Hello, happy readers! Just wanted to let everybody know that my book Magnolia Run is now available via Christian Faith Publishing. Find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. You can also follow me on Goodreads.
This has been a singular experience. It’s been nine months since I was told my book would be published and there are still days when I can’t believe it. I guess I just don’t know how to handle that dream-come-true moment. The idea of getting published was always more of a daydream than an actual this-will-happen-someday dream. If I’m honest, I never thought I could write a book that someone else would actually read. But I did. And I’m here. And it’s available. Check it out and let me know what you think. Happy reading, y’all!
I got the new Paula Hawkins novel, Into the Water, thanks to Book of the Month extras. Just like her debut, The Girl on the Train, I couldn’t put it down.
It’s a quick read and it looks longer than it is in hardback format. The type is large and the chapters are short. It moves back and forth between narrators with speed and skill. I’m normally not a fan of that but Ms. Hawkins does it really well. I do admit that it was a little confusing at first trying to place everyone into the narrative but I think that was part of the point. This book really makes you lose your bearings, very much like the characters.
I enjoyed the tight family drama and the suspense. It kept me reading and I’m sad it’s over. That’s what a good book should do. I definitely recommend Into the Water to lovers of grip-lit like myself but I also recommend it to anyone who likes a well-told story.
It’s been nearly a month since I left my job and it’s been both awesome and stressful. I keep going back and forth from “I’m so glad I left” to “Holy crap! Why’d I leave the comfort of a full-time job?”
After a recent church class I realized that my angst is tied up in identity. Who am I now? Who am I if I’m not Kim the tax accountant?
I’m Kim, Who Lives at Home. I’m Kim, the aspiring author. I’m Kim, who volunteers with kids. I’m Kim, who wants to work with kids. I have to remind myself of that everyday, sometimes several times a day.
I do have plans but I want to take it one week at a time. God has told me he wants me to spend more time in prayer and I’m making an effort. I realize that I have to be patient and wait for Him to tell me where to go next. The last thing I want is to screw this whole thing up. This time is a gift from God and I’m not going to squander it.
That’s right, I want to be radical. Have you watched Darren Wilson’s films? If you haven’t, see them. They are amazing and life-changing. But what I want to say is, someone said that the people in Darren’s films are “radical.” I want to be like that.
I’ve said in my About change that I’m “sold out” to the Holy Spirit, meaning that I want Him to lead my life. No one else. Period. That’s why I quit my job. I felt God leading me away from accounting and it was a big “put up or shut up” moment. I might even go so far as to say it was radical. But that’s how I want to live my life. I want to live from one of those moments to the next.
I can’t really think how my life could have gotten more boring as it was. Now I finally feel excited to be doing things. I get up expectant for what He has for me. I do have a few tentative plans but nothing major. And that’s just fine with me. Here’s to being radical.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11
So, I, uh, well… I kinda quit my job. Yikes. I actually wrote it. I quit my job to be a writer! Yay! Just kidding. Kind of.
Let me back up. I ran into a friend of a friend at Barnes and Noble the other weekend. I went to buy a copy of Thirteen Reasons Why and drink iced coffee in the cafe like a legit hipster. She’s going to a local college to get some kind of Masters and working there to make ends meet. I asked her how she was doing and she said she was happy doing that. Happy. I had a total epiphany. I have savings and I hate my job. What am I doing?
I’m just so over it. I’m over accounting, I’m over the utter crazy that is the management and I’m over being depressed about how my life turned out. So I didn’t get married in my twenties and get stuck in a job I hate because I’ve got bills to pay and kids to buy stuff for. That was the dream, right? Well, screw that. I just turned 30 and I’m going to take this opportunity to make myself happy, because I’m so tired of being practical and sucking it up for everyone but myself. And I may never get this opportunity again.
I also feel like God has something more for me. More than just this job and all the crap that goes with it. More than being single and yearning and all that blah, blah, blah. God is leading me away and I have to follow that no matter what. Like I’ve said it’s about trusting him even if others think you’re crazy. And trust me, there are some people who think I’m nuts for doing this.
So, anyway, I decided I’m going to take a gap year to find myself before I start the next chapter and find my bliss. Carpe diem, y’all!
If you’ve been reading this blog this year, you may have noticed a running melancholy in the posts. I realize they haven’t been exactly upbeat. Even though I’ve tried to put a positive spin on my angst, they’re kinda downers.
So, what’s left to write about? Oh, yeah. My descent into depression. Depression is a horrible disease but it can be funny, too, right? Well, last night as I swallowed my shiny new Lexapro through snot and tears (again, not an exaggeration) it was really not funny. But today it is because, you know, Buzz Feed.
God bless Buzz Feed. Seriously, how many times has it just made your day? Like today with this article. Spoiler Alert: It’s stuff people posted on Tumblr about being really not ok. It spoke to me because there’s nothing worse than having to tell people you’re “fine” when you are really, really far from fine.
