Roots, Writing Retreats and a Book Giveaway

by Kim on November 16, 2017 · 23 comments

Friends, it’s been awhile!

As I mentioned in my last post, at the end of September we packed our bags and moved on down to the mountains of western North Carolina, just outside of Asheville.

In the weeks since moving we’ve unpacked, painted, welcomed lots of visitors, and done There have been adjustments, sure, but I’m amazed at how quickly we have settled right in. On one hand, that’s a skill we learned while traveling– to make each new place home, and fast. Yet this house feels different, like it has always been ours.

The view of our house from the top of our yard

Our house from the fenced-in part of our yard… perfect for, ahem, a dog

Three seconds after this pic was taken Juniper started licking that stick. 

Our street

But I have hesitated to write, not just because I’ve been busy moving, chasing a toddler and maintaining some semblance of a freelancing career, but because I’m not traveling anymore and, well, this is a travel blog. Or at least it used to be.

I guess it has taken me longer than it should have to admit to myself that I’m not going to be one of those nomadic, free-spirited hippy parents that I follow on Instagram. My days of 24-7 travel are behind me, at least for now.

For the past two years I’ve told myself that I’ll give more attention to this blog just as soon as I head out on my next big adventure. Even as I adjusted to coming off the road, and became a mother, and navigated the wild world of writing and publishing a book, I convinced myself that I wouldn’t have a real story to tell until the next adventure began. In fact, the adventure was unfolding all around me.

So, I’m changing my attitude.

In the future, I hope to blog more (yeah, I know I’ve said that before) about life as it happens for me: writing, mothering, and making a home in the mountains. I hope you’ll enjoy these smaller adventures as much as you enjoyed the larger ones.

And truly, there are so many adventures to be had here. Not just exploring Asheville’s many great restaurants, breweries and tourist attractions, but also discovering the surrounding small towns, trails, lakes and rivers. Even walking the rural country roads around our house gives me the same feeling I get when I’m traveling: the excitement of knowing I’m about to round a bend I’ve never rounded before.

When I traveled, I knew that I would only ever be passing through. I grasped for a hint of what it might be like to live in a certain country, culture, life. Now, I get to do the opposite. Instead of moving through the landscape I am sitting still and letting the landscape move around me. And how it moves! Each day there is a surprise: the burning bushes transform from green to fiery red, the leaves drop from the trees and reveal a view of mountains.

It’s so beautiful here, and so quiet. In our neck of the woods, the land still rules. I like the feeling that gives me, a daily reminder that I am not the main event.

I started this blog seven years ago this month (!!) and what I realize as I look through old posts is that it’s become a kind of living document of my life. When I read posts from the beginning I can barely remember that person, in many ways she’s very different than the woman I am today. But we still have the same grit, the same desire to dream big. This blog is where I express those dreams and plot to make them possible. It’s a gift that I have this space, and it’s a gift that you share it with me.

Asheville Writing Retreat

Speaking of dreams, a few weekends ago I fulfilled the first step in a larger dream of hosting an annual writing retreat here in Asheville. Thus three amazing writers descended on my home for the weekend and it was… perfect. We wrote all day, hiked in the afternoon, wrote more in the evening, gathered in a writer’s circle for feedback and brainstorming and then ate, drank wine, and sat by the fire in the light of the full moon.

Starting the day with a little coffee mug pep-talk

Four writers on a little post-writing hike

I’m going to do it again next year, in a larger space, and I’d love if you would join me. You don’t have to be a professional writer or a blogger or whatever. The purpose of the retreat is to give yourself space and time to engage your creativity while growing friendships old and new. Join the mailing list for updates and come hang out with me!

“The Yellow Envelope” giveaway

One more thing. You may have noticed that we have entered the holiday season even though it was July like five minutes ago. To celebrate, I’m giving away five signed copies of The Yellow Envelope because books! make! the! perfect! gift! But there’s a catch. (Insert evil cackle here.)

If you win, you can keep the copy, or give it away to a friend (or a stranger… anyone you want!) And I’ll be happy to make the book out to you or whoever you’re gifting the book to. But here’s the catch: There’s a yellow envelope in the back of every book. If you’re going to give your book away, I would looooove if you tucked a little something into the envelope: a love note, a gift card, an artists rendering of your favorite quote. Use that envelope the way it was intended. Surprise someone. Make their day.

So, how to enter? Leave a comment here on the blog and let me know what you’ll do with your copy. I’ll randomly select a winner next week. (Sorry to say I can only ship in the US, so this giveaway is only open to US residents.)