Wednesday, December 31, 2008

fussen bavaria

Hi all...this will be short as European keyboards are set up different than US keyboards and I'm having a heck of a time trying to type!

Fussen is beautiful...and indeed this part of Bavaria is just breathtaking. The Alps are amazing and loom over the town like silent guardians. The town itself is so pretty. Pastel colored shops on narrow cobblestone streets that wind through the town. The homes are mostly white with red tile roofs, maybe with blue shutters.

We saw the two closest castles yesterday, Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. These buildings inspired Walt Disney....They were breathtaking as were the views from that height.

The bread here as well as the meat and cheese is to die for. I will be forever spoiled....and the wine prices are dirt cheap.

We are off for Zutspitz tomorrow....the highest peak in Germany. We will ride trains and then a gondola to the summit. Should be quite the adventure.

Bye for now! Auf Wiedershin...I think I spelled that wrong!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


We are home from Paris! 

The train ride from Kaiserslautern on the ICE to Gare de L'Est was wonderful. The States are really missing out on modern train transportation...this is the way to travel. Amazing.

We got into town, hailed a cab and went to our hotel at Place de la Republique to drop off our bags and set out. First up, the Louvre. We navigated the metro without too much trouble once we got our bearings. The Louvre is huge. Bigger than you can even imagine if you've never been there. When people say it would take a week to see it all, it might even take two.  We hit two wings, the Denon and the Sully. We saw a lot of Eygptian  artifacts and then took a break for lunch. We had a picnic on the floor in the food court. We then went to find the Mona Lisa, which we saw from an angle as the depth of the folks in front was about 50-60 people deep. No lie. It was incredible. We saw some amazing art....everywhere.  From the Lourve we went towards the Seine and took the advice of Anne's granddaughter and booked seats on the river cruise...Bateaux Mouche...for a night tour.  Tickets in hand we went towards the Eiffel Tower. Had a bit to eat in that area then went back to the boat. The tour was neat. To see the sights all lit up from the river is very fun. The Eiffel Tower twinkled at us as we came down the Seine. So romantic!!

We were exhausted at that point and went back to the hotel.  Breakfast there came with our room and we ate our weight in croissants and baguette.  Energized again we set out for the Musee d'Orsay. This was by far my favorite museum. I'd heard that from several other folks and they are right. It is much more manageable in size than the Lourve and the art is more recognizable. I love the Impressionists and I just walked through the rooms with my mouth open. Lovely beyond belief.  After we enjoyed the d'Orsay we stopped in a pharmacy and picked up some French soap and chatted with the pharmacist. He gave us a lunch recommendation that was one of the highlights of the trip.  We walked down Saint Dominique past the Polish Embassy, yes we took a photo, to this real French restaurant. We were the only tourists in the place....had an incredible lunch and the other diners were so friendly and interesting to watch. The restaurant came equipped with a cat, their mascot...she sat by us as we ate...too quaint. Other diners brought their dogs! We loved it!  We took our time and enjoyed every bite.  From there we went towards Notre Dame and saw nightfall on the cathedral. We had some hot chocolate and found Shakespeare's Bookstore....I bought two books!  From there we caught the metro to the Arc de Triomphe and strolled down the Champs E. in the sparkling blue light...yes, the trees were all lit in blue.  We stopped in Louis Very cool street, so BIG, so CROWDED, so pretty.  You could see the ferris wheel at Concorde on one end and the Arc at the other when you stand in the middle of the street..which you have to do in order to cross all the lanes of traffic.

That was a full day so we went back, picked up a crepe on the way, we are all addicted to Nutella now, and fell asleep.

Today we got up early, had breakfast and went to Notre Dame for Mass. We actually arrived early enough to catch the homily and second half of the 8:30 mass so we stayed for that and then remained for the lauds service to honor the Feast of the Holy Family before the Gregorian chant mass at 10:00. Beautiful and so spiritual to attend mass in that famous cathedral. The incense floating up from the altar as it has done for centuries and centuries.  The huge organ in the back filling the air with sound. The beautiful voices chanting responses. The Latin words that are so universal. It was soul filling.

After mass we walked around the cathedral and soaked up the history. We then caught the metro from Cite to the Marais district which has shopping on Sunday. We strolled and found a place to stop for some coffee and cocoa and then did a bit of shopping before we hit a boulangerie for lunch. Delicious bread yet again, we are so spoiled.  We wound our way back to the hotel, got our bags and went to the station to catch the train home.

