What I'm Into: April 2014
It’s 90 degrees today, and I’m wearing shorts and drinking iced coffee. California has spoken – it’s summertime. April was a lovely month and I’m sad to see it go. Here’s a few highlights.
What I’m reading:
Found: A Story of Questions, Grace & Everyday Prayer, by Micha Boyett – I finally opened this one just a few days ago, after celebrating with Micha at her launch party in San Francisco the beginning of the month. Chapter One has already broke me. “It’s a lovely thought, that God’s grace might extend even into my own prayerlessness, that God might take my meager offering of child-rearing and turn it into prayer, despite my lack of spiritual discipline,” she writes. I can’t wait to read more.
Holy Ghost Girl: A memoir, by Donna M. Johnson – This book is just WOW. That’s my really sophisticated literary review. Johnson’s prose is subtle, beautiful, and graceful. As a recovering Pentecostal, I related so much to Johnson’s memories of tent revival culture. But her book is so much more than that. It’s the story of a messy, a broken childhood, and a community of people living in absolute faith.
Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us: A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected, by Jessica Page Morrell. My writing isn’t getting rejected, mostly because I haven’t submitted it yet – but this book does give a great refresher for good writing and plot techniques from an agent’s perspective. The “deal breakers” sections are especially handy, in which Morrell lists common mistakes that agents and editors don’t look past.
Other Book, by Undisclosed Author – I read another book this month, and I won’t give the title because I am really careful about giving a book a negative review. All I’m going to say is I looked forward to reading this book and it was just not what I expected. It’s funny how mad a disappointing book can be make us, isn’t it? If I watch a bad movie, I’m like, “yeah that movie sucked.” But if I read a bad book – especially if I finish it – I’m angry for days. I don’t even know why I’m telling you this, other than it feels a little cathartic.
Where I’ve been going:
Gilroy Gardens is a horticulturally-themed amusement park almost literally in my backyard. We have season passes, so we’ve been going every week. Baby G is just starting to enjoy some of the rides, and I love all the botanical gardens. Everyone wins.
How I celebrated my birthday:
Yes, I turned 27 this month. I was born on Easter morning, so every few years I get to share my birthday with Easter weekend, which is always a lot of fun. This year, my parents came to visit and we went to the ocean, where we dined at Phil’s Fish Market with the seagulls.
Then my parents stayed home with the G-monster and Joe and I went out to the new wine bar down the street. Gilroy is a small, sleepy town, so we are pretty thrilled at the addition of a wine bar to downtown. Delicious wine, a grand piano, exposed brick walls, crab cakes – for a minute I thought we were in a swanky big city.
How I spent a Saturday:
Getting my raised beds all planted with herbs and veggies, thanks to an early birthday present from Joe’s parents. Tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, garlic, onions, beans, snap peas, cantaloupe, basil, oregano, mint, lettuce. Who wants to come over this summer?
Where I traveled:
Seattle! My first trip away from Baby G. I missed her – isn’t that what we are supposed to say? – but my longing to kiss the top of her head did NOT interfere with my fun. I had a great visit with Julie, my dear friend of twelve years. One highlight of the trip was meeting Rachel Held Evans at Seattle First Baptist for a lunch and lecture series. Julie and I are wrestling with similar doubts, questions, and anger at this stage in our lives, so hearing the RHE speak gave us plenty to unpack and process the remainder of the weekend. For those of you who haven’t met RHE in person, I have to tell you how lovely and personable she comes across.
It’s kind of weird how Julie and I are in a similar place right now. It made our visit a bit more intense than usual. We spent a lot of time wondering what happened to the godly girls of our teens and early 20s. One minute we’d be nostalgic for the days of easy answers, and the next we’d be be angry at how we were once so brainwashed and repressed. I am glad to have friends in this with me.
And because I know you’re wondering, RHE is an introvert and loves trashy reality TV.
*I am resentful of how giant my head looks in this picture.
What were you up to in April?
This post is a part of Leigh Kramer’s “What I’m Into” monthly linkup. Check out the other posts and add your own here.