I know it's a day early, but this is without a doubt my favorite holiday, so I MUST celebrate. It's the perfect day: a nice sugar rush to look forward to, costumes, and glitter, and pumpkins (Oh, my!). No family gathering to gird my loins for, no need to cook or clean, everything can be purchased with a quick trip to Sam's Club. In a word: sublime.
For me, Halloween works the same way my books do. I (or my characters) can be anything I want to be. A sexy detective.
Or the classic maid.
Of course, I've never had figures like these ladies and never will, so my costume would cover more skin, but the principle is the same. Sadly, this is also like my books--my heroines are way cuter than me. BUT we can all dress up and have fun tomorrow! It's the Best. Holiday. Ever!
(And I have to say I love how shocked and surprised this jack-o-lantern looks)
I guess that should be one of the universal truths in life. It was something I definitely learned as I got older. I'm getting close to forty years old, and yet, I don't feel a whole lot different than I did in my twenties--except I can't stay out all night without paying for it the next day. But you know what I mean. Of course, I've grown, I'm matured, I'm more confident, but inside, being thirty-eight doesn't feel very different from all those other ages. In fact, I remember vividly all those stupid and really fun things I did when I was younger that I'm glad I did! I don't have a lot of regrets, because even those made me who I am today. And I'm definitely glad I had my wild and woolly days, so I can look back and laugh and enjoy them now that I'm a little more settled. (Except when I'm at RT, but hey, that shouldn't count...lol!)
Lately, I've found out how much this axiom applies to writing and writers. Now, I'm convinced writers are a very insecure breed of animal. I know each and every time I write a book, I'm afraid it's crap and that the public in general are going to gag when they read it. Then I'm pleasantly surprised when reviewers like it, it sells well and I get emails and letters from readers telling me they can't wait for the next book in the series. And it's not just whole books that suffer from this. Every time I finish a chapter and send it off to my critique group, I'm afraid they are going to come back and ask what the hell I'm thinking by sending them this drivel!
I know I'm not alone in this. I have friends who are NYT & USA Today Best Selling authors, as well as those who are just published and those who are pre published. And the universal truth is, all of them (or us, I should say) react the same way I mentioned in the paragraph above.
Don't get me wrong, we enjoy our successes. As for me, I'm a multi-published author with two pen names and a loyal and very vocal fan base. And it still makes me smile and my throat tighten with excitement every time I see my books on the shelf in a store. I'm very proud of what I've accomplished. Hell, I was too terrified to even begin writing for publication until 2003 when my husband told me to stop talking about it and just go do it. So, in a short time, I've accomplished a lot. I'm happy, I'm proud, I'm still plugging along and know I will continue to grow and improve as a writer. So what's my problem?
I think it's back to the axiom above. I don't feel any different. I know all these accomplishments are real, and yet, they don't feel different. My friend, the NYT and USA Today Best Seller concurs. Don't you think that when you get that call that you are on one or both of those lists that your life should change and you should feel like you've reached some sort of writing milestone? Hmmm. Well, apparently it's great and nice and all that, but it doesn't feel different. You don't suddenly feel like a "NYT or USA Today Best Selling Author," and you are still afraid your book isn't great when you're writing it. Although, there is then pressure to reach those marks with every book.
Things that make you go "hmmm."
I guess it's not just me who feels just a tad like an imposter about to be unmasked every time I sit down at a book signing.
So, if no matter how high we climb (or how much we accomplish), there we are, then it should take a lot of comparison pressures out of it.
I know authors who are constantly comparing themselves and their writing career to others. Some of them spend so much time doing this, I'm surprised they have time to write. It stresses them out and leaves them less creative energy to move forward with their own work.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Saint (and I'm not just referring to all that fun I had in my twenties...lol...and I must admit, my thirties have been pretty enjoyable too...) Now and then I glance at the people above me on sales lists etc and there is a twinge of longing, but I try to shut that down quickly. Comparison serves no purpose other than to undermine my confidence. My concentration should remain on what I can affect--namely, my books, my career and my experience.
Because remember, no matter how high they get or you get--there you are! You are going to be the same person!! Definitely proud of what you've accomplished, but it won't change you as a person. You won't suddenly become happier with your overall life because you hit a NYT Best Seller's list, or sold another series. You might for a night--especially if there is champagne involved, or while you're buying some new earrings with your advance, and you should celebrate! But you'll be disappointed if you think that these career milestones will suddenly turn your life into nirvana--happiness comes from the inside out, not the outside in.
