Posts Tagged ‘skiing’




The Best Things Happen When You Aren’t Looking

Filed under: Drafting, Pondering, Writing, Writing for Children, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Sorry I missed you on Tuesday. I was thawing out.



The whole family was away on a ski trip that was awesome but very, very cold. How cold you ask?

Yeah, about a -24 on the top of the mountain. It was a mighty breezy gondola ride LOL! I felt like I was frozen half the weekend. Thank the stars for hot tubs. But, when I did get home, I was rather occupied. I had a long lost puppy to hug.

IMG_0418 It was the first time the little fur baby stayed with someone else. He did great but once we had him back, there was lots of hugging going on. And don’t forget that when I arrived home, I had a whole different mountain to climb–Mt. Laundrious. I think I’m still out there on one of the permanent press peaks. Bleh!

But today, even though it was still cold, the kids went to school on time. There were no weather delays, which allowed me to do something fabulous called writing. *sigh* It was wonderful to have an UNINTERRUPTED chunk of time with my manuscript. I hammered out over a 1,000 words in a reasonable amount of time, but it isn’t the word count I’m writing about. (Although it makes me very happy.) Rather, what’s worthy of a blog post is the unexpected thing that happened…

BAM! One of my characters blindsided me right along with my MC.


We are both still reeling from the unexpected development. He did what??? I’m still baffled. I NEVER thought this character would do THAT. But he did. I knew it for absolute certain even though I don’t know exactly what that means for my MC at the moment. It has rattled my cage, but it also makes me content to be a pantster. The truth is that some days I panic, being a fly by the seat of my pants kind of a girl. When I hit a tough spot, I’m SURE  if I could just outline, my life would be complete. COMPLETE!

But then a moment like today happens and I bask in my creative process. This development could have never come from an outline. At least not my outlines. Those are nuttier than an peanut factory. The simplest way I can explain the joy of this thing that happened, is to say that it’s a small moment of confirmation. It reminds me that I’m not really crazy–not THAT crazy anyway. *shrugs* I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, y’all.

And of course, tomorrow or maybe next week, I’ll be back to wishing I had a road map for a book, instead of just headlights, hope and instinct to guide my way. Traveling in the dark can be hard and even kind of scary, but that’s why I wrote this post. It’s to remind me that sometimes the best things happen when you aren’t looking.


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It’s All About the Stories–Just Ask Murphy and Clark

Filed under: Family, Fun and Games

Back from a ski weekend Kim style LOL! What is Kim Style you ask? It’s a little like Murphy’s Law meets Clark Griswald. *snort*

The hubby has been doing some major jet-setting for work and his time zones have jumped from Vancover to Hong Kong rather quickly. So, Friday when he got home, packed his bag and hopped into the car for a three hour drive to Vermont–I understood why he was a little quiet. Okay–I didn’t, but I thought I did. I assumed the poor guy was exhausted. (BTW he planned the trip LOL!) But when Murphy and Clark hang out, and they usually do at my house, interesting stuff happens. Before we even arrive at our destination, we were one man down to the flu. Or maybe it was jetlagitis. But whatever the case, the hubby was down for the count for the first 24 hours–fever and all. Boo! Which of course left us all sad, but it also left me with three kids under the age of twelve, skiing for the first time this season in a new and unfamiliar location. And we’re kind of newbies at this. This was basically our 4th time as snow monkeys (bunnies really isn’t the right word.)

Oh, the stories I could tell. Like the 7yo taking off his skis to slide down a rather steep section on his butt and then our inability to get them back on, so he just said he’d run down instead. Down a mountain, with poles flying behind him, in ski boots. Oy. And the thing is he was fast. I have no idea how he did it. ROTFL! And the other two monkeys waiting for us for so long at the bottom, and then seeing a rescue crew zooming up in our direction. Yeah–it was like that. And then there was the whole–I AM A PACK MULE thing. Where, after we salvaged the day by splitting up for lessons, everyone came back so tired they couldn’t carry all their gear. Glad I don’t have a picture of that one. Grrrrrr And then there was that moment during my lesson where I was sitting at just the right, or should I say wrong angle, while getting off the ski lift and my leg (being the perfect length) got wedged between the seat and my boot and I couldn’t get it out until the snow dropped off releasing my leg. Ouch! But, despite the ski lift trying to amputate my leg–I DID NOT FALL! Ballerina balance!



But here’s the thing about Murphy and Clark–they are great memory makers. That night, when the hubby felt well enough to go to dinner with us and grab some soup, the boys and I spent the whole night telling him all our stories and we laughed until we were crying. And it was too much stinkin’ fun. And every couple hours everyone would admire the new colors that my leg was turning. And when we took the sick-one skiing today–we had more Murphy and Clark moments. And we had some amazing ones too–like the perfect view from the top of a mountain inVermont. All those moments, good or Griswaldish, we gathered them up and took them to the dinner table where we roasted s’mores and pretty much kept saying what an awesome weekend we had. Because as we writer folk know–in the end–it’s all about the stories. They are the thing that lasts.

