- A fun weekend at The Palmer House Hotel with Ghost Stories Ink.
- Holding a book that includes a story that I wrote.
- A fluffy puppy. Little One’s hair is looking Cav-like just in time for the cold weather.
- Signed my first writing contract.
- Had an unexpected chance to ask Mitch Albom a few questions about The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.
- Finding new ways to curl my hair. I’m loving the beachy waves look right now.
- Finishing two books I really enjoyed.
- Rain! Even though it was cold and there was a lot and I was out in it.
- A redirect on NaNo & a story that I’m really excited about.
- Getting business cards in a day! They’re about the quality that you’d expect, but I wasn’t thinking far enough ahead and wouldn’t have had them in time from my usual source.
Happy Wednesday! I thought I’d share a little about my weekend with you, with some exciting news at the end.
This weekend I went to the Palmer House Hotel, which is said to be haunted. The Palmer House has quite the history–including a literary one. Sinclair Lewis worked there and I think he even based a location in one of his novels off of the hotel. The building has a presence when you see it as you drive down Main Street (the “original” main street). There are a couple of rooms that are thought to be haunted, as well as the hallway right outside the room that I stayed in. There are a lot of reports of strange activities all over the building and I heard it was recently voted the most haunted hotel in America.
I went to Palmer House Hotel on an excursion with Ghost Stories Ink, which is a group of writers and artists who go on paranormal investigations in order to gain inspiration. During the day on Saturday I went to a workshop in the basement, in a room that looks like a set from a horror movie. The workshop was about engaging the senses to bring stories to life.
Saturday night, the Ghost Stories Ink team split us up into groups and we toured the hotel for a ghost hunt. It was a lot of fun and kind of creepy at times. There’s so much to explore at the Palmer House that we were up pretty late. The ghost hunt ended around 2am, but my friend and I were chatting after so we didn’t actually fall asleep until about 3:30. I used to stay up that late regularly, but haven’t for a long time because, well, adulthood. So it felt good to stay up late again, even though I was totally exhausted the next day. And the day after.
Ghost Stories Ink is actually the group that led the writer’s and illustrator’s retreat that I went on in May. They actually led us on a ghost hunt back then, too, and at that time they were in the process of putting together an anthology of stories inspired by their outings, so people who had gone on one of their investigations was invited to submit a story for publication. At the end of May I submitted a short story and it was accepted!
I think I mentioned a project that I worked on this summer and that project was the story. It went through a bunch of much-needed editing. So, my short story was published in an anthology (Night Visions) that was released at the beginning of November. I signed a stack of books on Sunday in the café of the Palmer House. I’m reading it right now and the stories have been so much fun to read!
After signing the books and grabbing breakfast, my friend and I came right home. It was a fun weekend, but we were pretty tired.
HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?
- The chance to take the picture above (and the bus that broke down and caused me to miss my connection that led to it).
- Christmas coffees are out and I had my first iced peppermint mocha this week.
- I’m admitting defeat with story #1 earlier than usual with NaNo. I always like to try a new idea and it never works, but I usually wait at least two weeks before I admit that it’s not working. I’ll be able to get back on track this weekend.
- Puppy cuddles. I think this is always on my list, but puppy cuddles are the best.
- A clean desk… at work, not at home. I reorganized some drawers and it feels great!
- Exciting plans with a friend this weekend.
- NaNoWriMo buddies… that I see daily or text regularly. Accountability.
- A Days of Our Lives marathon, because I’m really into one of the stories right now.
- My niece set a writing goal for herself this month too.
- It’s the weekend! And that’s always a good thing.
Days of Our Lives. I read a spoiler about a major character on the show, so I had to tune in and I ended up really getting drawn into one of the stories!
After You by Jojo Moyes. Some of you might remember that I didn’t really like Me Before You, but as soon as I heard there was a follow-up I knew that I had to listen to it and I’ve been loving it.
The furniture rearranging that I have been doing.
A coat on and off. It’s been kind of warm this month. I’m not a fan.
NaNoWriMo. It’s November, after all!
1,667 words a day.
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO?
