"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Big Thunder Vacation

So the good news is we had a great time in DisneyWorld. Sure, it poured pretty much the entire time.
One thing I always remind myself in writing is to look for the lemonade. There is always lemonade. Sometimes it's hard to find when all seems for naught, but let's just talk about Disney and not the hairy world which is writing.
So my lemonade from a week filled with rain and rain and even more rain:

1) Virtually no lines the entire time. Seriously. I think the longest we waited was 20 minutes for Big Thunder Mountain one time. And we went on this ride at least eight times.

2) Mastery of putting on rain ponchos and taking them off. This is a skill which gets much easier when practiced at least ten times per day.

3) Appreciation of Keens. Wet sneakers and socks are no fun.

4) Sunscreen not required for which I couldn't be happier. Putting this on me and the kids gets old really quick.

I have a new favorite Disney ride. Okay, before this, my favorite was the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, but it was closed (along with Space Mountain) for renovations. My new favorite ride:

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

OMG. Loved. This. Ride.
It was awesome and perfect, and even my 42" tall daughter could go on it.

But what made the ride so cool? I'm not normally one for free falls and dark places. What it was was the whole story behind the ride. The episode of Twilight Zone virtually designed for the ride. The showing of the video. The amazing ambiance. It was all the little details which worked together to make the perfect experience. So perfect I went on it three times straight. (Did I mention there were virtually no lines?)


Aside from taking in Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion as many times as I possibly could, I managed to read three books on vacation:

1) Border Crossing by Jessica Lee Anderson (which comes out in October and who I will be having a joint release party with, BTW). This book rocked and you totally have to read it when it comes out! Hey, remind me and I'll do a signed giveaway when the time comes.

2) Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (On my list for a while; Not my normal genre; Really engaging and so well written).

3) Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I've got to say I totally enjoyed this book. Sure, it reminded me a ton of Magic Kingdom for Sale—SOLD by Terry Brooks, but it was so great I'm off to BookPeople to buy the next in the series tomorrow.

So in short, I recommend them all! And wow that I'm up to 32 books read so far this year!


Today happened to be my daughter's last day of preschool for the summer. Which means it was my last day of daylight hours writing for a while. (insert lots of coffee and late nights here).
I spent the day working on my outline for a new project and made excellent progress—at least in my mind. I need ten pages by June 15th for submission to a writing workshop. This I can do and am excited to do. It's always so much fun to start something fresh, especially once a plot starts to form. Sure I had ideas for the basic world, but it's the plot which really needs to click for me before I can get started. Next? Character worksheets.


Hope I didn't miss too much! I wiped the blog reader clean and am ready to start back into the world of commenting again. So post away!


Miriam S.Forster said...

Haha! First comment!

Wait, I haven't read the post yet... :-)

Miriam S.Forster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miriam S.Forster said...

Okay, trying again...

Short lines and no sunscreen? I'd totally take the rain any day. But then, I'm a English-descended weirdo who likes rain.

And you're right, there are echos of Magic Kingdom in the Fablehaven books. Never thought of that...

Welcome back!

Heather Zundel said...

You've TOTALLY just found MY absolute favorite ride. I could probably ride the Tower of Terror all day and not mind at all.

And Brandon Mull? I'm so glad you've read him, AND Story of a Girl. That's so cool. It's like we're on the same wave length... like the Twilight Zone (yes, that was a campy attempt to tie it back to Disneyland). Good to see you back!

Kelly H-Y said...

WOW ... no lines!!! That's an awesome way to look at it! I actually thought of you at one point ... I was watching the news ... the torrential downpours in Florida, and was wondering how that was affecting your vacation! Glad you made the most of it! And, goodness ... three books as well! Impressive! Glad you had a great time!

Christina Farley said...

What a trip you had. Sounds fabulous. And you even managed to read. I'm impressed.

I'm all signed up to work there this summer. Should be fun!

Keri Mikulski said...

Love Tower of Terror!! :) And no lines and no sunscreen. ;)

Welcome back!

Danyelle said...

We had the same experience: poured the entire time we were there. You couldn't see the sky for the clouds. The morning of our departure? Not a cloud in sight. But there was that silver lining: no lines! :D

Christine M said...

Glad you had a fun trip, despite the rain. And no lines is a big plus!

Good luck figuring out your summer writing schedule!

And Katie is currently re-reading Fable Haven. I think we have the whole series and she loves them!

Kelly said...

No lines, that's pretty darn good. Glad you had fun despite the rain. Tower of Terror is my fave ride there, too!
My writing slows a bit in the summer too due to all the kids at home. Good family times though!
Good luck with your next project!

Litgirl01 said...

Woo hoo! Glad you had a good time. I loveeee the Magic Kingdom...I'm such a kid.

Kimberly Derting said...

