“Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.”
~W. Earl Hall

The always awesome Megan tagged me for the “five things that make you happy meme,” so I figured I’d take a break from the writewritewritewrite frenzy to share some of what’s currently putting a smile on my face.

1. My WIP: Okay, so maybe this isn’t much of a break from it after all. It’s certainly no secret how much I’ve adored writing this book. In fact, you’re all probably getting quite tired of hearing me blab on and on about it. Don’t worry. There’s only three chapters to go, so after next week you won’t be subjected to my incessant ramblings. It’s just … I can’t necessarily explain it, but there’s something about this project that has instilled a permanent ‘writer’s high’ in me. I work on it until my eyes scream and my head aches, and then I keep thinking about the characters even when I’ve left the computer behind. Something about this story is resonating with me in a way that transcends words. Will it do the same for anyone else? Who knows? Even if it doesn’t, this will forever be a writing experience filled with joy.

2. The prospect of sand, sea, boardwalk, and books: After spending the past four months writing about both Nantucket and Atlantic City, I can’t wait to escape to the shore for a few days later this month. It will forever be my happy place, and I’m counting down until the moment when I’m sitting on the beach with a book in hand and the sound of tumbling waves whispering in my ear.

3. The weather: After a cool and damp start to the season, followed by a spike in temperatures to something more reminiscent of August, springtime has finally set up shop here in Pennsylvania. Yesterday could not have been more beautiful: cloudless cornflower blue sky, temperatures in the mid-70s, and air that smelled sweet as honeysuckle. Today promises to be a repeat and I can’t wait to get outside for another long walk to the pond. This picture is from April, so the trees are much fuller now … and while the view of the water isn’t as clear, that makes it more special to see the spray arcing up into the air, soaring skywards like a beacon of hope.


4. ‘Jessie’s Girl’: Pretty sure this song has been stuck in my head ever since Rick Springfield sang it on General Hospital during April’s Nurses’ Ball. It has one of those melodies that just worms its way into your thoughts and refuses to leave. Give it a listen and you too will be tapping your feet to the beat.

5. Water ice: How better to celebrate the warmer weather? Icy foods have sometimes been challenging to eat since I began using Invisalign back in January, but I always make an exception for this. With a Rita’s just minutes away – offering flavors such as fudge brownie, red velvet cake, and s’mores – how can I not?

Your turn: what’s one thing making you happy this week?


Plus and Minus.

“The desire to write grows with writing.”
~Desiderius Erasmuss

+ : We’ve had not one, not two, but three days of beautiful spring-like weather. After winter’s frigid digits, it has been both energizing and inspiring to feel the warm sunlight again. I don’t even care that temperatures are taking a plunge again for the rest of this week (okay … that’s a lie … I care at least a little …). Mother Nature gave us just enough of a spring fling to be satisfactory. I can wait a couple more weeks for it to be an everyday occurrence. In the meantime, I spent my weekend walking through the quaint Peddler’s Village, along the boardwalk in Point Pleasant, NJ, and around the block at home.

Peddler's Village

: The aforementioned boardwalk was cut much shorter than normal, still splintered from the effects of Hurricane Sandy last year. This was the first time I’d been to the shore since the storm set its eye on New Jersey, and to see the barricades, the boarded-up homes and businesses, the sand still in the streets, and the boardwalk blocked off in many spots … it was just very, very sad. I know the shore will rebuild its way into being better than ever, but until then, it hurts to see such a special place still rocked by waves that have long since retreated.

+ : Falling more and more in love with your WIP with each day you sit down to write is, truly, the best feeling ever. It’s always a good thing when you wake up on Monday morning, on every morning, eager to get back to work. Everything about this project has been joy-filled so far. In the midst of querying, it reminds me exactly why I write, exactly why I continue to pursue this, exactly why I can’t ever give up. I’ve written just over 23,000 words so far and am so legitimately excited about telling the rest of this story that I wish I could just glue myself to the desk chair and focus on nothing else. Other responsibilities, who needs ’em?

: Those other responsibilities beg to differ, as do my bleary eyes and needs-to-be-cracked-frequently neck. Oops?

