Last Sunday of June #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for chatting with me today. Let me pour you a first cup of coffee.

If we were having coffee I would tell you Tuesday was the summer solstice. In Monday’s PUSH meeting, we talked about changing rhythms. In Tuesday’s Topic Talk I hosted an event in Centered. I always do a tarot spread for solstices and used Linsey Mack’s spread from her newsletter this year. I sometimes change it to bend to my will but this time I used it as is and shared it with the group.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I recommend the book, Crossings by Alex Landragin. It is a book you can read out of order. It is also about a manuscript you are not supposed to read. How intrguing is that?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was at a conference at the beginning of the week. I am not sure I should call it a conference since it was three days of data work and plan writing for the school I am leaving to achieve its goals. It was a nice time to spend with a couple of friends from work and revisit some great memories in Wisconsin Dells. Coming back I was pretty exhausted. There was lots of work to do still though here in the apartment.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to Indiana and had lunch with my boys on Thursday. It was great to share their company and to have local pizza I haven’t had in a while. I had items from the apartment to drop off to them which was the purpose of the drive. I was in the car from 10 am to 8pm except for the lunch so that was tiring. I met a friend from my old job for a drink which was nice when I returned to Wisconsin.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am so thankful for air conditioning this week. The temperatures have been in the upper 90’s. It was great weather to move furniture down the stairs and to the Goodwill. (Insert sarcasm here…) But, it needed to be done!

I hope your Sunday is filled with beautiful words, good food, and sunshine (but not too much that it blinds you!).

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

Birthday Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for chatting with me today. I have a whole pot of coffee with some add-ins today. Plus the ice water pitcher is full!

If we were having coffee I would tell you it was a big week for me. My official resignation went through and I turned in all my devices on Wednesday. It feels wonderful and more of a shift rather than a whole change of life.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I recommend this TedX Talk from Nick Gray. He started a company called Museum Hack and just published a book called, “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party.”

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am continuing my Oceans without End program. The poetry in the packets and Holly’s words are inspiring. I am blending these learnings with the ones from Amanda Gorman’s Masterclass.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you Amanda Gorman’s Masterclass went live this week and I started watching immediately. I got to lesson 2 before I stopped and used a close reading technique she talked about on a flash piece and then wrote my own and then went back into free writes. She is inspiring.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I ate at Maggiano’s for my birthday dinner and I had Rigatoni Arrabbiata with Grilled Chicken, Spinach & Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce. It was amazing and went well with the Pinot Grigio! I am looking for a recipe to recreate it at home.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have been letting go of lots of material items. It is freeing to me and I feel like I am shedding a skin that does not serve me anymore. Stuff is heavy and it takes up mental and physical space. I wish there was a quicker way to get rid of some of these items but I am trying to schedule it so it is not overwhelming for me. Yesterday I took 2 full car loads to the thrift shops and there will be more to take later in the week.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had an amazing morning with sleeping in, coffee, and writing. How did your morning begin? I have to travel to a conference later today but it is not that far. It is also a place I know well.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I recommend the game, We’re Really Not Strangers. I found the game when I went to Barnes and Noble and my son and I played in the car and had the most amazing conversation. I will take it with me to the conference too!

If we were having coffee I would tell you Sarah Selecky wrote about writing a list this week. This is a warm up exercise that can be used over and over again.

I hope your Sunday is filled with beautiful words, good food, and sunshine (but not too much that it blinds you!).

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

Today Is Thursday

Cupcakes on a cake stand with sparklers

it also happens to be my birthday.

A birthday with a number that I cannot run the same amount of miles. A number that I am too old for parties. A birthday with a number that it shouldn’t matter that a small group of important people to me didn’t [and won’t] remember to text me, “Happy Birthday”. There is one person I want to hear it from but the circumstances make it impossible.

My son called to tell me the two words which was huge considering he does not like to talk on the phone. Several friends sent messages. I am not forgotten and there is a lot going on today for everyone around me. I will spend time with someone I love later and I also will celebrate tomorrow with my son with lunch and ax throwing.

It is early in the day, so this may change. And it shouldn’t bother me anyway.

There will be no cake other than the virtual ones at the top of this post. That is a good thing – I don’t need the calories. There will be drinks!

It is a regular day. I will continue to write this morning, drink my coffee, and spend the day doing things that are my favorite.

The biggest gift is that yesterday was the first day the main label I embody is WRITER. There are some loose ends that are being tied up for my coaching job, but they will be done by the end of next week.

