Archive for the ‘Vacation Madness’ Category




Yesterday I Ran 1,000 Miles

Filed under: Check-it-out, Family, Running, Vacation Madness

I hit a huge milestone yesterday. Since I started running on May 21, 2010…

I’ve run 1,000 miles!!!!!! 


I’ve found it eerily appropriate that I was shooting for this goal while I was also writing my #NaNoWriMo words. While both activities are time consuming and challenging, I have a sneaky suspicion that they actually created a momentum that helped me to make both goals. (fingers crossed–I have plans to also cross that NaNoWriMo finish line by 11/30)

In case you’re wondering, there are many runners who’ve hit 1,000 miles a lot quicker than I did, but this in no way affects my enthusiasm for the accomplishment LOL! Prior to that day in May, I HATED running and I only did it when I was in a soccer game or being chased. Or maybe if I’d eaten way too much junk food and needed to sweat it out of my pours. And even then I only ran on the treadmill. But that day in May it was one of the first perfect spring days of the year. I’d decided to go for a walk and as the movement invigorated me, I had the urge to feel physically exhausted the way you do when you’re a kid and you play too hard.  So I started to run. I went just over four miles. No lies it was awesome, but it was also freaking hard. I don’t really know what changed for me that day, but since then I’ve stuck with running. I’ve had periods where I’ve wanted to run and couldn’t. I’ve had sick kids at home or I’ve been injured. I’ve also had periods where I haven’t been very motivated to get out–too hot, too cold, too sick, too lazy, too busy making up excuses. But no matter how much I was running, I’d flipped a mental switch and now considered myself A RUNNER. Maybe a lazy runner on some days, but a runner none the less.

Here’s how it all went down as of yesterday…

*I’ve run 1,001 miles. Which means I ran far enough to go from New York City to St. Louis!!! Yes, it was a long way to travel because I’ve been doing it since May 21, 2010. Whatever. Stopped to see the sights. But hey–technically I ran to my niece and nephew’s house. I find that mind blowing since I would normally take a plane there.

*I’ve run those miles across 221 runs.

*This also means I’ve spent almost 164:46:10 hours of the last 3 1/2 years running. Kinda cool.

*I’ve burned 100,060 calories running. Most of those were chocolate–I can not lie.

*My average pace was 9 minutes and 53 seconds for each mile. I’ve had many slower, but  I’ve also had some much faster.

*Only 160.91 of those miles were on the stupid treadmill. Hate running indoors, so I only use it when I have to because of the weather.

 *75% of my runs took place in the morning.

*My longest run was 12.08 miles.

*I’ve never officially run in a race.

*I may be a feedback junkie, what do you think? *grin*

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Can you tell I was excited to smash this run???

And yes, I look like a bank robber because it was 27 degrees LOL!

Thanks for letting me hog the blog for a glory moment.

Any runners in the audience? Any potential runners? Anyone who’s fallen into a passion they hadn’t expected? How did you get there? What keeps you doing it? What’s your biggest milestone been so far? How are all my #NaNoWriMo friends doing? I’m racing towards the finish line and plan to hit the 50,000 word mark no matter what. Keep it up everyone!!!!


Also, I’m doing Turkey Day at my house this year, so I won’t be running on Thursday or blogging. I’ll catch you on the flip side of the tryptophan on December 3rd. WHAT???? DECEMBER??? How did that happen????

Have a fabulous holiday with your friends and family.


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The Art Stimulates Art Series: What, No SYTYCD this Week?

Filed under: Dancing, Pondering, Vacation Madness, Writing


I don’t even need to explain how this relates to writing…

I think I’m in love with this line…

“Never conform–define yourself–the world worships the original.”

Mia Michaels

What scares you the most about being you in front of everyone else?

*  *  *

Just a reminder: I’ll be on vacation from blogging until August 6th, which is when I’ll be implementing a new Tuesday/Thursday blogging schedule. If you miss me, I’ll still be tweeting and tumbling and hanging on FB.

See you on the flip side.

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Filed under: Blogging, Bookanistas, Family, Pondering, Publishing, Vacation Madness, Writing, YA Outside the LInes

Yesterday I was talking online to a bunch of my writer buddies and someone said…

The more I learn about publishing the more I realize the best promotional tool is to write the next book and the next and the next…

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That makes a HUGE amount of sense. It resonates with me on more than just the promotional level. I also connect to it on a deeper, more personal level. I use writing as a way to make sense of the world. The less time I have to write, the less the world makes sense to me.

I love my social media, but ultimately it is the writing.

