Monday, August 25, 2014

What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

Good Morning. Today is Monster's first official day of school. Yay! 4th grade. I cannot believe how time is flying. Over the summer, I finished writing two novellas, and started the last novel of the series. Again I say Yay!

I also learned a few things and as with every beginning of every school year, I have written the requisite WHAT I LEARNED ON MY SUMMER VACATION essay.

1. After five years I finally had all the elements of creating perfect meals, gas stove, gas grill, farmer market organic vegetables and locally caught seafood. I indulged a few times and realized playing with food is a creative talent that I should indulge in more often. Unfortunately, without people to eat said food, it's not worth it to cook. Half of it went down to the beach for the sea gulls.

2. I way over-packed, including extra shoes, dresses, and beach cover-ups, however, wore the same 3 outfits the entire time I was there. (out of the 8 pair of shorts I brought with me, only two still fit. I've gained back all the weight I lost before I left so I could fit into those shorts. Ironic, or sad, either way.) (As for the dresses, I thought I might meet someone and have like a date. Uh, what in god's name was I thinking.)

3. Five weeks is too long to be away from home. I missed my bed, I missed my animals (3 dogs and a cat) I worried that by the time I got back all my houseplants would be dead (which they weren't thankfully). You can only go to the beach so many times before it gets boring (and you get sun poisoning -- which I did the first day we were there -- and then again the last week we were there). I also did not realize that the more I shopped, the less room we would have in the car on the way home. Needless to say, I have to return to Pennsylvania to my brother's to pick stuff up.

4. I read more while I'm on vacation. Truthfully, this is the first time I've read in about two years. I used to read a book a day, almost 6 per week before I began writing. Now I don't read at all. And I can honestly say that New York editors aren't all that. Nora Roberts had typos. In all three books I read. And she used the wrong character's names. And had grammar issues. And run on sentences. And long boring paragraphs of useless description. And she used adverbs and adjectives so much I thought I was at a circus. What that taught me is, A) she's either a very crappy writer, B) New York doesn't care as long as she keeps bringing in the big bucks C) rules are totally meant to be broken.

5. Writing is something that I must do quietly. I tried to write in places people were not meant to write in. I tried to write in bed. I tried to write at the beach. I tried to write in the bathroom. I got nothing but frustration. So I gave up. And then lo and behold, a beautiful day presented itself. Monster went to the beach with the kids across the street. I set the laptop out on the deck, and bam, just like that hit 3000 words. I took a break in the afternoon, and added another 2000. As I looked everything over at sunset, I heard Amazing Grace being played by bagpipes. Yes. Bagpipes on the beach at sunset and 5000 words. I would have to say that was the best writing day I've ever had.

So yes, cooking, sun tanning, beach going, reading, shopping, writing, all the elements of a wonderful vacation.

So why do I feel so drained. I need a vacation from my vacation.

Tell me --  How was your summer? Did you go away? Did you get any writing done? What did you do?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2014


Yvonne Osborne said...

I always need a vacation after a vacation!

Don't even start on the lousy sentence structure and lame plot lines of many best-selling authors. I just started an anthology of short so-called "thriller" stories edited by a big name who will go unnamed here and, honestly, it's pretty terrible.

NY doesn't care as long as the books keep selling. If you're churning out books like some of these guys do, there are going to be a lot of grammar and character issues.

Amazing Grace on the beach after a long day of good writing sounds like the highlight of your vacation.

Here comes fall.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Re #3 ... I was only away five days and missed home so much. Missed my pups being needy, most.

Shelley Sly said...

Welcome back! Glad you got all that writing done - wow!

I just returned from being out of town, too. We're attempting to move across the country and went to look at houses on the west coast. Exciting and overwhelming.

I've always missed my pets when I'm away, too.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That is a long vacation. I always enjoy being home after being away for a few days. No matter how fun the vacation, home is best.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I had great intentions of doing a lot of writing this summer. Results were kinda like your reaction to dating--what was I thinking? Oh yah, a break from deadlines and my blog, some river beach time, relaxing...HA! I got hit with a promotion and have been spending weeks in training and no writing.

I think part of that is having to be chained to my computer for so many hours a day just...created a resistance to spending more time there writing fiction--god knows I've written tons on nonfiction stuff.

Two weeks is about my limit of being away from home on vacation.

Hey, glad you had a good time!

Fabulous on the writing. And yay on having time to indulge in the art of cooking--yep, for those who love to cook it's an art and part of our creativity. :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

J.B. Chicoine said...

I always need a vacation after vacation, but maybe that's because we always visit a place where we know lots of people and have a crammed itinerary the day we arrive. I think we need to go some place where nobody knows us!

I'm glad you are back, and so happy to were able to write!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I love writing in bed! No matter where I am, the bed feels comfortable and creative to me.

Donna Hole said...

Lol, I'm always anxious to get to my vacation, and about halfway through, I wonder if I should get back early.

At least you had quality time with the monster. Fun fun fun.

Anne Gallagher said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by. I've been busy at school this week, but I'll try to comment over the weekend.