So, at the risk of sounding like an after school special - be happy for the accomplishments of others, and be happy for your own accomplishments. Treasure both and enjoy the journey. Because the lasting memories will come from the work you did to get there, not necessarily the prize. (Although those are nice too!)
Yes, 15 people will have their full or nearly completed manuscripts read and will receive a one page critique from editor Hilary Sares.
How do you win this amazing chance??
RAFFLE -- $100 per entry. Enter as many times as you want. (all money is going to a worthy cause) ~~~~~~~~~ Rules: ~~~~~~~~~
You may enter as many times as you want at $100 a "ticket". The more times you enter, the better your chances are.
Winners will be randomly selected from a drawing of names. on December 21st, 2007
~~~~~~~~ What do you get? ~~~~~~~~
15 people with completed or nearly completed manuscripts (any genre!) will have their manuscript read by Hilary Sares (Impress her and she could even want to buy you~~ if you are what she's looking for!) All 15 will get a one page critique of their manuscript.
But that is not all....
RUNNERS up will get....
2nd place Runners up.... (#16 and #17 winners)
Chris Keeslar Senior Editor, Dorchester Publishing (Leisure Books and Love Spell) ~~ will read and critique 100 pages ~~ you get to put a proposal of 100 pages before Dorchester's editor, and receive 1 page critique. Again, he will consider buying if you impress him! (Historical Romances, Magna, Contemporary, Paranormal)
Leah Hultenschmidt Editor for Dorchester Publishing (Leisure Books and Love Spell)
~~ will read and critique a 100 pages ~! you get to put a proposal of 100 pages before Dorchester's editor, and receive 1 page critique. Again, she will consider buying if you impress her! (Historical Romances, Contemporary, Paranormal) 3rd place Runner up (#18, #19, #20 and #21 winners)
Leanne Burroughs Publisher/Editor of Highland Press, will read and critique 4 full manuscripts -the publisher/owner of Highland Press will read and giveeach a 1 page critique. Again, she will consider buying. (Historical Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary, Mainstreams YA, Childrens) Trade size PRINT Books
Details....The raffle runs through midnight EST December 15, 2007
The random drawing will be held on: December 21, 2007
so 21 people will have a very Merry Christmas!!! winners will be notified by phone and email on that day.
All $ raised will go to help author Dawn Thompson's hospital and medical bills. Dawn recently had a bad fall. She is a new writer so has to wait for nearlya year or more to start receiving her royalties. She doesn't have family to help her and has a lot of needs not being covered by her insurance. Money will go to help her pay for medicine not covered, and other needs arising from her recovery.
Aplogies for cross-posting this blog across the universe, but I just finished writing one book and have a proposal due in a week for another, which I haven't started yet!
I finally got around to reading "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler, which I have to say, I enjoyed very much. My favorite addition to the book was a list of quotes and reviews from other sources over the last 200 odd years about Jane Austen and her books. What is so amazing is the way she had been perceived over the generations, from patronizing quotes, to damning ones, to absolute admiration and respect.
1898-"Every time I read "Pride and Prejudice" I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin bone." Mark Twain.
What's up with that? Is he saying he's jealous because she's so good or that he hates every word she'd ever written. And if he hates her, why keep reading her books? I wish I could ask Mark Twain the answer to that one.
1913-"Jane Austen was born before those bonds which,(we are told) protected women from truth, were burst by the Bronte's or elaborately untied by George Eliot. Yet the fact remains that Jane Austen knew more about men than either of them. Jane Austen may have been protected from truth: but it was precious little of truth that was protected from her." G K Chesterton
I like that one. that's how I see Jane Austen as an acute observer of the little things that make up the big picture, the small unpleasantness, the snide snub, the obstacles of class and money. And she writes about them all in a way which I think still appeals to us because we love to see weakness in those who are held up to us as our betters, these days mainly celebrity's and sports stars, in her day the upper classes.
Long long ago when I was in my twenties, (in black and white land when I was chased to college by dinosaurs according to my 14 yr old) I wanted to be Jane Austen. I tried to write like her and failed miserably because, well, I had to learn to be myself and find my own voice. but I took away certain things from her writing that I believe help me today. The layering of subtlety, the implications of the class system and her sly wit-I hope I incorporate those elements into my love stories.
