Summer Daze

IMG_2392Adrift in a sea of green, seeing the world through only the wilds of play, so it is when a child spends a warm sunny day in the throes of summer.






The days are short but most definitely sweet. Their splendor will leave you in a daze of hazy bliss full of sweet aromas and gleeful wonder.









Good Morning

Visiting Spring Brook this morning. What’s in my composition book? Developing the back story of two of our main characters.

I find that I’m a combination of plotter and pantser (..”by the seat of your pants” type). I don’t know exactly how everything (or even what for that matter) will unfold in the town of Spring Brook, but I do like knowing who the residents are and how they fit into Spring Brook before I start. Or at least as much as I can.

She’s full of surprises that Spring Brook.

I won’t reveal too much, but I can tell you that when I write, my characters are the sum total of who I am and who I wish I was.  I think this is why plagiarism is such a heinous crime.  Plagiarism is essentially robbing someone’s soul and relabeling it as your own.

Spring Brook is built upon who I am, how I process the world, and what I feel.  I can’t wait to share it with you, whenever that might be.  Until then, I’m so glad I’m able to share this process with you.  Thank you.

I’ve gotta get back to the Brook, but first – take a moment and drop me a comment – How did you meet your best friend? How long have you been friends? And how have they impacted your life. Answer all or one here or on my Facebook page The Mustard Seed @TheMustardSeedBlog

Home Office

I thrive on atmosphere.

While some might find that silly or frivolous, I find that I do my best when I’m in an aesthetically pleasing space.

In order to be more proactive with my writing I’ve scheduled writing time into my daily “schedule” (I’m not organized or cool enough to have an actual schedule.) This “schedule” is subject to change, and does often due to my husband’s constantly changing schedule. Right now what works for us is spending our mornings together until a little before noon.  At that time he heads up for a pre-work nap and I head over to my computer in the dining room to sit and stare at the monitor and online window shop. (I’m very good at filling a shopping cart and then closing out the browser after I look in horror at the total.)

We’re currently watching Grantchester on Amazon Prime during our together time. If you haven’t seen it- you should.  Especially If you love period shows like Downton Abbey but want a bit more murder and mayhem. I highly recommend you try it.  An inspector and a priest solving crimes together in 1953. Well, I think that’s the time period.  I’m too exhausted to think.

I’m over here sweating to death as I peck out this post.  I love Maine summers but what I would love even more is air conditioning.  We don’t have any.  (Well 5 out of 6 of us don’t.) I decided to write this while I “cool off” from rearranging what used to be the dining room.

You see, I did it again.

Some of you may remember my older posts regarding our dining room in New Mexico.  If not (or you’re new), you can find it here. Back there I took over the dining room out of necessity.  There was simply no other place for me to set up my own writing space.

IMG_0518Here in Maine I’ve a whole plethora of options. If you had asked me a year ago when we first moved in if I would convert my new dining room into my office/study I would have broken out in hysterics and declared no way.

I had a tiny room on the second floor just for me.



Well, mostly for me.  We all know that mom’s never get a space all to themselves.

img_4326 It’s a good thing this dining room (no matter it’s function) is big enough for all of us, because I guarantee they will now be in here all the time.  Just like New Mexico….IMG_0491

Back to the now.

That little room on the second floor was mine for only a few months before we decided to upgrade and move our master bedroom to the finished attic which up until that point had housed two girls.  Those two finally ended up with their own bedrooms after years of begging and pleading and countless rolls of duct tape used to draw lines in their previous rooms…..IMG_5501

The kid in the plaid pajamas ended up in our old master bedroom (which has the only window air condition unit by the way.  She refuses to let us in to bask in its frosty delight.) Our youngest took over my office.  It’s just big enough for her twin size bed, the bookcase and a dresser.

From that moment on I was a nomad. A writer with no home, just a computer, her wits, and a bag of snacks. IMG_4285Ahem.

I had first set up camp in what I thought would be my new permanent home- the dormer area of my new attic bedroom.  It was perfect.  Window seat with views of our front yard, deep built in shelves that held my printer and other junk.  And a good spot for a desk I bought from my neighbor for $5.  I even had privacy.