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To me blogging isn’t just a publishing tool. It’s a kind of journaling that works really well for me BECAUSE it’s interactive. So I really do love doing it. A lot. But I’ve been toying with this for awhile and I’ve finally come to realized that it’s time for me to adjust my blogging schedule a little bit. I need to do this partly because I DO NOT want to give up my membership in either YA Outside the Lines or the Bookanistas. I love those groups. And partly it’s because I also like to do guest posts, interviews and judge writing events whenever possible. Between the blogs and the extra posts, too much of my writing time is being eaten up.

For example: July 2013’s Projected Blog Schedule

Post due for my own blog–14

Post for YAOTL–1

Posts for the Bookanistas–1 or 2

Guest posts for Blog Tour–5

Other Interviews for blogger events–2

Interviews I had to turn down because I was at risk for losing my mind–More than one 🙁

That’s a grand total of at least 23 posts and or interviews. And on average these take me 60 minutes or more to brainstorm, write and add links/graphics. (There have been days they’ve taken longer.) That’s a lot of time I could and should be using to write.

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And on a personal front…I HAVE THREE BOYS!!!! Yeah, that. And I like them enough to want to spend quality time with them as often as I can. And I’m moving in the fall. So I’m staging and showing and pretending I’m organized on a regular basis. Remember me? The one who doesn’t get the laundry done on a good day.

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So, I’ve decided that I’m going to take a small two-week blog hiatus while I’m traveling with the family over the end of July. (July 22-Aug. 2) and then I’ll be back on TUESDAY August 6th followed by THURSDAY August 8th. This will kick off my official move to a Tuesday/Thursday schedule. By doing this, I will drop down to 8-10 posts a month on average. Much more manageable.

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If you think you’re going to have trouble remembering to stop by on the new dates, please sign up to have my blog posts sent right to you. On the right hand side of my blog I have an RSS feed sign up and and email sign up. I’ll also do my best to put up some reminders for the two weeks off and the new schedule. I love you for understanding why I need to make the change.

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Do you blog? And if you do, do you have a schedule? I recommend having specific blogging times, so people do know when to show up to connect with you, but flexibility is important too. You never want to get so frustrated you squeeze an innocent hedge hog puppet. Totally not cool.

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Any other blog tips you want to share with me? Any questions about blogs? Fire away!

*No hedge hog puppets were harmed in the making of this blog post.

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Less Rushing, More Meandering

Filed under: Family, Fun and Games, Pondering, Vacation Madness

Today is the last full day of school for my youngest two boys. I’ll admit it, there have been years when I’ve said, “WHAT???? They are home already??? And for how long??? OMG!!!!” But they’re older now. And while there are still moments where I’d like to tie them to the stop sign on the corner with a FREE BOYS sign pinned to their chests, it’s mostly pretty awesome. Why is it so great? I could make a list including all the fun stuff we do, the mornings we sleep in, the lack of soccer practices and after school activities we have to attend, the absence of homework etc… but it really comes down to unscheduled time. Less rushing, more meandering. And it’s a good thing–the way day dreaming is good for writing.



What’s your favorite thing about summer? What would you do if you weren’t doing the things you have to do? Why does time move so slowly when you’re a kid and so fast when you’re an adult? Why am I overjoyed about not having to pack lunches for a whole summer when I still have to feed the kids lunch anyway? Life’s little mysteries…

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My “It’s Time To” List

Filed under: Check-it-out, Pondering, The Opposite of Gravity, Touching the Surface, Vacation Madness, Writing

January 2nd of any year fills me with as much excitement as the kick off of the holiday season. As much as I love all the hoopla, I also love the the un-hoopla. In fact, by New Year’s Day, my hoopla meter has begun to spin into a red-hot, critical alert zone and it’s only with the careful removal of decorations, making writing a priority, the return to exercise and healthy eating that I can survive. Today, two out of three of my boys are back in school and it it will be that way until Tuesday, so I’m thinking of these last half-hoopla days as kind of a blitz to get ready to get down to the business of revision.  Decorations will get stowed, healthy food shopped for and the laundry needs to get done! (Ha! you knew that was coming.) All in preparation for me digging in and finishing my revisions ASAP! It is time. The story I’m writing is pushing me to go out into the world.


So, here is my list of “resolutions” or what I’m thinking of as my IT’S TIME TO list for 2013.


It’s time to…

*Return to healthy eating and exercise-PRONTO! I feel toxic and I can’t stand it.

*Try very hard to get to bed at an earlier hour and get more sleep. I do everything better with more sleep.

*Finish revising THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY with a hard focus.


*Continue to market the heck out of TOUCHING THE SURFACE and sell more copies.

*Sell the foreign rights of TOUCHING THE SURFACE. (Come on–how cool would that be?)

