Saturday, April 29, 2017

wamp wamp (what it do)

I divulged my real last name to the romance readers today, and even referenced the seminal hit 'Wamp Wamp (what it do)', so you can guess what my mental state is. Yes, it's mostly fueled by wine and vodka and something called the 'dirty Russian'. So suffice it to say that I had a great day, but I'll say more tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, April 28, 2017

honey i'm good

I have to go to bed immediately...I made it to my 7:30am breakfast only fifteen minutes late, but over half the group was later than me, so #noregrets. The food and company were great - we went to Blue's Egg, and I had some delish hashbrowns and poached eggs. After we were done, I ran errands for several hours - my errand to Nordstrom (an overly complicated return because of some weirdness with the way the product was tagged + me wanting to keep the 'wrong' product but get the correct lower price for it) took three people twenty minutes to resolve. But they were all entertaining, and we had a great time failing to understand how the issue happened. Then I bought more stuff at the mall and also went to Container Store to get stuff for my table tomorrow.

Then I went to Walmart and realized belatedly that I should have gone to Target - I was in southern Iowa mode, where Walmart is the closest thing, so I defaulted to that. But when I was checking out, the chip reader declined both my credit cards and my debit card before the clerk finally realized that maybe the issue was with her machine and not with my cards. Her supervisor said there was nothing that could be done unless I wanted to pay cash. Since I had 20+ items and the other lines were all long, I dashed over to the ATM machine to get cash, which required navigating around someone who had collapsed and was being attended to by paramedics. #peopleofwalmart indeed.

sssanyway. The rest of the day is a blur and I need to sleep anyway, so, briefly - I took my rental car back, hung out, had a few precious moments to myself, had dinner with the other authors (and won a cheesehead!), and then did the Q&A, which involved sitting for two hours so that I could have my 90sec in the spotlight like all the other writers (we each introduced ourselves and answered one question). It was fun and went well, but then I should have crashed after and instead hung out in the bar with Deb and Josie (without drinking, bizarrely enough). And now I really need to sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

on a hippie trail head full of zombie

I'm exhausted and I have breakfast plans in eight hours, so it's time to go to bed - but I have successfully arrived in Milwaukee, which is unfortunately about the last place I want to be. It's super cold, and they're renovating the hotel while we're all here, which has made for some interesting times. I was lucky in that I didn't have to wait hours for a room - but also unlucky in that my room is ancient, smells funky, and doesn't have a new mattress yet. I don't remember last year's room being quite this bad, but I also spent my first night last year throwing up from food poisoning, so really, my memory is fuzzy on the matter.

sssanyway. I'll be less surly when I am actually participating in the event (maybe). I got up today at 6:45, showered, ate breakfast that was lovingly prepared by my dad (to the same specifications as all their breakfasts), finished getting ready, and bid a fond farewell to my parents. [censored] graciously took me to the airport, and we listened to [censored] and [censored] and [censored], with a little [censored].

My trip was totally uneventful, but it would have been faster to drive to Milwaukee. I spent three hours sitting in Chicago, where I wandered around looking for a vending machine that gives out free Google Fi gear (success, but in retrospect I shouldn't have walked all the way across O'Hare for a free luggage tag, no matter how nice it is), and then had a long lunch while writing and also talking to Katie (whom I made many grandiose promises to).

Then I got on the plane to Milwaukee, which spent more time taxiing in Chicago/Milwaukee than it did in the air. The rest of the evening was uneventful - I got to the hotel, unpacked a bit, ate dinner with the other authors (and by that I mean I ignored everyone and talked to Deb, who's a San Francisco friend, although she left SF after I did and is now going to travel around Europe all summer). Then I came to my room, finished unpacking, and did three hours of work. And now I'm going to sleep and hope that I wake up in time for breakfast - goodnight!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

a banjo on my knee

I'm still too tired to blog, but I'm getting complaints even from the people I'm currently with who know exactly what I've been up to this week, so I'll write something brief so I can move on with my life. Today was my last full day in ye olde Iowa - the trip went way too quickly, and now it's time to pick up and move on to my next adventure.

