This week, with books in tow, I road-tripped through the American Southwest. As a hiker, I’ve always been most drawn to lush forests, but I can honestly say I now have an appreciation for the grand, mystical, majestic beauty of the desert.
At Zion National Park in southern Utah I got to walk under my first waterfall, something I have always wanted to do. In this picture, a poor hiker is scooting around me, probably thinking, “Get out of the way, weird lady,” but I had to stop and take it all in. Standing beneath Emerald Pools Waterfall, I was so thrilled I cried. Can you see the waterfall hitting the back of my hand?
Photo by Mr. Eve Messenger.
In Northern Arizona, iron-rich red rocks and distant horizons in every–I mean every– direction made me feel as if I was on Mars. The largest boulders in this picture are four times bigger than my car.
Traveling through Navajo country, I developed an addiction to fry bread, which is used for sandwiches and tacos (and probably other things), but my absolute favorite was fry bread hot and fresh out of the oven, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
And here’s the book I read in my hotel room each night. I had no idea The Winner’s Curse would be such a page-turner, but it really was, and Kestrel and Arin’s forbidden love story hooked me so hard. Marie Rutkoski’s book has everything. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Hello, fellow book junkies! It’s amazing how much better regular exercise makes me feel, both in body and soul. Last week I finally started going for walks again for 20-30 minutes each night. The solitude of walking alone is nice, but it’s even more fun when a family member or neighbor tags along. Last Friday there were four of us chatting and enjoying the night air.
But that’s not the only reason I’m in a good mood. . .
#1 It’s Friday!!
#2 I won an ARC I’ve been really looking forward to reading: And I Darken by Kiersten White. This dark historical fantasy set in the age of the Ottoman Empire is getting all kinds of great reviews.
#2 House-cation!! With my lovely family out of town for a few days, I’ll get the house all to myself. Yes, it might get a bit lonely, but I’ll have my dogs, cats, and lovely online friends like you for company. I can watch any TV show I want (we’re a one TV household), get lots of writing and reading done, and yeah, pretty much do whatever I want.
Suffice to say, you’ll probably be seeing me around more over the next couple of days. 🙂
For a huge book nerd like me, libraries are a retreat, a sanctuary even. Sometimes, like today, a library can even be an adventure. Some libraries are tiny, old, and in need of fresh paint. Others are vast, with elevators, conference rooms, fancy patrons’ plaques on the wall, row after row of study carrels, sometimes with gardens and statuary on the grounds outside. As long as friendly books line the walls, I’m happy; I feel safe.
When I have time, I like to leave the house to write. With fewer distractions and a deliberate plan that includes getting dressed up and packing supplies (laptop, bottled water, sometimes notes), I usually accomplish a lot more. In the evenings and early mornings, I’ll write at Starbucks, but libraries are my preferred destination. Usually I write in our awesome, recently remodeled local library or sometimes at the university library a 15-minute walk from home. On the weekends, I might visit the regional library in the next city where a friend works as a children’s librarian.
I live 15 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, but today I happened to be in a coastal town called Corona del Mar. I had my laptop with me, so after completing my errand I decided to go on a little writing adventure to a library I’d never visited before. Thanks to Siri, it was easy to find the nearest library just a couple of miles away. I took the elevator up to the second floor and set up my laptop in a cozy alcove near a window overlooking a perfect Southern California day. A short while later a woman joined me in the alcove. She tapped away at her laptop, too, and it was nice to have writerly company.
I had so much fun today on my mini-adventure to a new library that now I want to library-hop every week. Maybe, with each new library I write in, I’ll take a picture and post it on my blog.
As of 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, thirty-seven unfettered, glorious days of doing whatever I want popped up and smiled at me like a goofy toddler. For the whole month of August I get to read all the books I want, write whenever and for as long as I want, sleep in, exercise(?), spend time with family and friends, and catch up on. . . everything!
You don’t think my to-do list for the first day of summer break is that bookworm-ish…do you? 😉
Make to-do list for first day of summer break.
Play with dogs.
Brew tea, continue rewrite of YA fantasy, act III.
Think about going for a walk.
Figure out genre of the next book I’m planning.
Research more literary agents who might be a good match for my YA fantasy.