Hit Me With Your Best Travel Shots

With the trip to Africa about four months away, it was time to get the dreaded travel shots over with again. You see, I thought I was in the clear after already getting a barrage of shots and prescriptions for my last big trip—about eight years ago now. Unfortunately, the typhoid shot expired in two years and tetanus is recommended …

And the Award Goes to…

Perseverance! Every year I watch the Academy awards and listen to all the speeches about not giving up on your dreams. No matter how many obstacles are in your way—whether it’s time, money, people, or self-doubt—just keep on believing! The words would shoot sparks of creative motivation through my body and I’d be inspired to start a new project or …

Book of the Month Goals

Welcome to February! How many resolutions are still in full swing? I like to set goals instead of resolutions. Goals sound more friendly and achievable. Some of them include, read more, write more, eat more healthy foods. So, as I snack on some Girl Scout cookies, I’m here to tackle two things on this list—because it’s more fun when you …

Adventures in First Class

A ticket for a first class airplane seat is not something I usually spring for. In the past, it’s only something that’s been granted after dealing with canceled flights and other airport headaches. So after the latest airline debacle, holding a first class ticket was a godsend—or so I thought. It all started out well. A priority ticket allowed us …

The Resilient Virgin Islands

Flying over Tortola, the brown, barren landscape shimmers with pieces of galvanized roof and debris. Patches of green signify the resilience of the trees and plants only a few weeks after hurricane Irma stripped them bare. Driving from the airport toward Road Town, we pass buildings seemingly untouched by the storm, right next to ruins of what used to be …

How to Overnight at the Airport

Airports are fun, aren’t they? They cater to millions of people about to embark on exciting travel adventures, interesting business seminar trips, and highly anticipated family reunions. The airport is a maze of terminals, gates, lounges, and security checkpoints designed to shuttle people from place to place in the most effective and efficient way…right? Well, sometimes plans change. Flights get …

The Art of the Bucket Bath

When you haven’t showered for roughly 48 hours—because you’ve been busy traveling and bargaining with airlines to get you to your destination, but you end up sleeping in the airport café overnight anyway cause the airline screwed up, so you catch a charter flight out the next day—the one thing you dream about vividly, other than uninterrupted sleep, is a …

You Probably Think This Post is About You

Often I’m asked where I get ideas for a blog post, novel, screenplay, etc. While there are many sources available–from writing prompts online to offering an opinion on current events–I tend to find more inspiration from this thing called, life. Writing about what I know has many advantages: 1. I don’t need to check my sources, only my scrapbooks. 2. …

A note to the guy in the Friend Zone

While some may dread being dropped in the friend zone, it isn’t the worst place to be. Would you rather we cut off all ties and forms of communication? If so, you probably didn’t really like the one who put you in the zone in the first place. No matter how you ended up there, there was a reason. Most …

Editing and writing

The 3 Stages of Editing

There are many ways to go about editing a piece of writing, and writers should find the process that best works for them and their style. Though some may highly disagree, I edit while I write. I know, I know. You may have heard that the best way to write is to get all your ideas down first without even …

Let it Go: Dealing with a Mini Meltdown

Nothing starts a day off right like a mini meltdown. Thankfully, mine came in the form of a laughing fit that may have been hysterical to me, but I think it scared some of my coworkers. It was triggered by one simple email–what would have been a normal work email with another last-minute copy change that I should be used …

Off the grid

Going Off the Grid

Ah, the simple life. I’ve always dreamed of going off the grid, unplugging, living a life less crazed. Some have done this by traveling to the middle of nowhere either for a visit or to start their less hectic life. Others simply go dark on social media. They disconnect for a time to focus on more important things–like what’s beyond …

Blogging

A Day in the Life of This Writer

For a writer working on a novel, a day off isn’t necessarily a day off. There’s always something to do. Research, writing, and rewriting becomes more important than binge watching shows and napping all afternoon. At least it should be more important. Recently, I took a day off in the middle of the week. Let’s see how it went, shall …

See the Light: Local Lantern Festivals

Ever since I watched this video I’ve been a bit obsessed with lantern festivals. I started mentally planning my trip to Thailand and imagining what it would be like to experience it in person. Not only is it a beautiful sight, but it focuses our attention upward, lifting our spirits, and encouraging us to let go of the past and …

Travel

The Pros and Cons of Companion Travel

Growing up, I was always told to travel with a buddy. We needed a companion to walk with us to the nurse’s office, in from recess, and during field trips to the zoo. Traveling anywhere alone not only seemed wrong, it was deemed dangerous. What if we get lost or left behind? The horror! As I got older, going out …

The Sound of Salzburg

Driving down the autobahn on the way to Salzburg, we fly by the valley villages at approximately 90 miles per hour. We’re on our way to see the birthplace of Mozart and scenes from the Sound of Music. Arriving in Salzburg, we wander through winding streets, pass towering theaters and churches, and look up at shop signs reminiscent of the …

How to See Three Countries in One Day

Talk about whirlwind! In one day we visited three countries by traveling from Austria to Italy and took a peek at Slovenia on the way home. The closest I’ve ever come to passing the border this many times is traveling from Pennsylvania through New Jersey to New York. This time was a little different, and included a stop by border …

Journey to Austria

Who knew that flying into Venice was an easy way to get to Austria? I didn’t, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that there were more affordable flights from the States to Italy, and the two neighboring European countries were easily accessible by bus and train. After taking the train to the bus station, we settled in for a three-hour …

