Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Fricassee

This is my last Friday Fricassee before THE BIG SHUTTING DOWN.

Okay, that was dramatic.  I'm leaving for vacation next Wednesday morning, and maybe it feels a tiny bit wonderful to gently lay aside this blog for a while.  At the same time, I do get a bit twitchy thinking about the days passing with no new blog posts.  Because I think I'm addicted to this place.  To you.

So many of you have shared with me how much you've gotten out of this community.  Well, it works both ways.  And despite my serious need for a break, I will miss you.

To those of you who lovingly admonished me in yesterday's comment box:  My "rest" begins next week.  It's the writing I've already set aside, not the blog.  And believe me, the not-writing has been good.

Though not right away.  For the first four days of my Official Writing Hiatus, I thought I was going to go mad.  Seriously.  My days felt like they had a huge hole in them.  And my brain felt the same way.

But I've adjusted.  I'm learning to actually RELAX about the not-writing.

And, um.  I've started scribbling notes for a new story.  BUT THAT DOESN'T COUNT.

*clings to her notes*

So, what's your favorite way to refresh?  For me, it's always and forever the ocean.  Several times a year, I lament to my husband, "Why don't we live by the ocean?" It's one of the things about myself that I'm certain of: I need the ocean.  And once a year (or less) doesn't cut it.  When I'm on the beach--especially early in the morning--I feel clear-headed and alive and peaceful.  I can THINK and CREATE more easily.  I can WALK long distances without feeling tired.  I can BREATHE.

Sure, I love a jaunt to NYC or a hike through beautiful terrain or the sound of leaves rustling as a storm gathers strength in my own back yard.  But the ocean trumps all.

That's me.  What about you?


  1. I would echo your feelings because I share them. I feel most alive near water - whether it be the vastness of an ocean or the sound of lapping water on a lake or the rush of a mountain river - all somehow remove you from the world around you and connect you in a primal way with eternity. A walk along the beach as the sun is coming up or going down is all that is needed to clear your mind. You can also think of it as a metaphor for whatever story you are working on at the time: the ocean swirls, tosses and its power is apparent; a river flows somewhere - it has a purpose and a destination and the beauty of a lake hides beneath its surface a teeming world of life. That's what we want in our plots - that energy and beauty - and we must always avoid the stangnant, mossy pond that just sits there in its own guck. (yes I said guck)

  2. So as usual you've inspired me. I'm taking a break from writing as well. Maybe not an entire month, but at least week. (I want to go for a month but I'm already twitching and it's only been a few hours.) I know I need the break. I'm getting angry and frustrated with my work and myself for not being able to polish it well enough, but it's hard to stop something you love to do especially when it's a habit. But I'm going to do it. I'm not going to chastise myself when I think of how all the other writers will get agents instead of me because they're hard at work and I'm being a lazybutt. I won't use this tiny break as an excuse for why my work isn't perfect. Nope. I won't do it. I'm setting myself free.

    Anyway, you hold on to your notes for your next story and I'll hold on to drafts my query letter and we'll be fine.

    Have fun!

  3. I actually grew up a few blocks from the ocean, and maybe that's why it's far from relaxing to me. All I think about is the heat/humidity, the salt water drying my skin out, burning my feet on soft sand... Give me the mountains any day. What you describe when you're by the ocean is how I feel in a mountainside cabin. Hell, it's where I started writing in the first place. Every year or so, I have to get back there. Go on the deck, sit on the porch swing, stare out at the scenery and It renews not only my creativity, but my joie de vivre, my spirit. Plus, the drive to the mountains allows me to read, which always helps me find my motivation again.

  4. Oh, and enjoy your vacation! You deserve it!

  5. I'm with you on the ocean thing. I grew up in Hawaii, so living on the 'mainland' now can be difficult at times. I have two beach trips scheduled for this year, though. Serenity now!

