Monthly Archives: June 2012

All Aboard: Amtrak’s California Zephyr

I’m so excited! I just booked my tickets to travel from California to Denver on the California Zephyr Amtrak line in early July. I’ve flown across the country several times, but the vantage point of being down on “ground level” should be an incredible way to see the US countryside.

As I mentioned in my “Fake it ’till you Make it” blog post, this is one of the experiences I want to have in the United States before moving to France.

I always take trains when I’m traveling in Europe, but I’ve only ever taken the US rail system up and down the State of California, or on a short journey in Illinois — but no more than a four or five-hour trip on any occasion. This trek will take 30.5 hours and I’ll be taking photos and documenting my journey along the way.

Even though I’ll only be going as far as Denver on this excursion, I plan to take the train from California to New York city later this year, perhaps in the late fall or early winter.


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Filed under My Dream, Travel

Don’t worry

Keep this in your pocket at all times, and refer to it often:

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Filed under Words of the Wise

Keeping the Dream Alive

In day-to-day life, it can be difficult to stay focused on your dreams. Between work, family commitments, and those little things that come up along the way, you can lose track of time and before you know it you’re looking back over the past day, month or year, and wondering – Where did the time go?

As a person with two pretty large dreams (finishing my novel and moving to France), it’s very important to do something daily to stay focused.

I try to write something daily, whether it be a chapter, a paragraph or just some ideas to enhance my characters’ personalities. But on those days when things come up, i.e., migraine, unexpected visit from an out-of-town friend or relative, or just pure exhaustion, I have come up with a few things that keep the project in mind.

As far as the move to France goes (now just over a year away), I can’t necessarily do something every day to move me closer, but I can do something daily to keep it on the top of my mind.

The new Vision board – Pinterest
For my novel, a historical fiction piece taking place in 1889 Paris, I find and “pin” pictures from that time period (clothing, hairstyles, furniture, etc.), or even pictures of people who look like my characters, then I refer to these pictures as I’m writing. With, this is now very easy and there’s always something that keeps me inspired.

I love music, so for both my novel and my goal of living in France, I have made iPod playlists I can listen to while driving, doing house work or just relaxing. I have about a few hundred French songs from many different era’s and listening to them immediately get’s me dreaming of Paris.

Movie Night
When I am just exhausted and don’t have the energy to do much else, I watch French films or period pieces (sometimes both in one film). I love listening to the language and I learn a few new words each time. The period pieces are great because they usually have great costumes and they remind me of the way people spoke and interacted back in those days.

The other thing I have been doing a lot of is reading books that were written in the 1880’s and by French authors. This immediately transports me to the time period I am trying to keep at the forefront of my mind.

For my move, I read books written by people who have already done what I want to do. It’s inspiring to learn what it took for these authors to make the move, and read about the adventures they had (or are having) living in a foreign country.

Do you have a big dream? What do you do to keep yourself inspired and focused?

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Filed under Inspiration, My Dream