Thursday, September 04, 2008

Catching up

My apologies for all the spotty blogging lately; there's been a ton on both my mind and my plate and I just haven't had the energy to sit and write anything. But now that we're back from our vacation in La Jolla (which, in all honesty, wasn't all that relaxing) I feel ready to at least post some updates.

First off--make sure you received my newsletter from August 17th. If you know you signed up but don't think you got it, check your spam and it should be there. If you aren't sure if you signed up, go ahead and do it again--the system is smart and won't list you twice, so if you're already signed up you're not going to start getting multiple copies of the newsletter. And if you haven't signed up, then you can do it right now--just put your email address in the little box up there in the right-hand column and click the wee button. When your submission goes through I'll send you a copy of the August newsletter, and if you want you can read the the June issue in the archives.

Second off--I have officially begun working on book #4, and since I'm sick and tired of calling it Book #4, I hereby dub it with the working title of "Guilt." Though, to be completely accurate, I actually haven't started working on the book itself--I've just started the marketing for it. That's a kick--filling out a marketing packet for Zondervan for a book that doesn't exist yet except in my snowflake notes. Which ROCK, by the way: of the 5 things Zondervan (hereby called Z) requested in the marketing packet, 3 of them were steps in the snowflake and are thus already completed. A little cut-n-paste and I'm done. Woohoo! Unfortunately, one of the other things it asks for is 15-20 pages of completed manuscript that is representative of the whole of the book, and since I haven't started writing yet I am not only short 15-20 pages, I am clueless as to what section of the book would actually *be* a good representative of the whole. The marketing stuff is due in to Z on Oct. 1 so I've got some time to sort it out. And who knows--given how comprehensive the snowflake is, I may have half the book done by then! Wouldn't that be a trip?!

Third off--If you're ever in San Diego, you've GOT to go to the Wild Animal Park. We went the other day and had so much fun! Though I did learn some things:

1. The Wild Animal Park is nowhere near the Zoo, which is, of course, in San Diego. It is in Escondito, which is inland quite a bit. Therefore...

2. ...when planning a trip to the Wild Animal Park, do NOT check the weather in San Diego and get all excited at the thought of a nice day in the mid-70's and decide to wear jeans. Because when you get to Escondito it will be 93 degrees and you will feel like a giant sweating pig by hour #3.

3. Bring strollers for ALL children. Do not assume that the forward-facing carry you read about online will work with your sling and that your baby will want to be in it all day, thus freeing up the stroller for your toddler. And when you're on the Safari Walk for 45 minutes and are going up the third hill, your toddler is going to want to ride, or else be carried, and then you're really stuck.

4. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the prices. No, it's not cheap, but it's not highway robbery the way some places are. And their kids' meal is awesome! (Though the bees will want to sample everything, too, which makes for a sort of dicey eating experience.)

Giant sweating pig-ness aside, it was a fantastic day and we can't wait to go again. It's only about an hour from us here in RSM, and since we have annual Zoo passes we get free admission and parking, so there's no reason for us not to go back a bunch, especially before the crowds start picking up. We went on the day the public schools all started classes, so the place was really empty, and the parking attendant said it's usually pretty empty through October. We're going to just keep an eye on the Escondito weather and head down there on cool days.

The only two things Abby said she wanted to see while we were there were, "a cat and a giant chicken." All the big cats were in hiding because of the heat, but we did see some meerkats, which she seemed happy with:

And while there were no giant chickens to be found, there were flamingos aplenty:

We also saw gorillas during feeding time--the trainer was atop their rocky enclosure and dropped whole bell peppers, corn on the cobs, and carrots to them, prompting Abby to say, "I want to be a monkey so you can throw food at me!" And there were tons of elephants, including one giving himself a bath, which Abby really enjoyed watching. Next time we go we're going to take the safari bus tour--can't wait for that!

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