OMG. The solitary life of a writer can be stressful, lonely and productive. Add in two adult children, a husband forced to work from home and two pets who can't figure out why everyone is home, and it's a chaotic mess.
I like working from home in the quiet where I can get into my own head to listen to the characters. When everyone is home stopping by my office for one reason or another, I love it, but it pulls me out of the story every time. I've taken to editing and doing short creative projects that can be interrupted and restarted without issue.
Even when I try to put in my new airPods to go for a walk, I'm joined by at least one person. Don't get me wrong. I love my family. However, when you spend 24/7 with them, it can be exhausting.
My son has work for school. He spends a lot of time in his room working on the homework. My husband now is working in his "office" from 8-2 Monday through Friday. That worked okay this week. My daughter is still waiting for the okay to go back to work. Since no one is flying, and she works at the airport, there's no real demand for her.
The weather has been the only saving grace. I've been able to get outside to sit on the porch swing, have multiple campfires in our backyard firepit, and have taken some walks with the dog. I've found that to be extremely helpful to relieve stress. I expect that all of us will have amazing gardens and lawns this year.
What are you doing to stay sane during this crazy time?
What are you reading? Watch for some new coloring pages I created for the Maine Romance Writers Retreat that was supposed to be in May, but got cancelled. I'll be sharing those soon.
All the best to you and your family.
Anyone feeling stressed? Need a break from your daily routine...you've got it. Except if you work in a grocery store, hospital or are a first responder, than thank you for being at work so we can socially distance and kick this global pandemic in the behind.
This is a great time to put the stress to work for you. Clean, organize, purge the closets you haven't dared open in years. Do those projects you've been putting off because you're too busy. It's time. There's plenty of time. I'm surprised at how many people never realized the true length of a day. There are so many hours when your not commuting or doing errands. Now's the time to reach for those goals or set new ones.
Parents who are home schooling for the first time, give thanks to teachers and ed techs who work with more than one kid at a time. They are true heroes. There are a ton of resources out there to help, you just have to look and ask.
Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program is running a free two month trial where you can read all the books in the KU program for free, unlimited. Just cancel if you decide you can't keep reading at the quarantined pace.
Audible is also doing free books while kids are out of school. This is a great way for children to hear books read with intonation and emphasis to make the books interesting. The students love it when the teachers read to them out loud, usually after lunch time. I always loved to read to the classes when I was teaching.
If we do what is recommended of us, we will get through this soon. We've had two tests already for the virus in our family...thankfully both were negative, although my daughter had all the symptoms and I would have bet she had it.
Things are wonky right now. Be a responsible citizen. Read and color to relax. Remember I have two coloring books and a few free pages to print here on the website. Share with us what you're reading today.
Until next time, stay healthy and well.
Maybe 2020 will be my year of getting goals done. I'm trying to kick butt to finish all of the writing projects that I've been putting off for YEARS. As I write this I"m at a writer's retreat in Rhode Island.
I hope everyone is well into what you're goals are for the new year. I've set goals and am meeting them. The Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island - an adult coloring book is almost complete. The paperback will be available on Amazon by mid-February. Paperbacks of Two if by Sea and Breaking the Story are available this week.
February is a writing challenge in one of my romance groups. We are supposed to write 30,000 words this month. I'm hoping to get close to that while working on my Life with the Badge book. If you haven't dropped by my blog, www.lifewiththebadge.com yet, check it out. I'm there sharing my insights into being the wife of a cop. Oh, boy. The next post should be controversial. How do you feel about guns?
So the non-fiction book is a collection of stories and challenges from our 25 years as a police family. So my goal is to get that book written or at least have a rough draft before we go on vacation at the end of the month.
February is the month of love. People turn on the romance for their significant other. We usually treat it as another day in the calendar. I never want him to spend money or candy or flower. Roses for over $100....price gouging anyone? Buy me some plants for the summer garden...that would bring joy to my heart.
What do you do for the Valentine's holiday? Do you go for the chocolate covered strawberries? Candy? Jewelry? Flowers?
Until next month, let's focus on our goals and the love in our lives.
Welcome 2020! It came in with very little flourish for us. We were visiting my sister and brother-in-law and my parents in South Carolina. Everyone except my 19-year-old was in bed before the ball dropped. He was too busy playing video games to turn the TV on to watch the ball drop in NYC. Spending time with family was great, but the winner for the week was the 60 degree weather at Christmas time. If I had to make a goal for 2020, it would be to spend time with my family so that I don't freeze this winter.
Maine is cold. (In case you hadn't realized.)
January is a classic time to set goals.
One way to do it is set SMART goals. Those are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. When you set goals you need to make sure they are goals that meet all of these criteria. If I say, "I want to lose weight", it isn't going to get done as effectively as if I say, "I will lose 20 pounds by July." This is realistic, achievable, measurable on the scale and has a time limit.
Another type of goal setting was more reflective and thoughtful, but I thought the questions were spot on to get your brain in the right place for the new year.
What worked well in 2019 and what didn't work?
What could I use more of in my life?
What could I use less of in my life?
What characteristics would I like to have?
By the end of the day, I feel...
How do I want to feel?
Try answering these questions and see if you're closer to seeing what you want for your life in 2020. Happy New Year!
It's coming. Christmas is almost here. I've created my first coloring book and it's up for sale on Amazon. Here https://amzn.to/2YPfDym. It's been a great learning experience to create something new and different.
The novel ideas are still there, but for the holidays and my recovery from an earlier surgery, I'm not pushing myself. I also have a pile of Christmas stories that require reading the next few weeks. I'm looking to Marianne Rice's "Cocoa & Carols" and Peggy Jeager's "Christmas and Cannolis". I also purchased a "Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas edition."
