Monday, July 14, 2014

Vacation Inspiration

Well, I survived a week of family visiting us at our house, followed by a week of vacation in the Wisconsin Dells with the same (and more) family, followed by yet another week of more family members at our house this past week.

I thought I'd feature some highlights from our trip. Because a writer's brain never stops and inspiration always lurks behind the next photograph.

Storms. They blasted their way through the state. Thankfully, we just missed the big one that blew through Iowa and Illinois with straight line winds up to 100 mph. Tornado Alley runs through Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, so we're programmed to dive for cover at a moment's notice. I kept my eye on all of the "Emergency Exit Only" doors throughout the week. Here's a shot of the theme park Mount Olympus before another storm. Mt. Olympus is the world's largest outdoor/indoor water park, featuring roller coasters, gigantic wave pools, water slides and other rides.

The Dells originally was a destination for non-mega theme parks. Boat tours on the Wisconsin River along with hiking tours were the main attraction led by the man who made the Dells famous, H. H. Bennett, Father of the Dells. He was the first person to ever take a photograph of something in motion. His photography studio/museum still stands on Broadway Street.

Baraboo is the town located right next to the Dells and is home to the Circus World Museum where five of the Ringling Brothers started a circus in 1884. Two more brothers joined the Ringling Brothers Circus and eventually bought out Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1907 and created The Greatest Show on Earth.

The diverse shops located downtown will make you stay and play or read and relax. Because every used book store should have pianos and puppies...

Baraboo is also home to Devil's Lake and the bluffs. My sons visited two weeks prior to our vacation with their youth group. This is why I chose not to tag alone, and I always close my eyes when they show me pics like these...(And you can now see why my son was the inspiration for Free Runner.)

And for all you Percy Jackson fans, I found Zeus, Medusa and Hades all in one place at the Mount Olympus theme park:

I hope you are having a wonderful, memory-filled summer! Now, back to working on my books and cleaning my house. What have you been doing this summer?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG: Staying Positive

Come join me in the IWSG group created by Alex Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of each month!

First, I have some really good news:
 FREE RUNNER was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly 
Children's Book Awards!!!

I should've named my post "Staying Alive." My agenda this summer includes surviving a family vacation with my teenage sons, tearing apart my house and cleaning it from limb to limb, and submitting my middle-grade mystery to agents.

"Clean it up and make it interesting. This involves rewriting until you feel like you need a bone marrow transplant." -Brian Beker

If you are in need of a sharp editing tool, I encourage you to try Noah Lukeman's book, The First Five Pages. If you are in need of someone to clean your house, please don't call me. With ten people in my house this past week, I'm trying to stay positive. I may need to call Servpro--"like it never happened."

I'm on vacation this week with my hubby, two teenage sons and one little princess. Yes, there will be stories to share.
Are you in the process of editing? Are you taking a break and enjoying a vacation this summer? What's your favorite book on writing? Do you agree with the quote by Beker?!

July #IWSG: Summer Mode Activated

           Come join Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We discuss our fears, insecurities, ups and downs of the...