Friday, December 19, 2014

Odds and ends from Julie

Thanks, Pamela,
for this shot of me
taken at our retreat!
By Julie

I'm subbing for Susan today, who is hitting the road for her Christmas celebration with her beloved family in Kentucky.

It's been six months since my last post, when I announced I'd be taking an extended hiatus from blogging while I refresh, regroup, and rethink. The true cliche is that I can hardly believe how quickly the time flies (which just cements the theory that if you have something to say, if you have something to write, the time is now, because when you blink, another year will have flown by!). On the other hand, six months seems like an age ago.

In the course of it, I've:

Sold a house, bought a house, and moved. That was easy. (HA!)

Watched with pride as my youngest obtained her driver's license, applied to and was accepted at my own college alma mater, and I began to really understand that I'm about to have an empty nest.

Watched with more pride as my middle child has sailed through her university classes, often with straight A's, and is so close to having her teaching certificate, she can almost taste it. She is going to be an amazing teacher.

Watched again, basically bursting with pride (obviously, I need some duct tape around my skull before it swells too much), as my eldest and his wife and brand new baby, whom I adore, obviously, moved far away, which wasn't easy, but have made for themselves a life that is full and joyful, both in home and career. You can read about him here.

And yes, I've been working on my next novel, and watching with both wonder and terror as it morphs into what I truly, truly hope is the one next published. The path has not been straight. And I don't know how straight the rest of it will be. But in the end, I hope to have a story to present to the world that I am just as passionate about as I was about Calling Me Home the day I called it finished. That has been my goal all along, which hasn't made it easy to carry out. I am thankful I've had a patient agent and publishing team. Though maybe they should be breathing down my neck a little more... ;)

Books I've been enjoying lately:


I'm not much of an audiobook person, but I downloaded The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin before heading out on a seven-hour drive after Thanksgiving with my family. My stepmom and I and two ornery dogs shared a car, and we listened to a good bit of it on the drive home and I understand now why so many readers have been entranced by this story. Now I just have to figure out how I can get another seven hours in the car to finish it! Because my current life calls for about 20 minutes per week. At that rate, well, you do the math. I *might* have to get the ebook or hardcover to finish it!

I've just started reading the advance reader's edition of Sisters of Heart and Snow, a book I've been highly (read: hyperly, heart-racingly) anticipating since I read an early version several years ago. Margaret Dilloway knows her stuff, y'all, and this story of modern-day sisters juxtaposed against the centuries-old legend of Tomoe Gozen, an onna-bugeisha, or female samurai, is going to knock your socks off. It releases April 7, 2015, and is available for preorder now. You can read a little more about the story here. When you get a chance to read Sisters of Heart and Snow, don't stop there -- you will also be able to download the full fictionalized story of Tomoe Gozen as an ebook, which has been excerpted into Sisters of Heart and Snow. I was thrilled when Margaret returned to her Japanese roots in this story because I loved How to Be An American Housewife so much.

What's new with you guys? Happy holidays!

1 comment:

  1. Just your cousin checking in - You definitely have had a busy year. When do we get a hint as to what your next book is going to be about? Wishing you and the family a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


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