The main task of a writer is to write, which I do every day. There are other tasks that surround my writing life. I am the leader of my own community, I teach writing classes, and I am the lead moderator for Sarah Selecky’s Centered community. I take many writing classes and I am going on a writing retreat this August. I submit my writing. As time goes on I will take on more in this area, happily.

I am thankful for the abundance and love in my life. It is a HAPPY birthday.

Fresh Start Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for chatting with me today. I have some nice dark roast with some add ins today. Plus the ice water pitcher is full!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I read Yerba Buena by Nina Lacour in one day this week. I picked it up from the library and devoured it. The book was amazing and so well written. I love Nina’s work and this novel did not disappoint.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the teacher’s last day was Friday, but I have to continue to work into next week. On Friday, I also turned in my resignation for my school corporation. There is still paperwork to do, but people know now! It is an exciting time under strange circumstances but I am thankful for the people in my life who are my support. There are many but some important ones are: Chris, Sebastian, Lori, and my PUSH group. I will focus on writing and am excited for the possibilities for this new season.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am continuing my Oceans without End program. I enjoy Holly’s energy and what she has done in the workshops I have already taken from her.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you my Collected class with Monna Mcdiarmid is going well. Monna is very supportive and I am getting a poetry collection pulled together! It was my personal goal for the course. I had been talking about it for a long while and am glad this class came along at the right time for me.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was able to get several submissions in this weekend. So far this year, I am up to 25 submissions. That number will increase exponentially as the year stretches on. I am digging into my Google drive and polishing or deleting.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am continuing my 5 Things Essays for my #1000wordsofsummer. They are going well but are random. I am enjoying the drift of them and the low pressure writing assignment.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had an amazing morning with breakfast, writing, and spending time with loved ones!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I tried two new recipes this week from Salt and Lavender. One was Chicken Riesling and the other was Creamy Mushroom and Pork Tenderloin.

I hope your Sunday is filled with music, flowers, and inspiration!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

New Moon Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for chatting with me today. Let’s settle in and share.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the Jack Project is finally in order and a complete story – not a mess of scenes. Many writers who know me have heard of my struggle with this project. Jack was written during #NANOWRIMO several years ago. I love the story and keep coming back to it, but there had always been obstacles. I created a process that worked and I stuck to my deadline this time. My goal was to be done by the end of this month and I completed it early! I am celebrating! This week, I will reread the whole story in one sitting and then the revision passes will begin. Will it be a novel? I am not sure. WIll it be a novella or a long short story? I still don’t know and right now, that doesn’t matter!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am resuming weekly meetings for my PUSH group starting in June. Tomorrow we are talking about how to not run out of ideas for writing and creative work.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my story won an Honorable Mention in the 24 hour Short Story contest. This was a pleasant surprise!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have been cleaning and purging this week. I took a whole car load of items to Goodwill this week. I thought it would feel more cathartic than it did, but I am still glad to be making some space in my life. I have moved many times over the last 8 years and hope this last move will be the last one. I have been considering items I own and asking myself these questions:

Do I love this?

When was the last time I used this?

Can it be replaced?

These are the questions that help me decide what to let go and what to treasure. I am finding many items are easy to let go of. Books, however, are not. It is my goal to only own things that are my favorites.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am thankful for this holiday weekend. The time seems a bit off for me this weekend but I am rolling with it. I am appreciating the abundance, love in my life, and new beginnings.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I participated in the Kathy Fish reunion this weekend. If you take one of Kathy’s classes she hosts a weekend of prompts on a special platform. It is a great time to write to her fantastic prompts and then get some feedback from other students of hers. I am happy with the pieces I produced this weekend. I hope to turn them into pieces I submit.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have vowed to dig into my old notebooks and not feel like I have to start fresh with writing every morning. I have my writing practice routines, but am looking forward to piecing together some essays or stories from material I have already recorded. I stumbled upon an idea called The 5 Things Essay which works for how my brain does. I am planning to use this structure during the #1000wordsof summer hosted by Jami Attenberg.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am taking a class from Holly at Poetry Forge called Oceans without End. I am thankful I met Holly last year and have enjoyed all the classes she has conducted. She has a calm poetic vibe about her which is inspiring.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I slept in more today than I think I have in the last 5 years! Last night I had a wonderful night out with pizza, drinks, and live music. Today, I had a fantastic breakfast and have an afternoon of writing, a party, time with people I love. The universe keeps telling me the path I am on is aligned and it is reassuring. I have many plans on the stove simmering right now. There are some self imposed deadlines that I will reach over the next month or so.

