What I’m Doing on My Summer Vacation (And Why It’s All Your Fault)

June 21, 2011

I’m sure you’ve all just been dying to know what I’m doing with my summer vacation, right?

You’re probably all like, “I have lots of stuff going on in my life, but what about Sally? When’s Sally going to update her blog already to tell me what she’s doing with the next two months of her life?”

Well, people, put on your anticipation pants because do I ever have some summer plans for you!

But, I’m going to need your help.

Yes, you.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to ask you for money. Not that I would refuse money if you were just going to start throwing it at me, though. (Now, if you are going to start throwing money my way, remember I bruise easily. Coins are out. Make sure anything you throw is in the form of paper bills or credit cards or Paypal money transfers.)

I’m not going to ask you to buy me a plane ticket. Again, not that I would refuse — I mean who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? (Not that I’m calling you a horse or anything. But you have been looking a little hippy lately… just saying.)

I don’t even need a place to stay for the summer. But, should you happen to have a spare beach bungalow that needs an occupant, I might be willing to change my plans. (Yep, I’d do that for you. Really. I am that nice.)

In fact, I have my summer plans all sorted out – which is a good thing as my summer vacation  starts next week. My classes ended last week and once I wrap up grading and testing this week, I’ll be looking at two full months of summer vacation.

Let me just say that again, you know, in case you missed it:

TWO FULL MONTHS OF SUMMER VACATION.

I’m no mathematician, people, but that’s, like, a lot of days.

Jealous?

I bet you’re all like, “Wow, Sally, you could really take a big trip with that kind of time! You could train-hop through China or backpack through Vietnam or practice your yak-herding in Mongolia. You could finally visit Angkor Wat. You could study Balinese dancing or Thai massage or Vietnamese cooking or whatever it is they do in Mongolia besides herd yaks.  Heck, you could even leave Asia and go to one of those other continents!”

I mean, this is a big opportunity for me. I have two months off. I am footloose and fancy-free. And after a semester of getting paid in cash-money, I finally have a balance in my bank account once again.

As they say, the world is my cupcake! (Yeah, yeah, I know I’m the only one who says that, but I don’t get that whole “the world is your oyster” thing. Oysters are gross and slimy and look like something the ocean barfed up. Cupcakes, on the other hand, rarely disappoint.)

But, instead of jetting off to some, fun-filled, action-packed, popular tourist destination, I’ll be keeping things low-key this summer. No tourist traps or backpacker hostels or overcrowded wats for me. Nope, this girl won’t be guzzling Thai buckets or poring over guidebooks or haggling with night market vendors for a new pair of harem pants.

Instead, I’ll be tucked away in a secluded, little locale all by myself.

Where am I going to be, you ask?

Oh, I’m sure you haven’t heard of it. It’s very exclusive, you know, totally off-the-beaten-track. It’s not in any of the guidebooks. It’s not on any of the other travel blogs. I’m certain you’ve never, ever been there. There’s not even a sign there to tell you where it is. Only the locals know about it. And there’s not even a whole lot of locals there to know about it.

What is this wonderful, undiscovered gem of a place, you ask?

My apartment.

Yep, I’ll be spending the next two months holed up in my apartment.

Jealous, yet?

Okay, I’ll admit that maybe this doesn’t sound like the most exciting of summer plans. I’m sure you’re all like, “What? Come on, Sally, can’t you just fit in a tiny little beach break? For me? Or maybe herd just a few yaks around Mongolia — maybe a couple of the smaller yaks? Heck, you wouldn’t even have to herd yaks! You could herd pigs or dogs or pigeons — you know, one of those animals that’s better at taking direction. Pretty please! Think of me!”

Well, funny you should say that.

Because I am kind of doing this for you.

Yep, it’s all your fault I’ll be spending the next two months on a staycation rather than on a real-live, actual vacation. (And, while we’re on the topic, who ever dreamed up this term: staycation? Is staycation supposed to make the idea of staying at home sound fun? Because it’s not working. It doesn’t sound fun; it sounds like an unfortunate eye infection.)

Remember back a month or so ago, when I was all like, “Should I stay in China or not?” And, then, you were all like, “You should stay! You should stay!” And, I was all like, “Hey, you’re not the boss of me! But, yeah, maybe you do have a point. I should probably stay.”

