Wednesday, March 6, 2013

RTW: Writing Quarterly Check-In


Today is Road Trip Wednesday! What is that? It is a blog carnival where the contributors of YA Highway post a weekly topic and participants write their responses. You can jump from blog to blog to see each blogger's take on the question. 

Topic of the week:
Where am I on my reading and writing goals?

My biggest goal this year is to do another revision of KIN and to get it ready for submission. I wish I would have shared this book with people a lot sooner, but happy with the notes given to me recently. I'm focusing a lot of my attention on fine-tuning an outline before proceeding. Happy that I was able to complete that yesterday. My next step is to write a new synopsis to see how things flow before I proceed onto hacking the away.

See, the most helpful piece of advice I was given was get the conflict to happen sooner. So I've focused on making that happen without sacrificing too much of the story I have already set in place. It was difficult since there are things I wanted to keep in place for a reason, but the advice made complete sense. This revision is about letting go of things and seeing things a bit more clearly. As I set the new events in place, I know it is for the best. (I'm hoping I feel the same way when I finally get the story together.) And it's a huge lesson that I hope to use when I step into revising future books and a lot sooner in revision than this one.

I'm behind on writing short stories, but I plan to catch up. My goal is to write one a month. I'm going to use some time when I need a break from revision to focus on that goal again.

I've read 18 book already this year. A few Buffy comic books, my usual YA fare, and research for a novel I wrote last year. It's a good mix and it keeps me sane when I need a break from my own worlds.


Happy writing and reading! Thanks for stopping by!


Natasha

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Our San Diego County Getaway Weekend

Since we moved to San Diego almost a year ago, we've heard a lot about the town of Julian. We didn't make it out to the big apple weekends around October, but Joey promised we would go. He hinted we would go in the winter time, probably in February and March. He was given some ideas in mind of places we could explore from his fellow co-workers, and I left it at that. I plan a lot of our trips, and I liked that he had things in mind.

Once March approached, we started to gather some of the plans. My role? Finding a place for us to stay. That was it. Everything else Joey decided to plan on his own and in secret. 

The day before we left, I spotted this picture online:


  I didn't know what to expect until I was able to open the first envelope.



This set the whole tone for the weekend. I ignore the words and focus on the picture for the answers. Fun puzzles with no expectations for me to guess it right since they're abstract in a lot of ways. I would take the last letter of the actual answer, and this leads me to the next envelope. 

Here are the places where we ended up in two amazing days. 

First envelope (E) I found a picture of a fire alarm. It was in reference to Jeff, Who Lives at Home where Susan Sarandon's character wants to kiss under a waterfall. That is what lead us to Cleveland National Forest to the Cedar Creek Falls Trail  to see a waterfall. It was a very peaceful walk since we didn't run into any people until we made our way back. 






Second Envelope (T) had an abstract picture that kept me guessing some type of picnic and jalapenos. It took us on a drive to Borrego Springs where we ate at Carmelita's Mexican Grill. We had a delicious meal of veggie quesadilla and a large tostada. We spent some time in the mall it was located in and bought a toy for our cats. We also went to a fudge and ice cream shop where we bought a little bit of both.  

Third envelope (L) were pictures of strange statues we spotted outside of Borrego Springs. It was Galleta Meadows, a metal sculpture park. We bought a neat map that helped us find all the different type of statues. My favorites were the dinosaurs and sea serpent. 





Fourth envelope (WS) I wanted to go to the nearby state park to see the desert flowers in bloom and so we went to the Anza-Borrego State Park. We were too early to see them, but we spotted a few flowers as we took a hike on one of the trails. The picture Joey picked was of the desert flowers so it was easy to guess. 

Fifth envelope (K) displayed four photos of bowls that could be seen as ice cream, porridge or soup. It was for Soups and Such, which ended up being closed when we reached Julian. We attempted a pie place, but they use lard (non-vegetarian) so we had desserts at our B&B. So it all worked out (and we were still pretty full from lunch). 

Sixth envelope (H) was our bed and breakfast, Wikiup. The picture was of space and a spacechip since we rented the Stargazer suite. We missed breakfast the next morning since we needed to be out early, but we really enjoyed everything about the B&B. I'm hoping we will return there to stay again in the future and would definitely recommend the place. 

Seventh envelope (P) was something I completely guessed as a joke. The shapes looked like animals so I wrote "Lions, Tigers and Bears-- oh my!" and we did end up going to an animal sanctuary Lions, Tigers, and Bears. We were hoping to go on our anniversary earlier this year, but it was too last minute. We've been watching Big Cat Rescue on YouTube for year and this is the closest thing to it in the San Diego area. My favorite was the tiger "Natasha", of course.





We had a bit of time leftover to we went to Alpine to the outlet mall there. I needed some new shoes and we found a Skechers stores. So happy I was able to find vegan shoes there! 

Eighth envelope (RS) we drove into the Laguna Mountain for a Laguna campground picnic. I helped pick out the food and Joey found a nice spot by a meadow where we ate some veggies with dip, bread and cheese, chocolate covered cherries, fresh strawberries, and pretzels. There was barely any snow on the mountain, but it was the first patch we walked through all winter. 



Ninth envelope (C) was a bit confusing since it was described as "the image was perfect" of an OceanSpray Ruby Red juice. I figured something with the ocean and we drove a lot around the county until we reached the historic 101 Highway where we drove up the coast through the North County beach cities. It was one of those perfect days where it was hot so lots of people were ending their day on the beach. We even spotted someone recording their dog on a skateboard. It was almost like out of movie until we reached Oceanside to walk on the pier.  At the end it is  Ruby's Diner where we ate dinner and watched the sunset. 



Tenth envelope (R) was where I rated the whole adventure from 1 to 10. I put Infinity +10. We went home to some happy kitties and crashed on the couch with lots of great memories.

It is times like this that I know more than ever that I've married my soulmate. We didn't have the radio on all weekend and were still able to come up with some type of conversation. We went from the city to country, snow to ocean, waterfall to desert. Quite an adventure! We loved exploring San Diego County and we know there is more out there to do-- with our best friend at our side.

Natasha

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