Okay, first I have to admit two things: 1) I wasn't on vacation for the entire summer and 2) I can't remember how long it's been since I've had to write this kind of essay, so I consider this fun. ;)

Learned a lot
From attending the Romance Writers of America National Convention to online workshops and gathering with writerly types in person, online and over the phone, I keep learning that I have a lot more to learn about writing, publishing, freelancing and finding that work/life balance that the media keeps harping about. This is an ongoing journey I'll be enjoying for the rest of my life.

Lived vicariously through a friend's skydiving adventure
When my friend Laura asked me to be her matron of honour for her August wedding, I immediately knew the type of bridal shower I'd "throw" for her. Always the adventurer, Laura had wanted to go skydiving for her 40th birthday, but things hadn't worked out. So her mom and I decided that instead of having friends show up with kitchen stuff and linens for a same-old, same-old bridal shower, we'd toss her out of a plane!

I hadn't counted on being so terrified for her, though. Seriously. Between the "what not to do" videos we watched to overhearing her last-minute instructions, I was ready to throw up. While every part of me wanted to convince her to stay on the ground, I gave her a hug for luck and let her go. Laura had a fantabulous time as did the rest of us watching from far, far below!

This has been an epic adventure in the making. Four years. Ten attempts. A near-cancellation on-site at the last minute. Joanne had been hankering to go on a balloon ride ever since we all went ziplining for my 40th birthday. So I signed her up for her birthday -- all those years ago! Then we experienced a wide assortment of balloon-challenging weather conditions (too much wind, not enough wind, rain, hail, atmosperic turbulence... you name it, we experienced it) that prevented us from even going to the site. We appreciated the call-ahead service by Sundance Balloons so that we were disappointed a day in advance. :(

Then, the Gods worked in our favour. Even after going to the launch site and experiencing a wee bit of rain, the operator drove the group of us further north to escape the troublesome front and we FINALLY got in our balloon ride! It was frightening, fun and fantastic all at the same time. I spent most of the ride as close to the centre of the basket as possible, gripping a handle or solid surface. Despite a risky landing (we touched down in a gravel pit), we all got to toast our successful flight with a glass of champagne and the knowledge that we were finally able to cross this item off our respective bucket lists. Hooray!

Fun Times!
Not only did I get to work on interesting projects and hang out with groovy people (including a relaxing week spent at my parent's cottage and too much fun at Laura's wedding), I also was a contestant on a new game show that will be broadcast on Canada's Food Network on May 2012. I know, that seems like ages away, doesn't it?

But then I imagined that September 2011 would be ages away when I got back from New York in early July, yet here we are. What will the fall have in store? I dunno, but I feel ready for it!

How about you? Are you ready for what comes your way this fall?

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