i often joke about the horrors of living in china, but in all honesty, there are parts about it that i absolutely love. case in point: chinese new year vacay. the kids are out of school for almost a month, the hubby’s out for two weeks, and traveling here is just so cheap and convenient. there’s so much close by that it’s so easy to take quick trips to amazing places. the past few weeks, we’ve hopped from guilin (for caves, mountains, and pretty cool parks), hong kong (for fun with cousins and great food), and malaysia (for beach, snorkeling, fireflies, and monkeys). i got to see some truly beautiful and inspirational things that i am psyched to put into stories: mountains shrouded in misty clouds, beaches where blankets of fish stretched across the surfaces, fire flies (not to be confused with lightning bugs in the states) that lit up trees like faerie lights, and so much more! i’ve got a few story ideas set in these areas floating around my noggin now and can’t seem to type fast enough to keep up with the words. and my current story (number 3 in the magically yours series) is flowing pretty freely, too, after taking a bit of a break from it to travel. it was just all around awesome!

there was one particular adventure we took, a truly harrowing boat ride in malaysia, that is just begging to be in a book…if for no other reason than to get it out of my nightmares! i was secretly terrified, though i did my best to be calm and reassuring for the kids…and two of my kids, while scared, fell asleep during it. it’s a good thing i don’t write children’s books…tough crowd.