This past weekend I did something I desperately needed to do since about mid July...I took a mini vacation. 2013 has been a pretty challenging year for me so far and getting through the past 11 weeks of summer was particularly daunting. Despite my best efforts, I struggled with insomnia along with working 14 hour days while still trying to get my writing in, so needless to say I was a bit frazzled once school started up again.
I counted the hours of sleep I missed out on...220 hours over 11 weeks...and for me that equates to 27 1/2 days of NO SLEEP out of 77 days of my summer.
So I took a break, gathered my pennies, and ran (drove) as fast as I could to the mountains for a little mental rest and a lot of physical relaxation. It was supposed to rain Sunday so I decided to spend Saturday at Dollywood.
I thought I would forget about everything to do with writing for children and just have a little fun. But it's not so easy to say you're not going to be a writer. These past three years have trained me to search out the story ideas no matter where I may be, and when I saw this statue as soon as I entered the gates I realized my "inner child" had come along for the ride.
There was the Lemon Twist teacup ride to remind me what to do when life throws a lemon my way.
I rode on the merry-go-round. I really wanted to ride that green dragon just ahead of me but I wasn't going to wrestle with the kid who got there first. Maybe I should have because as soon as I scrambled up on my horse he jumped off and picked something else. Oh well, I'm getting used to not always getting what I want but still enjoying what I have...
This reminded me too much of all I had to juggle over this past summer so I just admired it from a distance.
One of my favorite rides at Dollywood is River Rampage. I am not much of a daredevil in other parts of my life, but this ride reminds me it's okay to take risks every now and again...even with my writing.
I even rode the Dollywood Express through the mountainside. I have been on this train many times, but never actually listened to the history behind the engine that pulled us up the mountain. I was so fascinated with the engineer's talk that I came away with another story idea. So much for running away from everything...;~)
After a few hours walking the park, I decided to grab a bite to eat and go watch a movie. If you've never had fried pickles before, you are missing out! I haven't had steak in probably over a year but decided to treat myself to it along with streamed broccoli since I'm not really allowed to eat it any more. I was on vacation and wasn't worried about calorie counting...lol...
After a restful night's sleep where I actually slept EIGHT WHOLE HOURS I sat out on my balcony and welcomed the quiet view. You can't see it very well, but I am looking over a park with picnic benches and the Tennessee River is flowing by those trees. It's peaceful and I spend the next few hours reading until it's time to check out of my hotel room.
On my way out of town I passed this upside down tourist attraction. I've been inside Wonder Works before and I thought it quite fitting this would be the last thing I see before heading home from my mini vacation. The crazy, topsy-turvy life that I lead can be challenging but would I really want to change it?
Well, maybe with another published piece or two under my belt, but other than that, I guess not. I needed to run away this past weekend to be able to fight another day on this path to publication. It also reminded me that I can't truly run away from what I was born to be and that is a writer. It's in my blood. It is the center of who I am and who I want to be. Now it's time to hop back in the ring for Round Two...