So, last Tuesday, while feeling tired and stressed and like the walls of our house were closing in around me, I booked a spontaneous weekend away for me and the two little boys. Escape! Patrick had to stay home to work, sadly, but MrD, MrX and I took the train to Cardiff, a city I love, and we had a wonderful time.
My plan was to have fun in the hotel with the kids whether or not we ever managed to get out to do more tourist-y stuff – and just on our way out the door, I gritted my teeth and yanked my laptop out of my suitcase to leave it behind. So there! It was our weekend away, a holiday just for me and my kids, and deadlines or no deadlines, I was not going to bring any work with me!
It was such a good decision. We stayed at the Novotel in Cardiff, which was the perfect place for a family. The boys were greeted with stuffed lions as a welcome-gift, the meals were delicious, and the warm, lovely swimming pool was set up to make both kids and their parents very happy.
We swam, we played, and we could have had a great time all weekend even if we hadn’t ever left the hotel – but we spent Saturday afternoon at the National Museum of Wales, and I am so glad we did! As well as great dinosaur skeletons (my two-year-old was particularly excited by the T-Rex skull and by the full Edmontosaurus skeleton!), they have a fabulous Discovery Centre where kids can handle dinosaur bones and examine specimens under microscopes. Between that, the Lego store in the city centre, and the crépe café we went to afterwards, our minds were thoroughly blown. 🙂
Of course, my work deadlines hadn’t disappeared, and those deadlines are all a bit tighter after a weekend without work – but oh, am I better for it. This morning, I dived back into my edits, starting at the point where I’d stalled out at the end of last week, thinking (at the time): How can I do this? It’s too haaaaaard! This morning, I opened up the manuscript, gulped….and then deleted multiple pages in one quick swipe and wrote a new scene that took care of things. Done! Suddenly, I could see exactly how to do it. It’s amazing what a break and a change of scene (and getting the chance to gaze at dinosaur skeletons!) can accomplish. 🙂
PS: And don’t forget: one of the two international ARC giveaways for Masks and Shadows ends tonight!