Today, the Chicks extend a warm welcome to Debra Sennefelder, who is celebrating the release TODAY of her newest Food Blogger Mystery, The Corpse in the Gazebo. Take it away, Debra!
How Do You Tackle Your TBR Pile?
Hi, my name is Debra, and I have an out-of-control to-be-read pile for both physical and e-books. I’m can’t even begin counting how many books are waiting for me to open and lose myself in them. Since you’re here visiting this book-centric blog, I’m guessing you understand my plight.
What caused me to lose control of my reading goals? I had to balance managing a relative’s care with writing deadlines and the ever-growing list of to-dos behind the scenes of a writing career. For months, I struggled to read one or two books. To say I was disappointed about my lack of reading would be an understatement. Honestly, between meeting my daily word count, phone tag with rehab facility staff, maintaining my online presence, and taking care of my home, I was often too exhausted to read more than a page at night.
Even before 2021 hit, I’d never been a reader who set reading goals. Even though I’ve always been impressed by readers who set out to read X number of books in a year and accomplished it. I’ve always been more of a mood reader since I read in several genres. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a thrilling romantic suspense, a twisty psychological thriller, a feel-good women’s fiction story, or a quirky cozy mystery.
Over the past few months, as I was getting closer to my deadlines and traveling to my relative’s home several times a month to stay and help for days at a time, I was feeling like I was drowning in my daily to-dos. There hadn’t seemed enough time in the day. Even when I accomplished something (like meeting my deadlines), I still felt antsy, unproductive, worn out. Finally, I managed to get back into semi-regular working out. Yes, that started to make me feel better even though my schedule hadn’t lightened up. I then took a look at what else my daily life had been missing, and I realized that I hadn’t worked on my cross-stitch project since last year, and I hadn’t been reading for pleasure like I used to.
I decided the cross-stitch project could wait. But, reading? I needed to make sitting down and reading more than one page a couple days of the week a priority.
So, now what did I do to carve out reading time?
I tossed out the should-read list. Yes, I should be reading books for various reasons, but having that label on the book gave me zero interest in picking it up. So, I chose books that I was in the mood for. I love scanning my bookshelves for a book that fits my mood.
I selected shorter books to read because my energy level has been low, so more than 300 pages doesn’t really fit my life right now. Hopefully, soon, I can sink into a thick book, getting lost in a story.
I started reading in bed again. I prop myself up with three pillows, sink back, and read for about twenty minutes. This addition to my nightly routine has been a game-changer in how much I’m reading.
I stepped away from social media. My time is better spent reading than scrolling on my phone. On the other hand, though, I do love a good monkey video.
Since I’m in book release mode, my nighttime reading has been the only time I’ve been able to read. I’ll get back to my regular schedule in a week or so and have more reading time.
Thank you to Chicks on The Case for inviting me today to celebrate the release of THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO.
Readers: How do you tackle your TBR pile? How do you carve out time to read?
About Debra: Debra Sennefelder is the acclaimed author of the Food Blogger Mysteries and the Resale Boutique Mystery Series. An avid reader who reads across a range of genres, mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.
Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.
Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzu, Connie.
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3AGTEva