Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year and Happy New Blog!

Yo peeps! I got a new blog! Undoubtedly every writer who uses Blogger is using this bookish template, but whatevs.

It's a new year, time for a new blog. Notice I've imported all the entries from SparklySparkly (RIP) for posterity. I still need to flesh this baby out with all the gadgets and whatnot but here it is for now.

Uh, let's see.

In travel news, I  made it back alive from Costa Rica. Had a lovely trip, complete with monkeys, toucans, sloths, poison dart frogs, and lingering stomach ailment. Went whitewater rafting, strolled through the rainforest canopy on suspension bridges strung hundreds of feet over rushing rivers, swam at the foot of waterfalls, and was awakened at dawn by howler monkeys starting their day.

Also ate lots of "casado," the typical Costa Rican dish of rice, beans, plantains, salad, and some protein or other. Drank lots of "Imperial" - one of five (or so) beers made in Costa Rica. We suffered through some torrential rain on the Carribbean coast but got in one very sunny day there which Dave and I spent strolling through the lovely Parque Nacional de Cahuita.

Photo courtesy of El Viajero Contento

 It not only featured stunning white sand beaches but monkeys and sloths at close range plus lots of magnificent blue morpho butterflies.

Perhaps I'll write more about the trip shortly. Meanwhile, in writing news, I have a class coming up this spring at Hugo House - the ever-popular Roughing It: Write a Rough Draft of Your Book in Six Weeks. So stay tuned for details about that!

I also recently submitted an essay for a travel-writing contest at Wanderlust and Lipstick, a fun travel website geared towards the ladies. I dusted off an essay I'd started three years ago about my family's trips to the Sierras when I was a kid, in particular our annual backpacking trip to a place called Wire Lake. Here's how it begins:

It is half an hour into our first ever family backpacking trip and things are not going well. My little sister, age six, is crying. On top of her pack, her decrepit stuffed elephant Freddie bobs around with a little stuffing poking out of his pink, earless head.
“What’s the matter?” says my father, as if it isn’t obvious. Since leaving the trailhead, we have been hiking upwards at a suicidally steep angle with heavy packs on our shoulders. It is hot. It is dusty. On a normal Saturday, Erica and I would be living the high life: roller-skating, reading books, or watching Brady Bunch reruns. Now, inexplicably, we are being tortured...