+ : You should be really jealous of how I spent my Sunday morning this week, because it involves two of General Hospital’s sweetest, kindest, and funniest actors. Jason and Dominic were both gracious and genuine. They’re so down-to-earth and friendly, even coming over to suggest pictures to snap (true story: Jason only wanted me to take candid photos of my sister meeting Dominic!). My favorite moment? Telling them about Mine to Love – because GH recently had an adoption storyline, as well – and Jason calling after me as I was walking away, “Good Luck with your book!” So nice. Also … not the worst people to be between for a picture, huh? :)


: Yeah, there isn’t really a corresponding ‘minus’ for this one, so instead I’ll just post some more pictures. Ha.



Give me a plus or minus from your weekend/day/week!


“Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new.”
~Sammy Hagar

When I was younger, I used to wait in excited anticipation for my birthday. Falling out on September 9th, it always gave me something to look forward to even after the summer sun slowly began to blend with the autumn crispness. It wasn’t about presents, or cake, or adventures in mini golf and roller skating (though, granted, I enjoyed those, just as any kid would). But more so, it was about the chance to spend a day celebrating with all the people I loved most. It was a chance to make wishes for the coming year and believe, truly believe, that they’d come true.

The innocence of a child, right?

I hate to say it, because I really do think it’s best to approach life with optimism and hope, but over the past few years, that belief faded … and instead of looking forward to my birthday, it became something that put me in a funk. Instead of it being the marker of what I’d accomplished since the previous September, it became a marker for all I’d yet to achieve. All the wishes that went unfulfilled. All the goals that were still dreams and nothing more. Sure, I’ve written a book – or two, or three, or four – but they haven’t been published yet. Sure, I’ve gotten requests from agents, but they didn’t result in an offer. Sure, I’ve been so lucky to have the opportunity, freedom, and support to create these book-babies, but they weren’t out there in the world to share.

If you asked me ten years ago where I’d be at twenty-nine, I’d have rambled off a list of answers. And do you know how many of them correlate with where I actually am now? A quarter, if that. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty upset about that for awhile. For as much as I would never begrudge anyone their success and dreams-turned-reality, it can be hard to watch these things happen to everyone around you while you’re still sitting on the sidelines. It can be hard to work and work – and work some more – only to have it not pay off.

But then something happened. I spent a lovely long weekend in Ocean City for my birthday. It’s amazing what a difference a week makes: not even seven days after Labor Day, and the shore was so quiet and peaceful. I swam in a pool that was empty except for my mom and me. I sat on a beach that was free from the summer chatter, music, and makeshift sports tournaments. I stood in an ocean that was rough from the rip currents, but devoid of all the boogie-boards you normally see. I walked on the boardwalk in sunshine, in clouds, and in a monsoon (no, seriously, that’s exactly what it looked like as torrents of water suddenly poured down from the sky and my dad, sister, and I ran for cover under a pavilion). I had Polish Water Ice, Dippin’ Dots, and Steel’s Fudge. I spent the evening of my birthday in my absolute favorite place in the world – Ventnor, NJ, where my grandparents used to own a condo. It’s been fifteen years since they sold it and Ventnor still has my heart. It always will. There was something very special about being there again – about walking on the boardwalk I’d traveled down every summer as a kid, about venturing onto the beach and watching the lights of the pier glimmer down onto the ocean water below, about going out to dinner with my mom at JoJo’s, a restaurant that will always hold such wonderful memories and still remains my favorite. I had a fantastic time with the people I love most in the place I love most.

And for the first time in recent years, I didn’t spend the day beating myself up or feeling like a failure for not having accomplished every goal. Twenty-nine feels old to me, but I know it’s not. My goals can still grow. Am I published yet? No. Married with kids of my own? No. Working at a news station like I’d have been insistent upon in my answer ten years ago? No. But I have worked at that station before. I have written four books. I have experienced a joy through writing them that words cannot come close to describing. I do have the best family and some really fabulous friends who are the family I choose. And those things? They’re the best gift of all.

So instead of getting into a funk because another year has come and gone, I’m going to be thankful for that year. I’m going to be thankful for the one ahead. I’m going to remember the inspiration of standing on the boardwalk and gazing out at the ocean. I’m going to remember how my family went out of their way to make it a special day. I’m going to remember the kind words from friends like y’all. I’m going to remember that, no, I may not be where I imagined, but that doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It means success comes in many forms. It means my hard work has paid off in other, intangible ways.