Now I feel like a need a vacation, and maybe some Twilight Zone reruns.

Sounds great, PJ, and I'm jealous that you've done so much reading this year, I feel like I'm in a bit of a revising rut (not that I'm complaining)! But that vacation...

C.R. Evers said...

That's the BEST when there are virtually no lines at a park. I'm so glad you had a great time and that you didn't let a little (or a lot) of rain spoil your fun.

Glad you're back!

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Miriam! The no lines at Disney rocked. Ditto the sunscreen. For some reason I struggle with applying it!
And i figured you would have read the Magic Kingdom books!

We are on the same wavelength, Heather! Wouldn't it be fun to ride TOT together!!!!!

It definitely took a positive attitude to survive the rain, Kelly! I tried to look at it as good practice for positive thinking!

OMG, Christina! I want to work there! I think it would be a dream job! Have fun!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Keri! Yes, TOT rocked! It was just amazing! I couldn't get the kids back on it though. I guess they found it too real!

LOL, Danyelle! At least the rain stayed on after we left! And today it's raining in Austin!

I can see why Katie would reread Fablehaven! The first one is just such a fun, clean book, Chris!

Thanks for the well writing wishes, Kelly! I'm looking forward to summer even though writing will be slowed! So TOT seems to be a favorite for many. Disney got a hit with it!

Thanks LitGirl! I think I could move to the Magic Kingdom and be happy forever! I could go on rides over and over and never get bored!

Vacation is so great to get away, Kimberly! It makes me excited to jump back into everything! But revisions are cool and never a rut!
I didn't get much reading done last year, so I'm trying to make up for it this year :)

Disney with no lines is perfect, Christy, I think no matter what the weather! After that, I can't imagine waiting an hour for each ride!

Thanks for visiting everyone! It's great to be back!

Justus M. Bowman said...

At first I thought you said your 42' daughter could go on the ride. Scary.

Lady Glamis said...

Awesomeness that you're back and you had a great time despite the rain! Heh, it's nice to know I'm not the only one losing sleep over writing because of a toddler...

PJ Hoover said...

LOL, Justus. It's like my daughter is Ginormica!

It's like being back in college, Michelle. Late nights. Lots of caffeine. But in this case I love what I'm doing!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I went on Tower of Terror with my daughter when she was 5. Her father older brother refused. It was a blast!

I'm glad you were able to make the best of a wet situation and I'm glad you're back in the blogosphere.

I just finished The Emerald Tablet last night. Wow! How long do I have to wait for the next one to come out?!

beth said...

I loved that ride!! The best part is that it was always different--so it was always new and fun every single time.

PJ Hoover said...

Aw, you are so sweet, Sherrie! Thank you! The next one comes out in October and ARCs are being sent to the printer tonight!
And I was so happy to get my kids on TOT at least once!

It was, Beth! Nobody else went on it with me the last two times so I got the single rider fast entry and loved it. So cool!

Angela said...

Oh I have been waiting to see this post and find out all about yor vay-cay. Rain can be a bit of a bummer (happened to us in Disneyland) but if you can suck it up it turns out fabulous as like you say, there are NO LINES!! WOOT!

Did you go on Expedition Everest? I got a great shot of the Yeti---I'll have to post it one of these days.

PJ Hoover said...

Loved Expedition Everest, Angela! It was the second best ride IMO! And I could talk about Disney ad nausaeum but decided to spare everyone! But it's just so much fun!

Vivian said...

Yay for making lemonade out of lemons. Sounds like a great time was had by all.

Glad you're back and focused on work. But the last day of school for your daughter? Cringe. Thankfully, we have to the end of next month.

I'm so psyched you have a new project!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Vivian! And yes, yikes! I've made a mental adjustment today.

Robyn said...

Glad you had a terrific time despite the RAIN. It has rained here, FOREVER ARGH! Good to have you back, P.J.. :)

Carrie Harris said...

Welcome back! We missed you!

(And it's okay if you didn't miss us back. You're not supposed to be thinking about things like that on vacation. We won't take it personally.)

Rena said...

Sounds like a great trip, even with the rain. My family went to DW last spring (I stayed home) and they said they had a lot of thunderstorms in the afternoons too. One good thing is that it makes the lines shorter.

Have fun with your daughter now that she's home for the summer! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Robyn! It's great to be back. I missed everyone!

The nice thing about vacation, Carrie, is that by the time it's over, you're excited to get back! And I really missed everyone, but absence can be good.

The lines were amazing, Rena! And day two of summer vacation is going well so far!

Thanks for visiting, everyone!

Anita said...

all these losing sleep stories...uh, I guess I value sleep more than publication...must work on that.

PJ Hoover said...

I love my sleep, Anita, so I try to catch ten minutes naps when the kids are playing :)