My Morning Basket: What I'm Reading in February

Full disclosure: I read multiple books at a time, which yes, seems a bit crazy, but they're all a variety of genres, so it balances out (that's how I rationalize it, anyhow, just nod with me).

My Morning Basket: What I'm Reading // Angie Warren

What is a Morning Basket?

I first learned of the Morning Basket idea from the homeschooling world. The basic thought is that you have a basket of books you begin your day with (read alouds, living books, memory work, etc). This thought hasn't clicked with my boys for homeschooling, but I have taken it upon myself to curate my own Morning Basket, and it's one of my favorite parts of the day.

I am not spending hefty amounts of time on each of these books, generally 10 minutes or so per book, depending on the morning, and I don't get to each every day. It's just the right amount of time to soak in something from each of them, and feel I'm giving myself a bit of pampering!

1. STREAMS IN THE DESERT

Growing up, I have such fond memories of waking early to find my mom in the corner of our couch, beside the yellow of a lamp, reading Streams in the Desert. Hers was an old and worn copy, brown, with the edges bent. I'm not sure why I never thought to read it myself until I came upon THIS version at my local Barnes & Noble. I soon grabbed it on Amazon and it has been a life changer. It's the greatest of both worlds, combining both devotions Cowman wrote, and it has been like a warm hug from Heaven, reading it each morning (and some evenings). This is what I start my day with no matter what else in the basket I get to, and I'm so grateful to have found it.

Grab your copy here.

 

2. TEACHING FROM REST

Oh this book. I've now read it, three times? It never fails to hug me in just the right ways. Sarah Mackenzie has put her heart to words, and in doing so, brings so much encouragement to the brand new AND seasoned homeschoolers. A part of my morning quiet time includes a few pages of this book. And without fail, it seems to be just the words I need to hear on that particular day.

Grab your copy here.

 

3. WHEN YOU EAT AT THE REFRIGERATOR PULL UP A CHAIR

This is one of my all-time favorite coffee table books. It has 50 small snippets from the brilliant Geneen Roth on self love and her amazing anti-diet mantra. I've read this book countless times, and each time, I pull something from it. I read one each morning (again note, most mornings), as a little boost for my day. Love me some Geneen, and again, these "chapters" are so small and easy to digest, just perfect for a Morning Basket.

Grab your copy here.

 

4. One thousand gifts devotional

I read the original book a few years ago, and was gifted this devotional after my mom passed away. The pieces aren't as small as some others, so I read just 1-2 per week. Again, like most, I find myself getting new things out of Ann's poetic words every time I open the book. I love the way she story-tells, and appreciate the movement of her words so.

Grab your copy here.

 

5. THE MEMOIR PROJECT

I am only about half way through this easy and insightful read, and I keep wishing I had found it AGES ago. So far, I feel I've been given just all the permission in the world to write my own story. I've pulled out the highlighter and sticky tabs for this one, and would highly recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in writing their own story.

Grab your copy here.

 

6. ALL THE PRETTY THINGS

This is the current memoir I'm reading, well, starting to read. I saw an interview with Edie in the Hope*Writers library and was so drawn to her, I immediately grabbed it. I think there may be a lot of similarities in our stories, and I'm really excited to dive into it!

Grab your copy here.

 


* This post contains affiliate links. By clicking through, you help to support this blog and our family, so thank you! Read our full disclosure policy HERE.

You Need to Know That Friendship Sees No Color

Friendship Sees No Color // An Essay on Motherhood and Friendship // Angie Warren

They met at the park around the corner, the air cool with February chill. One held a pink frisbee, the other a stuffed pig. “Mom, can I go and be her friend?" she asked.

I smiled and told her that yes, of course, she could, and returned to the book I was reading. Before long I realized the family at the park that day, spoke little to no English. This didn't stop my girl, though.

Because friendship needs no language.

It started out timidly, their play, as it sometimes does, but before long, both girls were laughing. The pink frisbee whirled, the stuffed pig danced, the world was right at that playground in the 'burbs.

As you know, friendship sees no color.

Hours passed, and the girls in pink, who held treasures of their own, found a common ground. They found joy. They found grace. They found a sweet and soulful song, despite the silence in their words.

You see, friendship has no barrier. 

I was gripped by this exchange, and for days it sat deep within my heart. Two girls, aged five respectively, of different origins, found a lovely enjoyment in one another. They didn’t speak of their native tongue or the place from which they were born. They didn’t speak much, at all.

They didn’t have to because friendship needs no explanation.

