4 Reasons Why I’m Glad That I’m Not Young Anymore

Today is my 40th birthday. That means that I’ve been humming “I’m Glad That I’m Not Young Anymore” from the musical Gigi. I’m sharing four of the reasons why I actually am glad not be young anymore. One for each decade I’ve been alive!

1. With age comes wisdom… or at least a little more of it than I had two decades ago.

It is funny just how much you can think you have life all figured out when you’re 20. It’s even funnier when you start to realize that you had no clue back then! At 40, I know that I don’t have much of anything figured out. And that’s OK. I’ve still learned a few things over the years, and that means that I’ve made progress. I don’t have to have everything figured out, but I am glad that I at least have a few more things figured out than I used to.

2. I’ve finally made peace with being myself… sort of.

I’m weird. I don’t fit into anyone’s box. I spent so much time trying to stifle all of the things that made me, me. I wanted so badly to fit the mold of what “everyone” said that I should be, that I was willing to make myself absolutely miserable doing it. It’s embarrassing how long it took me to figure out that God never wanted me to be a carbon copy of anyone else. It wasn’t a mistake that I was created weird. It was on purpose. I’ve mostly made peace with the whole being weird thing, and now I’m working on figuring out how to become the kind of weird person that God had in mind for me to be.

3. I have a much better grasp of what healthy relationships look like… and what they don’t.

This sounds sort of obvious, but it’s really not. When you’re in an unhealthy relationship, it’s harder than you’d think to recognize it as that. Even after you’re out of that situation, it can take a very long time to come to terms with the reality of what was. It was (and still is) a rough thing to grapple with, but it makes me appreciate the good relationships in my life even more. Even better is the chance to break cycles and make things different for the next generation. As a very wise person once told me, “It can stop with you.”

4. My life didn’t go as planned… and that’s a good thing.

I had big plans, and big dreams. Today, I’m not a rocket scientist, and I’m not living alone in a cabin in the woods. Nothing went according to plan, starting with the moment when I took a risk and told Aaron that, “I think I sort of, maybe love you.” It’s been one crazy ride, and I’ve ended up in places where I never thought I’d be. While I may look wistfully at the pretty airplanes from time to time, I wouldn’t trade this crazy life for what I used to think I wanted. Turns out it was a good thing that nothing went according to my original plan. I’d hate to have missed out on these past 20 years with Aaron, not to mention the four geeklings we have. My life is far from dull!

Admittedly, I’m not overly fond of some of these aches and pains that crop up more regularly than they used to. I’m typing this with my knee propped up on a pillow with ice because I hurt it while… walking across the kitchen. Yup. No fall, no athletic injury, just… walking. On the plus side, the geeklings have been offering to get me anything I need, and even did the cooking! Maybe there’s a plus side to everything. In any case, maybe turning 40 isn’t the worst thing after all.

3 Reasons Why Your Freshman Should Take Economics

I like to say that there are state requirements for high school, and then there are Mom’s requirements for high school. One of the requirements of mine, is that the kids must take economics in 9th grade. A full year of economics too–not just a shorter half-credit course. I’ve gotten a few strange looks when I mention taking economics as a high school freshman, but there are three good reasons why I require this.

Economics is connected to all of the history and government theory that they’ll be learning over the next four years.

History is more than just dates, times, and people. Culture, philosophy, politics, religion, science, art, and economics all play into how history unfolded, because they contain the why behind those dates and events. Having an understanding of economics helps you understand some of the reasons why the Articles of Confederation were replaced with the Constitution. Economics also gives better context for things like the Great Depression. And no study of government and politics is complete without understanding the role that economics plays.

Economic study gives context for business math study.

I hadn’t actually considered this reason until my oldest was taking economics during her freshman year and commented on how learning economic concepts had helped her to better understand some of the business math that was being touched on in her algebra course. Because she was studying economics, she understood the terms being used and really grasped the concepts behind the formulas at a deeper level. Learning the math that deals with profit, loss, gross sales, expenses, etc. makes so much more sense when you know what all of those things are.

Economics isn’t too hard for a Freshman to understand!

