Tuesday, March 28, 2017

On the Road Again

Okay, not so much on the road as on the plane, train, and autobús, but the saying is a good one!

I love to travel. This time, I have embarked on a somewhat-impromptu trip to gorgeous España. Hey, when the airfare deal is hot, you got to strike! (See also, my upcoming trip to Peru.) I love Spain, and my boyfriend has never been, so I am very excited to be here with him. I studied Spanish in college, including a month-long study abroad program in Spain, and although my skills have gotten verrrrry rusty, I still love the langage and the chance to speak it.

Aside from the opportunity to "grathias" my way across the Spanish countryside, travel opens my mind to the world beyond myself and energizes me to re-approach my own life with renewed perspective. I love seeing the people walking past, each an entire universe unto themself, complete with their own set of thoughts and problems just as deep and intricate as my own. As I am facing some Big Life Decisions right now, it is a much-needed dose of context!

I also find that travel helps fill my creative wells. Yesterday, we traipsed through 14th century ruins of a palace and its accompanying castle fortress, and the place practically sprang to life. I could almost hear characters calling to each other across the tiled courtyards, the creaking of armor as they patrolled the narrow ramparts, the aching sense of enclosure and safety both beneath the thick walls. And that was just one place we visited! While I may not have much time or energy to actually do a  lot of writing when I travel (I prefer to read during my down time--this blog post is brought to you only by my boyfriend's need for a pit stop), it recharges the parts of my brain that can help come forth with details, stories, and lush bits of magic that make a manuscript sing.

The random WiFi hotspot aside, I am disconnected from the world in a way that I badly need from time to time for the benefit of my sanity and my writing.

I hope you are on a good road yourself!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year, 2017 Edition

Poke poke.

Is this thing still alive?

Sigh.

Yes, I have been sadly remiss in my blogging duties. Truth is, I’ve been remiss in a lot of duties! I jot down endless things that I want to do, that I mean to do, and somehow they never come to fruition. In my defense, I’ve spent the past couple months starting a new position at work, moving across the country, dealing with a fire in our moving truck, finding an apartment, holidays, traveling, etc. etc. It’s been a bit absurd, like I am somehow living a completely different life than I was just 3 months ago.

So I won’t break out the hair shirt, but I will say that, as things have begun to settle down a bit, I am resolved to get back into my better creative habits. My writing goal for this year is to write at least 1,000 words every week. It’s not much (not even an entire book in a year), but it’s a good place to start. And those are new words I am aiming for, so any editing and querying and such are on top of that. It’s not a bad goal. I also hope to complete one short story a month. I struggle on and off with shorts, but the few I have managed to write I like, and I think it will add to my repertoire of writerly skills.

I am damned sure going to finish this manuscript that has been languishing in the 50k doldrums for a long time.

I am also going to read a lot. I read 60 books last year (more detail on that in a future post), and I want to hit 65 this year. Hopefully from a wide variety of authors and genres, but I don’t want to hold myself to anything specific there. More non-fiction for sure, as I find it gets my creative gears spinning.

So—here’s to 2017, another year which will undoubtedly be messy and full of starts and stops and disappointments and hopes and progress and backsliding and all the joy and anguish we call life (and writing). Cheers!