Books, Books, Everywhere!

Last night as I was going to sleep, I suddenly remembered that I had a book that was supposed to be reviewed around now. This morning I checked my emails to make sure I hadn’t missed the review date, and thankfully it’s still a few days away. That prompted a flurry of activity though, where I ran here and there and gathered all the books I have for reviewing, that I haven’t yet read.

My wonderfully proficient method of keeping track of the books I’ve received for review is to slap a sticky note on the cover with the name of who gave me the book (Litfuse, Tyndale Publishing, Moody Press, an author, etc…). Then either the date that the review is supposed to go live, or if there’s not a specific deadline, then the date I received the book in the mail (so I know my priorities).


As I was gathering the books this morning, I realized that they’d once again piled up. I currently have thirteen books that should be reviewed between Monday and the end of August. I’m not even sure how many more books are on the way, because so many interesting titles keep popping up in my inbox begging me to review them. (I might or might not have signed up for another book this morning while sorting through emails to figure out which publishing companies sent which books.)

In addition to the books to review, books keep pouring in from other locations:

  • I have a stack of ten library books next to my chair
  • I’ve read five books this month from Overdrive (e-books from the library)
  • I signed up for several different author and publisher newsletters which supplied a whole slew of free kindle books; like, eight from just this past week. I’ve even begun deleting some of the emails without reading them. But, come to think of it, ebooks don’t take up any space, and if they’re free and look interesting? Well, I might as well go and download four more….
  • And to top it all off, I splurged and bought several books. (Because I highly recommend supporting authors by buying books – no matter how many you can get for free.)

Having this many books at my fingertips makes me feel incredibly rich. It amazes me how we live in an age where books are freely accessible to so many people. Instead of laboriously hand copying each book, we can mass-produce them. We don’t even have to print them any more – people can read books electronically. (And we have electricity! Just take a moment to ponder that.)

And speaking of wonders, I’m off to clean the house while listening to an audio book. How cool is that?

Where do you get most of the books you read?

25 Random Bookish Facts About Me {Vlog}

A delightfully happy Thursday to y’all! I’m quite thankful I remembered yesterday that I was supposed to vlog today, because that means I was able to get the video filmed and most of the way edited. This morning I put on the finishing touches, and now I’m off for a  wonderfully busy June day.

What are y’all up to?

20 Benefits of Reading

  1. You get to travel basically anywhere in the world without spending an exorbitant  amount of money or time
  2. You get to learn massive amounts from other people’s mistakes, which means you don’t have to figure everything out through trial and error
  3. You’ll have an endless supply of random facts and stories and words that cause people to look askance
  4. Books are quite portable, and therefore can pretty much go everywhere with you
  5. Books are endurable and withstand crazy amounts of abuse – sure they might not look pretty afterward, but they’re generally still readable
  6. You meet new friends all the time – both fictional and real (authors make great friends)
  7. You never run out of subjects to talk about because there’s always your latest read to discuss
  8. That beautiful moment when a book recommends someone to you (aka, a perfect stranger is reading one of your favorite tomes)
  9. You learn to think outside of the box and are blown away by someone’s creativity and imagination
  10. Lightbulb moments are frequent occurrences
  11. You’ll be inspired to live a fuller, more rich life
  12. Reading is a great thing to do while multitasking. Reading and brushing your teeth? Yep. Reading and cooking? Yep. Walking and reading? Yep. (See?)
  13. While traveling you can bring old favorites along and read them if you get homesick
  14. The library will supply reading material for totally free! (It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?)
  15. It broadens your horizon as you learn to see the world through multiple generations, mindsets, worldviews, and cultures
  16. Reading is a great way to stretch your brain and revisit forgone conclusions
  17. You lengthen your attention span
  18. Reading helps you learn how to relate to others better
  19. Reading can help you relax
  20. Readers can find a community of other readers where they discuss thoughts about what they’ve been reading FullSizeRender-3

Bonus (which may or may not be benefits):

  • You’ll have a larger readability vocabulary than speaking vocabulary which will lead to cringe-worthy mispronunciation

What are some of your favorite benefits to reading?


Brainstorming While Mowing

It’s still rather amazing to me how many story ideas come about while I’m mowing grass.

This is the ninth year I’ve been cutting grass, and I still find it to be one of the most delightful tasks I’ve ever been blessed with. My mower’s name is Chadwin, and we work together as a very loud (and efficient) pair.

While mowing I generally listen to music on noise-canceling headsets, and take off for hours of going back and forth, hither and yon, and around dozens of trees and other country-ish obstacles. Although I do have to pay attention to what I’m doing, cutting grass isn’t a 100% focused-requiared task, so I get to do a lot of brainstorming while watching the little grass particles fly.

IMG_6932Yesterday I cut grass for nearly four hours, and as soon I’m finished with this post I’m going to slap some sunscreen on (cause I didn’t think of doing that yesterday…), and head back out to cut some more.

Cutting grass during this time of year is my favorite – it’s not extremely hot yet (the high today is 81), and the multiple hayfields haven’t been cut yet, which makes the contrast between the cut yards and the uncut hayfields delightful. There are also thousands upon thousands of clover, daisies, black-eyed-susans, and dozens of other kinds of flowers to keep me company as I mow.