There are some topics that we tend to think of as too complicated and difficult for most people to understand. While the finer points of many things do require much more study and learning than the average person can devote to the topic, the basics of these subjects are not as far out of our reach as we think. The basics of economic theory are well within the grasp of the average student. I’ve had individuals protest that economics is an advanced class that is too hard for a high school freshman. When we tell students that certain topics are just “too complicated” for them, we are putting unnecessary limits on them. A one-credit high school course isn’t going to turn a teen into an economic expert overnight, but it will give them a foundation that lets them understand the broader concepts. As a bonus, tackling a “difficult” subject like economics in their Freshman year gives them a boost of confidence that they can learn and understand things that are labeled “hard”.

You’ve convinced me! What curriculum should I use?

There are a number of options available for economics curriculum, but one of my favorites is Lessons for the Young Economist by Robert P. Murphy. You can purchase a print copy of the book, or download a free digital copy. A teacher’s manual is also available and includes quiz questions for each chapter. I supplemented this book with additional reading and discussion to round it out into what I felt qualified as a full credit course. You might also require an essay, research paper, or other project to be presented at the end of the year. Suggestions for extra reading include Free Market Economics: A Basic Reader compiled by Bettina Bien Greaves and The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin. If your student is feeling ambitious, then they could also read The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. There are plenty of documentaries on various economic topics that you can watch on Netflix, Amazon, or other streaming services. Regardless of what point of view they address the subject from, these can be good jumping off points for discussion. Of course, don’t neglect current events in your study. Discuss the news headlines and how economics relates to them. You might be surprised by some of your teen’s insights!

I know that economics gets a reputation for being a difficult and boring subject, but it’s really not. Once you understand the basic concepts and how they apply to the real world, it’s fascinating how much it enhances your understanding of history, politics, and business. You’re never too old to learn about economics, but I still think that 9th grade is the ideal time to introduce your teen to the topic.

Reflections on Seasons of Parenting

I came across something on social media this week where a new mom was asking some advice about getting things done with a baby in the house. It was interesting reading through the comments from other moms of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers! I went through those stages with all four of my kids, but some of the details are a bit hazy looking back until someone mentions something and I think, “Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that!”

Back when my “baby” actually was a baby! – Photo by Aaron D. Priest

My kiddos are in the tween and teen years for the most part, and my “baby” is nine years old. The days of littles are definitely behind me now. It’s funny how motherhood hasn’t exactly gotten easier, but the ways that it’s difficult change over time. For example, now that the kids are older, they do their own laundry, help with chores, make their own breakfast and lunch, they even cook dinner some nights! The extra hands helping around the house are definitely appreciated. The physical demands of the early years of parenting have lessened significantly.

The mental and emotional demands have increased through. Guiding high schoolers through their education is a lot more complicated than teaching them to colors and counting in Kindergarten! It’s more time consuming too, even though they largely do their work independently now. Things like hormones and life lessons are coming into play, and that stuff is hard. Trying to help these kids who are somewhere between being kids and adults is complicated, and I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing half of the time. I desperately hope that my mom felt this way too because when she was my age and I was my daughter’s age, I thought she had everything pretty much figured out.

Parenting isn’t all about the challenges though. There are definitely always those, no matter what stage you’re in, but there’s good stuff in every stage too! I’m a bit nostalgic when I see a mom holding a sleeping baby, or snuggling a toddler on her lap while they look at a picture book. There were some great things about the years when I had a house full of littles.

There are great things about a house of teens and tweens too. I can’t tell you how much I love talking to my kids about they books they like, and telling them about the ones I like. Reading the same books and then discussing them is so much fun! Playing long, complicated board games is something we can do now, and there’s nothing I love more than roping them into playing an epic game of Terraforming Mars or Between Two Cities on the weekend. We have deep discussions sometimes. We can work on projects together around the house. We have funny in-jokes now that only our family gets! (My mug declaring, “Whatever, I’m still fabulous,” is one of those jokes!)

None of parenting is easy. Let’s be honest, relationships of any kind aren’t easy because you’re dealing with multiple people, personalities, and points of view. Despite the challenge some days bring, family relationships can be a great source of joy.

There are still days that are so hard, but my mom would probably tell me that that’s pretty much how life is for all of us! If any moms of littles stumble across this post though, I want you to know that no matter how hard it seems now, you’ll get through the hard. It’s OK if you’re not vacuuming the house in heels and pearls every afternoon. Your kids won’t remember that there were stray crumbs under the table, but they will remember that Mom loved them enough to spend time with them. The kids will get older and their “help” around the house will indeed become a big help! Things will change and you’ll no longer have a little one who curls up on your lap to read a story, but there are new experience you can share with your older kids that are precious too. It’s true what they say, “The days are long, but the years are short.” It doesn’t get easier per-se, but you will get more sleep eventually. And on the mornings when you’re tired, your teen might brew enough coffee for both of you to have a cup with breakfast!