So, I spent today as I spend all last days somewhere - furiously packing, taking care of last-minute tasks, and generally running around like crazy. This was a slightly harder packing job than the last few since I had many more possible items to choose from, and also because I have to take thirty pounds of books and gifts to Milwaukee for the event I'm going to.

But I think I have the right things with me - this time, the climates will range from Milwaukee in April (45 degrees and raining) to SF (looks warm, feels cold) to Miami (sunshine with a chance of Zika) to San Antonio in June (you might as well pray for the sweet release of death rather than trying to pack for the heat/humidity). So I've packed mostly warm-weather stuff with some layers to add on top, and hopefully everything will work out.

When I was finally done packing, it was nearly time for supper (but I snuck in some potato chips and my favorite dip an hour beforehand, so I wasn't particularly hungry). Then, we played Ticket to Ride - we only played one game, and [censored] won, but Mom came in a close second despite looking like she was losing the entire game, so that was exciting.

And then I came downstairs, dealt with all the highly unpleasant mail that had piled up while I was gone (and that I probably should have dealt with a week, and now need to eke out six hours of sleep so I can get up and go to Milwaukee. Goodnight!

beautiful man i know you're lying

No blog again tonight...I stayed up way too late answering email, and I have a million and one things to do tomorrow to prep for my next trip. Goodnight​!

Monday, April 24, 2017

billy the kid

I'm too tired to blog tonight, which is just as well since it's basically all [censored] anyway. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

don't hurt yourself

#sorrynotsorry for not blogging last night - I was super sleepy and fell asleep as I was journaling, so no blog for you. Today was similarly fun/tiring - Uncle Mark and Aunt Kathy came down for the day, and since they arrived a little after nine, it was indeed a full day.

However, I didn't spent a lot of time with them in the morning - when they got here I was taking care of stuff online (mostly related to packing up and leaving again), and then my dad and I went into town to see Gram (scouts' report: dementia is still the worst). But we were back well in time for lunch, which was delish - bratwurst, hamburgers, homemade potato salad (because potato salad from a container is an abomination), baked beans, and layered lettuce. Or, in other words, one of my favorite Iowa summer meals.

Mark and Kathy spent the rest of the afternoon here, and Kathy and I split a bottle of sauvignon blanc that I had in the fridge, so everyone got through the day unscathed. Then they left, [censored] decided to [censor], and I spent the rest of the evening watching some fine CBS programming while continuing to prep for my next set of adventures.

And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Friday, April 21, 2017

you could be happy and i won't know

Way too tired to blog - I spent hours trying to catch up today, and I feel like for every email I send and every task I do, another two spring up to take their place. But I sent a bunch of emails, booked plane tickets and cars and airbnbs and other things, went to the Round Barn (twice!), and did it all without requiring a nap. I also unpacked all my stuff and documented what I'd taken with me so I can make better decisions next time (for example, I took way too much first aid stuff + vitamins I didn't finish, and I should reevaluate, because that all adds up to weight I have to schlepp around).

Finally, we had an excellent supper - my mom made a beef roast that was almost exactly like prime rib, along with a baked potato and a salad, and I was pretty delighted. But I came downstairs all too soon, talked to [censored], finished unpacking (it's not all put away yet, but it's a start), and finally wrote for thirty minutes on a somewhat-secret project.

And now I'm tapped out and need sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

washed up on the sand, barely alive, wishing the undertow would stop

I'm super sleepy - my jetlag has confused all of us, since I almost always wake up sometime around ten when I'm in Iowa, and right now I'm regularly waking up between six and seven. This is a problem that must be rectified. But it probably won't be rectified tonight.

I worked allll day - mostly promo stuff, since I continue to realize that I should probably be selling this book. I also had a call with someone from my old place of employment who wanted advice on leaving (it's pretty clear what he wanted to hear since he talked to me), answered some personal email (work email is still backlogged), etc.

Then we ate supper - hamburgers, green beans, fried potatoes, and the general sense of midwest satisfaction that comes from such a meal. And then I came downstairs 2.5 hours ago with the plan of going to bed, but I ordered a bunch of stuff for next week's author signing, since that *had* to get done immediately.

And now, after a super boring post, it's time for sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

she gave me a night, that's all it was

I'm working like mad to take care of all sorts of things that I've neglected over the last month. Today, that meant accidentally waking up at six a.m. (hi, jetlag), and then working in bed until my battery died around ten. At that point I was desperate to eat anyway, so I went upstairs and hung out for awhile, and I also showered and went to town (exciting stuff) to get some groceries.

Then I spent the rest of the afternoon in photoshop - I was designing some collateral for an event I have next week (v. belatedly), and it took many hours, but I was pleased with the results. I finished just in time for supper, which I enjoyed, and then I watched some fine PBS programming (not CBS! mostly because Wednesday is Criminal Minds night, and so we watched a documentary on the Nazis' extermination of the Jewish population of Vilnius, Lithuania, which was not the most uplifting subject, although the people who survived were rather astonishing).

Then I came downstairs and talked to [censored] about [censored]. And then I worked for another hour. And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

traveling prayer

It's only 9:12pm in ye olde Iowa, but I'm going to go to bed as soon as I write this. I barely slept last night, no doubt fueled by too many margaritas and mai tais (two of my favorite cocktails, but they really shouldn't be consumed in the same day). Yesterday was an exercise in overindulgence, which was precisely the opposite of the exercise undertaken by all the marathon runners - while they were running, and while Ritu was volunteering in the post-race emergency tent, Bill and I sat at a restaurant and had many drinks and ate lots of tasty Mexican food. I'd worked diligently all morning, but diligence definitely went by the wayside (along with my sobriety)....

When Ritu got back from volunteering, we had a lateish dinner at Tiger Mama, which was super delish - kind of Indonesian food, or at least southeast Asian with some Chinese mixed in. We had a whole duck, as I referenced last night, and I had two mai tais, and it was all delightful.

But my hangover was not delightful, nor was the fact that I had to get on a plane. Bill and Ritu graciously took me to the airport, which I really appreciated, and my travels were all v. smooth (other than the turbulent approach to Atlanta, where I had a layover, which made me want to vomit). I did a tiny bit of work and a tiny bit of reading on the plane, but mostly I napped and reconsidered my life decisions.

Then I got to Iowa, where my parents and [censored] picked me up. We had our traditional dinner at Johnny's, where I ordered a v. nontraditional chicken (my body is rebelling after all the stuff I've forced into it the last two weeks, and for once I didn't think steak would help). Then we came home, I hung out valiantly for an hour, and now I'm giving up and going to bed anyway. There's tons of stuff I want to get done in the next ten days, and tons of quality time I need to spend with my family, so getting some sleep now is imperative. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

it always comes as a surprise when i feel my withered roots begin to grow

I have come to associate Boston with somehow being both incredibly delighted and nauseatingly full. This is, of course, all Ritu's fault.

I could probably end the blog post there, but in the interest of posterity, I'll continue. I woke up at four a.m. thinking it was nine, but that was a trick played by my jetlag, so I slept fitfully until eight. Then I stumbled out of bed and talked to Ritu - we caught up on many tings while she force-fed me berries and yogurt and cheese and chocolate and tea and coffee. Then Bill woke up, at which point the champagne started, and didn't really stop until it was time to shower.

Our main plan for the day was a decadent 2:30pm 'brunch' at Bistro du Midi. I had two cocktails, tuna tartare, a delicious burger with goat cheese, and some sorbet, and was thus completely stuffed. At that point my body thought it was eleven p.m., and so when Ritu suggested that we walk in the park across the street from the restaurant, we walked for approximately five minutes before I sat down and then promptly took a nap in the grass. #noregrets

Eventually, I forced myself awake (Bill also fell asleep, and Ritu amused herself by taking pictures of us, apparently). Ritu's friends Anne and Dan showed up, and we started talking, and kept talking until I suddenly demanded water so that I wouldn't die. So we walked down the street, I drank water from a public fountain and probably got cholera, got some more water at a Nespresso store, and then took the train toward Ritu's house, where we all went to a bar and sat outside and enjoyed conversation and tater tots. It was a perfectly gorgeous, summery day in Boston (mid-80s, which made for a great night), so we sat outside until it eventually started sprinkling, and then Anne and Dan went home.

Of course, Ritu couldn't let us stop eating after that, so Bill, Ritu, and I went down the street to a cook-your-own Japanese barbecue place. I was still so full that I had a sprite and some miso soup and a bit of rice just to get Ritu from trying to force me to eat anything else (this strategy was only marginally successful). Then we came home, Bill expressed shock at the amount of washi tape I've been traveling with, and we listened to a bunch of Billy Joel.

And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I didn't didn't

This wasn't as rough as flying to Bali, but it's 12:39am in Boston and I've been moving for approximately 24hrs. I didn't get seasick leaving Venice despite the fact that it was misting and the sea was swelling and everything still felt like it was rocking, so I'm taking that as a win. Checking in was a v long line, and I barely had time to grab some prosciutto and some potato chips for lunch (lunch of champions, but gluten free is hard for Italian fast food). And my transit through Oslo was super rushed - but then luxury, since my cabin was oddly empty (I'd booked premium because it was almost the same cost as economy, and this was definitely the way to go).

When I got to Boston, Ritu and Bill were waiting outside baggage claim, which was a surprisingly touching treat. Then we grabbed snacks, can't home, drank and ate, and then went to a 10pm reservation at our favorite Mediterranean tapas place. But I was falling asleep at the end, so it's good that we came home rather than going for third dinner....

But now I've taken melatonin and am desperate for a bed - goodnight!

Friday, April 14, 2017

on the road again

I'm all packed up and ready to go - but my heart's not quite ready. Approximately twenty-four hours from now I'll be landing in the US - I was telling Veronica about a great restaurant in Boston today, and when I pulled the search result up on my phone to show her the location, it reminded me that Ritu/Bill/I have reservations there tomorrow night. It will, of course, be great to see all the people I'm about to see, but I'm not quite ready for my trip to be over....

...but I am ready to swap out the 40kg of stuff I have and get some different stuff for the next phase of my travels. Today was a v. idyllic last day, although everything still felt like it was spinning after all the hours I spent standing on ferry boats yesterday. The last day of class was excellent; Rachael is a great teacher, and I've enjoyed all the exercises tremendously. After class, Veronica and I grabbed lunch nearby (a great gluten free pasta! and then a salad after because we were both still starving, although the waitress looked at us askance when we ordered a salad after having pasta because that's just not done). Then we took naps. Then we went out in search of fun things to buy - we found the paper place we've wandered by multiple times and managed to find it when it was open, and it's now one of my favorite stores in the world. The Italian man who runs it seems to be a sole proprietor and also makes everything himself, and I bought the most beautiful leather journal with the Venetian lion embossed in the cover, and holding it makes my heart happy. He also showed us his guest book, which was signed by Johnny Depp, and then he gave me and V each a bookmark with our initials, and he was so friendly (and kept speaking to us in Italian even though we clearly didn't really quite understand him), and it was kind of magical.

Nothing could really top that, but we wandered around a bunch more shops, and found a jewelry place that had also been closed the last time we saw it, where I bought a pair of earrings. Then I cut myself off from further purchases, because really, it's unnecessary. We ended our wanderings with a glass of wine and an attempt at looking out over the water (really we looked out over a dock, since the waterside restaurants reserve the waterside tables for people who are eating meals). Then we met the rest of the group for the goodbye dinner - it was a cute outdoor terrace right around the corner from our hotel, and I had more gluten free pasta and split a bottle of chianti with Misty (who is lovely - another SF person, although I don't know her well), and generally enjoyed the feeling of the end.

