Short and Sweet
To my surprise, my little manifesto of minimalism, The Minimalist Woman’s Guide to Having it All, is in the top twenty 90-minute Self-Help Short Reads on Amazon.com, and evidently has been for some time. That makes it, by Amazon standards, a Best Seller. Is that cool, or what? I certainly owe a million thanks to all of you who bought a copy over the years and have followed this blog since its inception in 2010.
That means The Minimalist Woman will soon be five years old, quite ancient by blogging standards. I guess it seems a weird comparison to me because I’m still living the way I decided to live at that time, and it’s become so ingrained, it’s second nature. Even the no-gift holidays don’t feel weird anymore. The only thing that feels weird is actually shopping for anything other than essentials–or changing what I consider to be essentials.
That last bit is connected to one of the best things about minimalism–it’s self-determined and fluid. Our Read more »
An Unexamined Wife is finished and available on Amazon.com! It’s also FREE ON CHRISTMAS DAY AND BOXING DAY, so I hope you’ll take advantage of this holiday present. It’s also a good way to get a review copy that is also an Authorized Purchase, and I’d be tickled pink if you left a review.
Charlotte is about to spend the holidays in Aspen with her daughter, but manages to first stumble across the body of Dr. Alonzo Garibaldi, the father of an old friend. She gets caught up in another murder investigation, and along the way she manages to fall in love with one of the least likely guys in Elm Grove, a character who played a big role in An Uncollected Death. He’s going to play a big role in future books, too, and will hopefully bring another element to Charlotte’s particular way of sleuthing.
Does this have anything at all to do with minimalism? You bet it does! The focus and financial control that is the result of living simply and making mindful choices has made it possible for me to find the time and energy to be a full-time writer. That, and a little help from my family and friends. I can go on about the details of minimalism until the cows come home, but the real proof is in the results as well as the process. A two published novels in one year (and they’re not short books, either) is proof. I intend to repeat this next year.
Now, off to get ready to turn my office into a guest room and get ready to make Christmas dinner! Happy Holidays to you and yours.
It blows hot, it blows cold, it makes a mess and rains a lot. Why do I keep thinking that I love October? Is this one of those things like when little kids get all excited about snow but grownups mutter curses? Where are those golden, romantic days I could have sworn once were, full of bonfires and hikes in woods, Oktoberfests that were actually fun, looking good in chunky sweaters, and howling at big, fat harvest moons?
I like them better when they stay on the trees.
Because October is so changeable and exhausting, I’ve spent more time immersed in my office than I have savoring the last few weeks before another endless winter. Of course, I’m on a mission, getting a novel finished somewhat close to the time I said I would, but even if that weren’t the case, I think I would already be hibernating. I do not like to be cold or wet or distracted by my various joints with every bobble of the barometer.
Anyway, here’s the Minimalist Woman Autumn 2014 Update: Read more »
I’ve been doing this minimalism thing for several years now–walked the walk, wrote the book, etc. It’s the normal state of things here at home, and it suits. But every once in a while something happens to remind me that I’m still vulnerable to wanting to shop my brains out.
Staying on the Right Road
It was my mother’s birthday last weekend. She came up to have a get-together with the family, stay overnight, and do some shopping. I drove us to the shops, the kids came and treated us all to pizza (which Mom really loves), and I made a cherry cheesecake with a single candle for a wish. Eighty-two candles would have melted the cake. We had a good time.
But a funny thing happened while browsing the shops: my old want/buy addiction kicked in. When my mom visits, I set my work aside and make that time with her my focus, which is a good thing, and any number of lifestyle and relationship writers will tell you the same. But Mom is a lifelong recreational shopper. She really enjoys it, really gets into it–and I swear it’s infectious.
Now falling off the wagon was understandable, since we’ve not only been on a typical minimalist material lockdown, but a Read more »
It’s been a number 107 summer–and that’s where we’ve been, right here at home, about 99% of the time, working for 90% of the waking hours, with a breaks in the garden and Netflix at night. The 1% we aren’t here we are visiting with family. And that’s okay. Different, but okay. Certainly keeps things simple.
Going Bananas at Home?
There are times in life when certain kinds of projects take precedence: moving house, building a house, or major remodeling; having a baby and adjusting to parenthood; setting up a new business, either online or brick and mortar; helping a family member downsize and relocate or dealing with an estate; recovery and therapy after an accident or illness or helping someone who is going through it.
I personally know at least one person going through each of those things. How much extra activity anyone can handle varies from person to person; certainly the older one gets, the less extra can be done without detriment to the main activity. Steve is setting up a new business, about which I’ll post in the near future, but for the most part I’m immersed in writing novel #2. It’s working title is An Unexamined Wife, and continues my heroine Charlotte’s adventures as a sleuth. While it’s going faster than the writing of novel #1, it has its challenges. I have set a goal for myself to have three novels published by the time I turn 60, which will be in July of 2015. That means getting #2 out before the end of this year, ideally this fall.
To do this means a lot of BIT–butt in chair. I’m not the fastest writer in the world, so it takes a bit more BIT to make progress against a a deadline, even a self-imposed one. Yet books don’t get written in a vacuum, and certainly don’t reach their target audience in one. Whether traditionally- or self-published, reaching one’s readers (almost, but not quite the same as marketing) is largely up to the author. This means getting comfortable not only with blogging, but social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
One friend who underwent moving house is Tamara at Suburban Satsangs, who recently blogged about a project to post one picture a day on Instagram for the month of August, via Susannah Conway’s #augustbreak2014. I had an iPod, an Instagram app I never used, and a need to expand my horizons in a fun and low-impact way, so when Tamara issued a double-dog dare to join her in this project, I just hadda do it. There are daily prompts you can sign up for, if you like. I liked, and if you are interested in writing prompts inspired by the photography prompts, check out my daily series on my writing blog, Meg Wolfe Writes. That’s for the month of August. I’m getting the hang of posting them on other social media too, and longing for the day it feels like second nature. I’m liking Instagram–it gives you all sorts of tweaks to make a lousy photo more interesting!
There’s been visits with my mother and my granddaughter, get-togethers with the kids, but no trips to the beach or to Chicago. In fact, we haven’t been to Chicago since last September and we’re not renewing our Art Institute membership. But getting to watch the baby grow and interact more and more each week has been great fun. All the work on the garden last summer has paid off, too, with a lush and quiet outdoor room we enjoy during coffee breaks and even an occasional meal. In time, all this will change, the routine will be a little more “cluttered,” with more going on–good things, even.
But for now, it couldn’t get simpler. Is your summer a simple one?