Books Cubed: Stars Wars Rise of the Resistance photos

Good Adventures and Happy New Year!

No interview this week. I do have photos from my visit to the new ride in Disneyworld Star Wars land – Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. Just click the video above!

This is going out on January 2, 2020. Anyone break their resolutions yet?

Me in the ride queue. I have lots of other great photos, but my computer keeps putting everything in the cloud and then won’t let me have it back. I hate technology.

I guess my resolution should be, get better acquainted with technology. But it’s just easier to imagine smashing things with a hammer and then asking one of my kids to do the tech stuff for me. (none are around right now. Blast.)

I found a perfect white elephant gift. A week after the party. Maybe next year.

And that’s it for me. I just don’t know how I can top that. See you next time. Go read a good book.

Melissa

3300 miles and I’m still exhausted

 

IMG-4541Love me some Cruise Control

I ran out to Seattle two weeks ago to drive the youngest back to Florida (more school) Too much stuff to ship, and too little stuff to rent a truck. We ended up getting a Dodge Caravan, folding the back seat and one middle seat into the floor, and stuffing the mini van to the gills. 12 hour days took us to Boise, down through Las Vegas, over to Tucson (where we spent half a day, hey Rosie!) Then it was southeast to San Antonio, up to Houston, over to Mobile, across to Florida and straight down the middle, angling east till we hit the Treasure Coast. I think it took 7 days but I slept for about 4 after I got home and I’ve lost track now.

Don’t I know you…

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I’d brought my national parks passport book but was just too damn tired to check and
see if there was anything worth stopping to see. Yes, every national park is worth stopping to see, but when you’re on road for 15 or 16 hours a day, you start to get picky. The only non bathroom/food stop I ended up making was the vista above. And hey look who I found. It’s the giant boulder from Indiana Jones! It’s retired now. Check out its cute little pebbles. Wonder if they’ll go into show bizness too.

 

I’m hoping to hang around the house for awhile. Much as I love a good road trip, this one has me covered for a good long time. Drive safe and Write on,

Melissa

 

I ran a Marathon cause I’m lazy

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Catching Up

It’s been a crazy few months since I last posted. I’m working on two new books (one is just over a third done), I’m creating a playable novel (more on that later), I just finished a short Prequel for How to Sex Your Snake. (More later on how to get that), and I accidentally ran a marathon. 

My husband is the runner. I just tag along cause I like spending time with him. 

The race was the Space Coast Marathon and 1/2 Marathon up in Cocoa Beach on Nov 26. It’s a gorgeous course that takes you along the water as the sun is rising. And moving up over head. And setting behind your back. A marathon takes a hell of a long time to run. For some of us anyway. 

3…2…1…liftoff

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Starting point is a little park. You head south, turning around at around the 6 1/2 mile mark and come back to the park. That’s 13.1 miles. Anyone running the half stops there. Anyone running the whole, continues on past. They’ll run about 6 1/2 out then turn around and come back to the park for a total of 26.2 miles. But what happens if you sign up for the whole marathon but realize you just can’t make it? Well, at this race, there’s something called the ‘wormhole’. You take that path and it sends you to the half marathon finish line. It’s a nice out.

So, we’re approaching the wormhole and my husband says, do you want to take the wormhole? He did. I didn’t quite hear him and just kept running. If I’d of heard him and understood, I definitely would have peeled off into the wormhole. And as I ran the next few miles, I was wishing I’d have peeled off into the wormhole. 

I think I can…I think I can…I think…ooooo, booze. 

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Oops. A boat on it’s side. Kinda how I felt at about mile 18

But then a funny thing happened. I got into a rhythm. And lovely people had tables set up, along the way, with shots and snacks. (I stuck with beer) My husband made it to 21. Which was partly my fault. I’d knocked us off our training schedule, in part because of laziness and in part because of…no, totally because of laziness. It’s tough to get up in the mornings to run when it’s so warm and comfy in bed. So he was under prepared. 

Why did I keep going? Again, laziness. I was 5.2 miles from saying I’d run a marathon. If I’d have stopped, I’d have to run 26.2 more miles to say I’d run a marathon. Does that makes sense? 

And the crowd roars…

Well, for the winner maybe. Just not for me. By the time I finished, most everyone had gone home. I was just happy to see my sweetie cheering for me as I cross the line. 

In the end, I came in at 6:55:59. (The course is listed as a 7 hour time limit)img_1250

Cool. Now I’d run a marathon and I could go home and sit on the couch and get back to Glitch on Netflix. Which I did. And then Thursday came. And the email.

‘Are you ready for this weekend’s race?’

Huh?

Seems we’d sign up for a half marathon down in Key West. Mark couldn’t get the time off work so I headed down alone. I crashed at a friend’s place and went down to packet pickup point to grab my race bib and t-shirt. After they handed me my stuff, I asked I could just pick up my husband’s t-shirt. He’s not registered. He deferred to next year. 

Huh? 

img_1308Turns out, after we’d signed up for the race, eons ago and it was rescheduled at one point helping us truly forget about it. Mark finally figured out that he had decided that we should defer to next year. He had done that. (also eons ago) And I hadn’t. He says he reminded me many times. I’m no longer in charge of deferring my own races.  

