Actually, home is sort of a chaotic mess at the moment, but still, it’s nice to be back here.
I had great visions of blogging while we were on vacation, writing quick little daily updates about our adventures, turning it into a vacation that I would always remember… but yeah, that didn’t happen. I also imagined myself reading my auto-immune cookbooks and planning out a month’s worth of menu plans, with recipes and shopping lists, during the copious free time that I would have while R drove the RV. Turns out that didn’t happen, either. I did get to be a passenger some of the time, but I used it pressing buttons on the radio searching for some station that we’d both enjoy (memo to self: next time bring CDs!) or trying to convince the dogs that they didn’t really both need to be in my lap. And occasionally napping.
On the surface, it was a prosaic enough vacation: R and I drove to Pennsylvania and visited relatives. I got to spend some time with an aunt and uncle in State College, an aunt and cousin in New Jersey, and my brother and his family in Allentown. Exciting, right? But it felt like an adventure, because it was the first time I’d driven the RV any serious distance. Putting gas into the RV–and more importantly, getting into and out of the gas station without hitting anything–felt like such a triumph. Setting it up at the campgrounds (admittedly with the help of a lovely 10-point checklist that my dad created for us) made me feel terribly competent. Sewer hose? Sure, I can do that! Oh, I screwed up a few times. The worst was when I scraped the side against a metal railing. Oops. It made a horrendous noise, but my dad scoffed at me when I pointed out the resulting scrape. Good thing RVs are tough.
Two other new things from vacation:
Yes, I put glitter on my fingernails. Well, I didn’t. A nice woman at a nail salon did. When I told her I was camping, she tried to talk me into some kind of gel polish that would apparently last for a really long time. I declined, because I was sort of infatuated with the idea of purple glitter, mostly because it seemed so wildly inappropriate for camping. But I didn’t want it to last for a long time. Two days seemed just fine. Once it was on, though, I was totally sold. My nails look ridiculous and I love them. I may become a purple glitter kind of person.
And the other new thing I did. I said after I got off that I never knew driving a tractor was on my bucket list, but oh, it was. Picking up the dirt and moving it around took me several tries–figuring out that scoop thing was not as easy as it looked–but it was so fun! Like playing in a giant-size sandbox.
Now that I’m home, it’s time to start writing again. I feel surprisingly uninspired, though. The combination of the house disaster, R’s college financial aid numbers and some unexpected vet & medical bills means that I’m stressing about money. I wish that motivated me, but instead it seems to stifle me. I think it’s because I know the economics of writing don’t make sense. I’d earn more at a minimum wage job. I read a blog post today that talked about the formula for success–which is apparently releasing a bunch of books at the same time, followed by another a month later, followed by another two months later. That’s how to keep visibility high and make your books discoverable. So let’s see, seven books… at my average speed, that’ll take me about four years. So four years from now, I might be successful. Unfortunately, I’ll be homeless and starving before then. That’s not good math.
But, hey, it was a nice vacation and I’m glad I took it despite the chaos. Tomorrow will be whatever it is, but yesterday–and the preceding eight days!–was a good day and I get to be glad that I had it.
Hi Sarah, Sounds like fun! visiting family is not too inspiring, but good to do. Love the nails 🙂 Are you really driving a tractor in a dress?
I don’t know where you are in the next book, but the start of any project takes a bit of effort before you see any progress. Your books take a while because they are really, really good.
All the best…. C.
I was wearing a dress! I didn’t know I wanted to drive the tractor until I saw it and fell in love. I took one look and immediately demanded a chance to play with it. My brother rolled his eyes–he uses it as a tool, not a toy–but it was so fun! Next summer I may have to visit him earlier in the summer, when he’s actually using it, except I got the benefit of the tomatoes and the sweet corn and the potatoes by visiting him in July. Hmm, an early visit would be peas and blueberries, though, and that might be nice, too. And thank you! I feel very slow compared to all the authors who seem to be fountains of words, but… well, maybe I am. I need the time to think about the characters and the stories, though. I’ve read books about writing faster, but my characters just seem to take me a long time.
It’s awful when something you love doing starts feeling like a job…sucks the life right out of it. You are an amazing writer, though. I can’t tell you how many times we stopped mid book and said, “Damn she’s a good writer!” Your books also aren’t annoying. I extremely dislike the tired tension people put in their stories. Your tension is more realistic and less tired drama. Keep it up!
Thank you, Tammy! I appreciate the encouragement more than I can say!
I drove the tractor into the ditch when I was 6 years old. Of course, I was sitting in my dad’s lap at the time but I was steering and he let me. Haven’t drove one since then. I’ve ridden standing on the grater blade with my brothers to help even out the road.
Ah the life I’ve lead…
🙂 The more interesting the life, the more fun the stories to tell!
Driving vacations are my favorite. Yours sounds wonderful. Glad you’re home safe and sound. Personally I think the authors who churn out a zillion books all write the same way. If it’s page 92 the protagonist must be doing X. I’d rather wait a bit between books for real writing rather than formula dross.
Love the glitter!
Yeah, it’s pretty clear that figuring out a formula that people like and writing it consistently and quickly is key to being a bestseller–but I suspect that it just isn’t ever going to be my style. Even when I think that’s what I want to do, my stories go off in their own directions!