May I take a lesson from these small girls. May their delight inspire each of us, to reach out a hand in friendship. May we remember that it matters not from where we came, the language we speak, or the color of our skin. May we instead, offer a smile, a stuffed pig, or a pink frisbee.

Because friendship requires very little as it turns out, something I now know, thanks to a February day, at a park around the corner.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

THE WRITER'S TOOLBOX V.2

ANGIE WARREN // writer's toolbox

Welcome to round two of The Writer's Toolbox: so you can get on with your craft!

*Be sure to read to the end, I have an exciting announcement!

Thanks for stopping by, if you missed v.1 of the series, you can catch up HERE. My hope is that this ongoing series would be an inspiration + encouragement to you, should you find yourself a curator of words. Whether you blog, write love notes to your sweetie or are working your way through a manuscript - my goal is to share simple things, tools, articles, (and talented people) who are helping me on my own writing journey!

1. STORY GENIUS

Story Genius is a book recommended to me by a fellow writer friend. Written by Lisa Cron, the tag line is: How to use brain science to go beyond outlining and writing a riveting novel. But what really grabbed me was this, "Before you waste three years writing 327 pages that go nowhere". Yikes. That grabbed me (be sure to scroll to the end of this post to hear my announcement + why that last line really got me).

As I read, I pulled out a notebook and began to work through the prompts. I can't believe how much it uncovered about my own book in progress. Truly, I reached in and grabbed ahold of things I hadn't realized were in there. I am so glad I put in the time to read this, as I move forward on what's ahead (again, read more below). One more thing, Story Genius, in my opinion, will work for either fiction OR memoir. I am writing memoir, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked with my genre.

2. The Color Thesaurus

I reference this color chart quite often. I love the creativity of language, how we can paint a picture with the words we speak and write. Being able to bring your audience into your narrative is a wild and wonderful adventure, and I truly believe that happens when you are able to tell a story using descriptive imagery.

3. Chad Allen

Chad Allen is an editorial director for Baker Books. I heard him speak in a webinar through Hope*Writers recently and appreciated his insight and knowledge. He recently wrote this post, called See How Easily You Can Structure Your Book With This Method. I was so excited to work with the article, filling in the blanks myself. Chad says this, "I’m going to share a question and a process for helping you access your best content and structure it into book form." and he does just that. It's amazing how a few simple questions can really guide you into the direction of your book.

Angie Warren // writing quote

EXCITING NEWS IF YOU LOVE TO WRITE

I've always been an open book, and I love sharing with others about new things I'm learning and discovering, lessons learned the hard (and sometimes easy) way, and generally just being able to guide people as I've been blessed to have been guided.

So I decided to start an exclusive monthly newsletter, Behind the Writer's Toolbox, sharing all the details of my own journey in writing. I've not talked of this publicly, but after finishing 70k words of my manuscript, I've decided to begin again. That's right, I'm starting over. And I'd love to share with you why.

If you're interested in tagging along as I walk the road to publishing, I would be so glad to have you! I have some exciting plans in the works for the newsletter and you my friends, who will join me. In fact, the first Behind the Writer's Toolbox (coming soon), will include a template I created for myself, that I'd like to give to you as well!

If this tickles your fancy, join me! I'd love to have you. Sign up below.


In case you missed the first in the series of
Writer's Toolbox, you can check it out here!

This post contains affiliate links. By clicking through, you help to support this blog and our family, so thank you! Read our full disclosure policy HERE.

Dear Friend, What if We Had Coffee?

Angie Warren // Writer

Dear friend,

If we were to meet for coffee, I would likely be a few minutes late. I would apologize profusely and then want to buy your drink.

I'd wear cozy yoga pants and my Uggs, maybe a baseball cap. You'd sit across from me while I sip my iced coffee and you sip your ___________, and we would chat, like long-time friends.

I want to imagine it's possible. This coffee date together. I want to hear your heart and share mine too. What would we talk about? What would you ask me? What would we laugh about? What might we cry about?

In the words of myself circa junior high: write back soon.

Love, Ang

Hey Mama, I Hear You

Dear mama, I hear you. You matter, you're enough. // An Essay on Motherhood // Angie Warren

 

Hey mama with the yoga pants on, I hear you.

You want to put your nice clothes on, but it's taking all your energy to get through the day. You'll wear the jeans again, I promise. For now, enjoy the cotton, I hear you.

Hey mama who is in the throes of post-partum depression, I hear you.

You were so excited for this baby, and now, the things you feel scare you. You're not alone, mama, I hear you.

