It’s been nearly a year since I did one of these non-bookish posts. They’re really part of the “random ramblings” tag for my blog. XD Anyway, let me see if I can catch you up on what I’ve done in the past… *counts* 10 months. Bear with me.
Last month I was on summer vacation from work. (I work for a school district, meaning I get nearly all of the same breaks as the students. And while I’ve been randomly searching for different jobs, it’s hard to give those breaks up!) For a little over a week toward the end of July, my husband and I went on a road trip, doing whatever interesting thing in between (for me it’s book shops and for him, it’s card game shops; he’s an avid MtG player).
We stayed at a gorgeous bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs, AR called 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast. If you’re ever in the region, please go! If you haven’t stayed at a bed and breakfast, please do! This one was located in the historical side of Eureka Springs, a city well over 100 years old. Actually, many of the houses are over 120 years old, and some even have plaques that said when they were built. So of course, I loved it because it’s at the peak of the Victorian-era and many of the houses are in the Queen Anne style, with lots of turrets, pastel colors, and intricate designs along the outside of the house.
Also, this was the view from our own private balcony…
The breakfast here was amazing! I mean, look at this cranberry chocolate ship scone I had on day 1 (I forgot to take a picture of my actual breakfast, haha! Typical me!) And then on the right is the most amazing French toast I’ve ever had in my life! I’m serious.
The town itself was cute and touristy. Lots of good food and neat little shops. Like this one which had this adorable dessert soaps! Omg, too pretty to even use! ❤
We also stopped by a place called Thorncrown chapel, which is a beautiful little chapel in the middle of the woods!
After two days, we were off to St. Louis, Missouri.
There was a lot of construction where we stayed, but we were able to walk to the Arch and ride to the top.
I thought something horrible was going to happen to me so I started getting anxious until we actually made it to the top, haha. I’m an over-thinker, and I do just bring those things on myself. 😅 We ate at some really neat places, my favorites were The Shaved Duck, a BBQ joint, and The Iron Barley, where I ate the most delicious crawfish dish in my life. Of course, I went to bookstores, too. I visited Left Bank Books to browse briefly.
Then it was onto Chicago, where I was most likely the most stressful I’ve ever been on vacation. 😝 Not all the time, though. Traffic was the main thing that caused stress, but I got over that when I noticed the views.
Chicago sits right on Lake Michigan. Also, that picture as no filter! The water is that blue, and the place that gorgeous! I could spend my days sitting under a tree and reading right by the lake. 🙂 I also ate the most delicious hot dog I’ve ever had in my life: a Chicago-style dog from Portillo’s. 🤤
This dog has the perfect snap! when you bite into it. There’ also some epic, neon green relish, mustard, onions, tomatoes (which I took off because I don’t like), spicy peppers, and a whole pickle spear, all tucked in a poppy seed bun. Now that’s what I’m talking about! At Portillo’s you can have an entire slice of cake in a milkshake! Did I partake? Oh, you bet I did!
Okay, well, I did not mean to make the vacation section so long, so I suppose I’ll keep the next part fairly brief. I am now working on draft #5 of my book. My beta-reader gave me some pretty good feedback, and I’m excited to dive right in and start tweaking a few more things before I actually call this thing a manuscript.
Briefly and very slowly over the past few weeks, I’ve started working on a query letter and synopsis. (The following links been so helpful for my query letter and synopsis, so I’ll leave them here and here, if you want to check them out.) For me, this is actually the most intimidating part. How can I make my query letter stand out from all the tens (or maybe hundreds?!) of pitches agents receive on a weekly basis? Well, maybe I’ll tell you the answer when I find out what it is.
For the time being, too, I’m working on a better title for my book, too. I’m horrible at a handful of things, and coming up with titles is one. I know agents and editors supposedly help, too, but I at least want a decent title attached to my work before I start querying. We’ll see…
Anyway, here’s a opening paragraph of the first chapter. 🙂 Enjoy! (And of course, if I do get published, there’s no way I can ever guarantee this will make it to the final copy.)
Until next time… ❤