Summer Reading + Watching

hearts_post

You would think with getting married this weekend (August 17th – gulp!) I would have no time for reading. Nope. Reading is how I deal with stress and stress has been in abundance – wedding planning yes but my mom is being lost to Alzheimer’s, Lilly is struggling with some small but vexing issues, and Bob has had major work stuff… on top of the wedding.

I give myself full permission to escape and try to choose mindfully. Try being the operative word.  Here is my current reading/watching list to inspire your own creative re-juicing or a bit of last lazy summer.

Books

Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers
I’m a huge fan of Ms. Vickers. One of my all time favorites Vickers novels is Miss Garnet’s Angel. Dancing Backwards is a more slight story and I still devoured it. Vickers explores the tiny intersections where life actually happens and explore how we become who we are.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A near perfect book. This man has economy of language and story down. A great antagonist and a wonderful “ally” in the plucky young girl. Hard to put down so set aside a few hours. A little scary but certainly not horror.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler
I do enjoy “bio” novels in which an author dares to imagine the life of a famous person. While this story has a few flaws, it opened my eyes to a whole new view of Zelda, and I enjoyed glimpses into that favorite period of time.

The Interestings by Meg Wolizter
I adored this novel because it so adroitly explores huge questions of friendship, success, fame and aging, asking hard questions and offering no bromides. The characters and trajectory of the story are deeply believable and engaging, and the story craft so satisfying. I attended USC and have friends who are as successful as the one couple, so I could relate!

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
I’d read this along with The Interestings to discuss in a book club. Both books offer intriguing windows on the role (and fate?) of being an artist in our current culture. Messud was raked over the coals for not writing a book with a “likable” main character – frankly, after reading the book, I wanted to poke those reviewers. I loved the main character and loved that Messud was willing to write a woman who is angry about her life’s choices.

TV Shows

Have you seen Call the Midwife? If not, what are you waiting for? Some of the best television ever.

Just starting watching The NewsRoom – totally hooked. Idealism, star crossed lovers + current affairs (well, last few years current). Can’t wait to watch an episode tonight.

If you don’t mind some raunch (okay, a lot of raunch) Orange is the New Black (NetFlix original series) is surprisingly moving and very, very well-acted. But a bit hard to take.

Finally…

I’m learning to let the grace of being loved in deeper everyday. I’m learning to allow place and nature to anchor me. I’m learning to listen to the whispers of desire and honor them. I’ll be learning how to be married to Bob – wild! Thanks for being part of my life.

Love,

Jen

P.S. One spot only open in my September writing weekend workshop with Laurie Wagner. We have a super nourishing weekend planned offering lots of powerful ways to generate new writing, befriend the critic(s), and hone your craft.  Laura and I are each going to share a piece of our writing and what we did to make it better through several drafts. Plus excellent food, comfy beauty, and amazing women.

P.P.S. Mark August 30th for a FREEEE Creative Joy mini-retreat with me, Marianne Elliott and Tracey Clark. We aim to bring you the big experience of our Creative Joy retreat in a one-hour live Spreecast with yoga, photography and writing. WHEEWW! Our gift to you because everybody needs creative joy, especially as September rolls around. Register here.

Share your email and each Wednesday I’ll send you an article that attempts to answer the question: How do you shape and live your most creative & expressive life? Plus get my brand new guide to help you get into action and follow through on your creative desires.

Each week I help thousands of women plumb the question: How do you get your creative & scary sh*t done?

No pat answers, just imperfection you can use.

Get my brand new guide How to Follow Through On Your Creative Desire so you can finally finish that book or that course or that painting or whatever deliciousness you feel called to create.

Enter your first name and email and I'll send it to you immediately.