Midway Through 2019
My vacation has finally come.
For the last 10ish days, I've been enjoying a vacation away from kids and hubby and pretty much everything except writing.
It's been amazing.
As an introvert (borderline INTJ/ISTJ), I crave alone time. I thrive on it and am quite happy vacationing alone. Interestingly, I have been able to both embrace and adapt my survival strategies as I age, and both marriage and motherhood have taught me that I can be (and must be) more social than I otherwise would like to be.
But getting away and just getting to do what I want to do how I want to do it is a blessing that my husband is able to see I crave when bombarded with kids and the pressures being a stay-at-home-mom and wife and simultaneous author requires.
He asked me once if I really wanted to go on vacation alone and if I was really happy doing that, and I kind of looked at him like, "Don't you know me at all?" Because I'm absolutely one of those people who recharges by being alone and loves that chance to absorb the world without having to satisfy someone else's desires.
That said, I have found myself missing my kids and husband quite a bit. I have never before noticed how many kids are around in the UK! LOL. Every little girl in a pram I see reminds me of my daughter and I find myself wondering how my kids would be acting if they were walking these streets with me. Granted, it would make the dynamic of this trip incredibly different, but I actually find myself growing excited at the idea of bringing one or both of them with us the next time and enlarging their world, at seeing the world through their eyes. (Don't get me wrong, I'll have to take that solitary vacation too, but maybe I'll just lock myself in a cabin for a week or something next time.)
This month has been wonderfully productive though, partly because of this trip.
A writer never really vacations, and so I have not been completely vegging—rarely so, actually. Instead, I've used this time without kids to pound through draft 2 (okay, maybe draft 3) of book 2 in the Canens Chronicles, Fire & Frost. I'm so excited to see it come together. I really hope this draft continues to go as easily as it has been. So far I’ve pounded out just under 40K in the past ten days.
I ended up rearranging most of the later scenes, so there are definitely parts I'm going to have to rewrite and some scenes I'm adding (while cutting others) in order to strengthen certain threads. The ending also needed some work based on beta reader comments, and so I have some reworking of the book to do still in that regard. I'm actually not sure how I'm going to fix it yet, but I hope that through rewriting and retyping the entire book, I will have a better idea of how to handle it as I near the end in rewriting this draft.
Some of my trip highlights:
Getting to visit No. 1 Royal Crescent in Bath was really an amazing experience, especially when taken in context of my research for Fire & Frost. One of my minor characters is a cook in an inn, and I've had a bit of trouble pinpointing her setting and what she's working with in the kitchen. However, I was able to visit the kitchen in this house, where I saw a woman preparing a rabbit pie there. It was awesome to see the kitchen at work and her at work as one might work in that time period.
Although the Canens Chronicles is set in a fantasy world, I've loosely used the 1700s as inspiration for much of my setting. Granted, I've deviated from that in many ways (so don't try to hold me to that as accurate!), so seeing a Georgian kitchen and Georgian home and how it was set up is absolutely perfect for what I need in rewriting Fire & Frost. My visit really couldn't have come at a better time. I took pictures of just about every corner of the kitchen, and even now looking at them I have a greater idea of what I want Dalia's kitchen to look like in The King's Inn.
Then I really enjoyed the Roman Museum in Canterbury. I'm fascinated by the Romans and the mark they've left on Britain. Part of that stems from my interest in the Latin language, but the Romans were remarkably sophisticated in their plumbing and living situation, and it's super interesting to look at the ruins left behind and see how they lived.
Tomorrow I go to London, and I've got lots of plans for places to see. I'll play the tourist for a few more days and tire myself out then hop on the plane to head back home and resume real life. But in the meantime, this break from life has been super relaxing and refreshing.
Until next time,