Mom

 

 

 

Betsy and I couldn’t let this day go by without saying a few important things about our Mom.

 

While many didn’t know that her struggle was ongoing for the last twelve years–more predominantly the last two–we were the lucky ones to be able to spend this time caring for her, preparing for the inevitable, but enjoying every single minute we had with her. She was our whole world, and we were hers, and she never let her illness override that fact.

 

She loved her life—her home, her family, her church, her music, her work, and her friends. I’m sure every person who was touched by her generosity and love was better for it. I know we were. And even during this last week together, when it was darkest for all of us, she always greeted us with a smile and a warm hug and kiss (and usually dressed in a sparkly sweater, lipstick, and earrings–that hospital room will never be as glamorous again!)

 

We’re all doing okay—Dad, me, Todd, Betsy, Melody, Andre, and Carole. Today is going to be a rough one, but we’ll get through it together like we always do. We’ll probably have a snack (or 5) sitting at the kitchen counter together later, and yes, Mom, we’ll sweep the crumbs up off the floor.

 

Love you so much.

 

 

 

Posted in My Life Comment

I’d like to have the luxury of writing all day, but as Elizabeth Gilbert says in BIG MAGIC, you can be childish, or childlike when it comes to your creativity. I choose to be childlike.

 

 

What’s the difference? When you’re childish about a creative endeavor you absolutely must follow, you sacrifice everything in your life to do it, and that often means giving up the safety of a job to keep your dream alive. Of course, anyone who has a joyful relationship with creativity would love nothing more than to simply do that thing all the time—write, draw, dance, whatever. Can you imagine getting up each day with nothing ahead of you but the opportunity to do that thing? But to do that full time, you give up the security of knowing you can pay your bills, or you must rely on someone else to do that for you, which can put a real strain on a relationship. It’s like being a kid all over again—enjoying whatever you want to do without any responsibility, no matter what. Personally, I think that’s a terribly stressful way to live.  I choose to be childlike.

 

 

Being childlike in your creative pursuits is about enjoying what you love to do creatively, but having the means to support that effort, too. Yeppers, that means having a job. You don’t have to love that job–you just have to have it. It will be there to pay for food, buy you some new supplies, keep a roof over your head. It’s a security blanket, in a way. And it will allow you to enjoy the time you have for creating in a way you never could otherwise.

 

 

I’m lucky enough to love my day job as well as my writing life. I work five days a week, 8 hours a day as a children’s librarian and assistant librarian, and carve out time in between for everything else, including writing. My job is hectic, active, stressful sometimes because I deal with the public most of the time, but also creative, satisfying, and really interesting. I’m excited to go to work each day, but I’m also actively thinking about my other work, too. Having a job makes the time I write really special, because it’s all for me, and it feels like the dessert at the end of a meal.

 

 

So, what’s a typical day like for me?

  • 6:30am: Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for work, clean kitchen etc.
  • 8:30am: Do any possible short errands before work. And if it’s Friday, I stop at Starbucks for a morning latte.
  • 9-11:30am: Run children’s programs, catch up on library emails, answer phones, update computers, print posters, send out advertisements for programs, visit daycares to do special storytimes, work on new library displays
  • noon-1pm: Run errands, grab a bite to eat, work on latest writing project for 30 minutes
  • 1-5:30pm: Run programs, prep for other programs, work on the main desk at the library, catalog books, weed the collection, answer/send library emails, supervise students, write reports, do program statistics and assessments, do outreach to schools or daycares
  • 5:30-7:00pm: Dinner, time with family, prep food, lunches for following day, special meals, clean
  • 7-9pm: Write/revise/plan
  • 9-10pm: TV
  • 10-11pm: reading, prepping clothes for next day, bedtime…..

 

I stick to a pretty similar schedule most days. While there are other days of the week that are very different (weekends, evening commitments etc.,), this is an ideal run down of a day. That’s not a lot of writing time–2.5 hours if all goes well, but I need the consistent schedule to allow me to function in a busy environment the next day, and still have enough energy to do the things I want to do. (Oh, to be 25 again!)

 

But I feel good about getting it all in. And I miss the writing time SO much if I can’t make it happen. It feels like a good balance to everything when I’m sitting at my computer pounding away on the keys, dropping into a world I’ve created. Hopefully, one day, you’ll get to see what I’ve spent all these years working on.

 

 

What is YOUR schedule like during the day?

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

Posted in My Life | Tagged Comment
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

I have ‘unfollowed’ a lot of friends on Facebook. (No, not you, of course!) But my newsfeed can be pretty slim some days because of it. On a good day, there might be a few vacation photos, someone might announce an engagement or baby news, and there are always the tried and true news reports and weather posts. Mostly, though, there are motivational quotes.

Why not unfollow those people who post motivational quotes, you might ask? Because honestly, I’d have nothing left to look at. But what exactly are those uplifting, witty, wise snippets of prose supposed to accomplish? Should I suddenly feel better about myself and the world? Does the person who posts them feel inspired? Will I soon be inundated with more of these words of wisdom until I rise up off the couch and launch into song? Nope, nope, and nope. More likely, it means I’ll scroll past those posts as fast as I can so that I can find out what the forecast is going to be.  I know. Just unfollow.

