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My second staycation was a complete success. Last year I chronicled my staycation successes and failures. This year I only have positives to share. I lucked out with perfect weather every day, read a lot (Amy Schumer’s Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo and issues of The Sun Magazine), wrote, had foodie adventures, and enjoyed doing nothing.

One thing I don’t like too much about writing for a living is how much time it demands to sit and stare at a screen. (Yes, standing desks can help provide variety, but screen time is a bit yawny.) One of my staycation “rules” is not to turn my computer on. I also sign out of email on my phone and temporarily delete apps I use for work.

However, I had to make an exception this year. On the first day of my staycation I interviewed stand-up comedian Bill Burr. Quite a nice exception! I wrote the article and checked my email twice per day until editor approval. Once that piece was wrapped up I signed out of email and all social media for four days. This break, combined with the relaxing fun outlined below made me feel like I’d been away for months. Most days I’d look at the clock and be like, “10:30? That’s it? I have the whole day to do anything?!” And then what seemed like hours later, “10:46? Really?!” Our chickens got a LOT of free ranging time–some days more than they knew what to do with and would come looking for me.

backyard chickens

The girls getting confused with all their free time.

5 Highlights of My Staycation
(Mostly foodie, outdoor and word things.)

cup 22 saxapahaw

Cafe au lait and one of my many journals at the Haw River Ballroom.

Spent a glorious day on our back deck writing, then visited Saxapahaw for lunch at the General Store. (Amazing coconut milk pork and mozzarella on focaccia.) Perched at Cup 22 at the Haw River Ballroom and wrote an entire short story. As is my forte, it’s dark humor. It’s a story about a guy building his own coffin. I picked up some local beef from Left Bank Butchery (had a cooler in my car), then went across the street to visit the new Red Door Books. Got a book on graphic design and another on drawing. I’ll be sharing the scoop in my October newsletter with my subscribers first, but I’m planning the cover of my next book and in the early stages of developing illustrations for another book that’s more of a long-term project. If you don’t already subscribe – sign up for my newsletter for writers.

belgian cafe apex nc

Napoleon and flan from Belgian Cafe in Apex, NC.

Checked off a lot of foodie spots I had been wanting to visit: Belgian Cafe, Stick Boy Bread Company, Rise Biscuits and Donuts, Buggy Town Coffee, Sutton’s Drug Store Cafe, Carolina Coffee Shop.

haw river kayak

Kayaking on the Haw River to Saxapahaw.

Had our friend visit from Long Island and spent a half day paddling down the Haw River. (This is the same section of the river I’ll take writers along next month on the Pen and Paddle floating writer retreat.)

vintage treasures

Old things!

Explored small country towns with my love. Picked up an old book, vinyl, and a knickknack from the 1870s.

Eno River

Bobbitt’s Hole on the Eno River in Durham, NC.

Visited my favorite place on the Eno River – my swimming hole! I hadn’t been there in a few years and I randomly decided to take Ramsay. You might remember one of my adventures there when a snake joined me in the river.

I’m back in the virtual swing of things this week. I have three new projects starting, my short story to type, edit, and submit, and I’m totally recharged for it all!