  6. What is it about writing that get into the blood? Who needs drugs? This stuff's far more addictive. My writing hiatus between novels never quite pans out for me. I'm right there with you when it comes to jotting down notes on random scraps of paper whenever not actively writing. My desk area is a confetti strewn mess of potential ideas. My advice: Don't fight it. I find by refusing to express myself, in some capacity, the little demon in my brain beings clawing away, pushing me, haunting me, until I relent and release the pent up inspiration. As my husband can attest, I've nearly ruined a vacation or two thanks to that demon. Save your sanity and scribble to your heart's content!

  7. I hope you have an amazing trip, a much-needed break, breathing in all that ocean air. I recently took a month off from writing fiction (I wrote other things) and it was hard. It's funny to have to STOP yourself from doing what you love but I felt it was necessary. Now I feel alive and ready to write and more energetic about writing than I ever have. So I recommend it. :)

  8. I have always wanted to live next to the ocean but when we've vacationed there, I have found the crashing of the waves all day and night a bit disturbing and need the silence. So, then we went to the woods and that type of silence is what I "need". But I am a coastal person and MUST live near the water, so I do. Just not actually ON the ocean. Perhaps if I lived on a protected bay or something, that would help. Hmmmmm..
    Have a nice vacation.

  9. To completely and totally relax and get away from it all...I need Disney World! I guess I still have that big kid in me. But on a smaller scale, I'll take a cabin in the woods.

    Have a wonderful vacation. We'll all miss you!

  10. I love the ocean too, but only for so long. The waves and the sand exhaust me- in a good way. But the mountains, nothing like the energy and peace from being on a mountain surrounded by trees. Aaaahhhh.

    Enjoy your vacation. You will be missed.

  11. We will miss you too. And you're absolutely right about the ocean. I've told my husband the same thing on several occasions. I just need to be near the water. When I'm near the ocean it feels like breathing after holding my breath for a very long time, like my body didn't realize it needed it until it was there.

  12. I could also walk forever in the ocean with the waves fizzing
    over my feet. The lapping of the water mesmerizing,
    relaxing and rejuvenating me.I love to watch and follow the
    birds. However, I don't live near the ocean either and
    only get to go once a year. The rest of the year walking
    in the woods, cross country skiing and hiking mountains
    brings me back to me. Nature is the key for me.

    Now go to your ocean,
    let it go.
    rediscover the inner you.

  13. I can only deal with the ocean for a short time- can't be creative with frizzy hair, ya know!

    Running water creates negative ions, which is good for the soul. When I can't get to that idyllic mountain river with luxury cabin (no roughing it for me), I recharge in the back yard with our Koi pond. The 5' sheer drop that creates the waterfall is beautiful to look at and soothing to listen to. If I need to talk something out, the fish are always willing to chip in with their opinions. It doesn't take place of a week-long vacation in the woods, but it works wonders for my daily recharge.

    Have a great time- we'll miss you!!!

  14. Considering I live a stone's throw from Wakiki Beach, I can very much understand the ocean thing. Though I prefer my ocean at dusk. ;) All the tourists are eating dinner and it almost feels like it's just you and the ocean. Lovely!

    Have a wonderful break! I'm looking forward to mine as well, I'll start Sunday Lord willing, headed back to the mainland to catch up with family I haven't seen in over a year! Should be fun. :D

  15. I've grown up in the west and mid-west. The ocean has been a treat to visit, but my restful place has always been the woods. The quiet of the rustling leaves, the birdsong, the quiet snap of twigs. I love walking int the woods, whatever the season.

  16. The ocean is my creative place too! And I totally agree - once a year (maybe) is DEFINITELY not enough! So enjoy your vacation :)

  17. If I had an aerial tram to shuttle me from ocean to mountain hideaway every few weeks, I;d be in heaven.

    Enjoy your break!

  18. My favorite places? Foreign countries.

    France, Scotland, and Ireland would probably be my favorites.

    Waking up at a bed and breakfast in the Scottish highlands, sitting in front of a roaring fire while sipping hot chocolate and looking out over the snow-capped mountains... simply wonderful.

    Have fun and enjoy your break!