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Creating Summer

Melted crayons
It's been a long time since I've updated my blog, but the reason behind that is a good one: I've had my head in the game, pedal to the metal, nose to the grinder--

More accurately, I've been lost in Star, CK, and Leada's world. Book Two (Working Title: "Risktaker") is coming along nicely--to the point where I feel like I'm recording a movie playing out in my head. Star(Chloe) is experiencing an exciting--albeit confusing--new part of life while the three struggle against mysterious threats and old fears. I'm having a fantastic time helping them navigate it all. I hope to have a launch date soon, but it will be in the fall. The cover was sketched out and is in the hands of the amazing Julie Fain. I can't wait to see what she does with it. I'm on pins and needles waiting to see it and will debut the cover as soon as I have it.

It's been an interesting summer, and I'm going to be reluctant to let it go. The kids requested a leisure school-free zone until vacation time, which sounded great to my writing mind and to our bank account. Spielberg Boy wanted uninterrupted time to work on his passion--making movies. ("What do you mean your budget is only $2,000? I suggest you work on slashing that budget down to two digits, pal.") And Energizer Bunny Girl is content to make crafts, read, write, play in the pool, and goof around with her best bud.  Hubby, due to his foot and knee surgery recoveries, has made a lot of strides with his entertainment podcast. I'm really proud at what they've accomplished through their own devices so far this summer. Without running back and forth to camps, I spend most days attached to the outdoor patio set, laptop churning, coffee cooling by my side. Sometimes I get up to hack away at a standing WaveMaster bag when I stretch. On hotter days, I jump into the pool once an hour for a few minutes to cool off. And now I'm laughing, because what I just wrote makes me sound like I have this luxurious backyard with an inground pool, amazing patio or deck, and outdoor gym (Be a dear and fetch me a cosmo, dahling!) I don't. The patio set sits amid the grass (which, as I look at it now, needs a trim), the pool is one of those Intex jobs that you put up for the summer and take down again. There's a delapidated swing set that needs to come down, and the WaveMaster is outside because there's no room in the house. We just bring the squishy part outside when we're going to use it. Still, it's all a lot more than many people have, and I'm beyond grateful for it. Writing outside just feels good, open--as if words and ideas could come along on the breeze. If only! 


Outdoor office
My outdoor office


My fancy shmancy pool ... it does the job.

While I seem to spend most of my time tapping away at sunblock-smeared keys, my butt hasn't been glued to the chair 24/7. Every other day I slash 500-800 calories at the real gym (I have yet to see the results of that), play chauffeur to the kids here and there, and nurse practitioner to hubby's various summer foot and knee procedures. I visit my aunt in assisted living (always relieved when she recognizes me!) and I do work a tiny bit teaching karate, but far less than the rest of the year. Soon, we'll head to Florida to visit the folks and attend Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando. Between the awesome friends we'll be with and the collective displays of creativity and imagination, I hope to come away truly inspired. Last time, at Celebration V, the panels headed by directors, writers, producers, and special fx people were so worth the time. I took a couple of writing classes by authors of the SW saga novels as well and came away confident about finalizing Treehugger. This time, I hope to have postcards showing the new cover for Book Two of the Based on a Dream saga ready to pass out!

Anyway, the goal for my family's summer was to make creativity a priority--and for better or worse, we've been doing a fair job of it. Of course, as we all know, that can only last so long. Real life kicks in come September. In the meantime, I hope you're succeeding in all you plan to do this summer, getting in some great reads, and have a chance to just breathe.


PS: By the way, that picture I have up top of the melted crayon canvas is Energizer Bunny Girl's and my creation based on the very popular Pinterest pin. If you plan on trying it and want the seriously swirling combo-of-colors effect ... skip the hairdryer. We set ours out in the sun to soften the crayons before using the hairdryer. Then (oooops!) we forgot about it. Two hours later, the sun did all that! Nothing left in the crayons though! (My pinterest addy, if you care to follow: