Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Monday!

I know, I only got through two days of my Hong Kong trip so far and I will finish them (promise), but the pictures are on another computer and if I wait to get my act together I might never post again. :)

In the meantime...

It's Monday morning after Spring Break. Back to work. Back to school. Back to life.

I like the week after vacation. I love that I had a little time off to think and relax (I rarely do that). Plus, I got my edits/edit letter this weekend for a YA project I'm working on. Yay! It's put me in a super good mood. Why, you ask? Well...

I'm not one of those peeps who thinks that every word I write is gold. Quite the contrary. I'm overly critical with my work and I can rarely see the good. It's frustrating. But what is more frustrating is that I have this idea of what I want the book to be/do/say and it takes me a long time to reach enough of that for me to be satisfied.

So when I sent this MS to MM I knew I'd have rewrite quite a lot on the next go-around.

We'd talked prior to my getting notes back about what I wanted with this novel. This is something that I really value about MM. It's not guaranteed in this industry that the edits requested will be focused with your vision in mind, in addition to what works and what's sellable.

So, wow, this revision letter...

I'm very excited. I've been thinking about the possibilities for a few days now and I can finally see the book.

For me, writing a book is sort of like having a dream. When the idea first percolates it's crystal clear, much like while you are asleep. The characters are amusing, the plot is great, the color is vivid and it's awesome!

But then you wake up. Or in my case, actually sit down to write. At that point it becomes a hazy mess. I can't remember anything! Everything seems jumbled and cut short. Not at all like it was when it was first conceptualized.

At some point, though, it clicks. It's as if you had the pieces there all along and they've been waiting for you to align them properly. Of course, that makes me want to thump my head against a desk because why didn't I see that in the first place?!

Who knows when that clicking happens. Sometimes it's fast. Sometimes it takes seven drafts (ugh!). Fortunately, I felt the click! (or at least I hope, ha!)

I'm going to attempt to hold onto this excitement for a few days. It never lasts very long. LOL

With all that said... It's 11am and I have yet to open the manuscript. I'm off to a stellar start!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hong Kong, Day 2

In my imagination we awoke early on the first full day in Hong Kong. We were perky, the weather was beautiful and we were all healthy. That isn't close to how it went, but we still managed to scrape together a fun day.

In reality we woke up closer to noon. This is us, bright eyed and bushy tailed:





We jumped on the subway and took it to Victoria Harbor.



Once there, we stopped and had lunch. Bekah got a salad, which in Hong Kong means cut up veggies. She was in HEAVEN.



These pictures were taken on Victoria Harbor, Kowloon side facing Hong Kong island. As you can see, the weather was nasty and stayed nasty the whole time we were there. It's hard to complain, though, when faced with this beauty! I can hardly wait to go back and see it when it's sunny.





In this next picture is the Star Ferry:





Steven spent several years in Hong Kong as a child. He always told me that they used bamboo as scaffolding. I believed him... but believing something and seeing it are two different things. Crazy!



We walked along the Avenue of Stars to the Star Ferry. This was something Steven requested as he had to get a picture with the statue of Bruce Lee.



This picture is on the Star Ferry crossing to Hong Kong island:



Next we walked all over Hong Kong island. Uphill. So I was sweating in the rain (Amy Stewart, I can hear you laughing. I'll have you know, I wore the ugly tennis shoes too!).





We stopped at Man Mo Temple. I love temples. I wish I could have taken pictures inside.



Afterward, we walked back to the ferry, shopped some more and then went back to the hotel for dinner and swam in the pool. This is pretty much what my kids remembered of the whole day (taken on the Star Ferry on the way back):


2010.04.10 on Star Ferry - Hong Kong from Heather on Vimeo.


This is Bekah later that night showing off the fan her dad bought her the night before:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hong Kong, Day 1

I could call this trip "the vomit trip," but I'm going to try to spare you the nitty-gritty, disgusting details. Let's just say, we went sick and came back sick. there was no less than 3 vomit episodes on the floor of the airport (one 5 feet after we cleared customs declaring we weren't sick) and 8 episodes of vomit on the plane... That's not to say that there weren't many (MANY!) more episodes during the actual vacation.

For necessity, though, I'm not going to recall all the times we'd get sick over a particularly nasty taxi ride, or subway ride, or smells, or food, or when the boat to Macau was stranded at sea for an hour... those all led to vomit episodes.

The bottom line: It is NOT fun to travel sick.

With that in mind, I'm going to recount our adventures without mentioning that again (hopefully).

So...

I don't know if I've talked about the crazy food they serve when flying. It's interesting to note that American flights do not include food unless you're flying overseas. Asian airlines are different. It seems like they feed you every chance they get. You get a full meal with a one hour flight. If your plane is late, they feed you tea and crackers. The customer service rocks.

Now, that's not to say that the food is good. Every time I fly ANA I get some nasty meal that makes me gag to smell it. Fish stew... fish curry... fish and noodles.

This time we flew China Air and I have to say their meals were MUCH better (though I didn't taste the two coming home). This is what they call a curry pork rice burger:


The "patties" are made from rice which made it extremely tricky to eat! It was pretty tasty, though.

We landed quite late in Hong Kong (due to a late flight out of Taiwan). Added to the episodes I'm not mentioning... the kids were sort of crabby. We checked into the hotel and headed off for something to eat. Don't they look thrilled?



They did NOT want to go out. Steven wanted to go check out the night market, so after promising to buy them toys, they were all smiles.


Off we went to the night market where there was junk, junk and more junk.


I'm not particularly a junk buyer. The kids LOVED it because there were toys and Steven was being generous buying them. I kept saying, "They don't need that crap."

Steven would say, "We're on vacation, let them have it."

Then the kids would get huge smiles and give him lots of hugs. I think I figured out why he's their favorite.

... Day two is coming as soon as I'm up to it. Right now I've only eaten 4 crackers in the last 30 hours. If I don't feel better soon I'm going to the doctor. Blah.

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