The Redhead Bibliophile

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Finally slowing down…

I have been procrastinating writing lately and I’m not sure why.  I have no outside obligations and I’m not working right now, so I should have plenty of time to write, right?

Well, for some reason, I’m at a loss for words.  I have read many books since I finished internship and graduated with my degree in Information and Library Sciences.  So there are plenty of reviews to write.  But, I hesitate.

Will anyone read what I write?

Does it matter?

I just need to write for myself, right?

I have a book review blog.  I have a memoir blog.  I also have an adoption blog.  There are so many things to write that I don’t know where to start.

Anyone else know what I mean?

So now that I have all the time in the world and the kids are out of school for the summer, I should not have any trouble writing.  But I do.

We are in a new stage of life with kids coming and going and careers changing.  I just have to be patient and see what God has in store for this family.  He has a plan, I just don’t know what it is yet.

In the meantime, I will keep reading, catching up on books I wanted to read while spending six years in college and working.  Hopefully I will stop dwelling and having a pity party and just write.  Because if I don’t now when I have time, I won’t have time when I want to write.

Sorry for the whining, I just wanted to get some thoughts out on the screen and hopefully awaken the sleeping writer inside.

Here’s a picture of one of my very favorite places in the world, The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

My hubby and I in Ireland.

My hubby and I in Ireland.

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Update on Memoir

Well, not a lot, to be perfectly honest.

We spent a week with our family in Germany this summer and I tried to write down everything I heard and saw while we were there. But, most of the conversation was in German and my notes are a bit incomplete.  We are sharing information with the help of other family members. All of us are busy with our daily life and haven’t had time to do much research.

This book is always on my mind and I dream of sitting down and writing away. But, I have my job, school and my family to take care of and this book keeps getting pushed aside. I feel bad that I haven’t been able to write anything at all and I am beginning to wonder if I have enough creativity and writing aptitude to pull it off. My class in Creative Writing didn’t go very well this last semester and it was disappointing to say the least. I was truly too busy to put much effort into writing anything. I tried to write out a scene from the stories I had heard my father-in-law tell, but it didn’t come out well. Makes me wonder if I can do this.

I know family members are counting on me to get this done and written correctly. But I feel time is running out on some of the main characters and getting information from them is getting more and more difficult.

I thought the trip to Germany would help me write the book in it’s entirety when we got home. Silly thought, I know.  I think that the only way to get this done is to take off a full year and do all the research and writing without worrying about school and a job. Right now, that’s not possible and it drives me crazy.  Since Christmas Break is nearly over, I know I won’t be able to do much more on the research for a while.  I get Spring Break off and a two-month summer break in June and July.  I should have good blocks of time to research and write during these breaks.

The good news is that I sincerely want to write this book for the family and for me. It will show me that all of the dreaming I do about being a writer one day and writing a family history that the family approves of, is not just a dream. It can happen. I want to read more memoirs and write a few more. There are more stories to tell, not just my husband’s family’s story.

Well, that’s it for now. Not a lot of information yet, but rest assured, I am working on it. For now, just know my heart and soul is ready to start, I’m just waiting for the opportunity.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of the street signs we saw in Germany while we were touring the places that my husband’s father was born in and grew up in.

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Bout of Books 9.0

Bout of Books

Well, it’s been awhile.  I neglected this blog the last four or five months because I let life get in the way.  I had good reasons, mind you, but I let it happen all the same.

When we got back from Germany, I started a new job the day after we landed at a high school as the Resource Center Specialist and Attendance Clerk.  I was still a bit jet-lagged and unsure the first few days but then I got into the work routine again and time flew by.  A few weeks later, I started four online classes for my Library Sciences Degree.  That took up a good deal of time.  Throw in our daughter’s cheer, dance and school routines with lots of homework (I don’t remember THAT much homework in 6th grade!) along with my mother and our 18 year old son moving out, and now here we are at Christmas Break.  It’s been a crazy few months since our fantastic vacation in July and I forgot how great it was to step back and truly relax.

Let me just say how happy I am I work for a school.  Having two weeks off during Christmas is the best thing ever!  Normally, I would have gone back to work for a few days, taken New Year’s off, and then go back again.  I didn’t realize how great it is to stay home, in my pajamas or sweats, and do what I want to do all day.  How liberating!   I highly recommend it!

So, now that I have had some off-time and finally getting back into reading and blogging again, I thought I would participate in this fun Reading Challenge I saw on one of my favorite blogs, Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile. 

You can find this great blog here: http://www.hopelessbibliophile.com/2013/12/bout-of-books-90.html

You can sign up for this great challenge here: http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/2013/12/bout-of-books-90-sign-up.html

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Here are the details of my challenge:

Time Devoted to Reading:
I will be reading all week.