Well, after you practically forced me to stay in China, I decided I would use the free time that I have here to write more. And one of the things that I would really like to write is a book.

Now, I don’t know much about writing a book, but I have read a few books in my day, so I’ve noticed books tend to have a lot words – like, a lot of words. Now I’m no Jane Austen, but I imagine writing all those words takes a lot of time… especially for me. Heck, it takes me twenty minutes just to put my socks on each morning. So, while it may take most people a year or so to write a book, it’s going to take me, like, forever. And, seeing as, there is a strong possibility I won’t live until I’m two hundred years old, I should probably get started on this whole book thing lickety-split if I ever want to finish it in my lifetime.

But it’s hard to start writing a book when you’re busy working or traveling or herding yaks.

So, rather than an exciting, travel-filled (and, potentially, yak-laden) holiday, I will be having a two-month-long, book-starting sabbatical.

In my apartment.

(Or “hermitage” as I will be calling it for the next two months as that sounds much more author-y, don’t you think?)

And before you get all, “A book? No one reads books anymore! Why waste all your time writing some stupid, old book that no one’s going to read when you could be watching kitten videos on Youtube? Why not make a nice little kitten video instead? Wouldn’t that be fun? Everyone loves kittens! And you don’t even need a lot of time or words to make a kitten video – all you need is a video camera, a kitten and a shoebox and you have Youtube gold! Besides, what makes you think you can write a book?”

Well, funny you should say that.

Because this whole book thing is kind of your fault, too.

Mind you, this isn’t the first time I’ve said I’m going to write a book. If you happen to be one of my family members or friends or long-term blog readers, you’ve probably heard me blathering on before about how I’m going to write a book. In fact, I’m sure you’re like, “Oh God, here she goes again with that whole book thing. Blah, blah, blah. Wake me up when she starts talking about kitten videos or cupcakes again.”

It’s true. I have been yakkety-yaking about this whole book thing for some time now. A year and a half ago when I took off to travel around Southeast Asia, I announced on my blog that I would be writing a book. And, to give all my family members and friends and long-term blog readers credit, everyone was pretty supportive of my little plan. I mean, no one told me I was crazy or that I couldn’t do it… at least, not to my face or anything.

But the book never happened.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t learn a few things about writing a book last year. For one thing, I learned books don’t just write themselves. I know. I was pretty shocked by this, too. Unlike cookies that just seem to eat themselves or hours of So You Think You Can Dance that just seem to watch themselves, books actually require your time and effort before they can happen.

The other important thing I learned about writing a book is that you need confidence.

First, you have to have the confidence that you have a story worth writing.

Then, you have to have the confidence that you’ll be able to sit down and write it all without quitting or accidentally watching endless hours of So You Think You Can Dance instead.

Finally, you have to be confident that people will want to read what you’re writing. I mean, your book is going to be competing with kitten videos. Kitten videos, people! We all know how awesome kitten videos are, right?

You have to have the confidence that you can be as awesome as a kitten video.

That’s, like, a crazy amount of confidence.

And, well, I don’t have that kind of confidence.

Or, at least, I didn’t have that kind of confidence.

You see, even though I’ve been talking about writing a book for a while, I never thought I could do it. Sure, I have lots of silly stories, but a book? Don’t most books need, I don’t know, some kind of plot or something?

Besides, I tend to be easily distracted. How on Earth could I manage to write a whole book when I can barely get through writing a blog post without being distracted by Twitter or Facebook or Youtube or websites with pictures of birds with arms photo-shopped on to their bodies?

Heck, even when I cut myself off from the Internet, I am easily distracted. The contents of my fridge become my Facebook. The oscillations of the ceiling fan is my Twitter. And a dust bunny scuttling across my floor is, yes, my low-tech answer to kitten videos on Youtube.

Plus, who would want to read the drivel I crank out?

Well, you would, right?

I mean, I know I’m no kitten video or anything.

But you’re reading what I’m writing right now, right?

And a lot of you have been reading what I’ve been writing for the past year or so.

And, well, some of you even have told me I should write a book.

So, really, this whole book thing is your fault.

