Thursday, June 21, 2012

Finishing, nearly dying, playing, watching.

I just got back from vacation! We hadn’t planned for it to start the same day my revisions were due— it was just sort of serendipitous that it worked out that way.


I also hadn’t planned to be without Internet or cell service for five days! We went to a place we’d been to before, just a couple hours from home— through a canyon to a beautiful little mountain valley. Since we’d stayed there several times before, I thought it might be fun to switch to a different resort.

The different resort just happened to be a little past the mountain valley. We just didn't know that "a little past" meant at the top of the mountain above the valley. High enough up that when you come down the mountain, even if you’re in the lowest gear and only pump your brakes, you could still overheat your brakes, making them not work, thereby skyrocketing your chances of taking an unplanned flight off the edge of a mountain.

This is, thankfully, not a picture of me.

Okay, maybe I’m being overly dramatic. (And by “maybe,” I mean NOT AT ALL. I came down the mountain when it was already hot outside, and after a while of low gear and pumping my brakes, I found that my brakes had gotten too hot, and weren't working! I kept searching at the mountain that hugged my right for the least damaging place to crash into it as a way to stop my forward momentum, because that would be a lot better than soaring off the cliff on my left when I couldn’t slow at the next turn. I tell you, the flock of guardian angels racing down the mountain with me really earned their keep.)

The lack of Internet combined with impending death-by-mountain if we left the resort, meant that we got to spend a lot of time just hanging out together as a family. Which, after three weeks of me being physically present but mentally busy / stressed / in another world / working on a tight deadline for edits, it’s just what we needed.

We swam a lot. Put together puzzles. Explored the trails around the area.


 And played really complicated board games.


My husband has a “gaming” gene. He passed it along to each of our kids. And that pretty much left me as the only member of our family with non-gaming genes, feeling like the only way I could “play” is by playing with the pieces.

See the stem of the flower? Those are pictures of a brain, making it a “brain stem.” Hahaha! Get it?

I had always assumed that I didn’t have the kind of brain it took to play games that have more pieces than the word count of my current WIP, and that take longer to play than it takes to read 100 blogs. But I did it! And not only did I play it (every day, for hours), but I owned. It wasn’t a game where you're against the other players— you win or lose as a team. And *ahem* I totally helped the team win.

And every night we had a Lord of the Rings marathon.


My older kids weren’t getting LOTR references, and my youngest didn’t remember ever seeing it. How sad is that? We realized we were sorely lacking in our parental responsibilities to rear our children in the appreciation of LOTR. Luckily, we were able to rectify that on our trip.

And now I’ve done an entire rambling post with nothing at all to do with writing! Just so I’m not the only one, what’s something non-writerly you’ve done lately?

35 comments:

J. A. Bennett said...

That picture of the path is beautiful! I'm the one with the gaming gene in my family, but I still like to arrange my pieces in fun little patterns ;) And I haven't shown my kids LOTR, but then again my oldest is 4. Someday!

Ruth Josse said...

Sounds like an awesome vacay! Nature, family, LOTR. Perfection. Glad you were able to get some relaxation and fun!

S.P. Bowers said...

Sounds amazing. My hubby (and whoever else we play with) always laugh at me for making designs with my playing pieces.

Shallee said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time-- minus the impending-doom-by-dangerous roads thing. :)

I took my son on a mommy-son date this week. The new baby's coming soon, and I wanted to have some one-on-one time with my boy. We had a blast!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

LOL! I LOVE the flower! :D That game looks way too complicated for me... And Yay for LOTR! I LOVE those movies. *sigh*

Jessie Humphries said...

I guess we didn't really get a chance to talk-talk last night, because I don't remember the near death thing! I am glad you had your family time. You deserved it!

Z said...

Seems like I wasn't the only mia blogger this last little while :) The non-writing thing I've done lately is crochet--I love to crochet, and when I found my crochet bag (it had been missing since out move in April), I just had to sit down and make something :)

Jenny Morris said...

I am didn't a gaming gene and my hubby's family always plays stuff while we do family things. I try my hardest though. I have 2 weeks and I'll be off to family vaca land too. I'll have internet but I hope I get away from all of this like you did.

That pic of you sailing off the side reminds me of our winter trip to Bend through the pass. It was a little scary without snow tires.

Mara Rae said...

Aw, can't wait to show Jack LOTR some day! And read The Hobbit with him :)

As for my non-writing stuff...Russian. Russian, Russian, and more Russian. Also worrying about moving to Russia. And then more Russian. All I can say is, I'd rather be writing!

