Tag Archives: writing vacation

What I do when I take a break from writing

The beginning of this month, I sent Ygerna off to beta readers. If you follow this blog, you know that it ended up WAY longer than I intended, and I decided to reward myself with a short “vacation.”

I did some sewing.

Our place isn’t big enough that I can have a dedicated craft room — or it might be if I tossed half my books, I guess, but I’m not to that point yet. 🙂 Anyway, to do any sewing I have to haul out the machine and take over the dining room table. A bunch of mending had piled up that I couldn’t do by hand, so I got that finished first.

Then I started on the fun stuff.

For a while now, I’ve been collecting ideas on on Pinterest for upcycling projects — making new out of old. I’ve also been saving favorite garments with tears and holes rather than throwing them away, hoping I might be able to find the time to play with them a bit and possibly give them a new life. I’m pretty pleased with the results. Here’s a jeans skirt that had a serious tear combined with a VERY old maternity dress I couldn’t throw away because I loved the material so much:

Upcycled jeans skirt

And matching top:

Upcycled t-shirt

A couple more where the pictures turned out *g*:

Upcycled long shirt

Upcycled t-shirt

I also taught myself how to make roses out of fabric, and attached one to a skirt I made my granddaughter out of pants she’d grown out of:

silk rose

I also made a set of Barbie dresses for my girls out of a thrift store top, and saved a couple more t-shirts by sacrificing others and adding a bit of lace here and there. It was huge fun. I think I have come up with a suitable reward for myself for getting a book ready to kick out of the door.

I couldn’t leave off writing completely while I was concentrating on sewing — I managed that for about two days before I had to get back to something, even if it was only brainstorming.

But more on that in my next blog post. 🙂

Shards of Glass for #WIPpet Wednesday, and a request for feedback on the cover

Hi again, everyone! Long time, no read. 🙂

While I was off visiting relatives, assisting with deck building, doing garden work in the garden of my daughter’s new house, and eating fresh crab, the nearly final cover of the third Glassmakers book arrived in my inbox.

Shards of Glass cover

I’m pretty happy with how it looks, but my cover designer agreed to allow me to run it past my readers on my blog and Facebook before finalizing it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging in the last few weeks, and am only now getting around to it now that we are back in Germany. So what do you guys think? The basic design will stay the same, but if you have any suggestions for tweaking, I would be happy to hear them!

Since I’m running the cover for the last book in the trilogy by y’all, I thought I would jump forward in fictional time and give you a first excerpt from Shards of Glass for my return to WIPpet Wednesday. Math: 6 short paragraphs for the sixth day of the month:

Dowager Princess Zilia of House Foscari was in a bad mood. Her morning chocolate tasted like dust, even though she was sure the cook had prepared it exactly to her liking, just as he always did.
No, it was not the cook’s fault that nothing could please her this morning — even though the sun shone bright through the tall arched windows and the reports she was reading were full of positive news regarding increases in Venetian exports of glass, silk and spices. All of which would mean sorely needed tax revenues for the ruling families of Venice.
Unfortunately, Zilia couldn’t enjoy it — not the chocolate, not the sun, not the news. All she could think about was her recent defeat. Not only had her plan to bring the traitorous glassmakers back to Venice been foiled, the magic mirror that had found them had been stolen.
Zilia was not used to being crossed. She was used to having her every wish fulfilled.
She put aside the reports and rose. Perhaps she needed to take a day off from her duties as mother of the most powerful prince in Venice. She would go to Lido, spend the day in the Foscari villa there, far from responsibilities and disappointments.
The Dowager Princess threw open the doors to her retiring room — and noticed that her favorite, Gaetano, was not one of the guards standing at attention on either side of her sanctuary. His absence had escaped her when she came down from her bedchamber, enshrouded in her bad mood.

Rough stuff still, very much first draft — any and all comments welcome!

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

As to progress, maybe I should offer you this:


Deck underway

And this:

Deck completed
Deck completed

That was our big accomplishment on our vacation. I didn’t actually work that much on the deck for my daughter’s new house, but I did do a lot of gardening, dirt shoveling, ugly shrub extinction, and planting while we were there.

Other than that, I was driving up and down the west coast between Eugene and Seattle and visiting relatives and friends I only rarely see. I did a little bit of translation, a little bit of brainstorming, and even less writing. But over the years, I have come to believe that it is okay to take a vacation from writing. I write 5 days a week on a regular basis, usually more, and I manage consistent word counts that I compensate for on days when the writing doesn’t go as well. Given those circumstances, I think I deserve a vacation now and then. 🙂

I may still blog in more detail about our trip, given time and opportunity, but I’m not promising anything. The incident with the lost camera would definitely deserve a post, if I can manage it! Not to mention my husband’s collision with a chainsaw …

Hope everyone has been doing great while I’ve been mostly absent. 🙂