Posts Tagged ‘vacation madness’




Vacation From Vacation

Filed under: Family, Pondering, Vacation Madness

This isn’t my first post-vacation blog, but last week’s blogs were planned and in place before spring break. This is the blog that reminds me that I haven’t caught up from being away. It’s the realization that I could easily use a vacation from vacation.

As I’m sitting here I realized I still have piles of laundry to do, one stubborn suitcase to put away, running to help balance out the gluttony of vacation of and lots of writing to catch up on–just for starters. And although the weather isn’t cooperating at the moment, spring sports have started that means I am back to being a boy juggling taxi driver.

But, do you know what? Maybe I don’t really need a vacation from vacation. Maybe I just need to chill. In fact, now that I think about it, vacation was so awesome it would be a shame to stress about stupid stuff. Instead of harping on needing a vacation from vacation, I’m simply going to go with the flow and see how I’m doing on Thursday.


Walk away from the madness…

What’s the hardest part of coming back from your vacations? If you could do one thing to stop stressing and chill, what would it be? If you could have a vacation from vacation, what would you be doing?

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The Summer Agenda

Filed under: Blogging, Check-it-out, Family, Pondering, Vacation Madness, Writing

Where have you been???


Oh, wait, it was me that fell down the rabbit hole and got lost? Yeah, I guess it was.

I was busy surviving the end of the school year. I know normal people do this all the time, but let’s face it, I don’t consider myself normal.


I’m a procrastinating, organizationally challenged mom who’s allergic to party planning. I harbor secret guilt about how excited I am the day after birthday parties and graduation events. But I love my people and I’m married to a host with the most, so I try to crawl out of my box when necessary.

But, summer is HERE! RITH NOW!!!!  Although you wouldn’t know it much from the weather. WTH humidity and rain???? And I have some things on my agenda for the vacation–besides spending quality time hanging out with my family and being foot loose and fancy free. Here are the BIG ones…

*VACATION!!!! I will be taking an Alaskan Cruise this summer. I am so excited. Major bucket list item. I VOW to pack and prepare ahead of time giving me a stress free lead up to the trip!!! Stop snorting!!!!!

*WRITING!!!! Well, no surprise there–I write all year long. But I’ve got some really great projects that I’m working on and I’d love to finish. And of course I’m off to SCBWI LA at the end of July.

*TIDYING UP!!!! I know I moved into my house a year and a half ago, but some how all the not so fun stuff to unpack and organize got shoved to the side and in the closet and into every available nook and cranny. My goal this summer is to utilize my boys to entertain my dog so I can get my act together. I read THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP by Marie Kondo and while not everything resonated with me, I certainly found lots to love and implement. More posts and pictures of my progress over the summer. 22318578



*AND BLOG MORE!!!!! Because I’ve missed you. <3

What are your projects, goals and big plans? What’s on your summer agenda?

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Santa’s Coming!!!!!

Filed under: #lifeofriley, Blogging, Check-it-out, Family, Vacation Madness

Life with Riley is starting to get a little bit more sane LOL! A little bit–he’s still a potty-training, chewing, puppy. But he’s quietly crating for about seven hours at night and ME getting a humane amount of sleep makes all the difference. He’s also learning to respond to his name, sit and go down on cue. He’s learning what off means and thankfully he hasn’t tested it too much at this point. Additionally he’s got a decent grasp of what easy and gentle mean and I’m happy to report he’s pretty darn good with his deposites. *fist pump*


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As you can see, we wear each other out some days. And even though I have to remind myself how far we’ve come in a week, I try to not get my panties in a twist about how much there still is to work on. I try to visualize the dog he will become when we’ve got the kinks worked out. It’s exciting to contemplate. I’m a behaviorist at heart and training him has it’s own special kind of rewards for me. But even though I’m pretty good at operant conditioning, I still get frustrated some days, but I’m learning to watch him closely–so I can “hear” what he’s saying. It’s all part of training positively. And you’re going to hear me talk about this a bit in the future and how it pertains to writing because my mind (what little I have left) is spinning at the implications. But even though I’m having a sleepy puppy moment right now in which to blog…


And that means I have a TON of other things to get done that just can’t wait. So, hold that thought. Enjoy your Christmas and I’ll be back here over the holidays if I can. But you can be sure you’ll see my in 2015 <3

What are your big plans for the Holiday?