Then I came back to the hotel and packed, and I think that I distributed the weight in my bags appropriately to keep from having to pay any excess (as long as my backpack doesn't burst in transit). And now I'm going to sleep so that I can prepare myself for the flight tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

lay it all on me

Venice and my foreign travels are rapidly drawing to a close - it's odd to think that I'll be back in the US in two days, since I've spent thirteen weeks away. But I'm too high on life, drunk on Venice, and in love with the last few weeks to think about the future.

Today was utterly exhausting and utterly excellent. I woke up after getting the first full night's rest in a week, and I could have happily stayed in bed another couple of hours, but I ralled and dragged myself downstairs for this morning's writing workshop. It was all about memory and taboo subjects, which hits at some of the core of what I want to write (and what I have been avoiding writing forever). At the end we tore our exercises up into tiny pieces in the courtyard of the ancient monastery where we're holding our workshop, and it was all v. cathartic.

Then I had a break, and I used it to have a simple lunch of roasted chicken, potatoes, and wine (half a bottle of it) in the Venetian sun while scribbling in my journal. Then, we took a v. long trip to Burano and Murano - this was all kind of a killer, since it was an hour and a half each way to Burano, and while Murano was on the way back, we waited forty minutes for the boat in Burano. So, I didn't really see the glass blowing or the glassworks of Murano. But Burano was gorgeous - such beautiful colors on the buildings, and lots of lace (their traditional specialty).

I spent most of the afternoon/evening hanging out with Veronica and her family + Lisa, and we had a great time - after we finally got back from the other islands, we v. quickly grabbed jackets and went to the dinner Adam had reserved for us. We went back to the neighborhood we went to last night, and the meal was perfect - just different enough in terms of style to feel satisfying, but the food was gorgeous and decadent and wonderful. We split a couple of bottles of wine, and I courted disaster with gluten again by having spaghetti carbonara - if I was going to court disaster, I'm glad it was with this dish, since it was utterly perfect and I almost ordered another helping for dessert.

And now, I need sleep rathe desperately - goodnight!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

lemons and desperation

Venice continues to delight, and I continue to be v. v. tired - almost hungover with the elated exhaustion of finishing my book. Today I tried to be mindful and in the moment even though I'm distracted by book release stuff. The writing exercises this morning were great - we spent some time wandering around and observing things, and Rachael pointed out that a lot of my little pieces have involved vessels full of water (cups, mugs, cisterns, wells), which was interesting, although I don't know what to do with that bit of wisdom...

After we were done for the morning, I took advantage of some downtime to wander the quiet sidewalks and ancient canals between here and San Marco. San Marco itself is awash in tourists, but I found a restaurant that served surprisingly good risotto for being in such a touristy area. So I sat and people-watched and ate my risotto and drank my wine, and it was all a perfect moment.

Then I met up with the other writers at the Doge's Palace - we had a 'secret itineraries' tour, which took us through the secret wings of the Doge's Palace. That includes the prison cells for the highest-ranked prisoners, the areas where the secret police and the Council of Ten did business, the area where Casanova escaped from, etc. It was cool to see, especially since the tour guide was a great storyteller.

Then Lisa and I split off from the group, took a vaparetto (water bus) back, and had a couple of drinks and snacks near our hotel so we could catch up properly. Then I took a twenty minute nap that could have happily lasted two hours. And then I had dinner with Rachael, Veronica, V's husband Adam, and their son Owen. We went back towards the neighborhood where I had such a lovely dinner last night, found a great little restaurant with the perfect outdoor seats, and enjoyed a lot of fun conversation and some delicious food (they had gluten free pasta!). And my time here is all too rapidly drawing to a close...

Which means, I suppose, that I should sleep. Going to bed now would go a long way toward restoring my sleep deficit, which means I'll probably play sudoku for an hour, but I'm hoping sanity wins out. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

smoke on the water

If I write this really quickly and go to bed immediately, I can get eight hours of sleep tonight, so that's going to be the priority. My book came out today - too soon to tell how it's doing, especially since I'm 6-9 hours ahead of the US and have scheduled my newsletter to go out shortly, but so far so good. If you're interested, you can find more at Prego!

