preface {this bookman: mediations & miscellany}

Graphic. #write31days

Welcome! I am so thrilled and honored that you are here.  If I’m being completely honest and transparent, I worried that no one would come.

I bookmarked the Write 31 Days website 2 or 3 years ago. Too scared to participate then, I quickly forgot about it. But last month, I was cleaning out all the bookmarks on my internet browser and heard the siren’s call.  I couldn’t sleep that night until I had committed to rising to this challenge.  So here we are.

What’s my hope for this challenge? I hope…

  • To stretch myself as a writer. It’s not so much the writing for 31 days that is causing me anxiety; it’s putting my writing out there for 31 days that is my challenge.
  • To inspire intentional living (and reading). We could all use a bit more intentionality in our lives.
  • To crystalize my reflections about my (reading) life. Taking the time and putting the words on the page often lets me know what I really think and what I really feel.

This month, I plan to delve into the “secrets” of intention including tips/strategies to enhance our (reading) lives; locate and share great quotes, inspirational pics, and links that I find interesting and think that you might too; share reviews of some of the books that have had rocked my world; and recall the experiences of my reading life, discovering more about myself through it all.

I will be indexing each post of this series here so go ahead and bookmark this page for easy retrieval.  You can always delete it later.

Of course, I am not the only participant in this challenge to #write31days. Hop on over to the link-up to see what else may pique your interest.

Even if you’re not a bookman, we are all readers. You’re reading this blog, after all. And I hope that you will find this journey as poignant and entertaining as I hope it will be for me. Please leave comments (sharing your own thoughts about books and reading) and questions (about anything posted) and I will make every effort to address each and every one of them.

Thank you, so much for being here.  Let’s do this thing!

til tomorrow, enjoy life

Series Posts: 

October 2 –  a little push toward a book

October 3 – intro

October 4 – i’d rather be reading

October 5 – friday’s “secret”: The right way to be a reader

October 6 – re: modern mrs. darcy

October 7 – this is me: are you ready?

October 8 – book review: “the happiness project”

October 9 – meditations on stories

October 10 – rocket city mom book reviews

October 11 – am i missing out on my real life

October 12 – friday’s “secret”: begin where you are

October 13: never finished

October 14: this is me: night, everyone!

October 15: quick lit-next page, please {september 2018}

October 16: meditations on stories ii

October 17: this is me: series of obstacles

October 18: enjoy life guest post: taralyn caudle’s “looking for a good read?”

October 19: friday’s “secret”: spend your free time

October 20: books are mirrors

October 21: this is me: no money!

October 22: book review: “quiet”

October 23: the great american read

October 24: how can i read more books?

October 25: shout out to the librarians

October 26: friday’s “secret”: planned, designed, or allowed

October 27: “things matter”

October 28: this is me: book clubs

October 29: book review: indestructible

October 30: the bookman’s scholarship

October 31: acknowledgements

quick lit – next page, please {june 2018}

I have increased my reading exponentially this month.  I read seven books from the beginning of the year to last month and this month I have read ten! How’d I do it, you ask? Well, I intentionally made time to read this month.  On the practicality side of things, I stopped watching Netflix and Xfinity On Demand and read instead.


  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Loved this but I wasn’t surprised. As an English major I read Homer’s Illiad, and have been fascinated with the Greeks and the Trojans since. Madeline kept me engaged with this page-turner and I loss a significant amount of sleep that I can’t put on the Buddy Man. Madeline has written another based on The Odyssey entitled Unfortunately, I’m #11 in line for three copies at my local library. Ugh! Gives me something to look forward to. No Modern Mrs. Darcy Category; just the sheer joy of reading.
  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Read this for our Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club. I have a full-review on that site. It boils down to this: quick but disappointing read.
  • Sunburn by Laura Lippman. This was the first book from my 16 of the 26 selections from the MMD Summer Reading Guide (MMDSummer#1). I enjoyed it.
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey. This is the first of a series. It was very interesting to read about Indian culture and history. This is also the first in Massey’s series about Preveen Mistry. I will read the next one when it comes out. MMDSummer#2 and MMD Category: A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own
  • I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos. Lovely read. MMDSummer#3
  • The Ensemble by Aja Gabel. This is a debut novel that is still sitting in my bones. It’s about a classical string quartet over a few decades of time. This book reignited my love for classical music. The novel being a debut for Gabel means that there is no back list for this author.  I guess I’m waiting… MMDSummer#4
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. Quick and enjoyable read – The quintessential beach read. It’s a shame I wasn’t on the beach when I read it. MMDSummer#5
  • The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin. If you like ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, you will probably enjoy reading this book. The medical terminology, which I am not familiar with and unlike Grey’s you cannot physically see, may have gotten in the way of my really enjoying this one.  MMDSummer#6
  • We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union. Laugh out loud funny but raw and authentic at the same time, this is a collection of stories about Gabrielle Union’s life as an actress and activist. I absolutely LOVED this one. I read it in one evening.  My only regret is that I didn’t read this sooner.
  • The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Interesting premise; how would you live your life if you knew the exact day that you were going to die. I loved this one. Right now it is in the top three books I have read this summer.  It will be interesting to see who, if any can bump it down for me.