We have tons of pictures.....tons of them!  Even a few of hot French boys that the girls took...they are always on the lookout!!

We are off to Fussen and Innsbruck tomorrow.  If I have the chance I will update from there...

Au Revoir mon ami!!!  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

My sister in law and I headed over to the base to do some shopping. So, I'm now officially in the DOD database...I even was fingerprinted and have a plastic ID card. Wow.

We hit the BX and then the small Christmas market there. I found some real treasures. I've always wanted Russian nesting dolls and Patti introduced me to Svetlana, a Russian gal whose family paints them. I bought for Christmas and one for year round. I love them. I also picked up some neat.

The commissary was wild...tons of people picking up things for the holiday. We came home with our purchases and proceeded to get ready for the rest of the day. We attended Mass at Landstuhl in the chapel. My nieces and nephew were in the children's program, so cute, and Mass was wonderful.

Came home and had our traditional wigela dinner, which is a Polish and Slovak Christmas Eve meal of mushroom soup, fish, potatoes, peas and assorted other interesting foods and traditions.  

So, now the wait is on for the Santa man......we are tracking his progress on NORAD!!

Merry Christmas to you all.......the next post will be from Paris:)  


We took two cars into Strasbourg. With six children and four adults, it was the best way to travel. We started on the autobahn and then detoured into the countryside for a bit, even stopping in a small town for a potty break at a local grocery store. What a window into daily life grocery stores can be!  But, let me back up, I had an amazing chocolate croissant with a hazelnut topping for breakfast yesterday...even German pastries are to die for!

So, we made it into town, and I've decided I couldn't drive here. God bless my sister in law for her navigational skills and steely nerves. Narrow streets are beautiful, as long as you aren't driving on them!

The cobblestone streets, the oh so cool huge wooden doors, the had the five of us rubber necking all the way to the cathedral and the Christmas market around it.  We had lunch once we got to the stalls. Pizza....but French pizza!  Very good, hot and yummy in the cool air. The kids had theirs with chorizzo and Scott and I had mushroom. Then we went through the cathedral. It was such a treat to see the looks of amazement on my kids' faces and the sheer excitement in Scott's eyes. If you weren't aware, my husband is an architect.

Notre Dame de Strasbourg is a beautiful church. We walked in, blessed ourselves and walked around in silence soaking up the history inside that building. The tapestries are incredible...the pulpit is incredible, the astronomical clock is incredible. We all had different favorite aspects. We took loads of pictures inside, but I haven't uploaded anything yet. When I go into an old church like that a few things cross my mind. It makes me feel my Catholicism in a different way, a connection to the past that spans the globe. I think of all the people who have been in the church and their stories. I always wonder as I walk around, who else walked here? Why were they here? What were they feeling? The building is so awesome, the stories that happened within it are for me just as appealing.  

After the cathedral we visited all the Christmas market stalls....even bought a small handcarved angel for Matt. She thought we were German...not American....pretty funny. Guess my brother's warnings about how to dress were spot on.

We had some vin chaud as we looked at all the stalls and their handicrafts. Saw some neat street performers and Julia scoped out the French boys. She is on a mission to have a picture taken with a hot French boy! Her aunt and I  found one, but she was too shy to ask for a photo with him!    

Abbey wants new clothes, her green North Face jacket screams that she is not French, and ever the clothes horse, she wants a new wardrobe now! Black coat, black boots and tight black jeans with an awesome scarf....she may sneak out before we head to Paris to buy new things for herself. I told her I liked the green coat as I could spot her a mile away!  

Matt's eyes were as big as plates all day...he just keeps telling me how cool everything is. "Mom, we're in France, this is so cool!"

Scott said he could have stayed in the church for three days and still not inspected everything. 

I just keep thinking about how fortunate we are to have been able to give this trip to our children and to ourselves. In one day, the kids have seen somethings that many people never have the chance to see.  And we've just started!    

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

day two

Good Morning from Germany....

So good to have comments from Anne and we are off for the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, France. It is about a 90 minute drive.  We were going to hit Luxemburg, but they've decided to go back the original plan.  No hurry to get there as the market is more lively later in the day.  I can't wait to spend some euro on neat Christmas things.

Slept like a dream...not sure if it was the melatonin I took, sheer exhaustion, or that glass of good red wine I had with dinner.

Scott slept well also and the kids are still in bed, so I think we will not have any jet lag issues.

Enjoying a great cup of coffee this morning from my brother's fancy coffee maker, that he can't bring back to the states as it runs on different hertz....he already has a buyer for it!