What I’ve Been Up To…

It’s been a strange month. I could say a lot about a lot of things, but my brain is tired of thinking about the heavy stuff, so I decided to write a little post about a few of the strange yet interesting things I’ve done this month.

I know that cutting your own hair is a thing on social media right now, but that’s honestly not the reason why I decided to take the plunge. I’ve been toying with the idea of just buzzing my hair super-short for a few years now. Given that summer is (allegedly) coming, I figured that now would be a good time to go for it. If nothing else, it would be cooler during the hot months. Aaron knew ahead of time that I was doing this, but none of the kids did! I must say, the looks on their faces were priceless, and I wish I had photos! I actually rather like my hair this short, and I still haven’t decided whether I’ll keep it this way, or let it grow back out.

This photo, on the other hand, was because of social media! A challenge was issued to post a photo of yourself reading a book while in formalwear. The photos posted by friends were fun to look through, so I decided to participate. The only formal dress that I’ve ever worn is my wedding dress. As luck would have it, that dress is still hanging out in the back of my closet! I managed to fit into it (sort of), and the kiddos helped me snap a photo. The best part was when Mr. Q asked, “Why is the skirt so… poofy?” What can I say, it was the 90s…

During a Twilight Zone-esque trip to the grocery store, I came across this cool Plant Your Own Garden kit. I love the idea of growing plants! Loving the idea is not enough to turn me into a proficient gardener though. Still, I picked it up and the kids and I happily planted the seeds in the provided container. Since very few things I plant actually grow, I hadn’t really thought much about what to do once they sprouted. Guess what? They’ve sprouted and are growing nicely. I’ve still got a good month before I can plant anything outside, and I’m pretty sure these nice little plants aren’t going to be happy in those tiny pots for that long. I have no idea what to do with the currently-thriving seedlings.

There are still remnants of snow in the areas where there’s enough shade to keep the sun from melting the last holdouts. Despite the pile of snow still sitting outside the window by my desk, it was sunny and warm enough at the end of last week for the kiddos and I to enjoy spending time outside. They convinced me to let them drag out the kayak and take turns paddling around the farm pond in our back yard. I have to admit, it was so much fun! You’re pretty much just paddling around in a circle, but it was nice to be out on the water and enjoying the sun and fresh air. We even managed to get a bit of a sunburn, which still has me laughing, because who gets a sunburn in Maine, in April? Good thing I keep aloe gel in the fridge year-round.

I have no idea what next month is going to look like. There are a lot of things that concern me, and I think there’s good reason to be concerned about a lot of things. No matter what you’re personally going through in the midst of this, I hope that things start getting better for you soon. In the meantime, I hope that you can find something in your day today that will make you smile. Let me know in the comments or on social media how you’re doing. Go ahead and share the good, the bad, and even the ugly haircuts!

Tea and Books Tuesday: Treason’s Crown Review

Note: I received an ARC copy of the book. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have purchased my own copy of the book because it’s absolutely worth buying. The Plum Deluxe tea link in this post is an affiliate post, but I only recommend them because they are my favorite tea company!

I’m something of a sucker for fairy tales with an interesting twist, and since Anne Wheeler is one of my favorite authors, I couldn’t pass up Treason’s Crown! As a novella, it’s the perfect length for reading in an evening.

The main character, Riette, piqued my interest from the start. Treason’s Crown isn’t your typical Cinderella story, and while the ending isn’t exactly a sad ending, neither is it the usual happily ever after. It’s complicated, but in a good way!

The worldbuilding in Treason’s Crown was intriguing, and I truly hope there will be more books in the series because I want to know more about the setting, and of course, the characters! The book wrapped things up well enough that I’m satisfied with the ending, but there’s still plenty of room for continuing the story. (And I really do hope this is not the end!) The book is clean, so I have no hesitation handing it to my teen daughter to read. It released a week ago, so you can go grab your ebook copy right now and start reading this evening.

