This was definitely that sort of holiday for us.

We started off by taking the Coastal Starlight train from Seattle to LA. We had a sleeper compartment. It had two chairs that pulled out to make one bed, then a second bunk bed that dropped down. I got to spend a whole bunch of time just staring out a window, which was what I desperately needed to do.

All our meals were paid for as part of the ticket, so we ate in the diner car. The tables are set up so that you eat with other people (unless you’re traveling as a party of four.) That also made for a good train ride, to talk with the other passengers about their travels.

Though the next book on my writing schedule was supposed to be the next of the Portland Bridges series, (Circle of Water), I really didn’t feel the draw to write that story next. So instead, while traveling on the train, I came up with a brand new epic dark fantasy trilogy that I’ve already started writing.

One of the things Blaze and I have talked about before, and will mention again, is that a writing project MUST pass what we call “the giggle test.” Will this project make me giggle? Am I excited to be writing it? Will it bring me joy?

OMG yes, this new trilogy does that. I am SO EXCITED about it! There are three races, and I have a creation myth for each, as well as other stories about the gods and goddesses. I have the three characters. I have the title for the first book, with tentative titles for books two and three. (First book – “A Wind Blown Torment.”) And I have the three main characters, and am getting to know them better as well.

Anyway – I started coughing on the second day of the train trip. Didn’t realized until the following day, Christmas, that I was actually sick.

Unfortunately, being sick messed with the rest of our vacation.

After we arrived in LA, we went out to dinner with my niece and her friends – a great Brazilian steakhouse. Then we got our rental car, and crashed at my other niece’s house. Christmas, we were supposed to go see more family, but I ended up sick and curled up on the couch watching holiday baking shows for much of the day.

The day after Christmas, I did get to have breakfast with my niece, see her again. Then Blaze and I drove from LA to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, so did a bunch of other people. Around Barstow, it took us 2.5 hours to go about 23 miles. Ugh. So instead of taking between 5-6 hours, it took close to 8 hours to get to Las Vegas.

And by this time, Blaze was sick with my cold as well.

We just crashed that night. I felt better in the morning, got in a thousand words on the new book while Blaze slept for 14+ hours.

Had lunch with friends, went back to the hotel and crashed, then had dinner with them. Had been planning much more, but neither Blaze or I were up for anything.

Then, yesterday, flew back to Seattle. Plane was full. I figure I’m no longer contagious at this point, but still felt bad as I was hacking up a lung for part of the trip.

Today, we’re both taking the day off. Not doing much of anything. Resting, drinking tea and lots of fluids, napping some with the purring kitty (who is very happy we are home, BTW.)

Hopefully I’ll be much recovered by tomorrow, but we’ll see. If I’d been able to just rest once I got sick, I would probably be pretty much over the cold by now. As I had to push a lot, and travel, I’m still sick, and I’m likely to be sick for a while.

My goal was to write 50K this month. Don’t know that I’ll make that goal. We’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow or the next day. I still have a few days until the end of the month. I’m at 45K right now, which might just have to be close enough. I’m well over 600K for the year, so I feel content with whatever I achieve for December.

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful holiday, for those who celebrate, as stress free as possible.

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