The countdown to Christmas is on! Hugs to all, Liz   

Monday, December 22, 2008

we are in Germany ya'll

We have arrived! After a fairly uneventful flight, except for the hollering toddler a row ahead of us, we landed in Frankfurt on time with all of our luggage in tow. The drive from the airport to my brother's was neat....the autobahn is amazing. Talk about fast traffic. I don't think I will complain about Memphis traffic on the Nonconnah every again.

We freshened up and went out, all ten of us, for an authentic German meal at Ramsteiner Hof...excellent food. We had schnitzel and boy was it delicious. Scott had an amazing pork dish, more like medallions that were awesome. Then we had apple strudel for dessert...boy oh boy was it good. Had a wonderful red wine with dinner and an excellent cup of coffee after. Perfect place for our first German food experience.

The town where my brother lives is so picturesque...hard to explain. The houses are built to last 200 years and are close to the street. Everything is so clean and well just sparkles. Their house is three levels with a winding stair case...tile floors, but heated in some spots...really nice.

So far, the trip has been amazing! Hugs to all, Liz  

Friday, December 19, 2008

last post before europe

Next time I write, I should be in Germany! We leave Sunday evening and will arrive Monday afternoon in Frankfurt. My brother is picking us up at the airport and taking us to their home in Schwedelbach so we can freshen up before he hauls us out to Kaiserslautern for the rest of the day/evening. He is determined to keep us awake so we can avoid the jet lag issues that falling asleep too soon would bring.

The excitement level is running pretty high around the house. Suitcases litter the floors of every bedroom...laundry is piled on too many flat surfaces to count and lists are taped to the fridge.

I have a few errands to run today and then we all head into hubby's office for the big holiday luncheon.

Happy weekend before Christmas! I'll catch ya from across the pond next week!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

all in good time

I'm a firm believer in the idea that you can't force things to happen. Everything happens in its own good time.

A good time has come for my friend Kim Smith. Today her first book debuts today through Red Rose Publishing. I first read snippets of "Avenging Angel" a few years back. I knew that Kim had found her voice and that this story would be the One.

Congratulations to you, Kim. You never quit. You took the lemons that the writing life can hand out and turned them into one big old pitcher of some tasty lemonade.

You go girl!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the elves

When my girls were small Christmas couldn't arrive fast enough for them. They would sneak under the tree, knock ornaments down, rattle packages, whine and beg for clues etc. You get the picture. Hard to resist a four and three year old and their quest for Christmas.

So, I invented the elves. The elves visit good children who leave the tree and the things underneath it alone. The elves leave a small gift in each stocking for the seven days prior to Christmas. The gift could be anything from a new toothbrush to a pack of gum to a new pair of socks.

One year Abbey decided to leave the elves a note. She was in first grade and took great pains to write a short letter to the elves thanking them for the gifts they left. Of course, the elves left her a note back. She was quite excited to see the spidery handwriting on a very antique looking piece of paper. She was more impressed with the tiny 'footprints' in the ashes on the fireplace hearth.

Unknown to me, she took the note with her to school that morning and proceeded to hunt down Mrs. Samuels, the gifted/resource teacher, and show her the note. After Abbey left her office, Mrs. Samuels called to let me know of Abbey's visit, her excitement and the downright cuteness of the whole elves, letter, footprint story. Pure Christmas magic she told me, the best gift she'd received was the excitement in Abbey's eyes as she told the story.

I had spent a bit of time figuring out what to write, finding just the write paper to write it on and making the edges look old....however, I hadn't left any footprints on the hearth. So, I hung up the phone and hightailed it over to the fireplace. Sure enough, tiny footprint like marks were there...left from when my husband had swept the hearth clean and small little 'prints' were left on the stones. When you want to believe, the mind can convert brush markings to elf tracks.

The elves just made their first delivery mitten ornaments. No notes are left any more and our fireplace in this house burns gas logs not real ones, so no soot to be swept away or footprints to discover. But, I like to think the magic is still there for them each morning. I know it is for me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the snow day that wasn't

The kids were hoping for a snow day today, or an ice day, or some reason to sleep in and not go to school day.

It didn't happen. As predicted earlier in the morning, before the self induced weather frenzy set in amongst the local meteorologists, the ice stayed north of I-40 and we missed the bad stuff.

