Casa Chaos: The August Round Up

What are my favorite things about August? Well, these definitely make the list:

The annual August writing retreat

The annual August writing retreat

Black Eyed Susans

Black Eyed Susans

HRH's visit to Time Travellers Camp at Upper Canada Village

HRH’s visit to Time Travellers Camp at Upper Canada Village

Dinner on the deck

Dinner on the deck

Glider time

Glider time

Maple cotton candy at the New York State Fair

Maple cotton candy at the New York State Fair

Water time

Water time

The Mensch is back at school. The girls are going through their drawers, checking on shoes and backpacks and schedules. Maestro has started his first big boy job, teaching French in a high school in San Francisco (glory hallelujah!). I am doing my best to enjoy these last days of summer before we kick it back into gear after Labor Day – but I confess, I am seriously looking forward to having multiple hours/day for working.

What I’m Reading This Month

Sir PhilipI am soooooo behind the times, but I finally read my first Bridgerton tale. Let me assure you, it will not be my last. To Sir Philip, With Love was my favorite kind of book: a funny tale of two lovable people who truly liked each other, mixed with a family that left me laughing out loud more times than I could count.

Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say about it:

After reading this superb post-Regency-era romance, the fifth in Quinn’s Bridgerton siblings series, it’s easy to see why the author’s previous book, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, landed on RWA’s Top 10 Favorite Books of 2002 list. Quinn is a consummate storyteller. Her prose is spry and assured, and she excels at creating indelible characters like chatty Eloise Bridgerton and Sir Phillip Crane, the protagonists of this unconventional effort. The novel opens as Eloise, a 28-year-old “spinster,” flees London to visit her secret pen pal, Phillip, a troubled botanist and widower. The two plan to see if they are compatible, but Eloise’s hopes plummet when she discovers that Phillip is not the romantic charmer of her dreams, but a grumpy father of twins. She agrees to remain for a fortnight, however, and as she interacts with him and his unruly children, she learns that he has a good heart, even if he is an emotionally distant father. Weighty issues such as abuse and discipline threaten to overshadow their relationship at times, but Eloise’s sunny disposition brightens the novel, as does the arrival of her four brothers. Quinn’s characters possess endearing quirks and flaws, and their easy banter is loaded with wit and warmth. Indeed, readers will likely find themselves rereading certain passages-if not the entire book-in order to prolong their connection to this charismatic clan.

What I’m Singing

Oh my stars. When we were in NYC for the RWA National Conference, my friend Gayle Callen took in a performance of Something Rotten – the tale of a Renaissance-era man whose attempts to make it as a playwright are hampered by the existence of the rock god of the day, one William Shakespeare. Gayle picked up a copy of the hilarious soundtrack and played it for us en route to our writing retreat. I NEEDED a copy of my own and have been playing it constantly. My favorite song has to be this one, in which Shakespeare himself (played by Christian Borle, who won a Tony for his performance) moans about the so-called joys of writing.

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