The Sweet Promise of June

June with its tentative greens and cool mornings. I love June mornings. With my tea in hand, I take a tour of the yard taking note of how my plants are doing, listening to the birds chatter. We’ve having a heatwave right now, with heat warnings and everything. Which is weird for Saskatchewan this time of year. It’s more the ten degrees above the normal temperature. I sense there is wild weather on the horizon.

Lilacs are another of my favourite things about June. This sweet Sensation Lilac is a new addition to our yard. But as the days stretch longer and longer, other delights are making their presence known. Chicks and hen, sedum (another favourite of mine), and my ornamental alliums. All hardy, zone 3 perennials. Great for prairie gardening.

“The smell of moist earth and lilacs hung in the air like wisps of the past and hints of the future.”

Margaret Millar

June feels like it should be a season of its own and last a little longer before we springboard into summer. Where we rush trying to fit it all in before the seasons turn again.

Reading:

An Image In the Lake by Gail Bowen – ARC (Advance Reader Copy) – ebook. Early impressions: Just happy to be catching up with Joanne and the gang again, and waiting to see who dies. LOL Will follow up later with a review.

Hellion by Bertrice Small – audiobook. Early impressions: or more accurately – middle book of the book (I think). Also known as the point where this book swerves sideways into What The Hell is going on territory. This is my first Bertrice Small book, and…I just don’t know…

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel by Lisa Cron – Print book. Early Impressions: So far, interesting. I’ll be working through the suggestions and exploring the idea for a new series as I read it.

Podcasts:

Fated Mates: A Romance Novel Podcast For romance novel enthusiasts!

What Should I Read Next?: A Book Recommendation Podcast For those looking for reading suggestions!

The Medievalist Podcast: Where The Middle Ages Begin For those, like me, who love nerdy facts about the Middle Ages.

Until next time…

What are you reading to? Or share some of your favourite things to grow? I’m always on the lookout for recommendations!

A Look Ahead at 2018 and a Look Back at 2017!

I’m looking back on 2017’s fondest memories and thinking ahead to 2018 with excitement.

2018

Every year I try to pick a word every year and 2018’s word is COMMIT. It’s difficult to explain to another what that word signifies to me. It’s a rather benign word without context. My writing has waited patiently in the wings these last couple of years while I’ve focused on improving other areas of my life. That’s not to¬† say I abandoned the process altogether, but writing wasn’t a priority. When I did sit down to write, it was a half-hearted, distracted attempt and my Muse knew it and made me work for any gains I managed.

Perhaps I should also explain that I’ve always felt my Muse was quite Nanny McPhee like, and therefore I don’t use the word lightly as she makes her presence known in my lowest of writing times.

“When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go.”

I feel like she letting go now and winging her way towards another struggling writer.

I also seem to attach myself to a quote each year. I love quotes and I come across them all the time on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and a host of other places. I know the right one when I read it. Also, I’m a firm believer in the Universe providing. The moment I saw this quote I knew it had my intentions for 2018 written all over it.

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Ginny Weasley (J.K. Rowlings)

So, here’s to a productive and creative 2018!

2017

But 2017 was pretty darn awesome and, boy, did it fly by. To be more mindful, in 2017 I committed to slow everything: slow fashion, slow food, slow fitness…you get the idea. I focused on my health. I chose quality over quantity. I shopped local. I did a host of things that inspired and motivated me to do slow down and find my focus and it worked!

Slow Down

I’ll end with two of my favourite images of 2017.

By far the biggest event of 2017 took place on September 30th! The day our son and daughter-in-law were married amid much joy, love and celebration.

J&B Wedding

I went on my first writing retreat in the spring of 2017 and my second in November. We chose the tranquil calm of the Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre in picturesque Lumsden, Saskatchewan to get our creative juices flowing.

SRW 2017 Nov. Writing Retreat

There is a huge wood burning fireplace in the main area that we congregated in front of in the evenings. In front of us were large floor to ceiling windows with views of the Qu’Appelle Valley and lots of comfy seating for writing during the days. There were¬†walking paths and a lovely labyrinth to explore.

Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre

What were two highs for you in 2017 and how are you looking ahead at 2018?