If you’re looking for a great tea paring, might I suggest the Plum Deluxe Gratitude Blend that’s featured in my teacup? It’s a strawberry Earl Grey blend, that’s not overpowering on the strawberry. Neither is the berry “artificial” tasting as other strawberry Earl Grey blends I’ve tried in the past.

So, what books have you read and what tea blends have you tried lately that were really good? Let me know in the comments, or on social media!

6 More Books for Gifting from My Own Wish List

Yesterday I shared some of the books I’ve read this past year and loved. Today, I’ll give you a peek at some of the books on my personal wish list, along with suggestions for who they might be the perfect gift for!

Mom Heart Moments is a devotional book by Sally Clarkson. I’ve always found Sally’s books to be encouraging, and just a pleasure to read. If you have a mom on your list, this would be a lovely book to gift! Include some good tea or coffee and a pretty bookmark and you have everything you need for a gift basket.

Fight Write by Carla Hoch is a must-have for any writer whose stories include some sort of fight. Carla has a blog that’s a fantastic reference for writers, and she’s given plenty of workshops on how to effectively and realistically write a good fight. Published and aspiring novelists alike will appreciate this reference book.

Psalms of Sherlock by Gail Ann Swales is a novel based off the character of Sherlock Holmes. Since Holmes is one of my favorite fictional detectives, the concept of the book intrigues me, and I want to see how the author weaves faith into the story! Classic mystery fans who enjoy Christian fiction will be interested in this one.

Get to the Margins is a collection of devotionals written by authors for authors. I’m familiar with the work of some of the contributors, and this is one book that I’ve had in my wish list since it released! This is another great option for published or aspiring writers. In fact, maybe bundle this with Fight Write and your writer friends favorite caffeinated beverage for a writer gift basket!

52 Lists for Calm by Moorea Seal is a journal with weekly lists intended to promote calm. Given the fact that I’m constantly being told to reduce stress or chill out, this is definitely on my wish list. I’ve used a couple of Moorea’s previous 52 list journals, and quite enjoyed the practice of sitting down and making a weekly list for the given prompt. This is a great idea for the journaler, or list-maker on your list. (Maybe throw in some nice calming tea if they’re like me and could do with a little chilling out!)

Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making by Andrew Peterson is a book that’s come highly recommended by a number of writers and publishers who I respect. Being a Christian and an artist can seem like a tricky path to walk at times, and a book that’s part memoir and part handbook appeals to me. This is a wonderful gift idea for the Christian artist on your list!

I also promised a couple of non-book gift ideas for the bookish person on your list! First up would be one of the fantastic t-shirts by Lorehaven. I’m actually wearing the one pictured right now, but they have four options to choose from, and they’re all great. I quite liked the one with the Narnia quote too, but I couldn’t pass up a t-shirt with an astronaut!

If you have a short fiction fan on your list, you might consider a gift membership to Havok. Havok publishes a daily dose of flash fiction. While you can read the flash fiction for the day for free, a membership gives you access to the complete collection of flash fiction that’s been published on Havok’s website. You could pick up their anthology if you want something to wrap with the gift membership.

If you have a Christian speculative fiction author on your list, consider a Realm Makers membership! Membership gives them access to monthly content for writers, discounts on conference tickets, and much more! Bundle it with a t-shirt or mug from the Realm Makers store if you’d like something to wrap up with the membership.

14 Fantastic Books for Gifting

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C.S. Lewis

Books and tea make wonderful gifts in my opinion! I’ve put together a list of my top suggestions for books to gift this year in case you’re looking for ideas. None of the authors have asked me to include their books, and while I may have received ARC copies of a few of the titles, they were so good, that I went out and purchased a copy of their book once it released. I’m not recommending anything that I haven’t spent my own money on!

Encircled is a fun anthology with speculative fiction retellings of fairy tales. The genres represented in the anthology represented a good variety, though my favorite story was one of the science fiction retellings! I enjoyed every story in the collection, and this would be a nice gift idea for the fairy tale fan on your list.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes is a speculative spin on the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. I knew a bit of the history behind that, and I found Nadine’s magical spin on the story delightful! Fawkes was one of the rare YA books that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was pleased that the author included information in the back of the book about what was fact and what was fiction. History buffs and YA fiction fans will love reading this one.

