Hello Monday

Hello to a new week! I had a quiet and relatively restful weekend and am so ready to start a new week. My notebook is set up and ready to be covered in another week’s worth of activities and our homeschooling schedule is filled to the brim; I have ideas to take to the library on Thursday that I’m excited to get started on. My “happy to-do” list is larger than my “have to-do” list and that is a very nice change!

This week is forecasted to be cool (in the mid-70s) and partly cloudy – perfect for reading under the maple tree. And probably most importantly: the hummingbirds are back. I’ve had two sightings and Matthew has picked up their tiny chirp on his Merlin app. Sitting at my desk early in the morning while they zoom in for tiny sips from the feeder is a summer highlight for me! Today’s blog post is just a small round up of thoughts on writing and reading. I hope that focusing on these things at the beginning of the week will get me going on the right track!


Last Friday I wrote about seeking time for reading and writing. I have been tracking the time I spend writing since the beginning of 2022 and have discovered that I spend more time here at my desk than I would give myself credit for. A rough estimate would be about an hour a day, most of it before 6am, which isn’t too shabby for my current purposes. Of course, there are days when I don’t wake up early enough to sit at all but those days happen less often than I think.

So here’s my self-reminder: Just do the best you can. Show up to your desk when you’re able and let the other mornings go. It all evens out in the end. And those semi-frequent afternoon naps while turning on the TV for the kids? They’re okay too. So are the afternoon espressos.


I couldn’t help myself and ordered Yellowface on Saturday. It arrived Sunday evening and I started it almost immediately. Dear readers – it is so much fun! I’m only about 50 pages in, but my jaw has dropped so many times. In this novel, June Hayward steals a nearly completed manuscript written by her frenemy, Athena Liu, after she dies. After putting her finishing touches on it, Hayward submits the document to her own agent who goes wild about it. Throughout the editing process, Liu’s vision of writing about Chinese racism throughout WWI becomes diluted and whitewashed – all while Hayward justifies her own appropriation of Liu’s original words and ideas. And this is all in the first 50 pages! I cannot wait to see what else happens.

Kuang’s writing is sharp, hip, and speaks to our time. If you read Babel, then you already know how well she can take a small kernel and create a whole world around it. In Babel, she challenged racism within the academic world. Yellowface is her takedown of the publishing industry and I am here for it!

I didn’t want to spend any money on books until the Booker list is released this summer, but this felt urgent. And I don’t regret a cent!

I hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready to go this morning. Tell me: how was your own weekend? Are you reading anything you’d like to share with me? How is your writing going? I’d love to catch up with you in the comments and via email. I’m planning to be back on Wednesday with a reading update. Take good care!


22 thoughts on “Hello Monday

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  1. What a great way to start the week! Makes me feel like jumping right in, too. “Yellow Face” sounds like quite a romp. Enjoy! I just finished reading “Patternmaster” by Octavia Butler. Liked it but didn’t love it. However, I was glad to have finally read something by this important writer.


    1. I REALLY enjoyed Yellowface, Laurie. I’m still thinking about it! I haven’t finished anything by Octavia Butler (I’ve abandoned everything I’ve tried!). Good for you for sticking it out even though you didn’t LOVE it. She was such a trailblazer!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s funny how some authors speak to us and others don’t. While I didn’t love Patternmaster, I did like it enough to finish it. Now I’m struggling with The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Engdahl. Interesting concept of how humanity on other planets either destroy themselves or head out into space. But the writing is so stuffy and there’s far too much explaining. I’m halfway through, and somehow quitting doesn’t seem quite right.


  2. So glad you wrote 6am and no more 4am starts. You do what you can and when you can, and love each day. After a busy week in the garden I slept too long and have ground to a halt today. That’s life.


    1. Oh, Cathy! My alarms start going off at 3:30am!! There would be no blog if I couldn’t wake up before everyone else and this is my MOST important personal project. But occasional afternoon naps have been so helpful!!

      I hope you’re resting up! I agree — that’s just how it goes sometimes!


  3. I’m amazed you are awake enough to write that much before 6 a.m., but I suppose you are a morning person. I can’t put together much that’s coherent until I’ve had my coffee, which I why I usually blog after breakfast.

    Our weekend was a mixed bag (very wet Saturday, gorgeous sunny Sunday), so I got stuff done indoors when it was raining and we planted the rest of our garden yesterday. I finished an audiobook (The Magician’s Assistant) and started a new ARC (The Centre). Most importantly, I got caught up on sleep and spent quality time with my family.


    1. I am totally a morning person! For me, there’s nothing better than a hot cup of coffee before the sun comes up. And easing into the morning with my journal is helpful too 🙂

      I love weekends that are half funny, half rainy. That was ours, too! It seems like it’s the best of both worlds. I’m glad that yours was a good mix of productive and restful!


  4. My weekend was quiet and lovely. I needed that after a week of being in my office every single day! Whew! We are further south than you by quite a bit, but have not yet seen or heard hummingbirds. Of course, they tend to come when the trumpet vine is in bloom and not before.


  5. I’ll have to check out Yellowface. It sounds really good! I had a calming weekend- a lot of time spent knitting and puttering around at home, just the way I like it!


  6. I have not yet seen any hummingbirds… patience is not my strong suit, lol. BUT! I have seen Yellow Warbler’s several mornings! They are so fun!

    I will be raising my espresso your way in the afternoons… it is the most delightful afternoon sip!


  7. I went to a book festival this weekend and heard a story about racism in publishing that happened to one of the authors – basically he was told to change the name of his main characters that was too “black” and told that having that name wouldn’t sell books. !!!!! It’s shocking that this stuff still happens.


    1. SO shocking! I think you’ll enjoy Yellowface if you decide to pick it up, Sarah. It is full of juicy tidbits in the publishing world – fascinating!


  8. yay for Happy-to-do lists and afternoon espressos! Yellowface arrived for me, too, and I’m going to wait until June to start. I’m still finishing up the Women’s Prize (started POD) and have a few library books to pick up and finish this month. Very curious to see which book wins the Booker International prize tomorrow. Have a great week!


    1. I am in awe of your ability to keep your TBR on track. I had to stop everything for Yellowface!! I can’t wait until you read it 🙂

      I was excited to see Time Shelter win the International booker. Now I just have to actually read it!!


  9. Hello, I found your blog by way of another blog 🙂 I’m a writer and a reader, so this looks like a place I might want to visit. Currently reading Where the Waves Turn Back and enjoying it. I’m also a fellow homeschool (veteran) mom. I graduated my two sons in 2011 and 2017. Have a great week 🙂


    1. Hi Debbie, welcome!! It looks like we have a lot in common and I love learning from other homeschooling veterans. I can’t wait to get to know you better!


  10. I think tracking writing time is a good idea. I’m going to give it a try and see where it leads. Inspired by you, I am setting my alarm a little earlier to capture a little quiet morning time. Hurray for “happy-to-do” list. You have the best ideas. Now and then I make an early afternoon latte – decaf. It’s a nice pick up. I’m currently creating my summer reading list which is always fun.


    1. Thanks, Jane. I use the stopwatch feature on my watch and start/restart it whenever I sit down at my desk. It’s not a perfect system because I often forget to start it and sometimes forget to stop it when I get up, but it works well enough 🙂

      Summer TBRs are the best! I can’t wait to see what’s on the agenda!


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