Before you started filling my head with all your supportive nonsense, I figured I simply didn’t have what it takes to write a book. Now, I’m still not entirely sure I have what it takes, but I am the teensiest bit more confident that I can do it. And I’m giving up my entire summer vacation to give it a try.

So you really kind of owe me one.

No, I won’t ask you to write the first eight chapters. (But, hey, if you’re offering….)

And, no, I’m not asking you for money. (Yet.)

But I am asking for your help.

Maybe you’d like to send a few words of encouragement.

Maybe you’ve written a book and you know a thing or two about writing a book that you’d like to share.

Or, hey, maybe you’re a publisher and you’d like to offer me a big, shiny book deal! (Isn’t that how this whole book thing works? I write on my blog “I’m writing a book! Yay!” and then I just sit back and wait for publishers to woo me with scads of money, right? Right?)

Or maybe, just maybe, you’d like to send some cookies. (My apartment, ahem, hermitage is off-the-beaten-track, but, luckily for you and your cookies, it isn’t totally off the map and I do get regular postal service.)

Just, please, whatever you do don’t send me any links to kitten videos or funny animals-with-arms websites. I’m already easily distracted as it is. And you should just see the hi-jinks the dust bunnies have been up to in my apartment since I started writing this blog post!

 

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I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On June 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm Sasha said:

    Yay, yay and YAY!!! I’ll even be nice enough to give you 5 years before I start commenting on all your posts “WHERE’S THE BOOK DAMMIIT???”

    You should join this facebook group “Travel Memoir Writers” there are a lot of ppl sharing their stories on how they got published, process of writing book etc. Plus just some good peer support! 🙂

    Enjoy your two months of being a reclusive writer, I just hope it doesn’t drive you to some sort of crazy whiskey addiction! I hope they have somewhere with decent cake in Wuxi! 🙂
    Sasha recently posted..Choosing a Life Without Easter Eggs

  2. On June 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm Liv said:

    Sally! It is uncanny that you write this post now. Only last week I asked all my friends, via facebook status, what they would say if I told them I was going to write a book. I have wanted to do it for a long time and I think I just needed to hear from people that I wasn’t crazy to think anybody would be interested. I got lots of lovely messages of encouragement and one saying ‘hurry up & get on with it!’ – I am going to be starting work on it ‘officially’ (ie. when I leave my current and darned time-consuming job) next month. Maybe we should be writer buddies?!
    Liv recently posted..The Aussie Way

  3. On June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm Todd said:

    Sally, I think it is a great idea! Write that book!

    And you doing it in just 2 months is totally doable. My friends told me about NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) and it seemed to help them with their writing goals. While you are jumping the gun a bit to join them, the website might have some pithy advice for you. But this is more a memoir, isn’t it, not a novel?

    • On June 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm Sally said:

      I had a friend who did NaNoWriMo last year & she tried to convince me to do it but I just don’t write that fast. I am hoping to keep to a pretty strict daily word count, but, I doubt I’ll be able to crank out a novel in a month. And, yeah, the book would probably be nonfiction… but with enough exaggeration to be considered fiction. 🙂

      • On June 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm Evi @evitravels said:

        Ah, like Shantaram!

        Kidding. (I sure hope not like Shataram, you have far more talent and sense than that.)

        And if you decide you’d like to check out Angkor Wat after all, we’d love to meet you for a drink (or some cookies?) in Phnom Penh! (You lived in Chiang Mai and missed the temples around Siem Reap?! Tragic.)
        Evi @evitravels recently posted..Phnom Tamao Should Be On Your Don’t-Miss-In-Cambodia List

        • On June 22, 2011 at 2:21 am Sally said:

          Ha ha! Actually, because I’m a girl, I think you’re supposed to say, “Ah, like ‘Eat, Pray, Love’!”
          It is a huge shame I never got to Cambodia while I was in Thailand, but I will definitely be getting there before I leave Asia… IF I ever leave Asia.

  4. On June 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm Richard said:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, you were BORN to write a book! I think this “staycation” you’re taking to work on it is awesome. I mean it.

