children, editing, Family, school, seasons, writing

Falling Into October

Some days it’s hard to believe we’ve been in our new house, new life for a month already–but most days it feels like we’ve been here forever. Which can make it tricky when we are trying to figure out why we’re so tired, or suddenly so cranky with each other. “Oh, right,” we remind ourselves. “We moved a month ago.”

People ask us if we miss the seminary life. No, not really. We miss our friends there, obviously–but we’re so close we can have them over for meals (in a proper dining room, huzzah!) or get together for tea or meet up at a park if we want to. Admittedly, we haven’t done much of that yet, but that’s more due to the fact that we’ve had house guests off and on for the last three weeks than anything else.

The girls and I have started our Thursday classes–they take Latin and Science in the mornings while I get writing done, and then I teach American Lit, then we have lunch and come home. It’s been marvelous. Not only are they getting a fun class experience and I am getting two straight hours of writing time out of it, I’ve discovered that I’m actually pretty good at teaching! Or, as Grace put it: “Your first class was really boring, Mom, but all of them after that have been a lot of fun.” What can I say, it took me that first class to figure out what I was doing.

We finished reading Johnny Tremain this past week and will be starting The Sign of the Beaver after break. The kids are all in agreement that parts of JT were interesting, but it started out too slow and none of them feel like reading it again for fun–“Not like the Harry Potter books,” one student said. (“Actually, I think Harry Potter is kind of boring,” said Joy. “But I might like them when I’m a little bit older,” she generously admitted.) I loved having conversations with them about the book and their impressions of it, and especially loved their responses to some of the assignments (the letters they wrote from book characters to someone outside the city about the events of the Boston Tea Party were hysterical).

As for the writing, that’s proceeding at a snail’s pace (when does it ever not?), but it does progress. I finished the major rewrite of Candles in the Dark (remember that? Remember the novella I was supposed to publish in June? Hahahahasob it’s coming, I promise) this past Thursday, sent it to my betas, and am now trying to figure out if I should start editing the short story collection I was supposed to publish in July (guys, I am SO BAD at deadlines) or get back to the next Whitney & Davies novel, which I had optimistically hoped to publish in September.

I think I need to stop planning on getting projects finished in the summer.

And mostly, we’ve been enjoying living life, instead of surviving it. We climbed Mt Monadnock recently, tomorrow we go apple picking, we’ve been able to have various family members out without them having to stay in a hotel, we’re working on the gardens out front, we’ve walked to the library once a week …

Our year of rest is still off to a good start.

5 thoughts on “Falling Into October”

  1. I love this. I love the peace permeating through every word as I read this. My dear friend, YOU needed this year. I imagine the girls and Carl have as well. I’m glad you are all enjoying your classes. You don’t seem nearly as stressed as you did in previous years.

    Sometimes it’s very hard to enjoy living life, instead of surviving it. Sometimes I feel like we just barely survive it, and I think back to God’s commands all throughout the OT for Sabbath. There’s of course the day of rest, but there are months and YEARS of rest as well, because God knows that we need them and can’t do our best work for His kingdom when we’re just surviving each day.

    I have missed hearing from you so much on social media friend, but I’m thrilled you are enjoying and resting in this time.

    1. The outrage culture that permeates most of Twitter abruptly got to be Too Much for me; I had to take a step back. I still check it once in a while to see if anyone’s directed a tweet at me, but I’m mostly mum there. I’m pretty sure that decision is directly contributing to my sense of peace these days–but I do miss the communication with friends.

      As for stress, I don’t even think I realized HOW stressed I was in the seminary years until we were out of them. Now I’m looking back and seeing how much grace we were given just to survive them.

  2. Hi!
    Really love reading your newsletter and enjoy seeing the photos. So happy you all climbed Mt. Monadnock! It is the perfect first climb. I remember my younger brother climbing it with my family when he was 8 years old. I’m so pleased you are enjoying your home and teaching and writing. Sounds wonderful and of course exhausting!
    Blessings to all of you,

  3. Deadlines are overrated. There’s a reason for the “dead” in that word… :)
    And I concur with what Adrienne and Nancy said – so lovely to hear all of this. And such gorgeous pictures.

  4. What a lovely, peaceful post! And hurrah for regular writing time! It’s amazing the kind of progress you can make when you have just a little bit of time each week that you can count on :)

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