It was a busy week! Marathon Zoom sessions, new coaching cohorts with teachers, the Slice of Life Writing Challenge and guess what? We were cleared to start playing sports in my area, so I happily acted as an unpaid Uber driver for my kids, too! =)

What I’m Reading:

Earlier in the year, I shared my love of Epistolary novels when I offered my review of Dear Sister by Alison McGhee. So many of you responded to my email recommending The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows and that’s what I read this week. And can I tell you something? When I turned the last page….I hugged it. Yes, I literally hugged the book. 

It was unlike any other book that I have read. Yes, I’ve read epistolary novels. Yes, I’ve read historical fiction. But I’ve never read a novel that brought me back in time, to another location halfway around the world, but made me feel as if the characters were dear friends that I could meet for coffee later in the day. 

The book chronicles the lives of multiple people living on the Island of Guernsey. It centers around Juliet, a writer living in London, and the letters she received and writes to people she’s never met, yet is connected to by the love of books and each other. I felt fiercely connected to these characters, could imagine each of them writing their respective letters and could literally see their stories unfolding and intertwining on the page. 

If you haven’t already read this book, please do. And then, join me to create our own Literary Society. All that’s left is to decide on a recurring date, time and Zoom location and a signature dessert of course. This is my new dream. 

One last thing: Did you know that Annie Barrows also writes the beloved children’s literature series Ivy and Bean? I loved each one and cannot wait to read the very last in the series: Ivy and Bean Get to Work!

What I’m Writing:

This month, I’m participating in the daily Slice of Life Writing Challenge (along with some of you on this email list!). Given my love of epistolary novels, I’ll write a short letter of gratitude each day to a person, item, location or experience I'm grateful for within the last 24 hours and want to hold onto. Some days might be short and sweet, others might be longer and heartfelt, but all entries will help me cultivate a mindset of gratitude and positivity and provide memories for years to come. If you’d like to follow along, you can find my blog here. And, if you’re slicing too, reply and let me know so I can comment on your daily posts!

What I’m Learning:

I truly believe we are the average of whatever we surround ourselves with: the food we eat, the friends we keep close, the ways we spend our time and more. That’s why I love surrounding myself with people who are constantly thinking forward and are brave enough to share their voices with the world so I can learn from them. 

My friend and fellow teacher educator, Susie Rolander, recently launched a new platform called Start Over, a meeting place for experts and people seeking to make positive changes. They’ve curated people they know and love to share their voices and talents with the world. I’m joining in for the Chocolate: Sweet Indulgence session on March 9th at 6:30pm EST. Join me or browse the site and sign up for a session right for you. And did I mention they are FREE?!

What I’m Loving:

You know I love anything to do with notebooks and that notebook love has deep roots. When I was little, my grandmother ordered personalized notepads with my name on it for me to use, so when I saw this Instagram reel from @YayDayPaper on how to make my own notepad, I was a wee-bit excited. I found these free journal card templates and cannot wait to create my own notepad this weekend!

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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  1. I love the book and the movie! I recently watched it again and was enthralled. Other expistolary novels that I love - 84, Charing Cross Road and A Woman of Independent Means (read decades ago, but I still remember it).