Hello, everyone! Little One’s on the blog today. What’s shakin’?
My writer and I visited her brother for a morning this weekend. He lives outside of the city, where it is peaceful and quiet. It’s the perfect place for a pup to frolic and run around outside, right?
It was raining so my writer said the weather wasn’t conducive to roaming the outdoors. She said my fur would soak up all the water on the ground. It’s like she thinks that just because the grass is no longer covered with dew in the morning in the path that I walked through that I had something to do with it. I have one word for her. Coincidence. (Who cares if my fur is suddenly wet?)
And then there was the “dirt” and the “mud” that would cling to my paws. Does she think my paws are actually clean? I walk around outside on the grass and dirt everyday. My paws are only clean from the moment she tortures me with a bath to my first step outside after. What was a little extra dirt going to do to me? And mud…I like mud.
So, there it is. Even though we could have spent time outside, we didn’t.
And you wanna hear the worst part? Other people were in and out all morning, but even though that door kept opening, no one tried to sneak me out.
I know! How rude!
Oh well. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time.
How was your weekend?
Until next time, my friends, keep those tails waggin’!
It’s time for NaNoWriMo!
This is my goal for November: writing 50,000 words. I’m a little daunted by the task right now because looking ahead, I think this month will be a busy one. But I am up for the task! And I’m more motivated than I have been in NaNo’s past… which is a good thing, since I haven’t completed the challenge before and I’d really like to this time.
I can’t say much about my novel right now, because I didn’t do much planning. There’s an idea that I’ve had for awhile, so I decided I’d go with it, but I purposely avoided doing a lot of planning for the story. I’ve found that when I do a lot of planning it kills my excitement for the story and it’s hard to write on the time frame that I need to for NaNo. So, I don’t have a lot of planned, and I actually went in a direction I didn’t really anticipate with the first scene. I think it’ll be fun!
I’d also like to stick to a workout schedule this month. I’ll be more productive if I take care of myself and working out is obviously one way to do that.
Well, this is really short and sweet. I guess that’s all there is to say, though.
Oh! If you’re participating in NaNo, let me know and add me as a buddy.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR NOVEMBER?
Tomorrow’s Halloween! Do you have any plans? I’ll be at a haunted hayride tonight, so I think tomorrow I’ll take it easy and watch horror movies with Little One. I should get as much rest as I can on Saturday so that at the stroke of midnight on Sunday I can start working on NaNo!
I was on a Girl Meets World kick this month and friends were receiving snaps of my favorite scenes, like when Riley finds out that Maya is going to attend the college party that starts at 10pm. “Starts at ten? Whoever heard of such a thing?” And there must be a lot of Boy Meets World fans who are watching (like me) because so many characters have come back for episodes here and there. It’s been fun!
I had a few busy and stressful works, so unfortunately I wasn’t reading as much as I wanted to during that time, but I read a few fun horror novels, a mystery/slightly paranormal fave and a book that I think is really important.
That the weather is finally cooling off. I love wearing sweaters and being surrounded by blankets. I love warming up in front of a space heater or a fire. You know it’s cold when even Little One starts seeking extra warmth. The other day I woke up, turned on the light and she opened one eye to look at me from her blanket cocoon. It was so cute!
Two of my faves released new albums this year so I had David Garrett and Harry Connick Jr. on repeat this month.
A lot of planning, with query plans and NaNoWriMo starting on Sunday (!!).
I feel like there’s so much I could put here this month, but my mind is a jumbled mess of words, so I’ll just go with… stuff.
I recently picked up two new Tracy Anderson DVDs that I’m excited to put into my workout rotation. I’ve really come to like her workouts!
// YOUR FAVES
A caption-less Day in Photos.
3 // It’s the weekend! (I need sleep.)
Specialty coffee drinks, sweaters and scarves, the leaves changing color. There is so much that comes to mind when people think of the fall months. I’ve talked about it non-stop and other bloggers have talked about it non-stop. But what about the things that come to mind when people think of fall that aren’t so widespread or cliched. The things that are more personal.
