Staycations and Refilling the Well

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is whatever is on our minds. Come on over for the results of my staycation!


Also, today is the last day to preorder THE LOST PRINCESS RETURNS at the lower sale price! The print version is also now available!

More than two decades have gone by since Imperial Princess Jenna, broken in heart and body, fled her brutal marriage—and the land of her birth. She’s since become Ivariel: warrior, priestess of Danu, trainer of elephants, wife and mother. Wiser, stronger, happier, Ivariel has been content to live in her new country, to rest her battered self, and to recover from the trauma of what happened to her when she was barely more than a girl.

But magic has returned to the world—abruptly and with frightening force—and Ivariel takes that profound change as a sign that it’s time to keep a promise she made to the sisters she left behind. Ivariel must leave the safety she’s found and return to face the horrors she fled.

As Ivariel emerges from hiding, she discovers that her vicious brother is now Emperor of Dasnaria, and her much-hated mother, the Dowager Empress Hulda, is aiding him in his reign of terror. Worse, it seems that Hulda’s resurrection of the tainted god Deyrr came about as a direct result of Jenna’s flight long ago.

It’s up to Ivariel—and the girl she stopped being long ago—to defeat the people who cruelly betrayed her, and to finally liberate her sisters. Determined to cleanse her homeland of the evil that nearly destroyed her, Ivariel at last returns to face the past.

But this time, she’ll do it on her own terms.

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Holidays at Home

I like how Facebook and Twitter give me these little windows into peoples’ lives and what they’re doing.

Quite a few people have been doing “staycations” and commenting how much they’re enjoying them. One family is staying in Chicago and rediscovering all the fun things there are to do there. Another family went the short distance from their small town in Arkansas to St. Louis, to shop and see the sights. My friend was particularly excited to have the opportunity to dispose of her #5 recyclables.

Not at all glamorous.

And yet, that’s what people used to do all the time, right? Go to the village for market days. Travel to the city for provisions. Somewhere along the way, the stakes got raised.

I was supposed to clean the house this weekend and never got around to it. I try to clean it every other weekend. I’m far from being a fabulous housekeeper, so stretching the cleaning to three weeks means it’ll really show by next weekend.

But on Saturday I got really caught up in Sterling and spend most of the day on it. Then on Sunday we went out to breakfast with friends and ended up tooling around seeing the sights. After that, I worked on the novel just a little bit more and the day was over.

I did get the laundry done.

It used to be that I’d procrastinate forever on writing. I’d do every chore imaginable, plus some I made up on the spot, to avoid sitting down at my writing desk. I had to trick myself, or force myself, to sit down and write. Now I eye the dust bunnies collecting in the corners and think I should probably get after them one of these days, maybe after this next scene.

I think it’s healthy.

Sometimes people ask us how we stay entertained, both when we lived back in our small Wyoming town and even now in the “small” city of Santa Fe. It’s hard for me to explain that I never run out of things to do. I write and David studies. We read and talk and sit in the sun. We take long walks.

I’ve come to think that, if you set your life up the way you want it, every day becomes a staycation. It’s all about enjoying the place you’re in and indulging in the things you enjoy.

Sometimes what makes you happiest is to get rid of that pile of recyclables. Other times, you just need to skip the chores.