So today was good, but I was way too tired to be #inittowinit. I got some good stuff out of the writing exercises this morning (all about talismans and dying worlds), but I wasn't feeling super psyched about staying awake. Then I had lunch with Veronica and Rachael, and then Rachael went off to do her duty to the group (since she's the leader/teacher) and Veronica and I played hooky. We were going to work/write at a cafe, but instead we ate more food and drank half a bottle of wine and talked about writing for two hours. This was probably more important than me actually working since she had some good advice (she writes young adult), but it still felt like I was getting away with something...

Then I came back, took a nap, and did promo stuff for a couple of hours. That's been frustrating only because the wifi here is quite slow and uploading images is like pulling teeth. But I took a break to have a solo dinner - I hit my introvert wall awhile ago, so I wandered to a place I hadn't been before, found a cute, quiet restaurant, and indulged my need for some journaling and some reading. I also tested out the gluten situation by having both spaghetti bolognese (outstanding) and tiramisu (I realized I don't really remember tiramisu anymore - I remember loving it, but it's not something that can easily be made gluten free). I'd heard that some people have less of an issue with the wheat in Italy, so we'll see. I currently have a headache, but that could be the extreme lack of sleep and ongoing slight dehydration...we'll see.

Anyway, the food was great and walking back over the bridges and along the canals at night was magical. Then I did another ninety minutes of work, and now I need to sleep.

Finally, happy birthday Aunt B! Goodnight!

Monday, April 10, 2017

venezia waits for you

Apologies for not blogging last night - I arrived in Venice to glorious afternoon sun, ate crab gnocchi, and promptly got vile food poisoning that resulted in me vomiting for three hours straight (scouts' report: the tile floor of my bathroom was delightfully cool while I sweated through my shirt). I am now wondering if I actually have a strange shellfish allergy, since this happened a year ago right now when I ate sushi at the Chicago airport on my way to a conference - it was the exact same onset and duration of symptoms. But I've had shellfish in between, so maybe it was just bad food poisoning luck.

Anyway, I woke up this morning feeling way better but totally exhausted - I've barely been sleeping the last week (did you know I wrote a book?), and yesterday was a total wreck anyway because I was hungover from Saturday night, got very carsick (to the point I almost had the guy pull over) in the cab from London to Gatwick, got slightly seasick on the water taxi from the Venice airport to the hotel, and had one super bleak moment where I got off on the dock outside my hotel and the dock was bobbing all over the place and I had to heave my giant backpack on my back and suddenly thought I might get pulled over backwards into the canal. So yeah, yesterday was not ideal.

But today was gorgeous. I enjoyed the writing exercises this morning, and I'm glad to have a week to play and write new things that aren't related to Lucy and Max. Veronica, Lisa and I had lunch at a little restaurant on an ancient square, and then we went on a pilgrimage to find the Fabriano store - Fabriano makes delightful papers, and while they aren't as delightful as my beloved Leuchtturm1917s (of which I bought three, in limited edition metallic colors, in London), they're v. v. close. So I bought a notebook and a pen, because that's what I do, even though I can only get two more kilos of stuff to hit the weight limit on Norwegian next weekend. Maybe I should wear all my jewelry onto the flight like a fucking pirate queen...but hopefully it won't come to that.

When we got back to the hotel, I did some work in a gorgeous, quiet courtyard, and then I took a nap, which was the real standout highlight of my day. Then I had dinner with Veronica and her husband and son - I was supposed to go on a walking/drinking tour, but walking/drinking seemed like a bad idea for my slightly-fragile stomach. So we had a lowkey dinner instead, with some more delicious gnocchi for me (I'm assuming the food poisoning was caused by crab, not gnocchi, but we'll find out!). Then I came home under a gorgeous full moon, worked some more on pre-release-day stuff, and called my parents since I missed calling them last night.

