Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The ocean is calling....

I'm a day away from my 5-week hiatus to Prince Edward Island. My kids are excited, our home in Goleta is safe from threatening fires and despite random power outages, I'm relatively on track with my novel rewrite.

We've had a full summer already. Tate, my 12 year old, has experienced his first "away" camp, not to mention traveling alone as an unaccompanied minor, to Ann Arbor, Michigan; Newt, the 14 year old, has logged a life time of hours on W.O.W. (don't ask if you don't know) and Elliott, my 9 year old daughter, has survived, and actually enjoyed, the dreaded sailing camp.
Damn lucky kids, if you ask me. When I was twelve, I was loading hay...or picking strawberries...or painting 20 acres of chewed up fencing. Ahh, life on a farm.

My friend Maggie and I exchanged reading material for the summer. Walking into her office was the equivalent of Christmas morning in July. Maggie is a voracious reader and picks up all the good books as they come out.
I snagged a bunch of fantastic titles: Harmless and How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt, So B. It by Sarah Weeks, Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay, Absolutely, Positively, Not...by David Larochelle, Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot (think Ellie will love this), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time India by Sherman Alexie and The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. Whew!
Since we don't have access to cable television, evenings are spent either playing cards, listening to the hi-fi (yes, very retro) or reading.

Reviews on above books:
Check out Jen Robinson's Book Page for a review of Saffy's Angel here.
Teen reads reviews The Earth, My Butt and other Bog Round Things here.
Big A, Little a reviews Harmless here.
Fuse #8 reviews The Absolutely, True story...here.

Summer Writing program: I'm logging close to 15 hours a week. Last week a little less due to evacuation notices but that's really just an excuse. Mostly, I've been thinking. Thinking of different ways to illustrate my protagonists internal goals and creating a flow to my novel. All I can say is, THIS IS JUST SO DAMN MUCH FUN! Seriously!
Although, it makes it more fun when interest for my novel is brewing.
But now I have some deadlines and no matter how much my dad begs me to play golf, or how much the ocean beckons for one last swim or no matter who drops by for a cold glass of Stella...I will not abandon my writing program. That is my promise.

My friend Laura is also experiencing wild fire hell in Big Sur, California. She's blogging for the LA Times. Check it out. On a personal note, I applaud you, Laura, for your ability to stay calm, focused, cheerful and quite prolific in spite of smoke congested air and evacuation logistics.

Next post will be via Prince Edward Island...CHEERS!


  1. Have a great trip, Patty! What a treat for you and your kids.

  2. 15 hours a week is fantastic for vacation time. Here on vacation, I'm logging 0 hours a week. But i've accepted it!

  3. I'm SO excited for you. Will have so much fun thinking of you up there writing, writing, writing. I'm so happy you and your family are doing well in spite of The Gap fire and that your house is ok. Your Summer Writing Program is inspirational. I've let mine go recently. Not sure when I'll get back to it. I've picked up my guitar though. Somehow I just like sitting and playing a little music at the end of the day now. I don't play well, but I play hoping to get better.

    Thanks so much for the props and good wishes. Means so much to Joe and I:) More workers here today and getting ready for when Highway One opens up to the public. Lots of work to do! We were very, very lucky. Thanks for taking the time to read about the fire.

    Have a WONDERFUL time. Love to your family.

  4. Nothing like vacation with a bunch of good books. Safe travels and enjoy a relaxing holiday! Can't wait to read your next submission!


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