Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?
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Anne's Randomness

Oops, story, and vacation

Well, that was unexpected. Please do pardon the VERY long gap between posts, O readers! An awful lot of things happened, most of which you already know if you're a follower of my Facebook page, so I won't bore you, but yes, here I am again, ready to charm and delight you (or startle and fright you) on the blog of Anne's Randomness! 

Among the things that happened were some medical issues, which seem to be (slooowwly) resolving themselves, and, at last, some WRITING! Not just writing, but writing of new originals! No, it's not the continuation of the two series you've all been hoping for, which I know will disappoint many of you, and disappoints me to some extent. I would really like to write Playing with Fire or Snowball for you guys, but they don't want to come out and play just yet. However, what I do have seems intriguing in its own right. 

The title of the first book is And One Shall Cry. It falls between Killdeer and Homecoming in length, and is definitely fantasy, though it has a bit of a soft sci-fi or steampunk feel as well. Many of my common themes are present--dreams, family, friendship, art, food, music, nature--but the story itself is drawn from my experiences over the past few years. It's a fictional musing on power and powerlessness, hope and hopelessness, and what you do, or where you turn, when you feel like you have nothing left. Its sequel, To Follow Dreams, is getting started on my desktop right now, or was until I started blogging instead. 

As for when you can buy it... well, I don't know, O readers. This may be the book where I cross my fingers, swallow my fears, and send it off to an actual traditional publisher. Scary, but it may be the best move for me. And if it gets rejected, oh well. There's always Kindle. Thoughts, as ever, are welcome! 

But now to the more important part of the blog. Vacation! As mentioned on the Book of Face earlier today, the other human and I took some time off recently. After quick visits to both sets of families, during which we both exercised great patience towards certain family members who shall remain nameless, we came home, set up the auto-feeder for the cats, took the dogs to the kennel, and took ourselves south to lovely Williamsburg, Virginia. 

For anyone not from the US, the city of Williamsburg is best known for the section which has been preserved and/or restored to its appearance from colonial times, where there are historical demonstrations of all kinds going on seven days a week. There's also an amusement park and a water park nearby, and Jamestown, the earliest English settlement in America, and Yorktown, where the American Revolution ended, are very close at hand as well (the "historical triangle"). Great place to visit. 

We had purchased what are called "bounce passes", which let us go to Busch Gardens, the amusement park, Water Country USA, the water park, and Colonial Williamsburg as much as we wanted for seven days. One level up and we could also have gone to the attractions in Jamestown and Yorktown, but we didn't have time for that this vacation. Maybe next time. 

Now, I want you all to understand something. We had a really fantastic time. This was a great trip and we are already plotting and planning how to get my family to come along next year. With that said -- I swear this vacation was under a mild curse. Little things kept going wrong. 

We forgot our beach towels. (Bought new ones at the drugstore. Cheap.) Krystal stepped off a curb wrong before we even got into the water park the first day and jarred her ankle and knee. (Painful but not horrible, and she had to take it slow the next couple days but we weren't in a hurry anyway.) It kept threatening to rain. (Never actually rained, and that kept the crowds away from all the parks.) We kept making wrong turns on the roads. (Never got more than about three minutes' worth of lost.) We lost our printed bounce passes, which meant we had to pay for the parking that should have been included, and it took three amusement park employees to figure out how to get us new ones. (But they did get us new ones, reimbursed the parking, and then we ended up finding the old passes in the hotel room that night.) And so on, and so on. 

To counterbalance all the little annoyances, we have the great fun. The wolf at Busch Gardens who did not want to perform his behaviors for his trainer, instead being interested in scent-marking the stage every possible place he could (and yes, that does mean peeing on everything). The heron who flapped into sight just in time for the start of our little boat cruise. The "lazy rivers" at Water Country USA that went so fast my abs were sore for days. The waterslides that went a LOT faster than I anticipated and dumped me out into the splash pool with my hair over my eyes. Getting mistaken for college students, and history majors at that, at Colonial Williamsburg because we were following the guide's lecture so well. Being able to name most of the herbs in the kitchen gardens without the signs. Finding my favorite scent of soap, natural bayberry, which has been really hard to find lately, at an excellent price. And the list goes on... 

The most traumatic moment of the vacation happened after we got home. Those of you who are Facebook friends with Krystal probably already know about it. We had been home a couple hours, the cats were glaring at us ("how dare you go away so long, these litterboxes were DIRTY"), we'd put in a load of laundry, and I went to the top of the stairs to check on it. 

For a moment, I thought I was looking at a big dust bunny, caught in an air current that made it blow around in circles. Then I realized it had a tail. One or both of the cats had caught and wounded a mouse, rendering it unable to run in a straight line, and left it in the basement as a "welcome-home" present for us. And yes, we do occasionally have mice getting into the house here. Usually the cats simply remove them for us. In this case, I think Starsky and Hutch decided the humans needed to be put in their place. 

Krystal managed to get downstairs and upend a Mason jar over the mouse, but she then came upstairs and had a bit of a squick fit, which I totally understand. Unexpected, injured, small furry things in one's house are not pleasant. I have, however, had a bit of practice with this (my family had at least one free-roaming cat for my entire life), so I got some cardboard under the jar, scooped it up, and removed the mouse to the back yard. It has not been seen since, so either it made its escape or something snacked on it. 

So, this post ended up being rather long. I'm hoping it makes up for some of the time I haven't been posting. Just know that I am still here and still alive, O readers, and I shall try to make blogging a regular thing once more. Thank you, as always, for reading, and I shall see you next time! 

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