    “A thousand mile journey begins with one step.”
    – Last night’s fortune cookie

  5. On June 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm Rachel said:

    I’d definitely read it. I haven’t been reading your blog for very long but you never fail to make me laugh, which isn’t an easy thing to do through such a flat medium. Good luck with it! I’m sure it will be brilliant 🙂
    Rachel recently posted..St Petersburg- The City That Made Me Fall In Love With Travel

    • On June 22, 2011 at 2:20 am Sally said:

      Thanks, Rachel. Let’s hope I can keep up my sense of humor through that many pages…. because, Lord knows, no one wants to read me attempting to be a “serious writer.”

  6. On June 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm Amy said:

    I will read your book. Write it and they will read!
    Amy recently posted..The Four Walls That Trap Us

  7. On June 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm Dyanne@TravelnLass said:

    “…but with enough exaggeration to be considered …”

    Ah, “Exaggeration” – that just happens to be my favorite literary genre!

    Seriously – good for you, girl! Even if you only get the 1st chapter done in 2 months, at least you’ll be able to (finally) say “Oh dahlink, I’m WRITING a book” (as opposed to blathering about how you’re GONNA write one, yes? 😉
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..The New Bali Slideshow

    • On June 22, 2011 at 2:18 am Sally said:

      Well, they always say “write what you know” — and, man, do I know exaggeration!
      And, yes, saying “I’m WRITING a book” is so much better than “I’m going to write a book.” Probably just as annoying — but a more active kind of annoying, rather than my usual passive annoyingness. 🙂

  8. On June 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm Erik said:

    I’ve written about 5 books worth of stuff- unfortunately they are in about 20 partially finished books.

    Write it and I’ll buy it! Can I pre-order it on Amazon right now with the “No Release Date has been scheduled for this title” tag on it? 🙂
    Erik recently posted..Photo of the Day- Elizabeth Cady Stanton House- Womens Rights National Historic Park- Seneca Falls- New York

    • On June 22, 2011 at 2:17 am Sally said:

      Ha ha! Great idea. How about “No Release Date has been scheduled because the AUTHOR CAN’T TEAR HERSELF AWAY FROM THE STUPID BIRDS-WITH-ARMS WEBSITE”?

  9. On June 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm Rease said:

    You should talk to Emily (one of the other owners of Travelated). She went through this madness too and finished her book at the end of last year. Just tweet at her @travelated and I am sure she will help you out!
    Rease recently posted..Future fat girl likes to eat!

  10. On June 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm Alex said:

    I will be first in line at Amazon.com. Can’t wait to hear more about this book!
    Alex recently posted..Dressed to Kilt- A Scottish Wedding Story

  11. On June 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm MaryAnne said:

    Yaaaaay! I expect to see the first draft when i come back from Canada/Sri Lanka in late August! And if I happen to be unemployed come September (crossing fingers!), you may have a writing buddy who has access to good gin and tonic.

    I love that you’re doing all this, um, off the beaten track in a totally local locale that’s barely even on a map. I knew you were a hipster backpacker!
    MaryAnne recently posted..Notes on Going Home Again

  12. On June 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm Amy said:

    A few words of encouragement, right here! 🙂 I started reading your blog this year, and I always look forward to your posts (and crack up at parts like “unfortunate eye infection”). I’d love to hear more about what’s going in it – we need a trailer… 😉

    • On June 22, 2011 at 2:14 am Sally said:

      Oooo, good idea! Have you seen Fearful Adventurer’s website (http://www.fearfuladventurer.com/)? She has an AWESOME trailer for her book. I’ll have to see if she can give me some pointers on how I can make one.

      • On June 22, 2011 at 3:27 am Amy said:

        Just watched it – dang, that’s good. Now I want to watch the movie/read the book/watch other movie trailers just for the tease…

        So now you can say “I’m writing a book, and I’m going to make a trailer for it” – that could really throw people off…

        Anyway, I’m excited to see what you create.

  13. On June 21, 2011 at 11:40 pm Lauren said:

    I was going to spend some time writing a really supportive response but then I got distracted with the birds with arms website. So short and sweet of it, I look forward to reading your book sometime.

    • On June 22, 2011 at 2:12 am Sally said:

      Ha ha! That site is ridiculously addicting, isn’t it? Ahhh, how am I ever going to get any work done with genius stuff like that on the Internet?