My Goals:

I plan to read 4 books during the week of January 6th-January 12th, 2014

Books to Read

1.  Finish Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen

2. Finish 11/22/63 by Stephen King

3. Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas by Sarah Palin

4. Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

5. Winners by Danielle Steel- this one I threw in there just in case I have more time!

I will try to update daily, but if not, I will update as I finish each book.

There’s so much more to write about!  My new job, my classes that I did not finish as well as I wanted to, the memoir I still need to write, and other goings-on.  But, that’ll have to wait until next time.

Go check out the Book Challenge!  I can’t wait to get started!

Happy Reading!

Chandra

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Back to life, back to reality…

Well, we’re back from our wonderful trip to Germany.  I came home to a job with a public school working in their library.  I am happy that I have a job, but there was no down time from jet lag to first day, so it’s taken nearly a month to get back up and writing.

I have several book reviews to do.  I had the pleasure of two 10 hour train rides from Munich to Rome and back, so I had time to read.  I will be posting those this week.

We have a family reunion next weekend and I have stories to write down and more family history to research.  I feel like this reunion will be a great opportunity to listen and absorb the rich history of the family.  They all know I am writing a book and I hope they are eager to share their stories.  More on that later.

I start school again after Labor Day.  I am anxious to be done with my degree  but I am happy that I have a creative writing course and children’s and YA literature course.  I think it will be a good semester to get some personal writing done and find more YA titles for my school library.

I also have so much to tell everyone about our trip!  It was so much fun!  For now, I have included some pictures to tide you over.  🙂

 

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria- This is the inspiration for the Disneyland Castle

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ImageOur daughter at the Colosseum in Rome

 

 

 

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Glockenspiel in Munich

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Time flies…

What a week it has been!  Our 18 year old son graduated from high school.  He decided to make it more difficult on himself and had to work hard to pass the math final to graduate.  We were on pins and needles for a few weeks, praying he would pass math class.  I was worried about the announcements that had already been sent out, the money spent on airline tickets by the family to come see him walk across the stage, the party food and cake and his graduation gift.  But, he made it.

It’s just like him to be casual about life.  He has been like that since he was born.  Even before!  I had an easy pregnancy with him and when the day came for him to be born, he was comfortable enough to stay put.  He was not in a rush to come out, he was happy where he was.

After three long days, we were all tired and he was born after an emergency c-section.  Even in the nursery, my little boy only cried once, at the noise the kid next to him was making.  He was a very content baby and toddler.  As long as I was with him, he would go anywhere and do anything.

My husband was in the Navy on a nuclear submarine and was out to sea more than he was home.  My son became my constant companion, my physical reminder of my husband.  It helped to have him with me every day as I missed his daddy.  He looked just like him.

He was such a good kid, being a boy, running around crazy, hitting his head and getting the biggest goose egg on his forehead, falling down the stairs, playing with Hot Wheels and watching Thomas the Train.  Little boy stuff.  He sure loved Winnie the Pooh and Woody from Toy Story.  We lost Woody in a mall when he was 2 and he was heartbroken.  The movies remind us of that time whenever we see them.  It’s funny how the movies have followed us through his life, including the last movie when Andy goes to college.  Even Andy’s dog gets and old and grey, just like our dachshund we still have.  Life imitating art.

I had a great time being his mommy, carrying his Hot Wheels in my purse for years.  Listening to his wild stories from the back seat of the car.  I remember how funny it was to hear him jumping on his bed singing “Everybody wants to be a cat” at the top of his lungs after watching The Aristocats.  It still makes me laugh.  I remember our trip to DisneyWorld after Kindergarten.  He was so happy to get on the plane and to see Mickey Mouse.  We also took him on a Disney Cruise and he played in the kids area with the characters more than he wanted to spend time with us.  His sister was born during first grade and he loved her.  She was a colicky baby and he tried to soothe her whenever he could.  They have grown to love each other, with the typical sibling rivalry and throughout his teenage years.

His teenage years more difficult, but we could tell he was a little more level-headed than some of his friend.  He never broke curfew and hardly every got into trouble, beyond the occasional forgetting his chores or back-talking after a bad day.  He’s been to Germany with his dad and grandfather and he appreciates his family history.  He flew through high school with the usual girlfriends, breakups, friends, and tough assignments.  His love of all things cars has grown into a possible career and will go on to college to train to be a mechanic.

