It has been a long time since I checked in with The Company Girls at Home Sanctuary! The summer is flying by for me. For new readers wondering who The Company Girls are and what is Home Sanctuary, let me introduce you. Rachel Anne Ridge has created this incredible community called Home Sanctuary. Her goal is to help us, not just clean house, but to keep a home, create a sanctuary. She does this by encouraging us to do a small thing each day. The small things are not just cleaning related, but also relationship and self-care related because creating a sanctuary takes more than the pipe dream Swifter is trying to sell you in it’s commercials. Some past small things have included: how to do a breast exam (her best post ever! Rachel wanted to write this post without actually mentioning the…uh…girls by name, so she wouldn’t be swarmed by prOn bots; her metaphor rocks!), doing something to show Your Hubby how much you love him, dust lampshades, clean your kitchen sink, or if like to read organize your summer reading list, plan a date night with Your Hubby, mop the kitchen floor, and plan meals for the week. She gives us a small thing to do Monday-Friday to help us make the places we live in our home sanctuary.

Company Girls are what Rachel calls those of us who join her sanctuary-making. And on Friday we all get together for coffee! Write a blog post about your week and then go to Rachel’s to link up and read what everyone else is doing. Don’t have a blog? No worries! If you want to join us for coffee, leave a comment on Rachel’s post.

Why haven’t I been spending time with the Company Girls? Because I have been making major progress on my book proposal! Whoo-hoo! I am over half-way done with it! The second sample chapter is almost done, then it’s editing the introduction, updating my market research and outline, and writing the query letter (which will probably be the hardest thing to do). It’s almost there girls! I can’t believe it. I’ve procrastinated on it so long, but I got help. Cairene MacDonald at Third Hand Works helps creative types like me get organized and create systems that work for our right brained wackiness. She just launched a new class called Project Front Burner. It does exactly what it says it does: Cairene shows you how to set up systems to do the things you’ve been putting off and putting off and putting off…. I’ve been in the class since the beginning of July for the express purpose of finishing the proposal. Once a week we call in and tell Cairene our goals and get support. We work for an hour then check in, get advice, get support then work for another hour. The last time we call we tell what we did and we celebrate! I did just start out only working on the proposal on Wednesday, but through two months of the class, I am now working on it 3-4 times a week. The information Cairene gives us for how to do this has been exactly what I needed to organize this project and make progress. The best part is the system I learned from her is going to work for me with blogging and other writing projects.  Thank you Cairene for helping me turn The Damn Book Proposal into the The Damned Good Book Proposal. We’re almost there. 🙂 For those of you who need help to break through a project you’ve been procrastinating on, I highly recommend Cairene’s class. Even if you don’t take the class, follow her blog.(This is not an affiliate link, and I’m not getting paid to say this: the class is just that good.)

The other reason I haven’t been around Home Sanctuary much is The 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge that The SITS Girls put on. It just finished up this week, and I still have eight days to go. 🙂 But I am blogging more regularly, and I am making a plan for this blog instead of just blogging whenever. It’s been a lot of work, and I haven’t always kept up that well (over 500 bloggers accepted the challenge). But I have set up systems (hear that Cairene!), and I fell the most purposeful I’ve felt when it comes to this space. I’ve clarified what I want to do here, and how to get it done. The SITS Girl is making the Building a Better Blog a regular feature on their BlogFrog site for those of you who are interested in joining in. Don’t worry several new people have jumped on board to begin, and there’s always us stragglers working our way through too.

This summer hasn’t been all work. I’ve enjoyed some beautiful walks, went swimming both at a friends pool, and the beach (OK I got into Lake Michigan up to my knees–the water was cold!). I went on a wonderful weekend retreat with our church’s women’s group, my in-laws visited and we went to the Printer’s Row Book Fair, and I’ve preached. I’ve also read some good books, and am ecstatic that Eureka and Warehouse 13 are back on.

So how’s you summer going? Have you made major progress on a bear of a project? Have you and your kiddos taken any adventures? Read a good book lately? Let us know in the comments.