Does anyone else have Murphy and Clark on speed dial of it just me? And I’m back home and catching up if you need something from me–I’m doing my best while simultaneously crawling back into the revision fort. *Peeks in fort to look for Murphy and Clark*

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If You’re Not Falling–Then You’re Not Trying Hard Enough

Filed under: Vacation Madness, Writing, Writing Style, Young Adult (YA)

I went skiing with the family this weekend and was talking to one of the instructors who was working with my oldest son. We were discussing how the eleven-year-old talked me into going down my first blue trail. *head thunk* I’ve only skied 3x’s so far so this was stretching my comfort zone quite a bit. I mentioned how I was a little bit nervous scared out of my gourd, going down that steep, slippery slope. The eleven-year-old talked about how freaking great it was, but also admitted to taking a tumble at the end. Although he did go down a bit after and with a touch more finesse than I, I was proud to announce that I HAD NOT FALLEN AT ALL!!!  Much to my  chagrin, the instructor looked at me and then congratulated the eleven-year-old for taking a tumble.

“If you’re not falling–then you’re not trying hard enough.” He said.

Damn–I hate it when my kids and their ski instructors are right.


Too often I operate in protection mode–afraid of getting hurt. I’m aware that this is not always a bad thing. There are occasions when jumping head-long, unprepared into an adventure is a recipe for disaster. But sometimes it’s just a quiet way of being scared. Let’s face it–there are some moments when it’s exhilarating to race forward. If you never try, you never have the wind in your hair. (This is metaphorical because yes, I had my helmet on–safety girl.)  But this is not just a lesson for the slopes. It’s how I should view my writing life (picture moments with paralyzing fear-of-failure while working on book #2) and even who I choose to be on a daily basis.

I’m never going to ski the black diamond slopes the first time out of the gate or the equivalent of that. This is not a failure of internal fortitude, it’s common sense and it will keep me alive. And I like it that way. But… I have those moments where I’m coasting along, happy and comfortable. Yet there’s a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that says–you should be, could be doing more–a hint that there are bigger and better things waiting for me if I take a chance. My instinct has always been to say–but I might fall! I CONSTANTLY have to remind myself that nothing good can ever happen if I live my life watching from the sidelines or taking only small risks while sheathed in bubble wrap. Writing a novel was a risk. I fell A LOT but guess what–I got up. Falling didn’t make me a failure–it also didn’t make me an author. But moving forward did and the thing to keep in mind is that you can’t follow your dreams if you’re sitting on your ass watching the world go by.

Just remember that when you’re chasing your dreams…if you’re not falling–then you’re not trying hard enough.

What’s the biggest fear that holds you back from chasing your dreams. What helps you get back up when you take a spill? Any good mantras that I need in my repertoire?

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Debut Author Picking Up Speed

Filed under: Touching the Surface, YA Books

I went skiing for the first time this weekend.  Once, twenty years ago, I slapped on a set of skis (without any instruction) and slid down a big hill on my butt, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count as experience.

I started off the weekend taking a two hour private lesson with the hubby.  Our instructor–aka Big Jim–was a sweet and easy going teacher.  Then he asked me to put on the skis and move forward down this giant hill gentle slope so we could take the little lift up.  My first thought was–he must be joking.  Why was he overestimating my ability to 1) stay upright while moving in a downward direction and 2) stop once I started.  But I figured if this guy was willing to play a human game of bowling with all those people at the bottom of the incline, I was brave enough to see how many I could knock down.
Obviously, Big Jim could smell talent.  Because once I got my snow legs under me, I was pretty good for a newbie LOL!  With a little instruction, some dancer’s balance and my runners legs, it wasn’t long before I was kicking fluffy butt on the bunny slopes.  But, it was very interesting to me to realize that I could have good balance and strong legs, but I still needed to understand those key pieces of instruction to make me comfortable on the slopes.  All the little tidbits were helpful, but there was one in particular that really stuck with me and I think it translates very well to real life…
*The best way to slow down or stop yourself when you’re going too fast, is to gently turn and go back uphill.

I know this sounds like the most obvious piece of information EVER–kind of like–if you fall down, the best way to get up is to stand on your feet, but I swear it hadn’t occurred to me.  In my mind, the whole point of skiing is to go DOWN THE HILL and the best way to slow down is to hit the brakes and snow plow.  And of course–if that doesn’t work–fall down.  

But, seriously, shouldn’t it be obvious that reversing direction slows that trajectory?  

My mind kept returning to the simplicity of the concept.  When life is moving too fast.  When things are out of control–slow down and turn around.  Go back to the place and the speed where you feel comfortable.

Wait for it…you know it’s coming…

In my mind, being a debut author is an exhilarating, once in a lifetime, wind-in-your hair kind of journey and sometimes–without warning–you find yourself traveling downhill way too fast.  I’ve seen people throw on their snow plows while leaving a smoke trail behind.  They rapidly burn through all the energy that they have.  I’ve seen people crash when they couldn’t put the breaks on fast enough.  I’ve felt myself have those moments where things begin to happen way too quickly and in a panic, I make a not so advantageous snap decision. And then I’m kicking myself afterwards.

I think that from now on, I’m going to try to remember what I learned on the slopes.  I don’t need to panic, I just need to make a gentle turn and head up hill until I’m moving slow enough that I can make a thoughtful decision about where to point my skis next.  I need to use my environment and my skills to my best advantage.  There is nothing wrong with setting your own pace and being comfortable.  It’s a lot more fun to make it down the hill dry and on your skis than it is to roll down on your face–cold and wet–too afraid to ever try it again.  :o)

So, have you ever been skiing?  Best tip?  Funniest story?  Biggest fear?  

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