My favorite Austen book used to be "Pride and Prejudice", mainly because I have 5 sisters myself and I suspect my father used to worry about how he was going to get us all out of the house. He left a ladder leaning up against the back of the house for 2 years but unfortunately no one took him up on the offer and eloped. Now, it's Emma, because I love the flaws in her, and the way Mr. Knightly 'knows' her and loves her despite herself.
My favorite TV film adaptations are the BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice" with Colin Firth and film-wise I love Emma Thompson's "Sense and Sensibility" and Gwenyth Paltrow at "Emma".
I'm not a big fan of "Mansfield Park" I had to do it for my A' levels and hated every page. Seriously, Fanny is the one I'd like to attack with her own shin bone.
So would anyone like to tell me how they see Jane and pick their favorites?
Posted by Kate Pearce ::
12:19 PM ::
Casey Andrews loves sex... but she wants to be loved as well. Of course, being blessed (or cursed?) with abody that renders men speechless isn't exactly conducive to post-coital cuddling, much less the possibility of commitment to anything except... more sex. Then Shawn Tranner comes into her life at the moment when she needed someone most. The perfect gentlemen and the perfect lover, Shawn could be the man of Casey's dreams. But with someone bent on turning her dreams into nightmares, trusting the wrong person could be the last thing Casey ever does...
Lisa Millhouse has run from James Brooks for more years than she can remember. He's everything she thinks she doesn't want.... filthy rich. When he sets out to prove to her that he's everything she needs... she'll find herself in the middle of a seduction so consuming that nothing but his touch will matter.
Honesty time. I didn't have a clue what I was going to write about once I'd logged on. Yep, I could do a promo for my novella Restraint in the Bound to Ecstasy novella that'll be out in a few days, but I'm going to let the cover do the work for me. I could also talk about Night Fire, a Dec release, but think I'll let the cover speak for it the next time I blog.
For now--truth is, I'm scrambling like crazy to make a short deadline so I can get into the 08 Sexy Beast anthology. Talk about signing the contract and getting at the writing all in a rush. Not much over a month ago, my agent emailed to say that my editor wanted to discuss a multi-book contract. Oh yes, that got my attention and would stll have my attention if life hadn't hit me upside the head. As a result, I'm writing at some of the oddest minutes, trying to keep the plot and characters straight and more than a little grateful that Night Scream doesn't have to be more than 30,000 words.
So you better be asking, why can't Vonna keep nose to the grindstone aka get lost in a hot plot about a shape-shifting hero and a heroine in need of a shrink and some sex, not necessarily in that order?
Life. Specifically an 89 year old mother. A mother just getting over a UTI (urinary tract infection) which caused her to become dizzy which contributed to six falls in 48 hours which led to a broken ankle which led to four days in the hospital which has led to an unwanted stint in a nursing home with no end in sight.
Life and love has stripped me raw. There isn't much left over for my fictional people's emotions once I've had to watch my mother trying to feed herself and look into eyes that don't truly look back. UTIs can do awful things to the elderly like stealing their intellect. That's what's happened to Mother. My sister and I can only wait to see if she comes back, at least enough that she can return to her assisted living apartment.
Things have fallen into a rhythm with her which means I take a chunk of time every day to go see her, but I'm no longer trying to figure out what happened to her mentally and physically as I did for endless days and nights. Now I wait for her to heal. If she can.
Patience and acceptance, I'm convinced, led to something wonderful happening yesterday. I was pounding out one word at a time with my characters playing unenthusiatic touchy feely while engaged in a conversation that wasn't going anywhere. I had several plot points I needed to make before writing 'the end' but was floundering because I didn't know how to get there. The plot was lineal and the characters weren't growing. Aarg!
Then, most likely bored to tears with me, the hero decided to throw a monkey wrench into the plot by doing a 180 in his approach to the situation. Thank you, Tohon, thank you! Now the story is multi-layered and the consequences deeper. The clock ticks. And I'm determined to keep up.
Today I'm writing because the passion has returned. I love Tohon and Amy as I haven't since the beginning and the plot ain't so bad after all. I'll face tomorrow tomorrow.
I've been pondering this one for a while. I have a book out in December (ONE MORE TIME), which is being billed as a time travel (in addition to being an erotic historical), only there are more paranormal elements in this than just a time travel. Er, it gets quite mythical in fact.