And a lot of people don’t get it. Which is why I appreciated this article. It puts a humorous spin on being supportive to a person going through depression. And it makes some great points. There’s such a stigma around depression and yet so many people suffer from it. The disease causes enough shame; we shouldn’t be getting it from the people around us, too. I feel misunderstood under normal circumstances so it’s ten times worse when I’m depressed and people think I’m just being weird and anti-social.
Laughter is good medicine but if you’re depressed or suspect you might be, please get help. This isn’t my first rodeo and I know that waiting only makes it worse. There will be days when you can laugh about it and days when you can’t. Let’s hope there are more of the former.
June: Go on WordPress while bored at work. Think about how your blog could use a facelift. Decide to look around at the themes. Try one out and do some customizing. Abandon it. Pick another and play with customizing. Abandon it. Think that you really need to pick a new theme but they all seem to require you to actually take a picture and upload it. Go on Goodreads and look at your recommendations.
July: Get notification that it’s your third Blogiversary! Think that you should really get serious about updating your theme. It’s been two years since you picked the old one. Look at the themes again and write down three that you like. Make a mental note to do it on the weekend when you’re bored.
August: Go on WordPress while bored at work. Decide to look at the themes again. Search one that is good for text and doesn’t focus on photos. Find a good one and start customizing. Decide you don’t like the suggested header images. Search for a header image. Abandon search when you can’t find one in the right dimensions. Look at Facebook.
September: Go back to the theme you played with last month. Change the color scheme. Decide there is one suggested header image that really is kinda cool. Change your title font. Update your tagline because even though you’re not 30 yet it took you this long to get a new theme, so. Click Activate.
This is my 52nd post on this blog. I have now posted 52 times. I’m sure that means nothing to you but it means something to me. After I started this blog in July of 2013, it didn’t take long for me to get discouraged. By the fall I was ready to just pack it in. The blog would go down as yet another project that I started and didn’t follow through with. But then I made a deal with myself. I decided that I couldn’t give up on the blog until I had posted 52 times no matter how long that took. Why 52? It corresponds to the number of weeks in a year. Another goal I had was to post each week. I don’t know if that will ever be possible but I made good on my original deal. I posted 52 times.
This is a big accomplishment for me because I’m notorious for having big ideas and ambitions and then just abandoning them and starting something else. This blog is the biggest project I have stuck with and I don’t plan on stopping now. That pact I made almost two years ago got me over the hump and showed me it’s not about how many views you get. It’s about the enjoyment I get out of posting, no matter who sees it. It’s about practicing for other writing projects I want to pursue. It’s about being motivated and disciplined in a creative area. And it’s an outlet I need to pursue. Here’s to another 52!
I just made a mind-blowing connection. Writing blog posts is so much like writing reflections in my high school psychology class. Okay, it’s not that mind-blowing but I did just realize it. I’m pretty sure Coach R wasn’t trying to teach us about blogging because, let’s face it, Coach was already in his sixties and this was 2005. I was hardly even aware of blogging myself at the time. We wrote these “reflections” to share with the class. It was supposed to just be your observations or things you’re thinking about, which is what most blogging is when you get down to it. At least that’s what my blog is.
Coach R is one of my all-time favorite teachers. I took AP American History, AP European History, and Psychology with him. He was a round, not-too-tall guy with silver hair and a matching mustache. I usually despise the “lone stache,” but Coach pulled it off. He loved teaching so much he came out of retirement to take a position at my high school. He wasn’t your normal history teacher. He did the lectures and the tests and tried to prepare us for the AP exams, but he did a lot more than that. I learned more about history listening to Coach’s stories about growing up on a Southern mill hill in the 50’s and 60’s than a lecture about the Roman Empire. He told us about being a kid and getting electricity for the first time in his grandmother’s mill house. He talked about the bawdy women who did snuff and spit it all over the floor of the mill. He reminisced about hanging soda cans in a mesh bag out the window of his dorm room in the winter because they didn’t have mini-fridges. He told us where he was when he heard the news of Martin Luther King’s assassination.
Coach was a banjo player in a local bluegrass band and the last full class before exams in December and May, he would bring his instruments and spend the time playing us songs and teaching us about the instruments. How many kids learn about the cultural history of the dulcimer in their AP History classes?
I had many great teachers and learned some awesome life lessons from them. I learned that the real lessons are the ones you find outside the curriculum. I learned not to take myself too seriously from Mr. C, my drama teacher. I learned to share my creativity from Mr. H, my Computer Tech teacher. I learned how to manage stress from Ms. K, my AP English teacher. I learned there are compassionate people in the world from the other Coach R, my Physics teacher.
And, even though he could only type with his index fingers, I learned blogging from Coach R. That man who loved teaching but loved learning, observing, and reflecting even more. And taught some of us to love it too.
... the musings of a thirty-something, married, Southern teen librarian with a 14-year-old's sense of humor, an awkward spirit, and a stubborn, mouthy, redheaded country boy to accompany her through life.