Swimming in an Olympic Size Pool

For many of us, school has started. And even though we may not have school aged children, we hear the bus pull up reminding us that summer is over.

But didn’t it just start?


This is what I go through every year and yet I still seem to ask the question.

For those of you who have faithfully supported my writing venture and wondered what became of me over the last couple of months, I decided to take them off. Yes, I know I had made a new goal to be consistent, but it was summer. And besides, most everyone’s been busy with kids, summer vacations, travel and the like.

So why not take a break?

While away from the blog I took the time to catch up on things. I made great strides with my current WIP and am now two-thirds through the first draft.

I did some reading too. I love how it helps to fill up the creative well as I write.

You know, writing a novel and presenting it to the world is like playing in an Olympic size pool. There’s an awful lot of marketable competition out there.

Yes, it’s a big pool with lots of room to swim. Some may study the water first and then take the plunge, while others dive right in practically drowning from lack of experience.

(Credit: microgen E+ Getty Images)

That would be me. *waves hand* I dove right smack into the water, head first, now forced to do the backstroke. Still, I am determined to succeed and learn from others.

Thus the reading. Although, I find that just as in life, I need to be aware of those who may have the wrong influence on my stroke. The pool is filled with plenty of bad swimmers who could have a negative impact on my technique. Just because they’re published doesn’t mean they’re the best of swimmers.

Swimmers who can bring home the gold at the Olympics.

However, there are many who through much practice and skill are capable of this feat.

And one of them is Kristin Hannah.

I cannot claim to have read all of Ms. Hannah’s books. Perhaps a few to say the least. But I just finished reading her latest endeavor and oh my goodness what a story.

It’s called “The Nightingale.”
Wow, I mean wow. This book without a doubt will make history, setting a new world record in Olympic swimming, I mean writing. And it already has with worldwide distribution and a movie option.

First, I must say, that for a summer read, the story was a little heavy. And that’s okay. This was a story that obviously had to be told. But it was a fresh stroke of genius, a monumental undertaking told from a different point-of-view, proving that Kristin Hannah without question belongs in that Olympic size pool.

And may I just say how much I learned from this well-seasoned professional swimmer!

Here’s the first two sentences:

“In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.”

Not too shabby, eh?

Here’s the abbreviated premise:

France 1939.

“With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.”

That it is.

If you haven’t had the chance to read it, go now to your favorite book provider and buy it. I happen to follow Ms. Hannah on Facebook, when to my surprise, she shared a link to purchase The Nightingale for a wampum $2.99.

I know! What a deal! Score!

But I would purchase it for the full price, it is that good.

So what’s the moral of this story?

If I want to swim with the professionals, I need to remain diligent, disciplined, confident, with my eyes focused on the end goal at the other side of the Olympic size pool. Because apparently, there are no slackers swimming in the water.

Which means it’s time for me to go practice my swimming writing. ☺

So what do you think? How was your summer vacation? Did you take a break? Read an interesting book you’d like to share? Go somewhere with your family or spouse? Regroup, recover, or revive from the heat? Make any progress on your current endeavor?

22 thoughts on “Swimming in an Olympic Size Pool

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Patricia! Thank you. Good to be back. Oh goodness, I appreciate your book suggestion. You know me, I love France. I found Kristen Hannah’s book very sobering. Yet, educational, as I had no idea how bad things were in France during WW2. Wow, what people lived through. Amazing when you really think about it. And her writing skills kept me glued to the story to the very end. Glad you enjoyed it also. Well, I’m off to check out Suite Fancaise. Again, thank you so much!! 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      Yes, where did the summer go? So great to see you Lynn! I know things have been super crazy for you. I hope that fall will bring fresh ideas along with the falling leaves. But could things just slow down a bit? Would that be too much to ask? Say hello to George for us. I hope your classes are going well and that things will calm down for you. And if don’t get a chance to grab the book, I hear it’s going to be made into a movie. Take care!!! ((Hugs)) 🙂

  1. Denise D. Young

    The Nightingale sounds like a fantastic read. Thanks for the recommendation! Sometimes we need to take a blogging break to recharge our batteries. I’m glad you’re back! Congrats on all the progress you made on your WIP. I’d love to hear details about it.
    Denise D. Young recently posted..Oh? I need a budget?My Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Denise, I hope some day that I may share my writing with you. But at this point I’m afraid I still have a ways to go. But that’s okay. Baby steps and I’m making improvement. And that’s the important thing. In the meantime, please so check out the Nightingale. It’s quite a gripping story. Happy reading! 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      I agree Coleen. I haven’t read all of Kristin Hannah’s books, but what I have read I’ve enjoyed immensely. Happy writing to you!! 🙂

  2. Pauline Baird Jones

    That is a great anthology for sure.