I’ve always found the change of seasons to be inspiring. It’s like the start of something new sparks my imagination and gives me renewed energy for productivity. Do you ever feel the same way? Fall in particular is an inspiring month. If you’re looking for an extra little boost of inspiration at this time of year, here are a few suggestions.
HOW WAS OUR OCTOBER?
At the beginning of the week, I jokingly told someone that my blog was all doom and gloom this week. It wasn’t (at least, I don’t think it was), but last week I was pretty out of sorts and that carried into this week. When asked if I did a thankfulness post, my response was, “No, I had a hard time coming up with things to be thankful for last week.”
Which is true. I wasn’t the most thankful person last week. I was stressed for a number of different reasons and wasn’t in the best of spirits. So I realized it was probably time for a reality check. I always say that there’s something to be thankful for, even when life is throwing you curve balls. So, to follow my own advice, here are ten things I’ve been thankful during my curmudgeonly week.
1 // Little One and the celebration of her birthday. She is such a joy and, even on the worst of days, she manages to make me smile.
2 // A sweet act of kindness from my nephew to his sister. I love that child! And watching my niece slip my dog a morsel of food while whispering, “Shh, don’t tell.” I don’t think my niece had any idea that I was watching. I love her too!
3 // Plans with friends… for a hayride on Friday… for an upcoming weekend creative retreat… for NaNo, which starts in November. (PS – I’m participating! Will share the link to my profile soon. I actually created a new one this year.)
4 // A rainy day. I’m one of those who likes rain, so rainy days are perfect, especially when I’m feeling curmudgeonly.
5 // A great sermon on Sunday.
6 // An email that almost made me cry. Happy tears.
7 // Finding an audiobook that I have been sucked into. The last book that I read took a couple of weeks to listen to because I’d listen to twenty minutes here and there, but I’m flying through this one.
8 // Doing nails with my mom. Those types of moments create the best conversation.
9 // Pulling out colored pencils and pastels for a project at work. It was a lot of fun to get the creative juices flowing.
10 // A nostalgic moment at a restaurant with my parents. The restaurant has expanded quite a bit and is so nice, but we took a moment to remember the old days it was at least a third of the size and the grocery store and restaurant were crammed into a small space. They’d have music blasting, so you couldn’t hear them when they’d call your order number. They’d stand there shouting unheard, then walk over to the music and turn it up. But even while I was nostalgic, it’s so cool to see how well they’ve done and how they’ve grown. They have a second location in Minneapolis and they ship some of their products (like hummus) to grocery stores all over the U.S. So, if you ever see hummus on the shelf and it’s The Holy Land brand, know that it’s from an awesome company.
So, there it is. Ten things I was thankful for, even while feeling a bit curmudgeonly.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN THANKFUL FOR?
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing weekend! I had a long day of work on Friday so I just hung out with Little One all day Saturday. On Sunday I started moving things around again (in a different room) but this time Little One didn’t seem too perplexed. She might be getting used to it now.
And speaking of Little One… it’s her birthday today! She’s four-years-old!
So, Little One, on your fourth birthday I just want to say…
Thanks for being a ray of sunshine in my life and for throwing your welcome home party when I walk in the house (usually accompanied by an excited bum wiggle and a flop for tummy rubs).
Thanks for putting up with me when we have dance parties and for being my reading/writing/TV-watching buddy. (Well, thanks for being my buddy in general.)
Thanks for being the bubbly and kind pup that you are and for alerting me to the plethora of wildlife that cross the yard. (Thank you, also, for not barking as much at the plethora of wildlife as you used to.)
Thanks for choosing me to be your human so that I’d choose you to be my pup. I might be a bit biased, but I think we’re the best human/dog pair around.
Happy birthday Little One!
PS – I know that you officially are no longer a puppy and technically haven’t been one for a year, but just know that I will probably always call you puppy. I hope you don’t mind.
A few months ago when I posted my “A Day in the Life” my friend Lindsay gave me the idea of not adding captions to the photos for these posts. I really liked that idea, so here’s a caption-less “Day in Photos” post. I took pictures of my day yesterday and, unfortunately, it wasn’t the most exciting day. I was pretty tired. I hope you enjoy the pictures anyway.