Now, snow days in Indiana were a regular occurrence when I was growing up. They were a rarer happening when my kids were in school. In fact, during the winters of 78-79 I missed over a week of school due to snow. When you open the garage door and a wall of snow greets you, there is a great chance that the buses aren't going to run. That blizzard was amazing. We had front end loaders going down the street trying to dig us out as we lived on a snow emergency route...yep, they have such street designations in South Bend, In. One of the ancillary benefits of living in a lake effect snow region.

I remember after they somewhat cleared the main road, a neighborhood dad with a huge truck came and picked up the moms from the area and hauled them to Martin's grocery store. My mom came home with some powdered milk and a few other things. She said the only vehicles they saw were snowmobiles. A neighborhood lady had to be taken to the hospital on a snowmobile so she could deliver twins...I later babysat for those kids.

The neat thing about that snow storm was the way the drifts surrounded our house. While we had a wall of snow in front of the garage, the side yard was bare to the grass. We could go out the side garage door and over to the neighbors and not step in any of the white stuff. I spent some time next door with Carla making chocolate chip cookies while her husband Mike helped my dad dig out the driveway. She and Mike didn't have kids and as the whole city was shut down, it was a great time to just hang out.

My husband talks about that blizzard as well...he was one of the guys driving the snow mobiles around. He said they raced up and down Michigan Street in downtown South Bend with other guys from all over the town. He said it was a blast.

They don't have weather like that in South Bend anymore....not sure if it is climate change or what, but for all the danger extreme weather can bring, it also brought some amazing memories and a sense of community that is unique to such a shared experience.

Monday, December 15, 2008

holiday memories

Just a few things on my mind as I contemplate packing for our trip. This Christmas is going to be a very special one, but then I've had plenty of special holidays over the years.

The Christmas in Pennsylvania the year before my grandfather died...I sang in the choir loft with him and my cousins, Cindy and Andrea. It was magical to look down upon the church full of people at midnight mass.

Another Pennsylvania Christmas memory was repeated on every visit. We would arrive and Grandma would send me down to the basement to bring up baked goodies. She would have filled the entire picnic table top with kolacz, kieflies, cookies, rolls, breads etc. She had enough baked goods down there to last for months. Wonderful.

The first Christmases with each of my three children, just so magical when the are so little.

The Christmas we took the kids to Florida and Disney World. We wrapped up their park hopper passes, a new Disney sweatshirt and a map of the parks in three shoe boxes. Those boxes were the last gifts they opened, and oh boy the looks when they did! We packed up in the car and left for that vacation just an hour later. We had Christmas dinner in a hotel room..I packed food to cook in the suite in the microwave....a bit sparse, but nothing tasted better as it was seasoned with excitement.

Just a few of many memories....I wonder what this year will bring in Germany!

Friday, December 12, 2008

is it all gloom and doom?

I spent some time yesterday reading a variety of agent/editor blogs. The majority of them had several common themes regarding the layoffs, slow downs, mergers, freezes in publishing. Not all were gloom and doom. Some were more gloom and doom than glitter.

I found one entry that said children's books are still being acquired. I found one blog that stated after this time passes, publishing may well be a faster moving machine. I've always wondered at the 18 mo-24 mo time frame for some books to hit the shelves. I also found entries that proposed how much more difficult it will be to break in to the published world.

Change is hard. I think an evolution is happening in how books come to be and how they are sold.

I was in B&N last week picking up a few gifts for Christmas. I walked out $75 lighter in the old checking account, but I bought only one book. Yep, the rest of the purchase was comprised of a puzzle, a nice pen and two daily calendars. Granted, it is Christmas, but the big displays weren't for books, the space was allocated to 'stuff. ' Heck, even Vera Bradley has product in B&N now.

I'm sure bookstores like B&N sell all the extra things as they might make more money on them than on books. Plus, the store becomes more of a one stop shop. B&N has become a place to shop even if you are not a reader.

I'm no expert on how the publishing world works. I do spend some time reading about what other folks know on the subject. I read about the struggles writers have to craft that catchy query, get an agent, have the book shopped, have it go through the whole publishing process.
I sense a note of change in posts from writers....seems more of them are open to small presses and other alternatives to NYC houses. It appears they are revisiting the reason they write. The experienced ones know that the chance of getting rich is slim to none. They just want to share their stories and maybe the road to that goal isn't through New York.

Viable small presses may flourish as better books come their way. Downloads or e-books may become more popular as a less expensive way to try a new author.

Change is happening, an evolution is under way. But, the best advice to keep in mind is to write the best book you can, don't take rejection personally, remember timing has a lot to do with success and all that is needed is one 'yes.'

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The five of us spent a bit of time in Target over the weekend looking at Christmas cards. Since my mom had her accident, I've been trying to send her funny cards. We found three good ones and I sent them out on Monday. She called yesterday and was still chuckling. Laughter is the best medicine.

I also spoke with my brother. His three kids are getting as excited as mine for our upcoming 'excellent adventure' to Europe. He has changed our itinerary a bit and instead of going to Strasbourg and Triere, we are going to Luxembourg City....a whole NEW country on our visit. They've never been there, but have heard it boasts a marvelous Christmas market. Triere's market is already closed by the time we arrive and they decided against Strasbourg as we are going to France a few days later. He has also sketched out our trip to Bavaria and rattled off a list of towns and castles he is taking us to.

I just know those two weeks will fly by and I'm determined to savor each and every moment. Christmas is just two weeks from today!

My brother's family will be coming back to the states shortly after we come home from our visit. It will be nice to have them closer...only a day drive away in Florida.

I need to find a book to take on the trip. I'll scout the bookstore today when I'm there to stock. Have to have something to read on the flights.

Our rainy weather has turned cold. For a moment yesterday, I really thought it could snow. Brrrr. I guess I better get used to those temps! I hope the glow of excitement keeps me warm in Germany, Luxembourg, France and Austria!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

mid week

Yesterday was a lovely day full of getting stuff done. I put together the genealogy binders for my mom, brother and grandmother. I finished wrapping all the presents I had to wrap. I listened to Christmas music, drank some homemade Chai and watched it rain outside my kitchen window.

I'm not sure what today will bring. A group of us had tentative plans to head down to Olive Branch for pie. Yep, I guess there is a really good pie shop there and we decided to check it out. I need to make some phone calls and see if we are still going.

I've enjoyed having the library closed...because I've been able to stay home. But, by tomorrow I'll be ready to head back over and restock the store.

Better go stir my oatmeal.....enjoy Wednesday, two weeks from today is Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I'm wrapping Christmas presents today. I love to receive a beautifully wrapped package and one of my favorite things about the holidays is that I get to wrap several boxes and embellish them with ribbon and ornaments and sometimes even candy!

It has to be the craftiest thing I do. I can't operate a glue gun to save my life. I can't do needlework of any sort. I can't sew beyond a straight line. It is a challenge to replace buttons on shirts. But, I can wrap a mean package and curl ribbon with the best of them.

Needless to say, I usually restock my supply box the day after Christmas. I will go toe to toe with all the other post holiday shoppers at Target and Hobby Lobby to buy discounted paper, ribbon, tissue etc. I won't be able to do that this year...I'll be in Paris (aww...poor Liz:)) but I think if I watch the sales I can score some new fripperies next year after Thanksgiving.

So, rainy day go ahead and try to get me down, I'm wrapping today!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the not quite a year in review

My buddy Kim asked the question and here is the answer. So far I've read 62 books this year. Yep, more than one a week. I try to read a variety of books, but as my love lies in the fantasy/paranormal genre, the list is tilted in that direction.

The thing I haven't done this past year is work on my Maddy Blue WIP. This past year the intent was to finish tinkering with that story and move on to the next. It didn't happen. I realized I needed to junk the entire last quarter of the book and I stopped working. I couldn't come up with an alternative ending. I've resolved the issue in my head, but I haven't stirred up the energy to tackle the rewrite, or in this case the new write.

Two weeks from today I will be setting foot in Europe! I can hardly believe it. I rec'd a delightful email from a friends' granddaughter with a list of recommendations for us regarding Parisian things to do and see for a family of five. It was perfect. I'm relying on my brother to be the tour guide for our time in Germany/Bavaria.

The bookstore is closed for the next three days as the library is closed while new shelving is installed. It will drive me nuts to see those brand new half full shelves over the next several months. I hope they ramp up their ordering!

It will be nice to be at home for a few days without feeling the need to head to the bookstore. Maybe I will read a book....or maybe, I will open a long neglected Word file and actually create something.

Friday, December 5, 2008

the host

As promised, here are my thoughts on Stephenie Meyer's "The Host." I mentioned yesterday the beginning of the book was slow going and in fact I seriously skimmed pages trying to find a place where the storyline engaged me. The book became a better read the closer I got to the last third of the story.

Okay, Earth is invaded by a species of creatures, 'souls', who need host bodies in order to live off their native planet, the Origin. After several lifetimes on other planets, Wanderer, finds her way to Earth and is implanted into a young woman named Melanie Stryder. Melanie had been hiding from the 'parasites' and was only captured when she ventured into Chicago looking for her cousin.

Usually after an implantation the human consciousness winnows away as the 'soul' takes control. Melanie, however, fights to stay in her body and eventually a give and take relationship develops between Wanderer and Melanie. This relationship propels Wanderer to look for Mel's love interest as well as her younger brother.

And true to Meyer's style, there are multiple love interests going on at the same time once Wanderer reaches the group of free humans. She does love the whole love triangle, or in this case, square, as there are four characters involved.

The book improves when more action involving Wanderer, dubbed Wanda by the humans, is out doing raids on her own species. Then true to Meyer's themes in her vampire series, the whole self sacrifice/martyr for love character arcs kick into play.

The book was okay. Not great, not horrific, but I can't really recommend it. Your time will be better spent with another story.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

my reading curse

I finish a book once I have started to read it. It could be the worse thing ever written and I still trudge through the pages until the final one. I just can't put it down and step away. I keep hoping, maybe it will get better. Or I think, maybe I'm missing something here, some deeper meaning and message. Then I wonder if maybe I'm too distracted at the moment to appreciate the book.


This curse has set in after a fashion with the latest book gracing my living room end table. Nope, it didn't make it to the night stand. When I was at the bookstore on Tuesday, one of the volunteers was carrying a recent library discard title. It was Stephenie Meyer's "The Host." Now, I had wanted to read the book to see how it compared to the 'Twilight" series. I came home with the novel and began reading it yesterday afternoon. The story premise is interesting, but I am putting forth way too much effort to turn those pages. I will admit to skimming a huge section at one point. As of page 183, I feel this book landed on the bestsellers lists due to the coattails of her teenage vampires. At this point in the story, I just don't think it would have ever been published without the other books taking the YA world by storm.

I will finish the book. Maybe my mind will be changed. I'll post again once I reach the end.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

coming up next

Today I have a self indulgent appointment to keep which means I will miss our monthly Friends meeting. Never fear, I have emailed my thoughts on the 'hot topic' for today's meeting to several people and have asked our treasurer to give the bookstore report, so all is covered.

Later this week I have to finish the Christmas shopping. The older I get the more I hate the mall, yes, even our super nice new mall here in town. I just don't enjoy shopping, unless it is in Barnes and Noble. So, watch out those of you on my shopping list, your gifts may have a very common theme and place of origin. I could just say I'm doing my part to keep the publishing industry afloat for when I finish my book, get an agent and the book sells to a major New York house in a hair raising auction.

No, the cocoa at the square last night wasn't spiked.

Speaking of the square, we missed the tree lighting last year and my Christmas spirit suffered because of it. I was determined to haul the kids plus one of the kid's friends to the center of our historic district and see Santa turn on those lights. It is a magical thing to behold. The looks of pure joy and excitement on the little children's faces are so incredible. They glow just as brightly as that huge fir tree beside the gazebo. I'm in the spirit now.

I spent most of yesterday going through all the historical records I've found for my family tree project. This weekend the hubby and I will head into his office to make copies. I can see the end of this phase of the project. It will never truly be done, but I picked a stopping point and am going to stick with it so I can get these presents out the door. I can always add to the books as I find more information.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

filling the well

We all have 'wells' in our lives. They are the spots from which we pull the passion and energy to pursue our interests. For quite a while, the writing well in my life has been just about dry.

A few years ago, one of the published authors in our area presented a talk on filling the creative well. She talked about jolting your system and stepping out of your comfort zone. Lots of cliche terms in a row, but the general idea is a good one. Monotony is a killer and will drain your well.

Even my duties at the bookstore can become a drain at times. I have to work to keep the passion level up. Swapping out inventory yesterday helped as did putting together a sale cart. Both are new things for the moment and will give me a push through year end.

My upcoming trip is going to be a huge opportunity to fill my creative well. Now, what follows is a really 'uh-duh' statement, but a simple truth. It is so much easier to write about places you have actually been to...uh, duh. It is also so much easier to get fodder for characters when you are given the opportunity to people watch on such a grand scale as an airport, airplane, big city etc. Traveling tweaks your world view, which is an added bonus to the whole concept of vacation.

As December slides away in the rush towards the holidays, I'm really looking forward to benefiting from the added bonuses in this trip. Which means, I hope to come back with an overflowing creative well. Then, what excuse will I have??