Vacation – CoronaLife Day 481

Since summer requires a vacation of some sort, I am taking this week off.

Everyone enjoy yourselves and stay safe!

I’ll be back next week.

Just Beachy! 2019

This week I have no writing post ready–although I have managed to get through editing about 7,500 words this week. And the reason I have no writing post is because I am on vacation.





Beautiful sunsets. Waves on the beach. Barefoot walks in the sand. Ahh.

So me and my gal and my extended family are having some down time, away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. I am not a big beach person, but I do love being near the water. I find it relaxing and therapeutic.






Where do you go to take a break from the crazy world we live in?

August Days: Lazy Yet Anticipatory

This time next week, my daughter will be back in school. The last lazy days of summer are winding their way past us.

Gone will be the days of sleeping in, reading for hours, spending afternoons in the park, and taking long evening walks as the sun lingers in the sky. Play dates, vacations, and excursions to interesting places and events will be replaced by early bedtime, homework, and normal extracurricular activities.

Also gone will be the days where writing time is scarce and schedules are a fantasy. As much as I cherish my summer days with my gal, I will be relieved to have my structure back. I work best with a routine, and that is brought home to me every summer vacation.

I have several projects I am dying to dive into, but I need some concentrated time to do the necessary revisions. I also have some non-writing projects that I have let slide over the summer that I want to re-energize.

The end of summer is always bittersweet. A time of enjoying the easy pace of summer and time with my girl, but also a time if looking forward to a return to productivity and focus.

Do you look forward to the end of summer?

Summer Reading 2018

A lot of people associate reading with summer, perhaps because we all have this vision of summer somehow being a more relaxed or leisurely time of year. Calling certain types of novels “beach reads” is a prime example of the summer reading mentality. Plus, many people have more time in summer to read, as this is traditionally a popular vacation time. People read while kicking back at their destination, and while they travel to get there. I don’t get much reading done on vacation, since my 8-year-old keeps me hopping!

It’s been an “indoor” summer here. We have had several heat waves, and now the rain greets us every day. Hot, muggy, and rainy—staying indoors is preferable. And reading is a great indoor activity, especially when you are trying to stay away from screen-time (or keep your child away from the screen).

My daughter has a summer reading contest through school (and the library). She’s coming up on 120 books read this summer. I don’t think she will match her total from last year (316), but that’s to be expected. She’s reading longer books, so it’s taking longer to finish them.

In my summer reading, I’ve actually read a lot of the books my daughter is reading, because I’m not looking for long, heavy reads right now (and I like to see what she’s reading). I did also join an online book club. Our first book was Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, a novel about a young woman coming of age during WWII. We’re now discussing our second book, Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean, a nonfiction about the death penalty in America. Quite a wide range of topics in this group! But that’s okay, I joined in part to read outside my usual genres.

On the whole, my summer reading habits don’t vary much from my regular reading habits. Do you find that you read more, less, or the same in the summer as in the rest of the year?

Blog-cation: A lazy week

This week I am taking the week off. My daughter is finally done school, so we are hanging out and relaxing for a bit. I’ll be back next week, as usual! Meanwhile, enjoy the view.

The Best of The Goose’s Quill 2016

As 2016 winds to a close, I take a look back and see what Goose’s Quill posts resonated with my readers the most. I often get surprised! Here are the top 20 of the year:

  1. Productivity and Expectations
  1. A Clean-Out Vacation
  1. Summer Slump: Is it September Yet?
  1. Gans Family Reunion 2016: Blood is Thicker than Water
  1. Beta Readers: A Vital Part of the Process
  1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  1. The Best of the Goose’s Quill 2015
  1. Research and Citations: Save Time, Get it Right from the Start
  1. The Dread Synopsis
  1. Book Launch! But What to Read?
  1. Critique Groups: A Resource Worth Having
  1. Book Fair Magic: Casting a Reading Spell
  1. Evolution of a Speaker: From Wrecked to Relaxed
  1. A Successful, Grateful Book Launch for The Witch of Zal
  1. My First Author Panel: The Student Becomes the Teacher
  1. Learning to Excel: Spreadsheets and Writing
  1. How To Cope With Book Launch Anxiety
  1. My Biggest Takeaway: 2016 Philadelphia Writer’s Conference
  1. Musings on Grief and Comfort

And my #1 read post of 2016:

  1. The Witch of Zal Book Trailer

Thank you everyone for reading The Goose’s Quill! Have a safe and Happy New Year, and I will see you in 2017!

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A Clean-Out Vacation

My 6-year-old daughter is away on vacation, so I have 10 days to myself. So am I lounging around the house all day, reading, writing, daydreaming?


I am cleaning the house like a maniac.

I don’t know if all 6-year-olds are like this, but mine is like a hoarder. Every scrap of paper, every plastic fast-food toy, every empty toilet paper roll apparently has sentimental value, so throwing it away in her presence precipitates an emotional meltdown. Piles of junk accumulate, stuffed in corners and closets and dressers.

My daughter, while a pack rat, is very good at being neat about it. She manages to pack a HUGE amount of detritus into a small space. Every box, every bag, every cup or bucket I found brimmed with these questionable treasures. And yet, her room seemed tidy at first glance. The living room (which doubles as a play room) appeared spacious. (The picture below was after I had moved some things into the living room from her bedroom.) But her room has a large closet, and the living room was artfully arranged so the dollhouses blocked the view of the “storage.”

Living Room Before Vacation Cleaning

Living Room Before

Combined, it took me 9 hours to sort through and clean up those 2 rooms.

I am not an unfeeling person. I understand the urge to keep all the things. I have a bit of the pack rat in me, too. So my cleaning is not dumping willy-nilly. I do actually look at every piece of paper, and every toy (albeit quickly) and decide if my child will look for it when she comes home. Did this item mean something special to her? To me? To her dad? The items that hadn’t seen the light of day for months got pitched, the rest sorted and saved.

Thus the 9 hours.

Living Room After Vacation Cleaning

Living Room After

After 5 days of cleaning, I am now at the end. The house is about 50 pounds lighter (seriously, I took 7 bags of trash and 2 loads of recycle to the curb this week), and much neater. I don’t think the house has been this clean since we moved in. The inside of the fridge blinded me when I looked in. I can see my desk in my office. An avalanche does not swamp me when I open my daughter’s closet. The whole space seems both lighter and brighter.

I dislike cleaning, but I do love the instant gratification it gives. You clear a space, and it’s clear. You dust something, and it shines. You vacuum and the carpet doesn’t have those annoying little flecks on it. Everything is in order.

Order doesn’t happen often in this world.

I plan to spend the rest of my vacation writing. Then my young one will come barreling in the front door and chaos will rule again—and I will be glad.

Are you an everyday clean fiend or a marathon cleaner like me?




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