March was not a great month. The kids were sick and staggered the illness over two weeks. A church friend, way too young, passed away. And the weather.

I know, I know, it is Ohio but it feels like the snow and gray won’t end.

We did get a second dog. Rescued from a great local mission. She is such a teddy bear. She growls when she is happy, she growls when she wants to play and she growls if she is hungry, sad, mad,  and whatever else goes on in her doggy head. But she loves to snuggle and she’s been a good friend to our other dog Bebe. There is just something about cozying up to dogs that make the dreary days not so dreary.

Rina Bear

The PBS show Victoria also saved me this month. It has been a while since I found a show I devoured and boy did I devour this show. We don’t have regular TV anymore so I haven’t been able to watch the new season, but man do I love a good historical show with powerful women. I am catching up on the second season of The Crown, but it doesn’t have quite the same biting humor as Victoria.

bronze-crown-iron-2866

There is also a novelization of the show which is spot on. You miss the upstairs, downstairs aspect of the show but it still highlights the strong person Victoria was.

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Painting also saved me this month. I am branching out a little and figuring out how to create original works. Although my youngest says I should sell them, I don’t believe I am quite ready for a gallery show, but man do I love the process.

And of course no painter is complete without bob rossing it:

Bob Rossed it

And our modern version of Bob Ross is Youtuber Painting with Jane:

fence painting with jane

Lastly, I started the Story Genius/Author Accelerator course run by Jenny Nash and Lisa Cron. I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Lisa Cron and I have read and reread her Story Genius book. And I often listen to the Mom Writes podcast where Jenny Nash steps two authors through the book coaching experience. This online course is changing my writing life. I love having a book coach who forces me to go deep, and then deeper, and just when I think I’ve hit the molten crust of the earth she tells me I am just now below the surface. I can’t wait to see how this improves my storytelling and the pace that I finish a novel.

If you are a writer looking to up your game, check out their website here.

Or read Lisa Cron:

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I have never read Anne of Green Gables so I am listening to the Rachel McAdams audio on Audible. I love her narration and have spent a lot of afternoons taking long walks or cleaning around the house just so I can keep listening.

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I also discovered a few new podcasts. The best one is What’s Her Name Podcast. It’s relatively new and absolutely fascinating. They pick a different woman each week that most people have never heard of and talk about how they changed whatever field they were a part of. Even my teenage daughter is listening.

I read a lot of terrific books in March. My favorites were The Alice Network, The House at Riverton and of course Still Me:

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What is saving your life right now?

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