*Do more school visits because I love them.

*Be a speaker at more writing and book events. (Putting my blabber mouth to use.)

*Continue to read in and outside my box, because every book I ingest informs my future writing endeavors. Be a sponge.

*Continue to know who I am as a writer. This is my journey and only I can own it.



What about you? What’s on the agenda for 2013? How do you feel about the hoopla? Are you ready for a clean slate or are you curled up under a crunchy tree, eating the last of the cookies and singing carols? What’s the plan Stan?

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The Griswald Frankenlaunch–Taking the Literary World by Storm!

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Check-it-out, Family, Touching the Surface, Vacation Madness, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Tomorrow TOUCHING THE SURFACE launches in the middle of Frankenstorm–Hurricane Sandy.

I can’t say I’m surprised. In fact, secretly I’ve been expecting just this kind of cataclysmic event. Why would anyone anticipate an epic perfect storm on the day of their book launch? Because little do you know dear reader–I am a Griswald.

I clearly remember it–my parents coming home from seeing the first National Lampoon Vacation movie, laughing uncontrollably, with my mother snorting as she announced, “they’ve made a movie about your father.”

That’s where it began. It wasn’t long before National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation became our family must see holiday movie of choice. And when we crossed our arms and said, “C-l-a-r-k….” My dad responded as quickly as if we’d called him by his real name. And every time we pulled out of the driveway on vacation, the song Holiday Road played loudly on everyone’s inner radio and we’d all take a collective breath, wondering what Griswaldish event would happen first. Because we knew that it was inescapable.

Just so you know, being a Griswald isn’t all fun and games. There have been many Clark inspired events that we learned to laugh about later, because let me assure you, they didn’t seem funny at the time. Like that time we all ate at the Turkey Box during vacation and on the way back to the hotel room  (the one that only had one bathroom) we all exhibited some rather aggressive stomach grumbling. And I wish I could show you a video, because yes, my dad did race his own kids to the room while clutching the seat of his pants. See what I mean, not funny at the time, but a keeper that’s told during almost every family get together. But over the years, these Griswald moments, have taught me some very important stuff–like how humor can be an after-the-fact, acquired taste. Which has further led me to believe that sometimes it’s easier to just go with the flow and find the Griswaldian stuff funny straight out of the gate, saving myself a little stress and a lot gray hair.

So, Hurricane Sandy aka Frankenstorm will be Griswalding my very first book launch. Ya know–for the book that’s dedicated to my dad–Clark. *snort* I will not be going for a run and hi-fiving a random stranger like I planned. I will not be road tripping to local bookstores like I planned. I may not even be obsessively stalking the internet like I planned. LOL! But you know what–I will be doing the one thing I always dreamed about–taking the literary world by storm! LOL!

So, I’m depending on you, my friends. As I said, there is a very good possibility that I’ll have little to no internet access the day of my book launch, so I’m hoping you can help me get the word out. And if you’re on the east coast–stay safe so we can laugh about this later. Love you, guys and I hope you love TOUCHING THE SURFACE. <3


PS if you are battening down the hatches against Frankenstorm–charge that e-reader and at 12:01 tonight–download a copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE to help you ride out the storm. Don’t forget to hum Holiday Road…



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Let’s Pretend it’s Friday LOL!

Filed under: Blogging, Check-it-out, Family, Fun and Games, Vacation Madness

It’s now Saturday morning and I’ve just realized that I somehow missed Friday’s blog post. *head thunk* As much as I’ve enjoyed the summer, I think I really need fall to kick-into-gear so I can have a regular schedule. Sometimes us pansters need a little bit of structure to be effective free spirits LOL! So what was I doing instead of chatting with you? Well, I’ve been knee deep in swag, emails, construction on the house and…

These were some of my favorite pics from the day. I’m sure after seeing them, you will forgive me for being late. So, what are you going to miss now that the summer is coming to an end and what are you looking forward to in the fall?

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Howe to go Road Tripping with Me

Filed under: Check-it-out, Vacation Madness

I’m road tripping with my mom and the boys today. Wish I could take you all with me…but wait…if you watch this…it will almost feel like you got to come. Minus all the complaining in the car. Not a bad deal LOL!



And now I need to know you’re favorite rock, stone or mineral. I’m a Pisces and my birthstone is the aquamarine, so that’s always been a favorite of mine. But there are so many gorgeous ones.


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Saying Goodbye

Filed under: Check-it-out, Vacation Madness



On my way home today. I’m going to miss this…

See you soon.

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Bucket List

Filed under: Check-it-out, Vacation Madness

Kim and Jackie

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