Yesterday as I was cutting and thinking, a story idea popped into my head and churned around for the last hour or so of mowing. Last night I jotted down some of the ideas, and am carrying my phone along with me as I mow which means I can keep writing down more thoughts as they come.

So many of my bookish ideas have either been thought up, or crystallized, on the mower, that someday I’ll probably have to dedicate a book to Chadwin. Before I had a phone I would carry a small notebook and pen with me when I mowed, simply so I could capture some of the amazing thoughts that would flood into my brain.

What about you? Do you have some daily activity that never fails to inspire you?

Happy Monday, Y’all!

Happy Monday, y’all! I got home last night after a delightful long weekend in Tennessee, and me oh my was it good to be back. I’ve been reminded over and over again recently how much I enjoy my home, and how much there is to catch up on after being gone for a while.

I’m so thankful for this coming week, and hope to get a lot done. My mouth is feeling a lot better after having recovered from my wisdom teeth being removed, so I’ve got heaps of things to accomplish during the next seven days that I had been hoping to get done last week. (That also means no more endless ice cream…. #itwasfunwhileitlasted)

And speaking of getting things done, I’ve got to skedaddle to get to my non-writing job on time. How was y’all’s weekend? Oh, and before we go, I thought I’d share with y’all a picture of me and a few of my cousins from this weekend.

Me: Wow. You guys make me look short!

Cousins: Um, Lydia, you are short, so that might have something to do with it.

Me: Oh. You could possibly have a point there….


Some of My Favorite Middle Grade Reads {Vlog}

I tried. I really did try to get my vlog up yesterday. I hurried to get it filmed before I left for a 10ish hour car ride, and then for the first part of the trip I had fun huddled in the backseat editing the video.

The only problem is that by the time I had the video edited, I didn’t have enough battery left on the laptop to upload it. The day ended up being good, but quite long. I didn’t arrive at the house where I was staying until after midnight, and by then it wasn’t Thursday any more. Therefore I decided to wait to post the video until I’d gotten a good night of sleep.

But! Today is the day, so without further ado, let me introduce you to some of my favorite middle grade books. Have you read any books by Jeri Massi? Which one of these books looks the most interesting to you?

Wednesday Musings

Apparently getting put to sleep so my wisdom teeth could be cut out is more traumatic to my body than I had realized. My wisdom teeth were removed on Friday, and after doing too much on Saturday, Sunday, and part of Monday, the pain and tiredness caught up with me. I spent the entire day yesterday resting. And possibly not even finding interest in reading. And maybe counting down the hours until I could take more pain medicine. (Because, as it turns out, the more tired I am, the lower my pain tolerance….) And maybe not talking any more than necessary. It’s interesting to me how many things I want to say, but don’t really need to say.

If you know me in real life, then you’ve probably heard me talk about Alaska. I don’t know why I find it so intriguing, but the mere word makes my ears perk up. If I read in an author bio that the author’s from Alaska, chances are about 94% better that I’ll read their book than if they’re from anywhere else. I’m rather in the habit of asking friends to move there with me. I daydream about road-trips to that beautiful land. One of my biggest dreams it to live in Alaska for an entire year, so I can go through the whole crazy sunlight and darkness cycle.

All that introduction because yesterday I stumbled upon an old writing friend’s new blog. I haven’t seen Tabitha for nearly four years, but I see her sister’s from time to time. Last time I saw one of her sisters she mentioned that Tabitha was moving to Alaska with her husband and two small children. So, when I came upon her blog, of course I dug right in, and between last night and this morning, read the entire thing (which in reality didn’t take long). The Misadventures of an Alaskan Housewife was incredibly interesting, real-to-life, and sounded amazing without glamorizing anything.

I would say that I can’t imagine doing what Tabitha’s doing, but in reality I can imagine it. I just can’t imagine surviving it. Really though, it sounds quite amazingly fantastic and very much made me think of how small of an inconvenience having my head in a perpetual state of pain from wisdom teeth removal is.


On a completely different note, I don’t know if any of y’all noticed my lack of posts several weeks ago, followed by a bunch of oddly-formatted posts. That was due to the fact that my computer was stolen and so therefore I’ve had to blog on my phone. Thankfully for the last week or so I’ve had a computer to borrow on and off, and currently get to keep borrowing it until I can get a replacement (used) computer. So, that means hopefully my posts will be back to being formatted correctly. (Thank you, everyone, for your patience!)

Along with the lack of a computer, has also meant a lack of writing and editing work. Although I’m extremely and utterly thankful to have had most of my writing projects backed up, I did lose about a month of editing on Echoes, which is a bit disheartening. I’ve yet to dive back into the editing fray, but that should take place any day now. (Possibly even today while sucking on white chocolate M&Ms….)

My kinda-goal for the last while has been to post a vlog every Thursday. Unfortunately I didn’t get an extra one filmed before my wisdom teeth were removed, so I’m not exactly sure if I’ll be able to make one for this week or not, but I’m still going to attempt it.

In the meantime, I’ve been basking in the joy of listening to audio books, going to the library, cutting grass, cleaning our own kitchen, listening to the cantata of nighttime summer sounds, smelling the fresh scent of tall and ripe hayfields, and remembering all over again how absolutely amazing June is.

What about y’all? Have you ever wanted to go to Alaska? How is your June going?