I am looking forward to what twenty-nine has to offer.

Here’s hoping for a wish come true.

Best Laid Plans.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
~John Lennon

How I was supposed to spend last week: relaxing on the beach with a good book, walking at the ocean’s edge as the waves cascaded over my feet, swimming in the pool while the sun shone down from above, editing outside on the balcony each morning, shopping at my favorite stores in Stone Harbor, eating out at some of my favorite seaside restaurants … in a nutshell, enjoying vacation.

How I actually spent last week: taking my temperature, blowing my nose, coughing until tears slid down my cheeks, transforming our hotel room into a makeshift pharmacy (Advil, Sudafed, and the antibiotic my doctor was nice enough to call in), napping on the sofa because the sinus infection often kept me up for most of the night … in a nutshell, not enjoying vacation the way I’d hoped.

I’d be lying if I said there was no disappointment. I try hard to be an optimistic person, but let’s face it, there’s nothing fun about being sick while at the shore. It stunk. A lot. And I was more than a little bummed. I’m hoping for a return visit next weekend – I have always wanted to spend my birthday there and it actually falls out on a Sunday this year – but since that’s still up in the air as of now, I’m just grateful the antibiotic kicked in quickly enough that I was able to enjoy at least a couple days of vacation. Did I get to follow through with all the plans I made? No. But isn’t that how life often works?

I wasn’t expecting to take a week off from editing. In fact, it was the complete opposite. I couldn’t wait to wake up early, sit outside with the computer on my lap and the sun glistening down on the ocean, and work my way further through Revision Land. Instead, it’s been nine days since I last immersed myself in Sofie’s world. In some ways, I think the unexpected break was good. Editing is a labor of love, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating sometimes. Knowing I must cut X amount of words is a tangible goal, a finish line dangling in front of me. Yet the steps taken to reach that goal are baby ones. I don’t delete thousands of words at a time. I delete a few … or a few dozen … or, every now and then, a few hundred. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And though it’s cliche, perhaps, I truly have come to find that slow and steady wins the race. So I guess this past week was my rest on the sidelines, my time to catch my breath and refuel for the home stretch. I have a third of the book left to edit (for this round of revisions, anyway – it looks like there might be a second), and I’m ready to jump back in tomorrow with renewed energy and excitement. I have missed my book-babies and can’t wait to “see” them again.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Had your plans go totally awry? What did you do about it?

Looking Up.

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
~Jacques Cousteau

Greetings from the sand, surf, and sunshine of Avalon, New Jersey! Okay, that last part technically isn’t true at the moment – the shore has been shrouded in clouds for most of the day and rain appears to be on the way for this evening – but still, I always say it’s better to be here in the wet weather than home in the dry variety. My cold has insisted on hanging around for awhile and limiting my ability to swallow/sleep/breathe, but even so, it’s been a wonderful vacation so far. I’m squeezing in editing time out on the balcony every morning and have been really excited the last couple days to see how far the manuscript’s come as it tightens up. So … when Tuere tagged me in this fun game, I was instantly excited about participating.

Rules: search your work-in-progress for the first usage of the word “look,” paste the surrounding paragraph into your blog, and tag your fellow writer friends. Here’s an excerpt from the novel I’m currently editing, Mine to Love.

Ellie’s voice is soft, filled with the kind of enthusiasm only a three-year-old can possess this early in the day, and her feet whisper across the carpet as she hurries into the room. Even with my eyes closed, I can see her standing next to me. Rosy cheeks, button nose, dark brown curls tousled from sleep … yes, even without looking, my heart paints a picture-perfect image of my daughter.

I’ll tag anyone and everyone who wants to take part. Write a post of your own and leave a link in the comments, please! Or, if you’d rather, share a random excerpt from your WIP (or multiple excerpts, if you’re like me, who started out posting a sentence per day on Facebook and now can’t get away with doing anything less than a paragraph). And while you’re doing so, please enjoy the crazy beautiful sunrise that I saw over the ocean yesterday morning. Apparently being too stuffed up/sneezy/cold-like to sleep was a good thing, because it treated me to these exquisitely breathtaking views.

Yep … pretty sure that beats my normal view while editing. Also, check out this plaque I bought in a local bookshop today. Could it be any more perfect?

