My heart is full. I'm feeling rather like Anne from Anne of Avonlea, who loves new horizons and dreaming and a bright vista of thought and feeling in front of her. We stayed up until midnight on Friday watching it. There's so much kindred spirit in Anne. I don't have sudden bursts of frank indignation, but I do think life has so much to offer and love. I'm also a teacher and a writer. And I love her costumes in Anne of Avonlea.
But I wouldn't want to iron them.
Lark Rise to Candleford
A couple of weeks ago I picked up Lark Rise to Candleford from the Main Library. Lark Rise is about a small village and even smaller hamlet--full of people who love, who sin, who work hard and help their neighbors, who have family and find family, all in this delightful 19th century British atmosphere. Ask about the episode where they bring the harvest in and the measles come to Lark Rise. It's absolutely golden stuff. Lark Rise is one of those series you have to pick and choose. Some plots are based around superstition that borders on potions and spells, and I don't feel comfortable with that sort of thing. But other episodes are full of regluar adventures with a dash of warmth and kindness, and they're so inspirational.
Season 4 is really golden so far. I love the costumes. I love Gabriel Cochran who lost his wife and his business and is trying to build new relationships again. His character is wise, and the actor is so able to pull off eyes full of deep feeling and thoughtfulness. I love Miss Lane's hair and dresses. I love Minnie, trying to figure out her feelings towards Alf and his towards her, and her dear accent. And in season 4/episode 4, where there's a pig roast and a grand bonfire night, I love how Daniel tells Laura not to be afraid of the future, how he smiles and looks after her and they act like I've seen people who love each other. I love bonfire nights and dreaming of the future and a kindred spirit close by to share the moment with.
Sis and I have been two months strong on an exercise program since the beginning of the year. It has nothing to do with books, but it's something that's happening lately and it's so fun. Cassey Ho has free calendars (We spent the month of January doing the 30-minute workout twice a week, and now we do the beginner calendar 3x a week.) I love the cheerfulness. The fact that I don't need weights or equipment, but it's feasible for what I have right now. At first, it was confusing to figure out how to breathe right and how to do the moves, but now I'm getting the hang of it. And I love the sense of being able to do something to care for and strengthen my body. It feels good to hurt after a hard workout. It feels good to sweat, and have someone show you what to do, and strengthen your body, and sit up one morning and feel like you actually have ab muscles. When I make it to 3 months I'm going to treat myself to Celtic Thunder X with my Christmas money and try to have a reward every 3 months after that. If you're taking a look at the program, there is some immodesty to navigate on the social media channels, and once in a while, she'll misuse God's Name, which I don't like. But overall it's clean, I'd recommend it for girls who need a coach to work out with, and it's filled a spot I really needed (a personal trainer) on the budget I had to work with (nothing). Being able to have direction and challenge has been such a joy this year, and I love feeling healthier.
Outlining Folkestone Files #2
Over the past few weeks, I've been outlining the sequel to War of Loyalties like crazy, fitting together plots, having aha! moments, and listening to lots and lots of A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman. Somehow it sounds like a song that fits one of the characters, and I think it keeps Melancholic Schuyler from listening to sad songs and plotting under their influence. The action is so much tighter than the planning process for the first book, and it's so fun to think over the story without muddling through thousands of words to try to figure it out. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence. I hate planning. But I am finding that I love a story summary, and I want to try it for more books if it helps me write this one well. Maybe this is the sweet spot I've wanted all along--and since I'm taking on more tutoring and will need to use my time even more wisely, I like learning a new process to make that productivity happen.
God has been so kind. He is kind even when life feels dark, but I am enjoying the sunshine. I have meltdown days. I still struggle with anxiety. But my heart is learning and growing and expanding. I'm studying things with friends and reading and thinking and writing and I feel like I am exercising my gifts in the spot he has me in right now. Life is crammed full of Romans, and writing short stories by hand, teaching and house help, devotions over breakfast and tearing up over Little Women dramatized as I drive to work.
I do not mind bends in the road. But this is a stretch of road I am content to linger in for now.
this post fueled by "when you're with me" by the afters. give it a listen if you want some warm fuzzies.