I’ve been writing again. I know this is a thing where, if you’re reading this, you aren’t shocked. I mean, I’m a writer after all and isn’t a writer supposed to write?

Well, I’ve had some fun news and I finished a book which threw me off track and stalled me for a bit.

If you recall, a while back I was having a difficult time trying to figure out who I was all because of a question asked on the Grant application I was filling out. Well, I heard back from the grant people and was awarded a bit of money for my writing! This is the first time I’ve applied for a grant and was accepted into the community. (Insert momentary celebration here.)

I also finished a book about a month ago that I wrote for fun. I originally started the book as a sort of “study” for the book I’m actually writing at the moment. However, it morphed and fluttered and turned into such a strange, fun piece of fiction it did indeed become its own story. When I finally wrote ‘The End’ I just couldn’t let it go and move on.

So it took me a while to turn and get in the mood to write about these new characters I’ve been writing about this past week.

I suppose that happens to authors. The letdown of finishing a book. Of course, I’m not certain about the George R. R. Martin types, I mean, that guys kills off characters left and right and says good bye to them all the time. Maybe he doesn’t have to take a few days to mourn the passing of the end of his books. I’m not sure.

But I am that kind of person.

In life, I suppose these feelings can be related to a trip. Think of the best trip you’ve taken, or perhaps the last trip you’ve taken. There was the build-up, the packing, the planning, the purchasing of a ticket to make it official. Then, the day came to leave for the airport or jump in the car, and you’re off.

I’ve heard vacations likened to a microcosm of life. It’s a thick, condensed version of the stresses and glories and exhaustion and wonder of our lives, all in a few days time. I’ve always liked that comparison and have found it to be true on more than one occasion.

So, you have this trip and maybe you’re with other people or you meet people and you share something and you laugh and you cry and you don’t sleep. But most of the time, the trip comes to an end. And you’re happy that you get to go home and finally sleep in your own bed and veg on your own sofa, but then you get on the plane or climb back in the car and after being home for a few days, there is this slight sadness that comes. Because you had such a good time and the memories you made are seeping through your epidermis into your blood stream to forever be a part of you. So maybe you go back and you look at the pictures taken or watch the videos. And you do that several times and you show your friends maybe.

Of course, you’ll eventually get back into the groove of your life, and you’ll be better for the trip and you’ll plan another one soon, and life goes forward.

That, my friends, is what happens when I finish writing a book. I need to keep looking at pictures of my trip, keep re-reading, keep re-living. Eventually I can put the book away to rest for a while before I pull it back out for the fine tuning phase. But until I have the urge to put it away, I keep reliving the trip.

This morning, however, I find myself back at my daily writing ritual. New characters in the thick of it. Coffee at my elbow, fresh cut flowers on the table where I write outside. The birds are joining the wakening chorus of my neighbors and I take a break to think of you, dear reader. And wishing you great journeys in this life, fun stories and a sunny Saturday.

Here’s some fun stuff for your clicking pleasure.

The grant I received is from the fine folks at The Alexa Rose Foundation. They’ve got a page dedicated to me. Check it out here. (Bonus: on the bottom of the page is a link to the work I submitted, free story reading if you’d like.)

This is a song by one of my favorite Italian singers (this week) that influenced an entire trip to Venice for my characters in my last book.  Briciole by Noemi.

Here’s a ridiculously gorgeous restraint in Rome with a ridiculously gorgeous view called Aroma. My characters just went to lunch here. The website has a whole gallery of ridiculously gorgeous pictures.