Category Archives: Blog Posts
Even if it’s just for a day or a locking yourself in the bathroom for a couple of precious hours, everyone needs to get away. But summer is right around the corner and, to a lot of folks that means vacation time.
Anyone can come up with a gazillion places to go and things to do, but the focus of this prayer meeting is those precious minutes that can revive and often times save us from doing bodily harm to those we love and even those we don’t. So here are some creative mini-vacations to rejuvenate your or at least get you through the day. Some cost money and some don’t but all of them are guaranteed to get you through the day.
1. Massage is the best $50-75 per hour plus tip you will ever spend for a mini vacation. I’m not sure whether it’s the therapist’s actual hands on approach or just the fact that someone is focusing on taking away your stress for an hour, but this is at the top of the list for a reason. If you can’t afford a professional massage, even if you just slather some lotion on yourself and really work on your hands and feet, you will feel better, so much so that you might work the kinks out of your legs and lower back.
2. Music soothes the savage beast, even that stressed out beast in you who really just needs to stop. Listen. Give into the music. While a lot of people like to listen to classical music, some nice acoustic, or soulful jazz instrumentals for relaxation, I like to listen to music I grew up with, Van Morrison, The Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash, Neil Young, of course. I think the music reminds me of a time when I had no idea of what stress really is.
3. Makeover yourself by locking the bathroom door and taking time to tend to you. Put a good facial on or mix one up ahead of time in the kitchen. Slather your wet hair with a good conditioner or something as simple as mayo, wrap your head in the towel and soak in a hot bath. Feel your body rise and fall as you connect with your breathing. And for God’s sake, don’t forget to pout the DO NOT DESTURB sign on the door.
4. Memoir anyone? Yes writing can be relaxing and writing YOURS story down is a way to trick your mind into remembering a lot of really good stuff and maybe some not-so-good stuff, but getting your story down can been both relaxing and healing.
5. Meditate your way to relaxation. With my ADHD, this one is tricky for me. A lot of times while I’m lying on my back, conscious of my breathing, with my mind completely clear, okay for me that’s not possible, I fall asleep. But that’s okay, your body knows what it needs and is ready to take you on that much needed vacation, even if it’s just for twenty minutes. Do this where you have some room to spread out, and just go with it. You’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated you feel.
Okay, these are just the M’s, but I’m hoping as you read this you’re committing to that mini-vacation right now. Maybe you’re way ahead of me and you’ve already poured the bubbles in the bath. Calgon, take us away!
I worry about driving off a mountain cliff and crashing into the ravine below.
I worry about working in the gardens and being attacked by one of the large predators that wander through our yard.
I worry about dying slow and painful instead of dying fast and easy.
I worry about not seeing my siblings when my mom is gone.
I worry about my boys never finding a girl who’ll make them happy or finding one that makes them unhappy.
I worry about my tender new plants getting hit by Jack Frost.
I worry about getting old, gaining weight, going gray, and losing my eyebrows.
I worry I may never finish THIS BOOK or any more after.
I worry about the icy winter roads and the people driving on them.
I worry about the farmers getting too much rain during their spring planting and then again, during their fall harvest.
I worry about the planes passing overhead crashing into my backyard.
I worry about the crickets and frogs in the pond finding their way into my house and <shudder> into my bed.
I worry about leaving behind my computer and iPad and iPhone, and not being connected to the world.
I worry endlessly, needlessly, about all things big and small.
Why am I not crazy yet or is that still to come? Or are writers naturally worrisome people?
What do you worry about and how do you keep the craziness at bay?
In Part One: Story Structure, the assignment is to list ten books and films similar to our story in both genre and structure. She then asks readers to break the stories from our list down and analyze why they have an impact on us specifically. She says the movies and books that make it onto our list say a lot about us and what we like or what we are trying to say with our books.
I find this theory very interesting and thought I’d share my list. We had to list at least five movies and three books. Here’s mine, in no particular order:
1. When Harry Met Sally
2. Love Actually
3. Catch and Release
4. The Wedding Date
5. Pretty Woman
6. Chesapeake Blue (Nora Roberts)
7. Belong to Me (Marisa de los Santos)
8. After You’d Gone (Maggie O’Farrell)
9. Nobody’s Baby but Mine (Susan Elizabeth Phillips)
10. Peachtree Road (Anne Rivers Siddons)
I made this list pretty quickly and I’m sure I left off some good ones, but I feel pretty comfortable with what I’ve put down. I haven’t analyzed what they mean yet, but I’m looking forward to figuring out what it is about each of these works that speaks to me.
Just for fun and if you have the time, I’d love to see a list of your favorite books and movies. If not, go ahead and guess what my list means.
This is how my week has been. To say it’s been crazy would be an understatement. But, it’s also been crazy fun! May is always very hectic in the Solheim house with both the Slumlord and the Prodigal Son celebrating birthdays. Add in all the end of school year-wallet-draining-events, Mother’s Day and graduations and I always end up at Memorial Day wondering where the month went. Of course, sandwiched right in the middle of all of those was the release of my debut novel. Which means the last five days have been one BIG party.
This is how it started:Yep, those are forks, flamingos and flags in my yard along with a few witty tombstones. My fun-loving neighbor (who has yet to turn the big 5-0 and who’d better be on guard) decorated it in honor of hubby’s big day. Of course, his birthday got a little overshadowed by other events, but he says he doesn’t care. He’s getting a nice beach trip in June when things have settled down. I can’t wait for it myself. Although, he hasn’t mentioned if he’s taking me…hmmm. I’d better check on that.
Then came Tuesday: Release DayThe big day was spent with friends hunting out my book in local bookstores, enjoying a little lunch and then partying on my deck. My college roommates were in from out of town and it felt a little like a wedding. At least we ate and drank like we were at one!
On Wednesday, I was off to a book signing. Not only was it fun to meet folks eager to read the book, but we raised money in honor of a bright young man no longer with us. Thursday was airport taxi day and another impromptu book signing. Friday, it’s off to the first graduation of the season. At 9:30 am. Two hours from home. That’s how much I adore this beautiful young woman. Later that night, we’ll celebrate the amazingly talented high school students in the fine arts. It’s one of my favorite events of the year.
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day on Sunday. I really need some rest. Everyone will be home and under one roof again–at least for five days–before the whirlwind starts again on Monday.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone!! I hope it’s relaxing.