  14. On June 22, 2011 at 12:13 am Gillian @OneGiantStep said:

    Excellent – so it looks like you have your first 10 copies sold…that’ll buy some cupcakes…right? Oh, all right, I’ll buy one too…make it 11 sold!

  15. On June 22, 2011 at 12:16 am Roy | cruisesurfingz said:

    Awesome, best of luck with the book Sally. Looking forward to it. (just make sure there’s a kindle version!)

    Funny cause I’m planning on a 7 week staycation in Riga myself. I’ve rented a room and am gonna do “stuff for my blog” (ie. get drunk on cheap beer most nights).
    Roy | cruisesurfingz recently posted..24 Hours In Prague

    • On June 22, 2011 at 2:09 am Sally said:

      Thanks, Roy. Good luck with your own plans (and the beer!). Usually I drink wine when I’m doing work — makes me feel more writerly. Of course, it doesn’t actually HELP my writing… but, at least, it makes me feel like I’m getting close to writer-dom.

  16. On June 22, 2011 at 2:59 am Travelogged said:

    You’re a terrific writer with a great sense of humor — looking forward to reading your book!

  17. On June 22, 2011 at 3:07 am Alouise said:

    I’m sure you’ll have a very productive summer vacation writing what I’m sure is to be a New York Time’s best seller. Seriously though – no pressure. But I’m sure there will be several people, loyal blog readers, looking forward to buying an advanced copy. And if it’s signed, it’ll be worth millions.

    I know distractions well, right now I should be studying for an English final I have tomorrow. If you have Firefox there’s a good extension called LeechBlock which let’s you block sites that waste time (like Twitter, Facebook, etc). It’s at http://www.proginosko.com/leechblock.html – there’s a similar extension for Google Chrome – but it’s not called Leechblocker. It works well, if you use it of course.

    • On June 22, 2011 at 1:19 pm Sally said:

      Thanks for the tips on the blocking sites. I guess I could just unsubscribe to my VPN service and have China block me from using all those services… I’d be saving money AND be getting work done (AND not breaking the law! whee!) but that seems a bit rash. 🙂

  18. On June 22, 2011 at 3:25 am Sarah said:

    Dude, your staycation sounds AWESOME. It kind of makes me question the whole pack-up-and-travel-like-a-dirtball-for-the-next-6-months thing that I have planned.

    But only kind of…

    • On June 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm Sally said:

      I am a bit sad that I won’t be traveling this summer. (Dirtball travel is the best!) I had been looking into a few volunteering opportunities (including, yes, farming in Mongolia… I bet all you people thought I was joking). But I think this is the best plan for me…. who knows, maybe I’ll try my hand at yak-farming next summer! (Now THAT would make for a good chapter in the book… dang it. Now I want to yak farm again!).
      Have a great trip! Any plans to hit China?

  19. On June 22, 2011 at 3:31 am Odysseus Drifts said:

    I have goals of writing a book myself, but I think about the adage “write what you know” and feel like that would be a mighty short book. More like a pamphlet. Maybe a longish paragraph.

    But you have oodles of talent, Sally! Why, I’d even wager that you have more talent than you have cookies. And truthfully, you’re one of a very few bloggers that I don’t think of as a blogger; I think of you as a writer. Already. Right now, the blog is your writing forum. But for the next few months, the book will be your new forum. You will be a fabulous success. My magic 8 ball said so.

    • On June 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm Sally said:

      You should definitely write a book! Maybe something about your misadventures while accidentally not wearing pants — that seems to happen to you a lot. 🙂
      Thanks so much for the encouragement (and thank that Lucky 8 ball of yours, too!).

  20. On June 22, 2011 at 7:43 am Choi Kum Fook said:

    Writing a b ook!? Ha, Ha! You can do it! I give you full support and confidence, and i am longing it for a long time. I think I was the first friend to be told you wanted to write a book during staying in the farm. Take a good trial! Try your best. Success always following the behind of hardworking! Best of endeavour.

  21. On June 22, 2011 at 8:01 am Natalia said:

    Sally! I can come to China and cook for you for the whole summer, deal? But I want to get your book with autograph;***

  22. On June 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm Heather said:

    Good luck with the writing process, Sally!! I’m glad you’re doing this for yourself and wondered when you might start that book you’ve always referenced 🙂

    I expect an autographed copy when you publish it, along with all of the cookies and unicorns I’ve always been promised.

