The Vintage Wren
The Vintage Wren is a serial novel released in episodes on Amazon. However, subscribers can get FREE weekly installments (a chapter in length) delivered right to your inbox every Wednesday(ish—life delays it now and then). To sign up for weekly installments, click HERE. To read past installments visit The Write Chatterings group on Facebook.
The Vintage Wren is a serial novel released in several chapter episodes. Volume One contains the first four and a half episodes in one full-length novel.
Cassie Wren. Legal assistant. Convenience queen. Thrifter extraordinaire. If there was a “green police” she’d be a fugitive from eco-friendly justice.
But when a friend’s teasing feels like a challenge, Cassie accepts it. The result? One year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three hundred sixty-five days–of green.
It seemed simple enough. Cut back on paper plates, plastic forks, and straws. Easy peasy. But when her competitive side wars against her desire for convenience, Cassie finds it’s not so easy to be “eco-friendly” and “Cassie-
January Shopping for Cassie’s annual New Year’s Eve party sparks an innocent comment that Cassie can’t forget. So, during their New Year’s Day goal planning session, Cassie’s friends tease her about her lack of eco-consciousness, and Cassie determines to change one new thing in favor of the planet every week. For a year. Even if it kills her.
She’s confident it will.
Cassie’s first month includes eradicating the extraneous paper, glass, plastic, and metal from her life. However, she finds that it’s not quite as easy as she thought. Paper and plastic cover everything manufactured or packaged–even water, produce, and restaurant food! Glass is great, but you can only have so many “reusable jars,” and metal reduction means her hair may end up a nightmare of uncontrollable frizzies!
She doesn’t even want to talk about her water reduction plans.
But it’s not all been bad. She’s saved a lot of money, has prospects for a new business, her impromptu blog is gaining traffic, and she even has a new boyfriend. Add to that, a few great friends who keep her going when things get rough, and the realization that there are only eleven months to go, and Cassie just might make it.
Now only if her car would cooperate and make it, too!
Guest Post from Chautona
How Writing about Cassie’s Eco-Challenge Has Changed My Way of Living
I didn’t think it through—not really. I mean, how hard could it be? All I had to do is give Cassie my own reactions to things like giving up straws and having to use tote bags at the grocery store. I just needed 52 simple things she could change in her life—one new one for each episode.
Piece of cake.
I should have known better. I don’t do things halfway when I get into them. Yes, I’ve discovered that Cassie is more like me in some ways than I ever imagined. And as I’ve researched things for her to freak out about, I’ve done a bit of freaking out myself. Certain questions and thoughts won’t go away.
For instance, in 2017 1.26 BILLION dollars were spent on plush toys. Just plush toys. Stuffed animals. And I don’t know how many weren’t purchased. Those are just the ones that were. That’s… a LOT of stuffed toys. If each toy cost 20 dollars (and we all know most are half that or less these days), that’s 63 million of those toys purchased and brought home.
In one year.
Shampoo, conditioner, and laundry soap bottles. Not sure why this one bothers me as much as it does. I think, actually, it’s the huge amount of water as much as it is all the plastic.
Look, we no longer have eight females in our house. But we do still have four there at all times—five on breaks. That’s a lot of shampoo bottles every year. A big portion of both laundry soap, shampoo, and conditioner is… water. We pay for a big bottle (lots of plastic and water) and to ship that to us—either because we had to have it shipped to a store for us to buy it or we had to have it shipped to our house.
I am paying extra for water that I could add myself at a fraction of the cost.
And the things go on and on. The lake that almost disappeared in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan because of how much water it takes to grow and process cotton.
See, the thing is, I’m not a green nut.
I don’t think it’s as easy to “destroy the planet” as we like to say. I do think, much like we do with our bodies and such, that we can reduce the quality of the world around us, however.
And while I’ll never jump on Cassie’s bandwagon—certainly not for life, I have made a few changes in how I do things. And as time goes on, I find myself making even more.
Like what, you ask?
I’ll tell you.