Currently Reading

  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön. Continuing this one still; this is one to read slowly, contemplating each chapter before moving on. It was going to fulfill the MMD Category: A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own but The Widows of Malabar Hill did that.
  • Art of the Memoir by Mary Karr. Still taking this one very very slowly. I don’t think I am ready for this.

Doing these Quick Lit posts are so fun!  I love reading but sometimes go about it in a more haphazard fashion.  These posts, along with the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s (MMD) Reading Challenge, help keep me focused in my reading life.  I have missed not doing them. And today, I am linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy to tell you what we have all been reading lately. Check it out!

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {may 2018}

Quick Lit {May 2018}It’s been forever since I have done a Quick Lit post so I am going to discuss the books that I have read since January, how I am doing with the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s (MMD) 2018 Reading Challenge, and what is currently on my night stand.


  • Origin by Dan Brown. I enjoy all of Dan Brown’s novels and looked forward to this one with great anticipation. I had to wait forever for it to become available at my local library but I finally got my hands on it and ate it up. I wish I had all the knowledge that Robert Langdon has in his brain about semiology.  I don’t want to know about signs and symbols but it would be really cool to be a recognized expert on something. I would love to meet that guy one day. And yes, I know he’s fiction. MMD Category: A book by a favorite author
  • Sing Unburied Sing by Jessmyn Ward. I read this one for the Rocket City Mom Book Club and wrote a full review. Liked the message of the work; not necessarily the story.  Ultimately, this book encouraged me to continue to write and share my stories. MMD Category: A book recommended by someone with great taste. Thanks, Stephenie!
  • George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones. I love a good biography and this one, albeit unauthorized, is right up there. I love reading about how movies are made behind the scenes and how creatives create.  Plus, I like Star Wars! Win-Win. MMD Category: A memoir, biography, or book of creative non-fiction
  • Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott: I have a confession to make. I use to strongly dislike the work of Anne Lamott, outside of her classic Bird by Bird.  My friend loved her and got me to read another one of her works for a book club that we had together. However, I saw this one at my local library’s annual book sale and picked it up for 50 cents.  I adored loved title and enjoyed the book, as well.  Anne writes authentically and honestly – two qualities I adore in writers and in people. MMD Category: A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection
  • How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors by Philip Oltermann. This is a gorgeous coffee table compilation of popular British authors answer to the question: what do you need to write. Answers ranged from caffeine to one specific chair.  I’m tempted to add this book to my personal library. No MMD Category
  • Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I’ve got a confession to make, I avoided reading this book for over a long time. It was very arrogant and stupid of me; I thoughts, what could a woman who couldn’t ultimately save her marriage have to tell me about trying to save her marriage? Boy was I wrong! This book isn’t just about marriage; it speaks to anyone who wants to live a more authentic life. I adored this book. No MMD Category and I don’t care.
  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Another one for the Rocket City Mom Book Club so full review on this one. Ultimately, to me it was OK. One of the main characters suffers from postpartum depression and I admired Lapena tackling that in a novel. No MMD Category

Currently Reading

  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Ever since I studied Homer’s Illiad, I have been fascinated with the story. Madeline approaches it from a different angle, a perspective I never thought of before.  I am soaking this one up and made the mistake of thinking that I would read one more chapter before bed at 9:30 PM.  Didn’t put it down until 11:30 PM; always the mark of an excellent back for me.
  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön. In Love Warrior, Glennon discusses a passage of this book and its impact on her life. It made me curious and I decided to pick it up.  Besides it fulfills the MMD Category: A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own.
  • Art of the Memoir by Mary Karr. Taking this one very very slowly. I don’t think I am ready for this.

What have you been reading?

enjoy life…