I hope your Sunday is filled with loving words, hugs, dreams, and sunshine.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

#WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. Fill your cup to the brim and let’s have a long chat!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I attended an editing class taught by Amber Sparks. It was wonderful and gave me a lot of options to revise my flash fiction.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I learned about a technique used by author Aaron Angello from the Drunken Odyssey podcast. He took a sonnet and wrote each word at the top of a clean page. His daily practice [which was an assignment from an MFA class] was to wake at 5am and ruminate on the word, and then write a full page – no more, no less. It then ended up becoming a book he published! I took a poem that was shared by Ada Limon on the Slowdown podcast and have been following Aaron’s routine. It is a smaller notebook but seems to be a worthwhile writing practice.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather has been strange. There was 90 degree temperatures all week, and then it rained, and now it is in the 50’s.

Do you need a refill? The water is really cold so I will bring you a glass since it is so warm today.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I hosted a Topic Talk about Tarot in the Centered community on Wednesday evening. It was well attended and we had a great conversation. I learned new things and was able to meet more new members of the community.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am resuming the weekly schedule for my PUSH group starting in June. I am in a much better place to be able to host every week and with schedules and summer it is more convenient for everyone.

If we were having coffee I would tell you revisions to my Jack project continue. I am pleased with the progress! My daily writing practice is going strong and I am making some plans for writing projects I want to complete over the next several months. Most of my writing has been in my notebook or computer however. I haven’t been sharing as much within my normal communities.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my artist date last Sunday was an amazing day! Neil Gaiman did not disappoint and he read my favorite short story, “Click Clack Rattle Bag,” and that was surreal. He also read a story called “Chivalry” which is about a woman who buys the Holy Grail at a thrift store. He answered questions that were submitted when we entered the venue. It was worth the 2 year wait.

While I was in Madison, I went to the Contemporary Museum of Art and made notes about the artwork which I used to write with later before I went into the Neil event. It was something I had planned to do for a long time and I was happy to experience it that day!

If we were having coffee I would tell you this weekend is flying by fast! Lately, I have felt more like myself and doors are opening for opportunities I have wanted for a long time. It is a good feeling to have some solid plans for the future. I have lots to look forward to and I am truly grateful for the abundance in my life.

I hope your Sunday is filled with light, happiness, plants, love, and fire!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

Full Moon #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. Fill your cup to the brim and let’s have a long chat!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to amazing workshops yesterday with Cheryl Pappas, Kathy Fish and Crow Collective. I have taken classes with Cheryl before but never in a live workshop situation. I have heard her read a story of hers that I adore and it was nice to hear her voice teaching. I was able to draft some pieces yesterday that I am happy with. All are partial so I will have to dig back into them at a later writing session.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I need to schedule some time to revisit some writing classes I have taken in the past. I am good at taking notes about how classes are conducted and I save all the prompts and reading suggestions. One of the main ones I need to revisit is the Sarah Selecky Story Course. That course has the advantage of audio and video lessons as well. My Google drive is very full of lessons and drafts. My writing life schedule will begin soon and I will be able to do just that!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to an online event where Jackie Kai Ellis spoke. She was amazing and I love her memoir. The call was magical and her tone and way of speaking was calming and inspiring at the same time. It would be worth it to join Centered just to listen to Guest Mentor replays. The daily prompts are highly recommended as well. The community is supportive and it is a great place to share your work especially if you are reluctant to do so.

Do you need a refill? The water is really cold so I will bring you a glass since it is so warm today.

If we were having coffee I would tell you today is a special day! I am driving into Madison to see NEIL GAIMAN SPEAK!!!! I am have been anticipating this evening for over 2 years and I am thrilled. I am going to take the opportunity to go on an extended Artist Date and go to bookstores, write at the art museum, have a lovely dinner and then soak up all the vibes from Neil. The full moon will be my companion on the drive back to the apartment. I will look at it and think of people I am under the full moon with tonight!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I cut my hair this week! It was nice to go a little shorter like I have had it in the past. It makes it easier for walking in the sun and just general maintenance. Plus, I like the look!

If we were having coffee I would tell you revisions to my Jack project continue. With work this week, I haven’t been able to get as much time on that project as I would have liked ,but I did some work yesterday and it was good. I have moved the deadline up and will accomplish the goal.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my routine is different this weekend and although I am excited for the creative day I have planned I miss my new normal. There are people I love that I cannot be with this weekend and I miss them. Changes are coming soon that will change that so I am thankful. I have abundance in my life and do not plan to waste it.

I hope your Sunday is filled with creativeness, sunshine, love, and great food!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat!

Mother’s Day #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the people who are nurturers to someone in your life!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. I have dark roast coffee, spicy coffee and water today.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my story challenge is moving along. I have not been as inspired this week for new material, but have been doing revision. I am writing, but not sticking as close to the prompts as I have in the past. The experience is different for me now since I have a well established writing practice. Words are written everyday. I joined a writing sprint Saturday morning which was nice to see some familiar faces and get a story done. I also had a call with a Canadian writer friend this week. It was incredibly fueling to me!

If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather cleared up for 3 days and then it went back to raining. I have been able to sneak a few walks in. I do so much better when I can connect with nature even if it is only an hour.

Do you need a refill?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I wrote with my poetry class on Thursday night. I had wrestled with a poem all day and it gave me time to revise it. I have been in my Sarah Freligh poetry boot camp class as well as Monna McDiarmid’s.

If we were having coffee I would tell you revisions to my novel continue. With work this week, I haven’t been able to get as much time in that document as I would like.

If we were having coffee I would tell you PUSH group was delightful on Monday night. The conversation went to reading at the end which was engaging and humorous!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am spending some time with my son today for Mother’s Day. We are going to lunch. It is always fun to spend time with him no matter what the day.

I hope your Sunday is filled with some fun and laughter. Mine started wonderfully and will be full of joyful moments.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat!

May Day #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. I have dark roast coffee today and some water.

If we were having coffee I would tell Storyaday May begins today and I am excited for this annual event. Julie, the host, is running two side by side challenges this year. One is the classic 31 stories in 31 days and the other is a “fun size”. The alternative challenge is a lot about mindset and working on only a few stories for the month. If you want to check her site and the prompts out go to Storyaday.org. I will continue to write using the Sarah Selecky daily prompts during the month and will combine them when that works for my story.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather has been a little better. I have been able to get some walks in this week but there was still a lot of rain and wind. Thankfully, no snow this past week.

Do you need a refill?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to a White Sox game yesterday with my three sons. It was crazy getting into the park and we had to stand in a massive line. We did get the free shirt , thank goodness. All the boys were worried they would run out before we got to the gate. The game started off with an Anderson homerun, so that was exciting. I had been looking forward to the food at the park as much as the game and it did not disappoint. We had great seats right behind first base and a foul ball landed right next to us…into someone else’s hand. We left when the sky opened up and it poured. They delayed the game, but that was ok. It was a good game. We even got ice cream on the way home. It was a great afternoon.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I worked on revisions to my novel and it is going well.

If we were having coffee I would tell you work seemed extra busy this week. I was glad for the weekend.

I hope your Sunday is filled with some fun and laughter.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat!

I Invite You To Coffee #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. I have some spicy coffee this morning with mocha today. I can make you a regular cup if that doesn’t appeal to you.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was a guest blogger on a website I respect as a writer and an educator. You can check out my post here about writing poetry.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather is still not cooperating. It rained every day this week except Thursday when I was able to get out in the sun for a walk. Yesterday it was 89 degrees at one point and the day before it was 40 degrees??? When it is not raining, it is windy. Windy like 20mph – not breezy.

If we were having coffee I would tell you it was a busy writing week which is always my favorite. The Centered Guest Mentor call was this week and was amazing. Yesterday I attended the Barrelhouse writing conference online and also had my Natalie Goldberg writing session. I had a critique session as well. Thanks to my friends Jamie and Chari, I realized that my 100-word story was due yesterday instead of today, so I am glad I didn’t miss the deadline. I also turned in my CV2 poem.

If we were having coffee I would tell you today my schedule is a little different so my regular writing routine has shifted. I do not mind at all. I plan to do some revisions and submissions today.

Do you need a refill?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I think I have a plan to get my novel revised by August 1st. I have an accountability partner (THANK YOU ROBYN) who also has done this process before so I believe that will be motivating for me. From the Ease Lessons podcast, I also was reminded about a sentence outline which I think will work for figuring out (again) where the holes are in the story so I can work those pieces out. I know I need to rearrange many scenes as well.

I am excited to have a plan and a deadline for myself. I am still reading Refuse to Be Done by Matt Bell and I am sure that will help with the plans as they become more solidified and written down!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have made some writing connections through my new role as Moderator for Centered. I am enjoying the increased interaction and learning more about these writers.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I hope you have some fun this Sunday! I am having the most enjoyable day today full of many things I love. I had the perfect start to the morning and had an amazing breakfast with someone important…more on that another time.

Looking ahead I am looking forward to next weekend already! I have some big plans and I am taking my sons to a White Sox game! I hope the weather holds out for us!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat! I am already looking forward to next weekend!