Well, hello there.

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”

Surprise! I bet you all thought you’d never see a post from me again, right? I certainly don’t blame you. The fact that it’s been over two months since the last time I sat down to write in this space … well, honestly, it makes me sad. I’ve genuinely loved keeping up with this blog over the past six and a half years, and I’ve missed it – and you guys! – so much. It’s been such a strange year so far, both busy and trying at the same time, but I’m really hoping to get back into a regular blogging schedule now. I figured I’d begin with an update post of sorts, so …

What I’m Writing: I finished the first draft of my WIP last Tuesday, and oh my gosh, did I have such a great time with it. The ending of a novel is always my favorite part to write. There’s such a unique kind of magic about it, this sense of possibility and hope and inspiration all tied into one. Melina and Bradley’s story has been a delight to tell. I’m so proud of them for how far they’ve come and how much they’ve risked. The book may be about an election, but it’s not a candidate who ended up as the biggest winner — it’s me, for having the chance to hang out with these characters and go on their journeys with them. I’m taking a little time off right now, but I already can’t wait to dive into revisions. There are a lot to make, and I’m so very excited to jump in.

What I’m Reading: I haven’t had nearly as much time to read lately as I would’ve liked, but I did manage to squeeze in a couple great books. Katherine Center’s HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS and Sarah McCoy’s THE MAPMAKER’S CHILDREN top the list of my favorites so far this year. They are beautifully written, evocative and inspiring and emotional. I’m not surprised, because these two talented ladies are always on my “must read” list. Right now, I’m in the middle of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS, which I’m very much enjoying, and next up is Sarah Pekkanen’s THINGS YOU WON’T SAY.

What I’m Listening To: Rachel Platten’s EP is on repeat lately – and it seems I’m not the only one who adores her music, because her single “Fight Song” hit #1 on the iTunes chart! I am so, so thrilled for her. It’s crazy to think that the same person I used to help sell merchandise for is now taking the world by storm – but I’m not at all surprised, because she is super talented and deserves every bit of this success. Her story is one that constantly serves as an encouragement to me. After working so hard at her dreams for thirteen years, after refusing to give up on herself and choosing to keep fighting and keep believing, those dreams are finally her reality. You’d better believe I use her story as an inspiration to keep writing my own!

What I’m Marveling At: Earlier this month, I had my ten year college reunion. I honestly can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s been a decade. It was so nice to be back on campus again for the evening and to spend time with some of my favorite AUers — proof that, even though so many things change, so many others stay the same.

What I’m Wishing For: My heart is positively yearning to be at the shore. We always go for a week in June, but it didn’t work out this year — probably the time we needed it most, after the six months we’ve had, but hey, what can you do? My fingers are crossed that we’ll be able to make it down there for a little bit at the end of the summer, at least. I miss it fiercely and would do just about anything to feel the ocean air kissing my cheeks again.

What I’m Loving: This little guy right here. I adore my sweet jellybean. He’s my love bun and my furry best friend. Adopting him is the best thing I’ve ever done, and I am so grateful for the wonderful Luv-N-Bunns people it’s brought into my life. It’s a joy to work with them and to play even a small role in helping the bunnies.

Now tell me … what have you been up to lately?!


12 thoughts on “Well, hello there.

  1. Boy, am I happy to see a post from you! I figured you were wrapped up in writing, but I was getting worried. Glad to see that things are better. I’m sorry you can’t make it out to the shore, but I hope you are able to find some summer fun- you deserve it!

    • You’re so sweet. Thank you! It was a combination of being wrapped up in writing and just having a tough time with what life was throwing our way. Fingers crossed there’s a light at the end of that tunnel now. :) It’ll probably be a mainly work-oriented/stay at home summer, but I am going to Idina Menzel’s concert next month, so that should be fun!

    • Thank you! And yes – my friends and I sold her merchandise at a few of her shows around here! I’ve loved her music since 2011 and am so excited that she’s finally getting the big break she deserves!

  2. Welcome back, Shari! *cheers* And CONGRATS on finishing the WIP! Can’t wait to hear even more about it (and hopefully read it) soon! I’ll be emailing you back this week sometime, too. :)

  3. We missed you too! <3 I really hope you enjoy THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS, because I loved it. And man, the joy with which you talk about your writing always makes me smile. Thank you for bringing that light to my day. :)

    • Aww — we’re even then, because your comment made me smile, too. Thank you! :) Oh, and I am loving the book! I’m about halfway through and can’t wait to see what happens next! It’s the kind of book that makes me wish I could just sit and read all day!

  4. Congrats on finishing the first draft of your newest book!

    I love Rachel Platten’s song! It’s good that you use her story as inspiration! It does sound inspirational!

    Ten year college reunion?! Ah, that sounds crazy to imagine! Although, if we had a reunion, this year would be my ten year high school reunion and that’s hard to imagine too! lol.

    I hope you get to spend some time at the shore this summer! Maybe later in July or August you’ll get to go for a week or two?

    Jasper is so cute! :)

    • Thank you! I have a lot of work ahead of me in revisions, but even so, it really was such fun to write the first draft. I’m looking forward to jumping back in next week.

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can go for a week in August (my sister teaches dance at a summer camp, so we have to wait until that’s over). I was in Ocean City for awhile on Sunday, and though it was lovely, six hours didn’t feel like nearly enough!

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