 

 

But why do people post motivational quotes? Come on! Most times, they aren’t even motivated enough to actually find the quote, create a unique display, take a nice photo, and tag a few people who could really use some support. Most of the time, people just Google and post.  Or worse–they just repost. (Isn’t that the opposite of what they’re trying to accomplish??)

 

 

For this post, I didn’t even have to make an effort to find a quote. I went to Unsplash (my favourite photo stop), and searched for ‘quotes’. Someone did all the work for me. Easy, peasy. No motivation at all required! It’s beautiful, and it reminds me to stop and smell the roses. I guess it worked. I didn’t have to waste a lot of time finding the nonsense quote, and was able to fully get on with my life with very little hassle.

 

 

I want to stop and ask my friends why they’re posting drivel like this.

 

 

And then…I realize something. The reason I’ve unfollowed so many people on Facebook is because they rant, or they brag, or they post every single thought and action all day long, until I lose the will to live. But maybe these regular motivational posts–inspired or not–are the bright lights that someone has chosen to shine on the world. These days, there is too much of the dark stuff. We don’t need hatred. We need positivity. We need motivation to do good when everything around us seems bad. We need a reminder on a coffee mug to love each other.

 

 

So go ahead and post. Fill up my newsfeed with jaunty little coffee mugs, and ice cream coloured cookies, and babies dressed in adorable clothes. I want to see them all. And I promise I won’t unfollow any of you who do so. (I’m really tired of the weather….)

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

 

 

Posted in creativity, My Life | Tagged , Comment

 

 

I’m obsessed with Ruth. I know “Ozark” doesn’t revolve around her, but it might as well. She’s one of the strongest young female characters I’ve seen in a while, and certainly one of the most interesting on a show that doesn’t revolve around teens or young adults. And seriously, where did they find an actress who could play her so convincingly? Julia Garner scares the life out of me–in a good way.

 

 

If you haven’t been glued to Netflix and their latest breakout show “Ozark”, sit yourself down in front of the TV right now and start streaming. I’m serious. Why are you even still here? Go catch up!

 

 

All right. Back to Ruth. Wait–first I should tell you a little about the show, if you’re not into watching. Ozark is this crazy American dream run amok. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star as Marty and Wendy Byrde, a seriously messed up couple whose lives implode when the money laundering scheme Marty has been a part of suddenly takes a wrong turn. Not that Wendy is innocent in the state of their affairs, but that’s another story altogether. In a bargain with his terrifying drug-running boss, Marty and Wendy take off for the Ozarks in a last-ditch effort to save their lives.

 

 

It doesn’t exactly work. But I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t watched the first season yet. (Um…Netflix…..get working on Season 2 please.)

 

 

Their Ozarks are filled with mix of colourful locals, brainy back-country rebels, FBI, and druglords, to name only a few. (I’m sure it’s a very stereotypical representation of the Ozarks, but it works for the show.) And what they go through to stay alive, well, it would probably mean the end for most of us.

 

 

But the writers/producers of Ozark got one incredibly weird part exactly right—Ruth Langmore. On paper, Ruth is a spunky 19-year-old who has lived an incredibly tough life, and who wants more for herself and her family. Seems like it might be an easy part to fill, right? Casting Julia Garner was brilliant. She’s a tiny spark with crazy wild hair and the meanest stare you could ever imagine. She looks like a cherub who has had her wings plucked off, and now is gunning for the one who did it. And she’s the first person Marty Byrde encounters when they arrive.

 

 

Ruth is a brilliant, young female character. But she’s not only fearsome—she’s kind to those she loves, and really sees people for who they are, regardless of how she would LIKE to treat them.  I wish more characters were written like this, both for TV and books. While she doesn’t always make the “right” decisions, she always stands by her own beliefs, and never waivers, even in the face of extreme danger. I can’t wait to see what they do with her in season 2, and how Garner will evolve in this impossible role.

 

More Ozark, please. And more roles like Ruth Langmore.

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider in paperback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since my lovely critique partner’s debut was released. But here we are, rounding out April 2017, and the paperback version of Erin L. Schneider’s SUMMER OF SLOANE is about to hit the shelves. If you haven’t read this book, it’s a terrific read for summer especially, but it’ll make you feel all the warmth of Hawaii anytime of year. From Goodreads:

 

 

 

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

 

 

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

 

 

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

 

 

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to come by as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.

 

 

 

I loved reading the original drafts, as well as the final product. Sloane is a character that will stick with you long after you turn the last page. I almost wonder what she’s up to this summer…

 

 

If you’d like to know more about Erin and her journey to publication, drop by her website and plan to spend a few minutes. It’s just a gorgeous as the book.

 

 

Congratulations, Erin, on your paperback release! On sale May 2, 2017.

 

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in Contemporary YA, Young Adult | Tagged Comment