Are you a planner? Well, I am. I like to feel in control of situations, so I do lots of planning beforehand to be prepared for whatever might come. If I’m going to read scripture at church, I like to have the liturgy ahead of time, so I can practice. I like to know what we’re going to have for supper, so I know what to eat for lunch. I mean you don’t want to eat left over pasta salad for lunch if you’re going to an Italian restaurant for supper, right? So yes, I like planning.

Of course, I use it in my writing, but as I’ve written here before I seem to be morphing into something of a pantser—or plotser as I call my process. Planning with some freewheeling.

Are you completely in the dark about where I’m going? Hang in there. I’m about to get there.

photo(8) This is the screen shot on my phone. 

In three years, God willing, my husband and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Twenty or twenty-five years ago, I attended a 50th wedding anniversary at the Country Club for long time members of our church. It was quite lavish, great food and drink. People were dressed up. The kids of the couple put together a charming video depicting their parents’ lives. Right then, I decided that was how I wanted to celebrate our 50th when time came.

Flash forward a ton of years, and I’ve realized I don’t want to ask our kids to go to that much trouble when they are super busy. Recently, I’ve heard of several families who planned a family vacation for the parents’ 50th.  And I thought. Hmmmm. I’d love to share Maine with our family.  When I ran the idea past our kids, they thought that sounded great. Dates to be determined later, but summer 2021. There will be 9 of us on the trip.

photo(7) From a cottage off the Demariscota River. Prototype of setting for ACT OF TRUST.

I’ve already begun planning. Yes, I know it’s three years off, but great places book up more than a year in advance. And as I said, I enjoy planning. And that gives us time to save up. 😊 It’s not inexpensive, but it will be less than the big country club party. And it will give our kids and grandkids, who will be 12, 10, and 9 then, awesome experiences. Hopefully, when we’re gone, they’ll still want to make periodic trips to Maine. Or at the very least, they’ll look at pictures and remember a wonderful time with us. They won’t get these beautiful fall colors since we’ll be going in the summer.

This is near Boothbay Harbor. photo(11)

I can’t tell you how much joy I’ve already experienced in researching locations and places to stay. Well, mostly places to stay, because I’ve got the location nailed: Somewhere on the mid-coast of Maine. I’ve only shared a couple of my gazillion Maine pics, but you can see why I love it so much.

I began looking at Resorts—two especially. The first is The Samoset Resort in the Camden/Rockland area.  We ran across it on one of our trips when we were looking at a nearby lighthouse. It has some fun activities: pool, kid area, awesome views. Haven’t found exactly the right room arrangement but closer to time, I probably can.

Then I looked at Spruce Point Inn & Resort near Boothbay Harbor, a place we’ve stayed twice.

Again, good activities, even lawn size chess. Our grandson and his father would love that. But I haven’t nailed down the perfect accommodations, yet.

Family trips work well when you have a good balance between separate space and together space. Recently, I ran across a HomeAway link, and I got to thinking about large houses. The two below are are possible winners.  I have to choose between ocean or river views and have eliminated lake views, because we have that now. 🙂 Leaning toward ocean, since that’s not as common for our crew.

The houses are less expensive than the resorts, but there might be more to do at the resorts. But I want to make sure we take car trips to see many of the wonderful sites up and down the mid coast of Maine. I love this area so much, I actually put a Mid-coast road trip in ACT OF TRUST.  I used it to show a growing attraction between the hero and heroine, but mostly just to showcase this beautiful state. 🙂


Don’t know what we’ll decide on, but I have had a ball looking. Do you think I’m nuts for looking this far out? I mean, we might not be alive, or we could be seriously ill by then. Hope and pray not, but….  Are you a planner?  Love to hear from you.

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Entertaining post! Regarding my writing…I think of myself as a linear pantser. After planning the first three chapters and the last, I start writing. At some point, I hit the murky middle where I stop and plan the rest of the chapters.