So I am most definitely putting it in the paranormal category, but what about these other paranormal elements? What is more important to the reader? That they know they're getting a paranormal fix at some level or to be spoiled (hey, i t's a huge plot twist) and know exactly what paranormal stuff is in store?
That is what I'm pondering this week. Although that's not why I was so late today. No, today I've been handwashing, going to the bank, picking up prescriptions waiting for the gas and electric company to come out and check a gas leak. Turns out someone's been spraying beaucoup buckets of pesticide and it all drifted in my front door. No wonder the smell of it made me ill.
Ah, the glamor of a writer. Probably a post I should have saved for another day, but this one seems awfully short just asking about paranormal stuff without giving away my ending!
Posted by Celia May Hart ::
7:37 PM ::
Are spicy books “hot” in other countries? I’ve heard sales of Aphrodisia titles are great in Australia, but what about countries where English isn’t the first language?
We’ve had a few foreign sales among the Aphro authors. I just got author copies of the Brazilian edition of “Hot in Here” – which, in Portuguese is “Brincando com Fogo” – i.e., “Playing with Fire.” Didn’t they do a great job with that classy chocolate cover? And embossing, no less! By the way, can you count the hands? Yes, there are four male hands, if you look really closely and sneak a peek under the title banner (hint, he’s cupping her left boob!). Interestingly, the book is about one-third the length of the English version. Wonder what they left out???
In Germany, “Champagne Rules” is published by an imprint of Random House under the title “Haut wie Samt” (“Skin Like Silk”). It’s a great cover too. To my delight, a writer friend who was just in Germany says the books are being sold at traveler rest stops along the Autobahn. Stop for gas, a pee, buy a bottle of water and hey, why not pick up a little erotic romance too?
What do you think of the covers, compared to the original US ones? I think they’re all great – the cover fairies around the world are good to me.
It’s so much fun when these foreign editions turn up on my doorstep. I can’t read a word – and that’s probably just as well because I’d stress out over the translations and edits – but I do love to think of people in foreign countries picking up my books, in their own language.
Posting a little early as I'll never get on the computer tomorrow :-)
Some cool news from me—I’ve just sold the third book in my "Blood" vampire series. This one doesn’t have a title, but I’m going to tell the stories of Zayan and Lukos, and answer the question: Can the darkest vampires be redeemed by love?
I’ve had a hard time getting online lately—with the back to school rush, work, deadlines, and everything else, I’ve missed my blog day the last couple of months. So it’s nice to be organized enough to be here. And with Halloween coming up, I thought I’d post an excerpt from my latest release Blood Rose and an unedited glimpse at Book 3!
From Blood Rose:
She spied the ropes hanging from the bedposts and stared at them, her arms crossed over her chest. Strangely, her pinched lips only made her more sensually enticing. He fought the urge to yank off her bonnet, rip out her pins, drop to his knees, and make her come with his mouth.
"These girls are your favorites?"
Had Ma Bellamy said that? Drake hadn’t noticed. Was that what had made Miss Lark look so bloody prim? "I pay them—but after I realized how much I adore you, I stopped rutting with them."
"Really?" Her voice gave no hint of how or if his declaration affected her. "It’s no crime for a gentleman to be promiscuous."
"I’m not a gentleman, remember?"
"Have you ever whipped them?"
"Do you know what I want, Serena?" He saw her little jolt of surprise because he had again used her Christian name. He had sucked the delicious juices from her climaxing cunny, but what stunned her was the use of her first name. "I would want you to whip me."
"Why would you want me to inflict pain, Mr. Swift?"
The governess had returned—cool, composed, the perfect servant who would accept any bizarre, scandalous, ridiculous thing he said and carry on regardless.
"But you sorely want to, don’t you, Serena? Don’t you strap naughty boys who misbehave?"
She crossed her arms beneath her lush breasts. "I do not believe in corporal punishment." "You’ve never spanked a charge? I find that hard to believe."
He grinned as a little smile came to her lips—a crack in her cool demeanor, a wry smile that changed her from perfect servant to human woman.
"It leads to escalation, Mr. Swift. What do ten lashes of the strap lead to? Twenty, I assure you. A child will push boundaries, and then what is a governess to do? Keep making worse and worse threats? And once a threat is issued, it must be acted upon. Children know at once when they have taken control."
"So you wouldn’t spank me in punishment."