Here are three small ways I’ve changed how we do things in our house.
- I started buying Dropps. They’re an automatically-shipped laundry pod. Each one is tiny—just a little smaller than the average “pod” and a whole lot cheaper. Also, there are no extra dyes or other things that are supposed to be bad for you and the planet.
I don’t really care about that. I just care that they work. And they do. And they’re cheaper than my Tide. ?
- I got a shampoo bar for my birthday. I thought it would be like washing with regular soap—especially after I started rinsing my hair! It freaked me out. One idea down the drain… I thought.
But no, after the second or third use, it still felt weird while wet, but it dried beautifully, and I didn’t need to use additional conditioner. It’s in the bar or something. I even tried the old way again to compare after-shower tangles. Identical.
- Dryer balls. Those felted wool balls really do work! A wonderful reader of mine sent me some, and it made my day! My youngest daughter and I are now trying to work with felted sweaters to try to turn them into dryer balls—or maybe even into sheets! (although, I think the balls bouncing around also kind of pound the clothes into submission or something. “Sheets” might not work, but I’m tempted to try it!
Look, you’ll never find me standing in front of a case in a mini-mart, freaking out because I want a Coke and can’t justify it. That’s not going to happen. But if I can choose a reasonable alternative to what I already do, well… it’s time to consider that.
There you have it. Three ways my life has changed since writing Cassie’s crazy story.
When asked about writing, author Chautona Havig says, "Books. I love them– always have. From my earliest years, I spent most of my free time lost in a book, until one day I realized that I had stories in my heart and mind that I wanted to tell. Time passed, life, family, and work got in the way, and my dream of being a writer seemed to vanish into the desert winds.
Dreams are beautiful things, though; they never quite disappear. I began writing again, editing, writing, editing…more editing… and now I have over a hundred books in progress and a few dozen published. I write the stories of fictional people who have real problems, weaknesses, and triumphs. Through their stories, I try to share the Hope that is within me."
Chautona lives in a small, remote town in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and seven of her nine children. When not writing, she enjoys paper crafting, sewing, and the knowledge that someday she'll be able to retire from home education.
She can be found at Chautona.com
Book Review by Bree Herron
I remember the first time I stumbled upon The Vintage Wren weekly stories. I was enjoying and gathering each story to read, finding Cassie and her friend are something to behold in the fictional character world. Chautona’s ability to have a stunning story with wonderful and unique wording is like non-other in the realm of reading, it is truly a treat to read her work.
So let’s talk this collection of “Vintage Wren” , I really love the Eco-friendly challenge and how it was detailed in the book. Cassie morphs into not only a thrift store queen but one with a thoughtful mind for the ecosystem and learning how though it is hard to change the ways from convenient to Eco-friendly, she can do it. Add in a blog and boyfriend, and you have a delightfully funny and engaging read that leaves you ready to possibly make changes to your life.
The idea behind paper and plastic being the first part of the challenge is one I could get behind, or I tell myself I can. I have since reading this book been changing my ways with how much I use of these products. Fans of witty stories with eloquent writing will enjoy this quick read from Chautona.
How do you make a difference in keeping our world clean?
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
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- Among the Reads , October 16
- Inklings and Notions , October 17
- Lots of Helpers, October 18
- Carpe Diem, October 19
- Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 19
- Real World Bible Study, October 20
- A Baker’s Perspective, October 21
- The Lit Addict, October 21
- Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 22
- Janice’s Book Reviews, October 23
- Aryn The Libraryan , October 23
- Bigreadersite, October 24
- Mary Hake, October 24
- Cultivating Us, October 25
- Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations , October 26
- Multifarious, October 26
- Bibliophile Reviews, October 27
- Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 28
- Texas Book-aholic, October 29
- The Mimosa Blossom, October 29
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize package that includes 5 Shopping totes, a Shampoo Bar, a Foldable Straw, and a $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway
Find out all the details and enter to WIN at The Vintage Wren-January Celebration Tour Giveaway.
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