How Do You Make Time for Reading?

I thought life would slow down a bit once school ended. How wrong I was! After a month filled with baseball and softball games, Boy Scout meetings, talent show rehearsals, a ballet recital, field trips, eighth grade graduation, and many other activities and events that I’ve already forgotten, I was sure life would return to a manageable pace.

Kindle in the wild

My feeble attempt at a Kindle in the wild.

Instead, the end of the school year culminated in a 3-day trip
out-of-town followed by the installation (thank you, Jesus!) of air conditioning units throughout the house and eight days of swimming lessons for the three youngest children.

I’m constantly flailing around for ingredients to turn into some kind of dinner as I do dishes, laundry, keep the kids happy and active, and traipse behind the child whose new moniker is “he who will not be potty trained.”

I’ve had little to no time for writing, which stings when my mind is churning with ideas. I have, however, managed to do some reading.

Years passed early in my marriage during which I thought I had no time to read. In retrospect, I find that laughable. Yes, I worked full-time and had a home and husband, but I had no children. I was busy, I’m sure, but I couldn’t find any time to read beyond work-required periodicals. Really?

When I quit working outside of the home in 2005, I went on a reading binge and never looked back. Here’s how I manage to read more than ever:

  • My Kindle. I can easily prop it on a window ledge or pillow or tote it inside my purse. It enables me to read easily at home or on the go.  I’ve read while nursing babies, doing dishes, or folding laundry.
  • While my kids go to sleep. Our kids have always wanted someone to lie down with them while they fall asleep. I’ve done that for more than a decade. But not until we acquired a good book light and a backlit Kindle have I been able to use that quiet time to sneak in some reading. I can lie alongside the little ones in the dark and keep from falling asleep myself by doing a little reading.
  • Taking advantage of idle time. Okay, I don’t really have much idle time, but now and then I do, and I use it to read. Take for instance these past two weeks. Three of my kids have swimming lessons at two separate times. If I made multiple runs to the pool, leaving 1-2 kids in the teenager’s care, it meant I had about 40 minutes in which to read while they swam. Parents were not permitted in the pool area until the last five minutes of lessons, so what else could I do but read?
  • Audiobooks on trips. I rarely, rarely have extended time alone in the car, but when I do, I listen to an audiobook.
  • Instead of watching TV. Truth be told, I generally prefer a book to a TV show or movie. So, while my husband and son are watching Agents of Shield, The Flash, or Arrow after the little kids have gone to bed, I often sit nearby, reading. Sometimes I even read while I’m watching TV if it’s not something that requires my full-attention. I’m not sure if I’d recommend that distracted habit, but it’s what I do.

I find that we make time to do the things that are important to us one way or another. Reading is one of my great pleasures, and therefore I make the time. Some days it just doesn’t happen as other things take a higher priority, but usually, where there’s a will there’s a way.

How do you make time to read?


Interview with YA Author Leslea Wahl

Unlike many YA books written for adults, yours seem to be truly aimed at teens. While neither The Perfect Blindside nor An Unexpected Role take on big, controversial issues, they focus on natural concerns and problems that are, in fact, important to teens, both personally and spiritually. What inspires you to write for teens?

The Perfect BlindsideMy oldest child was always an avid reader, and when he was in middle school he began searching for YA books. It was difficult to find fun, adventurous books that he wanted to read that also reflected the values we were trying to instill in him. So many YA books contained things that weren’t appropriate. I kept wondering why someone didn’t write adventurous books for teens with good messages. At the time, I didn’t know God would call me for this task! But shortly after, the idea for The Perfect Blindside just popped into my head. Since then I’ve concentrated on creating intriguing mysteries that can also encourage teens to grow in their faith through their underlying messages. Although I do have to say that even though my books are about teens I have a lot of adults that have been enjoying them as well. Continue reading

Summer Giveaway: The Liberty Trilogy by Theresa Linden

As Independence Day grows near, it’s natural to turn our thoughts to our nation’s freedoms, which we hold dear. I can’t think of a better time to read Theresa Linden’s Liberty Series, which focuses on the values we Americans cherish.

The final book in the series, Fight for Liberty, will be featured on Erin McCole Cupp’s Sabbath Rest Book Talk July 9, 2017, as we discuss the month’s theme: revolution!

Liberty Trilogy Promo

About the Series:

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Overcoming Worry and Relinquishing the Need to Know

By Guest Blogger Jeannie Ewing

It could be any day now, I tell myself as I huff and puff my way to the midwife’s exam room. Everything seems different, new, and I can’t seem to determine whether or not all of these changes are good. I pat my expanding belly and offer our daughter in utero a wry smile. “I can’t wait to meet you, Veronica,” I tenderly whisper to her, even as the fear sweeps over my heart.

The what ifs aren’t just nervous jitters. Well, maybe some of them are. My what ifs involve reliving the very dramatic and in some ways traumatic birthing experience I had with our soon-to-be middle daughter, Sarah. I went from a joyful anticipation in early labor to complete, drop-dead terror as my doctor announced a necessary c-section was in order.