"You are a grown man, Mr. Swift."
"Would you spank me in fun?"
A blush. He’d expected her to blush, to be a little embarrassed. Instead, Serena walked calmly to the edge of the bed and picked up the whip. She curled her fingers around the grip, weighing it. "If I were to spank your bottom, Mr. Swift, I would be tempted to do it with the flat of my hand."
From the Next "Blood" Book, as yet untitled (very uneditted excerpt) From the diary of Lady Hermione Chester, 12th April, 1820
There is nothing more exasperating than the sound of a woman in pleasure if that woman is not you, and there is very little hope that the woman will ever be you.
It is said, I think, that momentous journeys begin with the smallest impetus…
Well, perhaps it has been said only by me, but it sounds very well, so I shall use it as my motto, my mantra, my slogan for the campaign I am about to embark upon.
I am going to leave my home, travel to the wild northern lands of this country, and seduce a complete stranger.
Assuming I do not get lost, robbed, murdered, or do not lose my nerve and turn about and run home…
Now, back to me. I wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween. It’s time to start thinking about costumes around here. My daughter doesn’t want to wear her cute lion costume this year, she is determined to be a witch. I suggested she wear the lion outfit, a witch’s hat, and she could drag around a wardrobe. Then she could be the "Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." She was not impressed.
How about you? Any ideas for Halloween? And what’s your favorite scary creature? Are you a vamp fan, a werewolf lover, or do you prefer ghosts, goblins, or maybe a hot looking pirate?
Today I received the cover and copy edit for Sins of the Night, my late March 08 release. Here's a little bit about the book from the back cover:
Once, Adrien Roth was a Shadow Stalker--a hunter of vampires called the Kynn. Captured, he was forced to pay a devastating price and become the very thing he despised. Almost a century has passed since that time and Adrien's quest for justice has not ended. But only one woman can redeem his soul: a beautiful mortal named Cassie Wilson. In Adrien’s arms, Cassie will experience the ultimate sexual awakening, for her demon lover is a master of pleasure. Together at last, lost in a shadow-world of unusual desire and risking their very lives for love, she and Adrien are compelled to surrender to the powerful passion that consumes them…
This is the second book in my Kith & Kynn series and picks up where book 1 (Sins of the Flesh) left off with Devon and Rachel. Their story is also continued, along with the introduction of another set of characters, Morgan Saint-Evanston, an immortal assassin with an odd way of doing business and his witchy girlfriend, Julienne.
Can't wait for this one to come out!
Posted by Devyn Quinn ::
2:54 PM ::
Next year, I will attend my 7th consecutive National RWA conference. While I still think RWA is an awesome organization and enjoy the conference, I must be honest: A bit of the thrill is gone. The level of anticipation and excitement that I felt in the early years is not as high. Probably because the experiences I have each year do not differ as drastically as they did in the beginning, when everything about writing and the industry was brand new to me.
Well, last month, I regained the ‘thrill’ – that sense of excitement and anticipation – when I participated in the Women’s Fiction Festival in Italy 9/27 - 9/30. Why? Well, off the top of my head, below are a few thrill-inducing reasons (and if you want to experience a bit of it for yourself, check out the video - in Italian - of the festival highlights) …
Italy. The thought of Italy, by itself, makes my heart go pitter patter. The conference was in Matera – in the Sassi district, which is the ancient part of the city, steeped with beauty and history along twisty, stair-stepped, stone streets. Getting lost was a joy – and an aerobic workout.
Food. From fettucine, tossed with bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a cream sauce, to golden, moist swordfish medallions, flavored with olive oil and subtle spices, to Saltimbocca, thin, flattened, breast of chicken topped with prosciutto and cooked in butter – everything was flavorful and fresh. Not once did I eat a bad meal. And the coffee, ahhhhh – a caffeine addicts paradise. Strong, bold and fully loaded.
Global Perspective. Agents, editors, and guest speakers from the U.S, Italy, Great Britain, and Germany gave insight into publishing in their parts of the world, while the efforts of an extraordinary group of volunteer translators insured everyone was able to understand their presentations. Attendees, both writers and readers, were from different countries, which rounded out the international feel.