Love, love, love: the plaque, the ocean, the shore, all of it. Can I just stay here forever? :)

Sweet Serendipity.

“In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work, and love. The other ninety-nine percent is due to our efforts.”
~Peter McWilliams

Sometimes I agonize over my characters’ names. I spend hours looking online, searching for the perfect name with the perfect meaning and the perfect origin. Other times, a name pops into my mind and – BAM! – that’s it. The character couldn’t possibly be called anything else. That was the case for my MC’s daughter. Sofie and Brandon named their little love Eliana Rose, Ellie for short. It’s a name I’ve adored forever, even more so now that Ellie has become a book-baby so near and dear to my heart.

So when, within fifteen minutes of arriving in Cape May on Monday, I saw an advertisement for a quaint, charming place called Ellie’s Bakery … well, how could I not be excited? Finish the first draft on Friday, discover this place on Monday. That has to be a sign, right?

I may or may not have forced everyone to drive there … and take my picture in front of it … and watch me take pictures of the sign … and listen to me yammer on about serendipity’s magic. But seriously, how cool is that? We’ve never been to Cape May before – we usually vacation in other shore towns – and I can’t help thinking that I was meant to visit this place at this time. I am a big believer in creating our own destiny and finding our own luck, but still, this twist of fate totally made my day.


Cape May, I love you. Serendipity, I love you even more.

Why I need a beach house:

“On the beach, you can live in bliss.”
~Dennis Wilson

#1: Long walks are so much more fun when you can listen to the waves lapping against the sand, see the seagulls soaring through a cloudless blue sky, smell the salty air swirling around you in curlicues, and feel the wooden boards beneath your feet.

#2: There is nowhere else in the world where it’s better or more relaxing to lose yourself in the pages of a good book and the journeys that are threaded with every word.

#3: Store-bought ice cream just isn’t the same as Polish Water Ice or Kohr Brothers soft serve.

#4: Seagulls are in a bird category all their own – as in, ones that don’t wake you up before dawn or chirp, chirp, chirp as you’re trying to work. What’s a stolen sandwich or two in exchange for that?

Seagull 1

Seagull 2

#5: Sunshine over the ocean in the mornings and moonshine over the ocean in the evenings … ‘nough said.



#6: After spending warm, sunny summer days at the shore, you wouldn’t feel compelled to sit on the beach in windy, fifty-five degree temperatures – alone, because nobody else is ridiculous enough to do it. Since when does September usher in November-like weather? Boooo.

#7: Your childhood memories of summers at Grandmom and Pop’s condo can evolve into new memories that you make as an adult and, one day, with a family of your own.

Ventnor 1

Ventnor 2

Ventnor 3

Ventnor 4

#8: You can enjoy not only the peak season, where the beach and boardwalk are pulsing with the energy of vacationers, but also the quieter off-peak season, where a calm serenity drops its curtain over the coastline.


OC Pier

#9: You can go to the best restaurant EVER more than once every few years.


JoJo's bread

#10: And, finally, two words: THIS VIEW. What could be more inspiring? Someday, somehow, I am going to have that beach house, and when I do, the first morning will be spent sitting right here, writing journal in hand, and letting the ocean’s majestic inspiration wash over me.

Music Pier 1

Music Pier 2

Six days in Ocean City didn’t feel like nearly enough. For the first time in months, it was a chance to truly let go and let be, a chance to enjoy the moment instead of dwelling on the future or past. Sitting on the beach, swimming in the pool, strolling along the boardwalk, soaking in the expanse of ocean that never fails to make me feel small and big at the same time, spending an evening in Ventnor (one of my absolute favorite places in all the world) … it was blissful. Sure, it was crazy chilly toward the end of the week (thanks, cold front – don’t you know we still have another week until autumn?) and my sister I were nearly blown off a fishing pier due to some insane wind (PSA: do NOT walk on a pier that goes out into the ocean when it’s more gusty than breezy), but that’s okay. We had a lovely time. It was truly nourishment and rejuvenation for the soul. Not gonna lie, it was a bit disappointing to come home and return to normal life, but one thing’s for certain: the hope and faith carried along those cresting waves hasn’t faded. They’re just somewhere deep inside me now, motivating me more than ever.