    Maine sounds wonderful…Enjoy! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha R. West says:

      Hey, Joanne, Interesting process. Love that you write the last chapter at the beginning. That certainly fits with the idea you have to know where you’re going to get there. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Count on seeing more pics of Maine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon Wray says:

    I am definitely a planner with the multiple planners to prove it!!! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha R. West says:

      Hey, Sharon. I used to have paper calendars. I’ve kept many of them just for the historical record, but they’ve become a storage issues since we’ve downsized. Now my life planning stuff is on my phone, but I write everything on the computer, but I still make paper copies. I have to be able to read from the paper. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathryn Jane says:

    Great post! I don’t travel much, but get almost as much fun from planning as going! On that note, some years ago we were planning a trip to Scotland, especially to visit the island Al’s family comes from. I spent six months looking at travel and accommodation options and even went on Google street view to check out the entire island! It was great fun, and when the trip was cancelled, I still felt like I had been there 😀

    As for writing, nope. The most I know is the opening line, then the words pour out through my fingers and somehow there will be a happy couple at the end of the story. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha R. West says:

      Hey, Kathryn. I’m sorry you didn’t get to make your Scotland trip, but I so get how much fun you had planning it. We usually start about a year and a half out for planning our New England trips, partly because things book up for the fall a year in advance. And I love to research possible locations, searching for the “perfect” one. Interestingly, they have all been perfect–just different.
      You do have the magic, Kathryn. I can’t even imagine how you do what you do. I’m pleased that I pants some. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Vicki says:

    I do a lot of planning in my head. If I know we’re traveling, I pack in my head. I am not a plotter either. Your vacation sounds perfectly. I reminisced about my parent’s 40th and the party we had for them. It was loverly; however, a trip would be so much fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha R. West says:

      Hey, Vicki. I plan the clothes, too. Start with seeing what the weather will be when we get there, check what fits, and how I can combine items to not have to take too many bags. Love that so many places have washer/dryers. That makes it easy to. At the least, I come home with clean clothes. Glad I brought back happy memories of your parents’ anniversary. Another of those for whom words flow from the keyboard. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a time management list every morning on things I want to accomplish. That’s my idea of planning. But I consider myself a Pantser/Plotter, because I incorporate both into my writing. I free write when a story comes to mind, than plot out to the middle, then write, and plot to the end. You trip sounds amazing, enjoy Maine is a beautiful state.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha R. West says:

      Hey, Marian. I used to keep paper lists. I had notebooks full of all my “todos.” They were kind of a nice historical tool. Now my lists are all on my phone, and I don’t save them. When they get done, I delete. You have a unique writing process, too. You know, we all have to find what works for us. My experience has been that the process changes some over the years. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your vacation/anniversary sounds wonderful and I’m sure the grandkids will treasure the memories ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Jacquie. Giving the grands and the kids the memories is the main (no pun intended) purpose for the trip. We’ve been blessed to go often and will again in early October. They know we love it there and have seen the pics, but letting them experience it. That will be really fun. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. J.Q. Rose says:

    Love this post. I’ve never heard plotser, but that pretty much nails me if it means a plan/outline for the story but flexibility to change and add. I tried just writing with no plan and I wasted a lot of time wondering what comes next. I am in the same situation with the 50th wedding anniversary celebration–2020. We considered having it 2019–a trip for the entire family–because 2 of our grandsons graduate HS in spring 2019 and who knows where they’ll be in 2020? Thanks for the link. We’re looking into places on Lake Michigan because our teens and all the family work in summer, so it would be easy to get to work and to the lake with not much travel time. Plus getting everyone’s schedule to mesh is almost impossible. I’d also like to treat them to time on gorgeous beaches of Clearwater, FL. So I don’t know. We need to get together and take a vote I guess. Thanks for the link to the vacation home site! Your trip to Maine sounds like a fabulous idea. Anxious to hear what you decide.
    JQ Rose

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, JQ. Nice to see you here. So we share anniversaries. 🙂 I get why you might want to do your trip the summer your grands graduate from high school. We found for a long time after high school graduation, we could entice our daughters with the word “resort.” That might not work with the boys. LOL Glad you like the links. We’ve had really good luck with VRBO/HomeAway. ACT OF TRUST is set in a cottage we rented in Maine. We’re staying in another when we go this Ocotber. You just have more space than a B & B or hotel room. We don’t need to spend a kajillion on breakfast as you do with a B & B, though we’ve had good vacations in those in the past, too. You do have two very different locations to choose. Thanks for stopping by.:)


  8. Jackie T says:

    Hi. Sounds awesome for a 50th. We’re actually celebrating ours next week. We’ll leave it up to the kids. Enjoy the rest of the great weather. JackieT

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Jacquie, Congratulations on your 50th. That’s quite an accomplishment. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


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