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Sneaking up on Your Characters

Filed under: Drafting, Pondering, Vacation Madness, Writing, Writing Style

I promised you I’d be back today after my vacation and my blogcation. It was a good thing I took the blogaction (small break from posting) because the internet where we were staying could be a bit “moody” at times.

First off, it was a great vacation–lots of fun and sun and relaxation and roller coasters and yummy dinners and ice cream. And of course while I was away, I took some pictures. Not too many because I’ve started to learn it’s just as important to be IN the moment as it is to try and capture it, but I did take a couple. On our way home–driving for hours and reliving the vacation highlights, my husband gave me a great compliment. <3 He said he loved how I had started to learn how to sneak up on my subjects when I’m taking a picture. How I’m learning to capture the moment without interrupting everyone all the time. Of course I blushed and grinned and when I got home, I went to take a look at my pictures and tried to see what he was talking about. I tried to find you some of my favorite moments of photographic espionage to illustrate what he was taking about…









*sigh* I have to admit that most of MY favorites are his favorites too. But don’t fret, there is still a time and place for a posed picture from time. Just ask the crew at Table 15 at a wedding I recently attended. *grin*

photo 11


See–posing CAN be fun and funny. But even so,  I imagine you’re thinking…”that’s lovely Kim, but what the heck does this have to do with writing?”

A lot!!!!! I swear. I’ve been thinking about that relationship (you know I always do *wink*) And what I’ve come to realize is that at the same time I’ve been learning to sneak up on my pictures, I’ve also learned to come at my characters in a more subtle way. Let’s give you an example of what I mean. In my earlier writing I was inclined to describe a character like this…

Amelia had blue eyes that sparkled every time she smiled and because she was so petite, it always looked like her eyes took up half of her face. Whenever she made eye contact with a boy, which was often, she ran her delicate fingers through her mop of blonde curls. She was such a flirt and it made me sick.

That’s not a bad description. For better or worse, it hits all the typical things like eye color, hair and height. The description is based on a lot of telling, not showing. It’s a posed portrait of a character.

Now let’s try coming at a character like Amelia from a more indirect route. Let’s sneak up on her and the narrator a little…

When the bell tinkled on the door to the school bookstore, Amelia tucked a curl of hair behind her ear. Then she smoothed down her already ironed skirt in anticipation. All of that preening occurring before she even saw who had stepped into the shop. The shop where she’d carefully stationed herself during back to school week at the university. When Amelia took in the college sweatshirt that the jock-of-the-month was wearing, she really threw it into high gear, batting her voluminous lashes like an exotic bird in the middle of a complicated mating ritual. After seeing that, I slunk down to the pet aisle to throw up a hair ball.

Now I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement here (I just met Amelia and the mysterious narrator 15 minutes ago) but I’ve come to love the second description so much more than the first. In just the amount of time it took me to craft the second one, I started to get a real sense of who these characters were and I developed a desire to see what else they were going to do–what they were about. I think that’s because I snuck up on them and really took a deeper look as I was describing what I saw from the shadows. I’m hoping you agree with me on this one. Yes?

Anyway, whether you’re taking pictures or developing with words, give the indirect approach a little bit of your consideration. Sneaking up on your subjects is a quiet, but powerful way to capture a moment or tell a deeper story.

Do you agree with me? What characters, books or authors do you think do this really well? Have you ever pictured a character one way only to find out that what you thought was never actually in the description?


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Blogcation: Back on 7/29

Filed under: Fun and Games

Woo hoo!!!! I’m taking a small vacation from the blog next week.

Of course I’ll still be hanging around on multiple avenues of social media–but don’t plan on official blog posts.




See you on the flip side–I’ll be getting ready for the SCBWI LA conference!!!!!

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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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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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Filed under: Check-it-out, Vacation Madness

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