We're Going on an Adventure 25-5
Procrastination is currently my favorite pastime.
I have an overwhelming amount of work to do on Olympus. Over. Whelming. So, naturally, I’m avoiding working on it with an enthusiasm that can only be matched by my love of Chinese takeout.
And it’s not that I don’t love writing. It’s not that my book isn’t good. And it certainly isn’t because I’m tired of my characters, because I think about them and work on their backstories literally every day. I even get home and want to write. But then I ambush my own brain, my own enthusiasm, and I eat ice cream instead.
I wonder if this is another symptom of the winter’s endless grasp. As I’ve mentioned before, I live in northern Minnesota. The lack of sunshine makes me sad, makes me feel isolated, makes the world around me feel like something a step left of what is real. I don’t feel successful during these late days, I have no energy.
But that’s just another hurtle, isn’t it? Another challenge. Having people actually read my work, having an audience—it has totally changed my attitude toward writing. I find myself picking over every word, combing every scientific reference for accuracy. And while I used to do this even when I was only writing for myself, I used to do it after I finished the work. Now, as I write, there is a tiny audience in the back of my brain, hating literally every letter.
It’s a new frustration, to be sure, and it sometimes takes me longer to get into the flow of writing than it used to. But still, once I’m there, it’s an endless river. The world around me fades away and all that is real is what I can follow through my imagination. It’s the best feeling. And all it takes to reach it is time and discipline.
I designed my book cover today.
Granted, I have had an idea of what it should look like for quite a while now. But today, I sat down and sketched the edges. It’s far from done—still just a rough doodle on a pad of paper—but the idea worked. And, if I do say so myself, it’s beautiful.
Firebird’s book cover has received mixed reactions. Some people love it, love the simplicity, the color, the texture. Others are confused, since it isn’t a classically SciFi cover and therefore doesn’t reach toward a specific market. In this, it breaks all of the rules in book covers and I have received criticism for it from publishing companies and random humans in the industry. And, of course, there are the people who like neither it nor me and are quick to let me know that it is “weird” or “eclectic” (but not in a good way).
The fact is, I published this book for me. Yes, I want to sell copies. Of course I’d like to make a little money on my hard work, at least enough to pay for my business and give me a little wiggle room where finances are concerned. And yes, I want to get my name out there—I want people to recognize me, my work, and to have an audience who is as enthusiastic about my stories as I am.
But first and foremost, my loyalty is to the story. This book cover is what I see when I think of Firebird. She is not a woman prone to glossy photographs or powerful demonstrations of war, lasers, and actors. This is not your average SciFi adventure, and therefore my book cover will not be your average SciFi art. This is something new, something uniquely me, and if people are not interested or engaged by my art, chances are they won’t be by my writing, either.
If I ever go the traditional publishing route, I’d consider changing. But until then, this is my vision.
Have I mentioned how much I love travelling?
Three of my girl friends and I are planning a trip to Florida for a long weekend, and I haven’t been this excited for something in a long, long time. I like the challenge of working out transportation and agendas, making sure I get where I need to be on time. And I like the freedom that comes with good planning, knowing when I can wander aimlessly, knowing that there is nothing in the world that can trouble me. It makes me feel both powerful and wild, knowing that I’m able to work to earn the money, plan to have a safe trip, and successfully adventure all on my own.
We are going to Disney and Universal, and I’m going to ride my first ever roller coaster. I’m both excited and terrified, but that’s part of the adventure!
Most of all, I’m looking forward to the Harry Potter world. Universal has the castle, Hogsmeade, and Diagon Alley. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to just go ahead and live there.
And there will be sunshine. I can’t tell you how ready my pasty body is for some freakin sunshine. I’m going to lizard in it, just flop down on the tarmac and bask. It’s going to be the most glorious thing since peanut butter, and I’m already digging through my closet, looking for the non-winter things.
So here’s to adventure. Here’s to good friends, new food, and travel. Here’s to being adults, because for me, being adult just means I get to do the things I wanted to do as a kid.
Tonight, we left for our vacation.
Our flight leaves early tomorrow and, since it’s the beginning of spring break, we’re heading to the airport even earlier. I’m so excited, I’m just a bundle of vibrating nerves.
Thursday is also when Star Trek: Discovery comes out with a new episode. So, yeah, I’m typing and watching and giddy as all hell. Speaking of Star Trek, here’s an unpopular opinion.
I hate Klingons.
They’re noisy, boorish, hard-headed (because of the cranial plate, of course), and predictable. The first season of Discovery dwelled far too much on their shenanigans and I literally could care less. Just stuff it, warrior honor critter.
That said, in season two, Discover is really hitting its Klingon stride. Instead of just listening to a bunch of unlikeable characters bicker amongst themselves, there is actually some finesse. I like the female leader, of course, and I love that there’s this weird thing going on with the human (if you’ve seen it, you know who I’m talking about—if you haven’t, then I’m going to go ahead and protect your eyeholes from spoilers). It works.
AND IT’S SUCH A GOOD SHOW!
Seriously. I’m a bit of a Star Trek enthusiast (she said, knowing it’s the understatement of the year) and I was leery of their switching from episodic to serial storylines. But it really is working out. I love the main character (a female Michael) and that we get a new twist on Spock’s backstory. It’s fantastic. It’s inspiring. It just gets me all giddy.
So good luck sleeping tonight, I guess, because I’m excited for Florida, high on Star Trek, and super ready for some sunshine.
I am exhausted in the best way.
We landed in Florida and scampered outside, giddy with sunshine. It was 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the first time my legs had seen the sun in five months. Absolutely glorious.
