What I’m enjoying during isolation


Like most of us, I’m pretty stressed. I’m also extremely worried about my future. I can’t concentrate on writing because of the worries lingering over me. During this pandemic, I’m not going to become the next Shakespeare or Da Vinci, that’s for sure. However, there are a few things that I’m enjoying during isolation. (Many thanks to Sophril Reads for this idea.)


Even though I’m not commuting to the office, I’m still enjoying my podcasts. I listen to them (usually about women’s history) while I make breakfast and tea and throughout the day as I work. I think I’m enjoying listening to them much more than before because I don’t have the stress of the commute weighing me down. I don’t have to worry about balancing myself, plus all of my work stuff, while standing on an overcrowded, jerking metro.



I can’t explain to you how nice it is to drink a cup of tea in the morning without worrying about hurrying up or not finishing it because I need to rush out the door. Plus, it’s such a treat to drink tea in my fine china during the workday.


I’m not going to lie. I wear my loungewear all day. It is glorious.



To cheer myself up, I keep an abundance of flowers around the house. I don’t leave the house often, but when I do it’s for the grocery store. I pick up at least two or three bouquets. This way I always have flowers in constant rotation.


Now that we have nicer weather, I keep the windows and patio door open while I work. Sometimes I glance out at the patio where I’m highly amused to see squirrels scouring about and the chirping birds dancing on the tree branches. Being so close to some type of nature during the workday is a stress reliever for sure.

I hope there are a few things that are cheering you up during isolation.

Take good care.

xoxo, Jane




Dilemmas of a Book Nerd Tag


My Jane Austen books.

One of my favorite podcasters, Miranda Mills, started a YouTube channel all about books. A recent video of hers is titled “Dilemmas of a Book Nerd Tag” where she answers bookish questions. It was so much fun to watch and I wanted to join in. This fun tag was created by Lindsey’s Little Library.

I haven’t been tagged and I don’t plan to tag anyone, but because I do love books and talking about books, I’m going to participate. Here we go…

Dilemma #1: Book Storage – How do you store and organize your books?

I have limited space in my small house. I have two overflowing bookshelves in my study and one in the living room. Every once in a while I make room for new books by donating books I don’t want to keep. It’s not feasible for me to keep every book.

Dilemma #2: Tracking – How do you keep track of what you have read and what books you own?

I don’t normally keep track of what I’ve read, but for 2020 I’m going to keep track of the read books in my 2020 Planner. It should be easy to jot down the title of the book and the name of the author. Also, I daydream of creating a spreadsheet to keep track of the books I own. Someday I may get to that project.

Dilemma #3: Borrow – Do you lend your books out?

Absolutely not. I’d never get them back. And I learned that lesson the hard way.

Dilemma #4: Buying – How do you buy or acquire your books?

I’d say that 75% of my books are borrowed from the library. 20% are bought from bookstores during my travels. (I scope out bookstores in advance of a trip. Please tell me you do the same?) And 5% are bought from Amazon. I have it down to a science because I really do borrow most of my books.

Dilemma #5: Comments – How do you respond to the “How do you read so much” comment or similar comments?

No one has ever asked me this question, actually.

Dilemma #6: Next Book – How do you pick your next read?

It depends on my mood (or on which books come through my library hold).

Dilemma #7: Travel – How do you pick what book(s) you bring on vacation with you?

I don’t really do much reading on vacation. I’ll read on the plane, but I’m normally way too tired to read after spending a day exploring a city. And we hardly ever take beach vacations. But I do bring a paperback or two with me, just in case. Plus I have books on my reading device. The key is not to be weighted down by books because I want to come home with book purchases.

Dilemma #8: Annotate – Do you write or highlight or mark up your books in any way?

No. That really bothers me. I like to keep my books pristine. But I have a reader’s journal in case I want to write quotes or keep plot notes.

Dilemma #9: New or Backlist – Which do you prefer, new releases or backlist books?

It doesn’t matter. Depends on what I want to read.

Dilemma #10: Sequels – Do you read books as they are released or wait for an entire series to be published before reading 1 book?

I read them as they are released. For example, I’m waiting with bated breath for the next Clara Vine book by Jane Thynne.


This was fun. Thank you for reading!

You should leave your own answers below or at least direct me to your blog so I can read your answers!

xoxo, Jane

Things I Love

Photo by yours truly. I’m going to start using more of my own pictures on the blog. 

Well, here we are in the middle of November. Christmas is around the corner. I can see 2020 from my house (do you like what I did here?). But I must say that 2019 hasn’t been the best of years for me. Lots of changes and not the good kind, awful bosses, loss of loved ones (this one here I’ll never get over)…

But there are always, always things to be grateful for and I don’t want the year to end on a negative note. So I thought it might be cathartic to talk about the things I love.

Here is my random list.

  1. The smell of the earth after a rain shower.
  2. Being surrounded by my books.
  3. Spotting a rainbow.
  4. Working on my novel.
  5. A good cup of tea.
  6. A bingeable tv show, like The Crown.
  7. Traveling to a new country or even returning to a favorite haunt.
  8. Discovering a new author and their entire backlist.
  9. Afternoon Tea.
  10. Long walks while listening to a riveting podcast.
  11. Long weekends.
  12. A manicure for no special occasion.

Please chime in. I’d love to know what you love (besides the humans and pets in your life).

xoxo, Jane

Things I love about reading books

Persephone Books
My beloved Persephone books.

Last week I wrote about things I notice when reading books. Today, let’s talk about what we love about reading books. Here is my list, but please chime in below with your list.

  1. Getting lost in a new world.
  2. Learning a new culture or country.
  3. Becoming reacquainted with an old character in a book series.
  4. Laughing out loud at the funny parts.
  5. Getting to know the author.
  6. Beautiful covers.
  7. Sumptuous illustrations.
  8. Falling in love with a dashing hero.
  9. Grabbing inspiration from the kick-ass heroine.
  10. The happily ever after.

What do you love about reading?

xoxo, Jane