Friday miscellany: Nashville, novels, etc.

Happy Friday everyone! This has been a productive week so far, if a cold one!

I flew to Nashville on Sunday for business. While I was there I took some extra time to think about my next non-fiction book. I am quite taken with the “Tranquility by Tuesday” title, and my collection of time management rules, but it won’t just feature straight up time makeovers. I am enjoying running those here, but what works in a blog post doesn’t always work in a book that needs a unifying theme and a longer narrative arc. Anyway, always good to spend some time doing strategic thinking!

In my mind, before I flew to Nashville, I was thinking “oh, Tennessee in November, it’s not going to be that cold. I wonder if I even need my coat?” Then I looked at the weather prediction: snow and getting down to 17 degrees. Whoa! A hat and gloves went in the bag too. I woke Tuesday morning to a light dusting — and stayed inside much of the day.

I did make a pilgrimage to Parnassus Books — famed independent bookstore — while I was there. I buttoned my coat as best as I could. That means the two top buttons and then letting my belly hang out. As you can imagine, this looks ridiculous. I had been resisting ordering a maternity coat because, well, I don’t like spending money, particularly for something that I’m only going to wear for 9 weeks. But I chose one from Seraphine that has an attachment you can use to button your newborn into the coat as a carrier, so maybe I’ll get some more use out of it. Also, someone pointed out to me that this was the sort of thing I could probably have asked for on a local parents’ Facebook group; no doubt someone else has a used maternity coat sitting in her closet. Oh well. I’ll donate or pass along mine for sure.

I kept up my pace of devoting an hour a day to editing my novel. I am tentatively calling this one “The Norwegian Secret to Enjoying Winter” (also the title of a non-fiction post I wrote  a few years ago). Halfway through the month, I have now hacked my way through the manuscript once. I actually kind of…like it. It’s a book I would enjoy reading. However, I’m not sure how many other people will; it doesn’t fit easily into any genres. At some point I probably need to get some test readers and see if they throw the manuscript across the room. If they do…well… there is still something to be said for writing for an audience of one.

On Thursday, I recorded two episodes of Best of Both Worlds, and 5 episodes of Before Breakfast. I’m trying to get ahead on both of these for taking a break in January/February. We’re recording an episode next week on our 2020 goals…which means I need to sit down and think about my 2020 goals!

I turned in an article for a major publication on why we’re fascinated with large families. My Medium column this week argues that “Weeknight Family Dinner Won’t Make or Break Your Children.

Since I know I have some readers with high school aged children, I’m passing along news of one of the best scholarships out there. Years ago, I helped Jan and Bob Davidson write a book called Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds. Every year their foundation gives large scholarships to young people doing great work. You can learn more here. And here’s the blurb, below:

2020 Davidson Fellows $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 Scholarships

The Davidson Institute offers high-achieving young people across the country the opportunity to be named a 2020 Davidson Fellow, an honor accompanied by a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box. Applicants must submit an original piece of work that is recognized as significant by experts in the field and that has the potential to make a positive contribution to society. The scholarship may be used at any accredited college or university. The 2020 application opens November 20 and the deadline to apply is February 12, 2020.


9 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Nashville, novels, etc.

  1. I was the recipient of a hand-me-down maternity jacket. I never ended up wearing it as i was due in March and my bump wasn’t big enough to necessitate a maternity jacket in the winter. But I’ve held onto it in case I’m pregnant in the winter for the next baby. If I don’t need it, it’s something I’ll definitely pass along through a facebook group (along with allll my maternity stuff – I can’t wait to get rid of that bin of stuff).

    I’d love to go to Parnassus Books. I’m a bit fan of Anne Patchett’s work. I can’t wait to read The Dutch House!

    1. @Susan – the book with the Norwegian title is a novel, so presumably if people are willing to read novels, they don’t mind thinking about other climates! The non-fiction book is the one with the Tranquility by Tuesday title. I am working on two book ideas simultaneously.

      1. @Laura
        A reader from California here – I would love to be a test reader. I grew up with four seasons and get depressed over too much sunshine during the holidays. I’m not a big fiction reader but I seek out books with winter settings this time of the year so your novel sounds just perfect.

  2. *Raising hand to be a test reader!!!*

    Also, I feel your pain with spending on maternity outerwear. I had winter babies (December and January) and never purchased a maternity coat because it seemed so wasteful! Good that you got over it – and next you can donate the coat to someone who can’t afford it. Overall win.

  3. I never owned a maternity coat. I only have one winter baby and I new he was the last one so I just muddled through. I definitely spent January 2016 with my pregnant belly sticking out below my top two buttons. I also felt like I was so HOT all the time at that point that even if it was < 32 degress, I sort of liked having my coat open.

  4. I love the Norwegian winter article and am looking forward to the book! We started the jolabokaflod tradition in our house last year – on Christmas Eve we exchange books among the 7 of us. We talked about it all year and can’t wait for the next round.

  5. I had a woolen cape and wore it through the cold months before your brother was born in February in St. Andrews’ Scotland. I guess I wore it after that too. Wonder what ever happened to it?

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