We hopped in a cab, threw our bags at the hotel, and ran to Disney. What followed was a sunny stream of humans, roller coasters (my first one was Toy Story’s), sunscreen and ice cream. It was magical, of course.
I’ve never been one for crowds, though. Waiting in line is a talent I have yet to perfect, so starting at Disney is a bit of a leap. Hours of standing on the hot pavement proved to be trying for my patience, as were the plethora of small children. I’m not much of a kid person, as a rule, and when you amplify that by a thousand as I’m standing in line…well, it was a bit of a challenge.
Still, the roller coaster was a lot of fun. Once I realized that I could pretend to be flying and that this was just about the best possible stimulus for such imaginings, I couldn’t get enough of it.
There is a pool at our hotel (of course, it’s Florida) and a hot tub. We’ve got a balcony, fa king sized bed, and a kitchen. It’s perfect, it’s beautiful, and I’m absolutely exhausted. Until next time.
Today, we went to Universal.
And I stepped into Hogsmeade. I cannot believe how much like the movies it was. You can go in the shops, sip on butterbeer, have pumpkin juice to wash down the cottage pie. And Hogwarts Castle looms over it all, immaculate and gorgeous.
I frolicked like a five year old with her first puppy.
The Hogwarts ride proved to be one of my favorites, as you fly alongside Harry through a Quidditch match and around Hogwarts. And—since lines are a big deal there—the line we waited in wandered through the greenhouses, the castle, and had talking paintings. It was like I stepped inside my brain, and it was the best thing.
Diagon Alley was also awesome. I missed Knockturn Alley, as we were running out of time and steam, though we did get to the Gringotts ride. I had ice cream from Florean Fotesque (spelling, I know, but I’m just winging this) and wandered through Olivanders.
AND. I. WENT. TO. JURASSIC. PARK.
Growing up, my favorite movie was Jurassic Park. To this day, if I hear the music, I start to smile. It’s my heart and soul and, honestly, I’m still surprised that I didn’t become an archaeologist. Between Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones, it’s wonder that everyone didn’t.
To be honest, Disney was fun but Universal has my heart. It completely played in to my childhood and if I could, I’d go back a hundred more times. A thousand. I’d live in Hogwarts one week, and be running with dinosaurs the next.
And let’s not forget those Marvel heroes. The Hulk took us on one hell of a ride.
It’s Disney again.
We went to the Magical Kingdom again and, of course, it was awesome. I enjoyed it much more than Hollywood studios, as it played into my childhood. We frolicked around the castle and watched the fireworks at night. Ice cream a couple of times, of course, and oh the glorious sunshine!
And holy hells, there are so many people in the world.
After a day of standing on pavement, being poked and bumped and climbed by other people’s spawn, and wasting most of the day in line, we were all more than ready for some rum and a hot tub. Luckily, our hotel had just that.
We ordered a greasy pizza, drank fruity drinks, and soaked our sore feet in hot water. Truly, the perfect end to a fantastic day. There’s something to be said for a group of friends who can both spend a day chattering or a day in mutual quiet and have the same level of companionship. No, it’s more than something. It’s everything.
One of my favorite things is when TayTay and I go to a coffee shop on the weekend and drink tea and read. It sounds boring, but there is a companionship there that I can’t find anywhere else. We enjoy each other’s company and don’t need to be in constant communication to know it’s a good thing.
And to have that same companionship even after a day of running around in the sun, when we’re all exhausted and a little crabby…well, that’s just the best thing in this world. I love my ladies.
It’s the last day of our vacation. We packed up, asked the hotel to hold our luggage, and ran to Universal for one last hurrah.
Our plane was scheduled to depart at 6 PM, so we were only going to get a half day of adventure. Naturally, we had to pick and choose our rides. We tried to hit the ones we’d missed, and revisited Hogwarts, of course. But even with literally jogging around the parks, we still didn’t get to shop in Diagon Alley or ride the Mummy again (our favorite).
A couple of minutes before we left Knockturn alley, we got a text that our flight would be delayed until 10 PM.
We spent the rest of our day wandering through J.K. Rowling’s brain. We ate at the Leaky Cauldron, shopped at all the classic shops, and took another spin around Gringotts. I bought too much overpriced candy and can’t quit touching it. Seriously, it feels like magic. I’ll never eat it. It belongs on a shelf of glory.
I waved every wand in Olivanders (they didn’t choose me, but that’s ok. I’m already alumni, after all) and got spit at by Aragog. All in all, it was the perfect day.
And when we finally did get to the airport, we got through security easily and still had plenty of time for our flight. I was informed that gum isn’t sold in the Orlando airport (why?) so my ears felt like they had icepicks in them when we landed in Minneapolis.
Still, it was the most full day I’ve had in years.
You know when you’re so tired the world around you feels like a dream?
I wish that I had only been that tired today. Running on two hours of sleep, the drive home was longgggggggggggggggggggggggg. We were going to come straight from the airport, but the four hour drive seemed a bit ominous. So we snagged a couple of hours on our friend’s couch before making the journey.
It was 0 degrees Fahrenheit, with 20mph wind. Needless to say, we were cold. More than cold, we were miserable.
By the time I made it home, I kissed my cat, was greeted by my dog, and we all crawled in to bed. And slept all day.
Then we woke up, ate soup, and slept all night.
That’s it. That’s the end of the adventure. But, in my opinion, if you’re not exhausted and happy to be in bed by the end of an adventure…did you even go on one?
Now, it’s time to write. And I mean write. I’m going to finish book 2 by Sunday if it kills me. That first draft is about a month overdue and it’s time to quit milking at it. Time to do some serious work. Time to forge ahead.
Sharpen your quills, fellow writers, the real adventure has only begun.