Two years ago, after my crazy, stressful flight to Panama and back, I realized that I have spent most of my life just getting by.
Pay the bills, work my ass off, and try and be a good mom, wife, and human being. Rinse and repeat.
They aren’t bad goals, and they aren’t without moments of joy. I have a great life, I really do. But the older I get, the more I want to see the rest of the world, explore foreign cities, stand in a castle centuries older than me, and dip my toes into strange and distant shores.
I have also wanted to go to a writer’s conference for at least the past six years, possibly longer. I want to rub shoulders with other writers, listen to what works for them, and take a few days to just be in my writing world, all by myself, without family commitments.
So after hemming and hawing back and forth, I made the dual decisions.
- I’m going to a writer’s conference in 2019
- I’m really REALLY going to go to Europe for my 50th birthday.
Here is how I think it will all shake out.
20 Books to 50k
November 2019 is the 20 Books to 50k Las Vegas conference. I’ve already booked a room and I plan to buy tickets to the conference when they go on sale in a month or two.
I’m going by myself, as in, alone. The thought of it gives me some level of giddiness. No kiddos, no husband, just me and my writing dreams for a few days in a strange city. I’m so excited at the thought!
For years I have dreamed of visiting Pompeii. I also desperately want to visit a range of destinations – from my family’s ancestral home, Schloss Sandfort in Germany, to the beautiful shores of Ireland and more destinations than I have time to detail.
But one thing at a time.
For now, I’ve settled on a trip to Naples, Italy in 2020. On May 17th, 2020, I will step off the plane and spend two weeks bopping about Naples. I would love to climb Mount Vesuvius, explore some catacombs, take an authentic Italian cooking class, explore Santa Lucia, and yes, of course, see Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Two weeks will barely scratch the surface of what Italy has to offer, but I know I will love it. And I hope too, that we will then be able to repeat our trips to Europe, every other year, and slowly tick off the wonderful and amazing destinations I have longed to explore since I was my daughter’s age.
I will be learning Italian through DuoLingo. I love the app, we have been using it to learn Spanish as part of my 12-year-old’s homeschool, but I really want to learn Italian so I’m less of the “ugly American.”
Em says she wants to learn it as well, so it looks like we will be adding it to our homeschool curriculum in January. Beginning January 1st, I’m committing to taking two lessons every day.
I found a great article: 15 Best Things to Do in Naples for when we are there. Most of them sound like “must see” destinations to me!
And Last, But Certainly Not Least
My writing goals for this year are as follows:
- Finish The Hired Gun and get it edited and published. I hope to see this happen by March 2019. This also means completing Better Choices, a novella that will be a giveaway for readers of Benton Security Services series (of which The Hired Gun is book one).
- Make progress on Zarmina’s World, the sequel to Gliese 581: The Departure
- Write Winter’s Child – I have the outline, I know where I’m going, I just need to write it, edit, and publish it. That’s all…just, you know, the whole burrito. No problem!
- Make progress on The Chronicles of Liv Rowan
That’s a lot of writing, folks. We will see if I am up to the task.