Photo by Olsztyn Poland,

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An Open Book

An Open Book CatholicMom

Welcome to the June 2017 edition of An Open Book, hosted both at My Scribbler’s Heart AND!

My family is in a bit of a reading slump. Blame it on the busyness of May: baseball, softball, Boy Scouts, field trips, graduations, and so on and so forth. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? When I asked my husband what he’s been reading, his pathetic response was, “Reading is hopeless.” As you can see, life is taking a toll on our reading time.

A Monster CallsDespite the craziness and a long-lingering case of laryngitis, I’ve been plowing through my reading list. This week, I’m reading two selections for Erin McCole Cupps Sabbath Rest Book Talk. Each month, Erin hosts me and Rebecca Willen as we talk about books pertaining to a pre-selected theme. June’s theme is suffering, and, as always, we’ll be discussing  a children’s book, a Young Adult selection, and an adult novel. I’m currently reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which was recently made into a major motion picture (which I have not seen). I’m barely into it, but I’m glad that I borrowed the hardcover from the library rather than reading it on a device so that I can enjoy the illustrations by Jim Kay. I also know this story of a child’s grief is a tear-jerker, so I’m going in prepared, tissues at the ready.

The MoviegoerOnce I finish A Monster Calls, it’s on to The Moveigoer by Walker Percy (a National Book  Award winner). I’m thrilled with this selection since Percy has long been on my to-be -read list yet I’ve never managed to read one his books. The description says, “ Wry and wrenching, rich in irony and romance, The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic. ” I can’t wait to dig into this one, which I’m reading on a new-to-me app, Hoopla.

War HorseMy son exceeded his eighth grade 30-Book Challenge by completing War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. When I think War Horse, I can only recall watching the movie in the hospital on an iPad mini with my husband while I was in labor with our youngest son. So, yeah, I don’t really recall much about the story.

Assassins CreedMy newly-minted grade school graduate is also finally reading our Christmas gift to him, Assassin’s Creed: A Walk Through History (1189-1868). He’s not allowed to play the game, but he’s watched his dad play through some scenes. I think the historic aspects of these games can be a great tool for teaching history. He confessed he’s learned more about the Third Crusade from this book than he learned in class.

Mystery in ArizonaAfter completing the entire Little House on the Prairies series, my daughter returned to Trixie Belden. She’s reading the sixth book in the series, Mystery in Arizona, by Julie Campbell. (She’s slumping a bit in the reading department lately too.) I get regular updates on Trixie’s friends, including the number of millionaire pals she has. Must be nice.

ChameleonsMy youngest children are still enjoying books they selected at the library’s story time.  My son picked out one of the most beautiful animal books I’ve seen: Chameleons (Amazing Animals) by Valerie Bodden. Based on the stunning, detailed photographs and accompanying text in this book, I’m eager to see other books in the Amazing Animal Series.

My Mama SaysWe’re also reading My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things by Judith Viorst. My goodness, that’s a long title! It’s a cute story of a very fallible momma’s reassurances that there are no zombies, ghosts, vampires, etc. How can a kid trust a woman who makes so many mistakes, like bringing home the wrong ice cream flavor or telling a kid to wear his rain boots when it doesn’t rain? Well, sometimes those mommas get things right too.

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Don’t Fear the Reaper May Not Be the Best Advice

I’ve never chosen one word for the year as seems to be the fashion lately.  If you’re not familiar with the concept, you simply scrap the lists of resolutions and focus your efforts on one word. For example, “joy,” “courage,” “mindful,” or “simplify.” Had I chosen a word for the year, I think it would’ve been “reap.”

In my 21st year of marriage, 15th year of motherhood, and the 20th year in this house, for some reason, I feel like I’m doing a lot of reaping. And contrary to the old Blue Oyster Cult classic, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” doesn’t seem like such good advice whether you add more cowbell or not.

Jeremiah 17:10
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Great Summer Guest Blogapalooza 2017

I’m eager to share this blogging space with a bevy of talented writers once again this summer! I’ll still be blogging at least once a week, mostly as part of regularly-scheduled link-ups as well as my Relevant Fiction Reviews and author interviews. But, the rest? The rest will be covered by the lovely women listed below. In the process, I may just gain several extra hours to enjoy with my children, doing summery stuff together.

After checking out the summer lineup, please keep scrolling for some other exciting summer series going on this year!


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Guest Post: Life Lessons Gleaned from Novel Writing

Life Lessons Gleaned from Novel Writing (May 25, 2017)

“What I discovered, however, after completing those fifty thousand words and several books’ worth more, is that those skills and habits translate well into other areas of life. The lessons I’ve learned can be applied to a variety of tasks, projects, and seemingly unattainable aspirations. Put simply, writing novels taught me how to accomplish big goals over long periods of time.”