Saturday, March 24, 2012

Updates and Traveling with baby

I'm attempting to get back on track with my writing and blog posts after a long couple of weeks. My brother-in-law had been very sick these last couple months. And he fought with every fiber of his being right up to the very end. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with esophageal and lung cancer two weeks ago. So, had to fly home to Connecticut with my 5 month old grandson in tow. More about that later. My poor sister and niece were beside themselves, but they were and are incredibly strong women. I can only hope for that type of strength. It's just so incredibly sad because he was such a devoted husband and father. They have 3 mentally challenged children (one who lives at home and the other two live in group homes far from one another). Every weekend without fail, he would go Saturday and pick up his son (45 minute drive one way) and take him out to lunch and to the store to buy his camera supplies, and then back to their home for a while. At the end of the day, he drove my nephew back to his home. On Sunday, it was his daughter's turn. Basic same routine, but she lives on the other side of the state. About an hour and half drive. Now, that's complete devotion. He will be missed.

With this going on, I've stopped all promoting, writing, etc. Editor isn't happy with the big black moment, so it's off to editing again. Ugh. But, she is so right. I see now what she's talking about.

Now, advice for traveling with a baby. LMAO! Okay, it wasn't quite so bad. Just tiring. So, here are my reccommendations:

1) THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BEREAVEMENT FARES! They have it on their sites, but it is the same price as their lowest (ha!) fares. Don't waste your time. With mine, the normal lowest fare was $546 through the airline. I went to priceline and named my own price of $300 and they accepted it.

2) Under 2 years old you can do infant in lap and not pay extra. Fortunately for me, 3 of the 4 flights had a free seat next to me and I belted in his car seat and he slept beautifully. The last flight home was from Atlanta to Greenville - only a 25 minute flight. I had to hold him on my lap, but i lucked out again as he slept.

3) Which leads me to the car seat/stroller combo. Whoever thought this up, thank you from the bottom of my heart (and back!). This is no doubt your best friend :) And the best part? You can check them at the gate for free, and when you deplane, they are waiting for you.

4) Now comes packing your luggage. With the $25 for each bag checked one way, I found the largest suitcase I had (50 lb limit on this also) and packed my clothes, baby formula, food, and then lined the diapers on top of all that. I also stuck diapers inside my laptop case. My carry on had all the baby's clothing, two bottles with only the powdered formula and one bottle with apple juice. Once past security, I bought bottled water in case I needed to make up a bottle. (The restaurants had no problem giving me a cup of hot water so Icould mix it with some cold water) I even had his nebulizer machine and meds in there.And let's not forget his bib, travel sized baby wipes, baby powder, more diapers, etc. I rolled each piece of clothing which made much more space.

5) Security sucks in that it is a huge pain with the baby. For me, I put him in the car seat which then went into the stroller and my laptop went under the stroller along with 2 baby blankets. My carry on was flung over my shoulder. Well, it figures that the stroller and the car seat have to go through x ray. The laptop has to come out of its case. The bottles all have to be tested individually along with the breathing machine. In essence, they tear apart everything and I had to single handedly put it all back together while juggling the baby. So, the baby went back into the car seat and that went back into the stroller before I dealt with anything else.

It could have gone MUCH worse, but I've learned that maybe next time, there may be easier options. For example, going for only 3 days instead of 6. That cuts everything in half as far as packing and such. And maybe if it's more of a planned trip, pay for the baby's own seat.

Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section. I'd love to learn new strategies.

AVAILABLE NOW @ Soul Mate Publishing: The Swan Cove Murders Release Date January 25th: Secrets of Jenkins Bridge

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group-Novel vs. Novella

Happy Thursday my fellow writers. I’m a day late, so forgive me. I just finished up edits for Secrets of Jenkins Bridge which is a novel at over 50K words. And all I could think was how long it took me to go through the editing process on this one compared to my novella, The Swan Cove Murders. I’m beginning to believe my forte is leaning more toward writing novellas than a full novel.

When writing a novel, granted, there are more pages to write about the settings, descriptions, and more time to develop the characters, both primary and secondary, over the time period of the story. But, there are also more pages to edit overall, possibly more subplots that need tying up at the end of the story, etc.

When writing a novella, it is more fast paced therefore I can’t drone on about the sun setting or the leaves changing colors or anything else. I have to get straight to the nitty gritty and stay that way throughout the entire story. But, for me, this makes it easier for me to ensure there aren’t a lot of loose ends, or secondary characters that aren’t working out for the story, and truly, I can’t put more than a couple of secondary characters in this type of story. Again, time and page restraints.

There are authors who like writing the full length novel, but I’m finding it may not be for me. Or maybe it was just this one (my baby) that was tough. I think in the future I’ll write another full length novel and see how it goes, but for now, I’ll be writing a few novellas.

Which do you prefer writing, the novel or novella? Which do you prefer reading?

I'm over at Kindle Paranormal Authors today.Stop by for a visit.

AVAILABLE NOW @ Soul Mate Publishing: The Swan Cove Murders Release Date coming soon: Secrets of Jenkins Bridge