Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm Ba-a-a-ack!

Got in yesterday and the jet lag isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Good thing because my final page proofs for Devil May Ride were waiting for me :)

I've made good progress already on the edits even though my brain is still in Europe.

By the way our itinerary was: Paris, London, Gibraltar, Cannes, Pisa, Rome, Cagliari, Seville, Lisbon, Vigo and then back to London.

Things that feel good after being away for 25 days:

- first and foremost reliable internet! I would've blogged regularly if only I didn't fall asleep just waiting for a connection.
- my own huge bed in my own big bedroom
- driving
- opening a fridge and not having to pay an arm and a leg for a can of pop
- clean air (after London I feel like I need to squeeze the smog from my bronchial passages)
- saying, "I'm hungry." and not having to follow that up with a detail examination of a map

Things that I already miss:

- accents and the melodic sounds of Spanish, Italian and French
- not having to wash the dishes/cook/clean
- waking up and wondering briefly what city or country I'm in
- all the quirky, wonderful people (and animals) we met along the way, like the one-footed pigeon who entertained us in a Paris train station (we called her Peggy) and the tour guide in Rome who was a tiny older woman with a voice bigger than the colliseum
- the plumbing novelties (we counted 15 different flushing techniques!)

What was I saying earlier about jet lag?....Zzzzzzz

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gibraltar and the Case of the Missing Purse

Gibraltar is a tiny U.K. peninsula at the bottom of Spain. It's only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide but that is plenty big enough to search if you lose your purse including the passports for 6 people.

Started off at Gibraltar where everyone with 4 kids would start; at Pizza Hut. After a quick bite we snagged a tour van to take us to the rock. The rock of Gibraltar is a small mountain with extremely narrow roads allowing one vehicle to angle and writhe its way to the top. Once at the top, I noticed I had the backpack containing everyone's spare sweaters, water bottles, the cameras but *yikes* my purse was gone!

There was no way to return to the bottom of the Rock from this point, we had no choice but to push on with the rest of our group for the remaining 90 minute ride.

On the Rock of Gibraltar you can visit famous caves, tunnels and catch a glimpse of the Barbary Apes. The apes are cute but they're thieves who will quickly relieve you of your belongings. Had they stolen my purse?

Luckily, we had Peter. A tour guide who loved a challenge. Every time we stopped for a photo opp, he called around and used his resources to try and track down my bag. However, by the time we reached the end of our route we had no choice but to make our way to the police station (that looked a lot like a small drive thru). The police had good news, a cabby had found my purse and called it in! He'd discovered my purse at Pizza Hut. The bad news, this cabby was notoriously known to be difficult to get hold of and going off on his own as he was a retired cop who only worked part-time.

Although the Gibraltar police had given up doing more thank taking my statement and moving on, the wonderful Peter was on the case and he used all his connections to track down the cabby/ex-cop and arranged for him to meet us. All in all, everything turned out wonderfully thanks to Peter and St. Anthony (patron saint of lost things who received many prayers).

Onward to Cannes then Italy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I left my DNA on the Champs Elysees

Ahhh Paris! I was so impressed with the outside view of the Arc de Triomphe that my jaw dropped and my gum left my mouth to plop on the famous street. I did pick up the gum and put it in the trash but I like to think there remains a small trace of me :)

We have left Paris for London and enjoyed a tour of the Tower of London where we got to see various torture devices as well as the crown jewels.

Random things I've learned during my travels so far:

- there are many MANY ways to flush a toilet.
- New York drivers are nuth'n compared to those in Paris
- no matter how little you think you've packed, you packed too much
- St. Joseph bottled water in Paris is closest to ours at home
- Paying a lot for a meal doesn't mean your kids will eat it
- never under estimate the value of comfortable shoes

More tidbits to come! How are things with all of you?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hitting the

Well the bags are packed...almost.
My word documents are uploaded on my laptop...well...practically.
The kids have enough stuff to amuse them for a dozen hours travelling...nearly.

I'm jetting off tomorrow. I have a new laptop and a new camera. If the stars align perfectly I may be able to upload pics in a few days.

In the meantime, are you a member of my newsletter list? If yes *YAY*!! If no, what are you waiting for? I'm going to have some amazing contests for my newsletter members upon my return. You can sign up for my mailing list through my website here.

In the meantime ... goodbye ... au revoir ... ciao ... adiĆ³s ... tchau

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cataclysmic Events

I love that word, cataclysmic. There are just not enough times in our life when we can use it.

A cataclysmic event is defined as a violent upheaval that causes great destruction or brings about a fundamental change. Kind of like the picture above where the skies of Chile became an incredible brew when a volcanic eruption combined with a lightning storm.

My own cataclysmic event was discovering a new character while writing book 3. Usually I receive drips and drops of a character and I need to mold and coax them to fit my needs. This character came to me fully formed and ready to save the scene. As I wrote her into the book I actually got chills. Sort of like when my 12 year old son vacuumed without being asked or threatened.

I think I'll make it my goal to use cataclysmic more often in my every day vocabulary. It'll spice things up!

Anything cataclysmic happening with you these days?