I got back from my trip to New York on Tuesday, and I’m still recovering. I mean, first the flight got delayed and I had to wait 7 hours in Chicago for the next flight to Seattle because I didn’t want to fly through Phoenix for just a half hour’s difference, so I got home at about midnight and… Well, I’m tired. I took Wednesday off. You wouldn’t think a 3 hour difference between east and west coast could wear you out so much.
Onto the topic at hand: my trip to the Empire State. To me, New York had always kind of felt like Disneyland. When I was a kid, Disneyland had always been this sort of far-off, fantastical place where only rich or special children got to go. Kids that weren’t me. That mostly fell apart when my parents took me for my sixth or seventh birthday (best vacation ever!), but it’s still a magical place.
I guess New York felt the same way. I know that most of the tourism spots reminded me of Disneyland rides; long lines, dramatic music, voice-overs welcoming you/thanking you for coming, gift shops, etc.
Unfortunately, we were so busy with everything else we didn’t have time to visit Coney Island for more than a quick drive-by *cries*.
But it’s still just a city. People actually live there. More people in that one city than in the entire state of Washington, actually. No wonder my favorite restaurant in Manhattan was completely full every time we went there.
I admit that when I first arrived, I was a little terrified. My father doesn’t live in the best neighborhood, and I’d heard so many horror stories. How was I supposed to know? But on the drive to their apartment from the airport, I looked out the window and realized that it’s not that different from Seattle. Bigger, definitely. A little dirtier (it would be hard to clean up after 8 million people). But every big city in the northern US has a similar feel. I’ve never really felt afraid of li’l old Seattle, so that helped a lot.
I do know that Times Square as depicted in Every Movie Ever is pretty much true to life. Luckily, I was able to avoid New York’s designated giant radioactive dinosaur monsters and alien invasions while I was there. Maybe next time 🙂
But, onto my One True Passion — writing. I didn’t bring my laptop with me, so I’ve had to make do with the OneNote app on my phone to tide me over. I did get a few snippets for my newest book done, but texting (or writing) during family visits is sadly frowned upon. Disappointingly, I didn’t have a Big Breakthrough like I did on the Reno trip, but I’m more determined than ever to get these books published already, and hopefully enter into some short fiction contests.
Contests are one of the 2 C’s of getting established as a writer, along with Conferences (which I’ll deal with another time). They’re held many times a year by many different publications, magazines, and writers’ websites, and I’ve found at least one compiled list of them at Poets & Writers, if anyone’s interested.
They’re a great way to a) practice your writing, b) possibly make some money if you win, and c) get your name out there if you win. All three are especially important to a newbie writer, but I was so busy just trying to get my first book out there that I didn’t have time for anything but writing, re-writing, and editing The Crater in the Sky.
The good news is that The Children of the Deep is nearly finished and publishable, freeing up a bit more time for something other than novel-writing. Most of that free time will likely go into practicing my flash fiction for some contests.
But I am a novelist through and through, and I’m not planning to leave my library at just 2 books. Book 3 will be coming along as soon as possible.