I have been working so hard on my writing lately that taking a break from everything familiar and immersing myself in the creative energy of Santa Fe was just what I needed. It had been so long since we’d gone on a vacation together as a family, (maybe ten years?) that I really enjoyed getting to spend some unhurried time with them. And with my best friend there, it was all the more fantastic.  We ate various local cuisines – New Mexican (and ordered ours Christmas, of course), Middle Eastern, to name a few – we meandered down Canyon Road to soak in the local art galleries, even watched some artists working in their studios, which is something that I could have done that all day. We drove up higher into the mountains to Los Alamos to visit some family who live there. The kids got to see some horses and feed them and we went on a short hike. It’s so gorgeous up there. The sky is so brilliant, I swear it’s a completely different hue. I took hundreds of pictures and none of them captured it at all.

Traveling with kids requires some compromise. We had to throw in some touristy things and at least visit the hotel pool a few times during our stay. We had to find the closest zoo to see the elephants and the hippopotami before my son had a complete stroke, which was in Albuquerque and actually quite fantastic, and my son was also in desperate need of a train ride – another excellent addition to our trip. My daughter’s one requirement was shopping, so she had to experience The Plaza and all of the quaint little shops – I think she went inside every single one. That was not my favorite, but still, we made it enjoyable. Although the sales ladies in the pottery store didn’t fully appreciate my husband’s sense of humor when he said he was looking for something to juggle. He was making fun of their bazillion signs that said “do not touch”. Yep, that’s my family to a tee.

We have vowed that we won’t wait another ten years to take our next family vacation, especially since Trevor handled it so well. He was completely out of his element, with no predictable schedule, and he never had a full-blown meltdown. That’s pretty impressive for a kid with autism. We did have to make some accommodations for him and adjust our schedule a few times, but nothing unbearable.

I found myself inspired by so many things during our visit. I would make a mental note of a scene or a character or artwork to use later. That’s why I think it is so important to expose myself to different experiences and take time off so that I can let new experiences in. Now that we’ve returned home, which is another welcome sensation altogether, I’m fully recharged and ready to get back to work.

Here’s one last look at my #writemotivation goals for the month of May:

1. Revise the query for my completed YA manuscript until it’s tight enough to bounce a quarter off the sucker. I made a lot of progress on this goal throughout the month. I fear I could endlessly revise. It’s time to put this manuscript to rest while I’m submitting it to agents and move on to the next one.

2. Research prospective agents to whom I want to submit my completed YA manuscript. Yes. I have researched many, many agents this month. Goal accomplished.

3. Once items one and two have been successfully achieved, submit to at least three agents at a time. Yes, goal very much accomplished. I really have #writemotivation to thank for pushing me to finally take the plunge to submit and to keep submitting, even when the first rejections started rolling in. I’ve submitted to overnine agents so far. Not all have been rejections; some even requested more pages and I’m waiting to hear back. I’m hanging in there. I know this is just part of the process – a very stressful part of the process. Good thing I just went on vacation to de-stress, eh?

4. Get cracking on the next YA manuscript I have planned so I don’t check my inbox every thirty minutes awaiting responses to my submissions. This is a work in progress. I hope to make this more of my focus next month, now that I have the submission process down. I’ve signed up for a novel revision workshop in November and I have to have a manuscript ready by September. I’d like to use this new one, so I need to get some serious writing done. I’ll keep you updated. Stay tuned!

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Comments
  1. Jae says:

    Sounds like you’re moving in the right direction. Try not to take any rejections personally. We all go through it. (And some of us are still going through it). I’m glad you have a second project to occupy your time with in the meantime. But if you’ve found a month or two has gone by without promising nibbles, do revisit your manuscript. You’ll have grown as a writer and you may spot areas that need strengthening.

    But hopefully I’ll hear about good news on here soon. If not, know you’re in good company. Us writers have good stories in us, it’s just about translating them properly from our head to pages. What is your novel about, btw?

    • thanks for the words of support. i’m sure i’ve mentioned it a few times on the blog somewhere, so here’s just the elevator pitch. it’s a YA novel called Institutionalized. Here goes: Sixteen year-old Sara Peterson stumbles upon a disastrous family secret. To keep her from talking, she’s admitted to Whispering Sands psychiatric Treatment Center and labeled as an out-of-control alcoholic runaway. When no one believes her, that she’s not crazy, Sara decides to play along, manipulating the system in order to get her life back.

      thanks for the interest and i hope i have good news soon, too!

      • Jae says:

        I like that you have an elevator pitch ready. I’ll have to scour your blog for more details. I’m curious to see how your pitching it in your query letter. There’s definitely enough intrigue in the short pitch to pique interest.

      • ha! thanks! that’s taken a lot of prep work. it helps that i’m knee deep in the query process – where each agent wants something totally different – and i just participated in a twitter pitch. that was excellent practice.

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