Totally fine with that. 

Then before I left the packet pickup table, I looked inside my bag and discovered two race bibs. Turns out I was not only running the half, I was running a 5k the next day. My wobbly post marathon legs were not happy to hear that. But…that meant an extra day in Key West. The love of my life. (My husband doesn’t read this so he’ll never know he’s number 2)

In the end, over 8 day and three races, I ran 42.3 miles.img_1290

As I was sitting on a bench staring out at the ocean and eating my post race bagel on Sunday, my husband texted to see if I wanted to run a half this coming Saturday. I bet you can imagine what I told him. 

Rest well and Write On, 

Melissa

PS

I said no. And then I muttered a few of June’s favorite words.

PPS

Who the hell is June? You’ll have to read the book to find out and I can help you out with that. Here’s the first five chapters.

 

The Ruins of Ephesus

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How did it get to be April? I’ve been away the last few weeks, helping a senior relative move. Biggest tip I can offer, take photos of bookshelves (that house nicknacks) before you pack and then label each box for each bookshelf and include a map of where that piece of furniture sat in its particular room. You’ll get a lot of, where the stuff from that bookshelf that was behind my desk. There was a bookshelf behind your desk? is never the correct answer.

Since it’s mid-week -ish I’ll leave the Key West memories (and new book word count) to Sundays and instead share photos from one of my favorite trips.

Kadefikale on Hillside above Izmir
A view of Izmir, Turkey

Back in 2007, my husband was stationed with NATO in Izmir, Turkey. I was psyched when he got the assignment. Back in college, I’d planned on majoring in history. I’m one of those annoying people read all the notes on museum displays and block most of the exhibit. If I’d taken the time, in college, to see what classes I needed to get that particular degree I would have. (I’m not a big planner. So, after a fun 5.5 years and tons of lovely intersession classes (best way to get an A) I settled for a b.a. in social science with concentrations in History, Geography and something else. Maybe archeology) So let me stress again. I was psyched. Whoo-hoo. Turkey. The divider between Europe and Asia. So much history. So many ruins. So much to keep me busy during his one year tour. And then came the sad news. The US military did not let families accompany the service member to Turkey. Spoil sports. (The US was the only country with this rule as of 2007)

DSCN0374Now I was left with what amounted to a short vacation. And I had to chose wisely. We didn’t have a lot of money, the air fare alone ate up most of my budget, and we’d be leaving two high school aged kids home alone. I’ve seen enough movies to know nothing good ever comes from that.

After many anguishing hours pouring over city guide at the Waldenbooks down the street, I had a plan. A few days in Rome, a few days wandering the Kemerati bazaar in Turkey and because multiple days in Greece were impossible, an afternoon at an appropriate substitute. The ancient Greek city of Ephesus.

 

at Library of Celsus 2
The Celsus Library. All the good scrolls were checked out. 

on Cerastes street near Hercules Gate
That’s the library in the distance. We beat the crowds. For the first hour anyway.

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And then they showed up.  

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Statues. 

 

 

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And Cats

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And directions to the brothel.

at public latrine
Still nothing to read. Plus a super cold breeze from below. (hence my posture)

entrance to the Great Amphitheater
The entrance to the theater.

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Which felt much larger in person.

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The cheap seats.

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Excavations were in progress. 

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I flipped the photo so you could see the mosaic lion. He’s on the floor. 

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As are these two.

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A better shot of the size. 

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We saw at least a dozen cats as we wandered this field.

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The Domitian temple. First temple built in the name of an Emperor. 

entrance to Odeon
I still miss that antelope jacket. Which I bought in the Kemeralti bazaar. So comfortable. So soft. So well made. So tempting. Someone stole it from the back of my chair in Las Vegas a couple of years later.  

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An angel suggesting we hit the road. The crowds had arrived. 

Melissa and Kellie in the KemeraltiAnd speaking of the Kemeralti bazaar, I’ll save that for another mid week post. Such an amazing place. Think Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. You step in – you’re in another world. A labyrinth of stalls stuffed into every last bit of space, with enough twists and turns to lose all but the veteran shopper. In the meantime, I’ll be back on Sunday with more Key West memories.

Oh, and when I got home from my trip to Turkey, there were no cracks in the egg. Nice to know my kids are so well behaved. A tad disappointed to learn that my kids are so well behaved. Here’s hoping they had a crazy adventure too.

Write on,

Melissa

P.S. this is making me itchy to travel again. Have you got a favorite spot? Leave me a suggestion in the comments.

 

It’s a small world after all…

img_2035…It’s a small world after all…it’s a small world after all…it’s a small…small…world. Did you sing it with me? You’re now guaranteed a magical day. You’re welcome.

When we decided to move back to Florida in October, it wasn’t just for the sun. Though, living in snowy northern Wisconsin for three winters did have us longing for a year-round hot orange ball in the sky. And the move wasn’t just to be near great fishing again. There was some good pole time to be had in the Northwoods. No, the deciding factor for us, was our possible proximity to Orlando and Disney World.

