Pre-vacation Bullet Point Post

S. and I leave Wednesday around noon for a ten day vacation to Northern Michigan. Originally we were intending to leave on Thursday but then we realized the traffic on Thursday would probably be monstrous and thus we decided to take off immediately after my last meeting on Wednesday. With the amount of packing, cleaning and organzing we have to do before we leave I imagine this will be my last post until mid-July, and what better way to say adieu than a bullet post? There is no better way, my friends, there just isn’t.

  • This is what we’ve done so far in preparation for our trip: fully weeded back garden; transplanted struggling plants; enlisted He Who Tends the Botanical Gardens to water for us; S. did a bunch of small home improvement projects on Saturday; cleaned the house, mostly; bought some new clothes for both of us; bought new pillows in anticipation of his parents’ visit on the heels of our return-
  • And here is what we still need to do: pay bills in advance of our leave-taking; stop the mail and the newspapers; laundry; pack; go to the library; I need some personal grooming (at least a brow wax – preferably a pedicure, too, but I can do that at home…) and, well, hmm…that’s not such a bad list, really, is it?
  • When did leaving one’s home become such an ordeal? I guess leaving for ten days is a fairly substantial period of time but honestly, it’s a whole heck of a lot of work.
  • But it’s okay because I am so! excited! to get to northern Michigan. I cannot wait to cross that invisible marker that separates southern Michigan from up north…the very air changes. We’ll be spending the first few days with my parents to celebrate the 4th of July and after that we’ll spend a week at our cabin.
  • Changing subjects…it is beginning to annoy me when people post their tweets as their blog posts. TWEETING IS NOT BLOGGING. I don’t mind when you can see people’s tweets like on a sidebar or something but when it’s the whole blog post? Where did that come from? I am going to unsubscribe to a few blogs if this continues in any sort of sustainable fashion. If I wanted to read your tweets I would subscribe. I don’t.
  • Speaking of things that annoy me, I am really irritated with the Governor of South Carolina. First of all, he is NOT sorry he had an affair – he’s sorry he’s about to lose everything he might lose everything he has worked so hard to gain. Secondly, what? Are we exporting our politicians’ mistresses now? He couldn’t find a solid, home-grown American mistress? This is why other countries will eventually dominate us in all areas…we export everything.
  • I am both excited and a little freaked out to abandon my blackberry for ten days. I am so very used to it, you see. It’s given me a sense of false importance. Even while I know logically there is no such thing as a public relations emergency, I am still convinced I am important enough that I should check in during vacation. But I am not going to.
  • My revision plan for the novel has changed somewhat. I am actually going to wait until mid-August to begin tackling the revisions. This is mostly because I haven’t completed all the research I need to in order to revise but its also because as I’ve been doing the research I realized the way I am going to revise is different than I originally thought. So, here is the plan – revise from mid-August to end of September. Send out drafts to readers around October 1st. Hopefully receive drafts with comments around the holidays. In January I will send out letters to agents during the final revision process.
  • Re-reading novels I enjoyed years ago hasn’t proved nearly as helpful as I thought in terms of revision. It turns out I liked some pretty crap books in the past and all this re-reading is doing is giving me a false sense of  “God, my book is better than this” which is undoubtedly not true.
  • I am actually going to include less about the Vietnam War and the Gulf War than I originally thought. I have realized this is Anna’s story, not her father’s, not Ben’s, and while I used to think she would be a conduit for the stories of other characters I have since realized the whole entire point of the book is to tell her story, and part of her story is not knowing all the details of the wars both men fought in – her response to the not knowing is part of the tension.
  • Pat Conroy is coming out with a new book! Pat Conroy is coming out with a new book! And it’s title is South of Broad. It will be published in mid-August and since it was Beach Music that inspired my decision to become a writer, I think it’s perfectly, beautifully symbolic for me to read South of Broad before I begin my revisions. Publisher’s Weekly didn’t exactly give it a rave but it did say if you like Conroy’s melodrama then you will like his new book, and let me tell you something – I love Conroy’s melodrama – I would swathe myself in it if I could.
  • I am not sure what books I’m taking on vacation yet but I do know I need to be terribly well-prepared because thus far the weather doesn’t look overly promising. If you have any favorite vacation reads let me know – nothing scary this time around because while I do love a scary book I have found that when I read them in our cabin in the middle of the woods I am unable to sleep. Anything else is fair game.
  • I am sort of bummed I didn’ t get through my new year’s resolution posts this month – even when I feel as though I’m blogging frequently I never manage to achieve everything I think I should. We will leave the rest for the December check-in, though, since I have lots of other things to talk about.
  • hmmm, tis all. In 48 hours I will be unplugging from blogs, phones, twitter, facebook, email and won’t be returning for well over a week. I do love my social media but I think this break will be tremendous. See y’all on the flip side!
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13 Responses to Pre-vacation Bullet Point Post

  1. appellationmountain says:

    Have a fabulous vacation!

  2. gumbomum says:

    Hope you have a great trip!!

  3. Elaine says:

    Woohoooooo! Enjoy your trip, Honey!

  4. Have a great holiday, and well done on not taking the Blackberry!

    My novel revision is also not going according to plan – I have a new narrator and am rewriting from her perspective, which has changed things somewhat. I also hope to be finished by the end of the year, and submitting by the new year.

  5. ZoesMom says:

    I am really excited for Pat Conroy’s new book too. Can’t wait to read it.

    Sounds like you’re just about all set so hope you have a wonderful vacation!

  6. litlove says:

    Have a wonderful vacation, Courtney! I really must read Pat Conroy – you know I’ve wanted to for ages. As for holiday reading, have you ever read anything from the Persephone range? I’ve only started lately, but they are superb examples of good old-fashioned characterisation and are utterly charming and warm-hearted at the same time.

  7. Kelly says:

    I share your love of Northern Michigan. Going to head North again, at the end of July. I’m convinenced it’s either in your blood or it’s not.

    As for books, between POT and Beach Music I’m a full on PC lover myself and just picked up, The Water is Wide. Apparently it’s as close to biographical as he gets. My mom loves him too and she told me about WIW, so I have high hopes.

    Am also thrilled with his new book coming.
    Have a great trip.

    Miss you around here.

    Kelly

  8. Make Tea Not War says:

    Happy holidays! I agree about the twitter posts. I think some people do it as a form of archiving but I can’t say I see my tweets about what I had for lunch as precious and needing to be conserved for all time.

  9. Amanda says:

    Have a great vacation! Hope it’s a great time to de-stress and enjoy Northern Michigan.

  10. Cam says:

    Enjoy. I’m trying to detox from a blackberry — and feeling much, much better, with all the zeal of a reformed addict. If you end of taking it with you, I hope you get over it & consider throwing it in a lake!

  11. Smithereens says:

    You won’t read that until you’re back, but… enjoy your vacation! You guys seem to have earned it. (a foreign note to myself: a brow wax?? sorry I didn’t know that existed)

  12. Pete says:

    Happy holidays to you and S. Northern Michigan sounds wonderful every time you mention it and I can just hear the reverential tones. And look forward to hearing about your trip when you return.

  13. Emily Barton says:

    I hope you are having a great vacation. And, yes, it takes about a day to get over all the prep, but now that I’m back from mine, fully rested and happy, I can say all the prep is worth it. I, too, am very excited about Pat Conroy’s upcoming new novel. It’s about damn time, isn’t it? Perfect that it’s coming out just before you plan to revise yours.

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