If We Were Having Coffee – Fall 2021 Update

If We Were Having Coffee Tea

If We Were Having Coffee – Fall 2021

I’ve been thinking about doing another of these check-in posts for a while, but it’s been difficult to find the time to put one together. It seems like most of my blog time lately has really just been maintenance, which makes me feel super guilty. Ugh. I want to do more, but it’s hard to fit everything in right now. At any rate, it’s been a while, so let’s catch up a bit, shall we?

If we were having coffee…

I might actually be drinking herbal tea. Historically I haven’t been a huge tea drinker– maybe a cup now and then in the winter or when I’m feeling ill. Lately, though, drinking herbal tea has been part of a calming ritual for me. I am hooked on Teavana’s Mandarin Mimosa or Peach Tranquility. I’m drinking Mandarin Mimosa right now.

When I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed or I just need a few minutes to organize my thoughts, I make a cup of tea. Something about that simple act feels a bit like hitting a pause button. I get to do something for me, which every mom knows can be a challenge! So that’s been a huge help in terms of just creating some space in my head or in my day. Sometimes I’ll bring the tea in the car with me and drink it while I sit in the parking lot waiting for a curbside order.

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask you what you’ve been reading lately. For me, I feel like middle grade books have been saving my life. There’s something particularly poignant about books like GLITTER GETS EVERYWHERE and SIX FEET BELOW ZERO for me lately that feels like healing as I’m reading them. Books about wrestling with grief or about finding the humor in terrible situations. Those are really hitting hard for me right now, in a good way.

I’ve also been reading some hard books. I recently started reading THE MARROW THIEVES, which has been on my reading list awhile. I don’t know what I expected it to be about– I think I had mixed it up with another book maybe?? I was NOT prepared when I started reading it. The writing is amazing. I love the characters and the found family aspect. It’s just also really dark… like reminds me of THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy… that kind of dark– desperate and post-apocalyptic.

I’ve also been reading a couple of faith books. One is kind of a memoir (??) of sorts about a non-profit ministry that helps gang members in Los Angeles called TATTOOS ON THE HEART. It’s so, so good. I think I’ve spent a lot of time over the last several years seeing people who identify with my faith behaving in ways that are so the opposite of what I believe that I’ve felt really lost as a Christian. Reading about someone who is living faith in a way that makes me feel like YES, this is what I believe. Yes, this is a person from whom I feel like I can learn. That’s been incredibly healing for me. The author has two other books that are quickly leaping to the top of my reading list.

If we were having coffee…

We’d probably talk about health and family. The people you know who’ve been sick or have recovered. The ones who haven’t. We’ve lost neighbors. We’ve lost family. By now I feel like most families have been touched by Covid. We’re doing the best we can to find the balance between social distancing and still maintaining the relationships that are important. We’ve got family who respect, understand, and support us, and family who don’t.

My oldest decided to homeschool this year. My youngest will be at home, too. I keep hearing other parents talking about making those choices for their families and saying versions of “there are no good choices this year. We’re only able to make the best of the bad ones.” And I wholeheartedly agree.

I keep wondering if every year will be like this. No one can say. No one knows. I know I need to make decisions for THIS year, decisions that I can sleep with at night. But knowing what the next few years would look like seems like it would at least help a bit. At least we’d know if there’s a break in the clouds coming soon. For now, I have lots of questions, an not nearly enough answers.

I know that I’m exhausted, and I bet you are, too. No matter what you believe about Covid, the vaccine, masks, whatever, our lives have been altered, and it hasn’t been easy. And there’s no promise that it will suddenly become easy.

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask you if you think Covid will start to emerge in fiction. Like, I’m seeing it a little bit already– I have a couple books on my reading list that reference it in the backstory of the book. But like, will we start seeing more books where Covid is just a part of life? Are authors all holding their breaths, hoping that Covid is temporary, or clinging to writing present-day stories that don’t include Covid because then books still remain a safe escape from real life?

Will it be like cell phones, where eventually all contemporary stories include them? Where there’s like, a line in the fictional sand: stories set before 2020 have no Covid. Stories set after that include it and show social distancing and reflect what’s happening.

It’s weird, right? Even typing all that out, I feel like these are weird questions. Thinking about my own writing, I’m not even sure. How would Covid impact the story ideas I have? Right now I can’t imagine telling those stories in a Covid world.

If we were having coffee…

The Storm Keeper's Battle by Catherine Doyle

I’d want to end on a positive note. I’d want to talk about things I’m looking forward to. Okay, so this first one is kind of a cheat… but the final book in one of my FAVORITE series comes out in the US in October. The series is called The Storm Keeper’s Island (that link is to my review of the first book in the series) and the final book is called THE STORM KEEPER’S BATTLE. I have been looking forward to this book since I read the last page of the second book in the series, THE LOST TIDE WARRIORS.

Earlier this year I noticed THE STORM KEEPER’S BATTLE had already come out in the UK. Y’all, I don’t do a ton of preorders, and I had never ordered a UK release before at all. But. I absolutely ordered this one, and so I’ve technically already read it. I haven’t posted my review, and I will probably reread the book before I do. That’s how much I love the series. So. Yeah. I’m looking forward to seeing other bloggers talking about it, and maybe hopefully my bookish friends will read it and want to talk about it, too.

So that’s my update.

Thanks for sticking around or stopping by. Sorry I haven’t been as present lately with lists and recommendations and responding to comments the way that I want to. My littlest will start doing some preschool time with my mom a couple mornings per week soon, so I’m hoping that opens up a little more time for me to post and share and write more.

If we were having coffee, what would you want to tell me?

Leave me a comment with something you’d tell me if we were having coffee today. It can be related to the topics I’ve mentioned or something totally different.

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

2 Responses to If We Were Having Coffee – Fall 2021 Update

  1. Sam@WLABB says:

    I have already read two or three books that mention Covid. Abbi Glines’ last book had the grandmother die from Covid. The character also mentions masking to go into a nursing home and being vaccinated. It’s weird reading it in books, though.