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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

It was a busy year.

Grandbaby in February. New kitchen floor, gas range, washer and dryer in May. We bought a canoe, used it, and went on wilderness camping trip. And as usual there was golf league and art class.

Lots of walking, though no hiking this year. The focus was on learning to canoe so I’d be ready for the week-long wilderness trip.

Shoveled lots of snow. LOTS of snow.

Besides the trip to California for the grandbaby in February, David visited in June and the whole family including grandbaby was here in August. I visited my family in Montana in September and we took a major cruise in October.

My only goal for the writing this year was to keep working, and I succeeded in that. I had about 125K in new words and lots of revising, worldbuilding, and notes. Specifically:

* Revised outline for the first Sal and Troy book, and started the revised draft.
* Revised outline for Darien and started the revised draft, which stands at about 30K now.

* Revised the genie story, decided the short version wasn’t working, and expanded it to novel length for NaNoWriMo.

* Worked on PattiSue (new adult vampires and werewolves. Oh, the shame…)

* Story a Day yielded 11 ideas, 8 of which became partial drafts. Haven’t looked at them since though.

So it was a pretty good year. Except that for the second year in a row, I didn’t finish anything. And there were a lot of smaller things, like posting here, that I let slide. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Isn’t it nice to know I have things to work on next year?

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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Why yes, I dream of having a writing retreat some day. Somewhere. Somehow. I’ve been dreaming about it for years.

I used to think it was difficult to impossible to get away when the kids were in school. There were always gymnastics/dance performance/big tests/band performance/etc. that required both parents. I did manage to get away for a couple of writing seminars or a long weekend alone. For those, I just booked a room at the Sheraton in nearby Portsmouth NH where I could go down for a meal if I needed a break or order room service for minimal interruption. Or go out and wander around the downtown if I was temporarily stuck.

I always thought it would be easier after the kids left home and we retired. No obligations, no kids to take priority, no…

No money.

Well, not exactly no money. But not a lot, either. And would I rather spend it on a week away somewhere to write, or on going to visit the kids and the pending grandbaby? If I have to choose between a week-long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness with spouse, or a week in a cabin alone with my thoughts and my notebook? What about two weeks in China? Writing is important, but it’s chugging along. Do I really need a retreat? Do I even want it?

Even though the answer has been no so far, I still dream of spending weeks or months in Italy soaking up the sun and alternating painting, writing, and hiking or biking. Maybe a villa in Umbria, maybe an apartment in Rome. But I know myself well enough to know that I’d most likely spend all the time doing things, seeing art galleries, finding new trattorias and gelato stands, going to concerts, and generally being more of a tourist than a writer.

Which makes me think that the way things are working out is just fine 🙂

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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Proud mother moments

We spent the long weekend down in Pittsburgh for youngest’s graduation from Carnegie Mellon University. The whole family was able to come, so besides the pleasure and pride of the event, we had the pleasure of two full days of family activities, including a couple of nice dinners out. We had lovely weather the whole time.

Here’s the happy graduate:

David in his robes, with honors medallion, before diploma ceremony

David in his robes, with honors medallion, before diploma ceremony

My three awesome kids at David’s honors ceremony Saturday:

my three graduates

Steven, Rochester Institute of Technology, software engineering. David, Carnegie Mellon University, materials science and engineering. Kat, Northwestern University, tv production.

We had hoped David would be able to come home for a visit afterward, but he needed to stay to take care of housing and try to find an internship next term. Hopefully he’ll have time to visit for a bit later in the summer.

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I got a Sony Reader for Christmas, mostly so I could carry enough reading to get me through a trip without having to add 15 pounds of books to my luggage. I haven’t used it as much as I thought I might — decided that although it’s small enough to take camping, for instance, I didn’t want to take a chance on it getting rained on or dropped in a river — but I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

And it’s been great for travel, the main thing I wanted it for. One benefit I did not expect: I normally get travelsick when I try to read in a car or plane. The last flight to Chicago, I was able to read without problem. I think it’s because the slightly gray screen with the softer focus doesn’t buzz in my head quite so much.

So far I haven’t found any lighting conditions under which the screen is unreadable. With the backlight, I don’t even have to turn on a light to read at night, making it much easier to avoid waking spouse when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep *g*

I can’t always get the book I most want to read on it, because relatively few new releases come out electronically, but I found plenty to read. Many sites have recently offered free/promotional stuff. The Sony Reader is happy with PDF’s, so most everything in Project Gutenberg and the other free sites is available. I loaded up on classics that I either never read or want to reread. (Moby Dick, here I come!)

Negatives: the notes facility is not very good. Either that or I haven’t figured out how to use it effectively. But then I usually make notes into my paper notebook anyway, so it’s not a big problem.

It’s not going to replace my physical bookshelves for a while, but I definitely like it.

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