life · Uncategorized · writing

Islands, Murders, and More in September

What a crazy end to summer! September was a wild month, especially after all the chaos and (wonderful) intensity of the 99 cent special we ran on the ebook when we announced The Piper’s Price. The book rocketed up into the top #200 of all the millions of Kindle Books on Amazon, and we got the story into thousands of readers’ hands. I cannot thank you enough, you wonderful people who spread the word and supported the book from the start.

Once I got the sequel turned into my editor, I had nothing on my plate for a few weeks and decided, more or less, that I would take September off and really enjoy myself in a way I haven’t since…well, since I got the book deal!

I went up to Bellingham with Zaq for a mini-trip that included stops at Sweet Art downtown for some world-renown chocolates and a dinner at Coconut Kenny’s because who wouldn’t want pulled pork nachos and a taco pizza topped with Dorritos?

I spent the next weekend completely AWOL on Patos Island (the northern most island of the San Juan Islands, little more than a mile long) to celebrate my friend Margaret’s birthday with a whole bunch of her friends. I had never met them before, but learned to love everyone over the course of a long drive to Anacortes, a ferry ride to Orcas Island, and a sketchy van ride all the way across Orcas Island where we chartered a private boat to Patos. I did a lot of napping, hiking, kite flying, and marshmallow roasting. It was lovely. (Photos below by Lisa DeGoede)

The following weekend, Zaq and I drove down to Portland in one of our classic “let’s take a vacation together to see our friends and not actually spend anytime with each other” trips. Consequently, we had a great drive down and I spent almost a week hitting up all my favorite people and places in Portland. I signed books in bookstores, got my beloved Waffle Window, and had tea at both Townshed’s Tea Shop and The Pied Cow…which is my new favorite cafe in all of Portland. I also saw the migratory flock of swifts, and met a lot of lovely people.

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My writing flourished the whole month long, even though I’m technically not supposed to be working on anything but outlining The Neverland Wars III for NaNoWriMo. I ended up blowing 23,000 words on a travelogue-style novella-length account of my time camping on Patos with the second half of the month, as well as pulling together my seventh annual murder mystery party. Murder mysteries usually happen in December, but I don’t want to interrupt my creative flow after NaNoWriMo this year and prolong the process of editing and releasing the third book of The Neverland trilogy the way I did with the second.

This year the murder mystery’s premise was a 10-year reunion for the cast of a 90’s family sitcom, and all the old grudges following their sex-scandals and show cancels.

Doesn’t Zaq look adorable playing a Beverly Hills psychotherapist? I really love that guy, and miss him already now that he’s down in San Jose for year two of grad school and I’m sticking up in Washington for a spell. (I’ve got a few book signings coming up in the pacific north west, so keep your ears up about that if you’re around this fall.)

So long story short, September was an amazing month and I don’t feel remotely ready to get back to work! Still, The Piper’s Price will be back from editing before I know it, and there’s a million and one things I can do for it and The Neverland Wars before NaNoWriMo sets in and I turn into a lean, mean drafting machine again.

Here’s to a fall as wonderful as the summer was!

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