Sunday, July 13, 2008

a nearby beach, we go on one a little less crowded

The bikes we rented. No 6 year old girl could have been more thrilled than I to have such a pink bike to ride.

We had a good vacation.
Got back home Saturday 5-ish. Feels familiar yet strange to be home. The entire structure of a day is different.
Wake up, (Cheese, then Bob shower)
eat-doughut or carrot sticks for me, eggs or doughnuts for boys. (some mornings Bob would skateboard to local shop to get doughnuts and coffee)
bike ride on boardwalk, then through streets, and then some errands on bike or by foot
Noon- ish, hang out at place, boys watch TV, I write.
lunch for boys, same as dinner for me
Go to beach- play in sand (mostly Cheese), go in water (mostly Bob. Hey it was cold!), some days go for walk (all), look for shells (mostly Cheese, some me), sit in chair (Bob read mag, or book, or sleep) (Me, I actually worked on writing quite a bit, had printed pages before me, read and edited and mentally organized. The rest of time was given to ipod and daydreaming, or actively engaged in ocean watching or interacting with family). This activity (beach being) would last till, anytime between,- 5-8:30pm. 6:30/7 being most common.
Showers, TV, eating for boys (if eating in), me on computer working on writing. (Though Cheese did make me watch Zenon)
Walking on boardwalk, eat free samples, go into some shops, Cheese and Bob would often get dinner here, and we would all usually get dessert. (this activity would take about two hours)
Back at place, Cheese would shower again. If before 12:30, short bit of TV watching, reading.
Then bed prep. Asleep by 1am.

Bob is verbally lamenting being home. Cheese (who has declared he will from now on be called Shade) is busy catching up on computer time. And I am wondering, if I will keep up with, keep on with, my writing. And what our life might be like if we lived somewhere else.

It was very strange that I did work on my writing as much as I did. I tried to dissuade myself from it once or twice, as it was so present in my thoughts, that I worried perhaps I wasn't swimming deeply enough in the atmosphere of vacation. But when I thought it over, this is how I do vacation, only usually it is a book that I am reading that occupies my mind, that I open every chance I get, and dive into. Thinking and daydreaming are always standard, and no matter how I try, and I have tried, to quiet them, they just go on and on. So I decided to change the way I was thinking about it, from, Is this writing thing taking away from my vacation? to- If there was any ideal writing situation for me, what would it be? This. It would be this. Day upon day just like this trip. I had no responsibilites for feeding folks, we used paper and plastic, so not much cleaning to be done. My presence was needed, but there was plenty of time and space for personal mind drifting.

I would get up eat, work on computer a bit, go for a bike ride, think about the story, take in the beautiful surroundings, exchange a pleasantry or two with family when our bikes were side by side, then drift on again. After lunch there was more writing time on computer (we also recieved a very limited internet connection off and on, and I would stop by and update my word count when I could), then taking the already typed pages to the beach, I could read and edit them, see that some things needed shifting, interwoven with sights of the sea, scents of suntan lotion, sound of birds, and the soft familiar chatter of family (in the past, sometimes they stormed the castle of my reflective solitude, but this trip there was no tug and pull, we easily floated together then floated apart, always drifting nearby, so we could easily float together again.). Each interruption, a pleasnt break. My only frustration with the writing was the last day or so, when I really wanted to be able to print out more pages (the ones I had worked on while there), so I could sort through, physically rearranging stuff, so it would be easier to write the rest right. That is about where I am up to now that I am home; I need to print the stuff out, and fix the flow of ideas.

Piles all around, suitcases that need to be emptied, some clothes put away, others to wash, linens to wash, bottles of this, and bags of that, and piles of those, to be sorted and put away. A garden full of knee deep weedy edges, spent flowers clamoring to be cut away so new buds can form and bloom. The color seeping from the canvas, as countless beetles devour the petals, vampires sucking out color, leaving mere skeletons behind. A garden equal parts life and death. And I don't feel like a battle; I don't feel like doing any of it. I know I do care, a thousand sighs greet me as my eyes meet these sights, yet this voice in my head keeps saying "I don't care. Leave it there. Leave it all there!". And an echo from deep within breaks surface again and again, forming like a prayer "please, don't let go of the writing. Please let's keep going, moving forward. We really could do this you know. It might be really bad, but we could finish this, this story we started so long ago, really we can do it. Hold onto it. Hold on to it. Don't let go, please don't let go."

So here I sit today, and I don't know.

by the bye,
a little late in the game, but I finally figured out how the copy, cut, and paste thing works in my writing program :)


Mediterranean Views said...

Nice vacation, Cape May perhaps? It reminds me of one we had there many years ago when my girls were small.
Liked the picture of you and cheese, had an idea he was younger, smaller...they do grow don't they?
Your complete dedication to your writing makes me envious. I have so many projects I work on at once, that my writing is at a stand still and I haven't been in that "obsessed" mode with A story in years.
You keep going girl, until your goal is reached!
Love Amy

Taffiny said...


Ocean City, New Jersey, it is about a half hour north of Cape May.

I thought he was younger and smaller too :) . At the beach I realized his feet are now bigger than mine. I am finding this stage interesting, each time I turn around I am amazed by either, how teenager-y he is, or by how much of a boy he still is. (rather than seeming in the middle, he seems parts much older than his age, and parts much younger).

I wish that was true, that I am obsessed, with a singular focus, like a thirst that wont be quenched till the last drop has been drained (from my pen). But no, that is fear your hear clacking away at the keyboard, fear that maybe it was easier for me to write while on vacation, because there was no expectation to do so, and no piles of other things needing to be done to distract me. I felt free, and in the state was surprised to find myself happy to write. But now I am back home, and I have to figure out how to get it all done, how to divide a day, and work on the domestic, the garden, and the writing. It sounds simple, you know there are a certain number of hours in a day, and you mark out sections for different activities, but somehow I never manage to do it successfully.

Thanks for the encouragement! I so hope I do.

strugglingwriter said...

Nice photos.

You and your son look very nice. :)

This is a great post. Thanks for this.

Taffiny said...


:) Thanks