Saturday Edition – What We’re Writing and Reading

Welcome to this Saturday Edition of What We’re Writing and Reading in which we share some of what we’re up to with our writing (when we’re not here) and what we’re into with our reading (around the web). We’ll also pull back the curtain a little to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what went into a piece.

We hope you enjoy this little diversion and encourage you to share your own posts and picks in the comments.

Happy writing! Happy reading! 

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headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: Hello! Hello!

Though I only skipped a week (in honor of my unplugged holiday), I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve been here. What a difference a year makes, right?

garage snowSpeaking of, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and a splendiforous New Year. Ours was quiet (just the way I like it) and cozy. I did manage to stay up until midnight, but only because my daughter wanted to (it was her first time). Watching the ball drop on Times Square never really did it for me, but I do love those moments of anticipation leading up to that finale. You can’t help but hold your breath a little as the old year slips away and the New Year takes it’s first, tentative breaths in the cold, cold air of January first.

Today – this first Saturday of the New Year – finds us New Englanders buried in snow and a deep freeze. My phone told me it was -3 degrees fahrenheit this morning (with a windchill of -17!). Good day to stay in and WRITE!

What I’m Writing:

morning pgs 2013I had a few days off around the holidays, but I didn’t do much writing. There was so much going on with family and friends, and – to be honest – I just needed a few days of having absolutely no obligations, even to myself. So, I took lots of long walks (including several through the dunes where we saw beautiful snowy owls), slept in, and read (we’ll come to that in a moment).

One thing I did do was read through and summarize my 2013 morning pages. This collection of early am ramblings (three pages each day) fills up a half dozen spiral-bound notebooks. As I write these journal entries, I make marks in the margin (usually a star, sometimes an initial) when I’ve captured something that I may want to remember it later. On New Year’s Eve, I sat down with these notebooks and created a summary of all the things that I’d highlighted. I copied over certain passages and just noted topics for other entries. In the end, I had a list of dated, mini entries that encompassed my “important” thoughts for entire year.

As I read this list over, I saw themes emerge and the evolution of ideas that started as small sparks at the beginning of the year and became crackling fires by the end  of it. I wasn’t surprised to find that my starred passages vacillated between business ideas and creative ideas. As in life, my written world is a bit cut in half – leaping back and forth between the writing that pays my bills and the writing (and other creative projects) I long to do.

I would like to make 2014 the year I finally bring some of my creative projects off the page and into reality. I made baby steps at the end of 2013, and I believe that I can keep on making those baby steps until one day I look back and am awed by how far I’ve come.

What I’m Reading:

Affiliate Link


I did take some time to read. I had so many choices and have several books (fiction and nonfiction) in progress, but the only one I finished was Ann Patchett’s collection of essays, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage (affiliate link). I had listened to the title story via Audible (twice, actually – I liked it that much), and was delighted to find that it was only one piece in a larger collection. These stories were the perfect companion for a quiet winter’s day. Two of them moved me to tears and one made me want to stand up and cheer (I won’t tell you which). Each and every essay made me think and see a bit of the world in a different way. From dogs to floods to writing and independent bookstores, from military training to family to aging … Patchett covers the vast territory of human experience with grace, humor, and more than a little wisdom.  Often, the stories she tells are small, in that they are personal and intimate; but that somehow makes them all the more universal.

I borrowed this book from my local library, but I may have to buy my own copy because I have a feeling it’s a book I’ll want to return to again and again.

And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:

Finally, a quote for the week:

In honor of all our intentions for the New Year:

pin i am an artist

As always, thanks for being here and sharing part of your weekend. 

So glad to be back. 

Happy New Year to all & happy writing & reading!!

23 thoughts on “Saturday Edition – What We’re Writing and Reading

  1. I read your posts every time i get too and never have time to comment. You are my blogging hero. Please pop by to my website and say hi anytime

      • I only started this blog because of my sister! She is an amazing writer who has a heart and soul for writing. Her work is too be forever with me. She is an amazing girl and if you read her blog you might even think it’s better than mine, just kidding. She has challenges for you and much more on her blog. Here’s a quote i especially liked from her Quotes page. ” Reach high, Dream big, and never give up.” It’s a quote you need to think,eat, sleep on it before you realize what it means and that is just inspiring. She has commented before and she loves it when you reply and is eager to see what is happening. I owe it all to her. Don’t thank me thank her

  2. Sorry, that posted by accident. It’s way worse here in Canada when it comes to weather. I haven’t done a lot of writing unless you count my blog. Me and a friend have started a blog about writing. It started January 1st, 2014. I hope it comes out as a hit. I’m really excited. Do you have any ideas for topics we should cover? I looked over all my entries for 2013 too!!! Reading, I just finished up a book I started a while ago. Thank you for the inspiration and Happy 2014!

    • You should always build your blog around your passions. Otherwise, you will grow tired of it and it will become a chore instead of a joy. Your apathy will burn through and bore your readers. If you write about only the things that make you want to jump out of your chair, you will never run out of things to say.

      What are you most passionate about? What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What makes you angry? What scares you?

  3. This is the first post I read from you and I loved it. I love how you write your thoughts every morning and review them on New Year’s Eve. I might just try that to get any inspiration I can for any future stories. Thank you and happy new year!
    -Nicole

    • Happy New Year to you as well, Nicole. 🙂 Thanks for being here.
      The “morning pages” practice comes from Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way.” It’s a great way to clear your head in the morning and I do like being able to go back and review the year.

      Thank you for your kind comments & best for a wonderful writing year!

  4. I frequently miss posts on my WordPress reader…I should have a dedicated time each week for this particular catch-up…but did catch this post from you. It’s helped me look ahead to my own writing/reading year and suddenly i feel excited again, even though i have no particular project, nor any special books waiting in the wings. Simply knowing there is something new to write and read is enough to fill me with anticipated excitement.
    I read today that the storms, rain and flooding here in the UK are caused by the freezing weather you are experiencing. As we wait with baited breath for another high tide this evening, I imagine you digging your way out of snow drifts the size of houses. All in it together, as they say. Happy writing/reading.

    • How wonderful to know that you are feeling excited and filled with happy anticipation. That’s a feeling to hold onto! 🙂
      I hope the tides and storms weren’t too hard on you in the UK. We got two feet of snow here, but after an unseasonably warm day and then a day filled with thick fog, most of it has melted away. Now we’re back to the freezing temperatures. Crazy winter.

      Happy writing & reading – wherever those adventures may take you.

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