Tag Archives: vacation

One Writer’s Staycation & How You Can Recharge At Home

20 Jun

I recently took a week-long staycation, which consisted of me laying around my house doing absolutely nothing productive. I won’t lie, it was bliss. 

Usually, I like to talk about writing and publishing here on the blog, but I realized one vital truth while I was out: Breaks are a part of writing. If you don’t take breaks—if you don’t live—you’ll eventually suffer from burnout. To be honest, I’ve been suffering from burnout. (I should take my own advice from 2016: How to Avoid Writer Burnout.) This was my first week-long vacation in three years. Maybe more. I honestly can’t remember. Between moving and changing jobs three times, I found it incredibly difficult to justify a break. Now I realize I didn’t need justification. Working hard means getting breaks. (Granted, it’s easy to say this in retrospect. In reality, I honestly couldn’t afford to take much of a break until now, but that’s another discussion for a different day.) 

In the end, breaks are important. They can also be inspirational! In fact, I was inspired to be a little nicer to myself by writing this blog post instead of the more detailed one I had planned. (Considering how long I was gone, I’m a bit swamped with catching up with work and revisions at the moment.)  

For fun, I thought I’d share my staycation ideas with you, especially since these ideas are social distance friendly, on the cheaper end, and might just help you have a day to unwind. 

First and foremost, I promised myself two things when I went on my staycation:

  • No “serious” writing: What do I mean by serious? I mean anything that you plan on pursuing seriously. For me, that meant NOT working on my revisions. It’s not much of a vacation if I replace it with my other career, right? I actually made this mistake once during my last trip. I flew the whole way to Charleston just to pull out my laptop and work on a R&R for an agent that ended up quitting before I finished the rewrite. Biggest vacation regret ever. 
  • Staying offline as much as possible: As a writer and program manager who manages social media, I spend an ungodly amount of time staring at screens, let alone being online. I promised myself I’d log off as much as I could. And I did! TBH, it was my favorite part. I think this is a good idea for many of us. The internet is an awesome place, but it can also be very distracting. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve logged on for “just five minutes” only to realize a half-hour has passed. For this reason, I recently took Facebook and Twitter off my phone, and it’s been a godsend. 

So, what did I do during my staycation? 

  • Baking Day: I love baking. It keeps me off my phone and computer, and I get to have a delicious treat after. Recently, I haven’t been baking as often, but this past week, I baked my first Japanese roll cake. (Strawberries and cream!) I definitely recommend choosing something you’ve always wanted to try but have never felt energized enough to pursue. It was so satisfying! 
  • Spa Day: I had a spa day with cucumber/lemon water, face masks, Epsom salt, etc. 
  • TBR catch-up: Here’s the thing, I have A LOT of books I want to catch up on. But reading many of those novels felt a lot like industry research to me, even if they are books I personally want to read. So I set out to catch up on my Webtoons. If you haven’t given Webtoons a chance, I highly recommend them. I caught up on Siren’s Lament, SubZero, In the Bleak Midwinter, and Midnight Poppy Land. The artwork is beautiful, and so are the stories. 
  • Fondue Night: Who needs a fancy restaurant when you can recreate one at home? I made fondue and chocolate dip, picked up all my favorites, and had a blast. 
  • High Tea: Before everything shutdown, I went to high tea at a local historic house that happens to also post their recipes online. Check it out. You can have high tea at home! 
  • Movie Night: I’ve fallen behind on many of the films I’ve wanted to see the last few years, so I set aside some time to watch Get Out and Knives Out, and they were both amazing! 

Basically, there’s lot of fun activities you can do at home, and you don’t even need to take significant time off to do so or spend lots of money. Most of these could be done on the weekend. I’m definitely going to partake again! And hopefully, I’ll have less burnout this year, more laughter and fun, and my work-writing-life balance will be—well—more balanced. 

How do you recharge?

~SAT

P.S. When I made it back to work this month, I was awarded Mid-Continent Public Library’s Maggie Jackson Community Spirit Award, which is given to a library employee who dedicates extra time and energy to their community. I was totally blown away. Working at The Story Center over this past year has been a dream come true, and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes our community. Keep sharing your stories, everyone! The world needs them.

My Mental Vacation

22 Jul

10522436_2406507240749_6078480465461130367_nSo…my mental health day turned into a vacation overnight. I hit the road! I am one of those people that can’t sit still for too long, so I’m celebrating life by traveling around. And I’ll be sure to share my adventure in the near future, but – as of now – I am living this adventure, and I’m expanding that little thing known as inspiration. But I will be back to blogging on Thursday, so you can expect a real post then. I promise.

Thank you for understanding this spontaneous life,

~SAT

Pennsylvania

25 Jul

So I’m back! And I’m really glad everyone kept my blog going while I gone on family business. I am really busy right now–I just got back, but I have my final this Friday. It’s all great, but I thought today I’d simply share my trip with everyone :]

Pennsylvania Sunrise

My dad and I drove from Kansas to Pennsylvania–about a 17 hour drive–and this was the sunrise we were met with upon arrival.

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Gettysburg 

My dad and I decided to visit Gettysburg while we were there since I’ve never been there, and my dad hasn’t been there since he was young. Fun fact: it was the 150th anniversary.

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Everyone knows how historical this battle was in U.S. History, especially in the Civil War, but I didn’t know just how large (or how perfectly preserved) it is. We took a two-hour bus tour and we still didn’t see the entire thing. I think the most interesting part was how the survivors actually returned and built all of the monuments exactly where important events happened, so the fields have these statues throughout the miles of history.

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I think another story that really stood out to me was how many people died AFTER the battle simply because they’d walk across the fields and leftover ammunition would explode and/or injure someone. They also believe up to 1,000 bodies of Confederate soldiers are left in the fields. Crazily enough, they found one of these bodies partially unburied in the 1960’s–over one hundred years later.

National Soldier Cemetery  

Another part of Gettysburg is where every Union soldier was buried. There are more memorials for certain groups, and this one was New York’s:

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Hershey Park

I LOVE roller coasters, so two of my cousins, my uncle, my aunt, my dad, and I went to the amusement park that smells like chocolate! There were lots of roller coasters, but I think my favorite was Storm Runner or Sky Rush. Lots of fun. Lots of chocolate.

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Finally

We headed home after a couple of days, and this was the sunset we were met on an Indiana highway.

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Basically 

I had a really good time visiting my family in the state I was born in. I regret to say that the reason for our trip was a death in the family. My grandmother, L. Noreen Thompson, passed away July 13, 2013. She was a wonderful woman, and I’m proud to be a part of her lineage. Below is the last family photo I was able to be a part of. You might recognize it from a previous post since I shared it November, 2012, but I wanted to share it again, because–although it doesn’t have the entire family in it–it was the last time I saw my grandmother, and the photo means a lot to me!

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So I’m back, and I will be continuing ShannonAThompson.com! 

Thank you for your support 😀

~SAT
….

I regret to announce the book signing event has been canceled. 

Minutes Before Sunset is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsKoboDieselSony, and Apple.

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