Nicole said...

Sounds like an amazing getaway! Though I'm glad to hear you didn't sky-rocket off the cliff. ;)

JeffO said...

Sounds like everyone had a great time and you got some much-needed mental recharge. And a little pee-in-your-pants level of fear is a good thing once in a while. Glad you made it safely down the mountain!

Iain said...

I'm glad to hear that you had a good break :o)
When we go away every year, there's no telly or internet. It means that I get 2 weeks of quality time with my kids. (and they have to talk to me. lol) It's re-affirms my connection with them.
Even now they are old enough to stay at home when we go away, they still choose to come with us. It sounds like your kids are going to be the same :o)

Carrie Butler said...

That mountain sounds TERRIFYING! I freaked out just reading about it. So glad you're all okay!

...Bahaha! Brain stem. I love it. :D

Something non-writerly? I went to DC! :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm glad you made it back down the mountain.

As a family we like Monopoly and plan to start early one day so we can play it the die-hard way - ie. taking loans when we've used our cash etc. We figure we'd easily make a 12 hour marathon session!

Krista McLaughlin said...

That looks like a hard game! I like simpler board games, but it can still be hard.

Family time watching LOTR - I completely approve! I absolutely love the books and movies. I can't wait to share them with my kids someday. (Probably just have to have kids first.) :) I hope they liked it!

Kristine said...

Sounds like an awesome trip! I loved your flower too! I want to hike on those trails.

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm glad you made it down the mountain okay--that must have been scary! It sounds like your vacation was awesome otherwise, though. :)

Non-writerly . . . um, I had a dance recital last weekend.

Maria Zannini said...

You're mountain story reminds me when we drove up Pike's Peak. The rangers warned us to use the clutch and they even checked every car at one of the way stations to make sure the brakes weren't too hot.

Either way, My fingers had welded themselves to the armrest. That is a tall mountain--and no guardrails! Not that it would matter if you're going that fast.

Charlie Holmberg said...

Ha ha, sounds like fun, near-death experience aside. Love the flower ;)

Delia said...

That sounds like a fantastic vacation to me. But, really, the resort should put something about that mountain road on their website. Of course, it might slow down business to add "Death by Mountainside and/or Cliff a Distinct Possibility" to their How to Get Here page.

Glad your breaks worked. Scary.

Chris van Soolen said...

Sounds like you had fun :) Love your brain stem, hahahah awesome fun there.

Elana Johnson said...

We got LOTR on Blu-Ray last week and watched them all in like 3 days. It was awesome.

And the brain stem is awesome!!!

LisaAnn said...

Hahaha, definitely glad that car pic doesn't belong to your car!

Also glad you got a break, and congrats on finishing your revisions! Very, very excited for your book! :)

Kelly Polark said...

Sounds like a wonderful family vacation! (except for the careening down the mountain part :). Looks like some cool games!I bet you are recharged!

Elodie said...

Wow! That looked SCARY!
It seems like you had a wonderful holidays (minus the breaks issue...)! :D

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

serendipity is awesome, isn't it? Just not so good when it interferes with your plans! Sounds like you had a good holiday though...

Connie B. Dowell said...

Making designs with the pieces is an important part of any board game; right? Right?

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Is that a picture from Thelma and Louise? I loved that show.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Glad you guys had a great vacation and it sounds like being off the web turned out okay. That is so SCARY about your brakes! What is that game, I have never seen it before.

Kathy M.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Why do all our posts have to be about writing?

I'm so glad you rectified your deficits on the LotR issue. ;)

Clarissa Draper said...

What a vacation! I'm glad you made it alive! What board game is that?

80s Queen said...

I knitted a scarf while watching episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix. Nothing to do with writing...needed a day to do nothing.

BTW, do you guys play Munchkin? We bought it and are still trying to figure out how to play that game!

Nancy Thompson said...

I'm not entirely sure I could go days without the Internet and my iPhone. Once the kiddo's off to college though, I'd like to give it a try!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I'm glad you did the really important stuff (LOTR, games, and hikes.)
And I'm glad you were safe coming down that mountain. Seriously, we've had enough author car crashes in our neck of the woods for the year.
Glad you had fun. You did it and deserved it.

Emily R. King said...

What a fun family trip! Playing board games and spending hours outside together makes for perfect bonding time.