Archive for the ‘ Traveling ’ Category

Writing Retreat

  Last year when the trees were turning their brilliant colors and the air began to have a nip in it, my fiance and I went to the Finger Lakes in NY for a long weekend getaway. Now, as August winds down my mind can’t help but turn to what an amazing time I had there. Not only was it beautiful, but it was everything a writer could want. I would sit outside writing on a cobblestone patio next to the fire pit and surrounded by lush grass, ponds, and vibrantly hued mountains. Bliss….sigh.

One of my biggest struggles as a writer is balancing my writing with everything else in my life. These past few weeks have actually been great as I’ve gotten into a good habit of finding time to write almost every day, but it made me reflective as well. While I’ve been to various writing events, I’ve never actually been to a writer’s retreat. These, after I did a little research, come in all shapes and sizes, so writers can pick and choose based on what they’d like to accomplish. There are more structured writing retreats that feature speakers, workshops, and networking. There are more remote retreats with small cabins and more free time to find your muse in the wild. Both have merits, but for my personality getting to write while on vacation was the best fit for me. I could pair spending time with my fiance with relaxing on the patio snuggled into an Adirondack chair with a blanket (although for the next trip I really need to invest in a pair of fingerless gloves for typing outside for hours!).

Getting away helped remove many of life’s distractions and really focus on my work. Scheduling a writing retreat, even for a weekend, is a great way to energize yourself and your writing. Even if it’s a family vacation home or a VRBO rental (Vacation Rental By Owner – best site for getaways of all kinds) or a more planned writing conference-like retreat, finding time for you and your craft is bound to be invigorating.
Happy writing! 🙂

Falmouth Road Race

  This past week I went on a wonderful vacation to Falmouth, Cape Cod. I spent as much time as possible outside enjoying the ocean breeze, our B & B was right next to the ocean, walking around seeing the sights, or lounging on the beach. Glorious! While there I noticed how many runners and cyclists there were. Every morning as we enjoyed our breakfast on the outside deck, we saw many people of all ages cruising up and down the hilly roads next to the ocean. The only other time I’ve seen so many runners, outside a race or organized run, was when I went to Boston the summer before. Maybe MA culture breeds avid runners, but my guess is that where there are old, established races – i.e. Boston Marathon and Falmouth Road Race – there are going to be runners.

I didn’t know much about the Falmouth Road Race before my visit there this past week, but couldn’t help but want to run it myself after learning more about this historic event. In 1972, After watching Frank Shorter become the first American to win the Olympic marathon since 1908, Cape Cod resident Tommy Leonard thought it would be great if Shorter were to run a race in Cape Cod. Thus the Falmouth Road Race was born. With 100 participants its first year, 1973, the race threads its way along the Cape Cod coast up and down hills for 7 miles. Now it has become known as one of the best non-marathon races in the country, if not the world, with 10,000 people gaining entry through a lottery system each year. And with the Olympics in full force, it’s even more impressive that the race has attracted many past and future Olympians, both American and international, through the years.

Lottery opens online in May. For more info check out the website.

Happy Running! 😀

Fun Vacation Reads

  I’m preparing to depart for a much needed vacation. This year we’re headed up to beautiful Cape Cod. Beaches, biking, great restaurants, and, of course, loads of reading. One my favorite parts of going on vacation is the planning. I love to have an idea of places I want to visit and activities I want to engage in while I’m visiting a certain place. Having an idea of what’s out there makes the idea of going that much more exciting.

One of the best parts of taking a vacation anywhere though is the reading. While I don’t hole myself up in a room while on vacation, I do know there’s bound to be downtime, planned and unplanned, that is ideal for relaxing with a good book. A couple years ago when I went to France I took books that centered around France and/or the French culture like Elegance of a Hedgehog and Les Miserables. It made me feel more in tune with the author’s words as I walked through their world both physically and through their words.

This year I’m opting for books that just seem like delicious reads that beg to be devoured while laying on a beach and dreaming of far away places. Here are a few of the books I’m bringing:

  Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron – Not the most uplifting subjects with this book centering around the conflicts of Rwanda, but the central theme of running and pursuing that which we love drew me to this book.

Crewel by Gennifer Albin – I’ve heard of both Albin and her highly praised dystopian YA novel for months before actually laying my hands on a copy of her first installment in the series. Crewel is about a young girl who has a gift that she doesn’t want, to weave the fabric of time and matter together and decide the fate of the world around her.

East of the Sun by Julia Gregson – I’m most excited about this novel as it detours from my usual running/YA reads. Viva Hollowat is already regretting her decision to act as chaperone to three young charges on their voyage to India. “From the parties of the wealthy Bombay socialites to the poverty of the orphans on Tamarind Street, East of the Sun is everything a historical novel should be: alive with glorious detail, fascinating characters and masterful storytelling.” (goodreads)

I can’t wait to read these vacation books! Happy reading! 🙂

Why BEA Rocks

  I had the best, best time at BEA this year. For those of you who have gone you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say it’s like a kid in a candy store. Plentiful exhibitors with their shiny ARCs just waiting to be plucked by the likes of bibliophiles like moi. It’s glorious. If you’ve never been you need to make plans to attend when you can.

