We've always been a family who packs the car and goes, even if it might be just for the weekend. I have a significant portion of family who lives in New England (and has for years) and it wasn't uncommon to head up there for a holiday or milestone event. (If you want a tangent, ask me about where we stayed for my cousin's wedding.)
I have been privileged enough to continue to travel domestically and abroad into my teen years and now as an adult. In recent years we've started going on week-long family vacations again, usually in mid- to late-February since that's usually shortly before my dad and I go back to work.
In 2016 we went to Savannah, GA. (There are some photos of that on my Instagram under #ollyadventuresinga.) It was during that week - I was on a Gray Line Trolley tour bus, actually - when I pitched during a Twitter party and CTP liked my tweet. (You know that story, it turns out fantastic.)
Last February we stayed a week in Virginia Beach, VA, which has a really great boardwalk and I can't tell you how much time I spent watching container ships come in off the ocean and then leave again. There was also a submarine sighting, too (there's a Naval base at Norfolk, which is pretty much right up the highway from Virginia Beach), and I watched a lot of sunrises that week because it's really cool to see the curvature of the earth right before the sun makes an appearance. There was also a pod of dolphins incredibly close most mornings, curving through the water.
This year, with a brief layover in Williamsburg, VA, we went down to where my mom and my sister have taken my niece for the past two spring breaks: North Myrtle Beach, SC.
Welcome to Monday. Hopefully yours is going well.
I didn't get as many words on the page this weekend as I wanted to, mostly because Thursday I fell down the rabbit hole that is tap videos on YouTube, Friday was my friend's birthday, and watched Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World something like five times this weekend because I'd rented it Friday from Amazon. (They give you three days with it and you can watch it as many times as you want.)
I could wax poetic about that movie's classical score. Fun fact: I wrote a good chunk of LADY OF SHERWOOD while listening to Boccherini's La Musica Notturna Delle Strade di Madrid, No. 6, Op.30. (I might do a classical music writing playlist post later, if anybody's interested.) There is, actually, a lot about this movie I could wax poetically about - mostly because I'm a huge Age of Sail fan - and the man who directed this film also directed my favorite movie of all time, Dead Poets Society.
That is a whole other set of posts right there, and we'll be here forever if you let me get going.
Back, however, to the tap YouTube rabbit hole. For those of you who might be a little new to following me, I started taking an adult tap dance class in September 2016. Tap's always been one of my favorite forms of dance, and something I had always wanted to learn. When I moved to Buffalo, I decided to just go for it, found a studio that offered adult classes at a very reasonable price, and gave it a whirl.
I love it.
Not only am I taking tap again this year, I decided to try jazz, too. (That's a little more outside my wheelhouse, but it's still fun and definitely challenging in different ways than tap.) One other result of this is that I occasionally wander down a rabbit hole on YouTube.
These are a couple of my favorites.
I listen to a lot of different things when I write, it really depends on what I'm working on, the mood of the scene, and the character.
I've always swapped out Pandora for Spotify, and listening to music in the apartment has gotten 250% better. My gym playlist is also called Five Mile Truffle Shuffle and I'm giving all of you who get that reference a billion thumbs up. For those who don't, The Goonies is an excellent movie, and I highly recommend it.
Anyway, you're here for the music. So let's get to that.
I am absolutely terrible when it comes to certain things. New Year's Resolutions. Blog posts. The usual.
This is a post about unofficial resolutions.
The 2017 holiday season was difficult in places. There was a lot going on behind the scenes, and I was miserably sick New Year's Eve weekend. The last thing anyone wants to do while they're tucked on the couch watching episode after episode of Say Yes to the Dress is figure out resolutions to go into 2018 with and break within the first two months.
I'll stick with little goals. Things like
- Reading diversely
- Take chances (good ones)
- Keep improving my rock climbing abilities
- Finish another novel (maybe more than one)
- Remember to take good care of me
- Carpe this diem and live life wide open
It's not an exhaustive list, but it's definitely a place to start.
No news yet on the query front, and we all know patience isn't exactly my strong suit. Here's hoping, anyway.
On the personal front, well....this should sum it up nicely. (And no, we weren't official or anything, but the sentiment is the same.)
I'll probably do a list of songs that I've been writing to this upcoming week. In the meantime, have a good weekend.