Hey mama with the tired eyes, I hear you.

You've been up all night with your toddler, he's the best thing about this life, but you're tired, and want just a bit of sleep. I hear you.

Hey mama who feels guilty for working, I hear you.

Your job is important to you, but so is your mothering. You feel torn between two worlds. It's okay mama, me too, I hear you.

Hey mama who can't find time for self-care, I hear you.

You know it's important, you miss the days of leisure pampering. You'll get there again, I know you will. I hear you.

Hey mama whose child is fighting anxiety, I hear you.

She's being alienated in school, your heart is broken, and you aren't sure how to help. I get it, I hear you.

Hey mama who is exhausted from fighting with your teenager, I hear you.

They're not itty bitty anymore, and the constant arguing is taking a toll. You wonder what you're doing wrong and will things ever be okay again. I hear you.

Hey mama who just lost your dad, I hear you.

Those last days of cancer were the worst parts of this life, and now you feel like the dark is suffocating you. I've been there, I hear you.

Hey, mama? Can I tell you a secret? You're not alone. You're enough. You're fighting the good fight, putting one foot in front of the other. You're brave and you're strong, and I hear you. There's light where there's dark, there is good when there is struggle. Hold on, mama, and don't let go.


MORE ON THIS

THE WRITER'S TOOLBOX V.1

ANGIE WARREN // The Writer's Toolbox Vol. 1

Welcome to vol. 1 of The Writer's Toolbox: so You Can Get on with Your Craft.

My hope is that this ongoing series would be an inspiration + encouragement to you, should you find yourself a curator of words. Whether you blog, write love notes to your sweetie, or are working your way through a manuscript - my goal is to share simple things, tools, articles, (and talented people) who are helping me on my own writing journey!

1. HOPE*WRITERS

Hope*Writers came into my life only recently but it has absolutely taken me by storm. A few different writer friends suggested the community to me within a matter of days, and I took that as a sign. I was soon signed up and into their private Facebook community. Two weeks later I have connected with some amazing fellow writers turned friends, devoured the videos + content, and learned more in that time than I have in years of googling. Aside from the comradery of others who share this craft, I think my favorite thing has been the 6000-word Complete Guide to Traditional Publishing found on their website. Wow, wow. It really is a lot of amazing info I'm still uncovering.

2. GRAMMARLY

Full disclosure: grammar and I are not BFFs. Nope, not a bit. In fact, my mom was my favorite editor, often calling just to let me know I missed a comma or needed to check my spelling. Yikes! When I discovered Grammarly, I sort of did a happy dance (and I think she maybe did in Heaven, too). It works as you type, checking spelling, grammar, sentence structure. And best part? It's FREE (well, there is a free version, which is what I use + love)!

3. ERIN LOECHNER

I'm working my way through Chasing Slow, and so, of course, I recently started following Erin Loechner on Instagram. She wrote a great article on her blog called, How I Wrote a Book. I appreciated her candidness as well as the links she shared. I especially enjoyed this point:

"6. Be gentle.
Writing is hard. Be kind to yourself. There will be days where you’ll feel raw/spent/depleted after a long morning of writing, and reacquainting with the actual world might feel trickier than usual. Take deep breaths. Re-emerge gently. Pour some tea."

ANGIE WARREN // The Writer's Toolbox v.1

I hope you enjoyed vol. 1 of The Writer's Toolbox! Tune in next time for vol. 2, which includes the book that is changing the entire way I write (and helping me structure my manuscript!).

Happy writing!

 

EXCITING NEWS IF YOU LOVE TO WRITE

I've always been an open book, and I love sharing with others about new things I'm learning and discovering, lessons learned the hard (and sometimes easy) way, and generally just being able to guide people as I've been blessed to have been guided.

So I decided to start an exclusive monthly newsletter, Behind the Writer's Toolbox, sharing all the details of my own journey in writing. I've not talked of this publicly, but after finishing 70k words of my manuscript, I've decided to begin again. That's right, I'm starting over. And I'd love to share with you why.

If you're interested in tagging along as I walk the road to publishing, I would be so glad to have you! I have some exciting plans in the works for the newsletter and you my friends, who will join me. In fact, the first Behind the Writer's Toolbox (coming soon), will include a template I created for myself, that I'd like to give to you as well!

If this tickles your fancy, join me! I'd love to have you. Sign up below.


This post contains affiliate links. By clicking through, you help to support this blog and our family, so thank you! Read our full disclosure policy HERE.