Getting Back Into the Writing Groove After Vacation

Sprague Lake in RMNP July 4 2019

Do you have a hard time getting back into your writing after you’ve been on vacation?  Do you get totally and happily lost in trekking in the peaceful, scenic, and rugged landscape of the Rocky Mountains for two weeks?

Long's Peak, Estes Park from our cabin July 2019

(Long’s Peak seen from our adorable cabin)

hiking trail from storm pass to bear lake day 4 July 2019

(One of the trails we trekked in Rocky Mountain National Park)

Maybe hung out at an absolutely gorgeous lake?

Troy and I at Sprague Lake RMNP July 2019

(Hubby and I)

Okay, maybe you spent your holiday on the beach or zip-lining through the rainforests of Brazil.

In any case, when my family left for our vacation to Colorado (once again. Our last vacation there was June 2017), I’d left my computer at home but brought along a small notebook in case I wanted to jot anything down regarding the experiences I encountered on my trip. And I did. I also wrote a page and a half of a story I’d written notes on a few months ago. The latter was done on the train ride back to Chicago before we picked up our car that had been sitting in the parking garage and headed home.

But still, my mind, body, and spirit absorbed the beautiful surroundings of Colorado Springs where we caught up with dear friends, but most especially, Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. We walked four trails while there, and it was exhilarating.

Troy walking ahead on trail day 2 hiking July 2019

(Hubby walking ahead of me on our second hike, just me and him)

canopy of trees day 2 hiking RMNP July 2019

(Canopy of pines and aspens)

Alberta Falls RMNP July 2019

(Mid to lower section of Alberta Falls in RMNP)

small bridge on walking trail RMNP July 2019

(Small bridge on one of the trails on which our boys joined us)

And had visitors right outside our cabin.

doe 30 feet from our cabin Estes Park July 2019

(A doe about 30 feet from our cabin)

buck by Brown cabin Estes Park July 2019

(Buck right near our cabin, as well)

For a little while those first couple of days back home, I worried I’d not want to finish my WIP, but by the third day home, I was finally able to focus and re-immerse myself in my story and others’ stories via my online critique group.

I think what helped get me interested again in my story was submitting the next chapters and reading the ones already in the queue. My characters and the storyline drew me back in. Whew. Thank God!

So, it’s back to the story-creating world for me, while keeping the memories of my favorite place, Colorado, always in my heart, for we want to return to Colorado in three years, after our youngest has finished high school.

When you return from a well-needed and relaxing vacation, how do you get your mind and fingers back into your writing?




Getting That First Draft Done…Like, Now

painting of author stuck

As I continue revising, editing, and polishing my novel, Passage of Promise, as it runs through my online critique group, in my spare time, I drop into my novella, Mourning Dove,  switching it from first to third person as I did with my novel because I prefer that. I’ve also revised sections and added scenes. Actually, I still have a few more scenes I need to add that were prompted through beta reader and hubby feedback.

But in the past couple of days, I’ve reached to the back burner where my WIP (work in progress), What She Didn’t Know, has been sitting the last two months, waiting to have me add scenes and chapters.

So, I wrote up a scene and chapter yesterday, and it felt good. I wasn’t sure I could get back into the story, but what always helps me is reading previous chapters to prime the creative pump and get myself back into the lives of the three sisters in the case of this story.

Yesterday, I shared with my husband the many plot points and my characters in my WIP. After explaining all the different relationship conflicts with each of the three sisters, my husband said, “What is this? A soap opera?” Haha!

I told him these types of storylines often go through my head. I asked his opinion on one of my ideas for one of the minor characters (one that could be fatal or not fatal). He chose the second and said, “I think there’s already enough drama.”

Oh, but we writers thrive on drama with our characters. It’s called conflict in the world of writers. 😀

I started What She Didn’t Know January 14, 2018. A freaking year ago! I can’t believe I haven’t finished it yet!

Three months. I’m giving myself three months to at least write as many of the chapters I’ve got notes on as I can, hoping the first draft will be done by the end of that time period. If not, at least it’ll be close.

writing's hard gif

First drafts can be very difficult. I’ve read plenty of articles of fellow writers struggling to finish their novels. I blame my half-done piece on working on my other done pieces.

It’s never taken me this long to write a story of any type. It’s time to hunker down.

All fellow writers struggling through their first drafts, let’s unite in getting them done before summer!

And DON’T GIVE UP! You know your story is good and worth the effort! Your characters are calling your name, telling you they’re waiting for their next encounters, next conflicts, next DRAMA. 😉

Happy writing!





A Flash of Fiction

woman running on street

I wrote this little piece a month or so ago.  It was written from stream of consciousness and just for a practice writing activity.  Hope you enjoy the short read.


Running Out of Time


Her chest ached, and her throat was dry as dust. She’d run two and a half miles and kept sprinting down the sidewalk parallel to the city’s park, as the sun hovered over the horizon. Its pink and orange rays fell softly on the street. The road and town were deserted.

The pounding of shoes on the pavement behind her made her quicken her pace, as her calves bunched in protest. Her breaths came out uneven and ragged. The running footsteps at her rear grew louder, and she willed her body to move faster, even as she heard his grunting and heavy breathing creeping over her shoulder.

“Oh, God,” she said through a bedraggled exhale.

Seeing the sidewalk’s end and an intersection, she turned the corner sharply to her left, rapidly moving her sneakers and extending her legs, cutting the distance ahead of her. A shop’s neon green sign blinked at her from further down the street. She kept her eyes focused on the store’s window just as a hand gripped her bouncing shoulder. She screamed, tearing away from him and continuing to run. The light breeze in the air carried the scent of garbage from a set of dumpsters as she flew by them, grimacing.

The silence of the empty town was shattered by the man’s gravelly voice. “You can’t run forever.”

She didn’t waste her breath answering, but tilt her head down, stared at the cement before her, and pushed herself as much as her body could bear, her legs burning in response.

Just fifty more feet, she told herself, as she closed in on the shop’s window displaying various antique clocks. Slowing long enough to grapple the door’s handle, she sucked in her breath as the man’s callused hand landed atop hers, his body slamming against hers.

He wrapped his bulky arm around her chest and held her so tight that she thought her ribs would crack.

“Let me go!” she cried.

“Not a chance,” the man said, putting the hand he’d had over hers against the door to prevent her from opening it.

She struggled, her eyes wide with fear.

“Time’s up,” another voice announced.

“Ah,” was all she could say.

She slowed her pace on the gym’s treadmill and stepped off, as her personal trainer jotted down on his clipboard the recorded mileage.

“You’ve improved, Gena, by two minutes. Wow! You were really going for it the last thirty seconds.” He smiled in appreciation.

Gena wiped her glistening neck with a towel. “I had motivation.”