If you've been following my blog for a while then you may have noticed that I refer to the book "The Sound of Paper" often. This book, written by Julia Cameron, really helped me understand more about the creative process and how to find inspiration in my everyday life. One of the best take-aways from the book for me was discovering that everyone goes through peeks and valleys of creativity. As artists we should learn to accept the cycle and find a way to embrace those times when we are in a creative lull. The author maps out several exercises we can do during those down times to infuse new life into our work when the time is right.

What I discovered about myself is that I needed to find activities that allowed me to completely escape from the demands and pressure of work. For some people it might be shopping, traveling, meeting friends for lunch, etc... but for me I find I can completely shut off work when I'm A) reading a book and B) cooking. These are two activities I have to make time for on a daily basis or I find it hard to stay balanced. Having said that I do find that it's easy to fall into old habits. For example, when the kids go to bed it's easy to wander over to the laptop and finish "just a few more things" rather than picking up a book to read.

In an effort to hold myself accountable for making time each and every day to truly escape from work I signed up for a reading challenge on Goodreads. My goal is to read 100 books in 2013...if that number sounds like a lot just know that I a pretty fast reader so I can move through books quickly. This has been a great way for me to unwind at the end of each day and it also helps me escape and recharge.

Bobbi Peterson ofThe Salty Peanut Photography asked for a list of my favorite books on my Facebook page the other day. I was having a terrible time trying to narrow down my "all-time favorite" books so I thought I'd change it up a bit and list my favorite books so far in 2013. You'll notice I have quite a few young adult fiction books on the list. I made friends with the little neighbor girl and she and I share a passion for books. She brings over books she thinks I should read and I've been surprised with just how much I'm enjoying that genre!

So, without further ado here's the list! Happy Reading!


1) The Art of Racing in the Rain 2) The Fault in Our Stars 3) Bread and Wine 4) Out of My Mind 5) Wonder 6) Never Fall Down

If you have any questions for me related to my photography business, templates, home life, healthy eating, etc... please leave a comment here or on my FB page. I'll be selecting questions to answer here on my blog and if I choose your question I'll send you a $25 gift card to spend at Jamie Schultz Designs.