Too much privacy.  Therein laid the problem.  I was two flights of stairs away from the hub of our life.  And the coffee maker.  Not to mention there’s no bathroom in the attic.  I lasted 2 or 3 months before I made my first move down to the kitchen nook.  Then the living room.  Back to the kitchen and finally I settled for the dining room.

Just like New Mexico.

Only this time I wanted to be here.  I still have options including the nice and chill basement, but I like being near the bathroom, the porch in case UPS stops by (I do love Amazon) and of course- the coffee maker.


The coffee maker is over there somewhere I swear.

So here I’ve been for a few months now and it’s been great.  Except, it wasn’t quite mine.  I was sharing with the dining room.  A dining room, might I add, that only sees actual dining a few times a year. So after chewing on the idea for the past few days I decided to stick my metaphorical flag in and claim this rarely used room.

I don’t waste time once I hatch a plan. Much to my family’s chagrin.

I started by hitching the chandelier up higher.  This enabled me to claim the table as my desk.


I needed it closer to the wall so I could plug in my computer. My original plan was to have the table parallel to the wall with the mirror and sit between wall and table but then I’d have a cord hanging.  Hello hazard!!


I then enlisted my son to help me move my big, ugly, but very comfy leather chair and pedestal table from the living room.  I’ve plans fo that wall, but for now it’ll wait. IMG_4283

My green desk is now chilling over on the side.  This is where I’ll park my computer when I need the dining room.  The majority of chairs are now downstairs in the basement where they will remain until needed.  This desk will also serve double duty as storage and the occasional landing spot for one of my four kids while they do their “school work”. (Homeschoolers, we use “” for everything.  “Everything.”)IMG_4282

There’s more to do.  The cabinet behind me will be robbed of it’s collection of coffee mugs by the end of the day.  In their place will be books and the odd knick knack or two. And eventually that wall above the old squashy chair will be full of inspiration.

Here I sit now feeling tired but satisfied.  I’m home.

Two Words

Earlier this year a seed was planted in the garden that is my mind.

Sounds fancy when I write it like that, doesn’t it?

Basically, after years of digging and rooting for inspiration on my own I finally stopped and gave it to God. (What can I say? I’m stubborn and a slow learner.)

I prayed and I waited.  Big shocker here but two words popped into my head one Sunday morning. (I love it when He does that, don’t you.)

Spring. Brook.

Within the course of a few minutes those two words grew into a town brimming with life.

Spring Brook, Arkansas. (My home state)

The ideas started flowing then. Much like the brook that runs through the fictitious town’s park.  A park that is situated across Main Street; full of worn brick buildings filled with wares of delight and necessity all beckoning at visitor and resident alike. Sounds lovely? Don’t worry, one day you and I can visit and walk the paths that meander throughout the pages of the books.

Within a few hours the town of Spring Brook opened up and showed me that there’s more to her than meets the eye and that one book just wouldn’t be enough.  Two simple words became a concoction of words forming the flesh of characters who are now after six months more friend than fantasy.  Two weeks after the seed was planted a town was born full of old friends whom I’ve never met.

And so I set about growing a garden.  One filled not with soil and produce, of course.  (I’ve a black thumb. In fact, I hold the distinction of being able to kill even fake plants.  Let that sink in.)  Rather a metaphorical garden containing the small town of Spring Brook.  A town full of people searching for God’s love and His purpose for their life.  

Two simple words whispered into my ear and placed upon my heart during a Sunday morning sermon.  Two small words that are ready to grow into something only God has foreseen.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m slightly overwhelmed and at times just downright terrified.  What if I can’t do it?  What if I’m wasting my time, and even more so- His time? What if—well the list goes on.  It always seems to grow doesn’t it?

When one sets about growing a garden, one must be willing to tend it.  This includes pulling out the weeds.  All of those fears and doubts? They are most definitely trying to choke the roots of what’s been planted, and I’m ashamed to say that at times I’ve let them. Along with other weeds besides the obvious.  Such as procrastination and distraction.

I’d be naive to say there won’t be any more weeds.  They’ll come.  I’ll be ready though.  I’m tired of letting the What If’s keep me from this.  I’ve got my tools and I’m ready.

It’s time to go to Spring Brook.