Conference. In addition to the staple ingredients of a writers conference – agent and editor panels and appointments, book signings, author/subject matter expert/special interest presentations – there were outside events that immersed attendees in Italian culture: A welcome reception in the upscale Ana Boutique; classical music performances; a night-time stroll through the Sassi; a ‘happy hour’ feast of wine, olives, and hors d'oeuvres in the piazza Sedile, while actors recited love poems in Italian, Romeo and Juliet style; wine and hors d'oeuvres in a romantic cave setting that was once an olive oil mill; and so much more.
Elizabeth Jennings did an outstanding job in organizing the conference, while the multilingual Bridget, Lorena, Micky, and Theresa did an amazing job translating each session into Italian or English for the attendees. The Women's Fiction Festival is a unique and special experience, to be savored by readers, as well as writers, men, as well as women, and conference junkies, as well as those, like me, who’ve lost the thrill of the conference.
If I can ever get caught up, I plan to blog more specifically about the conference and my experiences in Matera, plus the delights of Ischia (especially it's spectacular spa, Poseidon), a beautiful island off of Naples, that a group of us went to post-conference.
Well, it's here, the time of year I enjoy most. The colors change, the days arrange themselves into a pattern of cloudy mornings and sunny patches in the afternoon. Life in the Pacific Northwest. The days are shorter, though, which can be a bummer...until you realize that candlelight and scent on your mantel is cozy and sexy....
I've had a sunny spot in the writing life this week. After being on bookstore shelves since January 2006 the very first Aphrodisia anthology, THE HARD STUFF (Moi, Karin Tabke and Sunny) has gone back to print for a fourth print run. Incredible! And just because I love our Green Man so much I'm posting the cover again:
Is he not hot?!
The lighting, the shadows on his muscles...the bit of stubble on his great chin. It's no wonder that when Aphrodisia first hit the shelves, this cover made it to television! Those were heady days: Geraldo at Large, CNBC's On the Money...for starters. Then the smaller markets joined the rush: Boston, Buffalo...then the newspapers joined in, too. And here we are all these months later with Aphrodisia going stronger than ever...life is good...and I'm off to burn some candles...some nice earthy Autumn scent. Something warm, sexy...
What do you do to enjoy the longer nights closing in? (some folks are still cuddling up with our Green Man. Thank you!)
Posted by Bonnie Edwards ::
10:48 AM ::
Days go by without my ever leaving my office. I'm not complaining... considering I hang with my Wolf Tales characters (Anton! OH. MY. GAWD.) it could certainly be worse. However, I've been feeling really awful lately, a combination of weird ailments and general exhaustion, and my husband agreed that I needed to see some fresh scenery. We took off to the high Sierra for a quick glimpse of Fall colors. A photo can never do justice to the magnificence of the high mountain passes in October. We had hoped to go for three days, but with a big winter snowstorm blowing in, we made due with two. Still it was unbelievably satisfying to see the rugged granite peaks and the brilliant splashes of bright yellow aspens.
We followed the Mormon Immigrant Trail, a winding mountain road that made me wonder about the people who crossed these mountains in something a lot less comfortable than our SUV. The road is a challenge with an engine for power--I can't imagine the fortitude (or even the shear stupidity!) of men leading their families, their wives and children, into such an inhospitable wilderness. Then we reached Highway 88 and Kit Carson Pass. The meadow is huge, the views spectacular, and you get an idea of what drew these people onward.
We'd had the news on the radio and had listened to predictions of a fierce storm due in the following day, so after spending the night in Tahoe, we took a leisurely trip home through Truckee and then down Highway 49, another point of California historical interest. Following the Yuba River, it's still possible to see remnants of the gold mining and logging of years ago. Whole hillsides were washed away by hydraulic mining, and foundations have crumbled beside the river.
We were gone less than 36 hours, but I came home with the feeling I'd been away for weeks. Healthwise, I'm still not feeling 100% and recovery is taking longer than I want, but the trip to the High Sierra had exactly the effect my husband hoped for me. Those mountains have always been my sanctuary, the place where I go to recharge. We live in the mountains, in the coast range, where the trees are as tall, the scenery as lovely, but it's not the same as those high, granite peaks. Seeing that grandeur, reminding myself of the often tragic yet amazingly powerful history on those trails, is like a tonic. My body reacts, and my mind suddenly fills with ideas, with the sense of how many stories are yet to be told.
What do you do when the well is dry and the muse is tired? Where do you go for inspiration, for the chance to recharge your batteries? How long does it take? For me, a couple days is actually better than a long vacation, but I would love to hear what works for you.