It's been different having my adult children in and out of the house. Our daughter was deployed over Thanksgiving - my son was home from college. Then my son went back to New Hampshire and my daughter came home from New Jersey. We want to do things as a family, but there's always someone missing.
We are lucky this year that we'll all be home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! My husband, as a cop, always worked one or more of the holiday days. I know things change, but I'm glad we'll have this year.
I hope you all have an amazing holiday regardless of what you celebrate and find time to read. Don't forget to get the free coloring pages on this website.
We are in the rush to the holidays now that November has begun. Did you hear the word "rush" in there? It's an upper. Gets your blood pumping.
I'm trying really hard to not rush these days after having abdominal surgery. I'm trying to heal by sleeping and not doing too much.
Life is never easy. This month, along with Thanksgiving and Black Friday, my parents as well as my sister and brother-in-law are all moving to South Carolina. I live in Maine. It's not close.
My first comment when I heard they were considering moving was, "What about me?" We've been so close for years, only living 10 minutes apart. Holidays were easy. One Christmas we had a terrible snow storm and my brother-in-law drove over in his truck to pick us up.
Sixteen hours away will take some getting used to. This will be the first Thanksgiving that I haven't been with at least part of my immediate family.
The one benefit of having family in South Carolina is that we will have a warmer place to visit at Christmas in when the weather is crappy in Maine. Has anyone else had this issue? How did you cope with the abandonment?
Meanwhile, I've been working like a fiend on a Scouting coloring book for adults. I've been having so much creative fun. Watch for the release before the end of November, I'm hoping.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate.
Fall is such a great season in Maine. I love the crisp air, back to school rush and the smell of soccer in the air. It's been a while since I've played soccer and since my kids played for the rec league, but fall always gets me in the mood to start fresh.
This week, I've decided to declutter and organize some of my paperwork. I have more than 10 years worth of newspapers sitting in my office. I thought I'd want to keep my newspaper writing clips...I kept the whole paper.
I will say that I've been able to find pictures of friends and stories that will make people giggle, but after taking a picture, I sent the paper off to be recycled.
The stories cumulative are made up of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of words. For a writer, that's like books and books. Each article, a story in itself. I also found some short stories that were published as serials in the paper. I will be releasing those to people who sign up for my newsletter. I'm working on finding a provider to do the sign ups for this and my other website www.lifewiththebadge.com.
I'll let everyone know as soon as the story is ready to be released. It's time to get back to writing and creating. Who's ready for fall?
Summer in Maine is awesome. If you've never been here, you're missing out. We do have our hot, humid days, but those are BEACH DAYS!
I let July slip by without saying hello. Summer is all about hanging out by the water, campfires with friends and sunshine browning up our Maine skin. Here, our son is home from college working at the local swimming hole, and our daughter was home for six days before she returned to Arizona for work. She'll return to us again mid-August. Just in time to enjoy the rest of the summer.
Writing has taken a back seat to learning and getting content up on my new blog www.LifewiththeBadge.com, wisdom from my 25-year career as a police officer's wife. If you've ever wondered where my cop book ideas come from...now you'll know. There is so much fodder for the imagination in the police world.
I'm working on editing a book to submit to publishers titled "Annie Get Your Gun." It's about a competitive shooter and how she comes to find love and herself.
It's time to get back out there in the sunshine. It's 91 degrees, maybe it's a pool day.
We all go though those moments of doubt as to what we should be doing with our lives. Where am I being called? Can I make a living doing that? What is my passion? I spent four hours yesterday with an accountability group called Wayfinders. It's through my church and is the second time I've been a part of a group like this. There are four of us and our mentor. We are digging deep trying to discover where we belong in this crazy world.
All of us are pseudo-emptynesters. Our children are off at college or on their own. We are no longer dealing with the day to day care of these humans and it makes us flounder a bit with our directions.
Of course, for me, creativity and writing is always in the forefront. I love creating characters, entertaining and knowing that my books are out there.
We are working through our past to discover where our future lies. (I'm hoping mine lies on the open road.) Having accountability, someone or many someones checking on my progress, keeps me moving forward toward my big goal. I use small steps to reach the goal line.
The same thing happens with my critique group. They keep me moving forward and making my book the best it can be though weekly Skype calls.
We all need some form of accountability. Who is your accountability partner?
As always, email me at AuthorMichelleLibby@gmail.com with thoughts, comments or ideas.
Sometimes you can't see the trees through the forest. Your goal is a straight line to the finish with no obstacles. I'll start writing a book, but reality sets in and there are dips, turns and trees everywhere. Which way to do think would be most satisfying, once you achieve your goal?
It might seem satisfying to reach the end quickly. Or, it might be nice to know that you've overcome all obstacles on the way to the finish, making looking back over your journey seem like a greater accomplishment.
I saw this when my son became an Eagle Scout and they read the poem of Eagle Mountain. The Scout climbs and climbs to the top of the mountain. He has learned many lessons and earned awards along the way. Now that he has reached the top he looks around to see that there are so many more mountains in the distance that are ready to be climbed by him.
His journey looks more like the reality line in the picture.
As with writing, the journey is never easy and authors are always changing directions to get their books in front of more people or changing their genres to shake things up. I am not changing anything drastic. I am working on developing a plan, setting goals and actually meeting them. It's not an easy thing to do, but I'm anxious to move forward with a few projects.
I look forward to hearing from you at AuthorMichelleLibby@gmail.com. Have a great May and I hope the weather warms up for those of us up North.
About the author
Michelle Libby writes about love, sex, life and happily ever afters, while keeping up with her adult children and finding new projects to fall in love with. Have you seen the coloring books?