I've just gotta say, I don't think there's any place more fun than Ocean Shores, WA. It's better than Disneyland or Vegas!
Now, I know that's quite an outlandish thing to say, but here's why I think that.
Granted, Ocean Shores doesn't have a Harry Potter ride or a Haunted Castle and even though it's on the ocean, no pirates. But you won't have to pay the proverbial arm and leg to enjoy yourself. And the adventures are a little more, well, real. (No offense Mickey.) In this place you can ride horses along the beach, drive go-carts, putt-putt golf and or play in the arcade. You'll also find some wonderful little restaurants and, for those of you who want to gamble, a casino nearby. Oh, yes, and tennis courts (I've found a great group of people there to play with). There's also a golf course. (I splurged and am taking some lessons. Why is it so hard to hit that stupid little ball?!)
Best of all, though, it offers the wonders of nature. The beach gives you a quiet walk, a place for a bonfire or a chance to fly your kite. In addition, we're making some wonderful friends down there. I truly hated to come home.
Of course, it wasn't all fun and games while Gerhardt and I were at the beach. I was busy writing every morning, working away on my next book, which is due - yikes! - next week.
But I like the balance of work and play. I still remember when I was a kid. We had a summer cabin. (My dad got the property for a song and his friends helped him build the place - best investment he ever made because our family and all our friends enjoyed it for years.) My girlfriends and I were always ready to go into play mode the minute the car pulled up in front of the funky little shack in the woods, but my dad would remind us, "Work first, then you can play. Let's get this car unloaded." We all pitched in and as we hauled groceries into the cabin he'd remind us that, "Many hands make light work." He was right. Still today I prefer to tackle big projects as a team. And I still believe in getting the work done first. Then you can play feeling good about all you've accomplished.
I accomplished a lot last week and I hope to accomplish a lot more this week so I can play over the Fourth!
I had a great time this week at BEA (Book Exp America) in New York City. This is a huge convention that gathers together everyone in the book world. We were all there: publishers, authors, librarians, and book sellers. It was humongous and amazing! My publisher, Harlequin, treated us all like rock stars. And let me tell you, I didn't sleep much. I hope to post some pictures (once I figure out how to get them out of my new cell phone - I'm such a Luddite!) In addition to meeting some wonderful new people I had a chance to catch up with old friends, including my writing pal Geri Krotow, who has a new book out with Harlequin Super Romance title NAVY RULES. Geri is one glam woman. She's lived all over the world, everywhere from Italy to Russia, and I'm delighted to have her guest blogging with me today. We'll be giving away a copy of her new book to some lucky person who leaves a comment. So, welcome Geri!
Thank you Sheila for having me visit you! I wish we could share a great cup of coffee in a Seattle coffee shop, but in lieu of that this is a wonderful meet-up.
Sheila and I first met way back in 2001 when my husband was stationed at Whidbey Island and I joined the Peninsula Area Romance Writer's group. Sheila and I are very blessed in that we have been able to know and learn from some of the best in the women's fiction market--hellooooo Susan Wiggs and Debbie Macomber, to name just two. The richness of the writing life in the Pacific Northwest has left its imprint on me, over a decade later.
As a Navy wife and mom I've traveled the country and the world. I've lived in Florida, Alabama, California, Washington and Tennessee. Italy, Belgium and Russia were international posts. My family has completed 13 moves in less than 26 years. Somehow, in the midst of all of this, I've managed to start writing, find Romance Writers of America, submit manuscript after manuscript, receive rejection after rejection, sell my first novel and most recently sign my first multi-book contract.
My point? That no matter how busy, how hectic your life, if you have a dream, GO FOR IT! I figured "I'll be 75 one day. Either I'll have gone after my dream of being a full-time novelist, or I won't."
I'm not saying it's as simplistic as it sounds. "Just write" or "Just work out" or "Just don't eat sugar" are great sentiments but can be the toughest to enact. I know I need a buddy. When I found my writing community via Romance Writers of America, I met wonderful writers like Sheila. Sheila is always positive whenever I've run into her over the years. I walk away from our conversations, no matter how brief, with a lighter step and the belief that I CAN do this, I AM doing it. I'm making my dream a reality. One day, one word at a time.
Sheila and I were once again reunited this week in New York City--can you say "glamorous?" Yet again, over a simple table in the Jacob Javits Convention Center we were able to talk about our writing, our life and a bit of our dreams. When I walked away (with blisters because I stupidly wore ballet flats that day instead of my FitFlops or Birkenstocks) I again resolved to keep going, keep writing. And my best resolution--Spend More Time with Sheila! I have an advanced copy of Sheila's October release and it's screaming at me from my tote bag. As soon as I'm back home from a workshop I'm giving this weekend, I'm diving into a great Sheila Roberts novel. And I can't wait!
Thanks Geri! I'll pay you later. Seriously, one of the things I admire about Geri is her hard work and discipline. She didn't just dream, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work. Summer's here, the days are longer. What are you doing to make your dreams come true?