Have you ever had one of those weeks where the days seem to fly by, but the week still seems eerily slow? That was the kind of week I had: filled with busyness at home, but a long week overall. TGIF!

What I’m Reading:

This week, I read The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person by Frederick Joseph. No words can truly characterize what I felt, thought, questioned and struggled with as I was reading, but I’d like to try in hopes that it inspires others to read it. Honestly, this book made me the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been, yet made me laugh out loud in more than one (or five) places. It was brilliantly written and felt like I was having a true conversation with the author and by the end of the book, a needed friend. A friend who needs more than a nice white woman to to mark the book as read on her reading list. I’ve read books on white supremacy and systemic racism, books that left me compelled to do better and be better, but this book is different. Joseph is a compelling storyteller and artfully weaves his own story with those of others and often speakers directly to the reader. I’ve closed the book, but I cannot unsee the words. I’ve been an ally, but need to be an accomplice. 

Have you ever had a micro-reading session? You know, you find yourself with just a smidgen of time, but you still want to spend it reading, so you find a short story to indulge in? That’s exactly what I did with The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. It unexpectedly came across my feed and I read it in a single session in the car while waiting for my son at practice. It started with a personal explanation from the author on how and why the book came to be. I always love reading about authors’ backstories, so this appealed to me right away. And since I could relate to her looking back on a time in her life and wishing she did something differently, I was truly invested as a reader. The story shares what teasing and bullying might look like at an earlier time, teasing between girls that seemed ‘in good fun’, but left regretful memories for one. But not the one you might think. This short story told the perspective of someone standing by...not doing anything hurtful, but realizing that doing nothing WAS hurtful, a lesson that certainly stands true in our times today. This book was the author’s way of doing something after all.  It’s the perfect micro-reading book to make you think. 

What I’m Writing:

My writing this week was raw and real. And hidden away in my secret notebook. =) I read a blog post that said we have at least 12,000 thoughts a day. I absolutely, completely believe that. Can you relate? Many studies have shown that our thoughts affect our reality and mental health, so this week, I spent some time writing down a portion of those 12,000 thoughts to get them off of my mind and onto the page instead. And if you need to do the same, here are some prompts I used to get the words flowing:

  • What thoughts are taking space in my mind at this very moment?

  • What’s the story I’m telling myself about these thoughts?

  • How might those stories make me feel about myself and the people around me?

  • How can I rewrite those stories?

If you need a little therapy session on the page, I promise these prompts will do the trick. And the best thing about the blank page? It doesn’t judge at all. Thank goodness.

What I’m Learning:

Did you know it only takes 6 minutes of reading to lower your blood pressure? I don’t need any convincing to spend time reading, but I tucked this away for when I need to remind someone else to take a break, too. 

Oh….I learned how to make zucchini parmesan, too. It’s so simple, even I can cook it, minus the bread crumbs since I’m gluten free. 

What I’m Loving:

Google street view. As many others seemed to do this week, I decided to Google locations that were once important to me to walk down memory lane, like childhood homes and beloved vacation spots. From there, I Googled locations that I hoped to visit in the future, once we can actually travel again. It was a fun virtual field trip of sorts. 

That experience reminded me of GeoGuessr, an app that uses Google Maps to plunck you down in a random location and you have to use the clues around you to guess where you are. This would be a great activity to do with family through Zoom calls!

There you have it! I hope this inspires you to make space for more reading and writing in your own life. What are the highlights from your literate life this week?

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