Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Making it Happen

"Only from the heart can you touch the sky." -- Rumi

It's been a busy month and a half since I lasted posted! We had a nice getaway weekend to Banner Elk, NC with what we call our "DC Family". Within that we have 3 girls who are only five months at most apart in age (all around 2 years old right now)! So we took them all on a farm tour. Here you can see them checking out some baby goats!

And then this beautiful view from the porch of the awesome house we stayed in...

And then, back in DC a few weeks later, the hubs and I celebrated our 11-year-anniversary with drinks at Masseria and dinner at Al Tiramisu, our two favorite Italian restaurants in DC! Here we are getting drinks at the bar in Masseria.

Then, wow, what a wonderful memorial day weekend. We had the most amazing time in Isle of Palms SC -- 13 adults, 7 children. My girls and I started a girls' weekend that we did once a year... until we started having too many babies. Then we invited the men to have in-house babysitting, though we still do a girls' night out! We've been celebrating at different beaches in the SC low country for 10 years now, and have only missed one year of those. It was refreshing and rejuvenating, even with Bonnie's rain pouring down on us. Here is one of my fave pics from when some of us took a yoga class on the beach!

Silly fun times but now it's back to work, both in the day job and with the writing for a few weeks before we travel again.

"Though my soul may set in darkness it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." -- Sarah Williams

On the writing front, things are moving. Some close friends and I have started a DC-based writing group (a spin-off from a VA one), and we have the third meeting this week. I'm so happy that we've made this happen, as it's great to have a weekly commitment to others to pin me behind the keyboard for a few hours.... no matter what! Here's a group pic from the second meeting of our writing group.

I'm very much in the midst of editing my manuscript that I've been working on for awhile... frankly, it's tedious work... I much prefer the writing than the tidying. But I really do think my work is growing stronger! God bless my writer friends who keep helping me learn and grow in the ways to improve it. My goal... I'm putting it in writing now!!! Is to finish editing by the end of August... in order to send the manuscript to an editor to clean it up for me before submissions to publishing houses. I was so lucky to win a full manuscript edit at the annual WRW conference! Here's a pic from a super fun night at said conference, where we play Romance Jeopardy, and the theme was the 20's!

And here's where I sign off, because like I said, it's time to make it all happen!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Everyone Needs a Break Right?

And while I've had a long break from this blog, life has been... full lately. Not exactly a break I'd say. That's not a bad thing! It's a wonderful thing. But it's kept me from my writing life for awhile. Here's what I've been up to personally.

"Only from the heart can you touch the sky." -- Rumi

In November, the hubs, we'll call him "Jedi", snarky laugh, and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary by travelling to Peru! We dropped our little girl "Star" off with her grandmother and aunt and her cousins, and had nine wonderful, if adventurous, days with just the two of us. We went to Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu (yes it's as amazing as the pics look), and Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon... where we were evacuated at like 2am in the morning to avoid rioting gold miners. Here are some highlights in photos:


Llama and Machu Picchu, Above

    Ceviche at Astrid y Gaston Above Left, and touring around Lima, Above Right

Then there were the holidays, which we spent on a crazy road trip. We visited friends in Greensboro NC, spent Christmas with Jedi's family at the lake house in Westminster, SC; visited my sister and fam in Winston-Salem, NC; stopped by our alma mater Presbyterian College on our way back down to Columbia, SC to spend New Year's with my home girls roasting oysters and watching football. A marathon, but full of love!

"Star" by the fountain where the hubs proposed to me at Presbyterian College, Above Left; oysters with my homegirls in my hometown, Columbia SC, Above Right.

And then in February, we celebrated my hubbie's 36th birthday, traveling to Whistler, BC -- Star's 1st trip "abroad", got her passport and everything! -- to go skiing, which was a lovely alpine escape.

View of one of the glacier bowls at the top of Blackcomb Mountain.

Then, we had a trip to Charleston SC to visit friends and run the Cooper River Bridge run 10k, and then had my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her two little girls stay with us for a week visiting DC.

And then my day job has been super-busy too, between prepping for a presentation, having to hire a new person for my team, then planning a trip to LA to meet with colleagues out there.

Prepping for the Bridge Run by running the tidal basin as the Cherry Blossoms were blooming, Left; View from hotel balcony in LA for work, Above Right.

Paintings from girls' night out with Mom-in-Law and Sis-in-Law at the Brookland ArtJamz paint-n-sip, which was so fun! Above.

"Though my soul may set in darkness it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." -- Sarah Williams

However, with the Washington Romance Writer's annual conference right around the corner... I really am trying to wrap up the edits to my first novel before meeting with more editors and/or agents. I wish it were simple, but I'm fundamentally re-writing a large portion of it to raise the stakes, create more urgency and introduce some new plot elements. I have to give so many thanks to my WRW friends who helped me come up with some ways to make my plot hopefully a million times stronger. Specific shout-out to @jkeelythrall!

Jedi has been a dream, trying to help me plot times throughout the week to make sure my writing is happening. And the Busboys and Poets around DC have been my places of refuge, to get away, and write the words. We've got two more weeks until the conference... hopefully I can get it done--or real close to complete. Because I finally, finally am ready to start on another book soon!!!