The week started with some beautiful weather and then ended with cold rain and yes, even a bit of snow here in New York. But the good news? Rain and snow mean more time with books, notebooks and coffee. Really good coffee.

What I’m Reading:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is utterly unforgettable, a book that has made an indelible impression on my reading heart. I knew I’d love it from the rave reviews and because of how much I enjoyed the Firefly Lane series, but I didn’t know just how much I’d become intertwined with the characters, with the story and the lessons they offered. While the story is focused on Leni and her upbringing, Hannah so beautifully gives us a glimpse into the harsh realities of the natural world, the aftereffects of war and the complex tangle of abusive relationships. Left to find herself in a world not of her choosing, Leni ultimately understands the complicated dance between childhood, adulthood, love, loss and motherhood and chooses a different life for herself, one that ultimately sets her free in the end.

What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks just happened? I just turned the final page of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and I’m left speechless. I don’t believe I have ever been this shocked at the turn of events in a book. Ever. Lockhart tells the story of Cadence Eastman, the eldest grandchild of the elite Sinclair family, taking the reader on a wild ride of family drama and secrets. We connect deeply with Cady’s story, her pain and her fear. We connect with her stately grandfather, late grandmother and close cousins. And we connect with her aunts, their family and the undercurrents of tension between them all. This book will stop you in your tracks and make you question all you thought you knew….about Cady, about those that she loves and yes, about yourself, too. Please read this book.

What I’m Writing:

Emails. Emails. Emails. I spend a lot of my time working with educators and instructional coaches and I’ve written more emails this week than ever before! =) I felt a little bit like Oprah: You get an email! And you get an email! So when I realized I could create email templates to save time, I was all in. Remember, my word of the month is to find more margin in my life, so creating email templates to save me time is one way to do just that. If you need this hack too, click here.

What I’m Learning:

For those of you that don’t know, I have an Etsy shop. Yes, me! =) I started it with my daughter during quarantine and it’s been a little hobby ever since. We make cute wish bracelets to remind people to read and write each day. I love making them and we have some ideas for new additions to the store, too. But when I really looked at my numbers this week, I realized something important: I am losing money. It costs me more to make the bracelets than I actually charge because I didn’t set out to make money, I wanted to make memories with my daughter. But now that we are making some new items, I want to make sure that I am at least breaking even. =) So, I watched a fantastic video course on how to launch an Etsy shop from Skillshare and have been tinkering with the ideas all week long. If you’re not on Skillshare, you should take a look! If you order through my affiliate link, you get a couple of weeks free and I get credit toward my next subscription!

What I’m Loving:

A friend sent me an episode of Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast and I devoured it. Brene talks with Dr. Angus Brown, a professor of Story Science and the author of Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature. If you believe in the power of bibliotherapy as much as I do, then you need to listen.

And if you want to dive deeper with me, join me on April 27th at 6:30pm for a bit of bibliotherapy! I’m talking with StartOver about the power of a strong literate life and how we can use bibliotherapy to help us grow through what we go through. Join us!

One more thing: Tomorrow, I’m joining the Kindness Card Challenge and think you should, too!

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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