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Reading, Writing & Rocking Out!

Hello Dear Reader!

It’s been a hot minute since I've blogged. I’ve had some ups and downs (mainly ups) and I thought I’d share some of the happenings from the last couple of weeks.

The weekend of March 22, I was supposed to go to Chicago for a writer’s conference (Friday-Sunday), but the weather decided to take a turn and we got a dump of sloppy snow. I decided I just didn’t want to risk it with the roads. It can get nasty when it’s this type of snow. I woke up Friday morning and thought, “I’m going to be lazy today!” But, I ended up writing a new book! I wrote a large part of the book on the weekend and then tweaked it through Thursday. The working title is, “The Phoenix Club” and it’s a survival guide for widows and widowers (something I know a little bit about).

On Thursday, March 28, it was my birthday so I had Thursday and Friday off of work. I drove to my parent’s house in Cedarburg and met my friend Adie for a fun-filled 24 hours. It’s never enough time, but it’s always quality time with her and even a day is a blessing.

On the way to my folks’ house, I called Simon, my editor, to see what he thought of the book I just sent him. He said he thought it was fantastic and I might have a shot at getting it published! Talk about a great birthday present! Simon and I are working on the feasibility of having the book published so I’ll keep you posted on developments. I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m actually very happy that I wrote it because the worse-case scenario is that I self-publish it and hand it out to people that need it. I have people tell me with regularity that they know of a recent widow or widower and they give them my book (“The Liminal Space” is best for recent loss and healing). They will ask me,”What should I tell them?” And I just bow my head because there is a lot to tell them. I know that this is part of my purpose. My friend told me last week – “knowledge is to be given away” – meaning, we have experiences, we learn and we share it with people who need it.

Up next was Ladies Rock Camp! It started on Friday, April 5 and ended with a performance at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI on Sunday, April 7. I missed Friday due to unexpected circumstances, but no worries! I made it on Saturday and they graciously put me with Melissa Kieler’s band “Storm”.

If you haven’t seen Melissa play and sing in Madison and Monroe, you need to check her out. She’s one of my musical heroes because of her courage and patience, not to mention her musical talents. Lo Marie was my guitar teacher and is a spectacular vocalist. She graciously agreed to play with Melissa and Jenna (drummer, guitarist, teacher extraordinaire) on my side project when I sang “Lose Control” by Teddy Swims. I managed to remember all of the words by performance time, but to have them as a backup band is a dream you didn’t know you could dream.

My Storm band of Carell, Amy and Jules were so kind to let me join them on Day 2. Thanks to Beth Kille and Beth Dorn who run camp for encouraging me to still come and that there was a space for me. I’ve said this before, but if you want to be around fun, amazing, multi-talented, kind women for a couple of days, go to camp. Take your friends or family (I’m trying to convince Sydney to go with me!).

There is a Girls Rock Camp in the summer as well. I promise that you will be changed for the better. Thanks to Sydney, Maeve, Kate, Heather and Steve for coming out to see us rock out!

I think because I have attended two residencies now, I finally understand that I can sit down at a desk and write for a while – like a real writer! My desk at home is cluttered and the same one I use when working remote, so I bought an inexpensive desk and chair and added books, a candle, stones, a Bluetooth player, writing dice from Margaret, a lamp, a charger and my iPad with a keyboard from my mom. It’s loud and makes a clickity-clack sound when I type, but I love it.

I set the desk in front of the windows facing the east and the back of my property. This is one of the best ideas I’ve had in a long time. It’s Friday night, I just put a little vase of daffodils on my desk, put some Chad Lawson music on and sat down to write this blog post. It’s a beautiful thing!

I hope you are able to take a few moments for yourself every day. It’s so important. Take care of you for me.

Let’s chat soon.

With affection,

Carrie VS

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