As I sit here and think about how fast it all went, I have nothing but good memories to reflect upon.  He was a great baby, fun little boy and a typical teenager.  He is now a young man with a big future ahead of him.  I treasure the times he still sits with me as we chat about life, girls, cars and schools.  He is our biggest accomplishment to date  and I think we did a good job raising him to be a selfless, caring person that will make him a great husband and father one day, just like his father.  Now, I will have to figure out how to stop being his parent in the sense of watching his every move and guiding him through life.  My husband tells me it’s just something I will have to do, get used to this new way of seeing our son and not protecting him from the big bad world out there.  I think we set him in the right direction, but after that?  It’s going to be a change, no doubt about it.  We won’t see him nearly as often and I will miss him dearly.  But, that’s part of being an adult, he will have to find his way on his own, always knowing he can come home.  Image

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Memoir update

This is the Stehle family:  Oma, Alex, my husband Scott, and our son Blake, four generations in one picture.  This picture was taken two years ago before the Stehle men took their first trip to Germany together.  Oma is no longer with us, but she left a wonderful story behind, and we believe it is our job to make sure the story of the family’s immigration from Germany to the US is told for future generations.  The memoir I am writing will tell their story.  There is so much research to do and facts and details to get right, but with another trip to Germany scheduled this summer, I hope to have a lot of the story by the time we get back.

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I have started with birth, death and marriage dates by researching on Ancestry.com and other sources.  The next step is to develop the questionnaire that will be sent out to the family members that remember their time in Germany and mail them out.  I hope to get some responses back over the summer.  I also need to develop a timeline and do more research on the history of the war and the citizens of Germany.  This is an important story and I want to get it right.

Ancestry research is fun!  Has anyone else tried to find out their family history?  I saw the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” and found it inspiring.  There are so many websites and resources out there and I hope to find and use them all.  The final piece will be to put it all together into a format that people will want to read.  I don’t want it to read like a textbook.  How boring!  It has to be accurate and the family will be the editors of the rough draft I complete.  It’s nerve wracking to have such an important project to complete for so many people.  But as I said, it’s important and I want to do a good job.  It’ll be difficult, but so rewarding.

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Germany trip progress

I mentioned in an earlier post that my husband and I are going to Germany for our 20th anniversary. This trip will also serve as research for the memoir I am writing of the Stehle Family.  So, here’s our progress:

We have purchased airline tickets to Germany, with a short jaunt up to Denver.  Why Denver?  Well, we found out this weekend that my husband’s father would like to go with us.  So, we will fly to Denver to meet him so we can all fly together to Frankfurt.  I know what you’re thinking, this was supposed to be an anniversary trip.  But, I think it’s going to be great because my father-in-law knows the German language as it is his first language and will be a great interpreter and since he grew up there, he will also be a great tour guide.  He is getting older and his traveling days are numbered.  It will be an honor to have him go with us and share this experience with us.  We are brushing up on our German but it’s been since high school since we met in German class and we have forgotten a lot.   Oma Stehle had a thick German accent and occasionally swapped out English words for German words when she spoke, like “mit” for “with”.  I loved it when she spoke.

We have also made plans to stay with some family in Bad Buchau, the southern part of Germany and Idar Oberstein, not too far from Frankfurt.  The question is, if the family you are seeing has said the door is always open for us, do we take that as Please stay with us while you are here?  Or do we not assume and get a hotel room without offending them?  We are still trying to figure that one out.

We will fly to Frankfurt and then to  see the cities that my father-in-law lived during WWII before he immigrated to the US while I furiously write down every word he says to capture it correctly later in the book.  Then we will visit Anne and her family in Bad Buchau for a week and even going to a German festival.  I’ll have to write about her side of our family story and how we all came together in another post.

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Then it’s off to Rome for a couple of days.  I can’t wait to see the Vatican, Coliseum and Pantheon!  There’s going to be a lot of walking.  I better get some good shoes and build my endurance.  Then back to Munich and see the Deutches Museum and up to Idar Oberstein to visit more family.  Of course there will be shopping in all of these cities!  Finally, back to Frankfurt for a flight home.  In all, we will be in Germany for 22 days.  I can’t wait!

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Live to Write - Write to Live

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Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Head In The Clouds, Heart In The Books

Dreaming And Reading Through Life

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

planted oak

glimpses of God in the everyday

poisonedpenbooks.wordpress.com/

YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE, NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE.

J T Weaver

And in the end the love you take, is equal to the love you make. -- The Beatles

The Usual Foolishness

It's what I do

What's Broken

Madness, Magic, and the Writing of my Memoir - What's Broken, What's Breaking Down

alenaslife

My life in images, books, and words

The Day Dreamer & Candy Eater

Dreaming, Munching and Reading...

Book Journey

Continuing adventures of a true bookaholic...

The Redhead Bibliophile

What are you reading?

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.