Space Murder by NL Haverstock is a mix up of space opera and cozy mystery. I loved it! I love a good space opera, and the cozy mystery element was an interesting twist. It was a fun read that I couldn’t put down once I started reading. The mix of mystery, humor, and spaceships was just right. This one is a must read for fans of sci fi and mysteries.

Nameless by Tamara Leigh is one of the not-speculative books on the list, but Tamara’s books are always on my must-read list! A medieval tale set in the aftermath of the Norman conquest of the Saxons, Nameless is a romance with plenty of action and history. It’s also the third book in a series, so you could gift all three books! It’s an excellent choice for fans of historical romance with a fair amount of sword-fighting thrown in.

Oath of the Outcast by C.M. Banschbach is a Celtic fantasy novel that starts out with an interesting protagonist who has a backstory that’s hinted at. I wanted to keep reading not only to find out how the story turned out, but what his story was! I’ve an interest in the history of Scotland and Ireland, and so the Celtic flavor of this book appealed to me. This is a great idea for fans of historic fiction, fantasy, and books with no romantic subplot!

Heroes of the Realm is an anthology published by Realm Makers Media. This entry is a bit self-serving, since my own short story is one of those featured. However, I plunked down my own money for the Kickstarter campaign before I even submitted a story because the other authors featured are among my favorites! You’ll find all sorts of speculative genres from sci fi to fantasy included in this collection of stories about heroes. (There’s a prequel to the Space Drifters books included by Paul Regnier that you won’t want to miss if you’re a fan!) This is an ideal gift for a fan of many speculative genres who enjoys short stories.

Iggy & Oz and the Plastic Dinos of Doom by J.J. Johnson is technically a MG book, but all four of the kids and I adored it! How could I resist a story about plastic dinos in the attic coming to life to wreak havoc throughout the neighborhood? Normally, I don’t enjoy books written for this age group this much, but this was one book that I didn’t mind reading aloud to the kids. This is the perfect gift for a kid who’s reading chapter books, or for the grownup who’s still a kid at heart.

Chasing Eden by Cherilyn Clough is actually a memoir. Cherilyn may have grown up in an abusive home, but she writes about it with surprising compassion. Her memoir never comes across as an angry rant. Her story intrigued me, and I was alternately saddened by things that happened, and happy to see Cherilyn’s persistence pay off by the end of the book. Fans of memoirs would appreciate this book.

Shattered Honor by Anne Wheeler is the third book in the Shadows of War series. I’ve said more than once that space opera is my first love when it comes to sci fi genres, and this series is one of my favorite space operas! I have them all in e-book format, but I love the books so much, that print copies are on my wish list! The fourth book in the series is coming in January, so if you gift the first three books to the space opera fan on your list, they might have time to read them all before the fourth book releases!

Paranormia by Paul Regnier is a genre that I wasn’t interested in, but since I loved Space Drifters so much, I gave it a try anyway. His take on urban paranormal did not disappoint! The healthy dose of humor mixed in kept me laughing, while the gripping spiritual warfare part of the book kept me turning pages. Readers who like fiction that includes spiritual warfare, urban fantasy, or comedy would all enjoy this one. (And did I mention the sports cars?)

Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl by Laura A. Grace was just the burst of encouragement that I needed as a writer. As a reader, I was nodding my head with all of the letters from the fangirl! It’s a short book, but a lovely little addition to the bookshelf of a book fangirl or a writer who could use a little extra encouragement!

A Storm Grows is a poetry anthology by Janeen Ippolito. It’s not rhyming poetry, but rather poems exploring what it’s like to have been through the storm. While some of the poems are understandably heavy, there’s an element of hope too. I read through it in one sitting! It’s a short anthology, but wonderful for the poetry-lover on your list.

Airfoil: Origins by Steve Rzasa is a book that I haven’t finished reading yet, but I had to include! When the protagonist is a librarian who ends up with superpowers, it’s the kind of book that needed to be included in my reading list. So far, I’m enjoying the story, and I think it would be an excellent pick for the superhero/comic book fan on your list.

I hope you found a book that’s perfect for one of the recipients on your gift list, or even a few to add to your own TBR pile! If you need a few more ideas, be sure to come back tomorrow for my post about the books that are on my own wish list, as well as a couple of other “bookish” gift ideas!

Book Review: Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl

I’m so happy to be part of the Dear Author blog tour, celebrating the release of Laura A. Grace’s fabulous new book! I did get a sneak peek at an ARC as part of the blog tour, but I’d already pre-ordered my copy by then, because this is a book I didn’t want to miss!

