Use It or Lose It
Unfortunately, I don't make enough money from my novels, website, and music to pay all my bills. This means I'm still under a tough, callused corporate thumb that tells me I can only have two weeks off (total, including sick days). So, of course, I saved all those days off for a day when I'd really need them.
Well, last month I realized I was nearly at the point when my vacation days would expire. This meant that I had very little time to use up my remaining 3 days+4 hours of vacation time (the rest had been spent on a brief, terrible trip to Texas and a few sick days). I decided that memorial day would be a great chance to take off that time. I could leave early on Friday and have (almost) a whole week to do things I actually care about.
Friday night was my younger brother's graduation. Instead of being awesome like me and graduating as a 16-year-old junior, he opted for the boring route, spending 4 years in high school and graduating at 18 as a senior. That's impressive in its own right, since I think I would have lost my mind had I spent another year in high school.
You may recognize him as the co-founder of my game development company: Rhetrosoft, LLC.
Time Spent Writing
Much of my vacation was spent editing and rewriting parts of my novel Chainbreaker. Yes, that's right, I'm still working on it. I want this one to be outstanding. It is my primary series, after all. One thing I've found about writing a series over a self-contained novel is that you really have to get each book right the first time. If I botch something in book one and publish it, it's going to lead to an inconsistency down the road. I want readers to be able to predict things that are going to happen and solve mysteries before the characters do. Both of these things require careful explanation of every little detail in the story, so I'm spending a lot of time making sure my work is consistent.
Spontaneous Omaha Trip
One day, I simply decided to contact my best friend, Alex, and ask if he'd be up for a sudden, unplanned trip to Omaha, Nebraska. It's about 2.5 hours from my house, so it's just far enough away to qualify as a trip without being so expensive and time consuming that it's an unreasonable destination. Alex agreed to come along, so I booked a hotel, picked a few spots to visit, and wrote down an itinerary (which, I'm sure none of you will agree, is the very best part of a vacation).
We hit the road on Wednesday and made it to Omaha in time for lunch, which we ate at Flagship Commons. I had a vegan falafel from Amsterdam Falafel and Kabob, which was outstanding.
We also went to a few parks, including the Heartland of America Park which features a massive fountain. Later, we stopped in at 13th Street Coffee to grab... well, coffee. After that it was Wilson and Washburn, then back to the Magnolia Hotel for a bit of gaming and writing before bed.
When morning came, I had a few places I wanted to go before we went home. One of those spots was Archetype Coffee. I've been to this coffee shop before, but it was absolutely worth visiting, again. I grabbed a bag of coffee beans for my mother while I was there, then we went to lunch at Blackbriar Meatball. Dessert was consumed at Coneflower Creamery (the vegan peanut butter chip ice cream was outstanding) before we sadly returned home so that I could get back to the grindstone on Friday morning.
For a spontaneous vacation, I managed to have a pretty great time. I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but it was nice to get back into the creative swing. I've been so stressed out and bitter at work, lately, that I just haven't been in the right mindset to work on Chainbreaker. I think the last time I opened it (before this vacation) was very early this year! Hopefully I can remain consistent with the editing phase, now.
Thanks for checking out this post! Did you know that I have an Instagram account where I regularly post to my story? If you were following me during my vacation, you probably saw a lot of the things I was experiencing! When I'm not going out places, I'm usually at home cooking some vegan food, so there's always something to see in my feed.