How to do Venice in a Day

Whirlwind travel is sort of my thing. When asked how long this trip to Venice and Austria was going to be, some were shocked to hear, “one week.” While I’d love to have weeks and months and years to visit a place and immerse in the culture, a weekend in Venice and few days in Austria is the best I …

Website

A Guide to Navigating This New Website

Welcome! You made it! You may not know it, but this website baby is brand-spanking new. I’m talking about months of planning, writing, coding, testing–no blood, but some sweat and happy tears were shed, all in the name of this mobile-friendly, search-engine-optimized, marketing platform. If you were here before, you may remember my templated website filled with travel pics and …

You’re Free to Move About the World

Travel has been a pretty important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Since I was a baby, my family would travel to the British Virgin Islands, our home away from home. After college, I took my first trip to Europe. Then when family started moving abroad, I just had to go visit! The craziness of …

We’re Moving!

It’s time to upgrade this ticket to first class! This travel blog is moving to a brand new, shiny site–lesleygrigg.com! A new year calls for a new start–and a new site–in order to align with the times and spark more motivation. With the change, you’ll see more from me than just travel news. All my passions will congregate in one …

Nanowrimo Mojo

Writers reJOICE! It’s NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month. the month we all get to hunker down and release that novel that’s been hiding inside us for who knows how long. November is National Novel Writing Month, and the goal is to get 50,000 words down in 30 days, but I say–forget the rules and just WRITE! Use this month as motivation …

Nashville, TN: Music to my Tummy

I know it’s going to be a great trip when all I want to do is listen to live music and eat delicious food. Nashville, TN is definitely the place to accomplish both. There are so many restaurants and bars to choose from, so I’m sure I didn’t hit them all, but the ones where I did sample the food, beverages, …

Writer's Digest review

And The Review Goes To…

As part of the ongoing process of sharing my novel, Remember, with the world, I entered it into one of Writer’s Digests contests, and now I have just received their rave review! The response from friends, family, and Amazon reviews have been wonderful, and now Remember has received high marks in structure, pacing, voice, development, appeal, and more from a …

Reviews for remember

A Month to REMEMBER

It’s April! April is not just about spring showers, budding flowers, and warmer weather–all of which are fabulous, but there’s much more to this month. April is a time of rebirth…and my birth! So what if my friends and family laugh at me for celebrating the entire month. I love April and everything it brings, so I’m going to celebrate …

Gift of reviews

A Gift From You: 32 for 32

Another year, another birthday, another goal to reach. As I get older, birthdays are more about tracking progress than counting years. Where have I been, what have I accomplished, how have I grown–mentally, spiritually, and emotionally? Thinking back on all the blessings of the past 32 years, I’m more than grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way …

Remember Dr. Ormond

REMEMBER Cast: Dr. Ormond

What’s a paranormal story without a little touch of evil? In REMEMBER, Dr. Ormond may be portrayed as the creepy doctor with supernatural powers, but we also see another side of him that evokes more empathy. 1. Full Name: Dr. Jack Ormond
 2. Nicknames: Dr. Creepypants, Dr. McSnarky, Dr. Telepathic, Dr. Crazy, Dr. Weird, Dr. Strange, Dr. O
 3. Age: …

Remember Billy

REMEMBER Cast: Billy

Everyone loves Billy, or at least they should. This lovable nerd is smart, funny, and a personal favorite character in REMEMBER. 1. Full Name (and meaning): William (Will, desire, protection)
 2. Nicknames: Billy
 3. Age: 17 
4. Physical description: brown hair, grey/blue eyes, skinny, average height 
5. Career: Student, Craft Service Assistant
 6. Hobbies: reading comic books, playing the tuba, …

Remember Wynn

REMEMBER Cast: Wynn

Meet Wynn: the bad-boy New Yorker turned sweet and sassy Midwesterner that steals Nev’s heart. While a majority of his role in REMEMBER is told in flashbacks, this interview provides a little more insight into who he truly is. 1. Full Name (and meaning): Wynn Miller (friend)
 2. Nicknames: My friends in NY used to call me Wynnsical since I …

Remember Neviah

REMEMBER Cast: Neviah

Now that REMEMBER has officially launched, I thought I would introduce some of the main characters to give a little of their personal backgrounds and a little preview of what you may expect from them in the novel. A few characters share their points of view in the novel, so I decided to interview each of them, and for the …

Remember novel launch

Ready to Launch

Yesterday’s REMEMBER launch party was more than I could have hoped for! The show of support from family and friends, both new and old, was a bit overwhelming at first, but all in a wonderful way. I was honored to have Sarah Graham and Thane Madsen play Neviah and Wynn for the theatrical reading (shown above), they even looked like …

Special preview

Labor Day Special

In honor of the holiday weekend, I’m DELIVERING a special free preview of a chapter from REMEMBER. The theme of the scene gives a whole new meaning to Labor Day! Hope you enjoy the weekend and the following passage: SUMMER AFTER JUNIOR YEAR “Is everything all right?” I asked. Mom didn’t usually shake so much while pouring iced tea.    …

Published now promotions

Publishing Down, Promotions To Go

REMEMBER has been out for one week and the response has been thrilling! Family and friends are showing their support in words and book sales, and so far, the book reviews are all positive. Now the task is to ramp up promotions and spread the word beyond those who already know my name. This is where things start to get …