As a reader, I may have a tendancy to fangirl just a bit over my very favorite authors and their books. (OK, so I fangirl a lot, but who can blame me when there are such great books out there!)

As a writer, I’ve got my own share of angst about my writing and it’s hard some days to not feel discouraged when I look at my work and see only the flaws.

Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl by Laura A. Grace appeals to both the reader and the writer in me. The book is a series of letters written from a fangirl to her favorite author. I can completely identify with the fangirl writing the letters, so it was fun to find out that I’m not the only fangirl out there! As a writer, I found the letters heartwarming, and they encouraged me to keep writing.

Dear Author is a fairly short book, but it’s the perfect gift for a reader or a writer. The black and white illustrations in the book are delightful, and make reading it all the more fun! If you’re gifting the book, definitely spring for the paperback. Get a second copy for yourself while you’re at it!

While Dear Author released earlier this week, the Facebook Release Party is tonight! Be sure to join in tonight at 8:30 EST! In addition to Laura A. Grace, special guests will include Janeen Ippolito and Katie Phillips. You won’t want to miss the fun and the giveaways, so grab a cup of tea and log on tonight!

Twelve Days of Christmas Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Sale (And Givaways!)

My Christmas tree is up, there’s snow on the ground, and it’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a book and tea in the evenings. What’s even better than books and tea? Book sales and giveaways of course! Twelve science fiction and fantasy authors have teamed up to offer a new sale and giveaway each day for the first twelve days of December. Each sale and giveaway is a one day only event, so be sure to visit the next stop on the blog tour every day so that you don’t miss one.

I haven’t read books by all of the authors participating in the promo… yet. The authors whose work I have read though are all ones I’d recommend. (Incidentally, if you’re a fan of space opera, do not miss the December 6th stop. Anne Wheeler’s space opera series is one of my favorites, and I’ll be mentioning it in my top books for gifting post later this month!)

Here’s the complete list of authors and their websites so you can make sure you don’t miss a single sale or giveaway!

Yaasha Moriah – www.yaashamoriah.com

Verity A. Buchanan – www.verityabuchanan.com

Melissa Little – mllittleauthor.blogspot.com

J.D. Rempel – www.jdrempel.com

Claire Banschbach – www.clairembanschbach.com

Anne Wheeler – www.anne-wheeler.com

J.M. Hackman – https://jmhackman.com/

Janeen Ippolito – https://www.janeenippolito.com/

H. L. Burke – www.hlburkeauthor.com/blog

Laura VanArendonk Baugh – www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com

Hans Erdman – www.gewellynchronicles.com

M. J. Padgett – www.mjpadgettbooks.com

Changing My Mind

I was going to write a post for today about my NaNoWriMo project. I’d decided within the past few weeks to do NaNo again this year. Then, I changed my mind… again.

I’ve only participated in NaNoWriMo twice, but I loved it both times! It seemed like the perfect way to kick-start The Mechanic Who Would be Queen and get the first draft written. Not to mention this being the 20th year for NaNo! There are good reasons why I wanted to participate this year.

However, there are also good reasons why I decided not to participate. November is a busy month with Camo’s birthday, my IT staff’s birthday, our 20th anniversary, and Thanksgiving. My family is wonderfully supportive the years that I dive into NaNo, and they don’t complain about the things I have to let slide that month to make word count. I know they would all be cheering me on. The thing is, there are things this month that I want to be able to just enjoy without having to worry about my word count. My IT staff and I are going away overnight for our anniversary, and I want to be able to enjoy a nice dinner without having a word count nagging in the back of my head. Camo’s birthday sometimes seems a little lost in the shuffle of a busy month, and I want to make it special and make a cool cake for him without feeling like I have to rush to go get some writing in.

As much as I love NaNoWriMo, it does tend to overshadow everything else in a month. I don’t want that to happen this year. I’m definitely not ruling out jumping into the fray again next year, but for this year, I think it’s better to sit on the bench and cheer the rest of you on. I’m still going to write The Mechanic Who Would be Queen! In fact, it’s probably going to be the first book in a trilogy. Or maybe a four-book series… I’m not sure yet, but I’ve have ideas!

So, who’s doing NaNo this year? Let me know in the comments or on social media!