    What I did on my summer “vacation?” (haha) I was project manager for a huge project for a science fiction romance group. We put together 7 volumes of first chapters of individual authors books. They are called “Portals,” because they will take you to other worlds. #7 should release soon, but wow, I was exhausted.

    Second project: Pets in Space! Carrie Fisher asked for it and we are doing it! Its an anthology with some great authors, adventure, romance and Pets! We’re donating a portion of the profits to Hero-Dogs.org, which makes me very happy. It will release in Oct.

    And I’m writing. In gasps and spurts, but writing.

    And I need a nap. lol

    1. Karen Post author

      Thank you Pauline! Wow, you’ve had a very busy summer. I bet you need a nap. In the meantime, I’m happy to hear that you are writing regardless if it’s in gasps and spurts. It is writing my friend. Your project sound amazing. I wish you much success! 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      Thank you Serena! We are all trending water, are we not? And you’ve been busy with your writing. Glad to hear those creative juices are flowing. Yes, please do check out Kristin Hannah’s work. She is very talented. Happy reading girl! 🙂

  3. Yvette Carol

    Well, I didn’t do any of those things, it being winter and cold here, however, I did make progress with my WIP. It was interesting to hear about your break. Congrats on all the work and reading done. The book sounds terrific! 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      Yvette, I forget that it’s winter for you and spring should be just around the corner. I picture you writing with a fire roaring, a cup of tea sitting next to your laptop as you tippy tap away at your current WIP. And you’ve been very busy writing and making great strides. Keep it up girl. Happy reading to you! 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      Julia, you know I don’t make a habit of recommending books around here. And I don’t know if Kristin Hannah is your kind of read. But the content and premise and the well developed characters made this book a must. I hope you enjoy it and that everything in your neck of the woods is groovy! 🙂

  4. Jennette Marie Powell

    I have been knee-deep in kitchen remodeling these past couple weeks, which is why *I* allowed myself a blog break. It’s one of those ways to be kind to ourselves, to take something off the to-do list when it gets too long. So glad to see you’ve been writing–wow, you’ve gotten a lot done! Still pushing through my revision too, between helping DH with laying tile and whatever else needs to be done today. Keep up the good work!

    1. Karen Post author

      Oh that’s right Jennette. The kitchen remodel. And you’re helping to lay the tile? You brave girl you! Yes, that is just too much commotion. So a blog break is a must. I do hope all is going according to plan. Must share pics once it’s done. It’s going to look fabulous. I can’t wait to see it!!! 🙂

  5. Kelly Byrne

    It’s funny, I just downloaded a sample of this the other day. It’s on my very loooooooong TBR list and sounds amazing. I still have to finish All The Light We Cannot See and many others too. Like I said, long list. But you’re so right – these great books fill that well so well. 🙂 Glad to hear you took a break to fill yours and that you got some writing done in the mix. Go you! <3
    Kelly Byrne recently posted..#OurYearOfLivingBravely – Part 3 – Self-Compassion Is The New BlackMy Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Oh wow, that IS funny Kelly. Not the loooooooong TBR list! Don’t let it get buried girlfriend. Pop this baby to the top. I am a sensitive person, so I tend to be cautious when reading a serious, factual tale of history. But I could not put it down once I started reading. So you will love it. And look who took a break! You had a fabulous vacation in the Caribbean. Way to go girl! 🙂

  6. Susie Lindau

    It’s on my bed stand! I plan to read it next. My mom loved it.
    I agree about surrounding yourself with good “mentors.” There’s a lot of sub-standard stuff out there. The funny thing about reading is it’s more than the cost of the book. Our time is a high commodity. I hate to waste mine!

    1. Karen Post author

      So true Susie. Our time is so valuable. So if the writer has talent or strong craft, I will reread their book and study it. I’ve learned to be picky because occasionally there are books that I pick up and the writing is not study worthy. And I do not wish to pick up their bad habits. So The Nightingale is Mom approved. Good to know. You will love it girl. 🙂


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