Thursday, April 2, 2009


I've totally got the Go-Go's song "Vacation" in my head right now because tomorrow morning I'm off to one of my favorite places on earth: Seattle, Washington. Someday I hope that we'll be able to afford to move there, but in the meantime I try to get out to visit once a year.

Last year's visit was largely pleasure-- I showed Scott around in hopes of convincing him that we should move there and we got to spend a lot of time with one of my best friends from high school and her family--but it was still part of my book tour, so I still had to do some work. 

This year the rule is no work. None. Maybe I'll respond to email if I feel like it (or if they are completely urgent from agent or editor) and I will journal about any thoughts or story ideas that come to me of course, but I won't be forcing myself to brainstorm about or decide between my new projects (I blogged about that angst the other other day here.) I won't be doing any readings/signings (sorry Seattle, I'll try to come back and do that after Ballads comes out). And I won't be blogging at all next week. (I'm not bringing a computer, everything I do will have to be done via BlackBerry.) Though I'm sure I will definitely be twittering quite a bit, so if you want to keep up with my adventures you will want to follow me at

I need this. I cannot begin to tell you how badly I need this. I think I'm so scatterbrained and creatively drained because I'm just burned out. I feel like I've been running nonstop for over a year now, working whenever I'm not sleeping, either doing my job that pays the bills or writing or promoting writing. *hums "Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, have to get away"* Yeah.

So I'm going to Seattle with four girl friends: my dear friend/neighbor/critique partner,
 Jenny; one of my best friends on the planet, Eryn, who is from Denver so I don't get to see her nearly enough; and then I am meeting two friends from online, Lynn all the way from Ireland (you may remember her as the fabulous gal behind Angel Potions on WWRW) and Jade from NYC.

As my fellow music geeks out there probably know April 5th of this year marks 15 years since Kurt Cobain committed suicide. So I did decide to go in April of this year in order to be there on that day to remember Kurt. When I went 10 years after his death, the experience was incredibly powerful and really helped me to put my life into perspective (I wrote an essay about it here if you are curious). I'm curious to see if the 15th year memorial will be like the 10th.

That was my first trip to Seattle in 2004 and I went solely because Nirvana was a my favorite band and I'm a dork and I wanted to do a tribute trip. But when I got there, literally when I was on the bus from the airport to our hostel downtown and I saw the landscape, the beautiful greenery, the skyline, the fresh smell in the air, I fell in love with Seattle. It was no longer just about the music, that was only the thing that got me there, I'd never felt so comfortable in a place before, not even at home in Chicago. Maybe it's because I'm a water sign, so being surround by water on three sides does something to me, and also, all that rain keeps the place so lushly green. (Although I have to stick up for Seattle because so many people go, "eww why do you want to live there, it rains all time." Umm, Seattle ranks 41 among the top rainiest cities in America. And I'd rather have a rainy winter than a snowy one, thanks.) I don't know. I just think it's freakin' beautiful and the kind of place where you just want to be outside all the time.

So along with shopping and paying tribute to dearly departed musicians, there is a lot of outdoorsy fun stuff on our itinerary. Even though I've been to Seattle six times now, I still haven't seen it all and this year I am particularly excited about going to Golden Gardens Park and the Ballard Locks. I'm also looking forward to my favorite bars and restaurants (vegan pizza at Pizza Pi, here I come!) and to visiting with friends who live in that area.

I'm even excited about the plane ride (though I have some minor fears about plane crashes, for the most part I love flying) because it's my favorite place to just listen to music, read, and write. I'm hoping that on the way back, I'll be revitalized and get some great writing done on the plane. I've been obsessively listening to Alice in Chains lately. It seems like my mind prepares me for my trip that way, every time I go to Seattle, I get obsessed with one Seattle band or another. The first year it was Nirvana of course, but one year it was Screaming Trees (technically not from Seattle I know) and another year The Gits. I created a 1000 song ultimate Seattle playlist for my journey and I'm totally geeking out. I'm also looking forward to having time to read. I have way too little of that. The books that are coming with me are Evermore by Alyson Noel, Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph, Polly by Amy Bryant, and TMI by Sarah Quigley. Too many books? Yeah probably, but hey I want plenty of reading options. (BTW, just finished my ARC of Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready last night. Soooooooo good! You want it. Badly. Trust me.)

Now off to do my online check-in on Southwest... I hope I get a good number so I can snag that seat closest to the window in the two seat, emergency exit aisle-- my favorite spot.

I'll be back after April 9th with pictures and stories to tell no doubt, but in the meantime, keep up with me on twitter. Oh and if you are bored while I'm gone, the new issue of Black Oak Presents is available for download here and there is an interview with me in it. Now, tell me all about your dream vacation or favorite places to travel!


Erika Lynn said...

I have never been to Seattle but one of my best friends from college is from there and we are trying to plan a trip there soon. Have fun!

Keri Mikulski said...

Have fun in Seattle! :) Can't wait to see the pics. :)

Thao said...

It surprises me how you can even think and write on the plane. I'm always too dizzy even to read. Anyway have a great vacation!!!