And now I'm desperate for sleep - goodnight!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

and i still don't know why i love you so much

Too tired to blog, but today was some of the farewell I needed - I woke up after extremely fitful sleep (going to bed at four a.m. after bleeding myself totally dry on the story made for restless slumber) and made some tea in my room, and then I immediately started packing. I'm mostly done, but I have a bunch of trash to take out and some remaining things to tuck into my bags tomorrow. Luckily my flight isn't until 1:30pm, so I can get up at a civilized time (but since it's 2am here, a 'civilized time' still means I'm only getting six hours of sleep).

But I managed to take a break to get a pedicure - I hadn't had one since Singapore, which was six weeks and many lifetimes ago, so my toes were looking super ragged. Today was the nicest day of all the days I've spent in London, and it was lovely to walk outside and feel the sun on my face and know that I get to tell a different story starting this week. Verdict is out on whether it's going to be SPINSTER HONEYMOON or the young adult gargoyle book - I'm going to play and see what happens.

After my pedicure (when I was still in my post-book haze and reverted to my american ways and tipped 20% and clearly confused the hell out of all of them), I walked back here, grabbed my laptop, and did some work. I also had a goodbye drink in the coworking space with Philippa, who is one of the best people I met here. Then I took a quick nap before going to Bluebird to meet Gemma - she was at the Bali Roam, and she lives near London but this was our only chance to get together. It was great to see her, and also to experience Bluebird on a Saturday night, when the Chelsea scene (tight dresses, suit jackets, posh attitudes) is in full force.

After saying goodbye to her (again), I met up with Michelle and Amanda for a final girls' night out. We had a bottle of wine at Chelsea Potter (well, Michelle and I had it; Amanda had cider), then we grabbed gelato, and then we came back here and drank more wine and ate all the cheese that I had while talking about life and love and everything else. The worst part (possibly the only truly bad part) about this nomadic existence has been saying goodbye to people, and I didn't enjoy saying goodbye to them - but hopefully I'll see them both again soon, either at another Roam or in other cities on future dates.

But now that I've written far more than intended (but it took six minutes to write this - my fingers are still in #beastmode), I really need to eke all the sleep I can out of the last night in this bed so that I can go to Venice with a happy heart. Goodnight!

Friday, April 07, 2017

all of the lights

DONE. omg omg omg. I mean, I'm still doing some formatting stuff (namely the paperback, which won't come out the same day as the ebook), and I'm also doing laundry even though it's two a.m. because I have stuff that needs to hang dry and in 36 hours I'll be on a flight to Venice. But I thought I'd say I'm done so that those of you tracking at home are in the know about my mental state (mental state: manic, super hyped, about to crash). Goodnight!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

sipping from your cup til it runneth over

Out of words. I'm so close to done, and yet so far...but I need to sleep so that I can see straight again. Back to London tomorrow, where I will either upload this fucker or cry into my wine at midnight - goodnight!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

magna carta holy grail

I'm wiped out and seeing visions, and so deep in the story that I can't spare any space for blogging. I think I'm going to hit my deadline, but I've got miles to go before the end, and forty-eight hours to accomplish it in. So I'm going to sleep now and hope that tomorrow was as productive as today was - goodnight!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

electronic refrigeration hum

I'm in York, and I have hit peak mania that happens when I'm finishing a book, which means I'm not fit company for anyone. Luckily, no one expects me to be fit company. My train up here was lovely and uneventful (but stupidly early in the morning). I spent a couple of hours working in the hotel bar while drinking tea, then took a long lunch break (longer than planned, since the restaurant I went to was waaaay too slow and the kid next to me was one of those kids who would have been better off staring at a screen instead of having his mother take the phone away from him and then let him bounce around and play with some sort of clicking gear for an hour - toddlers are one thing, but this kid appeared to be ten and I despised him v. irrationally).

sssanyway, you know I'm not a nice person at heart, and my peak writing emotions have removed my filters. I walked around York a little bit and saw the outside of York Minster + the shopping area known as the Shambles + a bit of the medieval town wall (it's all gorgeous!), came back to the hotel, finally got my room, unpacked, took a nap, and then spent the rest of the afternoon/evening/night working. The hotel is perfectly suited for this - the desk in my room is great, and the bar and bar food are lovely, and I think I'll get a lot done here.

