Thursday, February 12, 2015

Coming Full Circle...

A lot has happened in the 2.5 years since I last posted here.

I won't lie.  I feel as though I have struggled with some kind of identity crisis.  And yet at my core, I am still the same Molly.

* Even though I have retired from teaching (and grading), I still love learning.
* Even though I have interests outside of books, I still love to read.
* Even though I am a seasoned "grandma", I am still young at heart.
* Even though I still love my puppies, we have had to say a fond farewell to two of them.
* Even though travel, scrapbooking, and photography are now a significant part of my life ... I can still use My Cozy Book Nook to share with other like-minded people.

Rather than give a lot of backstory, I will instead just tell you about the present.

While I retired from teaching last May, I will be leading a group 38 students and parents on a two-week tour of Europe next month.  This will be my last hurrah as "Mrs. Totoro" and it will be a terrific final farewell to a rewarding career in the field of education.

It is my hope that this trip will be the first of several domestic and international journeys which I plan to share on this blog.  Travel writing, as well as photography, is a real passion.  I love the idea of marrying photographs with text and hope to use this platform to share thoughts, memories, and insights from these various travels.

Now that I have more free time, I have returned to my love of scrapbooking.  I recently renewed my contract with Creative Memories and am working on a personal project that I call Milestone Memoir. Again, it is the idea of marrying photographs of my past with personal essays to create a lasting legacy to leave for my children.  I am sure to share a few layouts here from time-to-time.

I drafted a Middle Grade historical fiction novel during NaNoWriMo 2013.  First Impressionism introduces this young audience to Degas and Cassatt, and life in Paris circa 1880.  I thought drafting the novel would satisfy my writing itch, but I am now feeling compelled to revise and possibly write a sequel.  While writing fiction is a stretch for me, it is wonderful way for an ex-English teacher to spend retirement - and I am sure to share a few scenes here on the blog.

Because of the above writing interest, I have started reading more Middle Grade fiction.  Surprisingly, I have thoroughly enjoyed this genre and desperately desire to read more.  It is now time that I return to writing (simple) book reviews to share this joy with others.

I have missed this blogging community.

I do feel as though I have come full-circle... and it is wonderful to return home.


  1. I love middle grade fiction too, especially anything with a sci-fi or fantasy element, since that is what my boys like and I'm always keeping an eye out for books that will keep them excited about reading. It's great to see you back on your book blog!

  2. So glad to see you back here, Molly!

  3. It's good to see you back! You need to revise that novel and then submit it!

  4. Thanks for the update on what you've been doing and the inner desire to keep blogging, reading and learning. Looking forward to hearing about the trip and that intriguing novel.

  5. So happy to see your blog pop up in my reader! That Europe tour sounds like a great way to close a career.

  6. What a treat to see you in my reader today! Welcome back, Molly. That trip sounds amazing.

  7. How I love to see these "old" friends' comments again :)

    Alyce... as I remember, you are quite the fan of time travel books, yes? I need to spend some time on your site finding new MG and Time Travel books to add my ever-growing TBR list!

    Belle - It is SO good to be back! I look forward to reconnecting with your reading and writing progress once again.

    Cathy - you are always so quick to respond with such encouraging words. I have missed your kindness....

    Candace - I have maintained a stalking status of your blog. I can't get enough of Wordless Wednesday, Weekend Cooking, and of course, your excellent reviews. I will no longer be stalker now :)

    Rebecca - it is because of your support, encouragement, and friendship that I dared to return home. Thank you - from the bottom of my heart!

  8. JoAnn - thank you SO much for the warm welcome! I'm sure I will be writing several posts on the Europe trip, once I return home at the end of March. I hope people don't tire from reading about it :)

  9. Molly, I was so happy to see your face on a comment a few minutes ago. I clicked through to see if your blog was back in business. And it was! Yay!

    I have recently returned to blogging as well. I used to be Kay at My Random Acts of Reading, but am now at kay's reading life. Would love to have you visit.

    Your trip to Europe sounds lovely and I look forward to hearing about it and seeing your pictures. I was always in awe of your creative impulses and I'm happy to hear an update of your pursuits. Welcome back to book blogging!

  10. Wonderful post! I'm glad you feel like you've come full circle. It's nice to feel like you're content with life (not really content but satisfied or like you're in the right place). Congrats.


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