What do writers do when they’re not writing? What have I done these past three weeks after the rush of publishing my first novel? I went on vacation.
My husband and I took a road trip…and we both arrived safely home without killing each other. We were gifted one week in a Sedona timeshare so we thought, why not make a road trip out of it? We’ll take our time going south, stopping wherever the interest strikes us. We’ll stop and surprise our pastor and his wife from our time in western New York. (They move to Arizona a couple years after we returned to Wisconsin.) We’ll swing down to Phoenix and take my nephew out to lunch, catch up on his schooling.
We spent the first night in Independence, MO, where we found a fantastic little BBQ roadhouse I swear is only known to the locals. We visited the Truman House, and then the Noland House across the street. (President Truman’s cousin lived there.) We stopped at the Federal Reserve Money Museum hoping they passed out samples. Unfortunately, not. But we did get a free little bag of finally shredded old money.
We were surprised to discover the WWI museum right next door to the Federal Reserve. What an amazing place! We could have easily spent several days there, but had to settle for one afternoon. I was particularly excited because my next book is set in 1918. Two of my three male leads are returning from the war to find their hometown besieged by the Spanish Flu Pandemic. I took many pictures from exhibits and bought two new research books.
On our way to Pueblo, CO, we came across a museum for Fort Wallace, KS. Pueblo turned out to be kind of cold and windy with warnings of snow coming over the mountains. But, in the end, the snow itself did not fall past the peaks and we were able to spend a relatively nice Sunday walking along the historic Riverwalk in downtown Pueblo, stopping to eat at a local brewery. Have you ever heard of a mimosa flight before? I hadn’t, only beer flights, but I thoroughly enjoyed mine.
The next day we wound our way over one of those snowy mountains to check out Golden Sand Dune Park. Ever-changing hills of sand along the base of rocky/snowy peaks. Awesome!
We continued on, staying in Santa Fe, NM, Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ, Flagstaff, AZ, before getting to Sedona. We made stops at the Petrified Forest and at the Meteor Crater. We visited a number of museums related to both the indigenous peoples and the pioneers.
Once in Sedona, we spent most of the week hiking (climbing) one beautiful red rock trail after another. When we weren’t hiking, we were enjoying all the different local restaurants. And I didn’t gain a single pound, despite the wonderful meals, desserts, and specialty margaritas!! I guess that whole exercise thing works.
What do writers do when they’re on vacation? They still write. When they’re not writing, they’re thinking about writing, planning what they’re going to write, reading what other authors write. There were some long days in the truck. I caught up on my trade magazines. I wrote four pages of notes planning my next three books, and I reread a favorite classic, “Giants In The Earth”.
So, I guess the answer to my question is, writers are always writing, even when only in their heads. But now I’m home again and the real work starts. My first box of copies has arrived and it’s time to start selling, planning signing events. There’s bookkeeping to set-up in preparation for all the money that’s going to start pouring in…I hope. There’s this blog to write.
And there’s the next book. There’s always the next book.