I’ve spent the last month in somewhat of a daze. I have my usual duties as mother of four, compounded by the fact one of them is s special needs kid.

I have my writing duties, as I’m trying to get the last bit written of a sequel to a book that I’ve already sold.

And I have my marketing duties. My first published fiction, Freya’s Gift, came out in March from Samhain Publishing and my first full-length novel, Dinah of Seneca, an alternate history romance, is coming out May 28 from The Wild Rose Press.

So I looked around my house on Sunday: at the kids, at the cleaning and chores that needed to be done, at the writing that called to me and the emails begging to be answered and said….nah.

Instead, I told the kids were were going for a drive, loaded the entire family into the minivan and told them we were going somewhere new. I had a vague idea of driving until we found a real New England downtown with stores and restaurants and a cool Main Street. I’d heard vaguely that Northhampton, Massachusetts had something like this, so that was roughly where we were going but I was perfectly content to stop somewhere on the way if it looked interesting.

We passed a few tempting spots, including several used bookstores that were being run from what looked like Victorian-era homes. But I really, really wanted that downtown.

And we found it!

Northhampton was better than advertised. There were blocks and blocks of stores, coffeehouses, restaurants, and, well, it just looked really cool too. The kids were excited, even the ten-year-old twins. That may have had something to do with the ice cream store right across from where we parked.

So we got out of the car and walked. Because Northhampton is a town surrounded by no less than five colleges, the stores were unique and eclectic. There were no GAPS or Abercrombie & Fitch or any other brand name. There were all independently owned and operated. Well, one exception. Starbucks. But I doubt there’s anywhere in America where one can escape Starbucks.

We got ice cream first. Because we could. 🙂 then we wandered some of the stores, passing by several jewelry stores with free trade goods, others with toys for younger kids. The real find was a used bookstore where we all got lost in looking around. The kids grabbed a box set of Philip Pullman’s books, a chess instruction book and a kids cookbook. I found a history book called “Conquest,” which is about how societies conquer other societies.

The book was *exactly* what I need for my current work in progress. I’ve got Romans and Vikings in an alternate history North America and I’ve been pondering how to preserve the Native American society in this mix. Obviously, the Europeans wiped them out. I want to write an alternate universe where they survived and thrived without having them wipe out the Europeans.
Peaceful co-existence in other words. I don’t know if that’s possible but exploring how disaster happened should give me some clues.

We ended the day with a restaurant meal of burgers and fries and yet another bookstore.

It was the most fun family day we’ve had in a long time. And when I got home, I was able to sit down and write over 2,000 words on my work in progress.

I think I need to ignore the stuff that needs to be done more often. Though if we get ice cream every time, I suspect I’ll have to add clothes shopping to the trip. 🙂

* * *

You can find out more about Corrina at her website http://corrinalawson.wordpress.com/ or her blog.  If you’re over on Facebook, don’t forget to friend her, or follow her on Twitter.

Want to know more about Freya’s Gift? You can buy it here at Samhain or over here on the Kindle.

Don’t forget to check Corinna’s website for more information about her Dinah of Seneca, which releases May 28th.
In honor of Corrina’s first release with Samhain, I’m giving one lucky commenter a copy of her Freya’s Gift. Leave a comment telling me what you’d do if you had a day all to yourself–go on a run for ice cream? Shop? Head to the beach or the slopes?  What’s your way of reclaiming your mental health?   I’ll draw a winner next Tuesday (that’s April 27th) to get people enough time to catch up with their blog reading. 

Corrina Lawson’s Day Off

14 thoughts on “Corrina Lawson’s Day Off

  • April 21, 2010 at 5:20 am

    That sounds like an amazing day Corrina! What would I do? We love going for walks with the camera, the beach, the woods, downtown. That is what I would do.

    Please don't enter me in the contest, as I already have Freya's Gift 🙂

  • April 21, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Ideally, I'd find a way to sneak down to Mt. Kisco, NY, to poke about the downtown there. Barnes & Noble (with laptop in case the urge to websurf or play Sims2 or 3 strikes) and then a solo trip to the movies. If I can bring back the old fashioned ice cream parlor that was there when I was a kid, perfect. Some free range time with my camera would be lovely and if I can reach through time to bring back the ice cream parlor, I can certainly shove a romance-friendly used bookstore in there somewhere.

  • April 21, 2010 at 9:37 am

    These days, when I look up and realize I'm alone, the house is quiet and I have nothing pressing to do, I basically collapse. The porch swing is perfect for a nap if the weather is nice enough.

    Honestly, with all that's been going on, it takes me about three days to recharge to the point of being able to look around and think about what to do if I really in truly had a day to myself.

    I'd probably saddle up and go for a long ride in the woods. 🙂

  • April 21, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Sounds like a wonderful day!

    I would spend the whole day reading. No cooking, cleaning—nothing but reading.

  • April 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I would more then likely go somewhere to read and enjoy where there are no kids screaming in my ear and I don't have to get up a million and one times to get something.

  • April 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I'm with Estella! I'd read all day, although I would break to indulge in some ice cream and chocolate 😉 (Gotta keep up my strength ;)) Congrats on your new and upcoming releases, Corinna!

  • April 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Ahh, I love exploring.

    No need to enter me, though, ladies. The TBR is out of control again!

    So I'm dropping in to let Leah know I've posted this at Win a Book. Thanks for the e-mail, babe!

  • April 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I like to spend time with my mom, to unwind a little. A nice lunch and then shopping.

  • April 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    If I had a day to my self and the money to do it i would spend almost all day at B.N. Book store.

  • April 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    I would spend the day at the beach, reading, and drinking cheap wine.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  • April 22, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I think that this was a lovely way to spend a day with your family. Every now and then my mom would load us in the car and take a similar trip but it was usually somewhere that we could see how other people lived so we would stop complaining. It was educational.

    I'm still complaining.

  • April 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

    If I were alone, I'd definitely spend the day reading…but I'm not often alone. Heh.

    My mom used to do this too. She was a single mom and would load the three of us into the car. We'd say "where are we going?" and she'd say "for a ride." 🙂

    Anna, I've been to Mt. Kisco! Love their diner and they have a big Borders store right downtown, a Friendlys, and a park.

    Thanks, everyone!

  • April 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I'm in Western MA, so we spend lots of time in Northampton. It's fabulous. I love it there. Glad you got to visit!

  • April 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    My ideal way to relax…some great books, my ereader loaded w. new books, home-made cookies & brownies and for dinner tuna croquettes. Just while away the day reading to my heart's content.


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