This morning, I sat down at a writing desk overlooking the cherry tree outside and resumed editing. Someday, I will sit down at a writing desk that overlooks the Atlantic. I will sit on that bench at the music pier, the outside world fading away as I lose myself in the story, the characters, the unique journey that writing always is. Because, like all the individual drops in the ocean add up to something magical, so too can hard work, determination, belief, and dedication. So maybe I shouldn’t say someday. Maybe I should say one day.

How about you? If you could have a home anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

A Labor of Love.

“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.”
~Larry Bird

Confession: I am really, really, R-E-A-L-L-Y ready to be finished with edits for this book. In fact, that point was reached … hmm, probably sometime last week. Or the week before. Or the week before that. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but the gist of it is true. It’s super cool to see the book come together into its tightest version, but sometimes the thought of journeying through more rounds of revisions has me wanting to pull my hair out. There’s just so much to condense. Yes, it’s been a fabulous learning process in more ways than one. Yes, it’s taught me things my previous books haven’t. Yes, the story is stronger for it, and that alone makes the countless hours worth it. And yes, most of the time I sincerely do enjoy the work. The actual writing will always be my favorite part, but there’s something almost enlightening about the revision process. But in terms of practicality? Here’s an equation:

Five hours of consistent editing per day + another hour or two of query research and writing + a mind that absolutely refuses to turn off, even during downtime = bleariness. Seriously, it’s no wonder that my vision’s swimming by the end of each day. Fellow writers – or anyone who spends the majority of the day sitting at a desk – I need your help. Any tips for reducing eye strain? Neck aches? My back has been bothering me, too, but that’s my own fault, because I tend to sit very far forward in my chair when I work. Apparently my subconscious thinks that the closer I physically am to the computer screen, the closer I’ll be threaded into the folds of the editing process. Ha. I’ve been making a point to keep better, straighter posture, though, and it’s helping. Does anyone have any ideas for easing neck pain? Mine has been bugging me a lot lately, and given that I spend so many hours with it in the same position, that’s understandable. I’m really trying to fix it now, and any suggestions anyone has would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance, y’all.

Back to the editing process. I’m proud to say that, 3/4 through the third round of revisions, I have officially cut out nearly 40,000 words and 119 pages. How crazy is that? I think back to the first book I wrote, when deleting more than a sentence at a time had me cringing. It, quite literally, makes me laugh out loud. Writing this manuscript was the catharsis I needed during such a terribly horrendous time in my life, and continuing work on it now … it’s done more than simply teach me about the craft. It’s taught me how to let go, how to part with things that aren’t necessary – no matter how attached I may feel to them – and that sometimes less really is more. Maybe those are lessons I needed to learn. Maybe they’re ones we all need a reminder of sometimes.

And, because I find this too cool a phenomenon not to share, one of the things I wasn’t expecting as much from revisions is how surprised I’ve been – surprised by things I wrote that I honestly have no recollection of typing out. I guess it’s because I was so completely and fully immersed in the story, so wrapped up in the mindset of my characters, but there have been a few times when I come across a paragraph and am literally taken aback by it. “I WROTE that?” I think to myself. It’s kinda strange, but kinda cool, too. Has anyone else ever had that happen?

I’ll be at the shore next week – we’re squeezing in a few more days there since Hurricane Irene rained on our parade last time, and I am DETERMINED to finish this round of edits before leaving on Monday. I have been working on this one for two and a half weeks now – I’m being so strict about deletions that I only get through 20-25 pages per day – and will be forcing myself to take an actual break while we’re away this time. As much as I love these characters and telling their story, my eyes need a rest. My neck, back, and head need a rest. But my mind? Well, no promises about not beginning some outlining and planning on the next book in the interim. This may be a labor, after all, but it’s one of true love. It’s one where giving anything other than a hundred percent is unfathomable. It’s a true, deeply entrenched work of heart. And that? It makes it all worth it.

Vacation & Evacuation.

“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.”
~Mark Twain

I was supposed to be relaxing on the beach now, ensconced within the pages of a good book. Or taking a walk at the ocean’s edge, collecting shells along the way. Or swimming laps in the pool, enjoying the cool and refreshing water. Or browsing the seaside shops, intrigued by all they have to offer. But I’m not. Instead, I’m sitting at home, glued to the coverage about Hurricane Irene and grateful that, even though she ruined the end of our vacation, we’re back from the coastline before things get too bad. As the storm sets its eye on New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and most of the East Coast, though, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t still nerve-wracking. With meteorologists calling this the storm of a lifetime for our area … how can you not be concerned?

