Maybe I’m Addicted to Bananagrams…

I just returned from a lovely, week-long, extremely necessary beach vacation. The week before had been seven days of extreme highs and lows and my stress level was pretty much at an all-time height. As the deadline for this book creeps nearer, my anxiety is increasing about Getting It Done and Doing It Well, and a series of roadblocks and breakthroughs are giving me a roller-coaster ride of it. Also, my dog almost died. But there were so many good things that matched the really awful things, that I’d prefer to remember all those:

This get-well-soon gift basket that everyone at my work put together for my sick dachshund. There was even a card that they all signed. I work with seriously the nicest people ever.

A free book from a fabulous blog that arrived just before my vacation departure and promised to be the perfect beach read. It was. I finished it in one day. (Thanks again Steph!)

A gifted pair of super funky, super comfortable new heels from my Aunt Wendy.

Vacation made everything even better: I read 2.5 books, saw baby dolphins, went water skiing, got a full summer’s tan in a few days (I so so so miss being a lifeguard and getting paid to tan; we editor folks are much more pasty with our indoor office jobs), played an excessive amount of bananagrams, and even wrote a 2,000-word first chapter to a new book that’s been floating around in my head for a month or so. I won’t say much about it except to say that the writing was almost easy, I love the characters and the plot, and I think it’s good. Like, really good. [cross your fingers!] I’m so looking forward to NaNoWriMo this year (probably the next chance I’ll have to seriously start writing this new book. With my deadline for the Byberry State Hospital book being early November, I’ll be able to partake in at least some of the month’s Twitter writing-sprints and local write-ins).

So I’m back, my stress level is down, I feel like I can actually handle everything and get it all done, and will even be blogging with more regularity again (hurray!)

How’s your summer treating you? Were you able to go on a vacation yet, even if it was just a mini staycation? Did it do any good things for your writing?


13 thoughts on “Maybe I’m Addicted to Bananagrams…

  1. Giulietta Nardone says:

    Hi Hannah,

    Baby dolphins sound lovely! How cute they must be. Your book will be terrific. I wanted to thank you for mentioning your published/rejected list. I loved your Nail Polish Story, so I submitted to. They appeared in the August issue. My first fiction pub. Been doing pretty well with non-fiction, so this foray into a new area was really fun. Enjoy! G.

    p.s. your site is one of the ones I just can’t use my word press site address with. It just won’t take it.

    • hannahkarena says:

      They were so cute!! I wish I could go out and see them every day! I’m so happy to hear you submitted/got accepted to the Nail Polish journal!! Congrats on the publication!

      Hmm, that’s strange. I’m so technologically challenged, I couldn’t try to explain it if I tried. Glad you can leave comments, nevertheless!

  2. squirrel circus says:

    You sound wonderfully recharged. Welcome back! Our summer has been fabulous…not a ton of writing…other than my blog, but lots of fun with family and friends!

    • hannahkarena says:

      Thank you! Though this week is already draining me all over again…boo. There will be plenty of time to write in the dreary wintery months; now’s the time to have adventures so you have something to write about later!

      Hope the rest of your summer continues to be awesome!

  3. Brett says:

    Despite the difficulties, I’m glad you found some joy. That’s so nice of the people at your work to give that basket. I hope your dog feels better! (And I admit Bananagrams is addicting and distracting).

    I’ve had a good summer. Nestled among the menial labors of scrounging money, I’ve managed to do some traveling and a little writing–mostly creative nonfiction. I went to Egypt for a month to teach English and today leave for a brief ghost-hunting and Mark Twain road trip with old friends.

    I’m excited. Thanks for sharing, Hannah.


    • hannahkarena says:

      I’m thinking we should have a Bananagrams tornament. Do people hosts these things, for like a championship and trophies?? I must look into this.

      Hurray for traveling AND writing! I have a hard time doing both. I went to Egypt myself two years ago and didn’t get one single creative sentence written (and, much to my shame, I still haven’t written anything about my experiences there). What program did you teach English through there? That must have been amazing!

      I LOVE the Mark Twain house–have you ever been? It’s one of the better author house tours/museums, in my opinion. Also, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house is right next door! And what does one do on a ghost-hunting trip? Do you have specific locations that are known to be haunted that you plan to visit? Sounds like a lot of fun!

      Enjoy everything and the rest of your summer, Brett!

      • Brett says:

        Haha, I’m not sure about tournaments. But one could always start a Bananagrams revolution.

        As far as Egypt goes, that’s awesome that you were able to see it! Where did you go, if I may ask? I went through my school. One of the professors has a deal worked out with a seminary there in Cairo.

        As far as the Mark Twain/ghost hunting trip goes, I’ve never been to Mark Twain’s house, but I imagine it is impressive. I certainly hope to go. My friends and I hunt ghosts and watch horror movies. A guilty pleasure perhaps?

        And I hope you have an awesome summer, too, Hannah! Thanks for the blog. Cheers.


  4. Kat says:

    I love, love, love the shoes!! I’m a shoe addict and they’re right up my alley. 🙂

    So sorry to hear about all the stress and difficulties you’ve been having, but I’m glad you found relaxation and joy in your vacation. It’s important to take time to recharge in order to keep going.

    And I’m happy your dog is okay! We had to put my parents dog down this summer. That was heartbreaking. He was such a gentle sweetheart. We all miss him something fierce.

    Summer has been kinda quiet for me for a change. Going on a mini-vacation in two weeks to Wildwood, New Jersey. I can’t wait to be at the beach!

    Fall is in the air and I’m excited for Football season starting tonight! Woohoo! Looking forward to cooler days and cuddly nights.

    Take care and much love,

    • Kat says:

      Oh! And as for the writing…several things have been going on. I’m part way through my memoir (! I was accepted to write a literary borough post for Ploughshares which will be published in November. I finished the 100th anniversary commemorative book (design and writing) for the hospital I work at. It should be published later this year. And last, but not least, I’m working on the Easton Riverside Arts Festival and the writing tent where writers get to read an excerpt of their work to the public. Whew! Pretty exciting!

    • hannahkarena says:

      I’m such a shoe person too! I’ve totally lost count of how many pairs I own. Sorry to hear about your parent’s dog, that’s really awful. My own vacation was in Wildwood, and I loved it! I love being able to walk everywhere and not have to drive (well, except to Cape May, which is totally worth it).

      Take care!

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