  23. On June 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm Adam @ SitDownDisco said:

    Sounds like a good idea to me! I said the same thing at the end of last with all the confidence in the world. Now when I relflect, I ask myself what was I thinking?!

    Which really boils down to, you need to strike when you’re self-belief is high and in the knowledge that a bunch of people will be eagerly awaiting the finished product! Go for it!

    • On June 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm Sally said:

      Thanks, Adam. Definitely agree with you. I’ve been saying I’ll write a book for a while now, but it was “never the right time.” I always figured I was saying this because I didn’t have enough material or inspiration, but I think I was really saying it because I didn’t have the confidence. Getting so much encouragement has really helped me over that hurdle…. I think. I guess we’ll see how far it gets me!

  24. On June 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm Shane said:

    I would have thought this would have been cinch. Surely a decent sized tome is the lengh of only four, maybe five of your blog posts.

    Looking forward to reading your book. Good luck.

  25. On June 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm The Travel Chica said:

    I like reading your blog, so I will probably enjoy your book as well. Good luck! This will probably be your most difficult and most rewarding vacation ever.

    • On June 22, 2011 at 11:01 pm Sally said:

      Thanks, Stephanie. I definitely think it’s going to be difficult… hopefully, rewarding as well. I just hope I manage to stay on task — instead of, say, distracting myself by making finger puppets out of all those dust bunnies. But it’s good to know lots of people are rooting for me.

  26. On June 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm Charu said:

    Sally, I really love reading your colloquial posts. It’s like listening to a BFF, and I think the task of writing a book over summer vaca is truly a great and inspiring idea. Have you read “The Power of Less”? I’m starting a ton of projects on my own too, and this book REALLY helped. It’s by the author of Zen Habits. Not to say you need to READ a book to write a book, but hey, you never know right? I’ll be checking out your site often, and hope you accomplish what you set out to do!

    charu

    • On June 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm Sally said:

      Thanks, Charu, for the suggestion. I’ll check it out. I really do need some book-writing inspiration at the moment. I’m kind of bad at reading how-to books, but maybe something a bit more inspirational and less dry will help me out!

  27. On June 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm Phil said:

    I AM ALL FOR THIS

  28. On June 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm Linda said:

    Wow. I am very impressed. Can’t have been an easy decision with all those alternatives to consider – but I don’t have the slightest doubt that you can do it! Lots of luck!

    • On June 23, 2011 at 6:55 am Sally said:

      It was pretty difficult to decide to stay here, especially since I really did want to travel a bit. Luckily, it’s pretty miserable in most of Asia in July & August, so it almost sounds more tempting to sit in my air conditioned apartment than to be frolicking around China! Thanks for the support!

  29. On June 23, 2011 at 12:58 am Sandy said:

    What’s that? You DO want me to send videos of kittens?

    I tried to write a book a few years back and had lack of success due to lack of income. Turns out lack of income has a negative effect on my creativity. So I’m glad you have a bank balance and a job lined up for two months from now, I think that will help you focus. Good luck!

    • On June 23, 2011 at 6:54 am Sally said:

      Sandy, I would love to read your book! Get on it already! Sure, I know you have a full-time job and a husband and a kid, but other people seem to do it. (Of course, I think these people employ elves… and possibly a few magic unicorns). Thanks for the encouragement!

  30. On June 23, 2011 at 1:46 am MaryAnne said:

    So now do you forgive me for that weekend’s worth of Dr Phil Style Tough Love when you were 99% ready to quit and run away again?

    • On June 23, 2011 at 6:53 am Sally said:

      Uh, we’ll see how productive I am after 2 months. If I’ve gained 10 pounds and frittered away my entire summer making pillow forts, I may not be so forgiving.

  31. On June 23, 2011 at 2:54 am SAM said:

    I enjoy your blog a lot, so i will buy a copy when released (i am not going to download the whole book online, promise you….LOL)

    is it too soon to ask Your book’s title?

    • On June 23, 2011 at 6:52 am Sally said:

      Thanks, Sam. Not sure what the title will be… I’m pretty bad at titles & usually only come up with them well AFTER I’ve written everything… so you may have to wait a loooong while. 🙂

  32. On June 23, 2011 at 5:52 am Ali said:

    I’m not sure I could resist the opportunity to travel around for those 2 months, but I think it’s great that you’re spending the summer focusing on something that’s been an important goal for awhile. I can’t wait for you to be published so I can read the book! (And for any publishers out there, we WILL buy her book!)

    • On June 23, 2011 at 6:51 am Sally said:

      I know, it was a hard decision not to take the 2 months to travel. I kept saying, “But I’m here in Asia! I have 2 free months! I should do something! Think about the yaks!” But, I also really want to see if I can make this book thing happen and I don’t know when I’ll have 2 free months and free accommodation, so I think it was a good choice. Ah well, I should have some time off between the end of next semester and my next job to travel. The yaks can wait, I suppose.

  33. On June 23, 2011 at 7:53 am Michi said:

    I will be the first to buy your book. 🙂 Best of luck, and I hope you find all of the inspiration, determination and cupcakes you’ll need!! 🙂

  34. On June 23, 2011 at 8:17 am Steven said:

    Glad to hear you’re taking up the challenge of writing. I’d suggest aiming for 1K words/day. By the end of the summer it’ll be finished!! 😛

    A couple inspirational quotes:

    There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

    and

    You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

    Good luck and I look forward to the book!

  35. On June 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm Kelly said:

    Here and I thought you were going to announce that you were coming to see me…

    Well I see that you’re not and since everyone else has been congratulating you and wishing you luck on this book, I suppose I’d better fall in line and do the same. Don’t screw it up!

    Hahaha – I’m just kidding! You’ll do great and your book will be awesome and I’ll be able to brag about how I knew you (sort of) before you were famous. Of course, if you’d just come to visit me, then I would be able to brag about how I really did know you before you were famous…

    Good luck!!

  36. On June 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm Tabetha Smelser said:

    Good luck writing your book!! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I have to say that I’ve been thinking that you should write a book. I love your witty style of writing and would most certainly purchase anything you publish! So, put down Facebook, set aside Twitter, and get to writing. Look at it this way, book sales could buy a lot of cupcakes and being a successful published author gives you a lot more time to enjoy kitten videos! 🙂

  37. On June 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm Annie said:

    Awesome news! I’ll definitely read your book! Good luck! 🙂

  38. On June 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm Donna said:

    Words of encouragement: You ROCK! You can do this, and it will be utterly awesome!!!! xxxxxxx

  39. On June 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm Jules said:

    How awesome! I can’t wait to read what you’ve written!

  40. On June 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm pam said:

    OMG, stop reading this comment and get to work on your book, why don’t you?

    Best best best of luck. Write like the wind!

    Virtual cupcake goes here.

  41. On June 27, 2011 at 6:24 am Lorna - the roamantics said:

    YAY!!!!! yes yes yes sally!!! i think this is a GREAT idea! don’t make me don my high school cheerleading uniform to root you on! it’s been like, um, five years and it ain’t pretty! 😉 seriously, can’t wait to read it!

    • On June 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm Sally said:

      Thanks, Lorna. Funny, I never pictured you the high school cheerleading type. Hmmm, learn something new about people everyday. And, hopefully, I won’t make you drag out the uniform. I know how long 5 years (ahem) can be!

  42. On June 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm Megan said:

    Yay! Book! I will be an advance reader if you need one. 🙂

    Also, I assume you know NEVER to visit Damn You Auto Correct if you need to work and you don’t want to spend hours laughing so hard you cry. Seriously, don’t visit it.

  43. On June 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm Akila said:

    Sally, good luck with the book! I finished my first book last month (or so) and am working on sending it to agents now. (Yeah, that is so not a fun process.) I’m also working on my second book now. The best encouragement that I can give you is that it gets EASIER. Seriously. When I first started writing the book, I looked at the word count and I was like, I’ll never finish writing another 70,000 words — it’s not possible. But, now, I just bang out words every day without thinking much about it.

    Have fun writing it (and if you need any further commiseration from a novelist — assuming you’re writing a novel), let me know. I’ve been talking a lot to two other travel bloggers/aspiring authors and it’s been SO helpful to vent to someone else in the same shoes. 🙂

    • On June 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm Sally said:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement & advice, Akila! I think I am most worried about the editing process. I know I can bang out words if I put my mind to it, but I have the hardest time cutting stuff out. (I get so very attached!). How did you deal with this?

      • On June 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm Akila said:

        Oh that’s the exact opposite of me. I LOVE editing. LOVE, LOVE it. I have a much harder time with the putting things down on paper because I want to rip it up and toss it out immediately. I write SO slowly because I write and edit at the same time — meaning that, on any given day, I write about 1400 words and trash 400 of them at the same time. It took me almost 9 months to write the first draft of my novel; I am super impressed with your timeline cause I wish I could write that fast.

        I also tend to pastoralize a bit while writing (I’m not sure if that’s a word but just go with me here) . . . so I wrote the whole novel out, did a round of edits, and it wound up at 99,000 words. Stephen King says that every novelist should wait a month after writing, shelf the novel, and go back and edit with the goal of cutting 10% of the novel. Personally, I couldn’t wait a month. But, I waited two weeks and went back and cut out 8,000 words. Then, I read the whole thing out loud (essential to getting the dialogue right) and cut another 1,000 words. I copied all of the paragraphs that I cut into a separate document so I could make sure that I wasn’t cutting anything important but, in general, I ended up editing out parts that slowed down the action.

        • On June 29, 2011 at 4:01 am Sally said:

          Oh wow, I’m IMPRESSED. I don’t know how you do it. I get so very attached to my words — even if I KNOW the words aren’t working, I feel so sad about cutting them out. I have started copying them & pasting them into new documents and telling myself I’ll use them for later so I don’t feel quite so bad about orphaning them. But it is so very hard for me… and one of the reasons why all my posts are so long!
          And as for writing speed, I am also super slow. There’s no way I’ll be able to finish the book in 2 months — I’m just using this time to really focus and jumpstart the process. I really don’t know how people can crank out a novel in a month or 2 — I’d probably die.
          Thanks for all the tips & advice. It’s really helped me get a realistic picture as to how I can make this happen! I may be emailing you for further advice once I actually get the ball rolling.

          • On June 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm Akila said:

            Absolutely! Seriously, I don’t know that I can give much advice because I’m in the same boat as you are but I am a very good venter and listener of venting. Torre, over at Fearful Adventurer, is also going through the process right now and it’s been awesome talking to her about plans and options with writing and publication.

  44. On June 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm Terry said:

    Really?? So You Think You Can Dance is the best you can do in the TV wasting time department. Come on, Lady!! 16 and Pregnant; MTV True Life: I Hate My Roommate; Teen Mom versions 1-4! You can do better.

    • On June 29, 2011 at 4:07 am Sally said:

      Don’t give me a hard time about “So You Think You Can Dance.” That show is inspirational! And makes me think I can dance! Plus, I don’t think any of the MTV shows are on Hulu.

  45. On June 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm Andrew - The Unframed World said:

    Ah, a book about kittens. Excellent.

    “You have to have the confidence that you can be as awesome as a kitten video.” ~ Sally

    ^^^ I somehow fooled the people at Otakon that I’m an intelligent and capable public speaker and they asked me to be a guest speaker this year. I may reference (steal… I should just say steal) this quote/concept in my talk.

    • On June 29, 2011 at 3:44 am Sally said:

      You’re welcome to steal my ideas, I just ask that you give me credit (and maybe feature my face on one of your Powerpoint slides… I think I’d look good in Powerpoint.)
      I’m really surprised no one has asked ME to be a guest speaker. I think I would be an awesome guest speaker. I mean I have so much inspiration to give — that kitten video quote alone is destined for a TED Talk, let me tell you.

  46. On July 7, 2011 at 8:35 am Angela said:

    I’ve been thinking about it a lot too lately, I’ll be starting my first book soon, but it will be an ebook, I think it’s much easier if you can publish it online, there are many sites that do this. You can give them a look, depending on the topic of your book..

    • On July 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm Sally said:

      If you have any suggestions, please email me. I’m still trying to decide how I want to go about this whole book thing… the way I’m thinking about it now it may work better as an eBook. Still have a lot of deciding to do, but it would be nice to check out my options!

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