For those of you who didn't see the news on Twitter and Facebook, PUMPKIN PATCH PRINCESS had some excitement the other night --- it got onto the Hot List on Wattpad! I don't know much about how this works (aside from the fact that it is a great thing!), but I assume it has to do with reads, votes, and comments in a certain span of time. Thank you again for supporting my fun little story! It hurt me to know it would never become a real book, since it's been well-received by everyone who has read it, so I'm beyond grateful that I can share it with readers this way.
Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars contest is coming to a close, and I have selected my mentee! I can't wait for the big reveal, so I can introduce him/her to you. Their manuscript is wonderful --- dark and creepy and mysterious, as well as well-written and funny --- and I think with a few tweaks here and there, it'll be completely agent-ready.
In personal news, this coming Saturday is my birthday! I'm turning the big 3-0, though everyone insists on thinking I am a teenager. (I hear I'll appreciate my good skin / baby face one day. Today is not that day.) I'll be posting about things I've learned in my 20s, and things I hope for in my 30s. They are not the materialistic things my younger self wanted, since I got almost none of those (including *cough* a house and a book deal). So I think this will be a much more fulfilling decade for me!
And now, back to Ireland pictures!
On Sunday, after Corinne and I wandered around Galway in the morning, we headed to the coach station to meet up with our tour group. We were the first ones there, and slowly drew everyone else around us with the power of our loud American accents and copious amounts of luggage.
I liked everyone immediately, and we all frequently commented during the tour on how cohesive our group was! There was Fiona Claire, our tour guide and storyteller extraordinaire; our fearless workshop leaders and bestselling authors Heather Webb and Susan Spann; Susan's mother Paula and stepfather Spencer; two teachers, Alissa and Chris, and Chris's wonderful mom Joanne; our resident YA expert, Cassidy (who was only 18!); former acquisitions editor Karen; authors Laura and Pam, and Pam's friend Lisa; and Corinne and me.
We checked into the Angler's Rest Hotel in the village of Headford, and then it was off to the van and onward to our first tour destination!
The Irish roads took some getting used to. They are so narrow that two cars cannot drive side-by-side. So when you meet someone head-on, either one of you has to pull off to the side so the other can pass!
We drove to the Ros Errilly Friary, which was about a 10-minute drive from our hotel. It's said to be haunted by the ghost of someone murdered inside!
That's the haunted window where the murder allegedly took place. Everyone --- including myself! --- can see the outlines of a man in monk's robes just to the left of me. He's in profile with a hood, facing me. Can you see him?
(This is what happens when you put a bunch of imaginative writers all in one place!)
We headed back to the hotel for dinner that night. As you can see, being an obnoxious tourist, I had to take pictures of everything I ate. Everyone laughed at me, but it's made it so easy to separate out my photos by each day! I had fried mushrooms and salmon, and that's Heather's cheesecake and my apple pie with cream in the last picture. ("How New England of you!" she said, when I ordered it. As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of New England...)
Come back next week for pictures of Day Three, in which we visit a mystical stone circle, Ashford Castle (where the CW show "Reign" was filmed), and the village of Cong (where the John Wayne movie "Quiet Man" was filmed).
See you then!