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Elise Manion

Author of Contemporary Romantic Fiction

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Travel

Bang Your Head

Every year, we–me, The Boy, and his buddy–take an annual trip to Sacramento to attend Aftershock. It started way back in September 2013–in a thousand degree heat! (Okay, it wasn’t that hot but 100 degrees in Sacramento will steal your breath away. Thank GAWD they moved it to October. The weather was perfect!) The Boy and his buddy, who were sophomores in high school at the time, conned me into taking them by myself. My Man had opted to stay home and watch college football, where I desperately wanted to be.  I did not know what I was in for, especially when a tire blew in the middle of the Sierra’s. We limped into Sacramento late Friday night, got the last room available with two queen beds and collapsed. The headliner that year was Avenged Sevenfold, and since then, I’ve been lucky enough to see them three times!

The two-day concert was one of the most exhausting, yet exhilarating experiences I’d ever had. Now, six festivals later, My Man committed to attending both days. Every year, we buy VIP tickets because, frankly, I’m old and I’ve found that crowds can get to me, i.e. I suffer from panic attacks every now and then. With a VIP ticket, I can escape the worst of the moshers, shovers, and uber-friendly concert goers to get my bearings and breathe. This year the headliner was System of a Down, and The Deftones. You can find the entire line-up here. There were record crowds and the venue was expanded to accommodate the sold-out festival. I was able to obtain VIP tickets for Saturday, but not Sunday. Needless to say, by day two, I really wished I had that VIP space to hide in. Luckily, My Man is the best man in the world, and he made sure I had the space I needed when that soul-sucking attack reared its ugly head. Once he fed me, and hydrated me, we joined our son for Alice in Chains. By far, the funnest set of the day! Here’s a picture of three dorks before the show…

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…. We had a BLAST!

I don’t have a clue who’s playing next year, but if you’re in the Sacramento area, or if you just love to bang your head, give it a try. You won’t regret it.

 

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

No, not Christmas Silly! SUMMER!!!

ballpoint pen classic coffee composition
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Summer break is when I get the most writing done. Even though my summers lately have been a lot shorter – I’ll explain later – I can still cram a lot of writing into that timeframe by bumping up my daily word count goals. And, wanna know the best part? My office changes from the cute space I set-up for myself last summer, to my back patio under the Big Umbrella, to the front porch when the late afternoon sun drives me into the shade. By changing my surroundings, My Muse is nudged in different ways, making the ideas and characters move in directions that even surprise me.

Speaking of muse-moving inspiration, I haven’t talked about my experience at RT Booklovers Convention earlier this month…

Surprisingly, I was excited about it, which is saying something since I’m really not hip on crowds. Yes, I’ll make myself go to AfterShock every year, but that’s different. There’s lots of booze… (Just kidding… sort of) and the music is another Muse-driver. Anywaaaay, I met some incredible people (Hi Rae! Hi Rebekah!) and hung out with fellow writers from Reno (Hi Lynda! Hi Laurel! Hi Rene!), as well as authors from around the country. I was a bit star struck by some, but the best part of this convention? THE READERS. SO MANY OF YOU! 

E0E42642-5493-4BF3-B669-6C41448B9099We kicked off the Con with an Indie Soiree where independent authors (those either self-publishing or working with an independent press) gathered to mingle with readers from all over the globe. We talked about books, travel, and what you like to read. We gave away raffle tickets for readers to enter to win one of the prizes donated by the authors. It was so amazing to meet everyone and we had a lot of fun.

nhik7cfhsgal4szch6knya.jpgThe downer to the whole thing (why is there always a fricken downer?) happened the next morning when it was announced that after 35 years, this would be the last RT BookLovers con. Talk about a bummer, but I’m so glad I was able to participate in their “fair well” convention.

Which brings me back to inspiration and summer writing. I learned so much, and met so many of you, that the scenes are coming so fast I hardly have time to write them down. My Man and I have two vacations planned this year. Our first will be to Colorado Springs to see The Boy and partake in some of Colorado’s activities, like visiting the Stanley Hotel where The Shining was filmed. I’m sure to get a few hair-raising ideas if I don’t run screaming from the building. Our second vacation will come at the end of July when we visit My Man’s family in the beautiful state of Washington. My MIL is an amazing cook but she has the biggest green thumb I’ve ever seen. Her flower garden is ginormous and I’ll be posting pictures on social media for sure. When we return, it will be the first day of school here, so my summer writing time will be over as I will go back to real-world work. That means I have only a few short weeks to write, write, WRITE before my daily writing time is cut in half!

So HAPPY SUMMER to all of you! I hope it will be as fun as mine (yes, writing is fun!) and I’ll be checking in from time to time on Instagram and SnapChat to see what you all have been up to.

~Elise

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