I love little getaways. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a fan of taking a week (or more) to vacation. My family’s done a terrific 2-week vacation to Spain, Italy, and France. Another fav was a 10-day swing driving through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.WeI’ve spent a week at Disneyworld, combining seeing the parks and doing their 3-day cruise. So yes, I do enjoy going somewhere and spending a nice chunk of time there.
But nothing recharges my batteries more than a quick trip for a couple of days.
I recently escaped to San Antonio, which has some of the best food in Texas. The River Walk that runs through downtown (and the nearby Alamo) is a treat, with restaurants and shops galore. It’s fun to grab a table by the river, order some queso and margaritas, and simply people watch. *BTW—it works with ice cream, too!
Part of the trip included a stop at the oldest bakery in Texas (located in New Braunfels) and attending the San Antonio indoor rodeo, which has been voted best indoor rodeo 10 years in a row. Frankly, I don’t see how those cowboys stay on those buckin’ bulls & broncos as long as they do. Just watching them being tossed about made MY insides feel scrambled! The fact that they could even walk after an experience like that makes me admire them—and think they must be some of the biggest risk-takers on the planet.
A real treat was the concert after the rodeo. Pentatonix is a 5-member a cappella group that recently won a Grammy. They cover existing songs and are moving toward doing more original material. They’re all very young, and they’ve used social media brilliantly to further their careers, even creating their own You Tube channel. They’re currently on tour in the US and will continue to European venues, as well as appear in the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2
Not only are they immensely talented, their sound is unique and innovative. The arrangements they come up with truly give them ownership of the songs they perform. I love the strong presence of Ari’s low bass vocals, and how Kevin is a true vocal percussionist. Their sound blends seamlessly into rich harmonies.
Hearing them and their fresh, original sound made me realize there’s really nobody out there now that sounds like them. That inspires me, as a writer. It’s said there are only about 20 themes or stories authors can tell (stories of love, revenge, etc.)—but it’s the way you tell your story that can make all the difference with an audience. I write romance, so my readers know there’s always going to be an HEA by the tale’s end. I’ve focused on historical romances, but now I’m trying to grow as a writer. I’m exploring the romantic suspense genre and have sold two of those to my editor. I’m working on a third now.
So as I continue on this writing journey, with its highs/lows/meanderings, I hope that I can keep my characters as fresh and innovative as the music of Pentatonix. Oh, and celebrate with a margarita every now and then when a book comes out!
P.S. Here’s a cut from the recent Pentatonix Christmas album. Check out these amazing harmonies: