Spring Projects In The Good House

Here we are and it’s almost June! This spring seemed to be our month for projects and some spring cleaning. I’m guessing it’s the same for lots of people who usher in spring this time of year and have projects in need of doing after a long winter.

And it’s true that physical activity promotes brainstorming, even if I’m not aware it’s happening in tandem with carrying out my other responsibilities. I’m happy to say I’ve had a few ah-ha moments this spring. Little bits I can’t wait to incorporate into my work-in-progress. I love revising! It’s one of my favourite parts of writing – adding in the layers and little details. And the satisfaction of tying all the plot threads together. Sometimes you have to get out of your own head to make that happen. And although I feel like I haven’t gotten much actual writing done lately, I’ve done a lot of thinking.

It’s also raised some important questions about my next writing project. I have an idea in mind for my next endeavour but whether that will be a romantic suspense or suspense with romantic elements is a surprising question I’ve found myself asking. Which has led to thoughts about branding and how I want to move forward.

It’s also helped me figure out which direction my Downtown Eastside series will take. In the beginning I had planned on three separate stories (because trilogies are my favourite) with three separate sets of heroes and heroines. But it’s really Sophie and Caleb’s story. If When I proceed, the next two books will continue with the intended plot lines and new secondary characters but the lead roles will be played by Off The Grid’s hero and heroine. I love those two and I’m not ready to be done with them and I don’t think they’re done with the story. Each story will continue to be a standalone book although the theme of the story will continue through to the next book.

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. —Agatha Christie

It might be the dishes, which I don’t do by the way, or it might be something else. She who cooks does not clean around here. And I do most of the cooking. But here’s a bit more on the major and no-so-major projects happening around the Good household. Projects that very much needed to be done!

Culling and decluttering of closet!

Closet Reorganiztion

Also, new his and her hangers. Colour coding makes me happy.

New Hangers

Culling and decluttering of garage. Much bigger job! Not quite finished by it’s more than on it’s way to being done.

Before:

Garage Makeover

After:

IMG_1962

Finally, the rest of the old fence has been replaced with new PVC fencing.

Fence Complete

And lastly spring planting has begun and the flowerbeds are filling with colour! Fingers crossed the plants actually survive. While I love flowers, I do not have a green thumb!

Spring Flowers

There were a couple of painting projects we hired the professionals to do. More on that later. Maybe. Unless you’re bored senseless!

What are some seasonal projects you’ve tackled lately?

 

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Books, Mothers, and Memories

I remember trips to the library to pick out books with my kids. Me pulling them along in our wagon. Loading up on books and coming home to read. Cuddling up and turning the pages. Maybe we’d read the story before, or maybe it was a new to us story. Those times are among my fondest memories. I still remember their favourites: Something Out Of Nothing by Phoebe Gilman, Have You Seen Birds by Barbara Reid, Arthur books, Franklin books, Berenstain Bears books. Matthew and The Midnight Pirates by Allen Morgan and Michael Martchenko. Okay, maybe that was one of my favourites. And every time I read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch I tried not to cry.

“Goodnight stars,

Goodnight air,

Goodnight noises everywhere.”

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

I remember going to the library with my mom, who is also an avid reader. Our small town had a cozy little library but it seemed huge to me. And full of possibilities. I’m so very glad she introduced me to the idea of a room filled with books for the borrowing. Thank you, Mom!

Another memory. We lived in a farmhouse on a mixed cattle/grain operation. In the winter, we kids often ended up downstairs playing games or watching television. My mom stayed upstairs. You could usually find her sitting over a heat register on the floor reading a book. That was her escape time. Because we moms need those.

The Gift of Reading

My sister takes the Adorables to the library. And when she comes to visit it’s one of the first places my mom takes her. Bedtime means story time or reading time depending on the age and ability of the child. I hope that’s one of things my kids will remember when they get older. All those trips to library. All the books. The words. The pictures. The love that went into reading them. The time spent.

Some of you might enjoy this article: The Simple Practices to Nurture the Motivation to Read. Whether you’re reading to your kids, your siblings’ kids, the neighbour kids or your grandkids. Maybe you volunteer at a shelter, a community centre, or a library.

Book Recommendation

I’m wrapping up reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which is our May book club pick. And what a fantastic read it is! If you find yourself in need of some respite, this is the book for you! An engaging delight for the senses in the form of a captivating story with intriguing characters.

Reading

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks. When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris in June of 1940, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure’s.

There are many things about this novel that are wonderful. That make reading it an experience to be savoured. One of the small things that I took away from it is the importance of creativity. Of books, of music, of art. And how those things can soothe, even for a moment, a tortured soul.

Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday. What’s a treasured book memory of yours?

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