows: maybe that will be one of the monthly books sometime in 2018.

You can feel free to click on the links or the photo of the book to see what “The Best Year of Your Life” is all about. I’m looking forward to this “refresher”!

life curation · reading list

So . . . About NaNoWriMo


My literal expression when I write (photo courtesy of Clipart Library)


I got a book update for you all!

So, it’s December 1st, which means NaNoWriMo is officially over.

But (surprise, surprise) my book isn’t finished.

What does that mean?

It means I get to continue working on it through December LOL!

Now, I had every intention of getting 50,000 words in writing between November 1st and November 30th. But, life happens. I did get some writing done, which is better than doing nothing.

And, don’t forget: I’ve been posting here DAILY. So I’m writing, just not much in novel format.

However, I like the story that I’m forming in my mind, and I’ve written a lot more this NaNoWriMo than I did last year. So I’m celebrating that!

Anyway, enjoy your Friday, friends! I’ll chat with you all tomorrow!

life curation · reading list

NaNoWriMo 2017: Are You Ready?

Well, now you all know why I’ll be out of the loop in November. I’m fully participating in NaNoWriMo 2017, so that I can get back into the habit of writing fiction.

clipart library(Photo courtesy Clipart Library)

I’ve written a few books, but I’ve never published. I can’t tell you why I didn’t take the next step, other than the fact that I didn’t believe in my abilities. It’s funny: I can get on this blog, talk about pretty much anything that interests me, and I don’t feel shy about it. But my fiction, where people can actually read the worlds, characters, and scenarios that I create? It feels almost intrusive!

But the thing is, I have to publish my work. I believe in writing for your own satisfaction, first and foremost. But I think it’s powerful to make your words available for another person’s consumption: you never know who will be enlightened or inspired by what you have to say. No writer is required to publish, but it can be a “full circle” action for those of us that choose to do so.

I’m ready to come full circle. It’s time.

So this November, I’ll do NaNoWriMo, and in December, I’ll do my 3rd round of revisions for a previous book I wrote. In January, I’ll start on a new book, and in February, I revise a different book: one that I haven’t revised in a couple of years. I’ll stay on a “Write/Revise” rotation for the next few months, until I have a book that I feel is truly ready for the public (probably Summer 2018).

Are any of you participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo event? Or have you participated in the past? Let me know in the comments below: I’d love to hear your stories!

life curation · reading list

Reading List: October’s Book

Happy Friday, friends!

The month of September is coming to a close and, while I’ll miss the hot days and warm summer nights, I’m kind of looking forward to autumn temps.

This post’s title is a bit of a misnomer: I read way more than one book a month. But, I wanted to share the book I’m most looking forward to reading this upcoming month.

Becoming Mae West by Emily Wortis Leider is on my reading list, and for good reason. Mae West was innovative, creative, and completely in control of her image and career. She lived life on her terms and blazed her own path in a world dominated by men. I admire how Mae used her femininity to open the door, but used her brains to get ahead.

I look forward to sharing what I learned from Mae West’s life. This is a larger book (over 400 pages) so I’m anticipating that it will take me a few weeks to finish it. Fun times!

Any Mae West fans? Let me know in the comments below!

life curation · reading list

Highlights from “Outliers”

Well, dear friends, I finally finished “Outliers”. As you all are aware, this tome has been on my reading list for several weeks (actually several years, but let’s not judge). I have actually squeezed in a couple of other books since I posted about “Outliers”, but those were rereads and not particularly applicable to the content of this blog. However, I set a firm date for when I’d finish this book, and that motivated me to get focused.


If there is any singular thing I took away from “Outliers”, it’s this: success isn’t the result of a sole action/incident. The most noteworthy successes are the result of a “perfect storm” of conditions, attitudes, timing, and serendipity. There are many things we can control about achieving success, but many other things are the exterior elements beyond our control. Fortunately, there are instances where even what appears to be obstacles or downright walls separating us from our desires are actually the catalyst behind getting the skills needed to rise above everyone else and achieve unprecedented success.

Here are some of the highlights I gleaned during my reading of “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.

  • The infamous “10,000 Hour Rule” is best supported by serendipitous timing, but the expertise gained from continual practice can still put you lightyears ahead of the pack.
  • Having a genius IQ is great, but without other advantages (like personality, connections, or wealth), it isn’t a guarantee of success. In fact, without those other supporting attributes, being a genius can be a frustrating path.
  • Community and network are CRUCIAL to success. The influence of community and network is particularly powerful as children, as this molds identity and behaviors that will remain throughout your lifetime.

I can’t recommend this book enough! I plan to hand this off to a few friends that could use the information.

Have you all read “Outliers”? What was your favorite takeaway? Let me know in the comments below!

reading list

Book Review: Lessons from Madame Chic

At some time in 2015, I started working out consistently and getting serious about overhauling my life. When I decided to change my life, I started looking for guides to assist me on this journey.

As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. By chance, I came across the YouTube channel of Jennifer L. Scott, who had a blog named The Daily Connoisseur. Jennifer is also the author of the Madame Chic series. Her first book, Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living In Paris, discusses the different tips she gleaned while living in Paris during a semester abroad.

I adored Jennifer’s sweet demeanor and I was intrigued by her effortless, classic style. So I watched her videos and purchased the book.

Let me just say now, if you are ready to get really disciplined about your life, this book is a good place to start. The French approach to style, diet, exercise, and social behavior are drastically different from what we’re taught as Americans.

The most unique aspect of the book is the Ten Item Wardrobe concept. Jennifer discusses this concept in depth on her YT channel, but the gist of it is this: a wardrobe is built around ten core items, and a few “extras” to flesh it out. This sparse wardrobe allows you to concentrate on developing a signature style that suits your lifestyle and your taste. This approach is not only economical but liberating: fewer items mean more consistent style and easier morning routines.

My main takeaway from the book was the underlying motivation behind the French philosophy. The French aesthetic is rooted in discipline and focus, while Americans tend to be acquisitive and decadent. I believe the two approaches can be bridged, but that requires a thorough examination of both perspectives. I really enjoyed learning about the French approach to life, and I found this book was an excellent guide!

Have you read Lessons from Madame Chic? What did you think of it? Please let me know in the comments below!


reading list

Currently Reading …

This has been on my bookshelf for years, but I just hadn’t made the time to read it.

However, considering the fact that I’m aspiring to excellence, NOW seems like a good time to read it. Besides, I admire Malcolm Gladwell’s career and genius, so I’m looking forward to reading this (FINALLY).

I’m looking forward to sharing which points in the book stood out most to me.