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Goodbye, St. Louis... Hellooo again, Cali!

Enjoyed some great camping in St. Louis. Gorgeous weather, quiet and relaxing... yada-yada. Got to say I was amused by some of the Granite City KOA's reviews complaining about their rates. To go from nothing but a port-o-potty 4 miles inside a national forest to a LAUNDRY ROOM, a game room with OUTLETS, a STORE with STUFF, SHOWERS... ooh-la-la! Q-Tips, charging cords, salt and pepper shakers nestled inside tiny decorative campers - the luxury! Have I stepped into the Four Seasons?! Don't get me wrong, LOVED the beauty and solitude of Shawnee - priceless. A place like Turkey Bayou just has a way of making one grateful for the tiniest of conveniences. What's this?! Complimentary hand sanitizer?! You really shouldn't have, but don't mind if I do! I'm sure the women behind the counter thought I was an escaped mental patient.

Okay, there was also a very civilized, almost cushy (had I not had to twist the bulbs to turn on my bedside lamps) motel stay sandwiched between these two campgrounds, where I took the longest shower of my life and dealt with the code red rat's nest in my hair, the likes of which I've not seen since first grade. Don't judge. Natural curls tighten up a notch or two every time you sweat, aka every other minute. You've got no choice but to pull that mess up in a bun and forget about it out in the sticks with no showers or running water. Also, a girl's got to batch her Amazon book shipments somewhere, and a girl can't quite bring herself to ask a freshly minted barista if she minds if she brings in a few boxes and sets up a few teeny-tiny printers. Just couldn't pull the trigger on that one yet. I have faith that book batching spots and opportunities will present themselves when needed. I'm counting on it... for a little while, until a few other projects reach full maturity and really blossom.

I had a fun breakfast catch up session with an old friend from my Ballroom Fencing improv days. Matt even let me park my car in his driveway for a week, bless his heart. Don't you love those friendships where you can just pick right up, like it hasn't been 10 years since you've seen each other? I also revel in stories of friends now battling younger, quicker, clones of themselves. Staying a step ahead of those creatures looks daunting. I'll stick to dog momming. I freaking love kids to the moon and back, but I'm an aunt and therefore rank right up there with Santa and the Tooth Fairy. No, this time around I was not down for what looks like the toughest job in the world. I didn't even bring the right cords.

So what's it like? I'm enjoying my newfound freedom to the enth degree (Love you & thank you, Gabe & Jebby!). 14 days into my sabbatical and I'm abso-freaking-lutely loving it. I seriously wake up thinking, I'm so damn happy! I love being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Who wouldn't?! That being said, I thought I wanted to write like a fiend and finish this sequel to Swallowtail, but something strange is happening. I've been avoiding it like a colonoscopy. However, I've managed to figure out why. I basically leave the planet when I write a chapter. Not sure if I'm writing from the moon or Andromeda... who knows? But I am not here. That's all well and good if you've got a safety net of comfort and familiarity in place. On the road however, it's a whole new ballgame. I have no lookout. So the timing of an invitation to dog sit in California couldn't have been better. I have the most amazing friends (with the cutest dogs). To say that I'm looking forward to my first ever week of bonafide, full-time writing, is an understatement. Weeeeeeeeeee!!!

P.S. I just added a photo to my original blog post about the launch of They Can Never Know and was startled and amused by what I read. I guess this yearlong-raw-vegan-road-trip-adventure has been brewing for some time, lol... paging Dr. Freud!

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© 2016 by Sheri Meshal

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