Hope & Kindness,
Hope you've all had a good week and that whatever work you're doing isn't stressing you out too badly. If, like me, you live in the Northeast, we've been dealing with high temperatures and ridiculously high humidity. Thankfully, earlier this week, the weather's finally broken, and at least in New York it finally - FINALLY - feels like fall.
Which makes today the perfect day to enjoy some time outside (if it's not raining). For me, that means it's the perfect day for soccer.
My Mama's visiting for the weekend, and later today we'll be going into Toronto to watch Toronto FC take on the New York Red Bulls. Neither of us have ever seen the Red Bulls play in person, though we've been to their Harrison, NJ stadium to watch other teams play (the 2011 MLS All-Star game against Manchester United, and then the US Women's National Team when they played South Korea). We've watched them play on TV a number of times - and Mama really likes them - so this should be a really fun game.
There should, of course, be all sorts of shenanigans because the two of us can't really go anywhere without there being shenanigans (though it's nowhere near as bad as H and I wandering someplace, just the two of us).
Mama on the train to BMO Field in Toronto, back in March. Though, honestly, it's probably going to be this cold tonight, too.
I hope your weekend is fun and fantastic, and I'll catch you soon.
Hope & Kindness,
Greetings from the other side of summer!
Most of you are probably looking at me like where have you been? I've been mostly here in Buffalo, NY, and occasionally in Toronto specifically or Ontario in general. Sometimes even back to Seneca Lake.
Summer is also peak construction season, so I've been a tad bit busy at work as we shade into back-to-school and early fall. Speaking of fall, is anybody else as excited for the change in season as I am? I am so ready for layers and flannel and boots and scarves and turning leaves and cool breezes! (I might be zealously ready for fall. Seriously. Let's go.)
Because I've been so terrible at blogging (which is on the to-do list to get better at), let's recap some adventures. (Also, if you're not following me on twitter I would suggest it, because that's where I document a majority of my daily shenanigans.)
I had my first ever Barnes & Noble book signing back in June. I kept the poster from this event and framed it.
My friend Lydia and I had a sweet and colorful Sunday Funday this summer. We'd both had a rough week (and I'd watched a ton of icing videos on Tumblr) and this was the result of an afternoon of baking and decorating.
The eclipse! We weren't in the path of totality (but we will be for the next one) and nobody had eclipse glasses, but when you work in construction, there's usually a welding helmet or two lying around.
This was M's first trip to Toronto (her first time on both a train and a subway) and her first MLS game. We had a ton of fun, and TFC had a 4-0 win against San Jose.
There's also been some extra trips to Rochester to hang out with family and friends, and coming up in a few weeks is my cousin's wedding. So I get to dress up and have a grand old time for that.
Stay on the lookout for dance updates, too. This year I'm climbing even more out of my comfort zone and taking jazz in addition to tap. Jazz is way not in my wheelhouse, but it is fun, and my instructor is very glad that I'm taking her class.
Thanks for sticking with me.
Hope & Kindness,
Today is the print release day for LADY OF SHERWOOD!
(If anybody's wondering, I haven't quite stopped internally screaming while running in circles. I think that's going to take about a week and a half, really.)
To celebrate, I'm gonna giveaway some signed bookmarks. Here's how it'll work:
If you find LADY OF SHERWOOD out in the wild - in a bookstore, a library, etc - or it's your own copy, take a selfie with it. Then, tag me on twitter - @MollyLouise10 - and use the hashtag #LadyOutlaws. On Saturday, May 20, I'll take however many entries there are, pick 10 random winners (courtesy of random.org), and send those winners a signed bookmark.
If you still need a copy, you can get one at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.
Please, if you read it, review it. It helps tremendously.
I hope you're as excited as I am, and I am really excited. Here's the start of a good week!
Hope & Kindness,
It's me. Well, it's you, technically, all grown up. Or as grown up as we wanna claim on a regular basis, which, considering our favorite food is still mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, maybe we'll never officially grow up.
Sometimes we eat ice cream for dinner. That's pretty cool.
Come sit by me. I've got some things to tell you.
First, even twenty years later, you still occasionally make this face. Not so much for funny face pictures anymore, but because sometime things don't go according to plan. We're still cute, though. Promise.