But now I'm beyond desperate for sleep - goodnight!

Monday, April 03, 2017

happiness is a warm gun

I need to get up in approximately six hours, so this will be brief. I spent the morning doing less than intended, and then I ran an errand - I had to return a dress that I'd bought v. ill-advisedly, and I also had to pick up some notebooks that I'd ordered from an art supply store. These errands were a fifteen minute walk from each other, but the walk between them was delightful - I popped into the basement of St Martin-in-the-Field, which is a church that was rebuilt in the 1700s but had originally been on that site since at least medieval times. They've turned their crypt into a cafe, and I'm not sure how I feel about that - it was a little disconcerting to see metal cafe chairs scraping against the tombstones laid into the floor. But time marches ever onward, and at least the church is still continuing to do its homeless outreach and other community activities thanks to the proceeds from the cafe, so c'est la vie.

Then I picked up the notebooks (limited edition Leuchtturm1917s, which are the dot grid notebooks I use for my bullet journals - these were the same price as the standard ones, but the covers are a limited edition metallic, and yes, I'm a dork). Then I stopped at a Starbucks that was way too fancy (table service!), and got their nitro cold brew, but they apparently don't put ice in their cold brew and my American desire for ice said that was a real disappointment.

Then I came back to Roam, wrote for an hour, ate a snack, and then recorded a podcast with a romance blogger (she's kind of a big deal, but not to any of you, unless you secretly read Smart Bitches) - she wanted to interview me about my nomad life thanks to my instagram, and I of course said yes, and the podcast was fun (I'll post a link when it's out). Then I vegged for a couple of hours and ate dinner. And then I wrote for another couple of hours, which was great, before succumbing to the lure of all the people downstairs. The goodbyes are starting in earnest, especially since I'm gone for three of my last five nights here...

...and speaking of, this wasn't brief at all, and now I need to go to bed. I'm looking forward to productivity in York, and you should expect that I will have very little coherence for blog posts. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

forest sounds

Today was immensely boring, although I talked to my parents (always entertaining) and to Bali Sarah (no closer to figuring out where I'm living this summer, but I'm itching to make some plans, and since she's also nomadic I'm trying to intersect with her for a couple of weeks). I also wrote, did laundry, answered emails, and got way too distracted. And I took a walk and picked up takeout for dinner, since I was desperate to leave the house for a little bit.

But this book is soooo close to done, and yet so far away, and I can't waste any more time if I'm going to finish by Friday. Every other book has required me going away for a few days to finish it, and I hit that wall today - and so while it feels ridiculous to book a hotel to take a break from my hotel, I'm owning my ridiculousness and doing it anyway. I can't go tomorrow because I have an interview for a podcast and I have to have good internet, but Tuesday morning I'm going to an undisclosed location (aka York) and staying until Friday. And I'll either finish the book there, or I will come back a sobbing mess and will drink wine until it's time to go to Venice so that I can forget my failures.

And now I shall sleep, and aim for a better day tomorrow (which requires staying in my room so that my #fomo doesn't result in me talking to everyone who wanders through the kitchen/coworking space). Goodnight!

Saturday, April 01, 2017

chimes and bowls

No blog tonight - I worked almost all day and barely left the house (other than to run to the grocery store), so there's nothing interesting to tell you. I also got my nails done, but that didn't require leaving the house either - the woman who cleans the building on weekdays (Bianca) has a sister who does nails on the side, and she came to do nails for people. Mine look really nice, but it took her a long time to do them (especially since I started talking to Amanda and so hung out for a couple of hours while she was getting her nails done), and I kind of wish I had just worked during that time instead.

But I'm going to bed now - it's only eleven p.m., but last night's attempt to go to be early was thwarted when I got on wikipedia after writing my blog and went down some serious rabbit holes. So I'm going to try again tonight and hope that this leads to earlier morning wakefulness/productivity - goodnight!