Yeah. We’re those people. We’ve got the season passes. We stay at the resorts. We wake up on a Tuesday and think, it’s just a short drive, why not.

A couple of weeks ago, we had an empty day and dropped the dog at Best Friends Kennel  (packages with TVs and a bedtime story and tuck in are available and I’m not kidding at all) and headed over to Magic Kingdom. As the evening wore on, the crowds thinned and about 90 mins before closing the place was pretty dead. We walked onto my favorite ride, It’s a Small World and had the place to ourselves. Since we weren’t interested in getting kicked out for anything indecent, (does that make us boring?) we snapped a few photos.
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For a while, the ride shut down and we were stuck in Norway. Since we’re boring old folks, Mark surfed the internet and I sang along with the puppets.

What would you have done to pass the time? Do your worst in the comments and Write On,

Melissa

 

Recovering from all the fun

So how do I do that exactly? 

All it needs are some whales

My back is killing me. The last three nights I’ve slept until noon, I have no energy, and all I wanna do is rewatch every ep of Elementary on hulu. While the hulu thing is kinda typical for me, the rest isn’t.

I’m suffering from too much vacation.

Last week was the annual take mom someplace fun for her birthday tripNow the woman isn’t this wild go getter. She’s 87. She strolls on casual mode. She likes naps in the afternoon. She goes to bed at a reasonable 9 o’clock. Why the heck am I so exhausted?

It wasn’t like we hit a city with lots of hills to climb. (San Francisco is next year) We were in sleepy little Monterey. Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, the little strip of shops and restaurants outside our hotel. We probably strolled less than two miles the whole trip. Maybe it was all the ocean-infused air. Or the food. There was lots of clam chowder. That’s tiring to eat, right?

Clams baby

 

Butterfly prawns on a bed of styrofoam

And prawns. Almost a reasonable price if you order off appetizer menus. The shot above was a dinner splurge at Chart House. And my first experience with rice noodle. They were fun to play with but tasteless. The rice on the side though had some delicious mango spicy pepper thing going on but the serving was way too small.

Crap, this place looks pricey

Nice place. Gorgeous architecture, fabulous food, pleasant wait staff, okay-ish prices after all. Slow as hell service. Maybe they want a relaxed vibe but when you have to ask for your wine 3 times, and you get your food first, something’s wrong.

As great as Monterey was, getting there was a pain. For the last three years, we’ve been living in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin and it’s typical to drive for an hour and have the road practically to myself. California traffic was crazy. It didn’t matter what time of day it was. Everyone who lived in Sacramento was going somewhere all the freakin’ time. Does no one work in that state? It’s a painful reminder of what we’ll have in store when we migrate back to Florida next month.

Boats, boats, boats

 

Of course, it will all be worth it to be by the ocean again. I’d even put up with a 900 sq foot apartment to be back on the beach.

And that’s my recovery plan. Hitting zillow to jump start my software and get my body moving again. Though some yoga and a trip or two to the gym would go a long ways too.

What do you do to recover from too much fun? Send me suggestions and Write On,

Melissa

 

Wake up first!

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Drink me. Wake up. Become smart. Ish.

When I woke up early this morning I thought I’d get caught up on things. This summer has been crazy and I feel like we’ve been in constant motion. I grabbed another pillow to prop up my head and opened my wordpress app to write a new post. And promptly found a spelling error in a previous entry. Of course, I updated the corrected word and somehow, I published a paragraph I’d been using as a placeholder for one of my Seattle posts!

So, if you’re wondering what’s up with the last announcement you got, that’s it.

See the tea box above? This past weekend we were down in Chicago and our host gifted me this beautiful box of tea that she got in Shanghai. I’m anxious to try some but I can’t find a loose leaf holder in my junk drawer. I’ll run into town later to get one. For now lipton will have to do.

Just tell me what’s on sale.

Since we’re currently living in Middle of nowhere Wisconsin we were pretty excited about a trip to the mall. Ever seen tourists in the city gawking at all the tall buildings? That was us. OMG a pretzel stand. OMG $$$ clothes kids will outgrow before they can wear them. OMG everything I never knew that I needed on sale now. We came, we saw, we purchased. We even played with some Polynesian dancers at a beach shop’s grand opening.

After two days of drinking, a lot, golf lessons, oh my back is now killing me, and chatting till wee hours in the morning, I’m ready to dive back into the real world. Packing for our move back to Florida, racking off the miles prepping for our next half marathon, and finishing the edits on How to Sex Your Snake.

As your summer winds down, how are you prepping for fall?

Wake up and Write on,

Melissa

More Seattle

Last time I shared photos of the Star Trek exhibit at the EMP museum in Seattle. This time, I thought I’d wrap up that trip with some of the more bizarre outfits from the wearable art collection.

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The real Judy Jetson

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One way to look at couplehood

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My favorite outfit thanks to the matching lunchbox

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Your shoes really bring out your stained glass windows

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For when your friend doesn’t want to pay for the movie

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The best way to handle Monday after a long weekend

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And Friday’s outfit

Like I said last time, EMP is worth a visit.

It’s raining here. My frizzy hair and I hope you’re safe and dry wherever you are.

Write on,

Melissa