June Nuggets of Inspiration & Wisdom

Hello survivors <3

The anxiety that held me captive most of June has set me free and as a result I have been busy writing, reading, and finishing that class that’s been on my to-do list for ages.


What’s new at Surviving Life’s Curveballs

Ann Castro and I are finished with the first round of revisions. We made it all the way through, shew! Admittedly, Ann had to help me chunk down the book into more manageable pieces because I was overwhelmed and paralyzed. Once she broke our work into smaller sections we just worked through one part at a time until there was no more to work through.

Next, she’ll send me the book to read through. There’s been many changes and I need to reacquaint myself with the new storyline. I am very excited to see how the changes we made have advanced the pace and deepened the characters. Then we will be on to the second round of edits.



Dreamland by Sam Quinones

All about the opioid epidemic and its grassroots movement that largely began in Ohio. If you have wondered how things got so bad or how it started in the first place, you will have all your curiosities satiated within these pages. Drug addicts were created by good doctors, deplorable doctors, and Mexicans with incredible entrepreneurial business intelligence.

Anais Nin’s Lost World by Britt Arenander

Beautiful photos help to show the Europe of Anais’s heyday as well as what her old stomping grounds look like today. Britt did a wonderful job of taking us inside Anais’ transformative years and also reawakening my love of all things Anais.


Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

What do Navy Seals and Google have in common? Research and live testing with psychedelics! It turns out that psychedelics are helping these outliers to reach “flow” and synchronicity among the group more easily and predictably than when left to find the way on their own.


How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

More interested in mind altering substances, I found out one of my favorite authors had also written a book on the matter. Michael Pollan added more science and also personal stories to the foundation of my understanding for psychedelics.


Chasing Space by Leland Melvin

What are the chances that a pro football player would become an astronaut? That’s exactly what happened to Leland Melvin. Even more incredible is his personal story overcoming racism and sexual abuse. Leland is a wonderful role model for any human.


I survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 by Lauren Tarshis

My sons and I enjoy these stories together. They are actually the ones who first exposed these books to me. I cannot say enough how much these stories have impacted our lives. The historical facts are accurate and the personal stories weaved into the books have always brought me to tears. This series is written for ages 7-10, but can be (and are) enjoyed by the whole family. Often we choose to listen to the audiobook versions instead of the radio when we are in the car.


I survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944 by Lauren Tarshis

In addition to learning the history of our world, these books offer so much more, such as the opportunity to empathize with people vastly different from what we see in our everyday world. Also, the stories are written from the point of view of an elementary school child making them all the more eye-opening.


Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Tears fell from my eyes at different points in this book, that’s how I know it was great. The story transported me into the world of Ellie and Laurel and away from reality. I felt the sorrow and hopelessness of Laurel when Ellie, her youngest child, simply vanished on the way to the library. I also felt the despair and regret Laurel experienced when she finally found the answers to what happened to her sweet golden girl.

Still Working on

The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry

The Power of Different by Gail Saltz, M.D.

Not For Me

Just because a book is not my preference does not mean you shouldn’t give it a go. We all have our own taste in music, clothing, art, foods, etc. I would never say a book is simply not good, what a horrible thing to do. A book is someone’s story, imagination, communication of their inner workings to the outside world.

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

Prompted by Google’s homepage, I investigated Octavia Butler and found that:

“Octavia Estelle Butler was an African American science fiction writer. A multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, in 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.”

I like science fiction and have a preference toward stories written by females so I randomly selected Fledgling to sample. It turned out to be a vampire book and while in my teens I found stories of immortality to be invigorating, now in my thirties those same storylines are of no interest. No further than chapter 2 I decided not to finish the book. However, Ms.Butler remains on my list to read as I am sure she has many works I will enjoy.

The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russel

The language of this book may be of a time too long ago for my preference or maybe Bertrand’s intelligence exceeds my own. I had a difficult time following the facts and lost interest in completing the book after reading 25%.

The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley

Again perhaps the book was written too long ago or Aldous’ is just too smart for my simple brain, but I had a difficult time following the language.


Daily OM A Year to Clear What’s Holding You Back- I did it! I finally completed the class J


How to ADHD on Youtube- If you know anyone who has ADHD or loves someone with ADHD this is the best resource I have ever found. Please share it with them.


Hoopla Seriously, this is the app I use more than any other. Free books, audiobooks, music, and more from the library. I can check out 9 items a month. Before purchasing anything from Audible I check Hoopla first. This app has saved me thousands of dollars already this year.


Audible The original audiobook app J Just one more way to consume more books and the performances have been wonderful. Now I listen to books in the shower, while I’m driving, at work, or any myriad of different scenarios when it’s impossible to read written works. This has easily increased my reading each month tenfold.

Chatbooks Remember when scrapbooking was all the rage? I do and yes, I scrapbooked my little heart out. Now I have other priorities, but I still want to remember the fun times I have with my family. Chatbooks has easily solved this problem for me. Every 100 photos I post to my social media account they send me a nice 10”x10” photo book complete with the captions I added for just $10. Worried about privacy? Me too, so I set my pictures so that only I can see them on facebook and the Chatbooks still keep coming.

They also have one of the best commercials of all time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTTs7ewuDY8




Rainy Mood If I’m writing this is my go-to background noise. There’s always been something about rain that inspires me to write.


Emily’s Workouts FREE! Great workouts that don’t bother my lower back trouble spots. Emily Skye incorporates weights with HIIT, none of the horrendous cardio crap that I loathe so much. She has changed the way I exercise and the way I look in my exercise clothes.


Prime Photos FREE, UNLIMITED! If you have an Amazon Prime membership, this is included. While it does have a limit for video storage, you can save all the millions of photos you capture in one place. I use Prime Photos as my cloud backup for our photos. Should my house ever burn down to the ground or my computer delete everything, I’ll have my photos securely backed up here.



Nothing currently because I’ve been listening to audiobooks.


How about you? What are you watching, reading, or what has inspired you this past month?


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