Shannon here: Janalyn Voigt shares her recent solo writing retreat along with a recipe for Homemade Coconut-Nut Granola, and a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card. Comment or answer the question in any post dated Nov 26th – 29th to enter the drawing. Deadline: Dec 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janalyn:
Holding On and Letting Go: A Lesson in Love (Part 2 of 2)
My husband John had a hard time letting me go on a solo writing retreat, and I shared his reluctance. The long journey to the condo we’d rented did nothing to dispel my fears. Read more about that in part 1. In this installment, we’ll continue the journey.
I slept well but woke groggy from a lingering cold. It took a while to roll out of bed. Breakfast included coffee and homemade lime yogurt topped with my own granola. If you don’t already make granola, you might consider doing so. It’s so easy and costs pennies as opposed to the dollars you pay for commercially-prepared granola. You’ll find my homemade granola recipe at the end of this post.
After eating breakfast and reading a passage in the Bible, I settled down with my planner and marked out my time for the next couple of days. Different-colored markers make it easy to see at a glance the category of a particular task. Blue designates personal items like going for a walk, journaling, reading for pleasure, and the like. Green represents tasks related to my writing business. Yellow stands for household chores, but those are almost absent from my schedule right now. I load the dishwasher throughout the day so that dishes don’t pile up. Tomorrow I’ll wash a little laundry. Beyond that, there’s nothing. I am abundantly aware that real life is not like this, which is why I’m here in the first place. I remind myself to take advantage of this gift of time.
Before settling down to work however, I take a moment to sit on the deck. It overlooks Discovery Bay, where water runs in glistening tides. Seagulls wheel overhead and circle the dock, mewing. The brisk air makes me glad for my jacket. I pull a breath deep into my lungs and surrender to the moment.
I call John for no reason, just to rave about the beauty of this place. I’m so glad he’ll join me so I can share it all with him.
Meanwhile, it’s time to write one of the blog posts on my list. I apply myself, pausing only for lunch. I’d made a sort of command station of the dining room table. With the blinds open it was like sitting outdoors, minus the cold. After finishing the post, I walk down a curving road to the waterfront. Waves lap a strip of beach covered with rocks that crunch underfoot. It’s easy to see the flocks of waterfowl floating on the surface. I spot a boat riding at anchor, its masts pointing skyward.
I start back. Exercise is desirable but not my first objective for this trip. I put dinner on to heat (the macaroni and cheese with broccoli mentioned in part one) and settle down to consume several chapters of a nonfiction book I’m reading for business purposes. While eating dinner, I watch the news and part of an Arthurian remake but turn the set off after an hour. Amusing myself will not accomplish my goals.
Spending time alone troubles me little, that much is apparent. I’ve come a long way since my single-mom days, when being on my own with a baby to parent felt so lonely. How appropriate to discover a little more about myself at Discovery Bay. I am grateful for the loving husband who allowed me the space I needed to do just that.
Homemade Coconut-Nut Granola
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup Flax Seeds (optional)
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup mixed nuts, chopped or whole
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4-6 Tablespoons honey
Position oven rack in the center and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a cookie sheet with the cooking spray.
Spread rolled oats on the cookie sheet.
Sprinkle oats with flax seeds, cinnamon, coconut, and mixed nuts.
Drizzle vanilla extract, olive oil, and honey over oat mixture.
Stir granola until it all is coated. If any portion seems dry, drizzle with more oil and honey.
Bake the granola for approximately 15 minutes, but check it frequently after 10 minutes. Granola burns easily, so watch it carefully. That’s the only tricky part.
Serve the granola warm or cool and store for a nourishing breakfast treat.
Note: My husband likes granola plain, but when I make it for myself, I often add chopped dried mango and other fruit. You can adapt this recipe to your tastes.
About Janalyn: Janalyn Voigt fell in love with literature at an early age when her father read classics to her as bedtime stories. When Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with her own made-up tales. Her sixth-grade teacher noticed her love of storytelling and encouraged her to become a writer. Today Janalyn is a multi-genre author. Janalyn writes the kind of novels she likes to read – epic adventures brimming with romance, mystery, history, and whimsy. She is praised for her unpredictable plots and the lyrical, descriptive prose that transports readers into breathtaking storyworlds. Janalyn Voigt is represented by Wordserve Literary. Learn more about Janalyn and her books: http://janalynvoigt.com.
About the book – The Forever Sky: Can a young widow with no faith in love hope for a future with the man who broke her heart?
Maisey isn’t about to give Rob another chance to reject her love. Why should she believe that the man who left town without a backward glance three years ago cares about her? Life had taught her all about broken dreams, and she didn’t want to hope again. If only her young daughter would stop adopting Rob as a father, ignoring him–and her own emotions–would be a whole lot easier.
Thoughts of the woman he’d left behind haunted Rob for three long years. It wouldn’t have been fair to ask Maisey to wait while he mined a gold claim. After making his fortune, he’s returned to his family in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Rob is ready to settle down, and he’d rather do so with Maisey. But after their first encounter, it’s clear that he’s lost her forever.
Circumstances force Maisey and Rob into one another’s company. They learn, through hardship and loss, that the only way to one another is to surrender first to God’s love.
Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, The Forever Sky explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.
About the series – Montana Gold: Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, the Montana Gold series explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.
Get your copies now! http://janalynvoigt.com/montana-gold
Question for Readers: When do you think it’s it best to compromise with your spouse or family and when should you stand your ground?
Come back Dec 3rd for Linda Rondeau!