Thursday, August 20, 2009

A trip to Newport, RI and how it inspired my writing

I love to travel!!! It gives me so many great resources for my active imagination. Lots of times when we travel we do rode trips. Why? Because having four kids means living on somewhat of a budget. Let's face it, if I am going to bust my butt working a full-time job and teaching on the side, I am going to enjoy my life and eek out time to step away from it all. Now, I must admit, I am a little obsessive about traveling, and I try to go somewhere every month even if its just up the road. I've always had this obsession, but never really travelled until about seven years ago when my husband and I lost to cancer four close family members consecutively. My husband's cousin (upon realization of his impending deterioration of health) told us that if he had his life to do over again, he would have gone more places with his kids. He would have adventured places that he had never gone to before, and he would have made the time, taken the money to treat himself and his family first. Well after that talk with him, we decided we needed to re-focus our lives. Sure we both loved working hard, but now, we would make sure we played hard also.

Anyways, on my trip to Newport we stopped in New Jersey to Six Flags. It was packed and hot, but we are thrill seekers and sought out the coasters first hand, and waited no less than 45 minutes for each ride.

While my dear husband drives (because he doesn't trust my driving) I hook up my computer and write. I also read to them (hey a writer's dream is a captive audience) while we ride. My family is my first critique group and trust me, they don't hold back. There has been many of family arguments about the turn of events in my writing.

Newport for me was awesome. We arrived on a sunny day to look out of our room to a sea of boats. All kinds, big and small. I was awestruck, because I had never seen that many boats before. My kids, loved it, and we would sit out and eat while watching the boats.

The best, best, best and most interesting part of our trip was when we went to Brenton Point State Park, by way of ocean blvd. We went up on a bright sunny day, and viewed gorgeous historical mansions that we fantasized about living in. We made up stories of being royalty and waking up to see mermaids in the sea. WELL, let me tell you that all changed later...

We got to Brenton Point and the sky was filled with kytes -- ok let me take this moment to tell you that my dear husband is a big kid whose secret obsession is kyte flying -- we were in awe. So beautiful. We purchased a kyte while there, and launched it easily into the air. The breeze their was wonderful and before we knew we had been flying the kyte for hours.

Then it happened - THE FOG - ok, I have to admit, I didn't do as much research on this trip as I have done on many others. I was TOTALLY surprised at how quickly the fog came in, and how thick it was. Well we looked around and saw the vendors calmly pack up, as if to say, "The fog is not going anywhere, time to go". Well we were slow to get the message and we had lost our kite in the thick fog.

My dear son takes that opportunity to remind me that the fog is like in the movie, THE FOG. I am starting to get tingles from having a small freak out scared cat session, because I looked up and EVERYONE else that was at the park had left. Ugh....

Anyways, we packed up and left -- but was hooked, and made it a point to come back.
Remember, I mentioned that we wished we lived in the mansions that we passed on our way up to the park -- Well, those mansions turned REALLY spooky looking on the way back, and needless to say, we all said that we would never want to live in one of those mansions after the FOG sets in. Although, it was hauntingly beautiful, my imagination would get the best of me every single time the FOG rolled in.

This trip inspired the new world that I am building in EXPLORER X - Book 2, because it was so beautiful, yet frightening for this new explorer.

Our Trip Report, just in case you would like to explore this wonderful place, and write your own story about your adventure.

Sat – Easton's Beach. The playground, carousel and snack bar were all a hit. There is also an aquarium. The beach is well-maintained but you may experience a little algae. Gooseberry Beach is more ($20 a car vs. $10) but is also a good option for smaller bathers. Overall, the beach was definitely a disappointment to us spoiled beach goers. So we played in the sand instead and made it a great time.

- Scenic Drive on Ocean Drive to view the Mansions - I really enjoyed this. Lucky for us we went on a sunny day, because the next day we went the mansions were draped in fog. Very eerie and spooky looking, which was great to see also. The mansions were all very different and impressive, definitely worth the ride.

- Brenton Point State Park

- This was the best part of our trip. This place is gorgeous. We were able to fly kytes for hours here, while looking over at the water crashing against the rocks. Bring a picnic lunch and hang out here, walk on the rocks and take pictures. Most of all, bring a kite. If you do not there is a guy that sales them. The sky was filled with them the first day we went. We loved it so much we went to Walmart and got everyone kites. However we did buy a nice cloth kite from the guy for $30 and it was worth it. We were able to fly kites and enjoy the day until about 6pm when the fog rolled in and took over. You could barely see in front of you. It was a great experience for the kids because they had never seen any thing like this before and neither had we.

Sun – The Cliff Walk is a public access road running three and a half miles along the shore of Newport, and offers a breathtaking view of the mansions and the Atlantic Ocean, sometimes aspiring to heights as high as seventy feet! This was nice. Definitely a must do, although we did not do the whole 3 miles.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My First Day As A Blogger...

Wow! I am now all set up with my first blog. My book EXPLORER X- Alpha is finshed the editing process and is on its way to press. This is extremely exciting for me. After many iterations, and holding my family hostage on long road trips to read this saga it is finally being birthed to the world.

Well just to share a little about me. I have four kids, and work full-time as a Engineer. I also teach IT related classes part-time at a university. You can definately say I am a Hyper Active person. Growing up in Washington, DC taught me to be a multi-tasker. When you live in a big city you love being active. My husband pulled me (kicking and screaming) to the Maryland and I finally moved into a single family home. You see he never realized that I personally had never lived in a single family home. Living in the city, where I grew up, you lived in a row home or an apartment. I had grown up living in both.

Now about my book. My main character's name is Aadi. You'll learn more about him if you like reading Young Adult Science Fiction. His adventure takes him from earth to a distant galaxy. He takes his life at home for granted. Never wanting to go to space, he didn't realize the true reason for his invite to Space Camp until it was too late. He and his team of cadets include Damien, Eirena, Scott, Dakota, Raiko, Tacitus, and Carter. You'll meet all of them during your adventure, and trust me you will love them all (well maybe not all of them).

If you are wondering how I came up with the idea of EXPLORER X - Alpha, I have to say my husband challenged me. We were riding in the car on one of our long driving trips and out of the blue he says, "You should write a book."

A little background on me: I used to write all the time when I was younger, and believe it or not I knew my husband then. We were good friends and spent hours talking about our dreams and aspirations on the phone.

My husband is and has always been a Science Fiction buff. I personally was always an adrenaline junkie who loved horror growing up. I read horror books, and watched horror movies all the time.

After he told me I should write a book, I replied, "I don't know, the last book I started I lost interest. The story bored me."

He responded by telling me that I should write Science Fiction. That way I would have nothing to hold back my imagination. Later that night I pondered on a story idea. Aadi came to me in a dream and told me his story. That's how many of my characters have come to me. The campfire of my mind during my sleep.

I told him my idea and he looked at me with shock and said, "You need to write that book!"

The rest is history.