Let’s back up to when the skies were sunny – which, granted, was only for three days of our entire vacation, but I’m trying to look on the bright side anyway. We arrived back at the shore on Sunday, and after a ridiculous issue with the hotel double-booking our room not once, but twice (seriously?!), we managed about an hour of beach time before the breeze turned to wind and the mist to rain. Monday was much better – there were actually rays of light beaming down from the sky – and we had a lovely beach day with Sara and her family. We even saw groups of dolphins swimming by!




Tuesday and Wednesday were also beautiful, especially because my aunt, uncle, and cousins joined us. For years, we’d all go on vacation together – our family, theirs, and Gram – and even though we haven’t the past couple years, it seemed inherently important to get back to that. There were times when I could literally feel the heart-shaped hole where Gram should be, but she’d have wanted us to enjoy ourselves, and we truly did. It was great to have that escape from reality together, even if only for a short while.

I even managed to fit in early morning editing time out on the balcony. Who voluntarily wakes up at 6:45 on vacation? This gal. I’ll admit that doing revisions wasn’t quite as fun as last year’s writing spree (sorta beginning to think I have this manuscript memorized by now – nobody EVER let me write a first draft that’s way too long ever again, okay?), but the ocean still remained a source of inspiration like no other. It makes you feel big and small at the same time, lifts you up and grounds you in place. I was very, very (very, very) tempted to start planning and outlining my next book while I was outside and looking at such a mesmerizing view, but I was good and stuck to the task at hand. No promises for next time, because even though it’s only been a month and a half so far, I NEEDNEEDNEED to start writing again soon. Edits are important. Queries are important. Getting this book to its best version is important. But I can feel the yearning to write bubbling up inside me, begging and pleading to be let out. Who am I to say no?

Balcony 1

Balcony 2

And then Thursday came along. Thursday, with sunny skies and what looked to be a great day. Thursday, which we planned to spend on the beach and at the pool. Thursday, when Irene’s projected track shifted even closer to shore and Cape May County officials ordered a mandatory evacuation of the entire coastline. Fun, fun, fun. Except … not. All visitors/hotel guests had to leave by last night and all residents/renters by today. The other coastal towns followed suit – so much of the Jersey shore is comprised of barrier islands that there was no other safe option – and traffic has been a nightmare ever since. No exaggeration, it took us over an hour to drive THREE MILES on one of the evacuation routes last night. It was oh-so-joyous. I’m super disappointed that our vacation was cut short – it was one of the only things we’d been looking forward to in this nightmare of a summer – but, of course, it’s more important to be safe. Better for everyone to leave and be away from the eye of the storm. Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Irene doesn’t do too much damage to the place that’s one of my favorites in all the world. We spent a little more time down at the shops before we had to evacuate, and it was so creepy to see them all taped, sandbagged, and boarded up.

Shops 1

Shops 2


Everyone in the hurricane’s path, please stay safe. Here’s hoping things go well this weekend.

An Equation.

“I’m gonna free myself, gonna make a change,
And like a butterfly, I’mma spread my wings.
Been crying for too long, now I’m drying my eyes,
Grounded for so long, now it’s time for me to fly.”
~Pia Toscano, “This Time”

reading Laura’s fantastic new book on the beach


this view




early morning walks on the beach




Idol 2
American Idol concert


Idol 3 - Pia
meeting Pia after the show!


full request from an agent (!!!!)


lovely week so far!!

Next: meeting up with Erin tomorrow (so excited to spend time together in person after six years!) and re-packing for another few days at the shore next week. Yes, we’re the dedicated Idol fans who split up our vacation this year so we could go to the concert. Here’s hoping for less rain and more sunshine next time around. Here’s also hoping that the next two days magically become forty-eight hours long instead of twenty-four, because workaholic me really wants to send out more queries and start another round of edits on the manuscript before we leave. Or maybe I’ll just save that for the shore. After all, what better to act as inspiration than an ocean that glitters like shimmery diamonds?

What has the equation of your week added up to so far?