A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.

March Mind Cleanup, Plus Vacation Photos


These photos (more below) are from the recent quick trip my husband and I made to our favorite getaway: Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It’s a really lovely beach, not too touristy; and for some reason, it has about twenty Thai restaurants—my favorite! I tend to get the blues during February, so this year I planned in advance for a little shot of sunshine to get me through.

I haven’t done a “Mind Cleanup” post since I gave up the daily blogging schedule that, while fun and evidently popular, was wearing me out. So, at long last, here’s another “mind cleanup” for you—a collection of great things from my metaphorical inbox recently.

From WordPress

I’m not caught up on your latest, greatest posts at the moment, but here are a few posts I discovered a while back that I really enjoyed:

Windmills of the Mind: “What It Means to Be an Introvert, and What It Doesn’t

The search for awesomeness: “Lessons I learned in a year of sewing

So Many Books: Canons and Classics and Henry James

In My Reading

Curled up under blankets, I’ve read quite a lot of books since the beginning of the year (a lot for me, anyway…not a lot for some of you, I know, such as my friend at Whatmeread!), including:

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
– Miss Marple books by Agatha Christie: Sleeping Murder, A Murder Is Announced, The Murder at the Vicarage, and Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories; and a Hercule Poirot book, Evil Under the Sun
– Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
by Alexander McCall Smith

– (rereading) The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein
– (rereading) Matilda by Roald Dahl
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

I wholeheartedly recommend the first one, The Signature of All Things—I absolutely loved it. The Goldfinch was good for the characterization but it was a bit too depressing and gritty for me. Same with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, only even more gritty and depressing. And of course, The Sound and the Fury is just plain depressing, not to mention hard to read. However, all the rest on the list more than compensated by being thorougly enjoyable and uplifting!

I’m also taking an online course this semester from West Virginia University, American Indian History. It’s very interesting (and, yes, also a bit depressing! But don’t worry, I’m hanging in there…plus it’s almost spring!).

In My Writing

Some blog news:

• I went back and added photos to all my old posts. I even resorted to drawing pictures for a few of them, despite my fifth-grade skill level.

• As you can see, if you’re looking at my blog itself rather than a reader, I changed my background to purple. Fun!

• Every day now I get a bunch of views from people using search engines to find two specific posts: “Pondering: Large Families vs. Small Families” and “Reflections on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley—and On Being Impulsive” (most likely from students writing papers…oh well—maybe my enthusiasm will reach some of them!).

As time allows, I’m working leisurely on a young adult fantasy novel (dystopian, not dragons) and a nonfiction book in the research stage (or perhaps two, now, including the outworkings of my self-care manifesto). I’ve put down the memoir again for a while. I also piddle around with essays and short stories (and beginnings of short stories) when I’m procrastinating from the main writing job I’m doing now, ghostwriting a book about dental sales for a client (almost done…).

Wherever you are, I wish you good books, fun pursuits, and sunshine!

photo 4iuiu




3 comments on “March Mind Cleanup, Plus Vacation Photos

  1. whatmeread
    March 16, 2015

    I agree that The Signature of All Things is excellent. I also liked The Goldfinch, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. emilievardaman
    March 23, 2015

    I was so glad to see this! I saw it late, though, due to more computer problems than I will try to discuss. The biggie, though, was my just-out-of -warranty MacBook Pro crashed and took a YEAR’S worth of writing and photographs with it. I am still reeling,
    But I am so glad you made time for a spot of warm on the Florida coast. I live in Arizona, but winter still is hard on me. Partly the cold (yes, it even gets below freezing where I live) and partly the lack of light. Now that dawn is coming earlier and earlier, and I once again in my comfort zone.


    • Sarrah J. Woods
      March 23, 2015

      Wow, so sorry to hear about your data loss. That sounds incredibly frustrating.

      I know, winter is difficult for so many people. Hooray that spring is finally here!!


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This entry was posted on March 11, 2015 by in Mind Cleanups, Other Photos and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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