Do you remember that time we were in Barnes & Noble? I think it was that summer before H went to college. We got up early each morning to take mom to work so we could have the car, and we adventured all over. We went to the Sciencenter, to the mall, and made a lot of trips to the bookstore.
Do you remember what you thought that day? You might have even said it out loud.
You said one day, I'm gonna walk into Barnes & Noble and find my name on the shelf.
Brace yourself, kid, because it's actually happening.
You wrote a novel - you've written eight of them, actually - and signed a publishing contract, and tomorrow, that book that you wrote is released into the world. It's the ebook version, the print one doesn't come out until May 15.
But your book is going out into the world. It's going to be on bookstore shelves.
You had a goal, which, at one point, didn't seem attainable, but you worked for it anyway. That's because you don't know how to quit, kid. Trust me when I say you still don't, and I don't think you're ever going to learn. Probably not a bad thing.
I'm not gonna lie, you've got some rough years ahead, and I don't just mean the normal middle and high school year shenanigans. You'll get mono, somehow catch whooping cough, have a mystery pain, and get your wisdom teeth removed. You even eventually have open heart surgery. Which yeah, it's terrifying,
But you do a lot of other really cool stuff before and after. You get to travel. Mom and Dad even let you wander all the way to Wales for, like, four months.
And you play so much soccer.
But the most important thing, kid, is that you didn't give up. There were a lot of people who scoffed at that lofty goal of yours, a lot of people who thought you couldn't do it. And despite all of that, despite sometimes wondering why you kept writing, why you kept trying, you didn't give up.
And that, you mop-headed small child, is something we never grow out of.
It's a long, strange trip from there to here, but it's worth every. Single. Step. And it's definitely worth it for the people you'll meet along the way. Some will encourage you. Some will tell you you can't do it. And some will just let you slog through everything without comment. You'll figure it out.
You'll always figure it out.
And when in doubt, just ask mom for advice. She's got a lot of wisdom she can impart.
But you gotta remember, kid, that in the quiet moments in the middle of the night when no one else was around, it was you who kept going, kept trying, and kept writing. For all those moments when it would have been easy to give up, you didn't.
This was your dream to follow, your goal to get. And you did.
So tomorrow - the release day for LADY OF SHERWOOD - is for you, kid. You never gave up on that dream, and here we are, twenty years later, finally seeing it tangibly come true. Here's to you for saying I want that, and I'm gonna do it one day.
Your one day is here.
Smile. Soak it all in. Have some cake. And maybe, on Tuesday, figure out which new thing you want to reach for next.
Here's to you, kid.
You Future Self
This week has been an utter unexpected train wreck. Most of it has occurred behind the scenes (meaning that it's staying exclusively within the family), But it still carries an impact.
Regardless, we are only 3 days from the release of the LADY OF SHERWOOD ebook!
I am in that ever-so-lovey headspace of being both very excited and very nervous. But I'm going to go primarily with excitement, because tomorrow, April 21, 2017, CTP is throwing a Spring Release Spectacular!
LOOK AT ALL THAT PRETTY!
From left to right it's Shannon A. Thompson, Me, Heather McKenzie, Kristin Smith, and Tamara Grantham. (Clicking on each name will take you to that author's individual website, so you can learn more about them and their books.)
Come hang out with all of us tomorrow from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm EST. Chat with us, ask us questions, and even win some cool stuff. It's gonna be a blast!
Have an awesome Friday, and hope to see you tonight at the Release Spectacular.
Hope & Kindness,
There's been a slight change in plans for the release of the print version of LADY OF SHERWOOD. I can't quite tell you details, but I do want to let you know that the print version of LADY OF SHERWOOD has a new release date of May 15, 2017.
For some very good reasons which are going to be a surprise for some of you, we're using a different printer and that takes a little longer. I'll keep everybody updated on when signings and events will happen, and wanted to let everyone who preordered a copy that your book is coming, it's just coming after May 15 rather than April 24.
However, the ebook release date is still April 24. So if you absolutely can't wait to have the print edition, feel free to scoop up the ebook beforehand.
All of the links you need to find it at Barnes & Noble and Amazon are in the books tab at the top of the page.
Thank you all for your continued support, and I hope you're as excited as I am.
Hope & Kindness,
Thanks for stopping by. Browse. Smile. Giggle. And maybe say hi.