Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 • No Comments on October: the month in review
With the exception of a couple of minor hiccups–most notably, getting water inside my laptop bag and thinking my MacBook Pro was a goner–October 2015 will go down in history as one of the best, happiest months of my life. (The Mac is actually performing just fine as I type, but there is a MacBook Air on order, just in case.) The biggest, happiest event of this month was celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary. Silver! It’s been a hell of a wonderful, mostly smooth-sailing, ride and I am so grateful for the amazing, kind, handsome, brilliant man I chose as my partner through this wild, beautiful life.
I traveled the backroads of Virginia in October, discovering that I really do love this state I’ve called home for fifteen years. So much so, I’m having a hard time thinking about leaving it! Time will tell where the Wrights will settle, but the trips were inspirational, life changing and love affirming in different ways.
The James River Writers Conference was held in Richmond October 16-18, and it was simply one of the best writers’ conferences I’ve ever attended. Don’t be fooled by small(ish) regional conferences, they are the where you find your people. I met some friends I’ve known for years online, I made some new friends, I talked about everything from editing erotica to creating believable characters to content marketing. I am delighted I was invited to attend. It was a terrific weekend!
I was home for 4 days before packing up and heading to The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, a beautiful and historic resort that is part of the Omni hotel chain.
I’ve always been pleased with the eclectic diversity of the Omni properties because no two are alike and I really love that. The Homestead is amazing– a resort that offers everything from hayrides and falconry to miniature golf and childcare. As this was our family anniversary trip, we enjoyed family time as well as couple’s time, thanks to the Kids Club. The boys had so much fun the first day, they wanted to go back the next day! So Jay and I got to enjoy some quiet time (and an amazing breakfast buffet in the elegant main dining room) while the kids enjoyed their “independence.” It really was a wonderful family trip.
October was such a busy month, I didn’t get to see as many movies or read as many books as I would’ve liked. In fact, the only movie I did see was Hotel Transylvania 2 with the boys. As cute as the first one, I thought, and a great way to kick off the month. I plan to be home through the holidays, which means the usual cooking and baking, plus I want to catch up on my reading and see a few good movies. The new James Bond flick is definitely on my list!
This month for Mom.me I wrote about Mommy Trolls, having kids with a big age difference, the things that no longer matter now that I’m a mom and the woes of being a field trip chaperone. I’m happy to be writing for a terrific parenting website that allows me so much freedom to explore my interests. It’s particularly rewarding to see my pieces shared because I know it means I’m connecting with people.
This has been such a wild, whirlwind year of writing (mostly) nonfiction and exploring my interests and challenging myself to break into new markets. I had two bylines this month that meant a lot to me. I wrote my second piece for Narratively on a topic I’ve never tackled before, at least not as nonfiction. Check-In Time At the Most Haunted Hotel in America is about the historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. I got a chance to visit the hotel in August and the experience stayed with me. In fact, I pitched this piece while I was at the airport on my way back home. I’m happy with the way it turned out and the staff at Narratively did a beautiful job pairing my piece with some amazing atmospheric photographs. (And the ghost photos toward the end were courtesy of a woman I found through a Facebook search– you just never know who’s reading your public posts!)
As for new markets, I am overwhelmed with the response I’ve received to my first piece for Role Reboot. What It Means to Be the Fat Girl was a very personal piece to write– one I wasn’t sure I’d find a home for– and it’s been gratifying seeing that it is the most read piece on the site. I have a lot of writing goals for 2016 (yes, already) and one of them is to be a regular contributor at Role Reboot and write more essays and articles that address the experiences of so many women– many who feel as if their voices aren’t represented by mainstream media.
With less than two months left in 2015, I’m considering my accomplishments and measuring my failures and shortfalls. I haven’t written as much as I would have liked this year, although I think I have several valid excuses–from traveling to nearly dying to not having regular childcare. There are times when I have to take a deep breath and let it go– there simply isn’t enough time right now to write everything I want to write. On the other hand, I know there has been wasted time in my schedule this year, times when I should have been writing and, for whatever reason, didn’t. But overall I’m pleased with the direction 2015 has taken and I’m ready to start planning 2016.
It’s nesting season for me– and my favorite time of the year– which means enjoying family and friends, filling the house with love and laughter and contemplating the future. Wishing you all a very joyful November!