I spent the last week and a half in Buffalo, NY with my family and had an awesome time. My sister Elizabeth—who lives in Germany—and I made a surprise visit home for a summer extravaganza (which is what my sister Kathleen called it in the itinerary she made).
My niece Grace graduated from high school early so we hatched a plan to be there for her party. Since everyone in our family has a big mouth, our other two sisters plus one or two key players were the only people who knew about it. The anxiety of keeping this secret gave us all stomach cramps. There were a number of close calls, but we made it! The look on Grace’s, my brother’s, and my father’s faces were great. Such funny looks of confusion followed by surprise and delight.
I sometimes forget how much I love home in the summer. I thrive in heat and humidity, which Buffalo gets a lot of during construction season. I get to see so much sky (flat land), water (Lake Erie), and green pastures (farm country). The colors are rich and magical, which makes for an excellent place to write a fantasy book!
I hung out in the backyard of my cousin’s house (pictured above) and worked on the next Alchemist’s Theorem. My Aunt Janice also threw a gathering and invited her entire book club, all of whom had read my book! What an amazing night. I haven’t done anything like that before. Everyone was so enthusiastic and supportive. I felt a huge swell of emotion that threw a ton of wind into my sails.
I got a ton of writing done and FINALLY finished chapter 4. I’m officially half way through the first draft (~40,000 words!)! This August I will be releasing an excerpt of the first chapter to Kickstarter backers. At that same time I will announce the title of the second book here on my blog. I AM SO EXCITED! I can hardly wait.
While I was away for 10 days Brooks compulsively sent me pictures of our cat-daughter Ripley. I definitely wanted to see her adorableness and know she was still a happy cat, but I couldn’t understand it when Brooks would constantly flip the camera during FaceTime and show me the mundane things Ripley was doing. But once I got home I realized what was going on.
Brooks and Ripley hadn’t had a chance to really bond since we got her. My honey works a lot. Before I left there was a bit of a struggle between the two, but now they are peas and carrots. And she has stopped waking us up at 5 in the morning thanks to the automatic cat feeder Brooks got while I was gone!
I effing love my little family here in Seattle, and my giant family back home in Buffalo. I’m having the BEST summer!