To entice you a little more, here are my favorite things from the expo this year:

1. Listening to debut YA authors including the highly buzzed about Gennifer Albin and her novel Crewel. Which brings me to…

2. Getting a signed copy of Crewel! Woohoo! (It’s being released this October)

3. Talking to people from all over the U.S. You meet the most interesting people and it’s a great place to network too.

4. Having a Libba Bray moment. I stood in line that stretched across the floor of the Javits Center of people eager to get a signed copy of Bray’s newest book Diviners. Fortunately, I got there way early so I was towards the front of the line and there was a great group of women around me that I chatted with the whole time. When I got to Libba I said, “Thanks for deciding to become a writer.” She stopped signing and took my hand and said, “Thank you.” She probably won’t remember in her whirlwind of fandom, but it was a perfect moment for me. 🙂

5. Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated by the great energy of being surrounded by books and writers and publishers and others who are passionate about all things books.

Only thing I was really disappointed about: In chatting with another attendee she mentioned she really loves the books that Bloomsbury puts out. Excited I hurried over to their exhibit and inquired about the getting one of the ARCs they had. The woman at the booth looked at me and said, “Sorry, we only have a few copies of those books left.” Period. No, how about a different book or explanation or anything. In other words, you, our readers, aren’t worthy of these books in my eyes. I am saving them for someone I deem more important. No matter what her reasons for refusing to pass out her remaining ARCs, I didn’t enjoy my interaction with Bloomsbury. Disappointing.

Overall, I had a fabulous time with the good far outweighing that one experience. Hope to see you there next year! 😀

BEA Here I Come!

  It’s still a couple weeks away, but already I’m nerding it up with planning my trip to BEA (BookExpo America). Even though I work at a library, I registered as a book blogger. I hope to use this to meet other bloggers and make some great connections. I’m also planning on bringing some networking (aka business) cards. Would it be wrong to leave them surreptitiously around the expo for people to stumble upon? Hmmm…

When I was younger I wanted to be Penny, Inspector Gadget’s niece, and walk around solving mysteries with her computer book. Finally my lifelong dream is coming true. I downloaded the BEA app onto my iPad and have already researched and plotted my plan of attack. Right now I have my handy, dandy agenda mapped out so I already know what I want to see when. That way I won’t miss any vital authors or books during my time there. One thing they don’t have that would totally rock is a virtual map of the floor at the Javits Center that tracked me as I walked. Maybe that’s a little creepy but how much fun would it be to see little bubbles of my favorite vendors and authors with me walking around so I know when I reach them? I can’t even begin to tell you how confusing that labyrinth of booths at the Javits Center is having been to several expos there before.

I think I may have to start ratcheting up my strength training and running regimes in order to be in prime physical condition for BEA. I can’t wait! 🙂 Hope to see you there!

Planning a Getaway

  It’s that time again. Time to plan my summer vacation and where I want to getaway for a week. In case the picture wasn’t a giveaway, my mind is on somewhere warm, secluded and relaxing that’s close to water. Ahhh…. I’m taking a little mini-vacation right now just looking at this photograph!

Everyone needs a little R & R every so often to recharge and rejuvenate the soul, mind, and body. That comes in various forms for me as I like all sorts of escapes. Mountain cabins, beach houses, foreign lands, even cities. Each one has their own unique offerings that peak my interest and make me want to check that locale out.

Maybe you’re the type of person who gets refreshed by laying by ocean or hiking through trails or flying to some exotic location, but regardless I think it’s important to find time to relax. And maybe it’s difficult for you to take a trip right now and that’s okay too! A night of relaxation where you don’t answer your phone or think about work or kids or whatever it is that you need an escape from is a great way to get your spirits up and give you energy you need to keep on going.

This year I really am craving a beach destination, so I’ll be busy plotting and planning my escape and hopefully not daydreaming about it too much at work! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Had a great weekend running around in the beautiful weather. Got to go on a much needed 7-mile run. It started as a “I think I’m going to go for a nice 3-mile run maybe longer if I feel okay” and then my legs didn’t want to stop moving! I loved it. 🙂 Mid-fifties, sunny, with a nice breeze that cooled me off without being challenging. Ahhh…

I have some great books in my reading pile too. Here’s what I’m reading now:

  The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks – I’m listening to this YA book on CD. I have to admit I don’t immediately jump on every vampire/werewolf book that comes out because a lot of them seem so similar that it’s like reading the same plot over and over. What grabs me is a story about a boy who doesn’t know he’s a werewolf, who isn’t charming and brooding and filled with an overabundance of wolf testosterone. (Is that such a thing?) That’s how this story begins and with a title that makes it seems more like a PETA story, I’m already hooked.

 

 

  Timeless by Gail Carriger -Here’s another series that involves vampires and werewolves, but in such a quirky way I can’t help but devour each new book. There are vampires who are more concerned with fashion than blood, werewolves that act as babysitters, a preternatural that turns supernaturals mortal, and a toddler that blends all these aspects together. Not to mention the delightful steampunk elements that are threaded throughout. A perfect book for any mood.

 

 

  All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps by Dave Isay – StoryCorps was started in 2003 with the idea of capturing stories and preserving them for future generations. A person visits a StoryCorps booth, sometimes alone but more often with someone they love, to tell a story that they want to honor the memory of. This book is a compilation of the love stories both happy and sad from those sessions. I got choked up at almost every story just because they captured such beautiful memories of the human spirit.

 

 

I hope you’re reading week is just as enjoyable as mine is! Happy reading! 🙂