Yes way. And what a summer it was.
My summer kicked off with the Romance Writers of America Conference in one of my favorite cities in the universe, beautiful San Diego. Can’t believe it was nearly two months ago. Here’s what I learned: You can’t implement everything you learn at Conference in a few short weeks. But here’s what I did do:
Rode more than 200 miles on a bicycle trip to three volcanoes in the Cascade Range: Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood. (Okay, some of the group rode 400, but who’s counting?) Here are Hunky Boy and me on a bike trail above the Hood River. Okay. I look pretty buff in this picture, but have to admit, this trip was way out of my comfort zone. The hill after this picture was taken kicked my bu#, and I was in the van 25 miles later. Fortunately, there was a roadside fruit stand where I ate my weight in plump, juicy Washington red cherries which revived my spirit and energy. Not sure I would recommend that approach though.
Hiked six miles from the Paradise Lodge to the shoulders of Mt. Rainier. It’s difficult to judge the size of the mountain in a picture, but imagine the real story that lurks behind that story idea you had while eating breakfast. Yes, that big. And magnificent. Even more difficult to judge the size of the steak I tried to eat for dinner that night. I was not successful, thank goodness.
The best things about getting out of your comfort zone, whether it’s taking a trip that pushes your boundaries or starting a new writing project, are the wonderful surprises you find along the way. Along with this fabulous rusty bike, there was a very large Monte Cristo sandwich in my future. It was the last day, so…yes. I ate the whole thing. I also ate a salad, Lisa. And some fruit.
Be Stronger than your Excuses.
Speaking of Lisa, did I mention I decided to go ahead and take Lisa Siefert’s “Be Stronger than your Excuses” 30 day challenge while on this trip? (Lisa Siefert, a fellow member of RWA Chapter, Contemporary Romance Writers, was the one who got me up a 6 a.m. at conference to try my hand and Zumba for the first time.) It was easy to meet the exercise challenge on my volcano trip. The guides from Bicycle Adventures kept parking the van further and further away from my starting point. But I wasn’t entirely successful. You might think you’d lose weight riding your bike more than 40 miles a day for a solid week, but, uh, no. Those rides turn you into an eating monster that would put a teenage Sumo wrestler to shame. Yes, I gained five pounds. Probably all muscle. In fact, I’m sure of it.
I did manage to crank out several new chapters in my WIP while on the road. So I’m happy. Behind, but working hard to meet the ambitious writing plan I developed in San Diego.
There are still four more fitness/writing challenges in Lisa’s series by the way. If you want to learn how to be Fit and Wordy, you really need to check out Lisa Siefert’s site. It is truly amazing.
Finally, I launched my new website, Katdrennanbooks.com. At first blush, it looks like my old one, but the back end is a real, grown up site that offers much more in the way of actually working and leaving room to grow. Also, if you want to join my Street Team, you can sign up for my newsletter and get advance notice of promos, specials, and new releases. Just look for the Elvis in the House short story cover in the right hand column. Hope to see you on my list!